A post I've been meaning to write for some time now has been about how photography improved a lot about someone's perspective on life, outside of the now more than common selfie pics we over bloat our lives with in this day and age.
When the proper time is given to know a bit about a model, like's and traits, the photographer can begin to shape an image that gives credit to how they perceive the inner workings of how a person may think or feel at any time. Sometime the trick is to complement those outward thoughts of a model, however sometimes its quite amazing what can occur by given them new perspectives from other approaches to what images the models are involved in creating. This can be perhaps changing fashion styles, altering the viewing angle or distance, hiding troublesome unique parts of their body to highlight other and more appealing features. Many methods have been used through the ages to present an image more appealing than the inner self often has come to see.
Part of what has developed in my understanding of late is how, from a academic view, of how to explain how this affects ones self view positively. Let's take Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
The lowest two levels, are of material things and foundations for each of us. The upper three are fluctuating on a somewhat minute by minute basis. All of which supports the tier above it.
When listening to a radio podcast, the TED Radio hour from NPR, one of the show's topics was based on this hierarchy. When going through the tier's of Love and Esteem, i started to recall and relate what some of my models have commented on through their modelling journey. Let's explain each tier:
Love/Belonging: A big part of photography is for the photographer to make the model feel comfortable, like a psychologist would ease their clients, but in less formal and more social way. Whilst it can be very rewarding and a lot easier to do with models you've made prior friendships with, its still quite possible to develop that space with total strangers you met on the day. The method I start with is have a conversation, be upfront, clear and honest about what's expected; where the photos are going to be used as well as my intent where my own artwork direction is concerned. By having a base for the new models to reflect on my style and allowing the models to have as much input as I do as the director.
et the photo session evolve naturally and not sit reworking the same pose over and over until it's done to death. It can bore the models and unless you very clear on what look it can waste time instead of something more natural to the model. Letting them be themselves helps get the very best shoots as well as confidence in the photographer / model relationship.
Esteem: For a photographer, I find this comes from validation from the models in the moment, when you know chemistry and creativity are working well. In post production from the critique from model, public and fellow photographers alike, helping hone your skills even further.
From models I've been working with over a few shoots now, I've got a lot of positive feed back. From the validation of feeling wanted, right through to the increased attention from other people, the photography sessions have improved the models lives and in turn their own image of themselves.
I hope that the last and intended part of the graphic book I hope to finalise by the end of this year will impart this love and sense of belonging onto other people who haven't felt as attractive and wanted as it has the models and myself.