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10-26-2016, 06:20 PM   #1
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First Model Shoot. Need Advice

This past may I was asked by a good friend's step father (who happens to be a painter) to put some images in the opening show of his new gallery. That was quite a stretch for me. I had never really printed anything, let alone put any effort into framing or assigning dollar values for sales. I even had to make business cards. Sheesh. I suspected he wanted to include me because you could advertise "visually impaired photographer" haha. It was certainly a neat experience.

The show was suppose to finish on July 31st; however, it has transitioned into a new show with a glass blower and I still have pictures on the walls. I believe I was the first to sell anything. There was another photographer who's photos were technically better, framed better, and were of internationally exotic places.. I don't think he sold anything. He even made his prices the same as mine. He's been a full time photographer for at least 20-30 years. I've been a fledgling for a few. Interesting to say the least. I'm focused on learning.

Anyways, that same friend passed my card to a neighbour and last week Wednesday, I got a call, a text, and a Facebook message asking to do photos of her daughter who wants to build a portfolio for modelling to send to some agency in Toronto. They also wanted to do it the following day. Yikes.

The rest of the day my mind was racing, I was cleaning, finding and charging batteries and trying to figure out good settings for my Yongnuo IV/TX flash setup in the basement. Here's what I used primarily.

1 x Westcott Orb Softbox Umbrella/stand (the flash bracket dropped a flash at one point, its much harder to tighten then the ones I got from ebay)
2 x Godox rectangular softboxes from ebay
3 x light stands and flash brackets from ebay ( the shoe can be tightened with a flathead screwdriver and gets much tighter than the westcott hand tighten knob)
4 Younguo 4, + TX
Large 7' foldable white / black backdrop from ebay (folds the size of a standard reflector.
$20 neutral grey cloth (from ebay) held up by a dowel and two coat hooks (used this this more)

Interestingly the stuff from ebay combined was nearly the price of the Westcott from Henry's.

Anyways, I made sure to seek help from the mom (neighbour) and tried to be light and fun while shooting. I can't see well and so faces / body position is nearly impossible for me to see AND OR interpret. Body language is something I rarely see. i generally rely on intuition and other subtleties to understand people around me. Going in a had a lot of apprehension and fear regarding know how to direct someone. I had lots of images adn website resource ready to do, but I still felt lost.

overall I felt pretty good about the shoot. They want me to do more in a few days. They have other ideas. I'm also hoping we'll be able to get outside and shoot in fall colours or perhaps near some old farm ruins. I'm posting some of the shots I've worked on. There seems to be problems with an orange hue on the face. I think its makeup since its not on the hands. I did try colour correcting with a Colour pallete and the Colour Checker Passport software. Can anyone give me advice on how to handles this? I can do some stuff in lightroom, but colour really isn't an area I am skilled in visually.

Here's a link to some of the better shots.
Update your browser to use Google Drive - Drive Help

Oh if you're interested, I pretty much only used the K1 and Sigma 100-300 F4 EX DG APO at 5.6. I used it so I could ensure the softboxes weren't in the shot. My basement is not tall enough nor is it wide enough, but I think it turned out okay. For my first I'm really happy. The question I'm asking myself and you fine folks, is how can I improve despite and within my visual limitations.

As far as business stuff, I said I'd only charge the cost of printing as I need to work on my portfolio as much as she does . I personally couldn't handle the pressure of a dollar value. I was dealing with enough pressure as it was/is. I also asked if I could use the photos for my own portfolio and she had no issue with that.

Thanks for sharing in my journey. I appreciate all feedback.

10-26-2016, 09:02 PM   #2
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When you view them on a screen do you see details if they are magnified? If so if suggest a field monitor connected to the k1. As for color I'd have mom or someone else double check color at the start. And I'd maybe include a white card shot with the model each time you change lighting. But I'm only speculating. Perhaps switch her shots to black and white?
10-26-2016, 10:31 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by wissink Quote
This past may I was asked by a good friend's step father (who happens to be a painter) to put some images in the opening show of his new gallery. That was quite a stretch for me. I had never really printed anything, let alone put any effort into framing or assigning dollar values for sales. I even had to make business cards. Sheesh. I suspected he wanted to include me because you could advertise "visually impaired photographer" haha. It was certainly a neat experience.

