Struggled through this session


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Mar 12, 2013
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Can I have some feedback on these, I really had a hard time with this girl. The plan was a mix of urban and wet sunset shots. Luckily I have a perfect location for these nearby.

Unfortunately my client was totally unresponsive and a bit like a dead fish. She wouldn't respond well to my direction no matter how hard I tried to explain...and I am very patient. On top of that there was a language barrier as she did not speak much English.

I was using a single off camera speedlight and was alone with no help. I ended up just dumping my light stand in the water as I could not get it close enough on dry land.

The urban shots went well, I got some good results. The water part was a different story. I prefer to hear your comments before I moan anymore.

Thanks.....look forward to your feedback.


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I like the B&W but feel like the palms of her hands are too dark. I also like photo 16, but think the exposure on just her can be decreased, maybe some selected burning needed (flash too hot).

What language did she speak?
I like the B&W but feel like the palms of her hands are too dark. I also like photo 16, but think the exposure on just her can be decreased, maybe some selected burning needed (flash too hot).

What language did she speak?

Thanks for taking the time to respond.
She was Polish. She doesn't like the images either. A tough cookie this one. :(
Looks like a pretty common theme of over exposed, and 7_2 looks like it may be clipping with saturation. My guess would be the R channel.

Also if I had to guess you were looking to reproduce a few shots, ones that a lot of us see online and take for granted when it comes to posing and shooting them. This is just an assumption so feel free to correct me, but next time it might help to take some images of what you want from the location so that you can better reproduce the shots.
I don't see the problem as technical. You were on the right track but her expression leaves a lot to be desired. Professional photographs are not for tech nerds, they are for just people. If she was feeling loose and having a good time she would probably be happy with the photos. Rapport is a strange thing. You can stand on your head for a kid and he may still throw you daggers with his eyes. You should not have been alone, methinks. A female aide is always an asset and you needed to do a test session beforehand to see if you can breach the language barrier. Or something. But some shoots just are not going to work out.
There are just some shoots with people where it either works well and runs smooth, then there are others that will always drive you nuts. Getting people to relax is one of those tough things, especially those that will never been comfortable in front of a camera. I've worked with both. When you throw in a language issue with someone that is uncomfortable in front of a camera, it's going to be a shoot you are likely to lose. It may be worth taking a second shot with her, the risk is that you both try too hard to make it work.
Maybe if she didn't speak much English she didn't know what you wanted her to do; next time if available hire an interpreter. It can take some getting used to talking to the person and pausing while the interpreter translates what you said, so it might take a little more time but could make a big difference.
You needed at least 1 more light, but 2 more would have been better, to have a more pleasing/flattering light in the shadows.

A bigger light modifier on the main light would also have made that light softer and more flattering and pleasing.

Basically, the water shots lighting is just way to harsh.
a few over exposed but nice looking model
Not sure that posting quite blunt comments on a open public forum about a visually identifiable client, under what seems your own name is the best idea for your reputation. Its a shame you did not work well together and neither you nor she got the hoped for images, but 'customer relations' can come back to haunt you on the internet even when you have got over disappointment and moved on. This is intended as a helpful post, not as an unkind one.

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