You are pumped for this photoshoot that you have planned for weeks. You get this beautiful model. The shoot starts and you are picking up steam until…the model stops working. You try different poses, a new backdrop, a new outfit but the inspiration is waning. There is frustration in the air. What do you do?
We as photographers are sometimes harsh on our models. We shoot and expect them to follow our every command. We take them outside in freezing temps wearing next to nothing. Models are not robots and will get tired. Here are a few tips that I have picked up in my time working with models
Shorten your shoot
Creativity knows no bonds. This includes time. I am guilty of going over my allotted time almost 75% of the time. When inspiration hits, it is hard to stop. But the professional move is to set a time and stick to it. Your model is fresh for about 1.5 hours. Anything after this is a godsend honestly and you are pushing your limits as well as the models. The shorter the shoot, the more professional you are.
Have snack on hand
This may sound weird but there are days that models work from sun up to sun down. Sometimes they forget to eat or they simply do not have time. Did their face go dead in the middle of the shoot? Get them some sugar. I always have granola, fruit, candy or juice available to my models. I also make sure I have water. A little bit of sugar makes the smiles return!
Control the temperatures
I know you are not god but you need to go the extra mile to control the temperature for a model. Trained models work regardless of their environment. A Victoria Secret model will sometimes be in a cold environment wearing just her undies. Keep this in mind when you are shooting. Your model will be eternally grateful for a little blanket on set. If you are in studio, invest in a luxurious robe for them to sit in while you are changing sets. Some models have no issues with their assets but to maintain a level of professionalism, you must keep the model covered.
The modeling portrait session below took place at Jetton Park in Cornelius, NC on a rather chilly day. My model was wearing next to nothing but she never showed that she was freezing. I carried blankets with me to wrap around her if she got cold. This session went off with no issues and is an example of how a session works when you are mindful of your model.
Happy models spread the word. The happier they are, the more likely they are to recommend you in the future.
If you have any more advice, comment below! I’d love to hear how you treat your models like the rock stars they are!