There are a great number of things which are required for a fashion photograph to be successful beyond just the skill of the photographer, many of these are obvious and many aren't.
Today I'm going to talk about the importance of models and a little bit about using them to successfully improve your book.
The right model can make a shoot - the wrong one can break it. Every photoshoot is a collaboration between model and photographer - often with others as well, but always
between those two. If it isn't then it will fail, if you don't work together the results will never be what you want them to be. GETTING STARTED
We all have to start somewhere, when you start out in fashion photography your work probably won't be of a quality which is good enough to attract agency models or convince their bookers to work with you. It's the beginning of an uphill climb, the first of many challenges which you need to be prepared to face if you want to scratch out a place for yourself in the Fashion Industry.
So you have to get creative and find people! There's a few ways you can do this:
Ask your friends! It's a great way for them to get some awesome pictures of themselves, and a great way for you to improve at what you do.
Use a website like Model Mayhem
to network with models, ask to test with them. Testing is when you both shoot for "free" because you both get awesome pictures in return!
Offer to pay a model - you're likely to attract better quality models and get better quality results from it. Freelance models have reasonable rates, particularly for people who're just starting out!
But how do you know what to look for in a model?
A wonderful website to read is www.NewModels.com
. It's intended for people who want to be models but is wonderful for anyone looking to find out more about the Fashion Industry and how to be successful in it. Simiarly, the forums of Model Mayhem
has an influx of information - just recognise that everyone has an opinion and they're not all right! MOVING UPWARDS AND ONWARDS
So you've been working with models (and fellow creatives such as make up artists and stylists, which I'll talk about in a later post) and you feel you're ready to work with some agency faces, that's awesome!
Your first job is to find out who the agencies are
where you are!
Check out the Model Agency listing of Models.com
. Browse around, find out who is within suitable distance of you (if you're out of town or some distance away, you will have to pay for the models to travel to you).
The next part is always a little scary, no matter how many times you've done it, but you ring up the agency and ask to speak to the new faces booker.
Don't email instead - even if there's an email listed! Always, always
telephone. You'll probably then be given an address to email but it makes a much bigger impression if you telephone; it's harder to ignore someone if you've spoken to them vocally, rather than just via email.
But as I said, ask to speak to their new faces booker and say you want to test. You'll be given an address to email with a selection of your work - don't attach files, send them a link to your website.
Bookers (model agents) are happy to look at tumblrs, dA - whatever portfolio service you use, just make sure all the work on the page is your own!
If you have a book (a real-life portfolio, we call them books in the Fashion Industry), offer to meet with them so they can review it. Bookers like to meet people in person and if they accept they like you!
There's three things which can happen after you've sent that email:
They ignore it. Expect this to happen, particularly when you're first starting out! Don't let it get to you, keep shooting and improving, keep contacting different agencies. You need a thick skin for this industry and rejection will become a well known friend.
They email you with a package of models/ask you for more details on the shoot if you didn't originally supply them. This is good! The like you and your work, they're willing to send you a model to shoot, good work!
They ask you to come in to pick up some cards or for a casting. This is really awesome, it means they really like you want to meet you!
The follow up for shooting with agency models is equally as important as the work which goes into getting there! You need to make sure your turn around with photos is fast and if something happens to delay you, let them know!
That was a lot of text, but hopefully you found it useful! Now enjoy some gorgeous fashion imagery which demonstrate how important picking the right model is.