The Photographer/Model Relationship: The Cold Hard Truth to Success

sm blogpost aschwartz

The Photographer/Model Relationship: The Cold Hard Truth to Success with Adam Schwartz

For sixteen and a half years I was a TACP, which falls under the Air Force Special Warfare Community. And my favorite saying that I always kept at the forefront of my mind was, “The difference between an Amateur and a Professional is an Amateur practices until they get it right! But a professional practices until they no longer get it wrong.”      

When I set out to write this article my objective was to identify communication gaps, hopefully, assist in managing expectations, and potentially offer a little insight from both groups as a way to improve the overall working relationships between the photographer and model to create a more professional industry. So I created two sets of questionnaires, one for Models and one for Photographers. This was to collect data and ensure that I wasn’t allowing my personal experiences to create a bias for this article. 

Let me pose two questions to you regarding the relationship between the Photographer and the Model.  

Question 1: Can you be a Model or Published Model without a Photographer?  

Question 2: Can you be a Photographer or a Published Photographer without a Model?

The simple and honest answers to these questions are No and Yes respectively. And here is why…All images of a model require someone to take the time to set the camera up and snap the photo of said model; even if the model is also the person taking the photo (Selfie). And because the photographer always legally owns the copyrights to the images (even in shared copyright situations), no Magazine digital or print will publish an image without the owner(s) of the copyright(s) agreeing to the terms and submitting the image. However, a Photographer can shoot landscape, photojournalism, sports, product, etc.; and get published in a variety of magazines both digital and print. And to clear up a few things before we start. I am currently a photographer! But, I have posed and sat for both photos and artwork that have been shown in galleries and art shows around the nation since the age of 5. So I understand both sides of this working dynamic.

The first communication gap is TERMINOLOGY. How can two people communicate effectively when they are using the same words with two different meanings? I think it’s imperative that if we want to be professionals we first articulate proper terminology and provide a clear definition for those terms; because words have meanings and we want to make sure everyone is on the same page to remove the communication gap. This is by no means an all-inclusive set of terms and definitions, but I think it sets the framework for us all to improve.


Get the full story

To read the full article, launch the digital version of the July 2022 magazine.

You might also like:

Leave a Reply

Want more content like this?

Check out our recent posts

on camera direct flash tutorial thumbnail

On Camera Direct Flash Tutorial

Have you tried using on-camera flash for your studio portraits? As a professional photographer, I’ve always been taught to take the flash off camera to create more directional light. In this video of on camera direct flash tutorial for lighting, I will show you how to work quickly and easily using on-camera flash to create some very unique and interesting portraits.

Read More »
5 easy poses for boudoir photography thumbnail

5 Easy Poses for Boudoir Photography

Posing for boudoir photography is always a challenge. In this video, I will show you some easy tips to posing your clients. Not every client is a model – so we need to find an easy set of poses to get them started. Once they get comfortable in front of the camera, you can then work on more advanced poses and lighting techniques to build on for the images you create.

Read More »