As a Photographer, Good communication is the key to getting better poses -Modelling Photography Tips
As a photographer, effective communication is essential to ensure that you are able to get the desired pose and expression from your models or actors whatever the case may be. Here are some tips to help you communicate with your models
Be clear and specific
When directing your models, be clear and specific about what you want them to do. Use simple, concise language to convey your instructions. Many times, photographer and directors use English without realising that the models and actors might actually have a better understanding of their Native languages. If language seems to be barrier, speak slowly and clearly with a lot of gestures.
Use visual aids
Show your models examples of the poses and expressions you are looking for. You can use photographs or sketches to illustrate your ideas, but do not try to blindly follow them. Use these only as a clue for the talent to understand everything better and draw some inspiration.
Give positive feedback
Encourage your models with positive feedback when they are doing well. Let them know when they are achieving the look you are after. Performance depends a lot on the experience of the model or actor. Motivate them to do even better. Do and show it yourself or give them suggestion how they can do it better. keep it positive. Do not discourage them by using words like "you cant do it". Now that you are underway a shoot, you don't have much choice but to bring out the best out of the talent available with you.
Show them their pictures
A lot of people learn by seeing what went wrong in their performance or what worked really well in what they did. This is a big advantage of shooting digitally. Show the photographs or the video to the model and explain why it did not work and how he or she can rectify the same. Also show the expressions and poses which are nice so that further shoot can progress on those terms.
Build a rapport
Build a relationship with your models based on trust and respect. Be approachable, friendly and open to feedback. The person in front of the camera should be very comfortable in expressing his or her opinion and apprehensions if any. It should be a very cordial relationship without any fear of any sorts. They should know and understand that its a team work and everyones contribution be it the photographer, director or the makeup artist adds up to create the final shot.
Always be respectful of your models' boundaries and comfort levels. Avoid asking them to do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or objectified. If the shoot involves nudity or exposure of any sorts, its always a good idea to discuss the same with the model beforehand before she is assigned. The brief should be very clear and without any scope of misunderstanding. However, it does not mean that any crew member should take an advantage of the situation. There should be complete professionalism on the set with all respect for the person who is only playing a role.
There are a lot of people on the sets involved in different aspects of the production. Ensure that they are not very dominating unnecessarily. Only the crew directly involved should be around and this is helpful irrespective of the kind of shoot you are doing. people in general do get nervous in front of the camera and it its a challenging shoot, this makes it all the more difficult and uncomfortable. the communication should strictly be between the Photographer and the model and any suggestions of idea may go through the Photographer only. Photographer in his discretion can take a quick decision if the suggestions which ever source these may be coming form, have to be implemented or not.
Experiment and collaborate
Be open to experimenting with different poses and expressions, and encourage your models to share their own ideas and suggestions. This will happen only if you have created a good rapport with your model and who can freely express their ideas and opinions. If the model has confidence in you, she will be more open to experimentation as she will be sure to get some great shots in the end.
Provide clear instructions:
Use clear and simple instructions that the model can easily understand. For example, instead of saying "Tilt your head to the left", you can say "Turn your head towards the window"....to be more clear. This will avoid wasting time and everything will keep flowing smoothly from one pose to the next and so on.
Remember, every model is different and may respond differently to different types of direction. Therefore, it is important to be flexible and adaptable, and to adjust your approach as needed to achieve the desired results. Even if any Actors, Models or your own crew members lose their tempers for any reason, keep calm and let the shoot go on as you being in charge of everything must ensure that everything stays in control and the clients or the Producers, whatever the case may be do not suffer due to unprofessional attitude of anyone. many Models and actors have very short careers so can afford to be unprofessional but as a Photographer or a Director you need to look at your career graph from a long term perspective. Do not forget that you are the captain of the ship and must always act in a responsible manner.