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Reshared post from +Jessi June
Into The Lens: The Model's Side of Photography
How to talk to your models while shooting
Photographers have plenty of resources amongst them to learn lighting, camera work, angles, composition, and software. Where there aren't very many resources, are knowing how things are from the model's point of view.
Today, I wanted to focus on addressing the model during the shoot. Communication during the shoot is possibly the single most pivotal thing to the comfort on set. How effectively you communicate can change her poses from fun and wild and energetic, to reserved and non-emotive.
My first piece of advice is to open the lines of communication before the day of the shoot. You don't want to have to worry about ice breakers day of, or things coming off wrong. You want to get a decent feel for your subject to know exactly the type of girl who's gracing your lens. If she's a shier type, you'll know to work on getting her to open up. If she's the outgoing extrovert, you'll know to ask a question and to let the motor run!
Once you have a decent feel for the person your about to meet, don't be the overly talkative, overly excited guy. I can't even tell you how many times photographers have kept me on the phone for 30-45 minutes just nervously rambling. Whether she's your first model or 1000th, be professional. Save the personal talk for the shoot.
On the shoot, I would say this is probably the biggest most important thing to remember: Erase All Synonym's for Hot, Sexy, Beautiful, etc. From Your Vocabulary. Seriously! She's modeling for your camera. Unless she hired you, she knows you already think she's good looking enough to photograph. The model does not want to know, nor care, how hot you think she looks. She wants to know the lighting is right, the composition is good, her spot, how much of her is in the picture, angles, mood, etc. How hot she looks means nothing if its not transferred through the images. If your going to compliment her, or want to tell her how good she's doing, compliment WHAT she's doing, not how she looks. "Awesome pose! Wonderful! Hold that!" Is much better, both for maintaining professionalism, and for the comfort of the model, than – "That's fucking hot! keep doing that! Damn thats sexy!"
Also, never be shy to communicate how something looks, or whether or not a pose/look/angle is working. I would much rather have a photographer say, "alright, switch it up, that one wasn't working too well" then allow for the set to keep going knowing we're not getting anything great. When I work, I get all the information, and then he steps back to do his thing, focus on the lights, the camera work, the compostion, and the shot angles, and I focus on my pose, face, emotion, hair, feet, hands, curves, and angles. We should both have way too much going on to think about how hot the outfit looks.
Finally, be sure that you always communicate how the shots look. Alot of photographers have it their mind that no one should see the shots until the final product. Showing your model how the shot and composition look in the LCD will not only let her see what to expect, but it will also give her a better idea of the feel with the lighting involved. Remember, you get to see how the lighting and mood are working at all times, while all they see is the flash. Take the time to show them where it's going, and they can do a better job of taking you there.
Remember, when a model is the subject of your shot, though in the end she is only a tool to building something much bigger, she is a vital part of the creative process. No matter how much planning you do or don't put into a shoot, a model can completely change the product for the better or worse. And when such is the case, you want to make sure you monitor the emotions of the person who needs to be emotive closely. Good communication is the key. Always maintain professionalism, never compliment her looks, only her modeling, and keep her informed during the shoot.
Hopefully this helps you on your next shoot! If you have any questions, feel free to let me know, and I'll do my best to get to everyone. There will be more posts in the future, but this one is JUST about shoot communication. 🙂