Etiquette when working with a model

So, you would like to photograph a model to expand your portfolio… well, before you run out and hire a model, you should understand etiquette and how to maximize the time you have with the hired model.

The first thing you need to do is find a model… where do you find a model without paying huge fees to a modelling agency? Kijiji, Craigslist or talk to other photographers in your area that use a model already.  I recently found a fantastic model that I will use time and time again on Kijiji. She had an ad on there saying she was looking for a professional model. If you live near me (Ontario, Canada) and you want a model that is absolutely "fantastic" contact Morgan (photo above) on her facebook page.

When you contact the model be specific about what your needs are. Remember, you do not know them and they do not know you. Lay out your requirements in detail so that they can make an informed decision on whether they want to model for you. It may sound like overkill, but you may want to do a boudoir photography shoot and they be uncomfortable with semi nudity or nudity.

The model release… this is as much about covering your butt as it is about the model protecting their reputation. Make sure the details are put in writing. What you will pay them, are you taking photos to build your portfolio in exchange for giving them images? Make sure that everyone enters into the situation understanding what both parties expectations are.

The environment for the shoot. You should make sure that you explain the environment to the model before the actual shoot. Where will the shoot take place, who will be at the shoot, is it private, in public etc… A word of advice. Have an assistant there for the shoot. It is always better to have someone there with you when working with a model… I may even go as far as suggesting you bring your girlfriend or wife if you are shooting a female model, or bring your husband or boyfriend if you are a female shooting a male model.

Working with the model. Never EVER take liberties when touching a model. Always ask for permission before you touch a model. “Can I move your hand?”, “Can I position your head the way I want?”

If you are working with a model for the first time this will help you gain repore and in the end get you the images you want… maximize the time you have the model for.

When the shoot is done make sure you follow through with what you promised. Models know other models and word will spread fast that you do not follow up on your promises…

I hope that gives you some useful information when shooting models… as for technique, well that is another post… LOL

Thanks for reading,

Kev

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Kevin A Pepper

Kevin is a photographer and educator based in Waterloo, Ontario. His first love is photographing nature, regardless of the season or weather condition; the Ontario landscape and its wildlife are his inspiration. But you will also see other styles of photography in his portfolio. From street photography to urban exploration of abandoned buildings and architecture, he loves to capture it all with his camera for his corporate clients and his growing personal portfolio. Kevin’s images have been featured in Canadian Nature Photographer, PHOTONews Canada, Photo Technique Magazine, The London Free Press, The Weather Network, and National Geographic Online. His diverse client list includes the City of Cambridge, Olympus, GORE Mutual, TVO, and African Lion Safari. Kevin also operates “Northof49 Photography”, a company launched in 2012 dedicated to teaching amateur photographers through International and Canadian-based workshops. In the coming year, Kevin will be leading workshops in Iceland, Mongolia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Provence, and numerous destinations across Canada. Website: www.kevinpepperphotography.com