Be Mean...(not really)

August 9, 2017

In just about anything someone pursues there is an education in the process of learning what it takes to make it to your desired outcome.  I've been pursuing photography for such a long time, it's a passionate pursuit that at times has me feeling high when a shoot goes as planned, or not, and still comes out great.  Then there are the times where it feels the camera would've just been best left in my camera bag.  With every new shoot I'm learning, whether it's about camera settings or communication.  


The latter is what's on my mind.


When working with models I've found myself being "too nice."  I want the model to feel comfortable so when they ask me what they should wear for a shoot I often say something like, "I want you to be comfortable, this is your shoot, bring the outfits that make you happy and we'll make it work."  Sounds nice, right?  Well, I'm learning it's often not.  It's not that you must be mean but I'm learning models want direction, they need a vision, the photographer's vision. You don't even have to say no to the ideas of the model but as a photographer who seeks out potential models you need to have ideas.  Much like a director of a film, we are the creative beings asking someone to act out a theme or scenario as our cameras are trained on them.  So, have ideas, even if they're weird or risqué.

Recently I shot for the first time in my new home studio space (blog to come on the studio).  When seeking out models for studio shoots I've tried to be more direct in my desire in the look and feel I'm going for.  A little nervous I sent out messages asking if models would like to collaborate on a sensual fashion shoot, a style I've wanted to work in but was never direct enough when approaching models.  With assistance from my wife and business partner we've created Pinterest boards with styles and ideas for each model.  Much to my surprise the models have been very receptive to our style suggestions.  During our first studio shoot our model said, "I loved your ideas, some photographers tell you to bring whatever and you're left not knowing what to bring."


Hmm, I guess I'm happy I didn't do that.


There is always something new to learn in photography, never limit yourself in your ability to learn more about the art, and don't tell your model to "bring whatever."



Check out my most recent model Colleen Grady on Instagram: @_colleengrady



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