Directing Photography: People (NSFW)

Directing photography: People/Conceptual

As I wrote in the previous post, on Directing Portraits, here’s the 2nd part: Directing People on Conceptual photography. Here we don’t want to bring the personality of the model: instead, we want them to act, to represent the concept we’ve created. So yes, models should be able to act and to represent… but we, photographers are the ones who know better than anyone the concept, attitude, and expression they need to have for our creations.

First, make sure that the model feels respected and comfortable. Working so much with nudes, I use to let them alone while they get undressed: getting undressed is much more intimate and personal than being already naked. Bare this in mind. It’s a moment for them only, not to be shared with you or anyone else. You know when they’ll be ready and comfortable to be shot.

If you’re working with conceptual photography using nudes, let them sit down naked, and talk to them: this gives them time to relax being naked, and also, their underwear and socks’ marks on the skin will disappear.

As I told, only you know the concept, the expression they need to have for us to create our work: so make sure you tell them the concept, tell them a story, illustrate, express your own. Listen to them, have a conversation with them about the whole idea. This is teamwork: and the models, no matter if more or less experienced, are expecting your own guidance on this. Give them time to clear their mind and go into the concept. Be available always for any doubt, be respectful and show them that you’re relaxed or they will get nervous too. It’s your story, your concept, and your knowledge: don’t expect the model to be a telepathic genius. They’re just as human as you. And never forget: it’s teamwork. In a shooting, everybody has their own relevance, no one is more important than others.

If you want them to express sadness… make them feel sad, even if you have to tell them a sad story. Make them not look like fake posing: make them act the best way showing how they feel it. Don’t blame the model for a bad result: most of the times the final work that didn’t come out good it’s because the photographer didn’t know how to guide de model. Don’t be shy. They are models and it’s their work. Be direct and honest with your purposes. Don’t mislead them, or at the end it will be you who will have a bad work done and no one to blame but you.

Next Directing Photography post will be about Fashion and Street Photography. The first one was Portrait.

QB2 for A Body of Dance, by ©GonzaloBénard

QB2 for A Body of Dance, by ©GonzaloBénard

CAT Triptych #3, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

CAT Triptych #3, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

LBLB #1 for "Moi, Le Beau et la Bête" by ©Gonzalo Bénard

LBLB #1 for “Moi, Le Beau et la Bête” by ©Gonzalo Bénard

©GBénard

©GBénard

Directing Photography” is a collection of 4 notes:

1 – Directing a Portrait;

2 – Directing People/Conceptual;

3 – Directing Fashion;

4 – Directing Street Photography.

Les Frigos, by ©GBénard

Les Frigos, by ©GBénard

by ©G.Bénard

by ©G.Bénard

by ©G.Bénard

by ©G.Bénard

by ©G.Bénard

by ©G.Bénard

by ©G.Bénard

by ©G.Bénard

Related essays you should read:

The Conspiracy of the Brain;
The Conspiracy of the Triangle (NSFW)
;

Nude – a Body of Dance (NSFW)

What Makes a Good Photograph? (part I);
What Makes a Good Photograph? (part II);

by ©G.Bénard

by ©G.Bénard

KD1 for A Body of Dance, by ©GonzaloBénard

KD1 for A Body of Dance, by ©GonzaloBénard

by ©G.Bénard

by ©G.Bénard

Note: 2HeadS‘ aim is to give tips and help other photographers, emerging, amateurs, even professionals who want to change, for example from landscape to human related. This means that your own tips and comments will always be helpful. Each one has each own way to work, and here we are to share, learn and help each other. It’s always great to hear other ways, thoughts or opinions.

text and photographs by ©Gonzalo Bénard for 2HeadS
december, 2013
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