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As I talked about in my post “An Attempt To Challenge Myself” I recently did some work with a few new models. People who had no prior experience with modeling in a professional setting, to challenge myself to work with new people. This shoot with Sophie is one of those shoots. She had done only photos that a friend of hers took but nothing serious really. So I set up a make up artist and booked a shoot, not really knowing what to expect.

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I planned to do a studio look and a location look. I always plan at least 2 looks with new models. I also always plan to shoot quite a bit, because it may take a hundred or so shots before the model becomes comfortable and get used to how I work as a photographer.

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With Sophie it did not take long at all. She was able top push herself while taking direction very well. As she got more comfortable she also moved extremely well on her own. When I work, I give quite a bit of direction. I’m always trying to be aware of all aspects of a pose, however it is very important to know when I’m giving too much direction. Too much direction can make poses very awkward and robotic. On these type of shoots I need to be aware of everything that is going on: poses, hair, clothing, lighting, composition, exposure, etc etc. It can be a lot to think about sometimes, but each of those parts of the image make all the difference in the grand scheme of the final product. Sure if I was working with big teams I wouldn’t have to think about all that as much, but I think this is good prep for me to be aware of it all.

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I have a few projects in the works, and the test shoots have been great for finding new models. It has also pushed me to seek out new people, and work with people I had never even met in person before. As I said in the before mentioned post, working with people who I’ve never worked with poses a different type of challenge than working with a friend or someone who I’ve worked with in the past.

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While some models are more comfortable in the studio or on location, Sophie seemed to be very comfortable in both. If she was nervous at all, I didn’t notice. I also had a friend of mine who was there to assist a little bit and when I asked her if she was ok with him taking a few shots, she was all for it.

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Working with people who are as energetic and passionate about the shoot as I am is extremely rewarding. Not every person I’ve photographed have been able to bring that energy and passion that shows through oh so much in the final images. If the model isn’t as into it as I am, this can sometimes be detrimental to the final product. It is my job to get them excited for the shoot, and want to push themselves. Sometimes however it just doesn’t work out that way. That was not the case for this shoot, as I feel the images show.

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All the new models I’ve worked with have come away from this experience in a very positive way, and when I mention doing another shoot sometime they have all been very excited about it. I’m always looking to push myself but in a variety of ways. Whether it be in my editing, the way I work, the people I work with, my lighting techniques, each push has moved me in a positive direction.

Photography is a constant learning process, if you aren’t learning new things, then there is a problem. If you need a change, push yourself to do something different. Work with new people, approach someone you don’t know. This whole experience has been extremely rewarding for me, and hopefully for the models as well.

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