For Photographers Only: Why YOU Need To Get In FRONT Of The Camera
Modelling is hard. It’s all about angles. It’s all about stamina. It’s all about taking on direction. This week we talk to model turned photographer, Penelope M to understand why it’s important to get in FRONT of the camera as a photographer.
Tell us about how you got into photography.
When I was in my twenties I studied acting and performing for many years. Throughout this time I modeled and performed in short films, TV Commercials and theatre productions. I love all aspects of the creative process, so it was only natural that my next creative pursuit would be photography.
What did you do as a model to help you improve your modelling game?
I worked really hard to understand how everything worked behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera in order to make sure I was doing the best job I could for the client. I’m a naturally really curious person so I was definitely asking a million questions when I could or just generally checking everything out behind the scenes when I wasn’t being shot. Because I was also really vain haha! I became obsessed with light and how I could make sure the most flattering light was being used whenever I was in shot. I learned how to move in front of the camera to accentuate my best features and I learned how to take direction and became really aware of composition.
How did modelling help with your photography?
I think when you have been in front of the camera you can help models feel comfortable really quickly because you know exactly what they are going through. You can physically show them the poses yourself, and know what poses will work versus what you’ve imagined in your head. As much as everyone thinks being a model is easy, I actually think it’s quite tiring and can really take a lot out of you. Knowing this has all helped me with my photography and I feel as though, especially working with new models, I am able to teach them what took me so many years to learn.
What do you think photographers can do more of with models?
I know that as a model you are never really told what is going on behind the camera. You often don’t even know what you are shooting until the day before! So I try to enlighten the models whenever I can so they feel as though they are part of the creative process. Humans naturally fear the unknown so I find when you let a model know exactly what kind of shot you are going for, what the frame is, how the light helps accentuate this or hide that the model can then really work with you to create the best shots possible. I also love to capture the ‘moments in between’ so having a laugh or having a chat and making sure the model is happy and comfortable all help to get that relaxed feel. Usually when a model is comfortable and just being themselves you get the best pictures.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography to me is all about working as a team to create photographs that tell a story and are unique and true to your vision and style. So for me my vision has come through years of being in front of the camera figuring out what works and what doesn’t work, what I like and think fits with my personality and style and what I feel good creating.
Words // Penelope M
Photography // Penelope M