Our session could have been shorter, but Shannon and I have worked together for so many years now that we've become friends. So, we spent a good time chatting and catching up. One thing that came up in our conversation was that when we look back through the concepts we've done together, we see how both of us have improved in our crafts.
In a quick fix society, this was a fun realization. Practice and dedication will yield improvement. Buying some fancy piece of equipment will not make someone better or a professional at anything. The equipment is just a tool. I am still using the same gear I did when Shannon and I started working together three years ago. With practice and dedication, I just got better at using it, better at understanding and controlling light, and better with directing and guiding my subjects.
The same principles work for models. Just being pretty does not make someone a model. There is a lot of work involved in understanding body angles, expressions, and movement. There are subtleties that develop in poses and expressions as models gain experience. In addition, experienced models don't hold the tension in their hands and jaw like beginners do. Hands are elegant and relaxed, expressions are soft or fierce, lips are slightly parted, eyes aren't opened too wide or turned too far in one direction. Poses become more refined with experience as does the ability to take direction. A model can listen to the photographer's concept, strike a few poses that work with the idea, and then follow the photographers direction to refine it.
With that, I give you one of the most refined images Shannon and I have done to date. Shannon, fabulous job on your expression for this concept. I am proud of how much you've grown as a model.