For many, if not all, photographers, photographing models is a must-do. Models are photographed for portraits, commercials, and stock photography, among other things. Most of us, especially when we first start, look up to our family and friends for inspiration. This is a fantastic way to gain practice and experience. However, you may wish to photograph someone with modeling expertise at some point. I opted to undertake my first model shoot to expand my portfolio with more people images. I learned a lot after my first model session, and I’d want to share it with you.
Choosing a Model
It’s easier than you think to find a model for your first model shoot. Of course, you can rent one. However, when you’re first starting, you might not have a lot of money to employ a model. However, there is a workaround for this that benefits both you and the model.
Look for models who are just getting started. There is something more important to them than money.
Models must be able to demonstrate their previous work to obtain paid employment. To put it another way, they require a robust portfolio. Does this ring a bell? That ought to do it. Because if you want to earn paid work as a photographer, you’ll need a strong portfolio to present. You can offer a trade-for-prints agreement, or TFP for short, by choosing a model that complements their portfolio. Even though they’re named trade-for-prints, you’re not required to give prints unless it’s part of the arrangement. Many merely provide DVDs with model images.
It worked great for my first model session. I went to Craigslist and looked in the “talents” category. I’m seeking a model with whom I can make a TFP contract, but I’m not required to. A model placed an ad on Craigslist asking for a TFP photographer! I responded to the ad, and after a few emails discussing the details, we agreed on a date and time for the shoot.
Model of Direction
When you think about it, it’s a little awkward. When you arrive at the place, you’ll begin photographing people you don’t know. As the photographer, it’s your job to direct the model and capture the greatest shot possible for both you and your model. There will be a lot going on in your thoughts, and you’ll be trying to complete the task correctly. But keep in mind that if you appear worried or tense, your model will become nervous and apprehensive as well. The photos will suffer if this happens.
The greatest thing to do is to take some time to communicate at first. My model (Chrissy) came with a buddy (Ben), who was extremely helpful. He alleviated any concern she could have had simply by being present. (He also assisted me with my equipment.) He took my tripod and camera bag with him. If you’re reading this, Ben, you’re fantastic! LOL!)
Please take a few practice shots to get a few images in the bag; that’s how it works. It does wonder that assisting everyone is relaxing. Once your models are at ease, they can go about their business. Everything was made so simple by Chrissy. One of the most significant differences between photographing friends and relatives and photographing a model is this. Models are skilled at posing and conveying a wide range of moods. They also know how to follow orders. Could you not rely solely on them? The models are posing, but they count on you, the photographer, to be their eyes. They couldn’t tell what it looked like because they couldn’t see it. Look through your viewfinder. Look for methods to improve. Give your model directions for a couple of additional postures after they’ve given you a few.
Also, don’t be scared to take chances. When shooting digitally, the only cost is memory space. “I’m not sure whether this will work, but let’s give it a go,” I stated aloud a few times throughout the shoot. It doesn’t always work. But it did work on occasion! So don’t be frightened to take a chance, especially if it’s your first time shooting a model.
Learn about your camera.
You don’t want to squander time when dealing with models. That isn’t to say you should haste. Take your time and be thorough. But you don’t want to fiddle with your camera, attempting to make it do something you don’t understand. It would help if you had a plan in mind for how you want to photograph the model. Is the session going to be a portrait? To get a soft background, photograph with a wide aperture. Will there be more action-packed scenes, such as sports or dance? Plan on using a shutter speed that will allow you to capture the activity. So you don’t waste time testing out different settings, bear in mind the type of shot you’re going to take. This isn’t to say you can’t play around with other angles and locations. Just come up with some ideas to set them up and film them quickly.
You’ll know what to bring with you if you know what kind of photo you’re going to take. I expected it to be light for this shoot, especially given the time we began. As a result, I made certain to bring my lens shadow, and it turned out that I didn’t require it. However, it is preferable to have what you don’t need to direct, something you don’t possess.
