A Seldom-Used Source for Models

A typical place to find models is the Internet, such as Model Mayhem. I have had great success here, but there have been the typical problems of the model not showing up for the shoot. Once, some friends and I had four models scheduled and not one showed up. Here in Singapore, this has not been a problem. Instead, would-be models here suffer from another problem. A great majority of them insist on paid assignments only. Most often, these "models" have only three or four terrible photos in their portfolio - looking like they were taken in harsh light with a cell phone camera. Moreover, they have no experience, and are not willing to "pay their dues" so to speak and learn how to pose, and learn what looks good and what does not.

A good source for models could be university-level dance classes. It was my good fortune to make the acquaintance of Aurora Gonclaves (now Gonclaves-Shaner) a few years ago. Originally from Brazil, she was a dance instructor and choreographer at Pima Community College and the University of Arizona in Tucson. I have heard Aurora passionately lecture about dance, seen her perform in an opera, a gala Tucson Symphony event, and in special performances with her students.

My friend Daron Shade and I went to one of the rooms where she teaches and exposed a few frames of Aurora as she went through a few dance moves:

Accomplished dancers are amazing athletes.

Accomplished dancers are amazing athletes.

Accomplished dancers can also make graceful moves seem effortless.

Accomplished dancers can also make graceful moves seem effortless.

On a separate occasion Aurora and I had another session where we could also shoot outdoors and in a studio environment:

An outdoor image taken in ambient light but augmented by a single strobe.

An outdoor image taken in ambient light but augmented by a single strobe.

A studio shot of Aurora.

A studio shot of Aurora.

Because dancers are in tip-top shape, and combine athleticism, grace, beauty with art, and are not shy in front of the camera, they make wonderful models. Give them a try!