Painter looking for best avenue to quality photo references


TPF Noob!
Oct 17, 2015
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I apologize if this is a subject that has been discussed here before. Searching for information has been a little difficult due to words with multiple meanings (ex. models could mean person or toy/car/figure or concept).
I am an artist looking for the best way to get a photo reference for my paintings. I have a few questions that maybe someone can help me out with.
I am a very very amateur photographer. I understand just the basic concepts. Portraits are my specialty so I have thought about hiring a model and attempting to make my own (hopefully quality looking) photos. I am nervous to do this however, having no experience. Has anyone worked with other artists before? Should I take this route? Should I find someone to assist me? Do photographers offer photographs to use as photo references that I wouldn't be stealing by painting and eventually selling my work? I want to be respectful to other's work and find a way to obtain quality photo references for my work. Thoughts?
Photography is such a beautiful art form, but I prefer to further my experience with sketching/painting etc. Art is my passion, but I have a very low income and I can't really afford to hire a lot of expensive people, if it matters, I have a decent camera. how can I make this a win-win for a photographer/model and me?
Not sure what you mean by 'photo reference'. Are you wanting to use a photo as a basis for creating a painting?
Not sure what you mean by 'photo reference'. Are you wanting to use a photo as a basis for creating a painting?

Yes. A reference for proper spacing/lighting/colors ect. It is very common for an artist to use a photo as a reference. I would love to get some feedback, but perhaps there is a better place to be looking for this information...
If you want to use photos as a basis, I see no reason to hire models. Just ask friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc if they're willing to sit for a while in front of a camera.
Photos to be used for the stated purpose could be taken by pretty much any camera, even a phone would do it.
Before digital most of that was done with just a basic polaroid camera.
You can't legally copy someone's photo but you can look at pictures for ideas to create your own art.
Royalty-free images are available for download here, thought there may not be very many portraits. Reference usage is perfectly fine,

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