1. Engage the model: Use eye contact. Eye contact directly into the camera is powerfully engaging. It strongly connects the model with the viewer of the image.
2. Looking away. Having the model looking away, focused on something off camera, is an intriguing way to engage your viewer. It creates a sense of mystery, urging the viewer to contemplate what the model might be looking at.
3. Models looking at each other. It helps create a story within the image and the viewer becomes engaged in the story and the emotions being shared between the models.
4. F%$# the rules! (Personally, my favorite thing to do) Mess with the composition. Place the model either dead center or put them off right to the edge of the frame. My theory about rules is this: You must know them in order to break them!
5. Experiment with light. Mix available light with strobe or tungsten light. Leave the shutter open for longer than you normally would and let the flare come in. Light creates DRAMA. Use it.
6. Get that model moving. Take her out of the studio, all dressed up in 4 inch heels and make-up. Get her out on a busy street and let her work her walk and stop traffic! It’s amazing how the confidence will take over the girl and how strong that will make your image!
7. Change your angle. Normally a rule of thumb for shooting fashion is for the photographer to be low or close to the ground in order to shoot up towards the model. This elongates the model. But what did I say earlier about rules? Yep…break them! As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, and as you’ve seen in the videos, I move around a lot when I shoot to get a variety of angles. Get up on a ladder and shoot down, or try shooting from different angles. See what makes for an interesting shot.
8. Get a prop involved! How interesting is it when a model is playing with a handbag or a tube of lipstick. It adds a sense of “reality” to the shot, letting the viewer take on a voyeuristic approach as if they are catching the model in a private moment.
9. Grab those random candid shots. Watch for those moments when the model is adjusting her skirt or reaching down to fasten the strap on her shoe. When the model is looking away and her attention is somewhere else for a moment, it’s unexpected and it’s sexy! Because it’s a REAL moment. Shots that aren’t posed are usually so dynamic!
10. Play with emotions. Get the girl to pretend to cry or get her to laugh wickedly…or even sneer. Have them act! It’s another way to engage your viewers and hold their attention on a photograph longer than “just another pretty picture.”