How to SNOG on Photoshoots!
There will come a time, in most models’ lives, where they will have to make out with another model.
For some it’s a dream. Sexy guys kissing sexy girls, letting the chemistry flow, the sparks fly and the flashbulbs erupt.
For others…It comes a bit less naturally (ahem). Some models might not have made out with that many people by the time they have to snog a model whilst being watched by tonnes of other people. Others might have to make out with their ACTUAL MATE on a shoot. For some, it’s awkward because they’re aware of a jealous boyfriend/girlfriend/strict parents who won’t approve. And for most, it’s just a matter of not quite knowing what to do.
Some people don’t want to kiss another model on a shoot, and that’s TOTALLY understandable. Just tell your bookers and you won’t be put forward for those jobs, no questions asked.
I certainly was a mix of a few of these anxieties when I did my first kiss on a shoot. I had snogged quite a few boys in Oceana by then (class) but I got swept up in the nervousness of it all and, as you can see, it looks pretty dreadful…
Body and embrace-wise it’s OK…But sadly I’m kissing his nostrils and he’s got my jawline. Not very convincing or aesthetically pleasing. I can very clearly remember how awkward I felt. Tongue? Do I put my tongue in? Do I open mouth kiss? Someone was constantly shouting at me to turn the bag around, it was very cold, and I just felt like giggling/crying/hoping someone would say ‘let’s just try another set up.’
But the client wanted a kissing shot – so we kept at it. Literally.
I’m a bit better now – it’s basically about relaxing and keeping things low key and natural rather than humpy and overtly sexual.
It’s worth bearing in mind the following hints and tips, because once a photographer has found a pair of models with chemistry, it’s like GOLD DUST! You will get booked again and again.
1) Make friends with the other model!
You want to make this as chilled as possible – tough in possibly the most awkward situation imaginable!!
Best thing to do is to chat to your co-worker really naturally – ask them where they’re from, hobbies and generally easy topics so that there’s a connection to work with. This means you can giggle about any tooth-clash moments later rather than wishing the ground would swallow you up.
Get in the odd joke about having to kiss each other: say ‘no cheese and onion crisps please!’ or general silly things so that there’s no elephant in the room.
2) No tongues
So we’re getting on with the other model, it’s time for the shot, and you’re kissing. ABSOLUTELY NO TONGUES! I know you might want to show off your kissing prowess, or perhaps make it look realistic – but you will just land yourself with a big double chin, an unattractive slug between your lips and a booker who will zoom in, print it off and never let you forget.
Unless Rankin is telling you to get those tongues twining (and you feel comfortable with this) you need to keep the mouth either relaxed and closed, or very slightly parted with that tongue locked firmly away.
2) BODY LANGUAGE
The mouth-to-mouth part is only a tiny element of the overall effect of the picture. To make a shot totally believable, your body needs to be arranged accordingly – thus showing you the catch-22 of modelling. Look spontaneous whilst showing off the bag/dress/shoes/coat/male model’s outfit/your own best side!
So! What I recommend here is to pick a body arrangement and work within that, rather than changing poses wildly. You have to remember that you’re modelling with someone else, and they have to keep up with you.
If you’re standing, have your hands around his neck and then work one of your hands down to his pecs. Then back up again. Then back down again. You’re keeping movement whilst ironing out any creases on his shirt, which the stylist will love you for.
I’m just preparing you for the fact that I am about to post quite a sexy picture of myself! You have been warned!
These illustrate my point: small moves are more natural, they are better for the photographer and your fellow snoggee. And yes I am topless with the hottest male model imaginable and yes, I do love my job.*
What I REALLY don’t recommend here are any kind of hoochie moves that one might pull out in the club, a couple of Malibu and Cokes to the wind. Look above: I’m topless with a topless guy and we’re proper kissing. If I were to wrap my leg around his waist/tweak his nipples it would ruin the magic. Ergo…
Moves I recommend:
- Hands in hair
- Hands stroking arms
- Hands around neck
- Back arched into his torso
- Head tilted backwards
Moves I do not recommend:
- Legs around his waist
- Hair pulling
- 50 Shades of Grey-style sex mimes
- Back arched too much.
*Although there’s a funny story behind this, which I will share with you on another date.
People kind of forget their faces when make out-modelling. Remember which angles work for YOU, and try and make sure that most of your face is visible in the shot.
Have your eyes closed very gently. If they’re shut too tightly you look like you’re dreaming of when this will be all over. Another good one is not to close your eyes but to look at their mouth, so your lids are lowered but you still look animated.
Good, Ariel – but make sure you get more of your face in next time…
Decide on your vibe for the shoot, and try to stick with it. This will be determined by the shoot: is it a young company (giggly, grabbing his collar, maybe even a lip bite if you warn him) a sexier mag (bit more of the back arching) an editorial mag (cooler, as natural as you can make it), an older company (zero raunch, more nose pecks) or a bridal shoot (like it’s your proper regal wedding kiss).
Do what you need to do to make it believable. Have a back story, kid around with the male model, pretend you’re on a film set. If all you’re thinking about is lining up your mouths and hoping he doesn’t have a cold sore then that’s what you’ll look like. A bit of acting suffuses the shot with energy and believability.
And just remember: avoid cheese and onion crisps at ALL COSTS!
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