Styling and directing:

Whenever I start planning a photoshoot I think of shots that I have seen that was pleasing to the eye. Other times I let my models show me what they have a plan from there. After so many years of shooting with models (professional and new to the game), I have come to realize that having a certain style to you shot can be great and can help keep your Instagram cohesive but being easy going and exploring different looks can inspire you.

I don't shoot lingerie or swim wear only because I have had bad experiences with to many models who only want to shoot those looks but have a hard time evoking emotions. Having emotions of any kind fuels my creative side. I also tend to stay away from neon colors because editing them can be a pain for me and I love a darker moody esthetic to my photos. Needless to say this particular model came to the shoot in a bright colorful dress. Now this is where just going with the flow comes in.

I was working with another photographer and we traveled out of town, our other models had canceled and we did not want to have just one shoot since we had traveled so far that day. So the other photographer messaged a friend of hers to see if she was free and of course she was, but no real planning went into her looks, we just left it up to her. As I shot her set I kept my esthetic in the back of my mind. How can evoke a true moody emotion from her.

Communicating with your models is so key here. Lucky for me she knew my work and was so professional, loves fashion and avantgarde photos so she understood what I wanted with little push from me. Having examples of your work or photo your love on hand can help you show the model some expressions that you like. I also love to give my models prompts in order to push them into a head space to achieve my goal.

Prompts are the Key


When you tell a model to give you some attitude they tend to put their hands on there hips or strike a very early 2000's Americas Next Top Model look; which I have to admit sometimes can work. What tends to work best for me is giving a little back story. For this photo I said pretend you are a tomboy having to wear this outfit to event and you are mad because you can't play with the boy because you are wearing a dress.


I take absolutely no credit for this pose as I stated early this model loved strange and out there poses. I did however ask her to look bored. This might seem like a weird request but I didn't want her to look overly sad just void of emotion.

Be game for anything

This model asked if she could get in the water and immediately said yes! Go with the flow because of our early communication she knew what I wanted and decided to build on this story we were creating.