WeeklyImogen and breaking the ice with a model

Bringing a number of strangers together for a photoshoot can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you are on the shy side. However, breaking the ice at the beginning of a shoot makes the rest of the working day together much easier and it flows more naturally.

First off it is important to remember that everyone has different personalities and some people may be louder and find these sort of situations exciting, whereas some people may be more quiet and feel very nervous. Make sure to take this into consideration and think of how your model may be feeling.

Whether you are a professional photographer shooting for a magazine or a hobbyist building your portfolio, it is essential to keep a professional manner throughout the photoshoot. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and crack jokes along the way, but keep in mind that acting professional will make everyone involved feel more comfortable.

Communication before the photoshoot to all parties should be clear and concise. Both model and photographer should be aware of the location of the shoot, the theme if there is one, and timings for the day. If you are relying on the model for hair, makeup or outfits it is also very important to make this clear beforehand.

A vague itinerary for the day, or even of shots you have in mind, would be very useful to show the model so that all parties can feel some sort of control and knowledge of what is expected from them.

Small talk can be a great tool when meeting up with your model at first. Ask them how they are and how their journey was. Maybe ask how long they have been modelling for. These sort of questions can start up conversations and it can also help you gage if they are more chatty or shy. Finding the same point of interest can be a great tool as well as you can always come back to that if there are moments of silences.

Whilst actually shooting, to make a model feel more at ease it is a good idea to keep talking. As everyone is busy concentrating on their part of the shoot it can be easy for the room or location to fall into silence which is completely understandable. However, this could become daunting for a model, combined with all eyes on them, so try and keep conversation up, even if it just directional instructions to them or to tell them they are doing great. Encouragement will result in a more relaxed model which will give you much better photographs.

As with anything, the more you do something the easier it becomes. Going to meet your first model for a shoot can be very daunting, however once you experience it and realise it is just a case of good communication and rapport, it will get easier each time.


Photo credit: ClickASnap member Gjesdal

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