From Model to Photographer and Back
A Creator’s Story
Being in front of the camera and being behind it are two completely different entities – and these entities come with completely different skillsets. When I started as a freelance model I knew nothing about posing, angles, styling, facial expressions, or anything that a seasoned or trained model would know. I learned as much as I could from every photographer I worked with, and these are a few of the tips I picked up:
1. Know Your Angles
It’s important as a model to know which angles and sides work for you. That old mantra of “everyone has a good side” really can be true, and knowing yours is such a huge help! I learned from my time as a beginner model that a variety of good angles in a set is worth its price in gold.
2. Never Cut Your Eyes
This is a fun one! There’s actually a name for that moment when there are too much of the whites of your eyes showing in a shot – it’s called “cutting” your eyes. I learned to never look too far in any direction away from the camera because then you can capture those awkward moments of white instead of the colorful iris.
3. No Matter What, Never. Stop. Posing.
The lovely Coco Rocha really nails this one and I’ve watched countless IG stories of her model camp where she demonstrates this skill. You really haven’t lived until you’ve seen Coco work a folding chair. It’s crucial to never, and I mean never, stop giving the photographer a variety of poses to capture. Work with their pace and always switch it up so they can get creative with their shots.
Now, the interesting part about these tips is they translated directly when I took a step behind the camera! At first, I found it very difficult to learn the basics of photography. F-Stops, shutter speeds, and “noise” all sounded like, well, a bunch of noise to me. Luckily, I had an amazing mentor and remembered the modeling tips that my photographer friends had taught me, then started to experiment with various angles and lenses. It helps to have an amazing support team as well, and I’ve been blessed with some of the best to learn from. Here are a few interesting ways my modeling experience helped shape me as a “behind the lens” creator.
4. Angles Translate
Just as it was important for me to keep my angles in mind as a model, I have to keep them in mind behind the lens, too! Simple straight-on shots are always fun, but playing with angles can be the determining factor between a “good” shot and the “money” shot. If I know the angles that work best for my style of photography and my model, then I have a better chance of making some magic.
5. Focus, Focus, Focus!
Something that you never think about as a model is a time it takes the camera to focus on your face. Working with so many photographs and seeing the pauses in between clicks and flashes really makes sense now – every piece of equipment is different and it can take a while for the image to come into perfect focus. Simple things like this really never crossed my mind as a model!
6. Lighting is Bae
Lighting was something I picked up along the way as I shot with artists as well. Box lights, ring lights, beauty dishes, etc. – all of these terms can be overwhelming to the untrained or beginning eye. I had some amazing help and support as I attempted to learn and the fact that I’d worked with so much of this equipment as a model really shaped the style I developed as a photographer.
In addition to being a model and beginner photographer, I’m also a writer and artist. I love to express myself through all mediums of art, and I truly believe that as creators we empower ourselves when we dive into our mediums and learn every aspect of them. When we truly challenge ourselves and step outside of our comfort zones, it shows in our work! Pushing boundaries is something that every artist strives to do, and it’s how truly amazing content is created.
So, I challenge every model to be a photographer, every photographer to be a writer, and every artist to learn from one another. Because without the benefit of multiple perspectives, we’ll never be the well-rounded creators we strive to be.
Best and have fun creating!
Written by | Ashley D. @Lapin_studios
Dress | Market Culture Shop @marketcultureshop
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