Never Shot With a Model Before? Here's How You Should Start

Working with models can open up a plethora of new creative outlets and professional opportunities for any photographer. But, the first shoot with a model can seem like a daunting task for some. This video aims to get you comfortable with choosing and communicating with any experienced model.

Photographer and educator, Gavin Hoey, from Adorama is here in another video packed with helpful tips for shooting in a studio environment. This time he takes us through the whole process of working with a model for the first time — from choosing the right model, to how to engage with them before and during the shoot. Hoey's first tip is perhaps the one that will perhaps have the greatest positive effect on the final results: choose an experienced model.

The temptation to look for someone with no experience — who you might want to try a trade-for-prints type deal with — could end up being a negative event for both parties. Inexperienced models probably need more assured guidance during their first time in front of a camera, and as someone who has never worked with a model before, you probably can't offer that. The result of which could be a kick in the gut to your model's confidence, which really isn't fair. Added to that, your own self-esteem will take a hit and you'll end up with unusable images.

Another point that Hoey makes which I want to highlight is: to treat your model as a human being. This might seem obvious to some, but if any of you have been paying attention over the last few years, there is serious a problem in our industry with photographers — mostly men — treating models like pieces of meat. It should never happen and needs to stop. 

Are you thinking about working with a model for the first time? Did this video teach you anything new? 

Mike O'Leary's picture

Mike is a landscape and commercial photographer from, Co. Kerry, Ireland. In his photographic work, Mike tries to avoid conveying his sense of existential dread, while at the same time writing about his sense of existential dread. The last time he was in New York he was mugged, and he insists on telling that to every person he meets.

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Never shot with a model before? First try with your wife, she will appreciate your new kind of torture…