Monday, February 15, 2010

Model Works

I've had experience working with a great variety of different models of all shapes, sizes, colors and experience. Obviously some ladies, from experience, are more skilled and adept at modeling than others, while others seem to have a natural talent for the camera that exceeds their current experience. Veronica, from the previous entry was like that. She hadn't modeled much, but she knew how to play to the lens and the poses she struck seemed to be just a natural part of her personality.

The key to modeling is facial expression and body language. For that reason, experienced actresses make great models  When I learn that a prospective model for one of my shoots has some acting experience and knows how get into and then stay in character, then I'm pretty confident we're going to have a great shoot where the expressions and body language match the thematic purpose of the shoot.

These two shots of Kristina exemplify this concept. Kristina has some modeling experience, but she has more theatrical experience and was quite easily able to pick up the ideas I pitched to her and run with them. It helps that she's quite lovely, but more importantly, she is able to match body language to facial expression and carry off a total concept.

Working with experienced models is also fun, but sometimes a very experienced model has a rote set of poses that she moves through for a shoot without much variation from that set unless the photographer asks for and directs her to something specific. This is good since the model knows from experience what poses work well for her and which ones do not, but those poses may not go well with the concept the photographer want to convey. Pushing the model out of those familiar and comfortable poses can create some great images or can produce disaster, and you don't know which you'll get until you try.

In Kristina's case, however, we were able to establish the concept, the supporting character, and then produce poses and facial expression that were consistent  with the concept.

When I interview beginning models, one of the first things I tell them is to get a mirror and to practice their expression. Too often new models focus on their body positions and neglect their expressions, whereas those with a natural talent have the ability to link both expression and body language without thought.

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