PORTRAITURE IS ALL ABOUT THE FACE, THE MODEL THE MUSE. The best models I have worked in the past have been confident actors. Actors who are able to work through a series of poses following the photographer’s descriptive direction or example imagery; WHILST having the confidence of adding there own thoughts and felling’s and ideas. In essence being on the same wavelength of the photographer almost psychically. When a photographer and model are on the same wavelength great things happen. This has occurs often in my portraiture photography. The capturing of a perfect portrait moment a split second when the model and photographer connect. You can only achieve this with the right model. As noted actor Allan Walsh says: Modelling is just another branch of acting. Remember these moments are STAGED the model in my opinion has to be a gifted actor. This can’t be emphasised enough. Lets not forget studio portraiture is photographed in an artificial atmosphere with a specific theme and when everything slots together, the results can be stunning.
“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen
Professional models must have character and a photogenic consciousness, realising what looks good on camera and what does not. Whilst knowing how to use both in accordance with the direction of the photographer. As a photographer I don’t see or think like a normal person someone with good facial bone structure and looks is NOT necessarily a good model. Photographers must see everything creatively and search for models with character and confidence. Take the time out to find your Muse your Model someone who has charisma, somebody who is confidant who can take direction and in doing so come up with their own ideas.
I teach a great deal of one-on-one sessions and workshops with photographers who are just starting out and find that their work is let down by one key factor, the face of the person they are photographing. Don’t get me wrong no one is perfect yet, this can severally affect the shots they are trying to achieve. If photographers are looking to achieve a high standard of studio work they must not only think about lighting and makeup, but the models they are shooting. The question you must be asking is where can I find good models? And you are probably expecting me to say a good model agency. Well you may be right but you may be surprised. There are a number of creative social networking sites on the web where models and photographers can collaborate, so signup. Ive also found models in unusual places from bus stops to bistros, keep alert and don’t be frightened to ask if you even spot someone in the street, the worst they can say is no.
In terms of model agencies take the time out to contact your local model agency. You may be amazed as agencies have a great number of new faces in need of shots. You may not be paid, but you will have the opportunity to learn with models who have experience, confidence, acting skills and good characteristics. If you take the time to find a good model the level of work you are trying to achieve will improve ten fold.