I’ve been an avid photographer my entire life. My interest mostly centered on street-type photography. About 2 years my interest moved into portrait photography. I have no clue what took me this direction, but this has been my primary focus. This has taken me into the world of model photography & blog posting. I enjoy every aspect of the genre from arranging a shoot all the way through writing about it. It’s been great.
Obviously, to photograph models, you need to hire & work with models. It’s a true partnership. Both have to come to the session prepared. This has been a learning experience for me. I essentially started the process from scratch first working with other photographers who hired the model, shooting with local camera clubs during portrait sessions, attending workshops, arranging TFP shoots with friends of friends (mainly just helping me out), and then finally hiring models myself for paid gigs. I’ve now done this about 20+ times over the past year.
One thing I’ve found is the process of arranging a model all the way through the point of taking the photo has been the most challenging part of my model photography experience. Therefore, I am constantly reading about the genre, following photographers I respect, and reading blogs / articles that other model / fashion photographers write.
Yesterday I was reading a Facebook post by Los Angeles based photographer, Bill Jones. I’ve followed Bill for the past year or so primarily because he started here in the Midwest and has maintained contact with the local scene. His photography style is amazing, and his images are great. He describes himself as an “editorial fashion” photographer. His FB post he talked about his experience with models. I thought it was excellent. He agreed to let me repost it on this blog.
Here is a repost of Bill’s wisdom:
“On a daily basis I receive 3-5 messages from girls who want to become models. Less than 3% of these girls understand how much hard work and commitment it takes to become an agency represented model so for the other 97% here is a list of things you don't know about the industry:
1. Most successful models begin their day before 6:00 am,
2. Models follow a very strict diet and live a healthy lifestyle,
3. Modeling is acting in a single frame; models use body language and expressions to convey their story lines to the viewer,
4. Many successful models take acting classes to enhance their talent,
5. Some models begin their day with a 4-8 mile run followed by 1-2 hours in the gym later that evening,
6. Castings and meetings consume over 60% of a successful models day,
7. Models are very independent, I know of many 16 year old models that travel internationally on their own for several months at a time,
8. Personality and confidence are very important qualities to a model,
9. Understanding body angles and posing is critical to the success of a model, new models will spend several hours each day working on this,
10. Highly successful models learn to understand lighting and generate poses that works with the lighting that is given to them.
These are just a few things that separate agency models from internet models. Everybody wants to shoot but shooting makes up a very small part of a true models day. All my industry friends are welcome to add to this list.”
I agree with everything Bill says. I am by no means in the same league as many local model photographers or anyone like Bill Jones, but I am starting to get a handle on the model side of the genre. Every time I come to a shoot my goal is make it an enjoyable and successful shoot for everyone involved. I’ve been very lucky that most of the model’s I’ve worked for have done the same thing.
BTW, check out Bill at: