Don’t you hate it when this happens?


Take a look at this amusing short video of two young models taking part in a photo shoot.


Some questions immediately came to my mind. One is that the models seemed to be robotic in the way they shifted poses, as if the entire sequence was choreographed. Is this standard for such things? Are models practiced in a specified spectrum of poses that they cycle through? Also, when his pants fell down, both models stopped in mid-pose while someone else came and pulled them up. Why did the model not pull up his own pants? Is there some rule at work here too?

A broader question is why fashion models often have such sullen expressions like these two. They are presumably being used to sell some merchandise. Do glowering models sell more stuff than cheerful ones? When I see an ad, I am more likely to linger on someone who looks happy than someone who looks like they are bored out of their minds or pouty or even angry.

Clearly there are many things about the world of modeling and marketing that are opaque to me. Anyone able to clarify?

Comments

  1. starskeptic says

    -They have to get in as many shots as quickly as possible – you never know what’s going to be usable.

    -Those aren’t his pants – he probably didn’t put them on himself in the first place…that’s the responsibility of the people putting the outfits together; he makes a wrong move he could rip something.

  2. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    What #1 said …
    One is that the models seemed to be robotic in the way they shifted poses, as if the entire sequence was choreographed. Is this standard for such things? … yes. you go through the standard poses for the client’s desired mood as taught by the agency (this seems to be “sullen chic”) or are following the photographer’s stream of instructions.

    You are billing by the hour, so maximizing the number

    The photographer is taking an astounding number of photographs, dumps the bad ones and lets the client pick.

    Also, when his pants fell down, both models stopped in mid-pose while someone else came and pulled them up. … Those clothes are held on by clips, pins and tape to make them look goof from the camera’s POV … if he moves the jacket will probably fall off.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    … why fashion models often have such sullen expressions …

    After years of pondering that, my tentative hypothesis is that their expressions are intended as a sort of challenge, an “I have what it takes to rock these threads – do YOU?” look meant to separate the (self-perceived) elite from the plebes (and their money from said elite). Maybe this comes from seeing similar sneers too often from Melania-Trump-lookalike-wannabes while I was wearing work/hippie-ish clothing, but I do feel a top-down class-consciousness implication from all such ads, and an urge to get all in-their-face blue-collar when meeting such persons.

  4. says

    Yup@#2:
    Designers only retailor stuff for uber-super models – the basic catalog shoots are usually whatever size is going to look best, taped or stapled together. I’ve seen shoots where the clothes look fantastic because they only fit that way from one angle (i.e.: the waist of the jacket looks so nipped-in because it’s stapled that way)

    All advertorial photography is done like this, now. You should see what “food stylists” do to make the shit you’re going to get at a restaurant chain look palatable. I’ve seen burgers sprayed with so much Pam they’re dripping, and vegetables dipped in floor wax…

  5. says

    Pierce R. Butler@#4:
    After years of pondering that, my tentative hypothesis is that their expressions are intended as a sort of challenge, an “I have what it takes to rock these threads – do YOU?” look meant to separate the (self-perceived) elite from the plebes (and their money from said elite).

    I think that’s right. Add to it, that the idea of an “otherworldly” look on a model is pretty much anything that’s outside of the usual viewer’s experience. So you can have some model kicking or throwing a punch and suddenly it’s “edgy” but it’s actually incomprehensible. Some fashion photographers (LaChapelle, Erwin Olaf, Helmut Newton) deliberately disassociate the viewer from reality, because it appears that when we’re trying to figure out WTF is going on, a person’s clothing and face are two if the signals we search for. So if you have someone in a nice dress, and they’re doing something that makes no sense, the dress actually resonates more closely with the viewer because it’s the one part of the scene that does make some kind of sense.

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