Finding "Real" Models All Around You
I had to chuckle when I ran across a stock photograph with the title "Real Man on the Phone". Real man? Like in the tongue in cheek book from a few years back "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche?"
All models are real human beings right? Well, guess the point of the term "real" is that the model was not a professional. Someone who isn't in the business of having their photograph taken. Salt of the earth, real honest to goodness "normal", "everyday" kind of guy. Someone you'd have over for a BBQ. That kind of thing.
Buyers really do often crave a level of "realness" images that are often hard to find in stock photography. Sometimes they want a photograph that screams "I am a stock photo" with all of its polish, white couches, white bookcases, perfect grooming and perfect smiles with the robotic family in tow but in other cases buyers just want convincingly upstaged, causal, realness.
Lucky for us, most stock photographers don't have Russian models flying in daily for shoots in our gleaming, state of the art studios where not a cookie crumb or fingerprint ever graces the picture perfect set. More likely we have "real" non-studio houses populated with real 'non-model" people who have real personalities and genuine expressions that we can capture.
I've been finding models among my kin and then branching out lately to my kin's friends. Basically I've been able to build up trust because of my volunteer work and gotten people and their pets to model for me in exchange for some of the photos.
I try to capture their "real" personalities and have found that working with middle school boys of late that they are natural actors who love to play parts. Basically if you hand them a prop their fun loving creative minds usually come up with some kind of pose. I just quickly snap away.