The show was suppose to finish on July 31st; however, it has transitioned into a new show with a glass blower and I still have pictures on the walls. I believe I was the first to sell anything. There was another photographer who's photos were technically better, framed better, and were of internationally exotic places.. I don't think he sold anything. He even made his prices the same as mine. He's been a full time photographer for at least 20-30 years. I've been a fledgling for a few. Interesting to say the least. I'm focused on learning.

Anyways, that same friend passed my card to a neighbour and last week Wednesday, I got a call, a text, and a Facebook message asking to do photos of her daughter who wants to build a portfolio for modelling to send to some agency in Toronto. They also wanted to do it the following day. Yikes.

The rest of the day my mind was racing, I was cleaning, finding and charging batteries and trying to figure out good settings for my Yongnuo IV/TX flash setup in the basement. Here's what I used primarily.

1 x Westcott Orb Softbox Umbrella/stand (the flash bracket dropped a flash at one point, its much harder to tighten then the ones I got from ebay)
2 x Godox rectangular softboxes from ebay
3 x light stands and flash brackets from ebay ( the shoe can be tightened with a flathead screwdriver and gets much tighter than the westcott hand tighten knob)
4 Younguo 4, + TX
Large 7' foldable white / black backdrop from ebay (folds the size of a standard reflector.
$20 neutral grey cloth (from ebay) held up by a dowel and two coat hooks (used this this more)

Interestingly the stuff from ebay combined was nearly the price of the Westcott from Henry's.

Anyways, I made sure to seek help from the mom (neighbour) and tried to be light and fun while shooting. I can't see well and so faces / body position is nearly impossible for me to see AND OR interpret. Body language is something I rarely see. i generally rely on intuition and other subtleties to understand people around me. Going in a had a lot of apprehension and fear regarding know how to direct someone. I had lots of images adn website resource ready to do, but I still felt lost.

overall I felt pretty good about the shoot. They want me to do more in a few days. They have other ideas. I'm also hoping we'll be able to get outside and shoot in fall colours or perhaps near some old farm ruins. I'm posting some of the shots I've worked on. There seems to be problems with an orange hue on the face. I think its makeup since its not on the hands. I did try colour correcting with a Colour pallete and the Colour Checker Passport software. Can anyone give me advice on how to handles this? I can do some stuff in lightroom, but colour really isn't an area I am skilled in visually.

Here's a link to some of the better shots.
Update your browser to use Google Drive - Drive Help

Oh if you're interested, I pretty much only used the K1 and Sigma 100-300 F4 EX DG APO at 5.6. I used it so I could ensure the softboxes weren't in the shot. My basement is not tall enough nor is it wide enough, but I think it turned out okay. For my first I'm really happy. The question I'm asking myself and you fine folks, is how can I improve despite and within my visual limitations.

As far as business stuff, I said I'd only charge the cost of printing as I need to work on my portfolio as much as she does . I personally couldn't handle the pressure of a dollar value. I was dealing with enough pressure as it was/is. I also asked if I could use the photos for my own portfolio and she had no issue with that.

Thanks for sharing in my journey. I appreciate all feedback.
Not bad for a newbie!

You did well. You certainly have enough equipment and did a good job of utilizing what you had. I am in the process of editing my work in preparation for my website. I was just telling a friend of mine who is also going to be featured on my site that he needs to assign a 1-5 star value to his images and only send me his superstars which are the 5-star images. He is a veteran photographer and shoots great stuff. I am saying all of this to give you my suggested pics. Remember editing your own work is really hard. It is always preferable to get someone else with sufficient background to do the "dirty" work. You have to chop a lot of the images and it is not easy to do. I just did a three-day landscape/nature shoot with over 800 images. I would call it a good day if I can say 10-15 of them are 5-star images. I have almost 100% percent technically correct images but the superstars are rare.

With all of this said. I am suggesting the following for your portfolio: numbers 2195, 2227, 2203, 2196, 2223, 2186 (Crop the chair out completely. I wish she did not have a watch. It is distracting. Technically you are good. The problem is posing. You did well for someone who I am assuming has not had any posing lessons. I have been shooting for a long time and I still can't pose a subject. I did not have much interest in posed shots. However, if you want to do this seriously, then you need to study some of the masters and the people who are doing it successfully. The little bit that I know I learned from the best of the best. Good luck and keep shooting. You have the right attitude in your approach to photography.

