This blog has been written by one of the models, I've worked for the session on one of the first hot days in Montreal - Natasha. Here is her take on working with a photographer and the do's and dont's and preparation.
"I have to start by saying Varv is an EXTREMELY easy photographer to feel comfortable around. We joke around, she makes conversation while shooting, and there's always time for a funny face or two. My friend Ilana also came out with us this day, so when we took these botanical garden photos, the three of us not only got some great pics, but we had a great day. Despite my poor planning in regards to footwear (4 inch wooden platform heels on cobblestones and gravel paths, with no backup shoes... I'm lucky I didn't break an ankle!) I felt at ease in front of the camera, and there is definitely one main reason why: Varv gives CLEAR DIRECTION, but allows space for creativity from her models.
I cannot stress enough how much this helps me relax and feel more confident in what I'm doing. There is nothing more awkward than being stuck in front of a camera and told to "start posing." I don't know what you want. What if I'm doing something wrong? What if I'm holding my arms unnaturally? What should I be doing with my feet?! Once your model starts overthinking it, you lose the natural feel of your shoot.
Possibly worse than not getting any direction, is getting vague pointers from a photog who has a clear idea of what they want but won't communicate it to you. The worst direction I ever got from a photographer during a shoot was "Be more sexy." He said it seven or eight times, sounding more frustrated each time, but never telling me what he MEANT by it. A few weeks later, I recieved over 50 photos of myself looking confused and uncomfortable in my own body.
Varv doesn't leave her models hanging like that. She tells you her main concept, asks what your limitations and ideas are, and then gives you specific instructions on what she's looking for and what kinds of poses and faces she needs before letting you play around with her guidance.
I went home after the botanical garden shoot with sore feet, sunburnt thighs, and a great sense of accomplishment. Working with a photographer and fellow model who I felt comfortable around helped me trust we had created something genuine and beautiful, and you can't get a better feeling than that after spending a day on an artistic endeavour." - Natasha Lilliman (@that_rainbowhaired_killjoy)