Tuesday, June 19, 2007

a poser

The hubby can't stand America's Top Model, but it's one of my favorite shows. I'm actually studying the show. The hubby does various portraiture and wedding photography gigs and I'm usually the assistant. And I'm usually the one posing the people and in particular the women.

So I watch Top Model to understand how models create illusions. And I've come to see it as a craft, a very demanding craft with high expectations of body image. It's not something I would want to do personally. Having gone through various photoshoots for the wedding, I've come to realize too that models work hard because those interesting angles take some flexibility and strength to hold. Plus, they are really helping the photographer create the image they are looking for, so there's a bit of mind reading involved.

One of the more fascinating episodes was one where they had to take a photo for a women's magazine and one for a men's magazine. While the women's magazine shoot was soft and romantic, with the women staring off somewhere, the men's magazine had a harder look, that the models had to give a look that broke through the page, that "I want you" kind of look that draws men's attention. What models are really doing is developing the ability to be any image people want them to be. They are quite chameleon that way.

It's unfortunate that there is a great deal of pressure in the modeling industry to be a certain size, height, weight. Because beauty is everywhere and in everyone. In portraiture and in wedding photography, it's about finding people's beauty and guiding them in such a way to reveal that beauty and perhaps once in a while allow them to be someone else. To find the best in people and to help them show that off.

Addendum: Real Simple has tips on taking good photos.

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