“So who’s the model?”

That was the question the studio manager asked us as he let us into the photography studio for our photoshoot on a beautiful Saturday morning in Phoenix Arizona. (This happened before I moved my business to Elizabeth City, North Carolina.)

My client, my hair and makeup artist and I stood there like “ummm…”

So I said “you mean, who’s the client?” And then I introduced everyone.

My clients do not think of themselves as models

Most of the people I photograph do not think of themselves as models.

In the world and culture of professional photography and portraiture, models are the usual suspects, the ones who belong in front of the camera. They’re paid to be there, and for the most part, they love it.

So it is common for us to refer to whoever is being photographed as “the model”.

But my clients are not models. In fact, a lot of them have never been photographed professionally. And many of them can’t remember the last time they were properly photographed.

Models are somewhat comfortable in front of the camera. Their job is to be camera ready, right on cue. The typical everyday person doesn’t really know what to do when a camera is pointed at them.

But every woman wants to feel beautiful.

Everyone wants to know that maybe, just maybe, they could feel like Angelina Jolie on the set of a Vanity Fair photoshoot.

The lights, the hair and makeup, the assistants, the big beautiful studio, and glamorous (or minimal) sets – these do not feel familiar to the everyday person. And though my portrait studio may not be a replica of a Hollywood set, the experience of having a professional take the time to photograph you properly, is universal to every memorable photoshoot experience.

What I want to do, is bring this exact experience to the everyday woman, and man, and person. I want them feel like they belong here.

As I put together this little video for Lauren, that question kept re-playing in my head.

So go ahead, watch the video below, and you tell me. Who is the model?