I am well-versed in my own responsibilities as photographer who works with models, and won’t go into them in too much detail here. Here are the responsibilities I take on, in general terms:
While this is certainly not the only responsibility one of my models has, it is probably the most important. We are playing dress-up and you get to ‘pretend’ to be a model. There isn’t much of anything in this whole process - makeup, clothes, hair, posing - that isn’t potentially fun as hell, if you simply cut loose and choose to have a good time.
Back when I was a professional at this, I worked with so many models for whom modeling was their dream job, and yet who were set and determined to suck all of the fun out of it. Their determination to be ‘professional’ and anxiety about doing it ‘right’ made them utterly, morbidly serious. Not only did they not enjoy their dream job, but they also did a worse job at it than if they’d just had fun with it.
So have fun. The all-god commands it.
I used to have a small army of makeup artists and hair stylists contributing to my shoots. That was before Wisconsin (where high-level MUAs and stylists are next-to impossible to find). It was also long before Covid.
Now, my models have to take responsibility for their own hair and makeup, and bring their own products, tools, and accessories to the shoot for touchups.
Models should look at the shoot as an opportunity to learn and practice sexy new hair and makeup styles. They should review the following pages, and learn and practice any skills they feel they might need to learn:
I have five large boxes stuffed to the brim with well-organized women’s wardrobe in zip-lock bags, cataloged and ready to add value to a shoot. I have about 8 dresses, 11 skirts, 30 tops, plus hose, stockings, pants, skirts, bras, panties, club-wear and stripper-wear, hot pants, lingerie, arm and leg warmers, belts, gloves, socks, a feather boa, and bunny ears.
A man might think this was enough to wardrobe a hundred shoots with.
As a woman, I’m sure you know better. You can never have too many clothes or shoes.
I’ve shot with a lot of the stuff I have already, and it gets stale repeatedly shooting with the same outfits, and I’m too financially conservative to buy outfits for my shoots (while I’m financially independent, I’m not rich rich, and I live frugally off of interest from investments, right now).
I’ll need you to bring everything even remotely cool, flattering, or interesting to our catalog shoot so I can plan looks for our editorial-style shoots. Bring shoes especially.
In addition to hair and makeup, look for any cool props which might be suitable. Please feel free to borrow things from friends and parents. ;-)
Location, location… where the hell is this place?
Like wardrobe, it gets stale shooting in the same locations with every model, and if I have to provide locations for all of my models, that’s exactly what happens.
If you want to shoot in a great, unique location, find one. We’ll get a great shoot either way, but if you can find a great location, kicking ass gets so much easier. It does take a little legwork (or phone work) on your part, but it’s not as hard as it sounds, and a good location is an awesome asset for a shoot.
I apologize if you’re not a reader. But if you have a passion of creating something amazing, there are almost two-dozen pages on this site, they all contribute things you should know, and they’re all worth reading, so it’s a good thing that I’m a damn-good writer. I’ll leave it to you in what order to read them and at what pace.
In addition to the reading, there are videos on hair and makeup you may want to watch, as well as on posing.
I don’t have to read everything, but I do find that I feel disappointed when anybody I work with is and does less than they could, especially when it would have been easy for them to do much better, because I want everybody to be their best.
That means you, too.