Monthly Archives: January 2011

Tips for Models.

Portrait of luxury woman in exclusive jewelryGood help is hard to find. I am sure you have heard that adage before. Strangely, it applies to modeling and photography as it does any thing else.  Below is a short list of tips  this will help both you and the photographer. Bare in mind that this is, by no means, a complete list but some suggestions for a good shoot and continued work. I hope that you find this short list of tips for models helpful.

  • Be Punctual – Always be on time. I know there are instances where it is difficult to do, but by all means do your best to be on time. It is likely that a photographer has his entire day booked and one late model can throw the day off.
  • No Call, No Show –  Paid or TFP, do not leave a photographer waiting. If you do this, it is highly likely that you will not be called back for a shoot. Photographers do talk to each other and word will spread.
  • Beauty Sleep – Make sure you get a good nights sleep prior to a shoot. If you are tired, it will show in the resulting photos.
  • Drink Water – Drinking water will help your complexion and  general health of your skin.
  • Diet – No, I do not mean loose weight… this is more a reference to being conscious of the foods you eat and making sure that you are eating healthy.
  • Communication – Talk to the photographer prior to the shoot and double check to see if there is anything you need to bring with you. This might include wardrobe or a small make-up kit. This is also a good opportunity to make sure you know how to get to the location or studio.
  • Comfort –  If you are uncomfortable with the direction a photo shoot is going, or if a photographer surprises you with something that you are not comfortable with. Let him/her know. If it persists, politely end the shoot.
  • Wear Loose Fitting Clothes – When going to the shoot, be sure to wear loose fitting clothes.  Certain tight and constrictive clothes will leave impressions in the skin that will cost time in waiting for them to disappear if that area of your body is going to be bare in the photograph.
  • Escorts – Any photographer whom is well intentioned will allow escorts into the studio. When choosing someone to escort you, be sure to bring someone whom is not going to be disruptive to the shoot. It is one thing bring up concerns, it is another to badger the photographers or those in his employ.
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Shoot, But Don’t Touch!

In this day in age, photographers have enough problems. The unfortunate part of being a photographer is that once you present yourself as such to a model, you are are burdened with a stereo-type of being a creepy pervert. Sadly, there are enough sexual predators out there that use the title, “Photographer,” that it has created the stereo type that all professionals must live down to.

Not only do you have the concern of age old stereo-types, but lawsuits and litigation. You do not need to loose your business, money or reputation over a photo-shoot gone bad.

Some simple rules to live by.

  • Do not touch the talent – if you need a wardrobe adjustment, point it out to the model and see if they can correct the issue, otherwise ask them for their permission to correct the problem yourself.
  • If the model is nude and you need to move towards your model to adjust the lights or take a reading, Ask his/her permission first.
  • Encourage models to bring an escort – this is for her safety and comfort. Conversely, always have someone else on hand in your studio to assist you.
  • CHECK and PHOTOCOPY ID before the shoot begins. If the talent is not the appropriate age, send them away immediately. Of course, be cordial when doing so.
  • Be honest and upfront – Meaning, do not surprise a model with nude shoot if it was not agreed upon prior to the shoot.

The above can save you a lot frustration and can garner you more shoots from other models. Remember, Photographers and Models talk a lot to each other and one, perceived, wrong action can cost you.

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Ten Tips for Better Photos…

Years ago, Kodak released a pamphlet of ten tips to improve your photos. The information that Kodak provided is nothing new and is something that is known by professional photographers.  These tips will help improve your snap shots or your professional work. If you practice these tips on a regular basis, they will become second nature to you. More importantly, thinking about them as you take photos will noticeably improve your end results.

  1. Change the perspective.
    Most people will shoot a photo from their eye level. Stop that right now. Stand on a chair and shoot down on your subject or lay on the floor to shoot up towards your subject. If you are shooting children, kneel down and get to their level. In the end the photograph is your world, how do you want to portray it?
  2. Use a solid background.
    Using a solid color to shoot against can make your subject pop.This can also create drama. Choose colors suited to feeling and emotion you wish to convey.
  3. Use a flash when shooting outside.The sun can be a harsh light source that creates hard shadows. Using your flash during the day can fill in some of those dark shadows.
  4. Take vertical photos.
    Turn your camera so you change the orientation of the photo. Most people will never change and shooting so that your photos are vertical can ad an extra element of intrigue.
  5. Lock the Focus.
    Focus Lock is a feature on most auto focus cameras that allows you to focus on one part of the image by half-pressing and holding the shutter button, then recomposing and further pressing the shutter to take the shot. Routine use of the focus lock helps ensure that your focus is exactly where you want it.
  6. Don’t center the photograph.
    Use the rule of thirds to frame and compose your photo. The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in visual arts such as painting, photography and design. The rule states that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would.
  7. Know the range of your flash.
    The easiest way to say this is that light must leave the flash, travel to the subject then bounce back to finally pass through your lens. If your subject is too far away, it will not do any good to use your flash.
  8. Pay attention to lighting.
    Always watch where your light is coming from. You must know there the light is coming from to either compensate or change the lighting, either by moving the lighting or moving your subject to a better location.
  9. Direct your photos.
    Compose your photo, move your subject around and tell your models how to pose to get the photo you ultimately want. Be more than just a spectator.
  10. Get closer,.. .
    Get as close as you can, fill the frame with your subject matter.
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That Evil “On Camera Flash.”

On camera flashes are the bane of all existence. OK,.. perhaps that is too harsh, but it is not as harsh as the unflattering light that is produced from these flashes. In every case, an unmodified on camera flash will flatten your subject and wash them out. In effect, you end up with an unflattering photo. And the sad thing is that most of the cameras that are made today have a flash built right in to it.  On a Digital SLR with a long lens, you will get the added benefit of the flash creating an arcing shadow from your lens.

The good news, in most cases, there is a means by which you can correct this or lessen the ill affects of an on camera flash. The number one fix is, if your camera will allow, buy an external flash and use bounce lighting (more on bounce lighting in an upcoming article).

Some other methods, you can either buy flash modifiers invented by various people, like Gary Fong; Or you can make your own. Wired.com recently published an article with many methods of modifying the light coming from your camera’s flash.

  • Ping Pong Balls
  • White Electrical Tape
  • Plastic Milk Jugs
  • Clear Film Canisters (If you can find any)
  • Vellum

These ideas are really ingenious and can work to soften and disperse the light from your camera’s flash. And in a pinch, I have used some of these to get some good effects on my photos.

Go Here for the article on Wired.com

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