Photographing Talent: Some Helpful Tips

Yes, the video says it's for posing women, but it works for everyone. It's for posing, it's for comfort levels, and it will help you run a more successful set. Here are three of my tips for helping models have a more successful photoshoot. 

5 Tips to Help You Have a More Successful Photoshoot

  1. Less lights, more comfort: I'm a fan of c-stands and lights everywhere. It looks like a higher production and helps my ego, but truthfully, for a newer model or subject, it could be overwhelming. Here's why: once in a while, place yourself in their position and see if their point of view is intimidating or not. Since many of your clients are less experienced with being on set, imagine how intimidating all of those lights and stands can be. Don't need something? Leave it out. 

    The same goes with people. You don’t have to surround your models with hair, makeup, wardrobe, assistant, their friend, etc. Have them all sit comfortably to the side. They can still watch, but out of the eyeline of the model. Watch and see how comfortable she/he is after you clear the path!
  2. You're paid for your opinions: That means you should give them and not hold back. Holding back to spare feelings is actually putting more value on your own comfort versus their development. It's OK to say: "that's not a good angle for you, try this instead" or "that's not your best angle. Try moving your head to this position and it looks so much better!" 

    You're paid for your opinions and your expertise. Share them boldly but kindly. 
  3. They are human: Here's something crazy. Sometimes, we forget that the subject is another human being and they are a guest in our space. How would you treat your houseguest? You’d treat them like a king or queen, right?

    When the model arrives and is “trapped” in glam, take the time to sit with them and connect. Talk about what’s happening in culture, on the news, the traffic to the studio, or even what else they’ve done. Connect with them. This helps them feel comfortable quicker, which helps you get better photographs sooner in the shoot. 

Check out the video to see all the tips that I think will help you have a more successful photo shoot. 

Walid Azami's picture

Walid Azami is a Photographer/Director and creative consultant from Los Angeles. He got his start working with Madonna + Co by contributing to her many projects. It was then he realized his place in the creative world & began teaching himself photography. He has since shot Kanye, Mariah Carey, Usher, Bernie Sanders, JLO, amongst others

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