Why I Love First Time, Amateur Model Photography
I have seen many first time and amateur model portfolios containing generic, boring, “painfully ” bad photos not [only or necessary] due to the models’ inexperience but because of wholesale type, conveyor belt style photography.
I aim to do something I have never done before on every photoshoot otherwise how could I enjoy myself or look forward to the next shoot? And if I am not enjoying myself it surely will show and negatively effect the model as well which I happen to care about.
Many photographers just want the models’ money or the cheap thrill of a bikini babe rolling around in front of them. They have these models stand in front of a brick or graffiti wall, bark some orders and call it a day.
Above: fun portrait I took of a beautiful first time local Hawaiian model while she was laying in high grass.
“I like girls who are just starting. They have not been formed, they have no routine, they have not been in front of the camera.”
It is very exciting for me to discover and photograph “new faces” and to be part of building diverse, creative and eye-catching modeling portfolios. These pictures might be a springboard to a successful career or turn out to be life-long favorites and memorable photos that will always be fun to look back at.
“I think photographs should be provocative and not tell you what you already know. It takes no great powers or magic to reproduce somebody’s face in a photograph. The magic is in seeing people in new ways.”
I wish to avoid forced posing or unnatural poses, fake or uncomfortable smiles, useless or distracting backgrounds, meaningless or confusing situations and boring themes. I encourage and welcome improvisation, true emotions, a story to be told, freedom to be yourself or playing a role or a character you always wanted, circumstances that are unusual, interesting, funny, inspiring and motivating.
The following is what I came up with when thinking about why a first time or amateur model could actually be a better subject than an experienced one …
Top 10 Reasons Why I Love First Time And Amateur Model Photography
10. Excitement – first time models love to be photographed, their happiness and enthusiasm shines through during the photoshoot.
9. Innocence – lack of experience has its advantages. It is better to photograph an amateur model who does not know how to pose than a more advanced “semi professional” who poses badly. Photographers should be aware of amateur models who consider finishing modeling school / course as a high achievement.
8. Overflow of self confidence – first time models have not seen “bad photos” from unsuccessful photoshoots so no negative or self conscious emotions are present.
7. Lack of self confidence – in certain situations uneasiness, awkwardness, tension can be cute, intriguing and very real. Captured with sensitivity, lack of self confidence is personal, intimate and offers a unique connection between model, photographer and the viewer of the photo.
6. Trust – if a first time or beginner model agrees to shoot with me it is because she has seen my photos and liked my photos. She often admires the beauty of my “professional models” and the wide variety of emotions / stories behind the pictures. She is equally amazed when I tell her the high percentage of first time and amateur models in my portfolio just like her.
5. Willingness to experiment – what is the worst thing that can happen on the first photoshoot? The first session is for fun!
4. Chance for chemistry and being at ease with the photographer – shooting on location instead of a studio, not having a big crew, big expensive professional lighting equipment and assistants provides a very relaxed and intimate atmosphere with the photographer without intimidating distractions.
3. Good photos – low expectations are the easiest way to produce high quality results! The opposite is true with high expectations. One model told me right before a photoshoot how she wanted to look beautiful just like my other models, even more beautiful and wanting me to take my most beautiful photos I’ve ever taken with her.
At that moment I felt uncomfortable due to her sad and desperate pressure (you had to be there) and the fact that I just could not absolutely and honestly “promise” THAT kind of a specific and guaranteed fantastic outcome before our shoot (or before any shoot for that matter).
2. A pleasant surprise – yes, they say the camera adds 10 pounds but I can take 20 pounds off with lighting, angles, poses and technique. OK maybe another 15 with the liquify filter of Photoshop.
It never gets old to hear it time and time again: “you made me look so beautiful”! I never tell her that all along it was really her and not me who did it!
1. An unforgettable experience – after all there is only one first time!!!
My Favorite Photos Of First Time And Amateur Models
Not all amateur model photoshoots are successful of course but whenever I can I always arrange a face to face meeting with the model. During these meetings the photographer can gauge the chemistry, take notes about the model’s personality, best angles etc.
I have canceled photoshoots with models after meeting them mostly because they looked completely different from the photo they used to contact me with.
The forty images below represent a wide and diverse selection of some of the photos I took over the years. All photoshoots were with first time or amateur models which means they have done approximately less than five photoshoots.
Beautiful first time Belgian model portrait
Romantic portrait of Chinese American girl
First time model a girl next door with long blonde hair
First time German model with dreadlocks
Beautiful Japanese girl as a first time model
First time model portrait who is also an actress
Beautiful portrait of native Hawaiian girl and first time model
Amateur Chinese Japanese mixed ethnicity model
Dramatic portrait of oriental amateur model in rainforest
Portrait concept with dramatic shadows for oriental amateur model
Portrait of first time mixed ethnicity model
Abercrombie & Fitch style portrait of first time male model
First time lingerie model from Belgium
Intimate first time model portrait in lingerie at banyan tree
Amateur Chinese American lingerie model photography
Amateur bikini model photography with warrior princess theme
Amateur mixed ethnicity bikini model in rainforest stream
From Japanese girl next door to exotic bikini model
First time exotic swimsuit model
Fun concept with first time Japanese bikini model and pink inner tube
Athletic amateur German lingerie model and dancer on red leather sofa
Amateur German lingerie model and dancer on white bed
Beautiful mixed ethnicity amateur fashion model at sunset
Portrait fashion photo of beautiful first time model Russian fur hat
Japanese first time fashion model with red rose shoulder tattoo
Amateur Chinese Japanese moxed ethnicity fashion model
First time Belgian fashion model white winter coat
First time fashion model on Hawaiian sunrise photoshoot
Exotic amateur mixed ethnicity model portrait in Hawaiian rainforest
Beautiful amateur Chinese American model black and white beauty portrait
Amateur Chinese American model black and white rainforest portrait
Amateur Chinese American model black and white beauty photo
Dramatic edgy black and white portrait of Chinese American model
Black and white rainforest portrait of first time local hawaiian model
Edgy black and white portrait of first time girl next door model
Black and white intimate portrait with first time Italian – Middle Eastern beauty
David Yurman themed jewelry photography with first time model
Dramatic black and white sunrise portrait of first time model
Dramatic black and white night portrait of first time model
Edgy black and white photo of mixed ethnicity bikini model
Creative portrait of Chinese American amateur model with stone fish