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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.

© Lisafx

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.

Teen Boys Collection

Photo credits: Lisa F. Young, Peanutroaster.

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June 19, 2012

Yuritz

Really good photos,I'm looking to find out some more "real" models as well to increase my portfolio;thanks for sharing your experience

June 15, 2012

Peanutroaster

My old college roommate is coming to visit tonight...I'll see if I can get him in the studio. ;-)

June 15, 2012

Giannit

great photos.... how many potential models around us....

June 14, 2012

Hanbaoluan

Great photo, a moment of the tapes is very good, thank you very much for sharing!

June 13, 2012

Peanutroaster

Hmmm that's a tough one. Some seniors are very paranoid (for good reason with so many people trying to rip them off) and probably think if their photo is on the Internet some how their bank account will be stolen. Of course vanity works on most people - show them some ads featuring Betty White and tell them, they too could become just as famous.

June 13, 2012

Gmargittai

@Peanutroaster,
I am not complaining. I did the photo gladly although it was clear almost from the beginning that there is no future in the stock part. I am not going back on the promise. When I asked advice I was thinking maybe somebody has a good line that can be used on such occasions. Why is it a harmless thing to be on the internet? How do people convince some stubborn old ladies it is OK to be a model.

June 13, 2012

Peanutroaster

Always get a signed release up front! You can't go back on a promise. Or wait and post it post posthumously. ;-)

June 13, 2012

Gmargittai

I just shot the most wonderful (real man or more precisely women) photo I could ever dream of. I am playing tennis in a community club and there is this wonderful group of old ladies playing doubles almost every morning. I gathered the courage and asked them if they do mind if I'll take their group photo sometime. All of them together dressed in their sports outfit with tennis rackets and all, on the court.
They were very suspicious. Asked me why I do this? Am I going to put them on the Internet? Because they don't want to be on the internet. No No No.
I told them I am not going to put them on the internet if they don't want to. Anyway I did the photo because I love photography and I was really impressed by their dedication at this old age. I think all of them are close to 80 if not passed it. It was a perfect cloudy morning and I used a bit of fill flash. They enjoyed posing very much. It was fun. I printed out one 5x7 for each of them (on my expense). They thanked me for the effort and said the picture is really nice, they were not expecting it to come out so well because it was cloudy :)

I don't even want to think what would they say if I ask them to sign a release. But even without the release I promised not to put them on the "Internet".

Any advice?

June 13, 2012

Egomezta

I do the same as you, thanks.

June 13, 2012

Gussmann

I think you are on the rigth way with your "models"

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