When a male photographer makes pictures of female models, there can be many questions – especially if it’s a first time shoot. Let me help a bit with some of the more frequently asked ones:
Q: What will the images be used for?
A: Initially they will end up on a website (likely right here) and/or in a censored format on social media (like Instagram). If the images become good I might offer to sell prints, or at some point make an exhibition or even a book, but I make pictures because I like to and that’s about it.
Q: What about payment and model release/agreement?
A: It depends on the kind of agreement we make. I always work with a model contract. (You can read it here.)
This states I will always retain all usage rights for the images which is necessary for me to sell prints (selling is commercial) and making exhibitions and marketing materials around this. Therefore I use a standard ‘all rights’ contract which essentially means I have full rights over the images and can do with them what I want. If I can sell the images – good for me, if not – too bad for me. Other than the initial agreement (TFP and/or fee) you will not receive any reimbursement later (or if you are hiring me you will not be charged further). I am flexible, but for any adaptions or exclusions, I need to know very early in the process.
Always make sure you agree to the terms of the model release in advance. Know and understand the compensation structure. I almost always provide final images as sole compensation for shooting.
There is a lot of time and preparation going on in coordination a session, time involved while shooting and a LOT of time selecting and retouching images afterwards. I need to know before committing to a session in order not to waste that time. I’m sure you appreciate this as well.
Q: If we make a TFP (Time for Photos) agreement how many images will I receive?
A. It depends how many good images there are from the session. I like to finish images off to a very high standard. This means that I routinely spend between 1-4 hours retouching every single image. I often produce more quality images that tell a story than the average photographer. Usually, my models first comment when they see the images is a derivative of “WOW!”
I strongly believe in quality. I strive to edit images fairly soon and always send a Google Drive web gallery where a model can have a look and download the images from the session. As for how long it takes, it really depends on the workload at the time.
Q: What if I have limitations to the kind of pictures I want to make?
A. First of all, I do not shoot pornographic images, so I will not be asking you to pose pornographically. Most models have certain things they are not comfortable participating in, or certain kind of pictures they are not interesting in publicising. I never try to make models do pictures they are not interested in doing, and I always respect personal limits. I do prefer to know these in advance as I often have a very good idea on what I want to achieve in a certain session. Knowing personal borders in advance often makes the difference between a good session where we both are comfortable with what we do and one where you as a model feel I try to make you do something you don’t want to do. Limits are fine, but let’s get them out in the open in advance so we can enjoy the session and make pictures we both like.
Q: What should I wear/bring to the shoot?
It’s best to wear loose fitting clothes at least a few hours before the shoot and on the way to our location. Stay away from jeans or anything with elastic, i.e. undergarments, socks or yoga pants and tight fitting jewelry. These things will leave clothing marks that take a long time to dissolve. The best outfit to wear pre shoot is a loose fitting dress (warm season) or sweats/long coat (cold season). To be comfortable between sets, bring a warm wrap/blanket/bathrobe. This helps keep you warm during winter and prevent your skin from becoming blotchy.
Q: Where should we meet?
Unless we are shooting locally, we will meet at a convenient public location and carpool from there. Most shoots we do require drive time to remote areas where there is limited cell coverage. The Pacific Northwest is still a wild and remote place — and that’s one thing that makes our images unique. To get to these places, we have to drive a bit. For this reason, I always prefer to leave early and carpool. It would be foolhardy to give a model coordinates to a remote location and say “I’ll meet you there in 2 or 3 hours.” No, it’s safer to travel together and that’s proved to be the best and safest option time and again. If this concerns you, we can always meet ahead of time and discuss over coffee.
Arrive to the session on time. Make sure to discuss if the agreed meeting time allocates time for hair and make up or is simply the start time for the shoot.
If for some reason you are unable to attend, please notify me immediately to minimize the damage. It is certain that I have done some advance planning, preparation, or invested money by reserving a space to shoot and now will need to take care of those arrangements. It’s unfortunate when shoots have to be cancelled, especially last minute, and it can make a great deal of difference for me to know well in advance.
I’ve never modeled nude before. Do you have any recommendations?
If you are inexperienced, don’t let that stop you. Many of the models you see on my website are first timers. Take time to train poses and facial expressions in front of a mirror. Find magazines, online pictures on, say instagram or flickr, that inspire you or flip through my website to see examples of previous shoots. Use these photos as inspiration and share them with me to discuss.
If you have ever gone barefoot or worn shorts or a tshirt, you have already experienced partial nudity. Being naked is totally natural and feels great. Body parts that are visible when we are fully naked are just like other body parts, neither shameful nor unpresentable. I always make every effort to make you feel perfectly at ease and have an enjoyable experience.
If you still feel insecure, check references. Reach out to models I have worked with before and ask about their experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Is it ok to bring a chaperone?
While I always prefer to work one-on-one, if absolutely necessary, I do allow for a model to bring one person with them. (It is important that you are comfortable and not shy with the person you choose to bring with you.) As a last resort, your boyfriend or partner is an option. Even if your partner is OK with what you do, you may feel a bit timid, and it may affect the photographs/your mood. In either case, the image quality will suffer. If you do decide to bring your partner, discuss with them in advance what proper etiquette for them as a guest to the shoot would be.
What to do before a shoot?
The day before the shoot, go to bed early. Hung-over and tired models with bloodshot eyes means that you are unlikely to perform to the best of your ability. This would be a waste of time to all parties involved as the goal of the shoot is to create to the best of everyone’s talent and ability.
If you need to shave/wax do it as close to the shoot as possible (hair stubs rarely looks good in the pubic area), but with enough time for your skin to calm and ease the irritation. Also make sure to attend to eyebrows the day before. Don’t forget to apply lotion and generally clean your skin in advance.
Pay attention to your nails and toe nails. For nude shots in black and white, colored nail varnish or fancy patterns will often look weird, but for glamour shots it might be great. Discuss with the photographer in advance what is preferred.
Don’t go to a tanning bed for two days prior to a shoot (your skin can have a strange color for up to 48 hours). Don’t spraytan a week before. Personally I recommend not to use artificial tanning at all.
Don’t starve yourself the day prior to a shoot to look thinner, you will need the energy, and besides Photoshop and good lighting can make you look your best. If you are worried about bloating, research foods that will help ease that but also keep you feeling full and have energy.
Things to bring in general
- Hair brush and makeup
- Make-up remover
- Lotion and coconut oil or massage oil/baby oil
- Stuff for styling hair, such as fixative, braces, needles, hairpins etc.
- If you prefer certain music, bring it.
- A bottle of water and some fruit/food. Normally I will take care of this, but you need to be able to fuel up, so bring some in any event. Possibly dark chocolate and almonds are also a good choice of energy that will not leave you bloated.
- Blanket/Bathrobe to stay warm during breaks
- Sturdy/grippy shoes that are easy to remove
- A towel if it is a water shoot
- Accessories – jewelry, scarves, bracelets. Generally large jewelry works well in images
If you have any further questions, contact me.