Model Guide to Photography


So what do I need to know?

The photographer is a very important part of your photo shoot. Because they work very closely with you they can have a huge impact on how well the shoot goes and how well your images turn out. The better photographers do more for you than just take photos. They will help with positioning, props, guided poses and timing. They also work in conjunction with make up artists and stylist in the model’s best interest.

It is important to understand a bit about the industry, its basic business practices and how things work before setting out to find your ideal photographer. We hope the following inside information will help you to make a wise choice.

There are so many photographers - how can I simplify finding the right one?

Choosing the right photographer comes down to two basic things: First, and most obvious, is you must love their work. Look for a photographer whose work moves you in some way, whose style you like. The second factor to consider is personality. The energy that your shoot calls for will have to be generated from within. However, your photographer can play a major role in pulling that energy out of you.

I’ve been told that I should be a model but don’t have much experience with posing for photos. I feel silly and awkward. Can you help me with my poses?

Yes and no. Most photographers will charge extra for helping inexperienced models pose. To simplify things, there should be good chemistry between the photographer and inexperienced model in order to capture great photos. The photographer’s 1st goal should be able make the model feel comfortable and 2nd should look for the best angles that illustrates the model’s winning shot. However, most photographers have never been models BUT the experienced ones know what to look for. (BEWARE some of the experienced photographers will lose interest in shooting the inexperienced model which will show up in the photos. Therefore be honest with the photographer about your modeling experience so that he/she can know more or less what to expect from the shoot).

Shopping for a photographer

If you’re shopping for agency representation, your photos must grab them at a glance. Sometimes you can never know what’s in the minds of an agent, perhaps their client is ringing in their ear about a particular photo story or image for their next marketing project. Therefore you should show diversity in your portfolios. Always show your cleanest side 1st, allow the creative team to start with a blank canvas (you) to work with. BUT also give fire, rage, joyful, peaceful and any other emotion you can think of in your port. With that said…work with photographers that will help you accomplish this. BE ADVISED…you will pay $$$ for your photos to get started if you want GREAT Photos. However there are many avenues you can take with Trades Shoots. BUT consider for the RIGHT TEAM, (hair, make up and wardrobe) you will have to pay someone somewhere down the line.

Scheduling Photo Sessions

BE ON TIME! You will lose money and lose quality time necessary for your team to work with you. No matter how experienced you are, always remember...there’s someone out there that can do the job just as good, or maybe even better than you. Ruin your reputation in the industry by being late or being difficult will not help you get more jobs in this business. Food for thought: JUST about ANYONE these days can be model material… (It just depends on the venue). So don’t get too cocky because you look good. So does a lot of other people.

During Photo Session

Pay attention to the photographer’s direction, he/she is usually seeing the best and the worst thru the camera.

Move around. Try different things, angles, twists, bends, facial expressions etc… (anything you can possibly think of. Have fun!). A talented photographer will see something and help you build off of a pose you strike. Usually capturing something AMAZING!

Important Tips

• Unless the shoot calls for it, shave underarms, legs, chest etc.

• If there’s a makeup artist that will make you over, please don’t wear make up to the shoot.

• (Please DON’T take offense but some people really need to read this): Practice good hygiene. Arrive with your body fresh and clean, hair washed and teeth brushed. You will be working closely with stylists that need to layer you with makeup, clothing and hair products and accessories. Clean hair has more flexibility to the hair masters. Food in teeth... a “BIG NO NO”.

BE ADVISED...With all of the moving around and expression changes etc., at some point you WILL SWEAT. (This is very normal so don’t panic).  You may also have to work in uncomfortable weather conditions, usually COLD.  BE Prepared!

• A chaperone or escort should always be welcomed during a photo session however, ask your photographer prior if you can have someone present. (Be advised many contracts do not allow 3rd party photography. Therefore ask before having spectator journalistic photos taken during the photo session).

• Please make sure you understand the contract or model release form (which is commonly used). Most photographers will not share copyrights with the model (at least not without a large fee). Photographers love their images and may use them in online or studio portfolios. Some may even enter photos in competitions or in gallery displays. So don’t freak out.

• SMILE, CRY, SCREAM AND DO A MEAN STARE! Get some GREAT expressions in! Most of all ENJOY!