I get quite a lot of emails from hobbiest photographers who although may have been doing photography for a long time; are very new to photographing models. They are often nervous and unsure how to procede, worried about photoshoot ‘ettiquette’, unconfident with communications and overwhelmed with all the technical information and conflicting styles and opinions.
In addition, there often seems to be a huge pressure to come up with awe inspiring images and ground-breaking concepts, which is natural when we are flooded with so many fantastic photographs across the internet, billboards and in the pages of glossy magazines, but those photographers have years of experience, full teams of people working on ideas, locations, styling, make-up, huge budgets to play with and plenty of expert post processing.
I have tried it out behind the camera myself and realised how nerve-racking it can be to begin with!
If any of you reading are in that position, you should know, any good, experienced model will be fully understanding, patient and help you feel at ease.
It takes time and practise to get to understand lighting, composition, the various initially confusing settings on your camera and to feel relaxed working with, and actively collaborating with your model, but like anything; you get used to it and improve, gain confidence, try out varying styles and build your own personal finish, most likely with plenty of failures, learnings curves and big shake ups along the way. With personal work; it’s all about exploration, work in progress, personal achievements, challenges and enjoyment, but you need to go at your own pace. A huge thing I have learnt from modelling is not to compare yourself. It is great to look to others in admiration and be inspired, it drives you, but it’s unhealthy to compare yourself to the point of feeling flat. We must all focus on our strengths, our aims and just work to our best, with a positive attitude and open mind.
I’m really inspired by these images by Clive Turrell, who had his first two studio shoots with me. After being interested in photography for a long time, he bought a Digital SLR 5 years ago and started photographing people, architecture, nature and landscapes, but to help introduce him to studio & model photography, he booked a training course at Pauls-Studio, near Reading. Paul has taught many (now professional) photographers, being able to offer complete expertise or just little bits of help where needed, and is honestly one of the most accomodating, easy going and considerate studio owners I know.
Clive was pretty nervous at first but got into the swing of things, and has recently sent me some of the results which I think are terrific for someone so new. It just shows that with the right guidance to hand at the start and a patient, experienced model; you can come up with great results, and we’re already booking in our third session to experiment with more lighting styles, interesting outfits and fresh ideas 🙂