Portable setup for portraits/models

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by benlonghair, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone. I've got a tax refund coming, and I can't think of anything better to spend it on than photo gear.

    First and foremost, I'm gonna buy a faster lens, probably the Nikkor 50/1.8. I got a fairly nice Slik tripod for christmas so I'm good on that.

    Now, I generally shoot birds and wildlife, but I'm interested in getting into portraits and maybe shooting models too. Ideally, I'd like to learn to do stuff along the lines of what Dustin Diaz does. He's great if you haven't seen his work.

    Basically, I'd be looking to pick up a Cactus setup and probably an inexpensive Vivitar speedlight or two. Then I need a light stand or two, and maybe an umbrella and/or a softbox. Hopefully I can do all of this for under $500 (not including the lens).

    Am I overthinking this? Underthinking it?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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  3. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Oh cool thanks.

    Another question I have is about Model Mayhem. How strict are they about having 4 photos to sign up. I've never really shot people as models, more just snapshots of family events.

    If we were talking animals and birds, I could pull it off, but I dont have 4 photos that are "model-esque."

    EDIT, I've got a few on flickr that might work for me (here, here and here), but they're all snapshots at best.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  4. Big Mike

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

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    I'm not sure. I do think you have to have the minimum requirements, 4 photos (or whatever it is). That doesn't mean that they have to be good....so you could probably just shoot some pics of someone you know.

    Of course, having a strong portfolio makes it a lot easier to get models to work with you. If they view your profile and just see some crappy photos, they may think you are pretty creepy.
     
  5. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    That's the point of being on MM to start, I thought, to get some experience and only later on to make money.

    Good or bad photos they may think that. ;)
     
  6. themedicine

    themedicine TPF Noob!

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    ^model mayhem isn't too strict about anything anymore. you should be able to get away with just snapshots of people you know like big mike said and update the photos after you start getting some real work put together. be careful on that site, make sure it doesn't look like you just wanna go on there so you can have girls take off their clothes for you. I have no interest in that and I get that proposition all the time. Its crazy.

    I wish I'd have known about that strobist kit! thats a nice bundle. I basically got all of that stuff all separated out and cost me about the same though, maybe a little less, but that is Definitely what the OP needs. Great starter set!
     
  7. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Getting girls naked not my goal, although it would be an added bonus. Actually my goals are "learning how to photograph people" and "paying for more gear with the gear I have" in that order. I'm actually thinking of a couple of my friends (male) who would make decent models to start with.
     
  8. themedicine

    themedicine TPF Noob!

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    Thats a good plan, im doing the same thing! In fact, I think we all try to do that haha. What I mean when saying that about model mayhem is that it seems like people want to do exchange for port work, then they come to do something with you and they are awful models who just wanna see what happens if they start taking off their clothes in front of someone with a camera. Some valuable contacts can be made on that site for sure, but just be forewarned is all!
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    Also, be prepared to put up with some flakes. Some photographers have great luck there, but a lot of photographers who are looking to do TF (time for...) shoots end up with models that flake out, don't show up etc.
     
  10. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Well, as I said, girls taking their cloths off is just an added bonus. And you can learn something from bad models, anyhow.

    Seriously, when you're buying something off amazon, do you only read the 5-star reviews? I find I learn what I want to know from 1- and 2-star reviews.
     
  11. ScottsdaleImages

    ScottsdaleImages TPF Noob!

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    That setup looks pretty good, but I am sure if you looked around, you'd find some better deals.

    As for Model Mayhem. They do look at your portfolio, so make it reasonable. A friend has been denied 3 times because his work isn't up to snuff.

    As for "then they come to do something with you and they are awful models who just wanna see what happens if they start taking off their clothes in front of someone with a camera." I have never had this happen to me yet, although I am always a professional at my shoots.

    Regarding FLAKES, there are a bunch, if they think your work is ok, they schedule something, and then they get a better offer from a better photog, they will no show or cancel like crazy. I have had about 60/40 ratio of show/no-show. I have 2 models coming tonight, and as of 1am this morning, the message with my address hadn't been read yet. So we'll have to see
     

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