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Old May 9, 2011, 4:04 PM   #1
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Default The Politics of Fashion Photography Part 23 Casting the Model

or Why Casting the Model is like Editing Film

For those of you who read my article about editing film (digital images) and how mind set dependent that is, you might find this article interesting. I am just in the process of casting for a Fashion Advertising Campaign and I stopped the process to think about the challenges of doing so and share some of my immediate impressions with you.

The first thing I noticed and you may find this really amusing, if the model comp is showing nudity and in most cases they do and the shoot does not require any, it might be best to cover the breasts while casting. As an avid breast lover, I find it literally impossible to cast with any semblance of objectivity, when I have an incredibly beautiful pair of breasts starring at me in the face. So what do I do? I stare directly at the face and do my best to stay centered and focussed.

When it is fashion, always try to find a girl with the most internet and editorial exposure, no matter what the budget, as this will aid in the viral buzz surrounding the use of this model for the campaign when it comes out. This will please everyone concerned, from the client to the ad agency, model and the whole food chain.

Try to cast outside of the norm as much as you feel is possible. Why? You want someone with stopping power. As you are the one who will make the preliminary decision to send off to the art buyer and art director and perhaps the casting director, make a choice that will leave an impression. They are counting heavily on your input.

Make sure that you make a pre-choice choice and leave it for a short while and come back later to reassess your choices. You would be amazed how much your frame of mind will affect your choices.
That is where it really reminds me of editing film.

Only use agencies that you would consider for editorial spreads, as they are generally where you will find the most credible models. Don't compromise here. It is important for your reputation to produce advertising work that looks like what you are showing in your editorial portfolio. That is only my opinion of course.

If is important to set up a final in the flesh casting based on the pre-casting you have done to avoid any poor casting accidents. So much can change from the time the model composite has been done and the time you have done the casting. I won't go into how often I have avoided a bad casting error by seeing the models pre-shoot.

I have to get back to my casting, but remember this, that casting is an objective as well as subjective process. It is a balancing act and needs to be taken very seriously. Your model will be the focal point of your campaign or editorial. Choose with the utmost diligence...or not. If I have any further thoughts I will add them later.

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