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03-24-2013, 06:49 AM   #1
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An open letter to from Model to Photographer.

03-24-2013, 07:24 AM   #2
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Excellent advice.
03-24-2013, 07:52 AM   #3
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I liked this...

- For headshots, can we leave the 35mm lens in the bag? I don’t mean that in a patronising tone, it’s just my cheeks are chubby enough without distorting them into a ‘chubby bunnies’ tribute. A fat face makes for a sad face

- For full length shots, shoot me low. Get down (like you’re sat on a chair) and aim the camera at my front bum…I will look so much taller and thinner and I will love you forever. I won’t even look out of proportion and no-one will ever know you were down there.
03-24-2013, 09:35 AM   #4
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I saw this yesterday on PetaPixel. I'm not usually a people photographer but I found a lot of good info in this article for the occasional times I do it. It's a good read.

03-30-2013, 05:47 PM   #5
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I am a male model as well as a photographer, and I can say wholeheartedly that this is spot on.
03-30-2013, 06:55 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Sorry, this is exactly the type of model I don't want in my studio. Nothing against her as a person but I prefer to choose how my model is going to pose, what lens I am going to use, and prefer a far more natural approach to makeup and posing than her shown pics display. For the record I'm not much into wide angles for portraits either and I do shoot down low a lot but that's my decision to make not the models and I don't want her constantly mugging for the camera which is I think basically what this model is doing. There's only one shot in that whole set that I would even consider using, seriously.

I've had people doing what she's doing and I've told them to stop. This is not how I get beautiful pics. It might be how a lot of other people get them but this is not my shooting style at all. Yes, I will give my model as much confidence as I can. It's to my benefit to make the model feel terrific, but a model gets too "posed" and I'll stop the shoot. I'll try to get them to do some stuff to loosen up and begin all over again, telling them not to do that. If they can't do anything but that then we're done. My best pics actually I often get them when my models are not actively posing but when I do have them posing it's in a pretty natural way.

I don't like fake poses and I'm not into seeing that much makeup. It might be fine for Vogue (or for clubbing) but for what I do it's usually overkill and FYI, I do a fair bit of glam and boudoir work though mostly for fun so far. I'd like to do more of it and get paid actually but admittedly 75% of my work at this point is kids and pets, sigh. I like things soft. I very rarely will go for something like this unless the person is really, really into it for some reason has a really extreme look like say Adam Lambert. (He looks good in anything, lol.) If I am shooting a drag queen or another performer, fine, but not everyone. Any MUA that presented me with something like that stark fashion face wouldn't likely be hired by me again unless I was shooting a very high fashion shoot for a client. I'd be telling them to go wash it off and to make her look like a real woman albeit a much prettier version of herself. I don't cover up real beauty if I can help it. Real beauty isn't perfect. It's not that made up. I don't want to see every lovely freckle on a pretty face erased by a ton of pancake or eye makeup that looks like looks like it belongs on a Hollywood mummy.

I know a lot more about makeup than most photographers. I could and have made someone up like that but I usually do choose a far less extreme look. I studied drama and stage makeup when I was young. I thought about becoming a cosmetologist at one point. Makeup and fashion I've always been really into them. I've had some extensive experience doing makeup for various kinds of shows and I've even made up people for weddings and such. I'm pretty good at it. To this day I don't let anyone touch my own face or do my hair and when I do get made up people usually ask who did the work on me. They think it was a pro.

I usually set up beforehand so I can advise my clients with that. I do have a friend who is a licensed cosmetician who helps me out in return for adding some of the pics to her book but she knows I like to have a lot of control over what my model looks like and she knows that I have a good eye for what looks good. She and I tend to agree about not using tons of goop. I just don't think all women know, and yes, that includes some professional models and MUA's from what I've seen, how to make themselves or other people up without going overboard. If they did every other woman on the street (or model on a runway or in a studio) now would not be wearing false eyelashes and enough makeup to be a Las Vegas showgirl. A look like that might look good on say Jennifer Love Hewitt but it's really not for everyone.

