I’ll Have The Professional Model, Thank You

I’ll Have The Professional Model, Thank You

I have taken many pictures over the last two decades of people dressed up in costumes – or undressed up in skin – and I have concluded that the very best of the models are either the professionals or the professional amateurs.

The reason why I say this is that these two groups are performing for critical audiences – in the former case for paying clients, and in the latter case for their own inner acclaim. I cannot say which is the tougher crowd…

Professional dancers know where their legs and arms are – and also know where their hands, feet, and fingers go. Some of them even know where their bum is – a handy trait in cold weather. They know to play to the audience and to engage them with eye contact and a smile. They have a sense of timing. They can repeat a movement and refine it.

Professional costumers know what the drape of a fabric should be – what the cut might do. What pose best sets off a certain style. What the colours should be. You can rely upon their historical knowledge. They can save you from a myriad of visual gaucheries.

Professional fighters are tense people but they know the poses. Just let them assume the correct stance and it all starts to look right. Don’t ask them to wind up and lash out as  they sometimes hit the expensive scenery or lights.

In fact, the only professionals that you have to be on the lookout for are stage mothers and other photographers. They can take over and start to dictate the exposures and the poses. Then you might as well set the camera on a tripod, and go get a liverwurst sandwich and a bottle of beer.

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