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How to be a model for a day with a professional photographer

Posted by on Jan 2, 2013 |

How to be a model for a day with a professional photographer

If you’re a woman, I know you’ve wondered how to be a model for a day with a professional photographer at least once in your life

Hold on to your hats because this little inspiration just might ignite the spark to make your dream come true. This could be for boudoir photos, fashion pictures, personal portrait sessions, tasteful sexy photos and more.

ornate library in 1912 house
This is the ornate library in a 1912 house. In real life, it looks a little worse for the wear, but it still photographs luxuriously.

Before and after exterior shot of 1912 house
I shot this mansion just before sunrise. Unfortunately, what you see is not what you want to get, so with a little Photoshop magic, I created a more visually appealing exterior shot.

La Belle Epoque: one woman’s fashion fantasy to be a cover model for a day

A late winter wind hurls itself through a shivering Central Park. A blond woman watches from the bay window of her toasty Fifth Avenue apartment, nervously chewing her lip.

A dream is playing out in her head. A dream of period gowns, of gentlemen, of watch fobs and top hats. The music of Schumann plays in the background. This dream is about to come true and she can hardly wait.

Josephine, or Josie to her friends, would never admit that she was in her mid forties. She knew she looked much younger through the miracles of a great diet, punishing exercise and access to the best plastic surgeon in Los Angeles.

Her good looks served her well on the social scene, but she was tiring of the steady demands for her appearance. This year, she decided, would be different. This year she would carve out a chunk of time to plan her own party. Something extravagant, something complicated, something exquisite, something just for her and a few choice friends.

This year, Josie’s secret fantasy was coming true. Josie had always wanted to be a model. But not just any model, a cover model.

As pretty as she was, it was no secret that 5’6” would never cut it.

Then Josie met Koren, the New York photographer who specializes in photographing real women. Koren had story after story about transforming women into sexy princesses, fashion goddesses and historic heroines and villains alike.

Koren’s shoots ranged from simple studio set-ups with couture clothing to complicated, custom-built locations. Koren could borrow costumes from Hollywod and hire stylists to fashion custom props from scratch. Planning was meticulous. Hair and makeup was perfect. Locations were found or stages were built. Nothing was out of reach.

Josie’s fantasy was to be photographed as Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice for an imaginary shoot for Vanity Fair Magazine. Josie loved the manors and the poise and the sophisticated polish of the English aristocracy and La Belle Epoque. She loved the clothes and the up-do’s and the silks and the brocades that still represent the wealth of that century.

Josie would play the role of Elizabeth Bennett. Koren had arranged a photo shoot at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, the same house chosen for Mr. Darcy’s manor in the 2005 film. Costumes from the film would be flown in. Extras from the surrounding countryside would participate (in costume, of course). A period feast of goose, roasted potatoes and plum pudding would garnish a 40’ table.

How to be a model for a day with a professional photographer: a Fashion shoot with one woman and eight men outside of an overgrown Italian villa
A fashion shoot with one woman and eight men outside an overgrown, Italian villa

The shoot would last all day. A costume ball for the “cast” and crew would cap off the storybook day where Josie would be surrounded by select friends flown in just for the occasion. To participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event, these friends agreed to donate handsomely to Josie’s favorite charity.

In a few months, Josie would receive a set of custom-made albums telling various stories of the day. The Grande Album, a curated beauty set, would read like an over-the-top magazine spread.

A second album would feature behind-the-scenes shots and out-takes to remember the laughter, the fun, and some of the options that didn’t make it into the big spread.

A third album might focus on one section of the day where Josie wore all white in an all-white room.

This wouldn’t be just any old album collection you throw up on the shelf, however. The collection would be worthy of an Experience Room.

An Experience Room is a custom-designed space where Josie could re-live this magical day. In her case, the designer would carve a 12’ x 15’ room off Josie’s Manhattan apartment den. The walls of the room would be papered in dusty blue silk brocade and the divided light window would be set with heavy, velvet drapes. Three enormous photographs on canvas in ornate, distressed silver frames would line the walls.

The opening of the doors to the Experience Room would trigger the subtle release of a custom-made scent into the room. This fragrance combines leather, wood smoke, butcher’s wax and roasting venison; all of which trigger experiential memory receptors.

In the center of the room, an ornate podium showcases the Grande Album. Its design makes flipping through page after page a pure pleasure, one that Josie will proudly show off to all her friends.

Inspired? Dream big. Today is not too soon to start planning your fantasy shoot.