Posing new female models can be a rewarding and creative experience, but it’s important to approach it with sensitivity and professionalism. Here are some tips to help you get the best results from my own experience:
Pay attention to composition: As with any type of photography, the composition is key. Make sure to consider the placement of the model in the frame, as well as any props or clothing you are using. For example, shoes are an important piece of fashion photography. Many times new female models have a lot more on their shoulders than their male counterparts. They have to manage wardrobe, hair, glam, movement, emotion, etc… In the modeling industry, women are the stars.
I’ve noticed many people place the model’s shoe closest to the camera. Do you know what happens when you place something close to the lens? It’s generally the largest thing on the screen and shoes would be one to look out for. Another way to optimize a model’s portfolio is to think about how she will use the images.
Maybe she wants to be photographed for a large shoe brand. Making sure you give her images that show the front and the side of the shoe puts her in a greater light. Making sure that you get her interacting with things while “living” in the shoes would be a powerful and thoughtful move.
Encourage emotion: As mentioned in the video, it’s important to get the model to think about something that will produce emotion. This can help to bring life to the photo and make it more interesting for the viewer. I would always encourage them to think of anything that could bring out a glimmer of light or emotion on their face. It’s not uncommon to say “think of your favorite meal” or “think of the girl who was mean to you in 4th grade” – because thinking of anything produces emotion. Emotion in a photograph helps a model stand out.
Avoid distractions: Keep the focus on the model by avoiding distractions such as hair covering the face or clothing that is too busy or distracting. Remember that you are helping the model book more jobs. Don’t hide their face and make them “marketable” for real jobs. Once word gets out that you’re the go-to photographer for building quality modeling portfolios, it becomes a very booked calendar of other new female models.
Communicate with the model: Make sure to communicate with the model and give them direction throughout the photoshoot. This will help to ensure that you are both on the same page and working towards the same goal.
One thing that I do is make sure they have references that will explain everything I’m looking for. For example, I might show them a part of a music video, another commercial, or even a mood board. I’ll have a conversation with them that helps illustrate my needs. I don’t just say “give me a sexy pose” – I will tell them what sexy is defined as in that particular moment. Speak to your models and give her the direction she needs to have a successful photoshoot.
By following these tips, you can create stunning photographs of female models that capture their beauty and personality. Just remember to approach the photoshoot with sensitivity and respect, and you will be well on your way to success.
What About Photographing Men?
I have a great blog post and video to help you with photographing female models here or below.
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