One model? No worries, it’s called Range! (Part One)

Range beyond the ordinary:

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. And we each play our parts. And models? Well, sorry, Shakespeare, models can play any part. Modeling and acting are synonymous. It’s what makes us special. We don’t just look good; we’re great in every respect. Simply put, by embracing every opportunity to be someone else – while still being ourselves – models can add to their credentials while expanding a photog’s portfolio of work. It’s called range. Great actors have it. As do great models. And with a few reminders and trial runs, any model can expand her range to be a better playa! (Haha! Eat that, Shakes.) And with such a model, any photog can look like the original player… Hugh Hefner.

One model? One pose? One look? Neeeext:

Evolving with my Ipod

Evolving with my Ipod

Your job’s over, and your photog has moved on to look for that next “look” model to expand his purview. This is often a problem in the modeling world, as one-look models will be overlooked for a new type of shoot. In acting, this problem is called type-casting. Only the greatest actors evolve beyond the one-dimensional character type (be it action-hero or comedy relief) to become the multi-ranged actor starring in dramas, actions, comedies, and great romances. Whereas models that evolve are fewer and farther between. It seems easier for actors and singers to become models or even poets. Fair? Not really, but a fact of life. But wait… with range, that doesn’t have to be the case. The model can evolve to be the actor, the talk-show host, and even the singer. (The poet? Me? Nah.)

Range:

But what does a model do to keep his or her photog shooting her (and thus keep working)? It’s simple… Range! With a new look, a suggested shot, a different idea, or a creative wardrobe change, a model can develop her range. It starts with a simple concept we all (should have) learned in school. Remember Darwin? That’s right. Adapt. Adapt to your environment. Be the cactus. Be the sun. Be the ice skater. Be willing to be someone else. If you’re happy when you know it, clap your hands. If you really wanna show it… do more. Better yet, if you’re happy, try being sad. Change and adapt to what’s needed, or what makes your “look” different that day. Adapt and survive. Darwin would be proud and you’ll keep working.

Multiplicity:

A Ghostly Wedding

A Ghostly Wedding

Multitasking, multivitamins, multicultural… range is everywhere. Everything in our society is now found in multiples. Once we realize that we no longer look at things in opposition, we can go beyond our one dimensional roles and become multi-talented models. Ones with range. Think of it this way, back in the day we thought of things as good or evil, light or dark, happy or sad. There was no middle ground. Yet now, we realize there’s a whole world of gray between the black and the white, and that’s where most of us operate. Imagine watching a cop movie with a perfect police officer. Boring? Our cops are a lot darker in movies now. Think Batman, Clint Eastwood, or that Die Hard guy. You can be both light and dark in this generation. That’s a multiple. And range in modeling is one and the same.

Range – A How to Guide:

The following is a how-to guide for a photog or model to use as a checklist. These aren’t all the ways to develop range, just a few, and I hope you readers will comment on ways you’ve found helpful… so this article can grow in range as well.

1) Wardrobe – styles, eras, accessories, brands… keep going. How do you think fashion designers come up with new concepts? They take old ones and adapt them to the new era. Notice that the 80’s are back? They are. You, with some great pics, can bring back any generation you choose.

I heart 80\'s

I heart 80's

2) Adopting Roles – like stage acting, play another part. Be a dancer… a baker, or a candlestick maker. It doesn’t matter, even if it’s not you. I’ve been a gun-toting minuteman and a rocker chick. Even though guns scare me. And I can’t play guitar. Get the point?

3) Makeup and Hair – hair and makeup. Two distinctly different things, but both work well as examples of range potential. Ever done one of those online “gizmoz” or “Cosmo” things to see what you look like with different hair styles, hair colors, makeup, or even outfits? I’d lay a bet on it in Vegas. I saw a guy the other day on “gizmoz” trying to see what he’d look like in a Britney Spears video… blond hair and scruff… scary! But you know we’ve all tried it.

4) Emotions – how many emotions are there? And then how many variations of each are there? Think back to Shakespeare and the play Romeo and Juliet. What’s the main emotion? Love? Not enough. Tragic love? Getting closer. The reality? It’s far more than that… R&J runs the whole range of love – from family love, to friend love, to teenage crazy love, to even “playa” love. Each one provides a good model with varied looks… just try to run the whole gamut of love in your next shoot and see the difference in the end photos.

\"O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art my Romeo?\"

5) Environment – there are two choices a model can make within the chosen environment… she can either reflect it or stand in contrast with it. Well… there is a third possibility… and that’s where range really lies for the model. It’s that gray area in between those polar opposites, it’s that middle ground, and it’s the multi. That’s right. You can reflect your environment while at the same time being at odds with it. How? Well… figure it out and you’ll shine. For instance, not to brag, I once did a shot on a beach where I was carefree and mirrored the feel of the waves, sand, and sun. At the same time I used my dancing skills to do a C-Jump, which may have seemed better suited for the b-ball court with the height I was able to hit, but it actually allowed me to embrace the sky. Another time, with Don, we took a picture by a light pole in Houston. I thought Singing in the Rain and went Kung Fu. Reflect and contrast, Grasshopper.

To be continued… Next: Range Continued – A How to Guide

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About 

I am in love with light.

Also known as Don Giannatti, photography has been the focus of my life for most of my adult years. I have written three books for Amherst Media (available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble: keyword 'don giannatti'. Lighting Essentials is my flagship blog and ezine with a slightly different slant than most photography related blogs. If you are interested in becoming a better photographer, check out www.project52.org. Thanks for visiting.

1 Comment

  1. These articles just keep getting better and better. :)
    Thanks!