Friday, May 16, 2008

Modeling tips: Photographer Types (3)

Photographers, you need them for the pictures. Most of them are nice people, but they also have some peculiarities. If you know how to cope with these peculiarities, you’ll get the optimal results from your photo shoots. To help you with this, this blog publishes a series of articles devoted to photographer types. Every single photographer is a unique person. Nevertheless, knowing the type could be useful for models. None of the observations in this article imply that a certain type of photographer delivers higher quality. Each category contains both good and bad photographers. The mere fact that a photographer is shy, arrogant or flamboyant tells us nothing about the quality of his or her work. It does tell us something about the way they work though.

Some models may think that there is no need to adjust to the photographer. ‘Let them adjust to me.’ If that’s you, let me ask you whether you care about the result of a photo shoot. If you don’t, stop reading (and you might as well stop modeling too). If you do, why not take all the factors into account that you can influence?

The technical type
Does your photographer use a light meter? Does it take him an hour to take the first shot? And does he get it right at his first try, in manual mode? Chances are, you just met a technical photographer. This person knows exactly what he’s doing. He can calculate the correct aperture and shutter speed straight from the head. You can count on loads of knowledge about photography, and he uses it too! He may be very strict in giving directions: “No, your finger should be half an inch further to the left”. But he is more likely to be so occupied with technicalities that he leaves the posing to you. This is also the type of photographer that is most likely to use a film camera on the side (apart from the artist, that is).

Dos and don’ts
You are lucky. You found a photographer that will create perfect photos. All you have to do is strike the right poses. If you can do that without directions, count on a great result. Sorry, no chatting this shoot. He is not going to come loose, he’s busy. And for your sake, let him be.

Unless you are really interested in the subject, don’t ask him any technical questions. Before you know, he will answer them. Thoroughly. It’s okay if you’re not interested in technicalities, he counts on you not to be interested. But if you start him and loose interest after a couple of minutes, you’ll hurt his feelings.

The main problem for you is that he might devote half or more of his time to the lights rather than the model. You will just have to wait. Bring a magazine or find something else to kill the time. Don’t get annoyed, unless ‘annoyed’ is the look you want for your portfolio. Be patient, he is working on the perfect result for your pictures.

The same holds for post processing. He is going to take his time to get it right. And he will get it right. Give him time. If you are on a TFP/TFCD shoot, you might want to tell him in advance to limit the number of pictures you want. This speeds up the process without harming quality. After all, who uses more than 5 pics from one shoot in a portfolio?

If you are going to a shoot with a technical photographer, be prepared. Make sure you have practiced a number of poses, so you can strike them without directions. The same holds for facial expressions. And bring something to read.

Other types
The intuitive type
The artist
The shy type
The flamboyant type
The arrogant type
The Ex-model

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