This time I asked models to talk about their perspective, here’s what they said:
Guys, many of you know my blog for photographers (link in comments)
Recently we discussed the topic of constructive criticism and how it’s hard for creatives to take it. Now I thought it would be super useful for new photographers there to hear model’s perspective. How do you feel when a photographer tells you this works/this doesn’t or when you get general criticism from photographer or from viewer. I would really like to cover this topic because I think many photographers and viewers out there could benefit and maybe become more thoughtful and empathic after hearing from you. Give me your opinion, if you are shy to speak in comments — PM me and I will include you as anonymous. Thanks
Jana: Ego shouldn’t be present in the creative process, in my personal opinion. Critique and feedback are essentially assuming the person has the ability to give said feedback constructively. It would also beneficial to acknowledge the relationship the other way — photographers often need feedback just as much as models, two people are making the creation. There have been very few times where a photographer has asked or has been open to critique. Often times it results in choosing to not work with them again.
Franziska: Personally I appreciate any kind of feedback from team members! Hardest shoots are those where the team on set stays quiet and let’s you guess a direction. I will go through a range of emotion/poses and also ask if there’s anything I need to change or improve on.
A: that’s a very constructive approach:) And really great approach to work with! But so many photographers are known to be difficult and have ego, do you think models are entitled to that too?
Franziska: I’d like to criticize someone’s work the way I’d like to be criticized… So no! No room for ego or superiority! It’s a creative process that involves more than one and the easiest word that comes to mind is: kindness!
Tess: Its all about vision. As a model you are a a tool/prop (not in a bad way) there to help produce a vision. Like a paintbrush is for a painter. Youre there to help create a vision and some tweaking may be in order to fully bring it to fruition. Personally I try to give photographers free reign to tell me whats working and not working, suck it in stick it out ect. This uninhibited exchange results in fantastic work. On the flip side cautious interactions tend to leave the final products . . . With something to be desired. I usually find myself critiquing them saying “if only the photog would have told be to lower my chin or turn my hips ect”. . . However, theres always room for improvement so any critque can be fuel for a positive change or encouragement to push forward despite the nay sayers.
A: great words! What about viewers/public critique then?
Tess: viewer and public, eh never really paid them much mind to be honest. Some can provide useful insights but most typically are just love or hate. Ive always been of the mind in creative expression is more or compulsion, gotta get it out of my head/heart/soul and thats what gives it its juju, sometimes the public relates other times they dont, but in all reality it wasnt really for them was it? If selling something or trying to portraying something to be recieved by the public by all means, love or hate or critque are useful in what provokes what and why. . And what a dialogue you can have if you swallow whatever insecurity reared its head and dive into some of the responses.
Greta: I really like to hear critiques from photographers and advice especially on posing.
A: how about viewers then? Also is there a format of critique that is more easy/helpful?
Greta: By viewers do you mean having an audience? That might make the model feel too self conscious. I think a verbal format, when it’s said respectfully is very helpful!
Antonietta: I think it’s good. Criticism May be hard to hear at times, but I would rather know if the lighting isn’t the most flattering on me
And couple of photographer’s points of view:
Manuel Ruiz: It is super important if you want to grow as an artist. This is NOT easy to digest, I will agree 100%. As a photographer, I just took an image that is technically shot perfect, but I didn’t take care of the right angle or pose. Without feedback from either the model or peers, how am I to grow? You pick yourself up and take the next shot taking what advice you have received and work to improve. It is, however, important on how this advice is given. I’ve recently joined several groups and have found who is giving advice vs. who is just ripping the photo apart. it has helped me in my thought process and what I’m doing to prepare for a shoot. Just saying what is wrong with one’s acting, posing, photography, etc is ok, but providing direction and what to do to improve is what is key. There is good in what we do good, let’s know what that is so we can continue to do good, and take the feedback to improve to make it GREAT!
Eddie Alicea Santana: Sound interesting, But What Really, What is the real theme, Its so massive, and everybody have different experiences and situations, People are going to be arguing if the theme its not clear.
A: Thank you :) Theme is what sort of criticism is useful and to what extend (on set and online), also how wording and context affects things
Eddie: Aliona Kuznetsova Is this is a Psychological test, LOL
A: No:) I wrote about criticism among photographers here: https://medium.com/.../about-constructive-criticism... and want to understand models’ point of view.
I don’t know, in my work physiology plays a big part, I need to know what, how and when to say in order for the model to give me right emotion and right picture. Maybe that’s because I’m a girl
Eddie: That is a really good Thing you put out there, in that way, unprofessional models with somewhat professional models with Professional models, learn from each other, and know what to expect and get more constructive positive data that needs to be learn, hoping they learn more from the more experience professional models.
Anonymous: Ive been on both creative sides. As a model its easy for everyone involved in a shoot to treat you as an object. Ive worked w a few big names and bc i was just a model a few photographers thought it was ok to be inappropriate w their comments. As a woman its so. Sure unfortunately, we’ve all experienced. In a professional environment, especially when your new and its a dream of yours its tragic. Ultimately i stopped bc of it. Lack of respect on set. Being treated as just a dressed up vessel is demoralizing and unprofessional. Its a hard industry but lifes hard. Doesnt give anyo e the right to make another feel helpless and irrelevent. Im now on the other side of the camera and i make it a point to involve everyone i work with in every step of the process. Its an art…not just a cover shot for some fancy magazines take
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