Chemistry 101

Chemistry 101

Jennifer talks about getting that special spark on camera. What was your impression of Dominic?

Dominic was so stiff and a bit of a one look kind of guy. He also did his fair share of complaining. I'm going to Africa on a shoot in May and we have to sleep in tents with no power. I just can't see a guy like this faring well on a job like that. You want to put a model on a job that you know if they had to jump in water that was 50 degrees, they would do it and not complain. Let's talk chemistry.

Chemistry is not an easy thing to fake. Many models feel very uncomfortable getting intimate with others and really don't want to be put in that situation. If i know that a shoot will require two models to kiss or act like a couple, I always describe the situation to them, or their agent, and ask if they'll be OK with it. Quite often I have the two models that I'm thinking of to play the couple come up to my office and see how they interact with one another. You certainly don't want to cast a big fragrance campaign that requires a couple to be sexy and get a phone call from the client saying that so and so has a boyfriend and refuses to get close to so and so! This kind of thing does not go over well. Sometimes models are like actors and have to step out of themselves and play a part. About eight years ago I cast the real couples campaign for D&G. The photographer insisted that they be "real couples" as we were doing same sex partners as well as heterosexual couples. He just didn't believe it when we first cast models and then paired them up. He didn't feel there was any "chemistry" and that the naturalness that exits with a real couple "was just not there." At the shoot he was like, "Lay on the couch in whatever position you normally would and just get comfortable." Bottom line is it's awkward to get intimate with someone you don't know, especially in front of a camera crew! What needs to be remembered is that this is acting! We are creating a fantasy here. You need to leave your personal life at the door and try your best to connect in some way with this person. Of course same sex situations are a bit more difficult for a lot of people. Macho guys are thinking "I'm not leaning my head on his shoulder; people will think I'm gay!" It's probably easier for women as for some reason it's a bit more accepted by society. But any new experience, especially when dealing with topics that are still considered a bit taboo, tend to push people past their comfort zone. There are many people who are very freaked out by the idea of expressing affection in a sexual way, especially towards members of the same sex -- this should not be a surprise! Just make sure you communicate to your agent what your limitations are so you are never put in the situation. Yes -- you might lose a couple of jobs, but your morals will remain intact.

Aryn and Jay

Aryn looked great but she was so much more concerned about posing and looking good then creating a connection with Jay. Same with Jay. I didn't feel there was any chemistry. I must say that i think Aryn tried hard and took control over the situation as she knew that jay would not.

Ben and Katy

I think they both tried and got into it.

Casey and Perry

OK -- I was speechless when I saw the photo. Really! No words. And then WOW -- talk about being brave and adventurous and letting go and having fun when given an obvious challenge! Talk about going the extra mile! Maybe it was easier for them because they are such great friends, but still -- they took a chance, didn't care what the others would say, and went for it! You wouldn't think these were two straight guys.

Frankie and Holly

No connection there! Doesn't even look like they were trying. I know they don't really get along but you need to be able to shelf your personal situation. This is a job. Holly is very religious and doesn't even get this intimate with her fiance. If it were an ad campaign and that's what was required, she would say that she was not comfortable with it and would not be cast. Models can choose what jobs they want to do and not do!

Jacki and Stephanie

The photographer said that it took practically the entire hour to get these final shots, which to me, look as if they are having fun and certainly are displaying "chemistry." Jacki was uncomfortable with the situation which is totally understandable and Stephanie sort of pushed her into doing more adventurous pictures as she had less fear. Last week we told Stephanie that she needed to show us a little bit more who she was. She hasn't really stood out at all. This week we saw a new Stephanie.

Ronnie and Shannon

These two really gave it their all this week. They left their private lives outside the bedroom and came to it with a very open mind!

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