I adore being behind the camera. I love to synthesize the big picture while orchestrating the little pieces of a photoshoot. I dig working with talent. And I thrive on creative vision. Producing a photoshoot is a dance of details. One of those [super important] details is hiring the right models for your job. Once you find the right model, you need them to be really great on set.
What I am about to tell you comes from the perspective of someone who works for The Brand that has hired you. The person that is running your photoshoot. For intents and purposes of this blog, let’s refer to this individual as Person In Charge- or P.I.C – since this Person In Charge at a photoshoot can wear a bunch of different titles depending on the size and organization of the company.
Here are my rules. The things you need to know to make the P.I.C’s job easier. To help with the success of the shoot and, in turn, be the most valuable plus model you can be. If you look great (however that is defined) and deliver what I’m explaining below, there’s a good chance the P.I.C will want to hire you again. Awesome.
“You are here for the P.I.C [Person in Charge]- the one running the photoshoot. The P.I.C is there for The Brand. Therefore, you are there for The Brand. Your presence exists to help the brand achieve their goals. A photoshoot is not about you. It is about the goals that The Brand has. For the most part, you are replaceable. Therefore, don’t do anything that takes away from the shoot and puts the attention on YOU as a person. The attention should always be on the end result.”
Resist the urge to spend your free moments trying to capture the perfect selfie. If you want to take one, ask the person in charge if it’s ok. Sometimes we [the person in charge, running the shoot] may say yes. Other times we’ll say no. Either way, we will appreciate you not making assumptions and respecting our decisions. Maybe you’re working on a top secret project! How bad would that be for you if the Boss of The Brand has to tell me to tell you to take a picture down from your Facebook or Instagram that shares something we don’t want to show yet? Bad. Very bad.
“If there is something The Brand needs to know about you that will affect the productivity and result of its shoot, it is your duty to let them know. One of the worst things you can do is catch them off guard with anything that will affect their productivity or end result. End result = money. Anything you do that puts The Brand in a position to lose money is bad for them and bad for you.”
Do you have a very wide foot? Any tattoos or markings on your skin? Tell us in advance, and then help us. If you have an extremely hard foot to fit into shoes, communicate that. Let us know what shoes you have in your model bag to help if needed. Another example? If you have a rash or skin discoloration on your legs, let people know AND offer to bring a selection of tights or heavy covering makeup to work around it.
Expect the P.I.C is prepared for typical situations. If you have anything to share outside of this, give us them chance to be prepared.
“Always have manners. Say “please” and “thank you” to everyone from the lowest assistant to the person behind the big doors. Everyone will remember your personality and will appreciate this.”
Be classy. I shouldn’t have to explain what that means. If you don’t know what that means, you have bigger obstacles than how to make it as a plus model. Picture the most graceful, professional lady you can think have—and then try to be like her. For e xample, after a photoshoot, if you have had a particularly good experience, send an email to the P.I.C and let them know. This kind of thing is classy and gives the P.I.C a real positive impression of who you are as professional.
Rule 4 – Know what works… But also be willing.
Every plus size model has a different body. Different poses and angles work differently for different people. Know what looks good for your body. How to stand, turn and shape yourself. At the same point in time, let the P.I.C take you out of your comfort zone. This is a marriage and dance between you and the P.I.C. You must trust them to lead you and the must trust you have the skill to follow. “
Take an honest look at pictures of yourself to see what works and what doesn’t. Ask for, and LISTEN, to feedback that you are given from trained professionals. Do not rely on copying poses you see established plus models making. Instead, use them as a platform for you to find what works for YOU. Some P.I.C’s on set are very hands on. They will want to direct you and give you suggestions. Some will just sit back and let you do your thing!
Also, never say you won’t do something because it doesn’t make you look good. P.I.C’s don’t care what you think. P.I.C ‘s care what they think. Let them determine that for myself.