Shooting without auditions feels like a blind date, as the ice still has to be broken. It’s a great mystery, and keeps you on your toes.
I have been working as a professional fashion photographer for a long time now, and where many people think simply getting a “good looking” models is enough to offer a great shoot, there is so much more that they are missing out on, as they do not see what goes on under the surface.
Yes, it is easy for me to take a few great shots with any model, but in order to achieve exceptional shots I have to develop a working relationships with the models. As I cover various aspects of fashion photography industry, and not just fashion shows; I have more hands on experience with models. Which has given me great insight and knowledge of the fashion business. It has taught me respect my industry more, and at times the passion around me has inspired me.
When I work with any new model without an audition, it is a similar experience to when you arrive for a blind date. As you do not have much information, except their images and a few key details.
- So how do you get over the initial step?
- How do you connect?
- Where should you start from?
It’s a great mystery, and keeps you on your toes.
This is the point where most photographers struggle, and are genuinely confused on the matter. Their resistance makes the model uncomfortable, and it is a terrible day. As at times these photographers are working with foreigners, and English is not their first language.
When you have been in the business for as long as I have, you learn simple techniques that can help you get along on such a “Blind Date”, and get great results. However, every photographer might not be able to adapt well to the situation. But there is always time to learn, and help yourself grow as a person.
I have covered numerous shoots where I was unable to sit down with the model before the day of the shoot, and get myself acquainted. I take out time to get to know my models, because when you shoot models, you need to develop a connection. There must be a level of comfort and understanding. It will not matter how good I am at my job, until and unless the model is good at their job. As I can only guide so much, which lead me to a great habit.
Now, instead of telling them, I show them the images during the shoot. This is a great way to throw around ideas, and get the model comfortable. This works remarkably well when working with new models I am not well acquainted with. And even with models I have worked with from time to time. As it allows them to relax, and learn from their errors. Most of the times I do not have to pinpoint the issue, as the models are able to pinpoint them, and ask for a redo.
What the audience is privy to, are the end results of a hard and long day of a fashion photographer’s life, and honestly what they are unable to see keeps me driven. I am still living my dream, and every time I pick up my camera and head for the door, it’s like going on an adventure. So keep in mind that if you aspire to become a great fashion photographer, you talent will only get you so far; your passion is what will drive you to learn more and experience the true nature of the job.