I’m not a super experienced lifestyle model. But recently, I have been working more as a…model. Sorry, that word cracks me up- I mean, to describe myself.
If you don’t already know, lifestyle models represent more “real” people. Ads involving lifestyle models show a slice of life to which you can generally relate- doing laundry, picking up groceries, etc. Fashion models are what you typically think of as “model-y” models. You know, ridiculous cheekbones. And they’re usually doing crazy stuff in ads that normal people will NEVER do like jumping onto their private helicopter or running down a palace hall.
|image via elle.com|
|image via dior.com|
Right. So that’s my very loose “definition” of the two types of models. You get it.
Although my photoshoot didn’t involve any extravagant locations, I thought I’d share what the experience is like working on set. Well, even before set, we have the pre-job phase.
This particular job was a direct booking. Meaning the client just looked at my photos from my agent and said, “Hey ok”. When my agent initially tried to submit me, I couldn’t do the job because the shoot date conflicted with another booking. So that sucked. But then, since this industry is nuts, my agent was able to submit me a week later because the shoot date actually changed. After the submission, you play the waiting game. I found out that I was confirmed for the job the afternoon before the shoot date.
During the whole time of uncertainty before you are actually booked, you have this potential job that MAY conflict with auditions and other jobs that day. You may be in the really fun situation of turning down a possible smaller job for the possible bigger job, and then losing out on both. YAY. I’ve had that happen.
Another thing happens before the shoot date for me. I’m like, “YES, I got the job!” Then “Oh noooo, I should get more trim.” It’s not coming from a “I hate my body” mentality. It’s more like, “Shit, I think I gained weight recently. Am I gonna fit their clothes??” Because as many of you know, I love to eat. And sometimes, yeah, I kind of overdo it. They can always clip the back of your clothes to make them look fitted from the front if the clothes are too big. But you’re kinda outta luck if the clothes are too small!
Anyway, so during that pre-shoot panic, I don’t do anything insane like gobble Ex-Lax pills or wrap myself in a garbage bag and go running. I just stare longingly at French Fries while eating a salad or work out twice in one day. Which isn’t gonna make a difference in a day or two! But that is really what I go through- irrational efforts. And this shoot was going to include a bathing suit shot!
Ok, now I’m on set, and I’ve gotten lucky because everyone is really nice. From the photographer to the makeup/hair person to the other 2 models. Your day is hugely affected by what kind of vibe is on set. When there is tension and stress on set, that could get you in your head about your work. And it’s just not as enjoyable.
Sometimes you get some downtime while the crew sets up another “scene” or another model is up. I actually caught up on some blogging at the studio. Oh, and some eating. I’m really good at ruining the makeup artist’s lovely lip work. They’re totally understanding about redoing it…you’re not expected to starve throughout the day. But if you’re going right away to set and just got your makeup done, then yes, you would refrain from destroying your makeup.
The other female model at the shoot was amazing! She had endless different poses. Also, her timing was so perfect that she changed her poses in rapid-fire succession in between every shot so she never caught mid-movement.
Basically, she never got caught doing things like this.
At this shoot, the client was actually not on set. And the outfits weren’t approved of beforehand. So I was getting into so many outfits that we would photograph and send to the client. Then we would have to wait for the ok. But since we didn’t want to waste time, sometimes I’d go ahead into a new outfit to photograph in case the other outfit didn’t pass. It was bananas.
That’s the thing. Plans can change in the blink of an eye. What was originally going to be a beach scene for one model turned into another scene due to the bathing suit being too risque for the target audience. They actually wanted to make my bathing suit outfit more conservative, too. So I got to wear a cover up. (Insert BIG sigh of relief. Because guess what? I DID eat those fries.)
Schedules can change, too. Meal times can get pushed. Or you may be the last model of the day. So all the other models get to go home before you. Awww.
Here’s another thing. I often joke that I have like three poses. But I can’t get away with just three poses. Because THEY’LL KNOW.
As you are going from pose to pose, and from flash to flash, the picture only stays momentarily on the screen until the next picture is taken. But they (client, ad agency, photographer) will notice the shots they like, and if they aren’t liking any, then it’s a problem. They also pick their selects and all of their favorite shots come out in a grid. So it’s obvious if you’re not giving them various looks and such. OH, the PRESSURE.
Besides giving them a range of options, it’s also good to be aware of your body and what it looks like on-camera.
What is going on with my hand on my chest? It looks mangled.
Now that hand is just awkwardly hanging.
Of course, there are things that are out of your control. When they put on the fan, your hair WILL fly around and stick to your lipgloss. Your clothes will fold weird and need attention from the stylist. Like my bathing suit cover up that would fill up with air from the fan and billow out. But you just roll with it, and have a good time!
And here is a good example of just letting go of things that aren’t in your control. After this really cool experience working with really great people, these photos didn’t make it into the campaign. Yeah, it’s kind of a disappointment. But it happens. I don’t know if it happens ALL the time. But a lot of these jobs will pay for your work day and also pay a usage fee if they use your photos, which leads me to believe that it is common to forego using some photos in the final ads. I won’t say who the client is since my ads never went public, but they were kind enough to give me photos for my portfolio so I am sharing here.
Here are some of the selects!