Working with a model
14 january 2022

Working with a model

During my workshops, I’m often asked how to work with a model during the photoshoot. Leaning on my own big experience in dealing with the models, I can say exactly what can cause a real trouble during the photoshoot:

  • The photographer is not ready for the photoshoot and has no idea what to do and how to do it. Photographer’s unconfidence and perplexity are transmitted to the model, and the confidence in good photoshoot outcomes is gone. Hence, the mood gets spoiled, the model doesn’t feel like posing and doesn’t show appropriate emotions.
  • The photographer is afraid of the model (her high rating, work experience, etc.). The model feels it immediately and can take the lead, which may only bother the photographer during the photoshoot.
  • The photographer requires of the model something that hasn’t been discussed in advance. Due to this, the model can feel uncomfortable. As a result, she will be constrained and closed. Hence, her posing and emotions may vary from what’s needed for the photoshoot.

My own tips on working with the models:

  • Make sure you discuss with the model all photoshoot details in advance: her character, location, clothing, emotions, etc. The more the model is aware of the upcoming photoshoot, the better she will prepare and tune herself into work.
  • Prepare properly for the photoshoot and your work with the model. From the start, the photographer has to know how the model should be posing, what she should be doing, where she should be looking at, etc. I suggest that you in advance save pose sketches, pictures or photos made by other photographers on your smartphone and use them as references. This will significantly facilitate your work, which is particularly relevant for beginner photographers.
  • Both the photographer, and the model should keep in mind the fact that the photographer is in charge of the photoshoot. The model should be ruled with confidence so that she knows and feels that the photographer is highly professional, well-prepared and well-aware of their job.
  • The words of support and appreciation are also important. Don’t forget to tell the model how beautiful she is and how the character fits her. This will motivate her to do her best to get high-quality photos.
  • Be forward-thinking! The model will appreciate it if you take care of her comfort during your cooperation. Depending on the filming conditions, think thoroughly. For instance, if the weather is cold, it’s good to have some hot tea to keep warm. If you run the photoshoot in the field, bring some water to wash the feet… 

If you treat the model with respect, she will feel comfortable working with you, which will positively affect the results of your cooperation and your future shared projects.