Photographer Jim Wright Keeps His Focus on Mentoring Models

Jim Wright of Models by Wright (OMP Member #178284) is a photographer, manager, and teacher. Based in the upstate New York area, Jim will often go out of his way to travel with the talent to make sure they are sent on safe and successful assignments.

Another way he helps the models that he works with is by doing their styling before shoots. “I am also an award-winning licensed hairdresser. My team and I have won styling contests in New York City and Toronto.”

His favorite category of photography is artistic nudes. “I believe the female form is the most beautiful item the eye can behold. My next favorite genre is landscapes, because I believe trees are the second most beautiful item on the planet, whether in winter or summer. Finally, I enjoy shooting portraits of people. It is a great way to capture the personality of each individual.”

While his portfolio is mainly focused on glamour-related images, Jim collaborates with and appreciates models of all types. “I love all forms of beauty. If one model is beautiful, two are breathtaking.”

His artistic background consisted of art classes through high school and college. “I had a one-man watercolor show at a local gallery when I was a senior in high school. I even won a scholarship to Pratt Institute. Unfortunately, I was not able to take advantage of that opportunity.”

Jim’s decision to pursue professional photography came about in an unexpected way. “In 1980, I started a wholesale industrial and automotive tool distributorship called The Rite Tool Company. At that time, I published a small tool newspaper featuring attractive females holding tools. I borrowed my sister’s Pentax camera and shot black and white stills to be layed out in the paper. The paper was delivered all over the state, as well as Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.  It sold a lot of tools!”

One of the models Jim collaborated suggested that his work was good enough to get her published in a national publication. “A year later I was published with a feature in my first national magazine.”

Jim was told about by another model. “One of the girls I brought into the industry and trained had gone to California. The photographers that shot her could not believe the talent of this 18-year-old in front of them. She called me to tell me to join OMP, and the next day I was a member.”

He relates that his life would have been so much easier in the early days if had existed. “The only way to get work before OMP was call and try to figure out who published what, then try like hell to get a name of an editor, art director, photo editor, or anyone else on the staff. I once had a janitor late at night answer a phone and we talked. He ended up helping me out. I sent him some samples and got published.”

As much as he loves photography, he is even more invested in the training of new models. “I started training girls to model 20 years ago. Over the years, I have evolved into a better mentor. It takes about six months to train a model properly.”

Jim offers some suggestions for models of any experience level. “Remember to keep your fingers and toes symmetrical. Don’t try to get them to point in unnatural directions — a curled finger will destroy a good pic. Your hands should always do something, do not let them hang idle by your side. And always work on expressions — no one has enough, and they are the key to your personality.”

The Nikon shooter also has some advice for aspiring photographers. “Good photos are almost always the result of great lighting. When you are shooting outside, keep checking your F-stop and also your shutter speed, because sky lighting is constantly changing. When working indoors, you can generally leave your lights in one position but they may still need some tweaking between setups.”

He also reminds photographers to be open to input from their models. “Remember that in any creative partnership, the other person may also have some good ideas. Don’t over-direct the talent — let them run a little with it. You might learn something.”

Jim concludes that most of his focus these days is on the girls he is discovering and training. “It takes four things to be a model — appearance, personality, attitude, and desire. I feel desire is the most important element of all!”

See more of Jim’s images on his OMP Portfolio

Top photo: Reagan Manx (OMP Model # 303787)

Bottom photo: Kennedy (OMP Model 380524)

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