Thursday, March 5, 2009

Modeling tips: feedback

Look up feedback in wikipedia, and you´ll find a rather technical and abstract story. This blog article is not technical or abstract. It looks at feedback you might want to recieve as a model, discussing why, how and where to get feedback, and how to receive it.

This is the simplest question. Feedback, if used right, can help you improve your performance. It is a very quick way to learn and greatly directed to your specific needs. If feedback is so great, you might ask, how come it is used so little in the modeling industry? That's because feedback does not come naturally, you'll have to organize it. Some agents do that, but not all of them do. Free lance models hardly ever do it. Why not start now?

Where to get it?
Who do you want feedback from? I would think you'dd like feedback from someone with experience in the business, who has seen many good and not-so-good models. Your agent? Yes, that's one person that fits the description. But there are more; every photographer, every make up artist and every styling artist fits that description. That means that potential feedback is all around you! You only need to get it.

Internet communities are also a place to get good feedback, based on the pictures you post in the community. Do note though that some people tend to forget about nettiquette and some feedback may be very harsh. Don't let it get to you. Ignore the blunt ones and learn from the good ones.

There is a catch though. Photographers are not very likely to give you feedback during the shoot. Right or wrong, they fear that feedback will influence the result of the shoot. So try to get feedback after the shoot, but tell the photographer in advance that you want feedback. That way, he (and the styling artist and the make-up artist) can look at you with different eyes and give you constructive feedback. In fact, he might even improve his directions as he looks different. When recieving feedback, be open to it. Sometimes, feedback may hit you hard at first and some people are a bit cruel in communicating feedback. Let's face it, photographers are not in the business because they are great communicators; their talent is photography. In any case, don't go all defensive (see links below for more tips), but listen, remember and use whatever you can use. I'm sure you'll get some great tips.

More resources:
Giving and receiving feedback
Giving and receiving feedback for academics, with practical implications for non-academics too (pdf)