Vika is a model, MUAH, and one of my biggest girl-crashes. We were doing our 3rd photoshoot together when we started to exchange stories about awkward and weird collaborations. She told me that one of the most unpleasant experiences for her was when the photographers said she is not the same as on the pictures. Let’s take a moment to talk about that.

I often travel, and when I do, I find people through www.modelmayhem.com. It’s a handy website with the only problem that pictures there are not always accurate. For example, they can be from 10 years or 50 pounds ago. I found a good solution — I try to video-chat with a model before we do the photoshoot. It allows us to discuss details quickly and also solves the problem above.

The opposite problem is that some other photographer picked poses, light, retouch, etc. so well that the person looks better than in life. That’s what a good photographer does, right? So after perceiving these pictures as “natural” or “polaroids,” aspiring photographer gets frustrated with how the model “actually looks.” Which is not on models, but on the photographer’s own lack of vision or skill or ability to work with people. Many of the aspiring but ambitious photographers complain that the model is not tall enough, skinny enough, or symmetrical enough when in reality, the girl can be photographer brilliantly and publishably if you know what you are doing.

So, in short, yes, sometimes people send you old pictures, see them in person or video-chat or look at Instagram if in doubt. But to blame model you picked for not looking as you wanted is blaming yourself.

As usual, send more questions to aliona.kuz@gmail.com

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