I used to shoot Macro, pretty well exclusively, and when I started shooting people I studied lighting techniques as much as I could, bought some studio strobes and put up a post on Facebook asking friends if they wanted family shoots, or portraits.
These worked out OK, and I learned from each shoot.
I then joined a model forum where I had access to many lovely models. I prefer to pay a good model than to work TFP/CD. A good model makes a massive difference to the results of a shoot, and that is worth paying for, in my opinion. Once you have the skills then you should have more to offer in the way of TFP. I still don't have the skills.
I shot portraiture for the first half a dozen shoots, then went on to a nude model shoot. I started by knowing roughly what I wanted to shoot, and how wanted to light the various shots. I was (and still am) careful of how the model may feel given that they are alone in a strangers house either nude or partially clothed. It is easy to say something that makes the model feel threatened.
The basic rule to make models feel you are respectful is to respect them . I try to provide a welcoming environment and somewhere the model feels safe. To that end I:
- Provide a changing room where the model can change without feeling they are being watched.
- Use the longest lens I can to keep a working distance between the model and myself.
- Provide a robe for the model to wear when not in front of the camera, or when I need to be hovering over the model to adjust lights.
- Provide suitable (non-alcoholic) drinks and regular breaks. I put the images in on the PC between sets, and we check them out together. I always offer the robe for this.
- Talk to them. Preferably have a laugh.
- Take care with the choice of jokes, and terminology for body parts. I have a few models tell me some things that photographers say, for example one tog said "nice pussy" and the model was not best pleased. And that was not the worst thing they have told me.
- Do not assume that a hug or a peck on the cheek is an acceptable way of greeting a model. It is not how I would greet a female in my working environment, and the fact that a model will be naked in front of me should not make the relationship more 'familiar'.
- Do not touch the model or of offer to help adjust clothing, hair etc unless asked for explicitly.
In general if the model feels safe, then they can enjoy the shoot.
I may not be a good photographer, but my references from the models do make me proud. (I only show these as they show what is important to models).
I believe today might have been my 10th shoot with Bas! I absolutely love our shoots we work so well together and have such a lovely relaxed shoot every time! I really appreciate how after every set Bas shows me the images downloaded onto his laptop so we can review them and re do any which could have been made better. I also thank him massively for the cup of tea breaks and chats we always have.. he really is great company and such a good laugh Bas is 100% professional and respectful, his focus is always my face and no matter what I wear we always end up with stunning portraits.
Had my second shoot with Bas, this time at my house. He arrived on time and with his usual happy self and the equipment he thought he might need and lots of clothes, lingerie and different props we could use.
It never seems like long enough whilst shooting with Bas, at the end of each shoot we always have more ideas and the creativity just flows so easily.
I hope Bas is a photographer I work with regularly, as it doesn't feel like a job at all whilst I'm in his company, surely it should be illegal to laugh so much whilst working!
Had a lovely shoot with bas today at his lovely home.
He was ready to start and had a wonderful selection of beautiful outfits to choose from.
Bas is very professional and a great laugh to work with
Highly recommended by me and can’t wait to shoot together again soon
Had a lovely second shoot with Bas today in Bristol. He is a real gentleman and has a real passion for photography, He is a perfectionist - and that is awesome.
I felt 100% comfortable around him, he's very open minded. And also a very bubbly and easy going- Which brings me to the fact I cannot wait for our next shoot already! ... Totally recommend Bas to all models, thanks so much for a wonderful shoot