Asked to take a portrait - help!

Discussion in 'Portraiture' started by Craig, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    A friend of mine has been hitting the gym and lost a lot of weight; now he wants me to take a nude/semi nude photo of him to give to his girlfriend. I've never done people photos like this before, especially in a studio type setting.

    Any tips for lighting, background etc? I'm more of a landscapes sort of guy and just work with natural light. Work does have a modest pair of strobes I could borrow with an umbrella for taking the "new employees" headshot.

    I've got a Nikon F6 and Df with an SB800 speedlight, as well as MF and LF cameras and the usual sort of lenses. I'm a complete newbie to indoor people pictures, so I'm looking for a primer on lighting and backgrounds. Links to such resources would be great, I'm in the "I don't know what I don't know" stage.

    I've only ever done one other people shot before, and I just treated him like a landscape! That won't work in winter here, since it was -30 this week.
    http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showimage.php?i=3684&catid=member&imageuser=1719
     
  2. omaha

    omaha Member

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    Has he shown you examples of what he has in mind? That's where I'd start.
     
  3. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    Alas no. I can ask that and go from there.
     
  4. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Just say you don't do nudie pictures. That's the best ticket. If I asked my buddy for such a thing, he'd think I was a.... (not PC).
     
  5. omaha

    omaha Member

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    That's what I'd do. Find a few that he likes and study the posing/light/background/etc and just replicate it. I assume he knows you're in a learning mode, so he shouldn't be expecting any stunning feats of artistic creativity here.
     
  6. patrickth

    patrickth Member

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    Just look on utube videos for Rembrandt lighting. Pic one you like and go from there. It doesn't have to be complicated, nor do you need to over think it.

    rembrandt lighting photography diagram
     
  7. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    For some unknown reason, this made me immediately think of the Simpsons episode where Homer has a boudoir photo shoot:

    [​IMG]

    Anyhow, is your friend getting a defined physique? If so, I'd be thinking of making the lighting a bit harsher. But I do agree with omaha - find some examples and go from there.
     

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  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  9. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Not that there's anything wrong with that.... (Seinfeld reference).
     
  10. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I shoot a lot of nudes... But I've been doing it for years, to think about how I look at them, I suppose treat them like a tree trunk....if you're going to look below the waist, do it through the lens as not to make them feel uncomfortable. Umm anyway back to the tree trunk, imagine it's 3:00pm in a park in the city, there's a skyscraper on their left side half reflecting the sun, and on their right front the sun would light them, (so two lights facing each other, one half (or 1/4th) the power of the other brighter one which is higher like the sub would be). And then just turn the subject till you like how the shadows on their new body and face are flattering.

    That's my best advice for a Newb.
     
  11. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    Thanks for the tip, I'll try that and go from there. I suspect I'll be using the digital camera a lot until I can get lighting l like.
     
  12. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Ask him why he doesn't ask his girlfriend to take it.
     
  13. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    She knows nothing about photography, and neither does he. I've known him a long time, it's natural that he'd ask me to do it. Any perceived issues about sexuality etc are non-existent.
     
  14. trythis

    trythis Subscriber

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    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html

    This site helped me a lot! I use super cheap used flashes, (strobes) with white plastic milk jugs for diffusers (for families, not pro!) and some old ratty umbrellas, but the information there translates!

    Hope that helps and is OK with the APUG powers to suggest that.
     
  15. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Haha milk jugs!!!! That's such a great idea! I'm trying that as a diffuser for my Profoto strobes next time as a fun "china ball" hah! The model will laugh I think :smile:
     
  16. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Tell him to hire a professional. I constantly refer people out for work that is not in my lane..