Here's a little background: I look a trip to Denver, CO for about a week with the idea of photographing models and portfolio building while out there. (Blog post to come about the trip as well).
Here's the story of my first experience with a male model. Yes I've photographed men before, plenty of times, but never a guy that considered himself a model. To add to this experience, this is also the first time I've photographed someone under the age of 18. This is Thomas, and he's kind of the bomb.
Thomas approached me with the idea of urban "hipster" vibes. I did some research, found a ton of incredible photos inside of Union Station. They had a form to fill out and send to them, but it had to be five days in advance (I sent it four days in advance), and had the requirement of photographer's insurance (which I don't yet have). I quickly received an email turning me down as to be expected, no worries, but meant a quick change of plans. We were told we could photograph outside so that was the plan. The image above was the first photo I shot, a security guard then approached us and said that without permission from Amtrak, you also can't photograph the tracks, trains, or structure. So again, let's get creative and walk it out. Below are some of the images we ended up with.
This shoot was at 10am at a place I'd never been, with people I'd never met, with parking that was questionable to find my car after. After the location switch we used what I call the Walk and Talk Method. When in doubt, get to know your model, keep walking, stop every time you see something cool. Right at the end of the tracks was a solid wall, so that's where we started. We moved on to a waterspout area right in front of Union Station, while dodging kids in the background I grabbed some more shots. Turns out Thomas wants to go to school in California. Found a colorful wall. He also likes outdoorsy things, but prefers the city. Stood on the corner of a busy intersection. He is a great dude that walks with his female friends to their cars at night. Found a cool bench, shot some more. Essentially, talk to your models. Please please please, get to know the people you work with. Building relationships for me is the most important and my favorite part of working with so many people. I'll definitely photograph Thomas in the future and cannot wait to see where life takes him.
I'm always nervous working with complete strangers out of town, because that can go so many different ways. Thomas ended up being a total delight to work with. He was very versatile, easy to work with, a posing boss, full of good conversation, and he's only seventeen. Not once do I recall having to ask him to pose differently, every couple seconds he was doing something new and keeping it creative. If you're in the Denver area looking for an up and coming male model, this is going to be your guy. Thank you so much Thomas!