Models and the drama of looking pretty at all costs
During our trip to Italy many of the relatives I got in touch with commented on Carlo being a boudoir photographer that he must enjoy his work very much. Of course that kind of comment came from men that believe that what we do is all about seeing a lot of pretty women with very little on. And even worse, those comments come from Italian men whose love for pretty women is legendary.
I am sure that many think along those lines, but the truth could not be more different. Dealing with women with very little on means dealing with the deeper side of their insecurities about looking pretty.
Many of our clients’ fear is that they have never been in front of a camera before and – in their view – certainly do not look pretty as models, but very few realise that models have their own insecurities as well and in some cases they are so self conscious that they should seriously reconsider their professional choice.
Carlo and I have worked for a long time with agency signed models as we often do for portfolio reasons, to experiment a bit and test different sizes, ethnicities and body shapes.
The beauty and fashion industry are extremely tough, especially on girls. Some photographers can be rude, demanding, unhelpful and in some cases big divas with even bigger personalities. For models who are starting out, exposing their bodies and making it all work can be as daunting as for one of our clients.
Carlo and I are known in the industry to make women feel comfortable because we are calm, relaxed, laid back, so many agencies use us as ice breaker to understand if a wanna-be model can potentially be successful. And we are happy to give advice and coach those girls and give feedback to the agency.
What defines a professional model is not necessarily how pretty she looks, but her confidence and her attitude. She needs to trust the professionals that work with her, and she should know she is a canvas to be moulded into something different from the “pretty girl” by someone – normally the photographer or the art director – who has got the vision.
Rarely a model can have a say on her look because she is instrumental for that vision to become a reality. She is the means for the photo, not the subject.
When Carlo and I say we LOVE working with our clients is because they pay us to look at their best.
Neither Carlo nor I want our clients to feel or look like someone they are not. Our clients book us to see their authentic self in the prettiest and more sensual way.
So there is a huge difference in dealing with models and clients. Whilst clients are totally justified in being insecure and a bit scared, it is when models do not behave in a professional way that both Carlo and I become really impatient.
Too pretty for their own good
Everybody think of Kate Moss or Cara Delevigne as goddesses of prettiness, but even they have their wrinkles, spots, and imperfections. And their insecurities. But despite all of this, they show up, they do their job and they perform at their best. Pretty much always.
It is when models are particularly self conscious and worried of not looking as pretty as they think, that the whole photo shoot becomes a giant pain in the backside.
Recently we have been shooting a couple of models who were too pretty for their own good. Without preparation and make up they look like anyone else. You wouldn’t know they are professional models at all. W
hen in the hands of our expert make up artist who was following our instructions, they suddenly became overgrown babies having tantrums for not having their own way. Our “no” to multi layered eyelashes that look like palm trees and have very little to do with being stylish and looking natural was a massive shock.
The result was that on one side we had a meltdown, on the other the bathroom became an alternative make up room for very personal and disrespectful touch ups.
My first instinct was to stop the photo shoot and send them home, but Carlo, who is a gentleman, felt we had to keep our word and shoot for the agency’s sake.
Carlo and I are a good team and both love challenges, so having to deal with this kind of situations – despite the little rant – helps us in real life with our clients to understand fears, concerns and reading their unspoken hints about make up and looks.
Women are totally allowed their insecurities when in front of a camera, and in fact Carlo and I are here to make the whole photo shoot experience fun and enjoyable while feeling and looking more than pretty and just utterly gorgeous.
The fact remains that those girls, who have chosen modelling as a profession, should seriously reconsider their career if they are not ready to let go of their very personal concept of being pretty and trust people they work with.