Hiring model for fashion catalogue photoshoot

BlckcatBlckcat Posts: 12Member
edited April 2014 in General Discussions
Hi, I need help from some good experienced model photographers. How does your process of hiring model go? Do you interview them before actual photo-shoot? Where do you meet for the interview? Do you make them come to your place? I'm not hiring for full time, but part time. I may use same model once a month or may be just once. So in this case, how would you do the process? This is my second time hiring a model, but first one was someone who I knew. I was not able to find details like this on Google, so I'm asking this here. Thank you as always :)
Post edited by Blckcat on

Comments

  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @ Blckcat - Yes, before.

    It depends on who is doing the hiring and how many you are hiring and what the details are.

    When I was a freelancer for advertising (and we were chiseling the images on stone tablets), we would either do interviews at the ad agency or hire a conference room at a hotel or business center - usually less than $100 a day (a lot less - $40-60).

    Ten - fifteen minutes each and took their composites. I usually had the Account Executive and Art Director and Copy Writer as well as a Client representative there, too. You don't want someone to 'nix' choices after the fact.

    If you don't have much experience, and they don't have much experience, relax and have fun, but know what you need to accomplish and work your details out long before you start. Preparation is going to be key for a successful shoot.

    Congratulations on the catalog! Those were the big bucks jobs for me in the day!

    My best,

    Mike
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    I've been a copywriter for 23 years. The next time I get input on a model will be the first time :)
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    http://www.modelmayhem.com/ might be a good resource for you.
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @ proudgeek I capitalized it to show respect. :-)

    (You never know where the next job comes from.)

    (And put a period at the end of that sentence... What is this? Licence? Oops Killed that referral...)

    My best,

    Mike
  • BlckcatBlckcat Posts: 12Member
    Thank you so much all of you guys :)
    I am actually using Model Mayhem right now and got info from around 100 models already....great site indeed.

    I'm photoshooting for my company, which is a small clothing manufacturing company. Because we're not doing too well these days, we're trying to keep the cost as low as possible.
    So I'm thinking of meeting a model one-on-one in a Starbucks shop just to see her real-life look and get to know each other (we're going to use just one model, and this is just for catalogue shoot). Do you think this would be weird? I'm thinking it won't take more than 10 minutes.
    Thanks :)
  • safyresafyre Posts: 113Member
    edited April 2014
    Being that this is for your company and that you're paying (?) for the model; you should definitely meet the model in person. While ModelMayhem is a nice networking site, it isn't the de facto standard when it comes to professional models. Meeting them in person gives you a better idea of what the model looks like currently and if she would be a good fit for the catalog. Secondly, meeting in person really helps weed out flaky 'models' who might not show up on the day of the shoot. When you meet, be prepared to show a mood board of inspiration images so you are both on the same page. The overall process isn't complicated as long as you find someone that's professional and can fit the bill.
    Post edited by safyre on
  • BlckcatBlckcat Posts: 12Member
    @safyre Yes I'm paying them for the assignment. Thank you for pointing out good reasons. This is really a first time being on my own doing photoshoot with model, so I'm kinda getting nervous if i'd do something stupid. you guys are a great help thanks! :)
  • Benji2505Benji2505 Posts: 517Member
    it might be obvious, but hire somebody that has done fashion shoots before. This way you don't have to worry about your part plus the talent's part (posing, gesture, etc.)
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    My experience in models, albeit from a long time ago, was to sit and discuss with the model what she/he likes in terms of the working relationship, direction cues, and most of all establishing a positive flow of information. IMO if the model understands the process is a joint interaction and not a one way "do it my way" process, one obtains much better results.

    One can actually find some who have almost no experience but within a 15-30 minute discussion can perform wonderfully well. I have used hundreds of "amateur" models for big budget shots in the past.
    Msmoto, mod
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    Hi,
    I have been admiring some of the photo shoots that Benjamin Kanarek has shared over the past couple of months.

    This, one of his latest shoots, with beautiful Mischa Barton
    http://www.benjaminkanarekblog.com/nsrf

    Very impressed with his work, particularly while using the Nikkor AF-S 24–120mm lens, with extremely awesome results.
    Perhaps contacting him, he would possibly like to share some experience and ideas for you to consider...

    Chas
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • BlckcatBlckcat Posts: 12Member
    @Benji2505 @Msmoto @ChaCS
    Thank you so much for your great inputs. I'll take good note of your advices :)

    And, wow. Benjamin Kanarek's works are amazing. That really proves gear does not guarantee good photo.. Thanks for sharing!
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    Hi Blckcat,

    I did a few catalog shoots last season including with models from Model Mayhem.

    Random thoughts I have:

    - How a model looks in "real life" sometimes has little to do with how he/she looks in pictures. So really examine the model's recent portfolio very carefully.

    - As @MikeGunter says, involve all the stakeholders in selecting the model (and be clear who gets to make the final decision).

