A Gift

I enjoy teaching models how to hold props.  It helps them to understand that modeling is not all about them.  Clients will want them perhaps to sell their products not just sell the clothes on their backs.  The model needs to understand what I see from my camera position. What will a potential customer get for their money if purchasing only from an image, hands can certainly be a clue.

It’s very difficult for the model to understand what all their fingers are doing.  To show a client a model has experience I try to have them hold something.  A word I’ve used in the past is for the models to have “dead” hands.   With the word “dead” though, sometimes the wrist just goes too limp. I’ve now moved on from that phrase and prefer the word soft or pretty.

I watch that the fingers aren’t pressed too flat or tightly together, splayed too much or too tense, or that the index finger isn’t all by itself.  I am hyper vigilant about the hands.  If the hands aren’t right the image isn’t right. New models have absolutely no idea what their fingers are doing.  They are solely concentrating on their face.

I do not let a new model use their hands by their face at all, I call it a hands free zone.  For comp card shoots I like the model to look like they are coming off of or going into a movement.  Thus I don’t allow any “parking” of the hands on the hips.  Once a model parks on her hips it seems to lead to no where…just sayin

  • The background is a piece of defective laminate glued onto a piece of 4×8 Styrofoam I picked up from my landlord who manufacturers doors.   It had a small defect in it and the laminate company gave him credit for it but doesn’t want to pick it back up.  I put skinny black tape on the panel to break it up to look like inlaid paneling
2 comments category: Comp cards,Modeling Agencies,Photographing models,Props

1 Seraphic Imago May 19, 2010 at 6:48 am


thanks for passing on these tidbits of working with models …
you do talk about [this] (hands) in the working with models DVD … at some point I intend on picking up your other video.


2 antonio toscano May 19, 2010 at 2:44 am

wooow, we’ve made great advice, I remember many a problem you had with a model who refused to come to your plate, to take the pictures, she wanted photos of the beach, you come here you’d say I’m the director, and she insisted The problem as mentioned is the lack of understanding that the photographer is the artist that highlight their strengths and the product or brand that hired him, I talk with them and commented that what the product should look, they being the middle to take his client to consume this product.

thanks for the advice of the hands, is great and I promise apply this concept next time to work. greetings from mexico. excuse my bad English


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