Today, I went to my 1st group photo shoot. I would totally upload a whole ton of photos, but I didn't take any myself... like, really, for real, I didn't take even a single exposure. I went as a model.
I was going to sign up a month ago, but assumed I would be unavailable between 2 jobs and another event that the car-owner in the house was planning to attend (I have no car of my own). However, some things were cancelled and I found myself suddenly with a natural day off, decided to strike up a crazy-late-night-chat with a photog I know, and I unexpectedly found myself able to go less than 12 hours before the group shoot started... You read that right, less than 12 hours!
I quickly put together a suitcase of outfits that could maybe work, and posted to the forums dedicated to this group shoot that I didn't have a set schedule because I was signing up so last minute, received a few offers of open slots, and went to bed. What I really ought to mention, is that I purposely went in blind - I didn't look at the work of any of the photographers I was scheduled to meet with. I had no idea what their photo styles were, nor what to expect. I didn't even know what the photogs looked like!
The reasons behind this:
I wanted to force myself out of my comfort zone entirely. I've been the photographer since my early teens, and often did self portraits, and though I worked with friends from time to time, I didn't really relinquish the control over the finished product. This left me in many ways unable to connect with the friends I had modeling for me - I didn't really understand what it feels like to be on other end of the camera, with little control over the ideas or finished product.
I wanted to go in "fresh". I didn't want to look at their style and attempt to emulate it - as I am certain I would have failed spectacularly! No preconceptions of what their work looks like, didn't give myself a chance to compare my body to that of others that have modeled (for them) and open myself to the potential to feel inadequate, i.e. thoughts like, "My hair is too blonde" or, "My hair isn't blonde enough!".
So what did I do today other than go to a photoshoot without any idea what the photographers wanted ahead of time? I got to play with a machete, wear one of my corsets, lick the face of a mannequin, pose in a wrecked car (side note; I really hope there wasn't a passenger in that car when it wrecked... because if there was a person sitting passenger side, they're definitely dead... RIP?), drape across a fallen tree in a prom dress after climbing a tall stump in retro-style pumps, and play a country bumpkin.
4 different themed shoots is really, really exhausting - and I definitely learned things I would never have thought of while taking photos. I can be photographer all day. I can have a camera in my hand from the moment I awake in the morning until the moment I drift into sleep come night, and though I will climb, crawl, crouch, bend my knees, jump, or even hold the camera above my head and shoot several shots blindly in an attempt to get 1 good exposure, I'm generally not tired out by it. Modeling? Not as easy at looks.
The end result of all this, though? Really, really fun day. If every photo taken is a complete and utter flop, I don't care. I had a great experience, and can't wait for the next opportunity to model presents itself to me.