Studio photography is different than landscape, outdoor, animals, etc. where you have to shoot what is in front of you. In the studio … you are God … and must design all. The light, dark, props, posing, the desired theme or mood of the photograph you are after. Working with studio models can be especially daunting for someone new as it is on your instruction as to how the photos turn out. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you are new at studio work or even if you have started out already but are struggling to get your image right:
1. Get to know the model … not her life story, but introduce yourself, ask their name, where they are from, what kind of modeling they have done. This helps break the ice and gets the model to relax knowing you see them as a person and not just a canvas.
2. Be clear on what you want. What photograph are you trying paint with your lense? Explain to the model what you are trying to do so it becomes collaborative. What theme are you after … mood … look? Be specific on what pose you want, use previously looked paintings or photographs. Be clear to the model as she is there under your instruction. It can help to discuss the theme in advance, the model may have their own costumes which can help immensely.
3. Choose the right model for the job. If you want dancing poses, ballerinas, nudes, flexibility, unique profiles, make sure you have the right studio model who can do the work. Check through their portfolio, ask them what the have experience in. Asking a fashion model to hold ballerina tippy-toe poses will do you no good … and you will tire your model out still missing the desired outcome!
4. Get up close … do not be afraid to get close to the model if you are trying to shoot something unique, but do not touch. If you want to move an item of clothing, prop or pose … ask them first. This is especially important if you are shooting nudes.
5. Do not underestimate post production. If you have the right pose, expression from the model and have framed it right … colouring, dark or light enhancements, etc. can all be done in post production so do not waste too much time on aspects that can be changed with a little tweak.
With these few enhancements to your approach you should be able to improve your working experience with your model and get some amazing studio model photographs.