You have a model who wants to work with you. She is pretty and will lead to some great works… the problem is, you talk to her to get to know her, and you can tell right away. She’s just not your cup of tea. This happens a lot with online interactions- you don’t get to know the person and then the day of the shoot you meet her and she is very nervous. I think we’ve all made those types of photos when we were beginning- the kind where the subject seems wildly uncomfortable. How do we get them comfortable?
First, I’d say always meet them before the shoot. I know, I know you need the money for your studio and it all seems great before meeting her- but its eventually gonna happen. Meeting for coffee costs you almost nothing and really lets you know her comfort level like face to face interaction. It will even help her be more relaxed the next time you see her. Connecting with her on a personal level is very important and nothing helps that better then spending time with her. Talk about topics you both agree on! Play music she likes. Make her feel empowered to take more control of the shoot. I find nothing helps them like shamelessly complimenting them and making sure they know they are pretty.
Discover Their Strengths and Weaknesses- then Lie to Them.
The difference between a professional model and a woman who is just wanting a photography set is often skill knowing their face and their own body language. Take some test shots, let them move around, see the types of expressions they make. Find the best ones and use them to her advantage. Correcting her too much makes her feel insecure- and with unprofessional models its very hard to get touchy when adjusting their frames and positioning. If you find weaknesses, don’t tell them any of them. My recommendation, is to lie like mad. She is the best, she is amazing and beautiful and perfect and she could be a real model. Being amazed by her should start before you take a single step into the studio.
No matter what, assure her she is doing an amazing job. Her feeling like she is doing an amazing job will let her be more comfortable and more relaxed so she can actually do an amazing job.
Don’t take the shoot too seriously, and let her know that you could recover the shoot another time if she is unhappy with the result. They never take the opportunity, and it helps them feel better and it relieves stress off of them.