Model Questions Answered

March 23, 2009

in Featured, Instruction

Last week I said I had writer’s block and asked for questions. Only Richard Turner had any, so here’s his answers.

What do you say to a first time model?

This is a pretty broad question, but I’ll give you a few tips.

First, just be friendly and helpful. When they first get to the studio I introduce myself and my assistant and offer to carry help stuff in. I introduce them to the MUA and show them where they’ll do makeup.

My move slow spiel. A common problem I have with models, both beginners and experienced models is movement between poses. Experienced models hear the shutter, or see the lights go off and quickly move to another pose. Beginners don’t move on their own, but when you say “Move your head to the right.” they quickly look in the opposite direction. I end up giving this speel.

“When I ask you to move can you please move slowly. If you move real fast, you sometimes move to far. If you you move slowly, I can tell you when to stop. Also don’t move immediately to another pose but give me a second or so to let you know if I want you to hold that pose.”

First time models needs lots of complements It is easy to get into the zone of shooting and just get quite. Remember the model wants feedback and is often worried they are doing it wrong. So make sure you are giving them lots of positive feedback. Also when you get something good on the back of your camera, go show it to them. It gets them excited and they do even better.

Do you have “standard” poses or questions that you use to help them relax and get in to the shoot?

I don’t have standard poses per se. I do have some in my head and I normally just demonstrate them, which is always good for a laugh.

Recently I heard an interview with a photographer on the LightSource podcast who used to be a hypnotist. He said when he wanted to get a sexy expression out of a model, he told them to remember the smell of fresh baked cookies. That got an expression of desire on their face.

Music can also help with the shoot. Encouraging dance can get you some good poses as well, though catching them can be an exercise.

Hope all that helps, feel free to include new questions in the comments below.

1 Richard Turner March 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm

I liked the cookies idea, and the very important point of feedback – giving the model some idea of how things are going. Making a fool of myself is of course easy too.
Just got to deal with my nerves now!!

Thanks for the answers

2 Lee Turpin March 24, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Okay, I’ll step up and ask a question that I’ve had for a long time. Namely, where do you find models, glamour or otherwise? I’ve tried asking friends and such, but no luck. I really don’t have the money for paid models, so I’m at a loss. It also seems like a catch-22 situation of: to get someone to model, you need other pictures to prove you’re “legit”, but to get pictures you need a model. Any thoughts?

3 Ron Davis March 25, 2009 at 7:11 am

I get most of my models off of Model Mayhem or One Model Place. If you have no pictures at all I’d just be honest when you contacted them and say you are just starting out. You can also do a casting call on Model Mayhem saying you are brand new and looking for models. There are a lot of models in the same place you are and if you are willing to shoot with anyone, you should be able to find one relatively easily.

4 Lee Turpin March 25, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Thanks! I’ll give it a try.

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