Get in touch with your feelings
There is a certain science to doing great stock images, and I want to share a few thoughts on something I have realized. Coming from a background of meditation and the journey of self discovery I am used to concentrating my attention internally. And trying to apply this to all situations in life naturally I also use it in relation to my stock photography. What I am about to touch upon is the art of being completely situated in your own consciousness in a time of external turbulence.
When I am on the set with my stylist, productions manager, assistants, friends and a handful of models it comes in very handy being able to shut out the world of externals and concentrate on my own internal creative process. Actually I believe this to be a prerequisite for good model instruction. If you cannot “get into the mood” yourself how on earth will you convey the emotions of the image at hand to your talent? Superficial instruction can often result in superficial images. Of course sometimes you work with extraordinary models who are indeed first class actors and who just know what you are looking for when reading your brief. However more often than not you need to be on top of the situation. You need to clearly define your vision. If we don’t know what we want our output is going to be random. Ocassionally that can be good, and indeed we need an element of that, but that is only a small part of the big picture. Relying on randomness is like playing the lottery … and out goes the science. Get where I’m going?
A method I often use is taking a moment (standing in front of the models and everyone else) where I close my eyes and sort of have a mental conversation with myself. Could go something like: “Ok, so if you are on a romantic vacation and you take a walk on the beach alone, how would you stand?, how would you interact?, how would your jolly, free and enlivened personality live out the situation?, what emotions do you go through? etc.” Answering these question you get into the mood of the “scene” and then you explain your thoughts and conclusions to your models. Of course you have a shootplan, but this is about “hitting the refresh button”. This method will make your models at ease and enable them to forget all the other people, the flashes, reflectors etc. And in this way I believe you get as close to reality as possible; you create an environment where the models get emotionally involved, which is the basis for natural expressions.
Questions and comments are welcome.