1. What is this “Model Experience” you’re always talk about? Well, just that, actually. Imagine a day in the life of a Supermodel. They get pampered, get their hair and make-up done by pros and then they step in front of a camera and get amazing images done. They look fabulous and the whole world revolves around them for some time. They are the center of the universe. That’s the “Model Experience”.
2. I’m nervous about doing a session. Good, that means you’re human. Being nervous when trying something new is normal and to be expected. To be honest I still get a little nervous before a shoot and I’ve been doing it for 30-plus years. I like that feeling as it keeps me on my toes and striving to do my best every single time. The day I don’t get a little worked up before a shoot will be the day I hang up my gear.
Everyone is at least a little nervous when they come in for a session. However, once we get shooting and get down to business, you’ll find that they slowly disappear as you get involved with the shoot. I call it the warm-up period and it only lasts for a few minutes. Once we’re past that then the real fun begins, I promise.
3. I need to lose (x) amount of weight. Oh Lord, don’t we all? What I mean by that is that if you ask anyone, ANYONE, they will say the same thing. Every single person I’ve worked with has voiced that very same concern. Even high-end fashion models are always lamenting about that “last five pounds” they need to lose.
It is my job as a photographer to flatter people of all shapes and sizes. We show off the highlights while diminishing the not so highlights with poses, lighting, shooting angles and wardrobe choices. You are wonderful as you, just as you are. Let’s show that off.
4. I don’t know how to pose. Don’t worry – it’s normal not to know exactly what to do with your body unless you’re a professional model. That’s where my teaching style kicks in. I’ll coach you through the poses, explaining what they do for you and your look, as we go. We start off with easy warm up poses that are very easy to hit and hold. We then move on, in a logical progression, to other poses that accent your best features.
5. Will you retouch my images? Yes, I do basic retouching – to remove blemishes and such. My goal is not wholesale revision which will leave you and your significant other wondering just who is in the shot but rather just enough to make you look like yourself on your best days. We will discuss the level of retouching you desire after the shoot.
6. I’m not really comfortable doing anything really risqué I have a few hard and fast rules that I always follow no matter what. The biggest one is that I always work within the comfort zone defined by the model. It is not my goal to get someone to do something they don’t want to do. At all. If the subject voices a desire to do something more then we can go from there. However, I leave that up to the individual.
7. I’m not pretty enough. Oh, but you’re so wrong about that. You are stunning. When it comes to a fair judge of our looks, we are the harshest critics of ourselves. Honestly – there isn’t a person in these pages that doesn’t have something they wished was better/bigger/smaller, etc. It’s part of human nature. Ask yourself this – what are 5 things about yourself that you like and get compliments on? Everyone can easily rattle off 5. Then we will make those attributes the stars of our shoot. We also diminish the not-so-strong points. You are a unique beauty.
8. What are The Basic Five outfits you are always talking about? Simple. Every time we shoot the person should have:
-A pair of jeans that fit well and a white shirt, blouse, or tank top.
-The Saturday Night Special. Something that you would wear out on a Saturday night to knock someone’s socks off. Ladies – The Little Black Dress comes to mind or something like that.
-Business. Something professional. Slacks and a blazer, suit and tie, skirt, et cetera.
-Dressy casual. Not a hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants. Khakis, polo shirts, et cetera.
-Seasonal. An outfit that matches the season. Fall outfits for the fall, spring outfits for spring. You get the point.
Sometimes I’ll throw a sixth outfit out there. I call it The Unexpected. Something off the wall. A prom/bridesmaid/wedding dress. A costume (Halloween, cos-play). That little thing you wore to the office/going away party. The more off the wall the better.
And then any outfits we are planning on using for the session. Fitness outfits for fitness sessions, beachwear for the beach and so on.
Why should you bring The Basic Five with you? Well, to be honest, I can’t plan everything. Sometimes something wonderful happens unexpectedly on the way to the location we are planning to use. A once in a lifetime moment that will never happen again. A shaft of light against a split rail fence along the road, for example. If all we have are business outfits then that won’t work and we’ll miss a once in a lifetime moment. However, if you have the jeans and a white shirt then I’d have you put that on and let’s roll.
Always pack The Basic Five for any photo session you have planned along with the actual outfits you need for the session. I promise you, if an unplanned, magical situation arises with another photographer and you can pull out the appropriate outfit, they will kiss the ground you walk on. I know I would.
9. I don’t want my images sprayed all over the internet and on billboards. Rest assured they won’t. These sessions are absolutely private. Your photos will not be shared anywhere without your explicit permission beforehand. You are the first one to see the images and then you make the call as to anyone else can see any or all of them.