In the field of photography, one of the most delicate areas is the specialization of figure photography. There are many reasons why this specialty is so delicate and we’ll be covering some of the major points in this article. If you’re thinking of getting into figure photography as a photographer, you may want to read this. It may save you a lot of headaches later on.
The first and probably biggest, problem with getting into figure photography is finding a model. It isn’t that there aren’t enough beautiful women around. It’s that there aren’t a lot of legitimate models who are comfortable doing this type of work. Because of all the terrible things you hear everyday related to this area of photography, women are hesitant of getting into it for the fear of running into one of those sleazy photographers you hear so much about. So finding willing models is not an easy task.
Another problem is, even though there are a lot of beautiful women in the world, there is a particular body type that is needed for classic figure photography if you’re going to submit your work to legit publications. Most models are actually too thin for classic figure photography, which needs a woman who is a little more endowed and a little heavier than your normal fashion model. Also, a figure model must be very flexible, as many of the classic figure poses require a model to get into positions that aren’t all that easy. Just check out the works of photographers like Peter Bosh and Peter Gowland, two of the pioneers of the art.
Then, if you do happen to find a suitable candidate for figure modeling, you have to make sure that the photography sessions are strictly professional. There is too much danger of accusations of sexual harassment in these cases. This is where the really delicate part comes in. The photographer must simply go about his business but at the same time make the model feel comfortable at all times. This is not an easy line to walk.
As with all types of photography that involves taking photos of people, you will need to get your model to sign a release. This is a standard form that basically says that all the photos taken of the model are the property of the photographer and that he can sell or distribute them as he sees fit. Also, because of the nature of the work, in the release the model also has to sign that she is of legal age. In most states this would be 18.
After you have finished the session, if there are no more to come, pay your model promptly. Be professional about everything. Make the experience one that she won’t mind doing again. This will help you in the future as you will be able to use her as a reference if she was pleased with your work.
When trying to get your work published it is best to start with smaller companies. The field of figure photography is very competitive. Your best shot is with a smaller company. As you get more experience and a reputation, you will be able to shoot for the bigger fish.