Forums > Model Colloquy > Does model need directing?

Photographer

money_train

Posts: 51

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I booked 2 paid model for this coming weekend,outdoor shooting

seems they had good experiences on the portfolio.

Can I just ask them " do some poses on the bench"?

or still have to give directings?

Feb 22 13 11:11 am Link

Photographer

Jerry Nemeth

Posts: 28824

Dearborn, Michigan, US

If they are experienced they should know how to pose.  You can direct them if you want certain poses.

Feb 22 13 11:21 am Link

Photographer

Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7319

New York, New York, US

If you have specific poses in mind then yes ask them and or direct them. Nothing wrong with that. Just be polite.

Feb 22 13 11:23 am Link

Photographer

RKD Photographic

Posts: 3265

Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

'Some' direction if they're experienced, 'lots' of direction if they're newcomers.

I'd never go with: "OK luv, do 'something' please" as it's a bit crap really to expect the model to have to do all the work...

Feb 22 13 11:23 am Link

Model

angel emily

Posts: 1020

Boston, Massachusetts, US

I can effectively pose without direction.

If a client wants a specific pose/look, I can take direction, too -- however, clients/photographers are often "impressed" that I do what they want before they even tell me. 

I think the best models know what's effective.


I've heard of models who had the right look but were awful, they didn't know their bodies -- no matter, the photographer/client still posed them -- down to the finger -- and got the shot. 

For some genres, you just need the look.  For others, knowing how to pose is more important.

Feb 22 13 11:34 am Link

Photographer

Jerry Nemeth

Posts: 28824

Dearborn, Michigan, US

EMILY  C wrote:
I can effectively pose without direction.

If a client wants a specific pose/look, I can take direction, too -- however, clients/photographers are often "impressed" that I do what they want before they even tell me. 

I think the best llamas know what's effective.


I've heard of llamas who had the right look but were awful, they didn't know their bodies -- no matter, the photographer/client still posed them -- down to the finger -- and got the shot.

1   smile

Feb 22 13 11:36 am Link

Photographer

Brian Scanlon

Posts: 799

Encino, California, US

Even if they are good at posing, spend some time directing them as it sounds like you can use the experience.

Feb 22 13 01:15 pm Link

Photographer

Digital Photo PLUS

Posts: 5503

Lorton, Virginia, US

Yes, definitely. How else would they know what you want the picture to look like?

Feb 22 13 01:18 pm Link

Model

Dekilah

Posts: 4928

Detroit, Michigan, US

If you are dealing with a somewhat experienced model and you have a basic idea in mind, you can tell them an emotion or a look (wistful, sad, pretty college girl, playful) and they can probably pose themselves.

Less experienced models will need more guidance.

Alternatively if you have absolutely nothing in mind, you can turn some of us loose and just see what we do. I am the type that generally gets that and most photographers really like my natural instincts, particularly when posing nude. Then they can direct me as they see fit or just click away. Once I am outside in public or dressed, sometimes I will ask for a little guidance in what the goal is because I am just less familiar posing that way.

Feb 22 13 01:23 pm Link

Photographer

Supermodel Photographer

Posts: 3309

Oyster Bay, New York, US

money_train wrote:
Can I just ask them " do some poses on the bench"?

Of course you can, but it would be as if Martin Scorsese just told Robert De Niro to "act"; it would be a waste of talent.

Feb 22 13 01:24 pm Link

Photographer

S de Varax

Posts: 7271

Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

what sort of poses?

Feb 23 13 02:46 am Link

Photographer

Wolfy4u

Posts: 1103

Grand Junction, Colorado, US

I find that if I don't have some specific concepts in mind, that there's little point
in shooting unless it's strictly for recreation. I usually start an experienced llama with a pose that I'm interested in and let her very the pose for a few shots. Then I direct a new
basic pose etc.
One exception is art nudes. Often, with art nudes, I give the llama much more leeway because her specific approach is often the key to success.

With a beginner llama, I'm much more assertive. not only directing, but teaching methods that help the llama make the most of her talents. Of course, this only works with llamas who want the help.

Feb 23 13 03:23 am Link

Photographer

Cal

Posts: 727

Santa Ana, California, US

You're paying you are the boss unless you are going for something crude, then keep your mouth shut.
The pictures you are shooting are a reflection of you. If you want to claim credit you should either direct by telling the model how to pose or discuss what look you are going for before the model starts posing. I have yet to meet a model that hasn't wanted at least a little direction.