Also remember at some point you have to charge and that is another lesson you have to learn from the people who do it for a living. Giving it away initially is good for building a portfolio but it can get you into trouble when you want to charge and people don't think they have to pay. That is indeed the hardest lesson to learn and it has nothing to do with photography. Hope my comments were of some use to you. I wish you the best of luck.
10-27-2016, 06:00 AM   #4
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You are doing great, studio work is HARD.

A few things to work on next time.
1. For women, it is a general rule to NOT show the back of the hand. Keep this in mind, because it can make a slender and beautiful woman look tough / masculine.
2. Consistent lighting is Key and you exposure was a little inconsistent. - This is hard especially if you subject keeps moving around, but my suggestion is to keep your flash to subject distance the same and your camera on manual. If you have the light as far back as you can, movement shouldn't change exposure very often (light fall off is diminished by distance). (obviously break this rule for creative purposes or to increase the shadows.
3. Look for small details, like the bra showing in a few of your shots. Details like these are hard to edit out and your eye will naturally be drawn to them. In a model shoot, your viewer needs to be focused on the beauty of the model, then the style/other objects.

Great first shoot, She has some good ones in there to use and I am sure you learned a lot. Keep it up!

10-27-2016, 11:42 AM   #5
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I really like 2175 it draws your attention back into the image,

2154 is close, the diagonale could be more used.

2195 is also cool, having her a bit more to the right would improve it in my opinion,

2203 is very good from composition and her expression.

Im a beginner in portraits myself and my first model shoot had less keepers. Capturing the right poses is indeed hard, it helps to build up an easy and relaxed atmosphere.

"1. For women, it is a general rule to NOT show the back of the hand. Keep this in mind, because it can make a slender and beautiful woman look tough / masculine. "

Yes it can make an otherwise completely "normal" picture look strange. And I really like that.

http://i-n-r.deviantart.com/art/Herbstleyd-640040934

Last edited by universalfocus; 10-30-2016 at 03:18 AM.
10-28-2016, 10:45 AM   #6
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Original Poster
Wow! Unclevanya, universalfocus, Blacknight659 and btnapa, I appreciate the feedback.

I had the camera hooked up via HDMI to the 40" LCD TV. I wasn't using live view though. Its not great in terms of colour, but it gives us a chance to review images fairly quickly. It's much faster than tethered shooting, just not as pretty.

I was using the Yongnuo TX as well, so I'm not sure how I'd mount a field monitor.

I did use a Color Checker (not the passport, but the full size I found new on ebay). I got it to fix what I don't see. I also have one of the digital grey cards. As far as lighting changes go, it didn't change much. More the angle and background (which changed the amount of light bouncing around the room). I think her position changed no more than a couple of feet.

I've always struggled with ratings to be honest. I can never find a concrete method for choosing. I've made probably a half a dozen templates on how I want to rate and none of them last long enough to be helpful. It doesn't help that I see thousands of images not fully sorted in the catalogue and that pressure alone causes issues.

Can you give me your * rating rundown?

I wonder if a 3* system would make more sense for me.
1* Archive
2* Decent
3* Great
Different subjects are easier to rate also.

Regarding posing, no I haven't done any at all. I was thinking it would be helpful if I was the model and learned how to move my body (male and female versions), that way I could demonstrate what I feel / visualize intrinsically.
I think apprenticing under someone would really help also.

Who do you recommend I look into? I have seen a lot of stuff online, but it can be hard to translate that into practical stuff. Body language and such is pretty foreign to the visually impaired. For instance, I didn't see the watch or the bra until I got to the computer later. I did mention hands not facing outwards for women.. but again that's a head knowledge thing. She rebutted saying she likes her hands!
What about makeup? She had a friend do it and I think it turned out blotchy and the wrong colour for her. I guess we're both learning.

The client (that sounds foreign!) did mention she'd like to do family shots. I think I'll charge a bit for that. I'm not sure where I'll start yet though .

