I got straight into the thick of things at my first ever fashion show in January, without knowing much about what was going on. A couple of months later and with a little bit more insight into fashion, I got the chance to experience life out in the field, having been at a photoshoot and a commercial casting in the past week.

Aside from crafting catchy tweets or interviewing our talented models, it was a nice change of scenery to be in Nottingham city for some test shoots. With much focus on our models, it was great to see the photographers in action. What I did not expect was appreciating the work they did behind the lens.

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As the lights went out at Nottingham Trent Uni photography studio – the biggest at the uni, mainly for photography students – the photoshoots seem to go about like clockwork. Annie, one of two final year photography students hired for the day, was especially vocal with her directions. Even as she had a slight issue communicating with one of the models, she was patient and elaborate in explaining the desired poses for her.

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Though Annie was busy looking through the pictures on the computer between shots, I managed to get her insight into the way she works during photoshoots. On picking out the best pictures out of the multiple shots taken, I was surprised when she mentioned how “one shot just jumps out!”

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From being in the warm comfort of the studio to moving around the city centre, it was naturally a more spontaneous photoshoot by the other photographer, Martin. What stood out from the outdoor shoot was how Martin managed to select the different backdrops on the fly, overcoming the difficulties of finding locations with enough natural sunlight. Two of our new models – Mahmoud and Faizal, our first set of twins! – looked so suave in front of the camera, probably making Martin’s job slightly easier as he did not have to give as much direction. It really amazed me how the models remained so poised while battling the cold!

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Though both Annie and Martin seemed to be running the show during the photoshoots, it was really good to see how involved the models were in getting their desired look. Both Annie and Martin would show the models their freshly taken shots and even discussed with them the types of shots they themselves wanted. I found it intriguing yet comforting to see the level of cooperation between both photographer and model.

One of the models I spoke with after her photoshoot, Effie, commented, “Annie was really good with feedback, and for directions I didn’t really understand, she explained it really clearly for me.”

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Back in the office the next day, this time for a casting for Store Twenty One. Eight models individually met with the representatives from the clothing brand, and were given a couple of outfits to try on and be photographed in. It seemed like a really casual interview of sorts, with only around 15 minutes for each model to impress.

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It is probably at such castings where one can really see the range of personalities of our models, even in what was a professional setting. Some of the models were really conversational, relaxed and seemed to have a presence in the room, while some of the others were a little apprehensive yet still very confident in front of the camera.

Being at the photoshoot and casting over the past week has once again shown me yet another side to the fashion industry. Though our models will always remain as the focus of our agency, it was great to get a look at the different parts of the process that goes behind getting our models on the front pages of editorials or as the new face of brands.