April 8, 2013
advice for photographers from models – how to work with models
An article by UK model, Jen Brook, caught my eye. She wrote a long piece where she gives advice on how models would like to be treated during a photo shoot - Dear Photographer – kindest regards, Model. xxx
You’d think that this advice is just common sense, but from my own experience, I have realized that some photographers just lack people skills … or disregard models and don’t realize that a photo shoot really is a collaborative process.
This also reminds me of something that Ulorin Vex said about how a photographer that had booked her, wanted to not pay her for the time she spent prepping for a setup. I had to wonder how the photographer hoped to get amazing results from an unhappy model because of his antagonistic stance. You know, you’d think that it would be common sense. But, apparently it’s not.
I asked a few models that I’ve worked with, if they had anything to share with us, elaborating on the article by Jen Brook. Here’s what they had to say …
July 9, 2012
off-camera flash photography: short lighting and broad lighting
“Short Lighting” is when the side of the face turned away from the camera, is better lit than the side of the face closest to the camera. (top image)
“Broad Lighting” is when the side of the face closest to the camera, is better lit. (second image)
This has as much to do with the position of the light, as with how your subject is posed into the light. This is true for studio photography and off-camera flash on location, and for when you photograph a subject with just the available light. As shown in a previous article here, you can easily achieve short lighting with on-camera bounce flash. Of course, with studio photography you can finesse this to a great degree.
With on-location portraits, I aim towards getting short lighting on my subjects, because it is more dramatic, and more flattering. Look at the gradient of light on Anelisa’s cheek in the top photo. This kind of lighting really helps create a near 3-dimensional look to your image.
May 29, 2011
how to pose normal, everyday people for portraits
When you work with models, or subjects who are used to presenting themselves to the camera or an audience, it is much easier for the photographer to pose them. The challenge though is how to pose people who aren’t used to pose in front of the camera. Then it is up to the photographer to guide them, and give clear instruction how they should pose for the camera. The question just came up in the Tangents forum - how to pose everyday normal people.
The photograph above is of me as I was showing a model at the After Dark photography workshops how I wanted her to pose. Now you may well say that I was showing a model how to pose, and not an inexperienced subject … and some may even say that I am hardly ‘everyday’ or ‘normal’. However that may be, this image neatly underlines my advice on posing.
You need to be able to show your subjects how you want them to pose.
If you’re working with subjects who aren’t used to the camera, then you absolutely need to be able to show them what you want them to do – how to position their feet, their hands, their body and head. Just vaguely pointing, with vague verbal instructions just won’t get you as far as physically showing them.
November 10, 2010
tips for posing people / working with a model
So you have a great camera and lens; and someone who is willing to be photographed and willing to work with you; and you have a great idea for a setting or backdrop … but now what?
Quite a few people have asked about advice on posing their subjects in the thread on future topics for the Tangents blog. Posing your subject is something that can be quite intimidating to a newer photographer. The pressure is now on YOU to create magic .. or at least an arresting image. Leaving everything up to the model or your subject to do, or for them to come up with ideas … while you just click the shutter, makes you just an owner of a camera, and not a photographer.
When photographing portraits of people then, at some level you need to be able to pre-visualize what you want. Or, recognize when you actually have something in front of your camera that makes a good subject. The point I’m aiming at here, is that if you want to photograph portraits of people, you can’t be passive. At some level you have to exercise control, whether it is the location or the light, or some element that you add or make a decision about. You have to be active in creating the portrait. And this often means directing your subject or posing them.