Direction to models

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by foned, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. foned

    foned TPF Noob!

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    very recently (around january) i started trying to shoot my friends, in semi-modeling type pictures. I had no real vision of what i wanted, just some decent pictures of my friends, and an experience. I wasn't going for any specific look, just trying to learn and have some fun, and maybe give them some myspace pictures..


    Anyway, during the process i noticed how awkward it is for a person to be behind a camera without direction, but if you give too much direction they generally look very posed and unnatural. A constant question i hear is, just like in taladega nights, 'i dont know what to do with my hands' now i understand this will change with what type of shoot you are doing, is there any generalized advice that an inexperienced model might benefit from hearing concerning issues like this? I generally just try and keep them talking and not focused on what im doing, i try and make small jokes so i get natural laughter (which i think is one of the best emotions to photograph)


    anyway, so basically i need some advice on how to direct inexperienced models while shooting.. thanks ;]
     
  2. itsjustbrandy

    itsjustbrandy TPF Noob!

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    I would tell the model to stay fluid, yet subtle with each pose they make. You'll be suprised at the variety of shots you'll get with just subtle movements, ie.. a tilt of the head, slight bend at the knee, straighten out the leg, shift the hips.. there are sooo many slight movements that will completely change a photo.. This often times will keep the model looking natural throughout the entire shoot.

    Hopefully this will help you a little in the advice that you are seeking.

    What type of images are you interested in capturing the most?

    Maybe I could help and be more specific, knowing what you're looking to shoot.

    Oh ... :) and keep talking... you mainly that is.. Listening to you talk, sing whatever :) will get more expression out of the subject.
     
  3. foned

    foned TPF Noob!

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    eh I don't really have a preference to be honest. to give you an idea of what i normally capture you can check my flickr.


    Flickr: foned's Photostream
     
  4. itsjustbrandy

    itsjustbrandy TPF Noob!

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    I thoroughly enjoyed looking through your photos on flickr :)
    You have a reeeally cool style to your shooting.

    but to help a model...

    When you are behind the lens, you can see everything... What the photo is going to look like before you snap the shot.... so when you see something that you know isn't necessarily going to get the 'look' that neither you nor the model is wanting to portray, point it out. For example... if they are slouched over, this often causes a hump back and pooched out belly. There's no harm in telling them to straighten it out a bit, sit up straighter, drop your shoulders, relax the arms and hands. They'll appreciate that you pointed it out, and the result will be a better photo. If you see the hand start to look really 'monster-like' (I call it) ... when they are real stiff with their fingers wide apart and at 90degree angle at the wrist, let them know to soften it a bit, don't put the weight on the hand, lightly bend the wrist, bring the fingers together and bend them softly....
    now, I don't mean these particular situations, yes, these are always helpful to keep in mind, but more-than-less... just pay attention to the tiniest detail. After taking a couple shots, you know what angles do and don't work for that model, so play off of it. :)
    Now I am rambling.. sorry
    does this help?

    BTW .. what's your weapon of choice?? I'm in the market for a new lens, & I really like the quality of your images.
     
  5. foned

    foned TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the input. I think its just time getting comfortable behind the camera, they tend to get easier to shoot the longer we're out haha.

    my weapon is a canon digital rebel xt, a very cheap, bottom of the barrel slr, but it does the trick keeping me occupied. the lens is EFS 18055 Canon lens.

    And thank you for checking my photos, i'm glad you enjoyed them!
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Talking to your subject is a great way to keep them engaged and relaxed looking...but as for directing them...that will depend on what you are seeing. You can make or break a photo with just a slight turn of the model's face...but you need to know what you are looking for, to be able to see that. You need to watch out for things that will distract from what you want to be the main focal point of the image. This might be distracting background elements, awkward poses by the model...anything really. This is the type of thing that comes from education and experience...and just being attentive to what you are doing.
    So once you have all that running through your head, it should be easy to give the model direction.
     
  7. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    Don't knock the camera, it's a decent little thing. I cut my teeth on a 350D myself. A nifty camera which I keep as a backup since I upgraded to a 40D.

    My preference when working with models is to just give general directions - "Lift your chin a little. Turn your head away from me, then turn your eyes back." Very rarely will I actually move a model to the pose I want, and then it's only when she needs to be in exactly the right position. And even then I always ask her if it's okay for me to move her arm or whatnot.

    You'll find that if you work with the same model again and again, the two of you will learn how to read each other, and you'll get better poses from it. This is one of those things that is best learned by experience, so keep at it. :)
     

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