First Time Studio Woes: How do I achieve a high end fashion portrait?

fuel

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So here I am, excited I finally went ahead and put together a little home studio and figuring out the light setup.

$2r7u1vn.jpg

Then I went online and saw this, and became insta-upset.

http://ilovemeagan.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/f1.jpg

I mean, besides being a blonde, blue eyed 120 lbs female and the clothes, how can I get this... magazine look?

I just feel mine looks weird.
 
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Murray Bloom

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Right out of the box, I'd work on your lighting. It looks a tad overexposed and way too flat. This causes a lack of drama. Also, the pose and tangle of arms just doesn't work for me. But hey, everyone has to start somewhere. Keep trying.

EDIT: Oh, my mistake. I was commenting on the shot you copied, which is now removed.
 
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Granddad

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I'm a little confused, are these both your shots? If not you need to link to the shot that isn't yours rather than posting it here, it's in the rules. :)
 

Designer

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I don't see anything wrong with your photograph. Your light is subdued, which is fine for a male model, IMO. The other uses more light, which is appropriate for women models, also IMO.

IOW; good work!
 

eswebster

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I think you are just missing a toned down fill light coming from the front left to kill a bit of the shadow. Your flash is clearly upper right and the models you are referencing is more balanced and filled because there are multiple lighting sources. I think its a good portrait, agree with the arms comment above....
 

tirediron

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Practice! If it was just a matter of buying some lights and shooting Vogue covers, we'd all be doing it! ;) Head over to YouTube and spend a few hours watching lighting videos (there's only a few thousand) and practicing. Learn to 'reverse engineer'. Find a look you like and study the light, look at the specular highlights, shadows, etc, and try and duplicate it. Feel free to post your images here for help & critique.
 

Derrel

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So here I am, excited I finally went ahead and put together a little home studio and figuring out the light setup.

View attachment 51612

Then I went online and saw this, and became insta-upset.

TPF Rules do not permit the posting of images to which you do not hold rights. You may edit this post with a link to the image if you wish.

I mean, besides being a blonde, blue eyed 120 lbs female and the clothes, how can I get this... magazine look?

I just feel mine looks weird.

Well, this photo of the guy in jeans and T-shirt looks "okay". Not too bad, really. The face is lighted okay, has some nice shape definition and shadows that show us some shape to the face and the arms. You might, or might not, like the way his shirt and jeans grow progressively darker, and more detail-free as the light falls off in intensity. The light is adequately covering his FACE, but the bottom parts of him are in shadow; the chest area still has some light. AGain, that's not bad, nor is it good--it just is what it is. If you wanted even light, then you needed a bigger source, one that would give more "coverage", when used in that situation. You could also have used a reflector, low, to reflect some fill light into the darker areas.

We do not know "what, exactly" you hoped to accomplish. Learning how to light using speedlight flash units and an umbrella or a softbox can be a matter of trial and error, unless you have some guidance. Speedlights show you NO preview, and are lack the continuous or "real-time" modeling light output that helps a person literally SEE the lighting effects BEFORE a shot is made, so, if you have a speedlight setup, it really would be helpful to know exactly what it is you need to do, before hand. Otherwise, you're just kinda' shooting in the dark.

A high-end fashion portrait usually has a four-person to six-person crew behind it. And often, years' worth of experience, and tens of thousands of dollars' worth of equipment.
 
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fuel

fuel

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you are just missing a toned down fill light coming from the front left to kill a bit of the shadow. Your flash is clearly upper right and the models you are referencing is more balanced and filled because there are multiple lighting sources.

Learn to 'reverse engineer'. Find a look you like and study the light, look at the specular highlights, shadows, etc, and try and duplicate it.

If you wanted even light, then you needed a bigger source, one that would give more "coverage", when used in that situation. You could also have used a reflector, low, to reflect some fill light into the darker areas.

Learning how to light using speedlight flash units and an umbrella or a softbox can be a matter of trial and error, unless you have some guidance.

Yes! Thanks guys. Talked to a photo buddy at work yesterday and he said the same thing. I need a softbox or two, preferably large for a bigger light source/even lighting. Right now I'm just working with these two little umbrellas.
 

tirediron

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Okay, rule #1: You don't NEED more gear. You can do a LOT with what you have, you just need to learn how to use it effectively. Until you get the basics down pat, all the gear in the world isn't going to improve your work (and trust me, I'm into gear! ;) ). With a little practice you can do some awesome work with one light and a reflector. Again, surf YouTube for a while, there's some great resources and the Strobist blog, especially Lighting 101, is an awesome resource!
 

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