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How would this sound: Hi Subject, so nice to finally meet you. You are a very beautiful subject and I know we can make some great photographs. Of course, you would never talk that way.
You are photographing women, all with their own unique attributes that make's them who they are, size 4 to size 20. Black, white, green or blue, they all bring their own wonderful insight and personality to the making of your photographs.
So, regardless of your creative vision, your objective in photographing them is to make them feel beautiful.
I promise you, if the women you are photographing feel beautiful, your photographs will reflect that. Does not matter if they have spent their entire life modeling or are in front of the camera for the first time, compliment them and
You know your personality, own it, doesn't matter if you are shy or not. Bottom line, be sincere, share your thoughts and be excited about the photographs you are making. Enthusiasm is contagious and everyone likes to hear they are
appreciated and attractive.
Director's Tip One:
Don't hide your enthusiasm in sharing positive thoughts as you shoot. Be verbally excited when emotions are high and perfect poses are happening. A simple "Yeh!, Yeh!, Yeh!" goes a long way. If you are into the emotion of the moment, so will
those you photograph. Positive energy is contagious, spread it.
Director's Tip Two:
Music goes a long way. Find music that inspires you and the women you photograph. Carefully select it and monitor how it affects not only you, but also those around you. It is a powerful tool in creating mood and influencing the emotions of those in front of your camera.
Find comfortable shooting rhythms, clicking the shutter at fairly regular intervals. I suggest starting at about one frame every two to three seconds.
Be open in your conversation and casual in your direction. Pay careful attention to words and body language. Your goal is to be aware of how the women you photograph feel as they are posing. Think of the photo shoot as collaboration and continually communicate your appreciation for the effort and beauty of the woman you work with.
Encourage them to be relaxed in their breathing, and to be aware of how they are feeling as they are moving. If they are having difficulty in grasping the idea of movement, suggest to them that the simplest of shoulder rolls, neck tilts and the opening and closing of eyes can greatly change the mood of the shot, even if it feels redundant to them.
Caption:Tina shows how using a slow pace in changing her pose softens her emotions. Slightly using hands and arms to frame the face can add depth to your photographs. And for Tina, having her hands to lean on helped her to emotionally get into the shoot - made her feel very comfortable, less aware of the camera and into the mood of what she was feeling.
Foster the idea that every subtle change is beautiful and unique. Before you know it, your models will be way into the shoot, especially if you have gained their trust.
It's OK to literally ask, "how is the shoot feeling?" Shows you care, and in most cases you'll see the women in front of your camera open up in truly enjoying the photo shoot.
The slightest adjustment of pose and eye-line can dramatically change the mood of the photos you are creating. Whether it be an eye-line adjustment, head turn or mouth move, the simplest one-inch shift in body position can communicate a
completely different emotion.
Caption: Here Julie is an emotional chameleon. Shooting with fast moves, she was able to project a range of eye-lines, body positions and expressions within just a few frames. Look at the subtle differences in her shoulders, eyes and
Plant this into your mind, "you are a director and you set to tone of your shoots".
Perhaps you are going for a bold expression, using fast head moves. Or maybe something a little romantic through the use of slow rhythmic movement. These are just a few examples of how rhythm, movement and subtle change can be applied to
directing for emotion.
With practice, rhythm, movement and subtle change can become potent tools for creating soulful beauty photographs and portraits.
Parting thought: Never forget, spontaneity is always key, don't hold back on pushing the shutter when golden moments happen. So what if the hair is falling funny. Better to capture a real moment than to over pose. You can always clean up stray hairs in post.
Now go shoot!
Richard PPSOP Instructor