How difficult is it to photograph people / models?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by coderguy, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. coderguy

    coderguy TPF Noob!

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    I've thought about getting into photography for a long time. While I haven't started yet, I'm curious to get some input on how difficult the area of photography dealing with shooting people / models is.

    I would like to learn this and get good, but don't know how long to expect it to take -- both to just get okay and later good.

    Input is appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Moglex

    Moglex TPF Noob!

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    This is a bit of a 'length of string' question as it depends on several factors including:

    1) Natural ability
    2) Type of 'people' photography you want to do: portrait, candid, action, figure.
    3) Suitability of equipment (particularly lighting for some types of above).
    4) Availability of models for practice sessions. (Again dependant on the type of photography you want to do).
    5) Current general photographic experience.


    Sorry that isn't amazingly helpful but I think if you can be a bit more specific you'll get better answers.
     
  3. coderguy

    coderguy TPF Noob!

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    I should have gave more details, sorry. Thanks for your reply though.

    The type of pictures I was thinking of were mainly with models posing in swimwear.

    I'm aware that lighting and equipment is important. I don't know enough to be able to pick these out however. If I were to hire a professional, I would get their help with that. Ideally I would like to learn from them quickly where I could do the photography in the future.

    I'm not experienced and don't know that I have much natural ability. Any suggestions where to start? Would anything be a substitute for an actual class?

    Thanks
     
  4. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The best way to learn photography is through practice. Guided practice (such as having a mentor) is tops in my books. But in order to get the most out of your practice, you need a solid basic understanding of how your camera works, exposure, shutter/apertures/ISO, as well as basic rules of composition.

    This is what you should seek out in a class, the basics. And from there, practice and get a mentor.

    If you can't or don't want to do the class thing, you can find alot of information out on the internet. But again, just seeing/reading won't do much until you get out and practice.

    A good starter book, and one often recommended here, is "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. I have it at home and it was a great read.
     
  5. coderguy

    coderguy TPF Noob!

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    I'll see if they have that book at the library. Also I'll see what luck I have finding a local mentor.

    Thanks.
     
  6. roentarre

    roentarre TPF Noob!

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  7. Big Mike

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

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    I'd suggest trying to become an assistant or apprentice for a working pro. That should really give you a good idea of what it takes and it's probably the fastest way to learn...although you might have to start out on the bottom, carrying gear fetching coffee etc.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    If they do have that book it's quite likely checked out all the time and has a waiting list. It may be the single most recommended book in photography. You can buy it right now for $17 plus shipping. It's not the kind of book you read once and never pick up again. It's a reference book to keep in your photography book library.

    Since you're interested in portraiture (swimwear sub specialty) another book you'll need in your photography library is "Light: Science and Magic" by Hunter, Biver and Faqua. Buying books is the least expensive way to get expert instruction.

    You need to get a camera and start taking pictures. It's the best way to learn photography.

    You could be taking pictures of models in swim suits by next month.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2009
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Photographing people... no more different than photographing anything else static, I would say. If your knowledge of photography is weak, the results of your pics will be weak as well. The added dimension in portraiture (photography of people) is that you need to also understand lighting. Specifically, OFF camera lighting.

    Strobist to the rescue. ;)

    Like anything else, to get crap results is easy... to get the good results takes skill, time, patience, time, practice, time and... did I mention time? :D

    Get your basics down pat... I mean to the point that you can talk ISO, aperture, shutter at the advanced levels, and then be able to walk and chew gum and still not forget to breathe... THEN go and mentor with a good photographer. That is the fast path to good results.
     
  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You will be shooting weddings within weeks of buying your camera :D
     
  11. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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    You haven't yet even started photography as a hobby and your asking how long it takes to get good? 99% chance you don't have what it takes to get "good" depending on what you think good is. Time is an irrelevant circumstance. One person could spend 15 years behind a camera and still suck and another could be killer with only a few years.
     
  12. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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    HAHA... I wish I would have read that before posting my last response. You have just joined the massive ranks of creeps that want to photograph models in bikini's.
     

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