Pretty girls make terrible models.
Ok, let me elaborate. As a model, you have to have a look, and that look can be pretty, beautiful, cute, unusual, or anything sought after. You can fall into a niche market, have commercial appeal, or shock value.
I’ve worked with many beautiful girls, who have nothing to the camera other than their looks.
Great models need to be able to express emotion on demand, with very little cues from the photographer/director. They need to know their angles, be versatile, moldable, and unabashed.
- Pick a spot on a wall and look at it.
- Now imagine that spot starts moving.
- You look closer and see that it’s an insect.
- You’re curious.
- It does a little dance.
- And gives you the finger.
Imagine going through steps #1–#6, the micro expressions you would make when doing so, and the subtle adjustments your eyes and mouth would make with each new discovery. Your eyes might narrow a bit, the corners of your mouth might come up, your lips might part slightly. Your chin might go from slightly down, to slightly up.
Many new and aspiring models stop at #1.
They stare at the camera. It’s a blank stare with nothing behind their eyes. Their body language reads flat. And nothing I say or do gets them past that stage. The shots are beautiful, they look beautiful, but there’s no emotion and nothing is conveyed.
A great model will understand and execute with very little or no direction. He or she will be able to connect instantly with the camera and other models on set. It doesn’t have to be a genuine connection, but it has to feel like one.
I’ve worked with many amazing models whom some might call average or homely off-camera. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised and inspired by many of them. They were able to transform, connect and emote. They knew their angles in relation to the camera and main light. You felt something when looking at their images.
It all comes together when a model has the look you want and the ability to express what you need, with very little direction.
Doesn’t matter if the person in front of the camera is curvy, straight, larger, smaller, short or tall, pretty or average. He or she can be any age, race or color, have crooked teeth, missing limbs, and scars.
If you’re able to speak with your eyes, and with your body, you’re a good model in my book.