Sunday, June 8, 2008

Modeling tips: Photographer types (5)

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 Ex-model
More and more models switch to photography once they turn old, fat and ugly. No. Wrong. Let’s try that again. More and more models discover the fun of being on the other side of the camera. Some of them turn out to be excellent photographers. The ex-model has a huge advantage. She (I do not know a single male model who turned photographer) knows the drill. She knows what it’s like to model and she might know some people in the business too. She knows what a good picture should look like. She also knows what you are going through doing a bikini shoot in February. Yet she’ll show no mercy putting you trough it. She knows it’s all part of being a model. She had her fair share of professional misery, so why should she save you?

Dos and don’ts
First of all, approach her as the photographer. She may talk about her modeling career for 90% of the time, and you may feel like you are working with a fellow model, but you are not. Keep the roles clear at all times. You are the model, she is the photographer. There is no problem in asking her advice of talking about her modeling experience, as long as you keep realizing that you are doing a photo shoot here.

Try to find out how long it’s been since she was a model. If it was quite some time ago, her memory may have faded and some of her advice may be outdated. Keep in mind that time heals all wounds, so her faded memory will tell her that she did not complain during her February bikini shoot. So why should you?

Whatever you do, don’t speak bad about her modeling capabilities. It is highly unproductive, plain rude and totally irrelevant. She is the photographer, remember? Her modeling capabilities don’t matter. No matter how she brags and no matter how well you know her actual qualities, do not judge her as a model. She is a photographer.

It’s okay to talk about people you both worked with (keep it polite though). It will probably bring back good memories and put you both in a good mood. Even if you share a bad experience, the fact that you both experienced it may strengthen your connection.

Other types
The intuitive type
The artist
The arrogant type
The shy type
The flamboyant type
The technical type

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