First and foremost, I want to thank each and every wonderful, beautiful, Mama-to-be who answered my call for models in late July! I was on a mission to photograph several of the beautiful custom gowns I have available in the studio, and thanks to the response, I had no shortage of models for that day. This was my second Maternity Model call of the summer, and it was an overwhelming success thanks to you.
Wonder what happens at a model call with Tina Caron Photography? Three things: lots of work, lots of fun and laughs, and lots of photographs! Each of my model calls has a specific purpose. The first one I did in June was directed at reinforcing some new lighting and fabric techniques myself and several other local photographers had learned at Texas School with Ana Brandt. You retain the most from learning and training if you ensure that you practice your new skills, so that's what we set out to do. We had a lot of fun, and so did our models. We had two models that day, and while they had great experiences and we produced unique portraits of them, the general feeling from both was that it was a long session. So when I set out to do a second summer model call, I decided I'd bring in more models and shorten the session times. I scheduled a 10 hour day, and planned for 60-90 minute sessions, depending on how many models I found.
Baby BlueMama to be is expecting a baby boy, which is honored in the choice of light blue chiffon fabric. Mama-To-BeCara models a sleeveless sweetheart neck maternity gown in a beautiful neutral color. We dressed up the gown with an ivory sash of ribbon and crystals.
This time I had 13 different gowns I wanted to photograph, so I set out to secure at least 6 models for the day. About a week before the event, I created a graphic for social media, asking for models that were 32-34 weeks pregnant. I had a gallery of my gowns already online, photographed on a dress form. It was important to me to allow prospective models to see the wardrobe I had selected for them to be sure there were no uncomfortable surprises on the day of the event. Remember, each model call has a purpose behind it - this time I needed beautiful images of these gowns with actual expectant mamas wearing them. Boho ChicKaysie is wearing the gown she chose from the studio wardrobe. She also modeled the Dreamy Mama Robe, which was the studio choice, and the Misty Mama. Some of the gowns are sheer, some are revealing, some are form fitting. With the goal of photographing each dress on at least one model in a single day, it would have been disastrous to have models be unwilling to wear the dresses! The model call graphic ran on Facebook and Instagram as a paid advertisement, targeting my chosen demographic in my local market. Almost immediately the emails and messages started coming in!
Once a prospective model had expressed interest by sharing the requisite full length image in an email, I began a written dialog that included directing them to my Model Call blog entry that fully outlined the requirements and the perks. They received a link to the gown gallery, and were asked to review. They were of course allowed to disqualify themselves once they read the blog and saw the wardrobe we'd be using. My model calls are a two-way street - I have a purpose to achieve, but I also want my models to feel their time was appreciated and that they had a comfortable, fun experience. I selected 6 wonderful models, and scheduled them into 90 minute sessions through out the day. Each model was given personal styling tips for hair, makeup, and nails, along with some careful direction about what kind of undergarments to bring along. Coffee Station Ready For ServiceCoffee, tea, and hot chocolate are available to all my assistants, models, and clients, during sessions, consultations, and Image Reveal and Ordering appointments. This came with the warning that non-compliance may result in going commando! That worked like a charm - everyone came in full compliance of the underwear directive :)
On the day of the event, I set out Sweet Tea and Iced Water, refreshed the coffee station, and set out light snacks for everyone to enjoy. Three local photographers joined me to assist, and we set up the studio. The wardrobe for the day was hung out on a rack, ready for our models. Our first model arrived by 8:45, right on time, with her husband in tow. We welcomed them, set them up with morning refreshments, and got to work. The Dad-to-be made himself comfortable on the sofa, and it wasn't long before he was catching up on some much needed sleep!
Pure JoyThe name of the gown, and the feeling of expecting her first child. Diem models the top and skirt from the Pure Joy Beaded Lace set. Styled Maternity PortraitThe Pure Joy Beaded Lace Maternity set.
Our first model looked amazing in our first choice for her - The Pure Joy beaded lace set. At almost 35 weeks pregnant, and barely 4'11" tall, she had just the best baby belly! She was a little shy at first, but we quickly got to work making her comfortable. We talked about how she was feeling, and if she knew the gender of the baby. She is having a girl, and it's her first! We spent about 75 minutes photographing, and she wore three different dresses for us.
Beauty in RedStyled maternity portrait featuring the Bella Beauty Mama gown in striking burgundy. Throughout the day, we had a continuous stream of models in and out of the studio. Each model was unique, and chosen specifically with at least one gown in mind. As they arrived at the studio, they each signed a model release, and were offered my choice of gown for them, their choice of any of the remaining gowns that had not yet been photographed, as well as their own choice of any gown in the closet. This gave each model the ability to wear a dress that really spoke to their sense of style, as well as ensuring that my goals for the day were met.
We got to know each woman a little bit as we photographed them. Some brought friends, some came alone, and each one was tremendous fun in front of the camera. What helped the most was the planning ahead of the day. As I was selecting models and setting the schedule for the day, I was also creating a vision for how each model's session would flow. I always started the session with the studio-selected gown for that particular model, watched the time to ensure we'd have time for 1-2 wardrobe changes for each model, and kept the rotation going. Each photographer that assisted also had a chance to pose and photograph the models in each dress if they wished. Jade DramaYards of chiffon in a gorgeous jade green set the stage for sweeping, dramatic effects.
While this does limit the variety of final images to some extent, it does enhance the model's experience with us, because each photographer will have their unique style that shows through in the portraits they produce. Often a photographer will have a signature pose, or technique for placing the hands, and we all get a chance to learn something new from observing each other work.
In the end, it was a very long day of work for us photographers. six models, a dozen gowns (and some flying fabric for good measure - we can never resist!), and 10 hours of shooting time! As a low volume boutique studio, this single day equated to the number of maternity sessions I might typically do in 2 months! Despite the frantic week of preparations, and the long day spent executing the model call, I was tremendously pleased with the outcome. Each model now has a handful of beautiful custom portraits, and I have a gorgeous gallery of my gowns for all my prospective maternity clients to review.
Thank you again to all the lovely ladies that made this day possible - my models, my fellow photographers and assistants, and all my friends who had to listen to me talk about this exciting day endlessly. I love you all!
If you are interested in being the first to know about upcoming studio events and specials, sign up for my newsletter and follow me on Social Media. The links are available in the lower right corner of the site. I'm also booking a limited number of maternity and newborn sessions through the end of the year. If you are interested, don't hesitate as spots will fill up fast.