7 Tips for Working With Models
1) There are lots of models out there
It's true, websites like model-mayhem, net-model, one-model-place have hundreds of models no more than 20 miles for where you are. Sign-up, find the models you want to work with by looking at their profiles and ask them for their rates.
2) Model money is well spent
Models rates do vary a lot, somewhere between £15 and £50 an hour is the norm. Be prepared to pay more if you want nude work. Now that may sound expensive, but I can guarantee that the best models add so much to your photography. This is an investment that will improve your photography way more than the latest lens.
3) Choose your model for what you want.
I think there is a tendency to choose the "hottest" looking models, but that might not fit for the kind of images you want to create. If you want fine art nude, don't choose a glamour girl - or vice versa. If you are creating portraits, then look at the face - and look for natural laughter. If you are shooting creative stuff then look for a model who will understand it. If you are not sure, or shooting a variety, go for an approachable looking girl-next-door type - a sort of everygirl.
4) Find "Interesting" looking models
Working with a model who is nothing like you can boost your enthusiasm and interest. If you regularly work with models of a similar type, choose someone completely different - you never know where it may take you. If you are not an alternative gothic type of person, then shoot an alt-goth - you will find it interesting and stimulating.
5) Don't let the model wait on you.
That sounds odd, but as the photographer it is a key part of your role to keep the energy, vibe and emotion of the shoot going. Now your model may have just spent an hour in make-up, but that should have been time you were getting ready so that the first ten minutes are spent getting them warmed up to your shoot, not you faffing around with lights and stuff.
6) Learn the model jargon
Learn the language of models and bookings, probably the two key phrases are "TF" and "levels". TFP means Time For Prints, TFCD means Time For CD - in other words they will shoot with you as long as you give them prints or digital CD images. "Levels" refers to the level of nudity involved: none,implied,topless,fine-art,erotica and adult. Most are obvious, but "implied" means your model may be naked in the studio, but nothing must show in the final picture. "erotica" means very strong sexuality, but artistic.
7) Book a studio
You can shoot in natural environments and in your home studio, but working in a well equipped, spacious studio is a special experience. Studio rental is not as expensive as you might think, expect to pay between £15-£25 an hour for some seriously well equipped and enormous studio spaces. My own studio at Film Photo Studios Cheltenham is available for hire - has loads of sets and a huge cove, all the lights and fittings you need - literally you just walk in and shoot.
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