Directing and relaxing models — Photography podcast #44

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #44 talks about how to direct mod­els in pho­tog­ra­phy photo shoots. This pod­cast is based on a sug­ges­tion (thanks for the sug­ges­tion Bill!) by fel­low pod­cast lis­tener Bill who wrote an email asking;

I’d love to hear a pod­cast in a bit more detail about “direct­ing” ordi­nary peo­ple in a por­trait ses­sion. I tend to start out ok, but some­times sort of, choke, I guess, and then for­get every­thing I know about tak­ing pho­tos, pos­ing peo­ple, and walk­ing while chew­ing gum :)

Pho­tog­ra­phy links men­tioned in this pod­cast:
Pos­ing mod­els in pho­tog­ra­phy — pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast 28
Jeff Cur­tožs His­tory of Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast

Thanks as always to Bill, Andre_f, Michael, and Joseph for recent com­ments and sug­ges­tions. We LOVE com­ments and sug­ges­tions so please send more.

You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player below.


  1. admin says:

    Sorry for tak­ing so long to approve this Alex — I’ve been away recently and try­ing to spend just a wee bit of time offline…so hard.

    I guess for me it depends on the use. If the shots are for me I don’t show them as I know what from a shot and pro­vide ver­bal feedback.

    If the shots are for the model then I’ll show a few of the bet­ter ones and get their feedback.…but that’s ONLY when I shoot one on one. If I’m at an event like a wed­ding — for­get it though since once one per­son sees you show­ing the shots…everyone wants to see and they can slow you down at the least oppor­tune times.



  2. Alex Wilson says:

    With por­traits in par­tic­u­lar, I find peo­ple will often pick dif­fer­ent images of them­selves than I would. Peo­ple know what they like and don’t like about their own face, and it can be really hard to guess the sub­tleties that will make them pick their favourite image from the shoot.

    Dur­ing a shoot, I tend to take lit­tle breaks and review the images just shot with the model. Even though it’s just a small pre­view on the back of the cam­era, get­ting feed­back from the model about the images they like or don’t like can be key in hon­ing in on bet­ter images they will like even more. It only takes a minute to flip through the images quickly, but when the model sees an image they like or don’t like more than the oth­ers, I’ll ask what it is about that par­tic­u­lar shot. Whether is an angle, pose, or light­ing change, it give both the pho­tog­ra­pher and model a start­ing point for the next group of images.

    The breaks are good just for help­ing the model relax as well, not to men­tion feel­ing like they are con­tribut­ing more to the shoot than just sit­ting in front of the camera.

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