The type of photography that I model for, is the same photography that I shoot myself. And that is the fine art, storytelling & conceptual photography.
In the last year I've modeled more and more for other photographers. And i've notice some advantages in modeling when being a photographer. And I would love to share these with you!
If you're looking through the viewfinder of your camera, you are deciding the composition of your image this way. As a model, it is good to know what composition the photographer has in mind. What is his position, what's all in the frame?
You can take that into consideration when you're posing. Is it a close-up shot or half total shot? It doesn't really make sense to focus on the posture of my toes. Is it a full body shot? I'll make sure that everything suits the story that the photographer wants to convey and will pose head-to-toe.
Light is the most important thing in photography. No light, means no image.
It is essential to understand light. If you know how lighting works, you can achieve the best result. It saves a lot of time and effort if the model that you photograph understands this principle as well.
Are you working in an indoor space? Make sure that you catch the light with your face. You can feel what the light does.
In conceptual photography the story may even be more important than the light is. What is the image about?
Often the photographer wants to get something across with his image. Does he want to send a message, convey a feeling or tell a story. It is important to know what the image is about, so you can get into character. What situation are you in? What are the feelings of the character, how can you get these across?
To fully understand what the photographer is looking for, good communication is key. It is incredibly nice to work together whenever you are open to one another and you know what is expected from you. Do you have things that you do not feel comfortable doing as a model? You should let your photographer know in advance.
Try to come to set prepared, so you can achieve the best results together. Ask what the story is the photographer wants to convey. You can help the photographer in the thinking process of the concept, but you can also start thinking of poses that could be an addition to what the photographer has in mind.
A photoshoot is a collaboration between the photographer and the model.
Posing for a conceptual shoot can not be compared to posing for a classical portrait shoot. Where a photographer is looking to photograph the model in a pretty and recognizable way for a portraitshoot, it may be possible that you won't even be reconizable in a conceptual shoot. The goal for a conceptual shoot is not to paint a pretty picture of a model, it is to convey a story and so it is much more about body language, movement and the translation of emotion into a pose.
Conceptual photography is often about substantive subjects that require a totally different way of posing.
For example, I've cuddled a huge Iceberg, I've laid down inbetween ice rocks on a black sand beach with my back towards the camera, but I've also posed for a Brooke Shaden portrait where my face isn't visible, only my limbs. And I could go on forever!
Just to give you an idea of the variety of shoots that can happen when it's not about the pretty face, but the story that needs to be told.