IADT-Tampa's Ask the Photo Instructors: 3 Tips for Working with Models
April 18, 2011
•IADT General, IADT Tampa, Photography
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This week's "Ask the Photo Instructors" question comes to Paul Pelak, Professional Photography Department Chair at IADT-Tampa.
Q: I am just starting out shooting some fashion work and model comp cards. How can I get a model that is just getting started to relax in front of my camera?
A: You need to remember that everyone has been photographed and made to look bad; the model does not know you or how good you are until you get established and your reputation will precede you (even then, there is often an air of apprehension).
First, you establish what you are shooting, what outfits you are looking at shooting and what is expected from the model.
If you are a male shooting a female, it is best to have a female make-up artist, stylist or assistant on set to reduce any sexual tension (my wife does all my hair and make-up and does a superb job of relaxing the subject). The model must feel safe, and that is done in a professional atmosphere, of which you are in charge.
The most important thing is to gain their trust, so when you start shooting, give them some coaching, tell them that they look good, and when you get a nice image, take a moment, walk up to them and show them the LCD on the back of the camera so they can see that they do look good - many times at that point, you can actually hear the brick wall between you literally fall down and their trust is gained.
Paul Pelak has been the Professional Photography Department Chair at IADT-Tampa since 2002. He's also owner/photographer/director at his own studio, Pelak Studios, which he’s operated in Tampa since 1984.