Feb 23 13 03:26 am Link

Photographer

RKD Photographic

Posts: 3265

Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Dekilah wrote:
If you are dealing with a somewhat experienced model and you have a basic idea in mind, you can tell them an emotion or a look (wistful, sad, pretty college girl, playful) and they can probably pose themselves.

Less experienced models will need more guidance.

Alternatively if you have absolutely nothing in mind, you can turn some of us loose and just see what we do. I am the type that generally gets that and most photographers really like my natural instincts, particularly when posing nude. Then they can direct me as they see fit or just click away. Once I am outside in public or dressed, sometimes I will ask for a little guidance in what the goal is because I am just less familiar posing that way.

When I say 'some' with regard experienced models, it may be as little as you've mentioned, or maybe something along the lines of "this is the key-light, so try to keep you head in this direction *points* otherwise there will be too much shadow on the right side of your face".
If the model moves into a pose I like I'll ask her to expand on that (it could be a subtle tilt of the head or a hand-gesture), if it's not working I'll tell her that also and we can move to a slightly different pose.
I have also done the "OK - go crazy for five minutes!" to see what happens - sometimes it really works well, but in any case, you get a feel for the amount of direction a model needs after a couple of minutes shooting.
Some models seem to 'just know' where and how to stand relative to the lighting - some just don't.

Feb 23 13 04:30 am Link

Photographer

RKD Photographic

Posts: 3265

Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Supermodel Photographer wrote:
Of course you can, but it would be as if Martin Scorsese just told Robert De Niro to "act"; it would be a waste of talent.

Acting...hmmm...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQOWp3tLb2s (18+ link)

Feb 23 13 04:34 am Link

Photographer

Supermodel Photographer

Posts: 3309

Oyster Bay, New York, US

RKD Photographic wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQOWp3tLb2s (18+ link)

Where is Werner Herzog when you need a documentary?

Feb 23 13 05:15 am Link

Photographer

1k-words-photograpy

Posts: 355

Leesburg, Virginia, US

Its never bad to direct a model and in fact you will have to direct models more often than not.  Only a small number are innately ready to give good glass I think.

And even if she is ready to give good glass she can't see whats in the viewfinder. Only you know what looks good at the moment. So at a minimum you reinforce ("more of that") or guide ("Turn your face to this light").

Feb 23 13 06:40 am Link

Photographer

photo212grapher

Posts: 1592

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

I usually give some limited direction to set the scene. For instance on a bench, Do you want them sitting, laying, or standing? Which lens you are using, your distance to the bench, and your desire for full length or tight headshot matters in what they do. So you need to give them some idea of what poses you you want for the view you have.

I suppose if you are working without a tripod and with a wide range of a zoom lens, this may be less important, but it is bothersome for the model to go from a standing on the bench shot directly to a tight sitting pose then suddenly to a laying down pose on the bench. You'll be zooming in and out all day. So some direction is required to the actual pose.

But I prefer that limited direction then seeing what the model brings in terms of expressions and looks. I'll make slight corrections (head down a little more, facing to the right a bit more,  eyes over here).

Feb 23 13 07:07 am Link

Photographer

Photographe

Posts: 2350

Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Directing begins when you say hello...

through make-up and wardrobe the photographer can be briefing the model, having a discussion, building rapport, setting the tone and focusing the team on particular things. Ideally both people know what is required before stepping on to the set.

On set, the mistake most people mistake is to give instructions before seeing what the model can do, or what the model's natural pose is. Less is more, it's a case of coaching someone, mentoring them and building confidence and skills throughout the day. It's all just communication and treating people how you would want to be treated.

As for knowing when and what to direct, looking at photography books and sites and seeing how different light and poses work together, should give you more of an idea of what will work and what won't, or give you an idea of what will suit a person and what wouldn't.

Feb 23 13 07:17 am Link

Model

LauraPaige

Posts: 204

Asheville, North Carolina, US

I'm pretty good with coming up with poses, but sometimes my mind goes blank. At that point I ask the photographer if he has any ideas in mind. After that, the inspiration gets rolling again. smile

Feb 23 13 07:19 am Link

Model

Dani-Mae

Posts: 59

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, US

I would think it depends on the experience of the model. 

Personally I'm not experienced in front of a camera even though I have dancing experience and am aware of my body I would like for my photographer to tell me what looks good and what doesn't.  Just because it may look good in movement doesn't mean it would look good as a still image. 

That's just my opinion though.  I think it would help the process go allot smoother and help you both get the final product that you want.

Feb 23 13 10:00 am Link