Meet Luke Jones: A Photographer Not Afraid to Work With Plus Models

Meet Photographer Luke Jones of Lucaspictures

by Shanté Gordon

When I was approached to do this assignment, I was so stoked that my editor wanted me to interview one of my favorite photographers, Mr. Lucas Jones. Luke and I shot together in January of this year and I’ve got to tell you, I got some great photos out of the deal.

I’ve been a fan of his work for some time and I couldn’t think of anyone better to give advice for the magazine’s first interview segment. So with great pleasure, please allow me to introduce, Luke Jones of Lucaspictures.

Hi Luke, thanks so much for taking the time to chat.
Hey Shanté, how’s it going? I’ll try to answer your questions as professionally as possible…LOL.

No worries, I’m sure you’ll do great. OK, so let’s start with the basics.
How long have you been a photographer?
I bought my first 35mm film camera about 7 years ago. I had always been captivated with photography and the beautiful images it could create. Images I would often see in magazines, billboards, TV, etc. Eventually, my creative needs forced me to save whatever I could and buy a camera and I’ve loved it ever since.

How long have you been photographing plus-size models?
I saw the portfolio of an up and coming plus-size model and saw incredible potential; extreme raw talent. Her name was Madeline Figueroa. Since I had never shot a plus model before I thought she would be a tremendous addition to my portfolio. I asked her if we could test and she agreed. We had an incredible shoot; she taught me a lot about shooting the fuller figure.

What level of model do you prefer to shoot with: beginner, intermediate, professional, some combination?
I prefer to shoot anyone with drive, determination, toughness, fortitude and the willingness to put in the work necessary to get the best results possible.

What are the main differences between the levels of models mentioned above with regard to how they interact with you and the camera?
The seasoned models obviously don’t need as much patience and coaching as the newer ones. An experienced model can usually deliver the look or feel you’re going for in a reasonable amount of time and that will save the client money. At the same time a less experienced model can convey a freshness and innocence you usually can’t find in a veteran.

What should a model look for when choosing a photographer?
A model should look for a photographer who believes in what he/she’s doing and knows what he/she’s doing. Someone who can bring something to her book that she doesn’t already have. You should [definitely] look at his/her portfolio [and ask yourself,] does he/she shoot with passion?

What are the most effective ways for a plus model to prepare for a photo shoot?

  • And I cannot stress this enough – GET ENOUGH REST THE NIGHT BEFORE THE SHOOT
  • Arrive ON TIME
  • Drink nothing but water the entire week before the shoot and exfoliate your skin
  • Practice your poses and facial expressions
  • Come with your hair ready unless told otherwise and
  • If you’re going for a test don’t be afraid to bring tears with you

What are the most common mistakes you see models make when shooting and how should they correct them?
Most mistakes can be corrected by following the list above. If a model shows up tired, she will not perform well. If she hasn’t practiced, she may not give you the looks you need or she needs. Models should know their best angles and should be able to convey a mood with every tilt of the head and facial expression.

On average how many photos can a model expect to be able to use from a photo shoot?
Models should strive to get as many usable shots as possible. Most photographers will shoot until they have “the shot.” When a model books her test she should ask about the type of camera that will be used at the shoot (digital or film), how you will receive the proofs or pictures, about how many frames he/she takes and how soon you will have them.

How can she increase her chances of getting more “useable” photos?
Only with practice and experience can a model increase her number of useable shots. Also, choosing a photographer who specializes in the genre you’re going for. For example, don’t ask a sports photographer to shoot you for fashion or an editorial photographer to shoot you for a catalog.

What are the best ways to “practice” without investing a lot of money in fancy camera equipment?
TFPs (time for prints/cd) are the best way to go for a model on a budget (as most models are). That’s when a would-be model and a would-be photographer get together to practice and work on their respective crafts. The models get experience and hopefully, some usable shots and the photographer gets the same.

Thanks so much, Luke for taking the time to share with our readers. Before we close, can you please give us some words of advice for both aspiring and seasoned models?
I would say, stay focused on what you want and take the necessary steps to make it happen. Be open to accepting constructive criticism from people who genuinely have your best interests at heart. Get enough rest and take care of your body. Find a mentor or someone in the business who knows a lot more than you do and pick their brain as much as you can.

To contact Luke, please visit him on the web at He can also be reached 646-234-6745 or email him at or

“CAUTION! Paradigm Shift In Progress….”

About the Author:

Shanté Gordon has been active in the New York area modeling community for approximately two years. Since moving to NYC in June, 2004, she has distinguished herself with her professionalism and versatility. She has participated in a number of fashion events along the East Coast, including the Tri-State and Baltimore/Washington D.C. areas. She has most recently appeared nationally on BET’s Rip The Runway.

Prior to moving to NYC, Shanté lived in Chicago for ten years. During her time there, she modeled for local fashion shows and did editorial print work for BBW and Ebony Magazines.

Shanté received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and started a Master of Arts Management degree program at Columbia College Chicago where her focus was the Music Business. She currently works for Island Def Jam Music Group as a Research and Information Analyst in the Radio Promotion Department.