Our friend Sasha Benz has a great site we love called - All My Friends Are Models. Here's one by Ellen Hancock and things she's learnt from both sides of the camera. Ideas to help spot a good photographer too!
Models and photographers have a very special working relationship. The way they interact and understand the requirements of their job ultimately effect the quality of what they produce, and whether or not they may work together again in the future. Although much is required of this relationship the specifics of this interaction can vary a great deal from shoot to shoot, as many creatives have their own particular practices in the ways in which they work.
Having been a model for over a decade, and now working on the other side of the camera as well, gives me a bit of an insiders perspective on some things. There are some aspects of modeling that really didn’t hit home until I got behind the camera and had to run a photography business. And vice versa. There are some things within my photography work that I am intensely grateful for understanding due to my years as a model. Here are some insights I believe are worthy of sharing…
1. It’s ok to take a month to edit photos. It’s not ok to take three.
Editing photos is a lot of work. That’s understandable. It takes time and being in a certain mindset to sit down and do a lot of editing. Models, please don’t ask the photographer for photos right after shooting. It is extremely unthoughtful of you, and that lack of empathy really does make the photographer less excited to do the work. Give the photographer a little space after the shoot.
On the flip side, there are some exceptions to that rule! Just imagine you’re a model with a so-so portfolio. You just did a photoshoot with an amazing photographer and you know the images are going to take your book to the next level. Then, low and behold, you score a meeting with a huge agency or client. By all means very politely (and with much flattery and appreciation) share this information with the photographer, and see if a rush on edits is possible. Having the best book possible makes a huge difference at a meeting. It also means the photographer’s work could be seen by that agent/client as well. The photographer may not be able to get the photos done in time, and that’s ok, but at least you tried. If it’s not possible be humble and say thank you anyways.
Last but not least, photographers – it is never ok to take longer than three months to edit photos. If you are working so much you can’t get to them then you can hire a retoucher. If you are just playing around at too many test shoots and can’t get pictures to your models then you are being rude and unprofessional. There is nothing worse as a model than getting pictures from six months ago and looking different than the images and not being able to use them. So get it done.
2. At a photoshoot energy is everything… from the photographer too!
I can’t tell you how many times as a model I’ve had to suffer through a long day of shooting, trying to keep my energy up and fresh, while the photographer just mopes around like a bump on a log. It is the worst! While communicating well with your model is key to getting a great shot I will argue that creating the energy of the shoot is even more important. Think of yourself as a DJ, the whole party is looking to you to set the mood. If you want your model to smile then BY GOD SMILE AT THE MODEL. Your energy speaks louder than words, trust me. I have worked with some photographer’s who weren’t very good at communicating directions but were great at setting the mood and letting me do what I do, and we’ve gotten amazing results.