I’ve always found that photographing models is the most difficult type of photography. This is because as the photographer you are in charge of studio space, lighting, finding a model, scheduling a shoot, telling the model what type of outfits to wear, posing the model, and in addition editing the photographs after they have been taken, which in many cases may take many hours if not days or weeks to perfect. This task is overwhelming to say the least because, often times, beginner photographers may have to pay the model for the shoot or sometimes the model requests the photos for their portfolio and in exchange will do the shoot for free (This is called a Time for Prints or Time for CD Deal). In any event, the photographer must get good photographs or otherwise the model may never work with them again.
Most beginning photographers do not have the money to rent or buy studio space at a local gallery or at least I didn’t. Through the years though I have found some great locations for photo shoots that have worked quite well but also some places that didn’t work out at all. Some of my favorite places to shoot are local parks, the zoo, and various hiking trails up in the mountains. I have found that many of these locations work out better in the morning before these places get busy. The drawback to this is it can be much colder in the morning and the model will have trouble relaxing. The lighting, however, will be great and in fact, if you shoot right before the sunrises over the horizon or sunsets below the horizon, photographers call this the Golden Hour because you will get an even smooth lighting without any shadows.
Things to be Aware of:
As a new photographer, shooting in public areas is often times the much safer approach, especially if you have never met the model before. But, if you are shooting in a very busy area, for instance downtown Denver, be aware that passers by can make the model feel very uncomfortable, especially if the model is a pretty female. When I first started shooting I asked a few female models to meet me downtown for a shoot and during our time, men were whistling and women were making snide comments about the models outfits. As I was shooting one model, a group of teenagers walked by and one yelled “my girlfriends hotter that that!” Later, a few homeless gentlemen began yelling phrases like “you’re taking pictures of the ugly one!” Needless to say, the models and I felt very uncomfortable and we had to cut the photo-shoot short.