James is one of the several photographers in Miami with an eye for seeing potential. Day dreams and cinematic imagery influences his work. Being a fashion photographer is more challenging than other kinds of photography. With fashion photography, it is a challenge when trying to get the right emotion from a model. It is also a challenge getting the right the clothing and location.

About the Photographer - Fashion Photographer James Santiago

Working with new face models or under-developed models is even more of a challenge. As a former fashion model himself, he has been in the fashion industry since he was 15. “I began to work as a scout as i had a keen eye for hidden beauty. when I became an agent, I was able to help new faces develop their “look”. I not thrilled with the photographers that the new faces were working with. Some models say, “someone I know who is a photographer”. But those the photos turned out to be plain. As a result, I began to set up shoots to get the shots that would bring out what I saw in the models potential.

I have spent more time as a photographer in Miami but since signing on with Orbed Studios I am between Los Angeles and Miami with the occasional trip to New York as well. It helps provide me with more more scenery. So many people have potential but they do not receive the development they need. As well, they do not get the direction that they need to have that look brought out through photography. I envision a shoot as an art, not only taking a photo. i am able to create art that can tell a story as well as look beautiful in print.

About the Photographer - Fashion Photographer James Santiago
About the Photographer - Fashion Photographer James Santiago

Interview with Model Management

ModelManagement: How would you describe your style?

James Santiago: I always say that my style is influenced by daydreams and cinematic imagery. That fine line where “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” meets school summer break. I know it probably makes no sense to some, but it is difficult for me to properly explain in words.

ModelManagement: Can you share some tips and advice for young photographers who want to start a professional career?

James Santiago: Stop reading blogs and go shoot! There is no better teacher than experience. And don’t go buy expensive equipment until you are sure that you want to invest in photography as a career

ModelManagement: Where do you get your inspiration?

James Santiago: I like to joke that I get my inspiration from grumpy models’ attitudes. Most of my best work is when a model has had a bad day, a break-up, or is hung over. It might sound strange to people not in the industry. But they are easier to shoot, as they are not focusing too hard on their posing. When a model tries too hard to pose it just looks fake.

ModelManagement: You did an editorial for H&M and American Apparel; can you tell us a little more about it?

James Santiago: Well, the project was working with new faces that were building their books. The girls were from mother agencies from different parts of the US and Canada. It was quite smooth trying to coordinate 7 girls, a stylist, a makeup artist, and the yacht owner to be on time at 8:30am. One of the models wanted to change the shoot to another day because she was sick (to tired to wake up). But she ended up getting there on time. And one girl got motion sickness. But it went pretty smooth considering

ModelManagement: You focus on Fashion Photography, which shootings do you like best? What is the most important thing during a shooting for you?

James Santiago: Direction is the most important thing during any shoot. The model cannot see what she is doing and how she looks in the viewfinder. And she cannot tell that she needs to lift her chin up and relax her mouth and not tilt her head like she is taking a snapshot for her Facebook timeline. I think many photographers, though they may have studied many hours to lean what f-stops, focal lengths, and shutter speeds are, don’t direct a shoot very well for the model to have marketable photos. I feel like every time a new model is told by a local photographer to put their cowboy boot on the wood fence, grab their cowboy hat that they won 6 years ago at the county fair, and give a Teen USA pageant smile, a Victoria Secret Angel looses a feather from her wings.

ModelManagement: Nowadays Social Media is important for every business. I can see you have a decent audience on Instagram. According to you, is it an indispensable tool to be known and to show your work?

James Santiago: Social media is similar to social life in where you have to speak up in order to be noticed. The unfortunate part is trying to understand how social media marketing and technologies works for some photographers. And just like real life you have to put yourself out there to be seen and not everyone will be popular. It’s the added difficulty to the industry just like those who studied photography in school think that it’s important.  Just because someone goes to school for photography does not guarantee  success. Patrick Demarchelier who shoots for Vogue did not study photography at school. Point made.

About the Photographer - Fashion Photographer James Santiago

Open to working with new faces for model agencies including IMG Models, Next Model Management, Elite Model Management, Ford Models, Wilhelmina Models, MC2 Models, MP Mega Models, Michele Pommier Models, Major Models, Why Not Models, Fashion Models, Front Management, and Runways the Talent Group.

There are those that have potential to model but they do not receive the development nor direction that they need to have that look brought out through photography. I envision a shoot as an art, not just taking a photo. I am able to create art that can tell a story as well as look beautiful in print.”

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