I am still learning as a model, and figure (no pun intended) that I will always be, even when I feel more experienced. My photoshoots earlier made me think about how different modeling for photography is from figure drawing. Even in just photography, there's different kinds of poses and looks you use from studio work to outdoor nudes, to casual/lifestyle type shoots, etc. I don't know if I am able to fully describe how it is different it yet...but I'm going to try. One thing that comes to mind is my stress level.
I enjoy both photography modeling and figure drawing modeling equally, though I think I might find figure modeling less stressful than photography modeling. I don't have to interact with the camera with my face, for one. I started out modeling as a nude model (for a friend of mine, who never really asked me to look at the camera) so that is where I feel the most comfortable. I do like learning from photographers, though, about how to move, what lighting can do to enhance my form or where to position myself in the light. I like that with photography there can be instant feedback about how I'm doing. Sometimes I think I am pretty aware of my body and how to pose, but I am still learning, and realizing that there is room for growth in my facial expressions and charging my body with more emotion. What is stressful for me about photoshoots is worrying..worrying that I'll get lost, and be late, that I won't offer the energy they seek, fearing that I will be a disappointment, or that I won't succeed in helping the photographer capture his/her vision. But that is my low-self confidence speaking. I do have a bit of that, which I do my best to put aside when modeling, so that my best self comes through. It's easy to do if I'm comfortable, and it's getting easier to do. That's one small reason why I wanted to model; to get past my insecurities and fears about my body and disappointing others, or feeling that I wasn't good enough, ultimately. I tell myself that it's not that I'm not good enough (or, I hope not), but that sometimes people just don't quite click, communicate well, or work well together, and that's okay. There are others out there that I have and will mesh well with, creatively, in the art modeling world, and even working with those who don't seem to work as well with me teaches me a thing or two about communication styles or expectations. I like to think of my worrying as a tool that is also helping me strive to improve...I don't know if other models feel this way, but I imagine that maybe they once did when they started out.
With figure drawing modeling, there is less stress for me because I can kind of meditate. I feel amazingly calm modeling for artists. I enjoy the time to clear my mind of everything and just be for a while. I am aware of my body in a way that I am not for photoshoots, because I'm holding longer poses, trying to stay still. Unfortunately I was too cold tonight, and was shivering the entire time. The heat in that building just does not seem to want to work, no matter how much I tell the instructor to turn it up. I need a portable heater, badly. I often feel like I am wobbly, which can stress me out some, but am told after that I was very still. Well good! But I can definitely tell - and so can everyone else - when I'm shivering. It made my meditation tonight falter. I also love seeing everyone's drawings during my breaks. Most of the people who are drawing me are new at figure drawing, so their work may not be very technically developed, but it's fascinating to see what others 'see' of me, and how they execute it. Now that I think of it, just thinking of poses still stresses me out a little at times. I wonder if I would be free of this if I were more confident as a model.
As I mentioned before, I drew tonight also, the first time in maybe a year?...here is a crappy cell phone photo.
Charcoal on newsprint (I hate newsprint), about 50 minutes. Yes, I'm a slow drawer. I also never seem to be able to fit an entire figure on a page >.<
End ramble! Continue caffeine rush! :P
Edit (1.16.2012): a photo from one of my photoshoots, a test shot the photographer sent me.
Photography courtesy of Ken Westermann.