My shoot process

I get a lot of questions regarding my shooting style, so I thought I’d start a small series of how I shoot.

Majority of my shoots are about two hours (depending on how much talking, three) long. Before every shoot I take a few minutes, about 10, to sit down and get to know the client. Get to know who she is, what goals she has regarding modeling and how I can best help her. This is my time to “study” her, find out what makes her tick, what turns her off, her little facial idiosyncrasies-things that are important for the shoot itself;

When she smiles, does she close her eyes?
Does she blink when she’s telling a story or listening to something with an unknown ending? (Precursor to her trying to anticipate the flash so I know to turn the “beep” off on my camera)
When she laughs, does she cover her mouth?
Is she making tons of adjustments to her clothing?
What does she consider to be her best asset? This is known best by what she wears PRIOR to shooting. Low cut top with cleavage? She likes her boobs. Very form fitting jeans? She likes her butt.
Does she have good facial expressions? Surprised? Good teeth? What’s her “quiet” face like? Does she have more confidence in her face or body? That’s what I’m going to focus on.

Regardless of the models experience level, I like to start my shoots with clothes on. I usually start with a more casual look. This is for two reasons;

The model will be more relaxed in more clothes.
This lets them know getting them naked isn’t my primary goal which helps them relax even more.

Oddly enough, these photos are some of the most under chosen, but that’s because when compared to the hotness, they don’t want the first set. This set is the most important to photographers because it sets the tone. As soon as they can see you don’t want to have relations or get them naked right away, they relax and are more into the shoot. By shooting this way, I have had many models experiment with styles they were adamant they would never do. For me, this is the ultimate compliment as I don’t want to be viewed as the guy to get everyone naked, but the guy that everyone feels comfortable being naked around. That entails a lot of trust and that’s what I’m about; building relationships.

Here’s a photo from the casual set

Originally posted 8/28/2011

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