As I've stated many times here, I am an artist first and photographer second. But I certainly don't work alone. Models bring me their talents in the form of poses and of course the beauty their DNA has given them. The most important part of being a successful model actually comes from a mind set more than anything else. Even more important than DNA.
A model that is confident in herself is 90% of the way to perfection. Knowing her beauty, what angles look best, knowing how to move between shots and just how much, makes her a work of art before the camera is pointed her way. That self confidence is key. This is especially true in models who shoot implied nude or artistic nude. When there is nothing to hide behind, nothing to pose against, it's just her and a blank white studio, it could be very scary. If the confidence is there, it's easily seen because there is no hesitation, just a desire to give the best performance.
Another key ingredient is trust. Total and complete trust in the photographer and support staff. Trust that we are all there for the same thing. The perfect images. Without the trust no amount of confidence can overcome the moment of mediocrety. A lack of trust can actually sand down the confidence until it's impossible to continue.
Self confidence AND trust.
Yet another mark of a perfect model is one that is always, and I mean ALWAYS, thinking about how she looks to the camera. She's always considering that angle.
When I have a model standing sideways to me and I ask them to spread their legs a bit more, a good model will step forward with one foot instead of actually spreading her legs more. She knows that it's from MY vantage point I need her legs to move apart. This tells me she is thinking about what she looks like to me...very important.
I feel every model should have the confidence in her own beauty to do whatever modeling she wants. This doesn't mean she has to model nude, but she should have enough self confidence, enough self esteem, to be able to do that if she wanted to. Even in runway modeling the same extreme self confidence needs to be there.
The trust issue is a little harder when it's a first time shooting with a photographer. That trust comes with time and more often with the first good shots. The trust will show in the finished work.
So, in a nut shell, modeling has very little to do with what dress you wear or how white your smile is. It's work, hard work, and rewarding work, when it's done to perfection.
When a model comes to a shoot with me I always hope that she's confident in herself, in the work will will accomplish, and be comfortable enough to do it all naturally and have fun with it.
I'm always asking everyone on set if they are having fun. It's not really a question as it is a reminder. We've heard all our lives that if we are doing something we love it's not work. We should all be enjoying the shoot and getting the art we expected...or better yet, better than we imagined.
So, come prepared with plenty of self confidence. And trust this photographer that if you work with me we'll get some great art out of the shoot.