How Its Done

Preface:  This is not for people who never hire models.  This is not for photographers that just do this to relax.  This is for any photographer who hires models like me for the specific purpose of improving their existing portfolio.

Photographers frequently work with me with ‘taking their portfolio to the next level’ in mind.  This I understand and very much appreciate – people who are trying to improve their work are inspiring to work with.  But sometimes I find photographers doing it kind of half way in this situation.  Meaning, they hire me and expect great results, but put very little effort into the rest of the production.  Shooting me on a seamless in OK light….you’ll get good images, but if the true goal is improvement, why only make an effort with the choice of model?  If you really want professional looking images….do it like a pro.

These images were shot several months ago by my friend Luke.  He gets it.  For this shoot he probably spent enough money to hire me four times over again, but look what he got for it.  He invested in stellar locations, the best MUA available, elaborate styling, and me – a model worth the effort.  These images are easily publishable, and in my opinion definitely take his work to the next level.  These are also images I am delighted to include in my body of work.  He may have only taken four hundred frames all day, and investing in this kind of production may have tapped his budget for months to come….but again, I say – look where it got him.  Being a photographer is about more than lighting, framing, pressing the shutter, post production etc.  As a photographer, in this market especially, you are the producer, the art director, the on set coordinator…moving to the next level requires embracing all of this.  My deepest respect to Luke, for reaching for the stars.

3 Responses

  1. These are impressive images. Both of you did well with them! I haven’t seen images of you in this sort of work, before.

    Your comment about investing in stellar locations particularly caught my attention. As you probably know, shooting clothed shoots greatly broadens the number of available locations. I doubt you could have shot half of those images as nudes, at least not without much more planning and preparation than already went into those shoots. I know, because I have gone through the steps with the City of Dallas necessary to do these sorts of shots as nude shoots. I’ve contacted property owners to obtain their permission. Those property owners who continue talking to me after I’ve explained what I’m trying to do generally tell me “No.” It is so much easier to get permission when everyone is clothed, despite the still-present obstacle of resistance to allowing commercial photography in general.

    Keep posing!


  2. Inspiring photos. Inspiring commentary. Definitely puts some of the projects I’ve been considering in a different perspective. I have a few ideas that on the surface seem a bit overwhelming because of the scope and I’ve been thinking about ways to simplify and make them work on a smaller scale. Some of the ideas might benefit from a smaller scale, but on others it may be better to go all out.

    Love it when people make me think and get my creative gears going!

  3. Jess,
    Your comments serve to put each and every one of us on notice. As a artist I have tempted my fate by attempting many different styles of photography, while I can’t say I have always or even ever committed to the extent of the work Luke has completed, I seek that level.

    I am a firm believer of hire the best model you can afford then put as much time, effort and expense into the photography as you can to insure the results will serve to improve my skills, as well as risk the possibility of failure by trying something new.

    Love the article thanks for sharing.

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