Photographing New Models

Julia Potapova © Benjamin Kanarek
Photographing New Models

I often find it more refreshing to shoot with new models than those with a lot of experience. They are often more open to suggestions and can often give you non-poses that are so totally off the wall and cool, even if that was not their intent.  New models heavily rely on your input or lack of it. When I say lack of it I mean, telling them to do what ever they feel is appropriate and attempting to capture them in the non-pose before they are about to attempt to strike a pose.

This non-technique is something I love to employ when things are going a bit stale. I will look away from the model for a second or down at my camera so that the model thinks I am not ready to shoot. It is at that moment that I often get my best shots. They are honest and in my opinion capture the true essence of the moment.

One technique I employ on occasion is I have the model concentrate on a point of their body by saying, “pinch your forefinger and thumb together and put it behind your back or apply weight to your big toe of your right foot without making it too obvious. That exercise often renders some very captivation facial expressions.

My philosophy of late has been “Less is More” and thus, I generally give the models Carte Blanche to Fly. Of course if they are totally ridged, that is where I attempt to guide them, not by strict posses, but buy attempting to invoke an emotion in them that can hopefully be realized.

Always give a briefing before the shoot and let things go where they may, as long as they fulfill the objective of your project.

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About Benjamin Kanarek
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Fashion and Beauty Photographer. Some of the magazines I have shot for include: VOGUE (China, Portugal, Brazil, Italia, Paris and South America & Mexico editions), RG VOGUE Brazil, Harper’s BAZAAR (China, en Español & Latin America, Hong Kong, Italy editions), L’Officiel Paris, ELLE (Spain, Portugal and Greece editions), Madame Figaro (France), Cosmopolitan (France and Italy editions), Glamour (France), Votre Beauté, Jardin des Modes, Dépêche Mode, New York Daily News, Fashion District News, New York Times Magazine, W (British edition), WWD, Fashion Magazine (Canada), Flare (Canada), Oyster, Tank, WestEast…

  • Jon Van Gilder

    love the Shooting with New Models blog – very helpful. I have a new model shoot lined up for this Sunday afternoon with a beautiful girl who is a wonderful dancer, but has no experience as a model. Your blog was very timely for me – thx Benji!

    Cheers,
    Jon (not JVG)