Fourteen years ago I was looking through some of my images and decided my portrait photography was lacking. I had some portrait images I was really proud of, but I lacked consistency. That is when I got the bright idea of working with a professional model.
That is when I found Sarah, a local professional model. I contacted her and told her I wanted to schedule her for a photo shoot “some time in the future.” She said “Why not book a shoot now?” I told her I wasn’t ready yet. I needed to practice photographing some “amateur models” first to improve my skills. She said “You will improve faster if you work with me now.” That made a lot of sense so I scheduled two shoots, one for August 10 and a second on August 15. I booked two shoots so if the first shoot didn’t go well I would have a second chance to do things better.
I was hugely nervous the day of the shoot. I wanted things to go well. As it turned out I created some images that were not very good, but some good ones too. The photo above was created on that first shoot. On our second shoot I did better.
Sarah and I continued to work together and she began sending other quality models my way (and she also clued me in on some models I should avoid). I learned a lot. In fact, a whole lot!
I also started reading books and articles on portrait, beauty, and glamour photography.
I knew I was making progress when Sarah contacted me one day and said “Tiana is coming to Ohio. You have to work with her when she is here. She is an amazing model. Do whatever you have to do to make this happen. You have to work with her.” So I booked a day with Tiana. But just as important, Sarah had decided I had come far enough in my skills to work with a first class traveling model.
Sarah is not only the first professional model it was my happy privilege to work with, she is certainly one of the best. I am a better photographer today than I was fourteen years ago, and Sarah and the other models she sent my way deserve a lot of the credit.
Every year when August 10 rolls around I think about our first photo shoot.