Model selection

Sticking with the questions I get asked. This weekend I thought I would focus on model selection. The selection process is quite straight forward for me: I have a concept or vision in mind; the final result... This is the determining factor.

What do you envisage your model to be like in the image/s? Does he/she have certain characteristics or features? Is it commercial/ editorial..? You then cast toward this vision and criteria.

Christian Felices beauty headshot

Procella Astralis

(A storm in the stars)

Take this image for example: The concept was for "A little Ziggy Stardust" crossed with a bit of alien/ futuristic... The casting was a touch androgynous yet maintaining a strong feminine beauty.

Model selection is all about the final vision and product. You have to ask yourself some simple questions:

  1. What am I trying to achieve?

  2. What sense of feeling or emotion am I trying to portray?

  3. Who is the, or is there a target audience?

While there are undoubtedly numerous other questions that run through your head when selecting models (Budget, location, wardrobe etc..), for me, these core questions relate to the finished article I envisioned. This vision will also drive the posing! 

 Portrait and Fashion Portraiture

Kia kaha!

For this editorial, the theme was Maori tradition and to "be strong". Quite a difficult brief, but if we structure it in the with the questions as above:

1. Trying to achieve an emotive series, maintaining a more "commercial beauty to the model"

2. Inner strength, yet a little bit reserved and somewhat oppressed.

3. Based on my own knowledge and limitations, the brief was more of an exploration and experimentation.

So with the concept and brief established, we can begin the casting process: Maori so looking for a darker skin-tone that we can apply tattoos. Commercial beauty: looking for softer, more traditional beauty.

There is no specific target audience or publication in mind, so the talent pool was opened up to all within a radius of the shoot location.

Quite often however, you can come up with a concept that really is open season to model selection, but those three core questions remain the same.

  1. What am I trying to achieve?

  2. What sense of feeling or emotion am I trying to portray?

  3. Who is the, or is there a target audience?

May have to revisit "colours" again, with a different vision in mind..

May have to revisit "colours" again, with a different vision in mind..

"Colours" featured in Institute Magazine.

"Colours" featured in Institute Magazine.

The concept for these images was as simple, yet as broad as "Colours". Being as the brief was for a high-end beauty editorial, the model had to have great skin and strong distinctive features. Beyond that, there was plenty room for interpretation and variation.

We opted for Lizzy as she has perfect porcelain skin, Beautiful cheekbones, strong jawline and fantastically long red hair that could be incorporated into the shoot.

But other looks and skin-tones would have worked equally as well but would have taken the shoot and finished article into a completely different direction.

So remember, the selection of a model/s is determined by your vision and objective. When placing casting calls be forward and clear with your requirements, giving as much detail as possible. utilise all forms of social media in your search, but be warned: you will undoubtedly get responses from individuals who do not remotely match your criteria. Stand firm and stick with YOUR vision, and do not be swayed or pressured into accepting a poorer substitute.

Any questions, please feel free to ask, i'm sure I have missed lots out...

Christian Felices Photography

Cardiff, South Wales based photographer specialising in: Boudoir | Portrait | Headshot | Glamour | Fashion | Beauty.

Cardiff, South Wales
Phone: 07939 203160 Hours: Mon-Sun 9:00am – 6:00pm