The lighting is hard for me. I tried to be intentional about it. It was mostly a 3 light setup. Orb on right 45 degrees, as high as the 7.5' ceiling allowed. Rectangular softbox on left same distance away. It was positioned a little lower and had a little less power to fill in. Then I forgot to mention this, but I have a foldable ringlight/softbox/beauty dish (with a Yongnuo IV in it) that I used rear left as a hair light. The fourth flash fell off the Westcott and landed in a few pieces. I didn't fix it till they left.

I find this all pretty overwhelming. I realize my response here is rather convoluted, but I have read all your responses and appreciate them greatly. Thanks!

Again about the orange face? Is that just me? I can post full res images if that helps. Is there a relatively easy way to fix it? I have CC, but haven't delved much in PS.

They're coming back in a couple of hours to do more shots. I'm really hoping to get out in the fall colours. I found some neat spots this morning. I think eliminating the flashes may help allievate some stress.

I'll update how it went.
10-28-2016, 12:16 PM   #7
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First of all, a little apology: I just saw the title on the front page and didnīt see that I was posting in the "professionals" section, I didnīt want to capture your post. I currently do more artsy stuff and never worked for money yet.

"overall I felt pretty good about the shoot. They want me to do more in a few days. They have other ideas. I'm also hoping we'll be able to get outside and shoot in fall colours or perhaps near some old farm ruins. I'm posting some of the shots I've worked on. There seems to be problems with an orange hue on the face. I think its makeup since its not on the hands. I did try colour correcting with a Colour pallete and the Colour Checker Passport software. Can anyone give me advice on how to handles this? I can do some stuff in lightroom, but colour really isn't an area I am skilled in visually. "

I used raw therapy (I know, not professional) and some of the fading filters to change the tonality of the image untill the makeup fits in, another way would be to use a mask in photoshop over the face and change the color tones there. Hereīs one picture I made with the RAW Therapy method (and working on it in photoshop later):

http://i-n-r.deviantart.com/art/Z-640309141

However, itīs not a "neutral" picture anymore then. Iīd like to see more advice from the proīs here myself.

"The client (that sounds foreign!) did mention she'd like to do family shots. I think I'll charge a bit for that. I'm not sure where I'll start yet though ."

If you want to charge for your shots, get in contact with your client beforehand and talk in a gentle atmosphere to find out what kind of shots they want.
At the end itīs them who have to pay for your work, they must like it.
If you want to bring in your own more creative and unusual ideas, do the "must have" shots first and later ask if they would mind to try the following...(and bring in your ideas)

To posing: I also tended to show the pose myself, however some poses look a bit strange on a 200 pound guy like me, so that the model might not like to follow those, because she thinks they wonīt work for her. I think itīs better to work with example sheets where the model can pick some poses which are liked the most or when a number of different poses is shot in a flow and you keep on shooting or ask for a reptition if youīve seen a great one but missed it.

It helped me a lot to work with experienced models, because they know what they are doing and they help you to build up confidence that you can do portraits.

Regarding the rating:

When you have several shots of the same pose, select one which you consider as the best. watch for small details as they sometimes can ruin an otherwise very good shot.

Only show the best shots, the ones you want to work on and rename these shots, so that there are no gaps in numbers, a tip which Frank Doorhof gave here (01:55):


His portraits are really good and he gives a lot of usefull advice in his videos.

Also thereīs this book I really like, because it shows the light set used for each displayed portrait and it includes also very simple yet effective ligthing and even scenes with just the use of natural light scenes:

https://www.amazon.de/Portrait-Photographers-Lighting-Style-Guide/dp/0817400...phers+lighting

And a personal advice:

Donīt do any paid work on events (especially weddings) when you are not ready for it, bettter start as a co-shooter on those and collect a lot of experience in event shootings beforehand. Your friends or relatives might think that you can save them the money for a professional wedding photographer, because you can do portraits,
trust me, these are two completely different situations. You always can redo a studio shot.

Or make completely clear beforehand that you will bring your camera to the event as a friend, but that you wonīt do a professionals business.
Make sure that the expectations of the people you are making pictures for are in tune with what you can deliver (stay confident, but realistic).

Last edited by universalfocus; 10-30-2016 at 03:17 AM.
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