Yugen Studio


Seeking Models

There are three things which make a good model: enthusiasm, patience, and comfort. People often think age, appearance, or other factors are important. While they may play a role, they are easily overshadowed by the first three.

Enthusiasm is by far the most important element a model can bring to a sitting session. An eager model will work harder and longer, and put more of herself into a session, immediately raising the quality of the resulting images. It is personal excitement for the work that makes a model strive to help develop the images that are possible, and which overflows into the successes produced. Because this work is interactive, I usually ask the model if she has any images she is looking for, or any ideas which they would like to explore. I do not have a monopoly on imagination.

Patience on the part of the model is crucial to my work. I can often take several minutes to find an image, during which the model has to maintain the basic pose. I suspect the patience of most models is rooted in their enthusiasm - the willingness to do what it takes to make the image. Wherever it comes from, modeling can be very demanding, in a very stay-still-don't-move kind of way.

Comfort is important and much of the responsibility for establishing that sense of ease lies with me as the photographer. My job isn't really about details like the camera, light, framing, pose, or background; these elements of the sitting must simply be right. After all, when you're a painter, you expect to have a canvas, oils, brushes and sufficient mastery to use them. When I'm working with a model, my most important job is to make her feel the way I want her to look. A woman who feels beautiful is beautiful. If I can do that, the pictures almost create themselves.

From sitting, the model ideally takes away a more esteemed sense of self, improved body image, and a satisfaction from taking part in a creative process.

“I was surprised to see that it took only a few photo sessions for me to start striding down Fifth Avenue in faded jeans, with the right knapsack and –most important—the attitude that made people start asking me, “Are you a model?” The attitude you pick up from work is what makes people on the street see you differently. I didn’t become any more attractive. I just became a model.” (LS from Nine Lives)

See FAQ and the Model Release for more information.