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Photography in Flux - We Have a Twitter Question!

TarabRANNIGANprofilepic2 During the Professional Development Seminar as part of the SNAG Conference we had "live blogging" by Tara Brannigan AND we had a Twitter question!

The question was addressed to Niche marketing speaker emiko oye from Tonya Davidson. Since we ran out of time during the PDS, she has answered it on ASK Harriete.

 “emiko, What tips do you have on finding models and determining costs?”

Emikoheadshot emiko says: When shooting your jewelry on models, it is important to select models that will not be distracting and that will be as complimentary as possible to your pieces.



EmikoOye model with good skin showing off her work. .




Good skin and posture are first and foremost.

As we heard Marthe Le Van comment during the Photography panel, as an editor she is very much turned off by body hair, cuts, bad manicures, and other distracting blemishes.

While it is permissible to Photoshop out pimples and blemishes,
you're better off starting with a healthier skinned model, especially if your Photoshop skills are less than expert.

Copy of emiko

  Academy of Art fashion show hires
  professional models for showcasing
  student work. Necklace by Elliot Gaskin

Dancers, yoga practitioners, and actresses/actors are the best models. They are most aware of how they hold themselves in their bodies. Dancers and actresses are most comfortable in front of the camera, plus know how to apply their own makeup.




Don't know any yogis, actresses, or models? Post signs at dance and yoga studios, find the studios on Facebook, and comment until someone replies. Ask your friends who they know, friends of friends are better contacts than cold-calling.

Photoshoot with emiko oye as photographer. It takes a whole
crew to work with a model.

Tips from emiko before shooting your work on a model:
Recycled Bracelets by Harriete Estel Berman 1. A manicure prior to their shoot time is important if you're shooting close-ups of hands. Pay for the model's manicure or offer to reimburse them.  

2. Makeup is essential, even if it is just pressed face powder, mascara, and lip gloss, the application of these makes a huge difference, especially in closeup shots.

Recycled  collar by Harriete Estel Berman, photograph by Emiko Oye800
3. Control flyaway hair
with hair products or have the model pull their hair back into a bun or ponytail.



Curtis Arima necklaces in Sterling silver and gold
Necklaces by Curtis Arima
Do you think the nipples are distracting?

4. Try to avoid complete nudity unless absolutely necessary for the piece and unless your model has the most perfect body. Nipples are distracting.

5. Think about the clothing your model will wear and either ask them to bring several pieces to choose from or provide something that will fit them.


I pay my models by the hour, including dressing/makeup prep time. It doesn't hurt to ask yourself what kind of wage would you want to earn? What is the cost of living in your city (NYC, NY models will cost you more than Des Moines, Iowa models, for example)?

How strenuous or difficult will the shoot be? (Is your work cumbersome or uncomfortable and thereby wearing it for over an hour a real chore for the model?)

Friends may prefer to trade for your jewelry, but I always offer to pay as an alternative, because people will work harder for you knowing they're getting money in exchange. Don't take advantage of friends, those favors only go so far--just think how you would want to be treated if the tables were turned!


Photography by emiko oye
Extremely Curly Recycled Bracelet
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman

Remember to take many, many photos from all angles, change up the lighting, and have a surgeon's eye for detail during the shoot. You do not want to have to recreate this shoot!
Have fun!

Thank you emiko for answering this question on ASK Harriete.

This post was updated on February 4, 2022.