There are times when I can't get around that. People come in and they want that highly made up look but honestly I think it's really unattractive most of the time and I usually advise against it. Styles change very rapidly. Take a pic that's very stylized now and 10 years my client could be hiding that pic in a closet because it's so dated. I look at the few pro pics I had taken of myself in the late 80's and even though they are well done and I think I actually look good in them considering the fashion of the time I can't bring myself to even display them now because they are so overdone in terms of colorful makeup and wardrobe that they're kind of absurd. I want my shots to be as lovely in 2050 as they are now. I don't want someone from them to look at them and say with disdain "Oh that's so new millennium." or whatever they will call these first few decades of the 21st century.

I'd much rather what I do be timeless. I'd rather they see a beautiful woman (or man or child or whoever) than someone who is obviously mugging like a model. I hate model hands actually. That hands on hips thing, ugh. Nothing says "posed" more than someone doing that. There's nothing natural about it. It looks entirely fake, IMHO, and doesn't do a thing to inspire me as a photographer. If the person is wearing vintage Dior couture complete with hat and gloves it might work but otherwise, please, NO. I don't want to see the makeup, the clothes unless we're going for some kind of high drama high fashion or theme scenario thing. I want to see my client looking as fresh and beautiful as we can make them. The clothes and makeup should always look good, but the focus should be on the model's own real beauty, and if a viewer notices them more than we notice HER? I'm not doing my job very well.

There's a time and a place for a stylized look like that. For extreme drama. But I get to choose when and if that is so and I don't want a model in my studio who thinks this is normal this is what I would automatically want or who strikes pose after pose and who thinks I can't be trusted to know how to do my job. It's a two way street. I do expect a professional model to be better at posing than a non-pro, of course, but I don't want to see this kind of drama, this kind of attitude in my studio. I don't want a model's manifesto handed to me before I work with them. I get what she was trying to say, but I would not work with her after reading this. No doubt if she read this she wouldn't work with me either, but I'd be perfectly happy with that. It would never work anyway.

IMHO, this model lacks confidence in her own looks and that's sad. I don't look at her and see what she sees sans makeup. I think she's lovely without tons of it actually. (In the pic with her hand over her face where she looks like a real person.) I think all women are beautiful and no, I don't think they need a ton of makeup to be so. That's my big actually making women realize how little all that matters how beautiful they are even unmade up. I purposefully often take a few shots before my friend gets to work. I want them to see their own beauty before we take it further with makeup at all. Quite often they are very surprised to see how nice they can look just lit properly and how little makeup it can take to make them look fab. If I can do that? Make them see that? Then I've done what I set out to do.

Last edited by magkelly; 03-30-2013 at 07:14 PM.
04-01-2013, 12:26 PM   #7
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I don't think this lassie would be at the top of my "book me right now" listings.
04-01-2013, 12:34 PM   #8
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If was stuck with this model, I would leave the 35mm in my bag and slap on the 20mm just to annoy her.

And that before and after picture, with and without the make-up, the before definitely looks a gazillion times better.

Last edited by Clavius; 04-01-2013 at 01:19 PM.
04-01-2013, 12:43 PM   #9
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I think is a fun way to send a message towards newly photographers ... a nice and relaxed way of saying ... get loose .
Some of the advice is actually very good.

Now, more "advanced" photographers will know what to do and what they want; however they still have to communicate and let the model know what they want and the atmosphere still has to be relaxed and friendly.

A fun letter with some good tips nonetheless .
04-01-2013, 04:43 PM   #10
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It really depends on what the images are for though.

If the image is going to be about the model (ie: it's for them, or the focus is them) then let the model make a lot of choices about posing etc. (basically where the final image will be viewed for the model or clothes in it rather than the image in it's own right)
Image removed per moderator request
This is aparently from Vogue or something similar, the focus is on the model as a form to advertise teh clothing (I'm guessing the hat in this case)
This one I'd let the model have plenty of leeway in deciding poses etc, she deals with clothing on a daily basis, a photographer generally doesn't. She knows what people find attractive as buyers of the product.

If the image is one for the photographer (ie: the image is viewed as an image, and the model in essence is just a prop) then let the photographer decide.
Image removed per moderator request
This one the focus isn't so much on the model as a model, so much as the scene as a whole. It's not about making the model attractive, or appealing, it's about having her set appropriate to the scene (torn stocking, messy hair, harsh lighting)

It really depends on who the photo is for, who the customer is as such (is it the model/agency/magazine, or the photographer for his/her own use and sale?)

Bear in mind, I don't do portraits or any form of professional (or really very good) photography.

Last edited by hks_kansei; 04-03-2013 at 12:49 AM.

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