    - Personality matters. Models are like photographers. Some are very professional while others are flakes and might not even show up the day of the shoot. Do you have a backup plan if this happens? This is one key difference of getting models from MM vs. booking a model through a reputable agency, and where an in-person meeting could make a difference, as @safyre mentioned.

    - Communication is everything. If a model isn't responsive before the shoot, he/she will probably not be responsive during the shoot.

    - Have a "mood board"; it can be just a collection of pictures from the 'net, colors, etc., to help you communicate with the model on the look and feel you're trying to achieve.

    - Ask the model if he/she needs help with transportation to/from the studio, etc.

    - In many/most cases I actually book and confirm models without first meeting them in person, and they just show up the day of the shoot. The biggest caveat against this is knowing how the model will fit in the clothes. If you have a selection of sizes then it's less of a problem. If fit is critical then do a fitting session beforehand.

    - If you haven't done a lot of studio shooting before, do all your setup and testing beforehand. E.g., do a full test shoot the weekend before, etc., and keep notes of what worked and what needs to be improved.

    - Have assistants if you can. They don't necessarily have to be "photo assistants". I've had shoots when I thought I'd be ok by myself and ended up really lucky that I had multiple assistants helping out that day. Studio shooting is really a collaborative effort.

    - If you don't have a makeup artist, be sure to check with the model if she can do her own hair & makeup (and/or if she needs to show up makeup ready).

    - Also let the model know if she needs to bring/wear particular type of shoes, accessories, etc., unless you will be providing everything.

    - Have music & food/snacks/catering for the shoot and ask everyone involved if they have food allergies or other dietary restrictions.

    - Backup your files. Jeremy Cowart once lost an entire photo session when his assistant mistakenly reformatted a memory card for a subsequent session. Oops.

    - If there's budget, really consider getting the pictures professionally retouched. When I do catalog shoots I work with a local (Toronto) professional retoucher who gives me a bulk rate. (Still not cheap, but worth it).

    - Don't forget to get a model release. I use an model release app on my iPhone.

    - As this is a commercial shoot, be sure you're covered insurance-wise. Your company's general liability insurance may already be sufficient -- double check. If you're renting studio space you may need to provide the studio with a certificate of insurance.
  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 219Member
    Ade, and others good advice.

    One suggestion is to check the photography section of meetup.com in your area, and also check with the studios to see which groups they have had positive experience with in your area. The caliber of photography groups vary substantially, as well as the caliber of the models.

    Groups that have good photographers will generally have more professional models, and know from experience that taking good images is a team effort, and requires a superior effort. You can look at the various groups' images, which they usually post, and check quickly to identify the best groups.

    In modes' portfolio shots, are the the models: arching their backs, extending their toes to show a good calf line, sitting on the front of their chair or sofa, if lying down do they get to the front edge to accentuate their curves, kee their arms for enough away from their bodies to avoid what I call the fat arm look, do their eyes sparkle and is their energy level high (good models work hard physically in their poses, If they do not go home dead tired at the end of a long day of shooting they are not giving it a 100 percent). The more missing, the more work on your part as the teacher / coach.

    Speaking of portfolio shots bring your own. A good portfolio inspires models' confidence level and trust in you.

    Many models who make splendid images, like Ade mentioned above, are as thin rails, may have what you think are are not super facial features in person, and still look totally elegant in just about anything they put on their backs with smashing good looks after they put their modeling makeup on, but be aware that some of them may not have done their own makeup, so ask.

    Look at the models most recent portfolio images and you will see the things mentioned above. Depending on your budget having a skilled make-up / hair person on set is a huge help as well as one, or two assistants as Ade suggested above. I have found that hair stylists, and make-up people are also of great benefit as an extra pair of eyes looking for details that can ruin an otherwise great image, a necklace that is hanging incorrectly, hair covering a key feature of the dress, missing etc.

    Taking good pictures is as much about developing a good working relationship, as being able to take good images, so take the time for small talk. If you can find an ex-model assistant they can help with the poses. Catalogs want a consistent background image to image, so total control of the lighting is essential. Take the ambient studio light completely out of play. Good luck, and have fun with with your shoot
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    @Benji2505 @Msmoto @ChaCS
    Thank you so much for your great inputs. I'll take good note of your advices :)

    And, wow. Benjamin Kanarek's works are amazing. That really proves gear does not guarantee good photo..
    Thanks for sharing!
    Actually, I think it's the reverse of what you said. This proves that having a quality lens and great camera can produce awesome photographs.
    Even better if you know your craft, & a little of what you're trying to accomplish with either of them, great Nikon tools!!

    Chas
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • SquamishPhotoSquamishPhoto Posts: 608Member
    What they all said. Also, again because its surprising how important it is, MAKE UP! You can do a lot in post, but make up does most of it for you and saves you a ton of trouble. That is if its good make up...hire a pro! :)
    Mike
    D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited April 2014
    @SquamishPhoto

    Absolutely!

    In a pro shoot, often the modeling director is also an expert on camera makeup. If one has never seen some of the examples

    http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/11/30-shocking-photos-of-hot-celebrities-without-makeup-or-photoshop/
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
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