Recognize Your Location
We headed to the beach for my first model session. Beautiful beaches may be found in Dauphin Island, Alabama, and various places to visit. There’s a dock there that I particularly adore. It’s a little strange because it doesn’t go far enough to go to the water. If the pier doesn’t reach the sea, I’m unsure what it’s for, but I know it’s fantastic for snapping shots! You can shoot over the dock. Above, there are various open areas in the sun and an enclosed space for shelter. You can walk to the bottom of the pier by using the steps. You may go beneath the dock at the bottom and get some fantastic images with shadows and pillars.
In essence, I am aware of my current position, and I’ve been there before and already have the photos I’d like to take. Nothing wastes more time than wandering about a site looking for a good photo opportunity. So, think about where you’re going. I recommend arriving 30 minutes early so you can take a look around and get some ideas for photographs.
Other factors to consider when selecting a site include the weather. You won’t be able to plan it until the day of the shoot, most likely. Check the weather forecast to see what you’re up to. You can’t plan too much for this. My first model session took place in the scorching heat of the day, and we began shooting at 2:00 p.m. It’s not the finest moment to take pictures. The illumination is bright. You can’t always choose when you shoot, though. When your model is available, you should hit. As a result, you’ll need to devise strategies for shooting in adverse weather and lighting situations.
The wind was one thing that caught me off a surprise. During the shoot, the wind was fierce, and there were a couple of images where we had the wind on our side.
Take a few shots.
You’ll want to snap as many pictures as possible, especially if it’s your first time shooting a model. When you’re through, you’ll have a lot of photographs to choose from. You never know when you’ll be able to capture the ideal emotion or look in a picture. You’ll have to decide which images to save and which to reject later when you’re looking over them. You will have various extremely similar photographs if you take multiple photos to choose the best one. For instance, the model might strike a certain position, and I’ll snap three or four photographs in a hurry. Each picture will be unique in some way. These small adjustments make a tremendous difference in selecting the finest photos.
Thank you so much.
My first photoshoot as a model was a wonderful and fulfilling experience. This allows me to get a sense of how it feels to shoot a model on-site. This taught me the value of clear communication between the photographer and the model. It provided me with an indication of the amount of work required following the shoot. Taking pictures is only one aspect of it. You must sift through hundreds of photos to select those you wish to preserve.
In this shoot, I took over 350 images over two hours. I’ve limited it down to the top 50 images, in my opinion. I make certain that the model and I have a selection of images to use in our portfolio. Another reason to limit it is that you don’t want to use Photoshop to post the 350 photo procedure! Don’t waste time editing photos that aren’t going to be saved. Select the finest option and proceed from there. The rest should be thrown away. Models will include your work in their portfolio. Please don’t send them pictures that aren’t up to par. It displays your personality! Showcase your greatest work for them.
I included a folder with the top 50 high-resolution images on the model’s DVD. Chrissy can use this file to generate prints if she so desires. I’ve also offered a “Copyright Release Form” that allows him to print the photographs for personal and non-commercial purposes. Because certain locations do not allow models to print images without the photographer’s signed approval, this is required. I’ve also included a folder with 50 low-resolution photographs. It’s designed to be used on social media sites like Facebook. I’ve also put a small watermark in the bottom right corner of each low-resolution shot. My website address is included in this watermark. As a result, when models post images online, I get some free publicity. Make sure the watermark is viewable but not distracting if you do this.
One of the most rewarding aspects was seeing Chrissy’s face light up when she first viewed the shot. I met him and Ben at the bookstore, and we looked at his laptop’s images. He grinned broadly and went on to express his delight with the photographs. When you work with a model on a photoshoot, submit the pictures, then walk away knowing that the model is pleased with your work, it’s a wonderful feeling. As a photographer, this boosts your self-assurance.
As a result, I can say that my first model session was a great success. If you follow these guidelines, yours could be as well!
By visiting my site, you may discover more about me, see some of my work, and learn how to improve your photography.