How to conduct yourself at a photo shoot

Fawna Latrisch’s new book, “The wise girl’s guide to modelling,” covers everything from what kind of modeling a new model should do, choosing a modeling website, and how to manage it, TFP/TFCD/Collaboration, how to conduct oneself at a shoot, how to pose, shooting at home and away, chaperones, types of photographers, what to do after a shoot, applying to agencies, and constructing a personal website.

Last week, Fawna discussed how to prepare for a photo shoot and this week’s article covers how to conduct yourself professionally at a shoot.

Grandfather Clock - Fawna Latrisch
Model: Fawna Latrisch; Photographer: Jonas Bee

Before the shoot: First, be on time. If you are traveling to the shoot allow extra time. It’s better to be half an hour early than five minutes late, so allow for delays. Extra time gives you chance to relax after traveling, and to prepare yourself by laying out your clothing and accessories so they are easy to access. It also gives you time to be introduced to the photographer with no pressure to start working immediately.

Be friendly: When you meet the photographer, make-up artist, or other models it’s really important to greet them with a friendly smile, eye contact, and possibly a handshake. The photographer may be nervous if he is new to it, so you need to make him feel relaxed. Nothing does that better that a smile, a joke and a laugh. A cup of tea or coffee and a five minute chat covering the aim of the shoot also helps a lot. It offers an opportunity for you to make suggestions and show your engagement in the project. If the photographer doesn’t automatically offer his ideas about the shoot it’s a good idea to ask.

Ask for the money up front: Most photographers are happy to pay at the beginning of the shoot, and it’s certainly best to get that out of the way so that you can then both concentrate on the shoot. If you leave it until the end, you run the risk of the photographer saying he hasn’t brought enough cash, and wanting to pay by check, so it can be risky. He might even question the amount you are expecting to receive, and it’s too late to argue once the shoot is over. It’s possible to agree to an instant bank transfer, using a laptop, but cash is always the safest and best bet. It’s different if you are doing a shoot for a big organization which insists on paying at a later date, or if you are with someone you have worked with many times before.

During the shoot: When you are shooting it’s important to put all your effort into your work. It’s your job, and you’re lucky to be doing something you enjoy, so be grateful and make sure you offer the photographer value for money in the form of effort and involvement. Take direction and make suggestions. Be patient, be polite, and work with the photographer to make sure he gets the images he wants.

Music and chat: It helps to chat or play some music during a shoot. If you don’t make an effort to chat to the photographer, the silences can become long and awkward, and this might affect the quality of the pictures. Some of my best shoots have been when the photographer and I have a laughed all the way through. Time flies when you are enjoying yourself and feeling comfortable! Don’t be afraid to suggest ideas and try different poses. The photographer might not have thought if it, and will be grateful for your input. But don’t forget that he’s the one who is paying, so don’t be bossy about it.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, please do buy the whole book. It’s only £2.05/$3.00, about the price of a coffee, and is tax deductible!

Fawna Latrisch

Fawna is a UK based professional model. She has been published internationally and worked in many countries, including Portugal, Spain, France, Isle of Man, Thailand, Mauritius and Madagascar. Fawna studied fashion and makeup and is now pursuing a photography degree. Her first book, "The wise girl's guide to modelling," is on sale now.

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