View Full Version : Finding a film friendly model?!

09-18-2012, 09:05 PM

I've been wanting to use my 8x10 more lately, and now that I just bought a Hasselblad, I REALLY can't stand to not be actively shooting portraits and the like. However, I've been really hesitant to use sites such as Model Mayhem, as, from a first glance, seems to be mostly populated by a bunch or narcissistic women who love getting shot up full of massive amounts of digital files...

I've tried working with friends and the 8x10, and not only did they have trouble feeling awkward in front of such a beast, but they weren't used to the time consuming nature of LF.

I love shooting portraiture, and god knows I have managed to acquire a decent amount of gear for it :whistling:, but I'm not sure how to go about finding someone to just do simple portrait / location portrait stuff with!

Help! Advice, ideas, suggestions!?

09-18-2012, 09:08 PM
Seek out actors and actrices....goto the art dept and find out whatmodels they have pose for life drawing.

Goto a retirement home. Make freinds....

Matthew Cherry
09-18-2012, 09:55 PM
If on MM, look at the forums, and look for the professional nude art models. It's not hard to find the right ones and most love film, many of whom shoot it themselves.

09-19-2012, 06:44 AM
I've found a few models on MM who really appreciate what I do with the large format cameras, and they find it a relief to not be rushed and enjoy working with the big cameras.

What you need to relax them in front of the 8x10 is a 14x17 or 16x20. Show them that, watch the panic start to spread on their face, and then say, "but we'll be working with this instead today...".

09-19-2012, 12:33 PM
Goto a retirement home. Make friends....

I think that came out wrong...what i meant was , make friends with some of the residents at a retirement home.

They are (obviously) older and many have lived long enough to have some at least vague memory of the equipment with which you are working. Certainly, most will be completely familiar with film - if not sheet film. Some may even have seen a speed/crown graphic or other large format camera before.

Many are, unfortunately, lonely and are therefore, very easy to talk to. If you are shy, this is a big help! They will draw you in - instead of you having to draw them in. They haven't a busy schedule and will usually assign more significance to your work than even you do. This means they will be eager to sit for you and will likely be as patient as they possible can.

Portraiture is all about people and relationships. It is all too easy to make a "beautiful" photo of a beautiful young lady - especially if she is scantily clothed. When you have made a photo of an elderly person that exposes their beauty, their deep humanity....then you will have accomplished something worthwhile. Take time to get to know the subject a little bit before siting them in front of the camera.

Finally, if it is taking you more than a couple of minutes from the time the person sits down, or "poses" to the time you expose the film, you're taking too long. You have to learn some ways to work faster with people. Have a plan, set up in advance, learn the string focus method. Be absolutely prepared and so well practiced with your gear that working with the gear is just as natural as walking to the mail box.

Do you use strobes?

09-19-2012, 09:17 PM
I was thinking for the purposes of keeping it simple, as well as speed and efficiency, I'll get my practice with working with people in on the Hasselblad in natural light. I really like your retirement home idea.

09-19-2012, 11:51 PM
mostly populated by a bunch or narcissistic women who love getting shot up full of massive amounts of digital files...

That and silicone...

09-20-2012, 12:00 PM
A little Chloroform works wonders :)

Mike Bates
10-09-2012, 04:22 PM
I'm a member of a meetup.com group for studio photography. It's a handy way to collect photographers with similar interests and share the cost of renting a studio and models. We mostly shoot models from Model Mayhem. A typical session is two hours with four photographers and 1 model.

Our group has about 90 members and I'm pretty sure I'm the only one shooting film in the studio. I shoot black and white film in medium format and very occasionally my 8x10. The other night I asked our 25ish year old model if she'd EVER had a film photo taken of her in any circumstance and she said no. She wasn't sure what was going to happen when I pushed the shutter release button. :)

My experience with models from Model Mayem is very good. Many of them have quite a bit of experience in front of a camera and already have an understanding of direction and posing. We do pay them a bit for their time and give them some images from the shoot. Most of them treat a film camera as something of an oddity and they're often somewhat curious. They're astounded by the upside down reversed image on the ground glass of my 8x10.

The models have always been accepting of my need to work a bit slower than my digital rapid-fire cohorts. My fellow digital shooters just fire off shots and drag the strobes around until they see what they like on the LCD screens of their cameras. I need to set the lights more carefully using my flash meter to adjust the light ratios and monitor the overall exposure. I can't turn my camera around and show the model what a great photo I just took.

These are models from Model Mayhem. Most of them appreciate something a little different from the liquified skin with unnaturally bright blue eyes they usually see.



10-09-2012, 09:37 PM
go to the art dept and find out what models they have pose for life drawing.

This is actually a great idea. They're used to the slower pace, are often available at reasonable rates, and aren't expecting 75MB files to populate an online portfolio with.

The retirement home thought is really wonderful too. And in addition to what was said previously about it, I think that the older one is, the less likely they are to have a proper portrait taken. And so it could be a great thing for them to share with their families and friends as well, not to mention very quick word-of-mouth referrals!