Something that I always want to talk to models about in my professional level model tuition programme is how to deal with photographers. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and even when you are doing things the right way, there may be that little bit more that you can do in order to make a photographer really love you.
Here I’ve condensed in brief some of the main points that I like to go over in these tuition programmes. If you would like to know more, you can sign up for my model tuition programmes right from my automated booking page.
Bonus points: if you can think of any more, let’s hear them in the comments. I’ll give a credit voucher towards a session for any answer I haven’t heard before!
1. Always go above and beyond
There is the model who always shows up to the shoot, gets the job done according to the brief, and produces great and consistent images. They sound like the perfect model, right? So how could you possibly be better than them?
Easy: do more. Turn up early, not just on time. Do more than you are asked. Produce amazing images which go beyond what the photographer expected. Network and chat with the photographer. Remain polite, and become friendly with them. Ask questions about the industry so that you can get further ahead. Show an interest in the other members of the shooting team. Basically, if you make everyone’s day brighter, they are going to remember you very positively (and that’s even if you can’t get those perfect images).
2. Always be prepared
Think about the shoot well ahead of time and make sure that you know everything that you need to. If you think about it on the day and realise you don’t have a contact number, haven’t got the right clothes, or have no idea what to wear at all, it could be too late. Ask questions over email or over the phone before the shoot date. If you feel as though you are asking too many, you can always apologise and say that you want to make sure that you get everything right.
When you come to the shoot, bring things even if you haven’t been asked for them. A change of underwear in neutral tones or that will pull your body shape in, a tub of moisturiser to make your skin shine, a make up kit in case the MUA is a no show. Train yourself in make up techniques if you regularly use them, and study up on the latest trends in fashion posing and looks. You can even look up the brand you are modelling for and see what kind of images they normally favour, ready to recreate them yourself. All of this will make you so much easier to work with on set. When the photographer has nothing extra to tell you, they are going to love working with you.
3. Network, network, network
Before the shoot, be polite and friendly in all of your communications. Check up with them right before the shoot to show that you are on point and ready to go (this also helps just in case there has been a problem with the shoot that you have not been told about yet).
During the shoot, talk. Talk to your photographer. When they are busy with another model, talk to the rest of the shoot team. Entertain everyone, ask them about their work, and generally show that you are interested and engaged. Swap business cards, or headshots if you have them. Fewer and fewer models hand out comp cards these days, so doing so could make an impact.
After the shoot, continue to network. Find your photographer on social networks, and support the images that they post which you feature in. Check in on their work from time to time and support them. You can reshare images, or just like and comment on them. It does not take much time out of your life to tell someone that you really love their latest work. It might not take much time out of theirs to tell you that they have a new shoot coming up that you would be perfect for.
4. Make yourself available
For some models, the idea of doing TFP work (or “free”, as they call it) seems almost reprehensible. Mention it to them, and their backs go right up. I’ve mentioned before why all models should be doing TFP work – including you – but there is a huge benefit here from the photographer/model relationship perspective.
If you make yourself available for TFP work, or short notice work, or work that falls outside the norm, then you are giving a very clear message to your photographer. Here is someone who is able to get the job done. Next time they have paid work available, they may well think of you first.
So that’s your condensed list of ways to make a photographer love you – and remember, if you want to learn more, then my tuition programmes await!