Yes models do have to be beautiful but for photographers a model’s beauty must be more than skin deep. A good model must have certain qualities that will help create and promote stunning images.
A recent photo of Anna who is a very good model. She worked really hard to help capture this shot.
1. A model must want to be photographed. This seems obvious. But not everyone really enjoys this process. Photographers should look to work with models that enjoy the photographic experience and want to participate in creative photography shoots.
2. A model must want to be published. Again this is another quality that seems obvious, but some models can be very controlling when it comes to their image. Recently I had a falling out with a model who insulted my photography and claimed that this blog was not good enough to feature her image. Again, look to choose a model who wants to have their image on display.
3. A model must have a good attitude and be receptive to the photographic process. This is another essential. It can take a lot of hard work to capture the right image and it makes a big difference if you work with someone who is creative and wants to experiment to get the right shot. The final result will be much better and their experience can be a great collaboration. On the flip side. A bad model can treat you like the hired help and have an ego bigger than the Himalayas.
4. A model must be professional and respect you as a professional. In the creative industries there are a lot of actors, writers, artists, photographers, and models. Basically you are lucky if you are working and should be respectful to anyone who is helping you through that process. I am very thankful towards my editor Kym for giving me such wonderful assignments at Discover Taipei and towards anyone else who has helped my photography succeed. Models in turn should treat photographers with the same respect.
5. Always use a model release form. This is to protect yourself. A model may agree to be photographed and published but then go back on their word the next day. Use a model release form to clarify that the images are for publication and that you have the right to display them on your blog.
6. The best models are friends. Most photographers have a few friends that are models that they photograph over the years. This summer I can’t thank my friend Carrie enough for coming through for me at Discover Taipei. Moreover, it is a wonderful feeling to look at images of a friends that you have grown and matured with through undergrad, weddings, and into adulthood. I can’t help but think of my friend Rachelle as I write this.
7. The best models enjoy the final product. They thank you for capturing a beautiful portrait and want to go through the process again. To me this what portraiture is. To capture someone’s face, essence, personality, and soul. Ultimately a good model appreciates and understands your art.