6. Length of Sessions

There are three basic types of modeling sessions with a group.
The first is a two-hour or under session.  This kind is non-tiring,
but likely to be unsatisfying both for model and for artist, because
neither can get “all the way into it.”  For models, it is likely not
to provide enough income to make it worthwhile, unless it is very
close to home, and does not interrupt other activities.  The
three-hour session is likely to be exhausting, but far more
satisfying to everyone in every way.  A marathon session – lasting
for at least eight hours – can be terrific as an occasional

2 thoughts on “6. Length of Sessions

  1. My wife and I began modeling (one at a time) for a really great group of people down here in Pensacola, FL a few months ago and they seem happy with our work. The sessions are three hours and I noticed at first that very little time was spent with short “gesture poses” and most of the session were longer poses. Usually 40 minute poses split into two 20 minute halves with a 5 minute break in between.

    This morning they had me do three 2 minute gesture poses, followed by 2 hours and fifty minutes of forty minute poses (with the 5 minute breaks splitting them in half). I found it to be not only very tiring, but also less creative, as the options in a forty minute pose are far more limited. I found myself at one point wondering if there is a local figure models union (doubt it) and may mention my feelings to the moderator next time.

    Is this a pretty common way to break up the pose lengths and do you have any other feedback to offer on the subject?


    Your loving son,

  2. Dear Michael,

    Here are some practical considerations about dealing with poses. If you are uncomfortable, this makes other people uncomfortable. A handkerchief for blowing your nose (this refers to your question in the following section: holding poses) can be put aside between blows; timing of poses is primarily for the sake of making a reasonable plan, which can vary from person to person and in differing circumstances. We are creatures of habit, though, and any schedule helps us make sense. We plan through a whole “time of waiting” however long it is, and our schedule helps us get through it. “Be comfortable” is hard work, and it is important — for everyone. When your own comfort is enthusiastic, it can inspire. Not easy – but certainly something to work for. I am realizing that Inspiration is what I have tried to produce through most of my work, most of my life. I try to have it take place not only through teaching and writing and modeling and art, but through gardening and cooking. If “this is wonderful” I have succeeded. If not, I need to change. I need to enjoy, to inspire. Do try talking to the moderator about setting up a pattern that could work for both you and the artists.

    Love, Hugh

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