photo diaries: what I look for in a model

if you follow me on instagram, you might notice that I tend to post pictures of a lot of the same people.  many of photographers do this, and for me personally, it's not just about the model being absolutely beautiful, but more likely because I enjoyed working with them and that made it easier to get top notch photos.  some of these seem pretty straight forward, but I made a list of things I tend to gravitate towards for repeat models / people I work with.  I hope this list mostly just serves as a reminder for working hard, as it will for me too!

1. they take direction well: this is a big one for me.  if someone is constantly questioning why I'm asking them to do something as simple as "lean a bit forward" especially if I've made my vision clear, that makes it hard for me to find a good moment to capture because a) they are constantly talking and you end up with hundreds of photos with their mouth open and b) you can tell in the photo that they don't trust you.  of course, if you're a model and someone asks you to do something you are just not comfortable with, speak up.

2. but they give creative input: I love it when models say something like, "what if I stand over there on this log" or "how about I wear the blue instead of the green?" sometimes I'll say no but this kind of ownership of someone's work really shows that they care and want a good product just as much as you do.

3. they commit: if we planned a shoot for a particular day, and a model texts me the night before and cancels for a non emergency/non sickness, I'm inclined to never work with them again.

4. they come prepared: nothing kills a shoot more than a hot pink strappy bra.  no girl, invest in one that matches your skin color (or just don't wear one).

california based model, melinda özel, at the berkeley botanical gardens.

5. they give credit: this applies to everyone on the team.  I've had makeup artists before who post my photos and don't give any credit.  like ???? we're in this together!!!

6. their personalities don't take over the photo shoot: this is similar to the first point.  be personable and friendly but keep a professional manner.  if I can't get a word in and give direction, I won't be able to get the photos I want.

7. they don't steal your things or other models things: pretty obvious right?

8. you can see yourself becoming their friend: this is pretty much the tell for when you know you have someone you can go to with your projects.  this one is a bit out of your control, sometimes you click with a photographer and sometimes you don't.  that's ok!  find the photographers, models, mua's, etc that see eye to eye with you.  maybe you don't hang out outside of professional contexts, but you trust them and recommend them for projects as they do for you too.

9. they reconcile: we all make mistakes sometimes.  I know I've made plenty.  if someone acknowledges said mistake and goes on to correct the behavior, I will always give a second chance.

book recommendation: ego is the enemy by ryan holiday