Since 2011 came to a close I have been mulling over in my mind the best experiences I’ve had with models and the shoot results from us working together. When I first came to Buffalo I really didn’t know who to work with. I like to think that I got really lucky and managed to get by with very few no-shows and worked with some amazing people who showed up and were ready to work with me. The following guide is simply a list of recommendations to photographers who are looking for models who are professional, look amazing on camera and have a lot of talent.
I wanted to whittle this list down to 5 individuals both as a challenge to myself and to keep it short and sweet. There is not a single photoshoot I have been part of that I have not learned from or look back upon fondly. I would like to make it a habit to write about my experiences with models as I work with them, especially for the first time. Consider this my big kick-off with that resolution!
I have worked with Anatomy twice now. My first thought upon seeing her in person was “model”. She fits the title of model through and through. She is tall, has amazing long limbs and a very unique face. It might sound weird but I was impressed with her down to her fingernails which she kept very nice and unpainted. One thing that is important to pay attention to is Anatomy’s portfolio: She does not have “one look”. Beauty, industrial goth, artistic, fashion, pin-up, it’s all there and she looks amazing in each photo. (Find her on Facebook.)
Rachel’s code name at the studio is “Chameleon” and for good reason; she can transform into any character in an instant for the camera. She is also bafflingly gorgeous and I constantly point out that I have not been able to find a single “bad angle” to photograph her at. She makes anything work. I’m pretty sure I could dress her in a pillowcase and take photos of her while napping on the couch and it would look amazing. She is fun to work with and brings a lot of energy to our shoots. Did I mention that she’s fearless? (Find her on Facebook.)
I was seriously bummed when Zaftigg announced that she was leaving the Buffalo and I know I’m not the only photographer who keeps one ear cocked for an announcement that she’s coming back to visit. Z is tall, curvy, imposing, graceful, feminine, and fight all rolled into one. It is so much fun working with this woman because her energy is fantastic and the resulting images are a testament to her drive to put everything in to what she is doing. Being uniquely gorgeous and so much fun to work with apparently isn’t enough for Zaftigg because she makes every photo incredible. (Find her on Facebook.)
The first time I worked with Katie she told me she wanted to do something different, something darker. Our first shoot was a faux bridal shoot theme with dark undertones. Coming from a background of mostly beauty shots, Katie pulled it off perfectly and I knew I had to work with her again. She has an amazing figure for any type of photography and is so sweet to work with. Really. I’ve felt bad about all the things we put her through for some shoots but she’s always cheerful and dedicated to getting the look and feeling right. She’s definitely one of those “actress” models. I know that if I need a model who will deliver a difficult but sincere performance for the camera, Katie is the one I will call. (Find her on ModelMayhem.)
I was instantly struck by the girlish doll like aspect of Kayta the first time I worked with her. So often she looks almost unreal on camera, as if whatever character she is portraying was painted from imagination alone. Kayta has a natural beauty that is anything but “safe” or simply pretty. Her look is perfect for daring photographers or makeup artists who want to try something new and wild. I always love working with her as we always joke around and laugh a lot but in an instant she is focusing and posing for another photo and looking fantastic. (find her on facebook.)
Again, I have been fortunate to work with many models and I’m always willing to recommend those I’ve had the experience of shooting with to any photographer looking for someone to be part of their projects. The above models are all women I have worked with more than once. I invite anyone looking for experienced models who can really carry a shoot to a new level to contact them and ask for their rates. You will not regret it!