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On Modelling

︎︎︎Jax Oliver 2023

Modeling is all about the connection between the model and the camera that the photographer is operating. The camera acts as a bridge between the model and the audience that they are communicating with. In order for a model to effectively sell themselves to the camera, they must wholeheartedly believe in what they are doing. However, this connection is not immediate and requires experimentation and making mistakes to form a genuine relationship.

The camera can be more forgiving when a model trusts it and focuses on how they see themselves, rather than how the camera sees them. The key is to embody the essence of what they are doing and convey that to their audience. Any model who lacks a connection and the desire to be in front of the camera is unable to sell the moment and will not be authentic to their audience. This lack of authenticity is immediately noticeable in the images.

A photograph forms an instant impression on the viewer, and this connection between the model and the camera is critical. The model's success depends on how well they connect with themselves and the camera in that fraction of a second when each image is captured. Regardless of the type of shoot, whether it's a high-paying commercial shoot, a small quick shoot for a friend, or a deeply creative project intended for art, the model's success hinges on their ability to shed their fear of the camera.

Modeling is performative and theatrical by nature. The model must embody a feeling, emotion, or life story that they may not have experienced before. They are dynamic shapeshifters, constantly reinventing themselves with every shot. They are selling not only their emotions and clothing but also the lifestyle they are portraying. Their goal is to motivate their audience to join them on the journey they are embarking on, and they achieve this through their connection with the camera.

Authenticity and integrity are crucial. While money may be a motivator for many models, they have a responsibility to their audience to be authentic and genuine. If they fail to do so, they risk being untrue to themselves and their audience.