Advice for Modeling Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by nevfalasion, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. nevfalasion

    nevfalasion TPF Noob!

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    Hey Everyone,

    I'm new to this site and these forums, so please bare with me. I am also new to advanced photography. I've always loved taking photos and have a natural eye for the right shots and angles. However, I know very little about the field and things such as modes and aperture settings. Since I was so interested in photography I purchased a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 (6 megapixels and 12x optical zoom). Most of the works I have done were of landscapes and shots of nature as well as family events.

    My reason for posting here is to ask for help, hints, and advice on taking photos of a model. My friend has decided to start with modeling and has asked that I take the first photos for her first portfolio. I'm not too worried because she is a beautiful girl and I believe my 6 megapixel camera will suffice. However, I could really use some help on the following things:

    -What equipment would I need that will really make a difference in this field? I only have the camera and a 1GB memory card. I know I would need a tripod for higher quality images so there is no blurring, etc. Are there filters or lenses that are a key component? Please keep the range within $100.

    -What can I use for backgrounds in the photos?...because I don't have a studio or solid canvases or anything that I can have her pose in front of. Or what seems to work well?

    -What are the best shutter/aperture settings for close ups (say facial shots) and for just normal posing photos?

    -How do I know what to set my aperture and shutter speeds to based on my environment? (and when is flash necessary? or should it not be used at all when taking this type of photos.)

    -Any more advice would be appreciate very very much. I really want to make her happy and just have fun with this. I love to learn and we are both amateurs and need some advice from professionals and other amateurs like yourselves. Thanks everyone for looking into this and sharing your thoughts/ideas.

    Sincerely,
    Chris
     
  2. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    If you go to my last topic (Teen Shoot) you will see my first experience with this, a girl who is looking into modelling. For entering into the industry, the agencies just want to see what she looks like, a headhot (essentially mid section up) and a full body length, the quality is not really necessary, some agencies will specify for friends/family to take a quick snap (essentially they don't want photoshopping done which will change their first perception)

    Generally an SLR lens will give you more range of creativity, but the Lumix will most definitely work. 1GB will more then suffice, and a tripod is not exactly necessary, for some portraiture yes, but as long as your shutter speeds are not falling below 1/100th you should be fine.

    For my 'headshots' I had her sit on a chair in the garage (door up) in the shade with some black fabric hanging, cheap but effective.

    Best aperture/shutt speed is completely reliant on the light available. Make sure both eyes are in focus, I probably wouldn't fall being a 3.5 on the aperture (primarily the eyes and lips should be in focus)

    Flash can be a great tool, but only when used properly. If you don't have an external flash, I would probably work entirely with natural light. One other option is to pick up a foam board (for a $1) from your local craft store to work as a reflector to fill in obnoxious shadows.

    Ask her to avoid clothing with patterns or logos and research a bit on posing. It doesn't have to be entirely proper, but simple things like putting the weight on the back foot and tilting the head can make a good photo great.

    Best of luck!
     
  3. nevfalasion

    nevfalasion TPF Noob!

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    Hey, thanks a lot for all your help. I looked around and they said for a portfolio you need a variety of shots from close ups on the face, body shots, shots displaying her character (different moods/poses), and basically a variety of things. It also said you should get shots of whatever she wants to go into, like fashion, lingerie,etc. From what I read the more the better but not too many shots. What do you think?
     
  4. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    I would definitely fall into the amateur category still but I figure I can lend some advice as well.

    You didn't mention anything about an external flash so I would assume that you don't have one which means use that natural light! But this can be tricky too, watch out for the mid-day bright sun and squinty eyes. If you do end up shooting in bright sun like this make sure you point that model away from the sun but use the foam board (or fill flash) to brighten up the shadows that would otherwise appear on her face.

    Background shouldn't be that hard. Just take a drive around and find something interesting to put her in front of. I have been looking for a brick wall with some graffiti for a while now I think that would be a cool backdrop. Just make sure its not too distracting.

    As far as the equipment...just use what you have if you start shooting more and more you will eventually realize what would help you achieve a certain effect that you are trying to get. Or generally help you get a better picture.

    Welcome to the forum and I'm looking forward to seeing some of your work.
     
  5. nevfalasion

    nevfalasion TPF Noob!

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    hey, thanks for the advice. i am just a little curious as to how i use the foam though. i think i understand what you are saying, but im not quite sure how to do it. just have her back to the sun and the foam next to me reflecting the light on her? (wouldn't that still blind her? haha)
     
  6. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    It will be a lot less harsh than staring directly into the sun. You are just basically reflecting some of the light back to her so the shadows aren't as harsh. What I usually do if I'm shooting by myself is set the camera up on a tripod and then hold the foam and use a cable release or a remote but I usually try and bring someone along to hold stuff. :D

    Just play around with it. Face her at different angles towards the sun and then prop the foam somewhere so that it catches some of the light. You will be able to tell right away the difference it is making.
     
  7. nevfalasion

    nevfalasion TPF Noob!

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    Got it, thanks!
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you want her to display personality get her outside. This is something incredibly hard to do in a garage studio. I will re-itterate what has been said about there being no best choice for settings and they depend entirely on the situation.

    One of the most flattering lighting in my opinion is a sun backlight using something white or silver to reflect light back on the subject. One of the best examples I have seen was posted here http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=89700 just the other day and can easily be done with your camera and a reflector (<$10-20 on ebay, or <$2 if you find the parts you need to make one in the kitchen draw. *Hint Aluminium foil)

    Other than that everything's been said.

    /EDIT: Just realised that's Peanuts' thread. No wonder the garage idea sounded so familiar.
     

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