Working with and Posing Glamour Models

When I was a young photographer I asked my mentor, what was the worst thing I could do during a photo shoot. My guess was that it would be some kind of technical glitch but to my surprise he said, “not talking to the people.” If you don’t talk to the models that you’re photographing you are never, ever going to make good images.

If you’ve participated in a group model shoot, you know what I mean. Shooters use their longest focal length lenses blasting away with smoking memory cards and occasionally, some will holler, “hey you, look here!” Of such posing directions, masterpieces are truly created. Or you could try another approach that might produce more successful images.

Even in a group shoot you should introduce yourself to the model and be sure to ask and then use her name when photographing her. I can’t emphasize how important that is. Models relate to photographers who care about them and will trust them to make good photographs and will often play to you before the other photographers in the group that haven’t made the same effort.

Posing Tip: To show a model how to stand or place her hands, I put myself in the pose but let her give me her interpretation, which is always better. From camera position, I refine the pose, after explaining when I say, “look left” or “look up” what I mean is to move her face gradually and slowly in that direction.

After working with the same model after a first shoot, I find we can often communicate with hand signals because I prefer a quiet shooting environment. There are some models you want to shoot with music playing at eardrum shattering decibels but models who do their best work under these conditions are few and far between. I’ve only met two.

Some models are so “larger than life,” that they can be intimidating to newer or younger glamour photographers. When working with a drop-dead gorgeous model, some shooters have a tendency to forget everything they knew about photography and just take pictures. Instead, you should take your time, making sure she looks her best even if it mean creating fewer but better pictures.

On this blog there are lots of posts about portrait posing. Use the Search box on the upper right-hand corner and type “posing” to find appropriate posts. If you want something more lasting, pick up a copy of my book “Posing for Portrait and Glamour Photography from Amazon and help support this blog.

Author: Joe Farace

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