Model Shoot without Mayhem

     Most photojournalists spend their days chasing news stories or assignments that take them far from the office. Protecting gear from the elements is always a concern. Travel logistics are always in mind. That’s why working inside a studio for the day can be so intriguing, which is what I did yesterday at a model shoot. No rain. No snow. No sunshine. No sky. Just tripods and strobes, light meters and Pocket Wizard transceivers, backdrops and props.

     Six models, including Nicole Luongo and Ashleigh Miller (left) rotated through three modeling stations so that the photographers on hand could get a better sampling. All the models came with changes of outfits, which made it more interesting. Some of the models were more experienced and seemed to know instinctively what do with with their hands, how to tilt their head, position their feet. Others were clearly amateurs willing to give it a try. It was fun.
     Shooting models isn’t as simple as you might imagine. Getting the light positioning and intensity just right takes time and many attempts. So does finding the perfect pose and, of course, capturing that certain look that sets one photo apart from all the others. What’s most amazing is how the models you expect to be the most photogenic often don’t come across when you view the image later on your monitor, and vice versa. It makes me think of actress Julia Roberts, who feature for feature isn’t what most Americans would call beautiful. She has bug eyes and fat lips that run across her face like nightcrawlers. Her teeth are larger than average and her expressions tend toward awkward. In fact, her entire body is awkward. Yet there’s no denying when she is photographed, the result is startling. The camera loves her. She’s beautiful.