Looking for a little advice on taking modelling pics

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Bren&Mere, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. Bren&Mere

    Bren&Mere TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi.. My girlfriend and I have joined this site in hopes of getting some good tips on photography.

    First off... We have a Nikon D80 and the 18-70mm lens.

    My girlfriend is an amateur model, and we do a lot of photo sets. We were looking to get some better results.. What we have so far is pretty decent.. but we're trying to get them to look as pro as possible.. We usually shoot sets of 80-100 pics at a time.. So photoshopping all of them isn't really an option.

    Just wondering what the pro's use lens wise, flash wise for indoor sets, or if theres lens filters or something we can use to lessen skin details etc.. because photoshopping would take forever.

    I also find sometimes when we're doing indoor sets.. the camera will not take pics sometimes.. until I move or try a different angle.. In an automatic mode... no idea..

    But any suggestions, tips or advice would be great! Thanks

    Bren & Mere.
     
  2. little_earthquakes

    little_earthquakes TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I hear the 50 mm 1.8 lens is highly recommended for portraits. Even better is the 1.4 if you can afford it.

    You're going to have to photoshop your photos. All of them. It is an option. This is why pros get paid the big bucks. Photography is time consuming. Retouching, resizing for web (I do hope you're at least doing that....), all these things take time and effort. You simply can't get professional results without putting effort into your craft. If you don't put much effort into your photos, it will show. That said, photoshop actions can be a heaven send. Download a few and see how you like them. They can often save you time and energy when batch editing photos. Learn how to use them (it's pretty easy, you just install and press play).

    The camera is likely refusing to take a photo because there is either not enough light or it's not focused. By changing the angle and refocusing the image you are fixing this.

    Hope something I said helps.
     
  3. kja6

    kja6 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Canadaustralia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I've only done one model photoshoot (with 5 models in a day) and my setup wasn't totally professional but it did the job:

    Nikon D70s with 18-70mm f/3.5~f4.5
    Sekonic L-358 light metre
    Aurora 400w strobes (x2)
    20" softboxes (x2)
    generic wireless remote/receiver

    I think the positioning of the lighting and where it hits the model is key. You want depth and for the photo to "pop" out at you - not flat. Since I was no pro at this, I moved the lighting around various times while having the model stay in the same position (thank goodness they're patient) so I could find the right angles to bring out certain parts of the model, etc.

    I'm still new to it, but I hope some of that helped.

    Oh yah, having good makeup artistry helps too! :p
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The stark reality is that a professional photo is always touched up. Could be a simple job, or it could be something far more detailed. For instance the photos from a magazine shoot would go to a separate team who's sole job is digital touchups.

    This is the reason why even if you have 100 shots you don't work with them all. I am very happy if I get out of a session shooting with friends and get 10 solid photos, they then get the attention needed and the rest get either kept or deleted depending on if it's something I may need one day.

    Lens wise you get great results with any fast sharp lens. The 50mm f/1.8 is a great lens choice ofcourse, and so is an 85mm f/2 Mind you I've seen some people shoot with 70-200mm f/2.8 sports lenses too. I myself have done portraits with 105mm macro lenses. The point is to get the results you want knowing what the lens will do.

    Aperture will affect how the subject is separated from the background (as well as your shooting speed if light is low), focal length will affect perspective distortion. If you use your lens at 18mm yes the butt may look big in that photo. I have the same 18-70mm lens too and stay beyond 40mm for portraits and take a step back since this doesn't make things closer to the lens appear larger.

    The typical photoshop softfocus effect was originally in filter form. I have a fantastic B+W softfocus filter myself but never use it for the simple reason that it is much more customisable in photoshop. Yes the effect depends on aperture, but maybe I want less soft focus but NOT that object in the background visible. In this case only photoshop or multiple expensive filters can achieve that effect.

    As for flashes. Pros would have large strobe units with various attachments, and a technical team to help out. That said excellent effects can be had using a simple hotshoe flash unit. The key here is that you are in control of the lighting, but ONLY if the flash is not on the camera. Have a look at strobist.blogspot.com if you intend to buy a flash to see some of the fantastic results that can be achieved using a simple camera flash.

