Yay, so you just landed your first big time gig shooting for xyz editorial/magazine! Congratulations! You worry, “Omg, what do I wear, bring, do, say? How should I act and pose?” Ok, these are all valid questions. I am going to answer all of them, PLUS SOME! Woohoo, right?
First off, what makes us credible? We shoot a lot of models. We help out small, local businesses showing off their clothes. We also shoot for BIG corporations who sometimes need models to show off their products. We shoot for Click Magazine. Used to shoot for 4Memphis Magazine. And we are constantly building a portfolio of fashion/editorial work. And, albeit biased, we shoot the best fashion/editorial in town. I wanted to create this post because 1. many have asked me to, and 2. there are little things here and there that are downright frustrating things some models do that drive photographers crazy!! So here we go.
First impressions. What if we saw your portfolio, thought it was good and are giving you a try, but we have no previous experience working with you? Here’s a few quick tips.
Honesty! This is Rup’s pet peeve. You better look like your description/portfolio. Be HONEST! If you say you are 5’10 110lbs, you enter the room and we see you are shorter than me and the same size (I’m 5’10…and not 110lbs), we are going to be ticked. We might even send you home, depending on how big of a lie it is. It’s ok to not be 5’10. A lot of our models range from 5’8-5’11. Perfect example, for the October fashion spread, the model was 5’3!! And if we don’t know your ACTUAL size because you’ve lied about it, the stylist pulls the wrong size clothes and nothing fits…aka more retouching for us. So just be honest with us because if you’ve ever met Rupert, he will be brutally honest with you. We are a no bull, no sugarcoating kinda team.
Nails! This is my pet peeve. Your nails should be REASONABLE. As in, I should look at the pictures and NOT notice them. No nail polish, unless it’s nude. And not too long. It’s not good for you and more retouching for us. Or it just ruins the mood. Like what if we are shooting for a senior care center or something, and you’re a nurse, and you’re nails are ridiculously long…? You have to fit the scene. Be versatile. That’s the job of a model and an actor/actress for that matter. So cut them!
Hair. No funky hair color, unless you were hired for funky hair color, or grunge attitude or whatever. No extensions. One girl came in with this really long weave. The hairstylist took it all out! We were 2 hours behind for the shoot, and well – that kinda sucks because time is money.
Tattoos. Be aware of your tattoos. Some photogs want that look. Others don’t. If you know that in this particular pose that your tattoo will be showing, and it’s large (as in bigger than a tennis ball in diameter) find a different pose or ask the photographer what he/she wants to do. Tattoos take time to retouch to make it look like it’s supposed to. And by being aware of it, it shows the photog that you care about the post work they will have to do to remove it. We thank you for that.
So those are quick tips. Now for the questions.
1. What do you wear? Unless the modeling agency, photographer, or art director states otherwise, it doesn’t matter. Honestly. Wear sweats for all we care. You will be put in clothes to model. Ahhh, makes sense, right? Do NOT wear make-up (unless asked). No perfume – we don’t want to the clothes to smell when we return them to the store. Also, this sounds weird, but do not wear tight socks or any other pieces of clothing that will leave marks on your body, like lines from tight pants or whatever. I don’t want to retouch the lines after we shoot. I would rather them just not be there in the first place. You should be a blank canvas for hair and make-up and showing off the clothes.
2. What do I bring? Just because you sometimes need it, please bring nude and black pumps and flip flops or shoes to slide on or off. That is for you to wear when you are modeling designer shoes so you can slide on and off getting to and from the shooting spot. We do not want to scuff up the shoes. Also, bring a nude strapless bra.
3. What do you do, how do you act/pose? Really, just do whatever they tell you to do. No need to help carry or move things, unless asked. When stopping for lunch, change back into your clothes so you do not get food on the designer clothes. Practice your poses the night before, so you look prepared. Get rest so there are no baggies under your eyes. And also, this is important…after the photographer takes the picture, move! Do not just sit there and wait for him to take 10 shots of you doing the same pose! Make small, subtle, and noticeable movements after each click. If he/she wants you to go back to a pose before, they will tell you. **Here are some general guidelines, but we have SEEN THEM ALL, which is sad, but true. Do not be LATE! Do not STEAL. Do not do drugs before a shoot for obvious reasons. (That sounds stupid, but it has happened!!) Also, be NICE to your photographer because he/she has the final control on how you look!! Karma…
4. What do you say? Have a personality. Don’t be shy, but don’t be super loud and opinionated either. And if the photog/make-up artist/hairstylist are happy with what they created, but you don’t like it – DO NOT TELL THEM. You are not being hired to give your opinion; you are being hired because everyone thought YOU were the best fit for the look and style and design they were going for! I know this stinks. I would be the worst model ever because I have an opinion on everything! But I recognize that, so I don’t try to be a model.
Ok, so here was just a short list of what photographers REALLY want from their models! I wish you all the best of luck! And hey, if you are trying to get your name out there, apply to modeling agencies, ask to be critiqued, etc.
Also, check out our Facebook page later today for a Christmas special!! Facebook.com/yenstudios