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That first step

Stephen71Stephen71 Member
edited June 2014 in home
Hi girls and guys
Ok here goes , i have done nothing but practise my exposure techniques in a mediam sizd bedroom with flash set ups using male and female poly heads.
I have practised on my young son in different ways out side and pulled of some great stunners .
I have read read read neils books to the point that i can memories littery how to get the settings . I watched neils crafts god knows how many times as well as stalking neils u tube videos on a seminar or two he had done . I have stalked him on his pod cast as well .
Now gelling all this together , i made this guy a virtal tutar for me since the start of the year.
Now i undersatnd manual and ttl flash and every thing i have been virtualy tought.
My question is this ( at last u all may say ) I need to shoot on real models so where do i start. There is a seperate thread for this i know but i felt the question may get lost .
Can i ask as many of you in true honesty that u can remember , did u actualy pay a model first or practised on friends and family .
I realy understand neils comment on a seperate thread , the easy way to get a model is pay for one .
I suppose what i am realy asking u pros or amuters is. How did u realy start of.
And how did u feel inside to the lead up to shooting your first model ,
Ile ask neil directly this. Neil u come across as a tough no nonsence kind a guy and i would nt step on your toes but was u nervouse when u started out.
That question to others.
I have joined purple port and now got the opportinity to get models but am bricking it , i know i can take some real good images , i to take no crap in general but this has got me .
How did u all feel when u first got your pro model.
Wat was your steppin stone from start to current.
I have no problem in paying but did u guys start of this way.


  • I have never paid anyone yet and got started asking friends to hold still when my family no longer would. The first couple I ever photographed (I asked them to take their photos) eventually hired me to shoot their wedding and it ended up being my first wedding at that.

    As far as being nervous: It depends on the situation but I still get the butterflies for the first few minutes. I am fairly certain this would go away if I had the opportunity to shoot more.

    I also feel that not having access to a "proper" model has made me better at posing people. Last year I met up with a girl in Columbus, Ohio (sister of a friend) and once we were both warmed up, we made some great photos together.

    I can't really say that any of this was a stepping stone because I am very much still learning myself and I STILL use my wife or kids to practice whenever they are willing.

    Keep using your kids, friends, family, etc until you can't grow with them anymore.

  • TrevTrev Moderator
    travelintrevor said: Keep using your kids, friends, family, etc until you can't grow with them anymore.
    Yep, agree.

    Also if you have a local camera club, try joining that as a lot of people in there even though majority would not be professionals full time can point you in the right direction and usually have access to amateur models on a trade shots for sittings.

    I was a member of a local camera group many years ago, and once or twice a year they get me to come and give demonstrations, etc., and they get me to also help judge a main local show photographic exhibit competition once a year.

    It's a good way to gain helpful, but also practical, knowledge. Membership to such is generally pretty reasonable $50-$150 per year here with monthly meetings and they also organise outing workshops which I have helped with in the past.
  • TrevTrev Moderator

    Just so you know, even though I have been doing this either part time or professionally for over 35 years now, sometimes I am a little nervous before a shoot, but only on weddings, and is it going to rain or not (silly, as you cannot control the weather).

    Most of the time I can sleep like a baby the night before but occasionally I keep thinking of nothing but shutter, f-stop values during the period before sleep and even dream about the bloody things, but once awake on the day I am ready, all nerves gone.

  • I am so glad i wrote this. Its looking as tho we r all human after all. , i will book a model for the experience and see where this goes ,but adhere to all of your advise , I have messaged a model and she is cool about it. .. Trev im glad u said about thinking about exposure value s this it what i do every single night. , becouse i dont take photos evey single day i could easily forget how to bet to the setting in any senario. So i go over differentshooting styles and lighting conditions. Thats made me feel better.
    Its percieved on evry u tube and book ive read that there seem to be no worries or problems when warming up for a shoot. , thats not the case i know.
    If i were to go to a shoot can any one give advise as to how i should plan this . I was litterely going to do some kind of work sheet.
    Shall i go with all guns blazing bring every thing i got , or work with little. ?
  • Stephen, I'm in exactly the same position as you. Have practised on family and friends until they can take it no more, manual flash, ttl flash, bounce flash, available light only, etc. etc.

    I've now made contact with a professional model via purpleport and we've got a photo shoot arranged this weekend for a couple of hours. It's an outdoor urban location and I'm looking to get simple portrait shots.

    Yes I'm nervous but I've been and recced the location I had in mind, took some test shots and added them to a pinterest board with a map of the location and sent it on to her. She's taken a look and has come up with suggestions for what to wear and given me some ideas on where/how we can shoot in addition to the ideas I have.

    I'm now making a list of the types of shots I want to do on the day, with the idea that the session will be fluid and I don't stick rigidly to a plan, using it more as a guide so that I'm not just making it up as I go along. I'm being realistic and not trying to get every single possible shot, I'm going for quality not quantity if that makes sense.

    The model also knows that she is the first one I've worked with and has agreed to help me out with posing and direction, which is one of the reasons I went with a paid shoot instead of someone inexperienced and working on a TFP basis.
  • Oneill. FANTASTIC. Good luck. Every thing u have written has been my thought process. Ive done exaxclty wat u have done. I will to get a plan or guide. R u taking basic flash and work with wat u got. And reflectors .
    I could get carried away and wana try every thing we have learnt but would seem abit crazy to do so. One step at a time and test the water. I to have joined purple port and i have more response from them than any other model site.
    Ps r u in the uk at all
    Goood luck
  • The model also knows that she is the first one I've worked with and has agreed to help me out with posing and direction, which is one of the reasons I went with a paid shoot instead of someone inexperienced and working on a TFP basis.///////////

    Great advise
  • I'm planning on keeping things simple. For example the off camera flash it will just be a single speedlight through a Lastolite softbox. I'm comfortable using manual flash but I will go with TTL for the majority of the time. I know which two lenses I want to use so I've got each one on a different body so I don't have to mess about swapping them.

    I suppose you could quite easily get carried away and want to try every technique/flashgun/lens/modifier you have, but I don't think realistically that's going to be possible.

    Yes I'm based in the UK (Yorkshire).
  • Oneill please post your best results im interested and to be honest posting on this thread is relevant for us newbies. You are more than welcome to call me if u like and head bash things. If so ile drop u me number in the message box. Well done u
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