Model Coaching With Amanda

I picked up my phone noticing I had received a message on Instagram. Opening it, my interest was immediately peaked. It was from Amanda who was looking for advice in getting into modelling. I advised that working with photographers is a good way to start building up a book and that I would love to help her start her modelling adventure. With that we set up a shoot together, I arranged for my dear friend and make-up artist Beth Atkins to do the make-up and I put together a mood board and call sheet so that everything was in one place for all three of us to see. Call sheets are great for organising every aspect of the shoot so that the team know exactly what is happening and at what time. I’m a bit of an organisation nerd and really enjoy (perhaps enjoy it a little too much!) putting together the call sheet. 

We all met at Beth’s place for her to do the make-up. We settled on a shimmery brown smokey eye and warm lip colour to suit the look of the shoot. I wanted to keep everything very simple, especially as it was Amanda’s first photo shoot, so we went for an autumnal look, really natural, pretty, fresh. A great start for a model portfolio book. A lot of agencies look for quite subtle or commercial make-up/hair looks so that it is clear what the model naturally looks like to people intending to book models. Of course some model agencies like the more avant-garde styling images to be in the model’s book to show versatility, but I felt that doing this may be outside of Amanda’s comfort zone and not suited to the style of imagery I take. Beth did a wonderful job of the make-up, the eye shadow and lip colour were identical to the images I pulled up from the mood board. I’m truly in awe of her talent. For Amanda, having make-up done was an entirely new experience for her. Beth helped to make it really relaxing and enjoyable, and we were all nattering away about movies, work, coffee, life.. yanno, anything and everything. 

Once the make-up was done, Amanda and I hopped in my car and we headed for Eaton Park. So, you know I was saying about how I love being organised and making a call sheet. Well, sometimes things don’t exactly go to plan. But that’s okay. If you have followed my blog for a little while now, you may have seen a previous post where the rain meant that instead of taking photos outside, we had to take them inside (read blog post here). Another case of thinking on my feet. I guess that’s just life! In this instance, we were driving along and chatting about all sorts of things and then we reached the car park. There were lots of cars queueing but we thought “meh, let’s give it a go”. We probably shouldn’t have bothered! Ha! Eaton Park car park was filled to the brim with cars. Cars that were parked in set out spaces and cars that were parked on the side of the narrow road in a sort of “I guess that will have to do” fashion. We followed a line of cars who slowly made their way down a narrow road lined by parked cars jutting out awkwardly, turned round at the end and then headed back eventually to the car park entrance. On a rare occasion that a parking space did become free it was a bit like that scene in The Simpsons where homer goes to park in multiple spaces and then a car quickly pulls in in front of him to take the space. D’oh! Amanda and I found the whole situation funny and just laughed it off, a lot of other people looked quite annoyed though! When we got to the entrance we decided to change the shoot location to Earlham Park, just down the road, which was soooo much quieter and I think was actually a more appropriate setting for Amanda as there were less people around to make her feel nervous or uncomfortable. Trust me, it can feel strange when passers by just stare as they walk pass! It was so nice and quiet at Earlham Park that we spent the majority of the time alone or at a good distance away from people, which helps when you’re not used to having your picture taken. 

Anyhoo, we made it to the location. Amanda had brought with her multiple outfit options, as she was taking them out of her bag I kept making excitable “Oooh” sounds! It was great because we had so much to choose from! We were particularly indecisive about the red dress or the brown dress, but eventually decided on the brown, which works so well with the other outfits we used for the previous shots. The colours and style of the outfits were all really simple and feminine. They looked great in the setting of Earlham Park too. We went for three different outfits and shot each outfit twice in a different area of the park. 

My intention for the shoot was to direct Amanda as much as possible, whilst explaining why I am directing her in such a way and teaching her top tips. I wanted to share as much I could about modelling through my own experiences as both a photographer and a model. For each location we shot at, I positioned her either by sitting or standing, describing where to face, where to put her hands, her legs etc. I’d then look at her hair or clothes and make sure they were sitting right so they looked good in the photos. I’d then take some photos, make some changes in her poses or ask her to do certain natural movements to change it up a bit. She was absolutely amazing! She moved really naturally in front of the camera and is captivating in every shot. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this shoot with Amanda, not only is she great to photograph, she is such a sweet person who I had a fab time hanging out with. I hope that Amanda gains even more confidence in front of the camera and takes up more modelling work. I would definitely work with her again and cannot recommend her enough. 

If you are looking to start your own modelling career or are looking to add more images to your book, please send me a message as I would love to help you out. Let’s create some killer photos together! :D