Here’s what I’ve learnt about being in front of – and behind – the camera on a modelling shoot…

There is nothing as exciting as a new modelling photo shoot in the diary. An opportunity for some shiny new images and a shiny new look.

The modelling world has a voracious appetite for new content. As a model, it’s really important I keep things fresh. Potential clients will always be on the lookout for an updated portfolio, with a nice mix of video and stills.

So, it’s not difficult to see why it’s key to have a good relationship with your photographer!

Getting to know a photographer

Modelling shoots are always easier when you’ve worked with the photographer before, and have developed that easy relationship that just works. Usually with plenty of banter! But often, you are working with a new person and you have to quicky assess what’s needed.

Photographers are a very creative bunch and each one has their own style and modus operandi. They will already know what they want from their model in order to achieve the shots they need. As a model, I need to be quick on my toes (sometimes literally!) to understand how they work – and deliver the goods.

I always like to try to have some time beforehand to have a chat with the photographer. This might be either on the phone before the photoshoot date, or on the day of the shoot as everyone is setting up. There’s nothing like a bit of gossip to get the party started!

Then it’s ‘action and it’s all go! You have to be absolutely ready to strut your stuff.

Taking direction

And here’s where it gets interesting. The direction you will get from every photographer on a modelling shoot is very different.

Most photographers I’ve worked with are fairly exuberant characters. But others are quieter and more immersed in their craft. All will ask you to move, stand, sit, lean laugh, smile in different ways to give you different looks. But you have to learn to respond quickly – and shake of any inhibitions.

As a photographer is shooting, it can be quite pacey – so you need to listen carefully. I’m always ready to adopt various poses quickly. And for each outfit change, I need to keep that buzz going and have plenty of dazzling smiles at the ready. I love it when you get a lot of energy from a photographer. It helps me perform better, and the energy is reflected back.

I tend to like lots of words of encouragement during a shoot. I promise I’m not needy! But it really helps with my confidence if I feel the photographer is excited by what they are seeing in the back of their camera or on their laptop. 

Ultimately, it’s about getting the best out of you as a model. And it helps if you can be a bit of a flirt too. No, not with the photographer – with the camera!

[Photos/videos taken at a shoot organised by Jadore Models, with photographer Erika Moore. Make up/hair: Bianca Zara. Fashion: Nasty Gal]

Like this? Go Behind the Scenes with my Stylist or follow me on one of my first shoots.