I’ve had this moment more times than I care to admit. When I see someone whose name I should know, but nothing comes to mind. Sometimes, it’s possible to cover it up, but usually it turns into a slightly awkward social situation. As a result, I’ve started actively remembering names.
Both in business settings and in general, forgetting someone’s name is a potentially embarrassing situation – even if just for a moment – for both parties. It may be a small thing, but from a director’s perspective, a photoshoot goes much more smoothly if we can remember our models’ names. Rather than asking “the woman in the blue” if she can move to the left, or whispering a quick “what’s her name?” to each other, we can specifically ask each person by name to adjust as we need. And remembering the right name avoids awkwardly calling out a bunch of names until the right person looks up – which saves us looking like we aren’t invested in our models. It also makes it easier to encourage people – particularly those who are new to modelling and aren’t fully comfortable yet; especially in big groups, having a comment like “That was great, Katie!” can go a long way towards helping someone relaxin front of the camera.
We never want our models to feel like props; personalising their experience, and making each model feel important and respected, makes our shoots feel more natural – even if we’ve taken a construction worker and had them act as a doctor or vice versa. Our goal is to create a fun, inclusive atmosphere at each of our shoots – and part of that is making our models all feel personally included. From the moment we first meet our models, to when we say goodbye at the end of each shoot, we want to make sure we can make the experience the best we can for them. Taking a few moments to individually thank each person for coming out has a bigger impact than a generic thank you to the entire group.
Sometimes, the little things are the big things.