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Thread: Working with Models

  1. #1

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    Blake

    Working with Models

    Do you guys have any good resources for learning to work with models? I'm dipping my feet and I don't really know where to start.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Working with Models


  3. #3
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Working with Models

    Have you contacted any modeling agencies? I may have lost touch, but I heard that some models who are just starting out may be willing to model for you at a reduced rate. It is worth, IMHO, in checking out.

    Bruce

  4. #4
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Working with Models

    Blake,

    It can be intimidating and ultimately become a real negative.

    If you have a camera club in town, approach them, they may do model shoots and you will not be alone as a newbie, similarly, local colleges will often offer one day or weekend courses and source the models for you, provide the lighting and give direction and tips. (Lighting can be expensive, then you have backdrops, reflectors and all the other paraphernalia that goes with model shoots).

    From that a few of you might want to book a model and go from there. Better than fumbling along solo.

    Thats all assuming you mean models of the human kind rather than scale miniatures

  5. #5
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Working with Models

    Quote Originally Posted by shreds View Post
    Blake,

    It can be intimidating and ultimately become a real negative.

    If you have a camera club in town, approach them, they may do model shoots and you will not be alone as a newbie, similarly, local colleges will often offer one day or weekend courses and source the models for you, provide the lighting and give direction and tips. (Lighting can be expensive, then you have backdrops, reflectors and all the other paraphernalia that goes with model shoots).

    From that a few of you might want to book a model and go from there. Better than fumbling along solo.

    Thats all assuming you mean models of the human kind rather than scale miniatures
    This is a better alternative than my suggestion.

    Bruce

  6. #6

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    Allan Short

    Re: Working with Models

    Blake: Here is a suggestion, get a friend ask her or him (depending on the type of model you want) to get another couple of friends, ask them to dress up as if they were going out because they are. Get your gear ready off camera flash either on a cable or with remote, and a reflector medium sized and know your location. I would do this early evening in a public place like a park, there is some nice country up in your area. Now you have 1 model and 2 assistances or 2 models with 1 assistance or 3 models and you have remote triggers and set up. Once finished take them out for a nice dinner. Advantages to this, 3 models, assistances, they have done hair, makeup, shoes, clothes and the like, and they would probably enjoy doing it again in the future.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  7. #7
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Working with Models

    There are various "meetup groups" here in the USA and I expect that there are the same in Canada. These groups can usually be found by Googling "meetup"...

    I belong to various meetup groups under the broad range of "photography".

    Photoshop Classes, Adobe Lightroom, Nature Photography, Travel, Alternative Lifestyles, Creative Photography, Photography Classes, Digital Photography, Digital Photography, Model Photography, and Modeling

    Some of these meetups are totally free while others charge a minimal fee. They don't require any formal meetings and most often don't require annual dues (although one of my groups has a $20 U.S. Dollar annual membership - which is pretty darn reasonable since this group is very active)..

    I have the advantage of living in an area in which the meetup groups are fairly active. This week, I would have the opportunity to take part in:

    Lightroom, Night Landscape, Star Shoot, Polo Match (I attended this one last year and it was great!), Pin Up Photography at the Marine Corps Air Station Museum, Miramar, CA., and several other shoots.

    Here are some of the model shoot oriented groups which are under the broad umbrella of "meetups".

    Model Mahem (I don't know if it is available in areas other than San Diego):
    http://www.meetup.com/Model-Mayhem-San-Diego/

    Pro Am Photography and Models (This group is quite active but limited to our area):
    http://www.meetup.com/Pro-Am-Photography-and-Models/

    Glamour Photographers International (might actually be "international" in scope)
    http://www.meetup.com/Glamour-Photog...nts/121895032/

    I have met multiple models who would be willing to pose individually for a photographer who supplies good images for their portfolio. However, since I am a married guy, I don't do any on-on-one shooting. All my shooting will be in a group concept. I also very seldom shoot nudes...

    An additional benefit to some of the above groups is that they may have aspiring hair dressers and make-up artists connected with the group. Shooting a model who has a professional hairdo and profesional makeup applied is quite a treat.

    An advantage in group shooting (groups are usually very small, often no more than four to six photographers) is that the photographer is under no heavy requirement to get good shots. This can be a learning environment. The groups usually post images for each shoot on the group web site and a photographer can see how others have done and can judge his or her capabilities. I would not recommend a one-on-one shoot until the photographer is fairly certain of his/her capabilities.

    My Pro Am Photographers and Models group also has small classes or seminars about interaction between a photographer and a model as well as how to pose models. The group coordinator can be very helpful in arranging on-on-one photo shoots after she gets to know you and determines that you are legitimate and trustworthy.

    By the way, along that line... I would always want a third person (preferably a female) to join me in a 1:1 shoot. This is for my safety as well as to provide the model assurances that I am not a "Chester the Molester".

    I have some business cards which are very simple and only include my email as a contact point. I included my Navy title since this is a strong Navy-Marine oriented area and the title can sometimes carry some weight. I would not include "Professional Photographer" or dfinitely not "Freelance Photographer" as a title.
    Working with Models
    I don't include an address or phone number on my card because I want the contacts to be very limited. A professional looking card is always an asset. It looks far better than a card printed on an ink jet printer.

    There are any number of books and websites regarding how to pose models (CiC also has tutorials on portraits). It is a good idea to have some familiarity with the basics of posing before beginning shoots...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 8th July 2013 at 07:08 PM.

  8. #8

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    Victor Nimitz

    Re: Working with Models

    HI Blake,

    Yep. Richard's mode is the best for me.

    This is what I did here in L.A. Met a lot of free lancers/"paparazzi"/hobbyists.

    Like Richard, I'm wary about shooting models. I always avoid the group's "private shoots".
    but, I do join them over a cup of coffee to get ideas and get updated about photography.
    "More of a learning environment...."

    Try Richard's recom.

  9. #9
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Working with Models

    Richard has some excellent points, but if you've literally never done this before, you may want to collect some informal experience and build a modest portfolio to establish your bona fides before joining any kind of group.

    I got started by asking friends - even peripheral ones - if they'd be willing to step in front of the camera. You won't find many pretty girls who don't want to have a good photo or three available. All of my regular models are unpaid, unless you count TFP (time for print, AKA I provide the photos free). I still don't consider myself sufficiently skilled with lighting to charge for my services, and I'm not in a position to pay models. That said, I haven't needed to so far. I work with 4 women on a regular basis, all of whom do it because it's fun and they like my work.

    As Richard pointed out, the biggest trick is not sounding like a creeper. Fortunately, that problem has nothing to do with your gear or skills. It's handled by how you act and speak. One of my models (Kenzi, below) has worked with massively better photogs than yours truly, but keeps coming back because she likes my brief, informal, and low-stress shoots. And interestingly, she's shared tales of excellent photogs whose work is in her portfolio and who she was paid to model for, but who still gave her a bad vibe or were outright creepers.

    Working with Models

    While I am reluctant to offer truly specific advice for fear of Chester the Molester types cribbing what I've learned, I'll be happy to share what I do by PM or e-mail upon request. Suffice it to say that it is entirely possible to talk the right person into modeling. But you must learn to sense when you're making someone uncomfortable, and stop, back off, or walk away immediately. In my opinion, paying the model, or the model paying you, entitles you to nothing. Their comfort zone always rules what you shoot, period.

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