My experience in both sides of the camera
I blink, a lot. So I wasn’t an easy model, but I guess the majority of us aren’t born with modelling skills, right?
Maybe I am wrong and I am the only one!
But for my experience.. I think we all look can look terrible in pictures, we all can have double chins or look like we have drunk everything that was available at the bar - you know that look, when you appear with your eyes half closed, yep, that graceful look-.
But how is it possible that we also manage to look good in some pictures? Well, it all depends of the angle and the eyes behind the camera.
And I was lucky enough to be in front of the camera of Jemme Art and that she makes me look like this on her pictures.
She is a very talented Photographer and Retoucher and you can see her work here: https://www.jemmemdart.com
It was a very fun experience. Very interesting as well because, as you know, I am normally the one behind the camera.
It helped me to understand directions and how someone can receive them. I compared the way she works to mine, I learnt from her and we shared photoshoot experiences. It was so lovely to work with another photographer! We will definitely organise another shoot and hopefully I will be a better model!
It also helped me to understand what how my model can feel when I am pointing at him/her with the camera. It can be intimidating, but it is my job to make them feel comfortable, to make them trust me.
So I wanted to share with you some things I have learnt and taken with me being in both sides:
If you are the model:
- Hire a professional photographer.
Don't expect high quality images from your cousin with his new camera ( nothing against your cousin tho). Find the right photographer that fits into your budget. The investment is worth it.
- See if it is the right fit for you.
Find the photographer that his/her style goes with your with your ideas. Research about their work. If you want candid pictures outdoors, look for those images. It would be a challenge to ask a photographer to do something completely out of their style and you may not get the results you were expecting.
- Choose an outfit that you feel comfortable with.
You can even hire a make up artist if you have the budget for it, however if you are looking for a natural look, I would even say wear something you feel pretty and comfortable with and the same with make up. It will help you to feel good and like yourself.
- Trust your photographer.
Easier said than done, but if he/she is a professional will give you tips and guide you throughout the whole photoshoot. Try to understand and follow the photographers directions as much as possible.
- You won't like the first pictures you will see, but it is OKAY.
The first minutes of the shoot are like a warm up. First time seeing yourself in pictures can be WEIRD, so don't panic, it is normal :) You will like those pictures more the second time you look at them and by the end of the shoot you will love them.
- Communicate with your photographer.
Don't be afraid of raising up your concerns or feelings to the photographer. If you feel uncomfortable, none of you will have a nice experience and will be reflect on the pictures. The photographer may think you feel comfortable if you don't give him/her any feedback, so tell him/her. You may not feel comfortable with a pose because it doesn't feel like you, but the Photographer may not know you enough to know that, so just express it in nice way.
The main tip I will give it is to be respectful. Being in front of the camera is the act of trusting someone else to capture your personality. Being behind the camera holds the pressure and responsibility of making the other person feel comfortable and happy with the results.
None parts are easy, so be respectful with each other and I am sure you both will get the results you want.
If you are the photographer:
- Create a safe comfortable space for your model:
Make them feel relax asking questions about their life, about their interest. Think that you are just making a new friend. See if they look their best smiling, half smiling, if the have any habits, observe.
- Have all the technical aspects prepared:
So you won't need to make the model wait while you test the light. Don't stress about it tho, you may need to adjust some things if you are shooting completely manual. You can do that while you are talking and the model is telling you about him/herself.
- Don't criticise the model or make bad comments about the pictures:
It may be a professional comment towards your picture however the model can take it personal. It is hard to separate both and specially if the model is nervous, so avoid negative comments.
- Read your model
Is the model nervous or very self aware of the camera? Distract them, take the camera down. Make them change pose, make them walk, look away. They have to forget about the camera. Don't be afraid to have a break of 5 minutes if they need to.
- Remember: It is about them
If you are doing a personal shoot, they need to like themselves on the pictures, otherwise they won't purchase them or you won't have a good review. So it is also good to hear their feedback, show the pictures and see which images they like and which not to guide you. And tell them you will delete the pictures were they blink!
Were my tips helpful? Have you ever pose for anyone or being a photographer for anyone?
I would love to hear if you have any other tip or ideas to share :)