Model Citizen App is the platform where we recognised fashion models, photographers, designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, creative directors, bloggers, stylists, and labels around the world.Every day, we feature an individual on Model Citizen Interviews. People get to know each of them- their hopes, challenges, aspirations and inspirations in life.
We are delighted to feature Matt McFadden, who has shed some light on his experiences working with models from all walks of life - amateur, aspiring and experienced. We recommend you have a read if you fit into one of these categories!
"I've worked with models at all levels of experience, from complete beginners to high end, agency represented models. The difference is huge. There's more to modelling than just standing there looking pretty."
How did you get to where you are now in your career?
The path I took to running my own photography studio was to simply quit my dayjob and start advertising as a commercial photographer. It was extremely hard to get the business in at first and I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone as a sensible way to start a business. But for me, it was the only thing I wanted to do and once I'd made my decision, I simply couldn't go back to working in an office again. Sometimes you just have to jump in and believe that you can swim, sinking is not an option!
How did your education prepare you for the future?
I've worked with models at all levels of experience, from complete beginners to high end, agency represented models. The difference is huge. There's more to modelling than just standing there looking pretty. When you're on a paid shoot for a client, working with a model who knows what they're doing makes the whole shoot much, much easier; and if you can make my job easier, then the chances that I'll hire or recommend you for other work is pretty high. Modelling is work, so if there are course to take that will make you better at it then it'll only help your career in the long run.
What person has been your inspiration in life? Who is your hero?
Completely not related to photography at all but my all-time hero is Christopher Hitchens. There's much to be learned about sticking to what you believe in whilst being intellectually honest from him.
Do you feel like you’ve met your goals and are successful?
Not at all. I think being unendingly unhappy about your work is what fuels most creatives to push themselves onward. You'll never advance in anything if you believe you've reached your goal.
If you had to do it over again, what would you change?
Nothing, every wrong turn or mistake I made helped define the things that I really wanted.
What advice would you give someone who is young and wants to have a position such as yours one day?
Embrace your failures. You can't avoid them and if you try to learn from them, you'll be in good shape. Cultivate your game face. When you're the photographer all eyes are on you to deliver, so even if you feel intimidated by a situation you can't let your client's see it because once they loose confidence in you, it won't matter how good your shots are.
How do you stay inspired?
It's hard, especially when working on commercial jobs as there is usually a fairly limited scope to be creative. But looking at other's people's work and listening to music really helps.
What photography related things do you recommend?
Try to critically assess your images that didn't work. It's easy just to delete bad images and give them no thought, but if you take a few moments and try to figure out what you did wrong, you'll improve your photography no end.
What's your favourite camera?
My Nikon D800. It's not perfect and getting a little old now, but for the type of work I do it's brilliant.
Tell us an interesting experience while on set.
I once ended up having to jump into my own photoshoot as I needed a male model to go with the girl in the shot. I'm not the tallest guy so I had to balance on top of a stack of books to make me the right height, the shots looked good in the end though!
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