GETTING THE RIGHT VIBE WITH YOUR MODEL
A photoshoot can be a stressful time for both the photographer and their model. The photographer must remain professional at all times, and the model may be nervous if working with someone they have not met before. However, they both have the same goal: to produce outstanding images for the project. Here are some suggestions to put your model at ease for the best results.
Establish a Connection
A friendly approach is undoubtedly the best way to establish a connection. Spend some time chatting with your model, not necessarily just talking about the task ahead. Ask them if they would like some background music, find out about their previous work, and have a look at it together on the internet, let them have a look at your camera etc. Contact them in advance and ask them to bring a few of their favorite props so you can play around with them together.
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Find Their Comfort Zone
Obviously, you should both already know what the client expects from the photoshoot, but ensure you both have similar ideas. Having already looked at your model's previous work, you will have gained an insight as to what they feel comfortable with. Let them lead to start with so that you do not immediately ask them to pose in a manner which makes them uncomfortable, as this will reflect in their facial expression.
If your model seems somewhat hesitant, particularly when in unfamiliar poses, a little reassurance goes a long way. Letting them know they are doing a great job will boost their confidence, giving you a more convincing image. This may also encourage your model to be a little bit more experimental and less rigid in their poses. Even if you are not happy with some of the outcomes, say it was great, but could be improved by a variation.
Unless your photoshoot is meant to convey a sombre atmosphere, then just relaxing and having fun can bring out some great, candid shots. Pretend you are having a break and throw out some corny jokes, and catch your model unawares as they enjoy the moment. Put on some music and try and co-ordinate your shots to the rhythm and the beat. Don't be too intense, and keep looking at your watch, for example.
Don't Touch Without Permission
You may be lucky enough to be working with a hair and make-up artist who can make any adjustments as the shoot progresses. If not, and you want the model to arrange their hair or clothes in a certain way, allow them to do it themselves. Or, if that doesn't work, or isn't possible, ask permission and explain precisely what you would like to do.At the end of the day, you are both professionals being paid to do a specific job. If you can establish a connection with your model, the shoot will be much more comfortable and enjoyable. Who knows, you may get the chance to work together again!
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