I am exhausted. I just got in from a photo shoot (well 3, honestly) and to say the least it is a very long day. Only those in the industry can truly understand and appreciate the grueling day that we go through. Those outside of the industry think we just breeze in at the last minute, press the shutter release a couple of times drink a macchiato and all is done. (If it were only that easy).
I shoot a lot of beautiful men and women. And that is really nothing to brag about. It’s like an Olympic swimmer saying I can do the breast stroke. We ALL can. But what happens with us at times is, when we constantly shoot models, it becomes a blur of beauty passing before our eyes and eventually nothing stands out, which is the reason for this blog.
When I got home to dump the images onto my computer tonight, I started going through the photos, and let me tell you, all three of these models were absolutely beautiful in their own right. Striking features, perfect bone structure, stunning looks. And each and every one of them were boring as hell.
When you first start in this industry, when you take a vow to become a “fashion” photographer or “beauty” photographer, you set forth into wanting to shoot beautiful people. Then you advance to beautiful models. As I went on this journey of beauty discovery I found that the prettier the model, the more boring they’ve became. At first I thought it was my imagination, but when I asked other photographers, they lamented over the same issues and I proceeded to go and find out why.
When you have “superior” DNA, I find that you don’t have to do much work. You show up, you show your good looks and then you leave. That’s it. But trust me, it is soooooooooooooo much more than that. When you are in a field of beautiful people, how do you as a model separate yourself from the herd? How did Naomi Campbell become Naomi, Kate Moss become Kate Moss, Gisele and so on and so on. They have been some of the most iconic women in the industry and though their looks got them in the door, it was their modeling ability that: (a) kept them in the game, and (b) kept them on top. This is what separated them from the herd. Then out of nowhere we have Coco Rocha arriving on the scene and not only did she have the DNA, she had a superior command of the camera on TOP of which she moves like a superhero in front of the lens. I would watch her photo shoots and she how she hops, jumps, moves, spin, twirl and fall at the drop of a hat and each and every single time she gave model face, model pose and most importantly, she knew where her light was at all times. Models, this is how you separate yourself from the rest of the pack. This is how you make yourself a memorable experience in the industry.
I find that when I shoot someone who isn’t as “beautiful” as one of the models I’ve mentioned, or not “industry” height, they tend to give me more in front of the lens, because that is their time to shine. That is their time to prove themselves. You only have 1 time to make an good impression, so put pretty on the back burner and give us more.
It’s more than being pretty that makes a good model. It is also being dynamic and unforgettable. Pretty is boring but fierce is forever.
Fight against your pretty and be dynamic.