Fashion Photographers Guide to Working With Fashion Models

December 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Photographer Guide

Working with new models is a fun and interesting part of being a fashion photographer. However it is important that the fashion photographer provides a clean and safe environment for the model he is shooting.

Daily I hear horror stories of the mistreatment of models and photographers abusing their power. It is important that the model trusts the photographer he or she is working with and there is an open line of communication. Behave professionally and you will be perceived as a professional in this industry. Behave poorly and you will be labelled as an amateur and potential clients and modeling agencies will not work with you.

When a model steps into your studio she is put into a position of emotional vulnerability. She may be asked to wear an item of clothing that she may be revealing or the model may be asked to give an emotional response to the fashion photographer that she is not feeling. Please make her comfortable. It is your job.

I have heard of fashion photographers yelling at models, telling them that they don’t know how to move properly or refusing to give the fashion model direction. I understand. No matter how big your reputation is treating a model poorly will not serve you. It is extremely unlikely that you are going to make models respect you by yelling at them or making them feel inferior to you.

Be nice. People will find out that you are nice and fun to work with and they will hire you for jobs. People want to work with people they like.

Here are some other photography tips to enhance your experience when working with a fashion model:

1. Give the model clear directions to your studio. Make sure they are precise as you don’t want him or her getting lost.

2. If there is nudity or revealing clothes be sure to discuss the direction of the story and the shoot with the model during the go see or before she arrives. Models do not like surprises.

3. Be sure there is a hair and makeup artist available on set for the model unless the model knows that she is required to do their own for this particular shoot. Most models prefer a hair/makeup artist on set.

4. Provide music at the studio or location. Be sure to have a variety of songs.

5. Give the model breaks durning the shooting process and provide food and drink if it is an all day shoot.

6. Give the model her pictures in a timely fashion. This cannot be overstated. Editing is a process and takes time. The number one complaint by models in general is that he or she worked with a photographer and never got their pics. Their time is just as valuable as yours so follow through.

7. Have fun! Fashion photography is an amazing craft and can be extremely rewarding and creative. Have fun with the process!

This article was written by Los Angeles Fashion photographer Robert Voltaire. Please view my website at:

You may also view my blog on how to become a fashion photographer and how to become a successful fashion model at:


Robert Voltaire is a Los Angeles based fashion photographer. His work has appeared in magazines worldwide including GQ, Esquire, Max, Cosmopolitan and Playboy.

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