    If not the most important thing you can use for modelling is a reflector. They are < $20 from ebay for large ones, and should be a part of every kit of anyone who ever may need to do a portrait shoot.
     
  5. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Messages:
    899
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Amherst (Cleveland), Ohio
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    My advice to you would be to just keep shooting with what you have. The 18-70 should work fine for what you are doing. I will sometimes use my 18-55 when I shoot a model but I will be in the 40+ mm range.

    A good thing to do is search around the web for different images that you and your girlfriend like and try and duplicate them. You will find out what you are lacking equipment wise and its good practice.

    A second Garbz's recommendation of a reflector. A flash would be invaluable as well especially when shooting around sunset or outdoors in bright sun.
     
  6. Bren&Mere

    Bren&Mere TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thank you everyone for the tips so far. :)

    Currently we do photoshop the pictures that really need it, (this is Mere typing now), I remove lines and blemishes from my face, etc. so that would take forever in a set of 60-80 pictures. We shoot around 150+ pics, then I go through and slim down to the final number... unfortunately we can't use just 10, although you are right, there are usually 10 or however many great pics :)

    Talking about the pre-made photoshop actions sounds interesting, and we will have to look in to that. And the tips about lenses etc. I thank you all. We are going down to the store where we got the D80 today to talk to the owner and see what he recommends.

    I'm just looking for kind of softer detail or something, I'm not sure, I could post examples - possibly what I'm seeing is photoshop.

    This person's photos, and every other photo I see from her photog., have this glowy feel to them, skin always looks amazing, etc...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thoughts?? :)
     
  7. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Well, you certainly have a beautiful model, so that's a great start.

    As with any photography, light is the key. Good model shots have good lighting. That could be something as simple as window light or it could mean off-camera lights with softboxes and other light modifiers. What do you have to work with, besides the camera & lens?

    As for Photoshop, I think that to get the results you are after, you are going to need to put the time in. You can do many things quickly with actions and you can do some things in a batch...but skin retouching is almost always done individually. Like you said, you may get 10 or 15 really good shots out of 100 that are worth spending the time on. That's typical for model shoots....or even very good. You might take 1000 frames, just to get the one perfect shot. You need to decide what level of processing you can afford, time wise. Or maybe outsource your processing to someone and pay them to do it.

    I can say that you will get faster at it, as you do it more...but perfection does take time.

    *edit*
    I forgot to mention that good make-up and lighting can go a long way toward cutting down your post processing.
     
  8. little_earthquakes

    little_earthquakes TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Here's a good link for some actions: http://www.ittybittyactions.com/

    But he's right, skin retouching has to be done on an individual level.

    Pay attention to background. In all your shots you have a busy background going on, either the couch or the bedspread which takes away from the model a little. Try a plain colored sheet/bedspread in the background or invest in a professional backdrop (it will be worth it if you're looking to get professional results).
     
  9. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I actually don't think the backgrounds are that bad here. Using a plain backdrop can be good too...but can also look pretty plain. The bed spread is a busy pattern but there is little else to be distracting and it does match the model's wardrobe.

    I'll admit that I didn't even notice there was a cat in the first one...tough to notice anything by the model :blushing:
     
  10. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,825
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    The Magic Kingdom
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Not 100% sure but I'm not sure that Bren&Mere was responsible for those shots

    This suggests to me that this is the look they're after.

    Bren&Mere: If these aren't you're own shots, then you need to just link to them, as nice as they may be. Check to Forum rules if you are unsure what's acceptable or not.
     
  11. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    That may be right. If so, please change them to just links.

    If this is the look that you are trying to achieve, then I'd suggest that it's a combination of great lighting and some post processing (although maybe not much). It doesn't hurt that the model appears to have amazing skin. Some people are just blessed with soft smooth skin that looks great in photos.
     
  12. Jeff Colburn

    Jeff Colburn TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I would need to see some of your pictures to let you know how to improve them.

    As for Photoshop, you can quickly make Actions that can be applied to any photograph or even an entire folder of photographs. This makes basic changes fast and easy.

    Have Fun,
    Jeff
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

a little advice for blog owners

,

a little advice for blog owners.