Two years of living Graphic Novelly – redux, Part 9
As I am at the polishing stage of my manuscript, I have started the process of engaging a model to play the role of one of the main characters in my second graphic novel. In this case, a pre-adolescent child. I have been very fortunate to find a 12 year old who is interested in modeling and had enthusiasm about the project. Because she plays a role throughout the book, the photography sessions are going to be fairly long and will likely take several sessions with some follow-up ones for scenes that are just not working. This is the first time I have used a model who was not an adult. There are both advantages and difficulties in working with someone her age. On the plus side, she is spontaneous and her expressions and attitudes are authentic. On the downside it is a bit harder to convey a scene concept. I have found with adults as well, that sometimes it is hard for the model to really understand what you are hoping to see in terms of their expression of an emotion or gesture. In the future, as we work through the scenes, I think it will be best to have more props to work with, take more breaks and take time to really develop the scene with the model. The use of mirrors so the model can practice and see how emotion looks on his/her face can be useful. Saying the dialogue helps as does just allowing the model to find their reaction without over-coaching.
The modeling experience has been fun for this young person and she is working on a blog of her own where she discusses this.
As this model is below the age of consent, her parents need to sign a consent form and typically, a parent will remain with the child during the sessions. I must add that this particular young person has been very good to work with and will add greatly to the character in the story. Working with models enhances the artwork on many different levels. If you can, do photograph your own models.