Why is it Important in
Every picture carries a message. When capturing people there are two messages. First is the connection between you and model, second is the message for the viewer.
The outcome of your work much depends on how effectively you communicate. It is cooperation between the photographer and model that builds trust and understanding.
On occasion I find that even the more attractive models don't have stunning pictures and it's not because they are not photogenic. Usually the reason is that they haven't met a photographer with the right skills and talent. During the last shooting with the beautiful Alexandra in the city of Quito, Ecuador, all of our communication was in the manner as described below and she said that we created the best photos of her ever!
Enjoy My 3 Key Tips about Photographing People.
They Work Out!
1. Introduce your Idea
It is very important to clearly communicate before the session what kind of images you envision. Before I started my sessions with Alexandra she had to decide if she would join me and share my vision. That's why you need to describe your idea, the expected outcome, and the emotion you would like to portray. The more information you pass along to the model the better they will be prepared. Tell them about the kinds of places where you would like to work with. Show the examples of similar work either from your portfolio or from other artists. Visual examples are far more effective than description alone.
It's also good idea to ask your model what their vision might be. Even if your authoring the project the model might have in mind the image that they always wanted which coincidentally falls in line with your own vision. This kind of discourse increases the chance that the photographer and model will understand each other leading to a productive session.
The other thing is to discuss what kind of clothes the photographed person should take and what your guidance regarding makeup. Will it be fancy or maybe kept simple? Do you have any preferences about colors or fabrics? The more details you pass along to the model the more probable is your success. Even if you are going to bring a stylist and makeup artist you need to share your concept with the model before you start. What you don't want is a situation where the model is not comfortable. That attitude might be visible on pictures especially in facial expression.
2. Make good First Impression
When both photographer and model agree on a vision then it is time to set up the date and location of the session. If you're going to shoot outdoors it should be a public place like a square or an entrance to park. It is important that the model feels comfortable about arriving. Also remember to exchange phone numbers in case of any problems or delays.
It's a good practice to visit the place where you are going to shoot before the session and make a plan. Improvisation might also be effective, however, having in mind the best backgrounds and poses will make it much simpler by giving you a solid base.
When your model arrives remember that the first impression is very important. It's said that we spend 3 seconds on deciding if we like someone or not when we first meet. Therefore, when you introduce yourself try to smile and be natural. It's also good to have a small conversation before starting the session, so you can get to know one another a bit. If you are indoors you can offer a tea or coffee making the atmosphere more relaxed.
3. Build the Trust
Don't expect difficult poses and take it easy for the first few. Treat them as a test shots. Just make a few simple pictures from different angles to check out your model abilities.
When you shutter a shot you like, show it to the model. Involving the model in this way will also help build trust and understanding.
Once your model will start feeling comfortable in front of camera, you can proceed with specific ideas and more difficult poses. Remember even if it seems easy never touch the model! You can destroy the session if the model will start feeling uncomfortable with the situation. Instead describe your idea by words and show her by either modeling yourself or showing earlier shots. You can also give a specific task to do. It's good to let your model be creative and behave naturally. Just keep watching and when you see your vision, ...capture it!
If everything went well you'll end up having great pictures and the model will be happy about them, as my example below !
The Portraits of Alexandra are part of recent photographic project Shades of the Soul [Street-Glam] and have been taken in the Historic Centre of Quito, Ecuador.
Right now we are looking for female models which would like to take a part in the project. The pictures will show a connection between people and cities where we are living.
Read more about our Recent Projects and get in touch!
And how are yours experience as photographer or model?
Have you enjoyed the last session?