Recently I worked with a team of fellow creatives on an “Ice Queen” character concept and photoshoot. Since snow is in pretty short supply in sunny Florida, to create the snow covered photo set we envisioned required much brainstorming, research and experimentation. While we could have resorted to a more Photoshop based approach, creating snow effects on the computer, we wanted to get as much of the winter effect in camera in one shot as possible.
About a year ago I started trying out other genres of photography as a way to jump out of my comfort zone, reshape my style, and give my creativity a kickstart again after some pretty tough personal challenges and dark times that nearly ended my career. For whatever reason, after a few shoots I found myself drawn to model photography. Beyond the initial shock of having to work indoors while not spending almost all my day in swamp water, the biggest surprise of all was how much I enjoyed the challenges of working with people, lighting, and in the studio setting. Specifically, the sub-genres of boudoir, fine art nude, and erotic photography, which are about as far away from my original bird photography roots as you can get!
This article is a collection of do’s and don’t for photographers interested in working with models in these styles of photography, from the lessons I’ve learned collaborating with both professional models and photographers. Remember also, this is written by a photographer for other photographers, but it in no way diminishes the role of the model in also maintaining a professional relationship and standards. Rather, it acts as a guideline for the photographer in this realm. While many of the concepts apply to models as well, that is for another article (stay tuned!). There’s immeasurable value in just listening and developing a rapport with the people you work with to make sure you are acting professionally in their eyes, and they in yours. I hope this article is a way to help you do just that!