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  1. #11

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    Another thing you can do is to have a female friend with you, if you are a male photographer. It softens the environment quite a bit and also comes in very handy when you have to discuss a sensitive body part issue with the models. Also, children feel safer and acts much more naturally with a female figure than a male figure.

    I often have my girlfriend with me to hold reflectors, etc, and be available for me. I can send her over to the model to tell her too much of her front bumpers are showing, for example... (actually happened) I also have her trained to see problems like wrinkles in clothing, stray hair, make up problems, etc.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #12
    segedi's Avatar
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    Having my wife with me helps put my portrait subjects at ease. I approach people that aren't pro models and are skeptical. But once I explain the project, things go smoothly. And my wife can talk to them while I mess with camera settings and focus.

    Since I'm not terribly quick at focusing, I let them know, "I'm focussing the camera and this will take a second." And this helps inform and bring them into the process.

    Another aid that I haven't yet used is when working with a new model. Tell them what type of photo you are after and say, "let me see what ya got." you might find that they need very little direction and you'll get poses they are comfortable with that might be better than your vision.
    -----------------------

    Segedi.com

  3. #13
    tomalophicon's Avatar
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    Huh?

    How can you get into trouble by touching people in a non-sexual way?

  4. #14

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    They can claim anything they want.... especially in US. Not touching someone we don't know, and especially in professional environment, is sort of a standard in our society.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #15
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Had to say it, first pic, the girl, has a bit more than peach fuzz going lol

    I recommend you get a large book of standard poses and look them over, I have a poses app on my phone as well. Ranges from standard super basic portraiture, to more contrapposto contortions. Showing your model your idea may help communicate far more than words.

  6. #16
    rince's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I did my fair share of studio photography with models and yes it is not easy. The utter most important thing is to get your model to relax. Here are some things that I found very helpful:

    1. Introduce yourself. Very important! I have seen it so many times that photographers just get right into action ... Take 5 or ten minutes to talk to your model. Try to get a basic idea what kind of personality she is and be interested in what kind of shots they like. You will be mean and reuse this information in 4.

    2. Have a clear vision what you want. Talk to your model what kind of image you want to shoot. Talk to her about the feeling of the image (moody, aggressive, dreamy, ...) If you have an inspirational image, show it to her so she gets an idea of what you are looking for.

    3. Get the model in position. This is sometimes a little difficult, but don't touch your model. This is especially important if shooting girls or kids. If you know the model and have worked with the noel a couple of times it can be ok, but never just reach and touch. Always tell them what you want to do and ask for permission.
    To hep them you can either show them the pose you are looking for yourself, or you can direct them by giving clear directions (e.g. look at that point on the wall, look at a spot 5 inches higher...)

    4. Once you have the position you want. Get your model in the right mood. A little trick is make them remember certain situations or things. If you want them to smile you could tell them 'smile' or you could tell them 'think of your most favorite food'. You can tell them to look 'flirty' or you can tell them to 'imagine you are sitting in a caffe shop and then this cute boy/girl comes in and you are trying to make eye contact' ...
    Stuff like this. When done well you will see that a smile will not stop at the lips, but involves the eyes, etc ...
    So use your 5 min chat with the model in the beginning and try to adjust the stories to her/his personality.

    6. Be confident! If you are not confident, your model will not relax. If you realize after a few frames you had the iso set to a wrong value, don't make a fuss about it. The model must feel your confidence in order to let go. Especiallyif shooting digitally, don't look at the screen of your camera every 2 shots and say 'hmm...' or 'stupid...', 'not quite...'

    7. Keep the connection! If you so it right you will see that your model starts to relax at some point. They start to play with your camera and you feel a magic connection. Don't break that. Keep shooting! Have either a person at the shoot to reload your cameras or if you have a camera with multiple backs, have them lined up. If you are in a position to use multiple camera bodies so it to keep interruptions at a minimum.

    I guess the list goes on and on and on ... But start slow, build up your arsenal of tools. Working with models is really something you have to learn. Learn some basics for posing ('If it bends, bend it"...)
    Learn about how certain poses are better for men and women, how certain poses are better for certain body structures, etc.

    Most importantly? Have fun and let your model see and feel that you are having fun!
    ---
    There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.
    ~ Ansel Adams

  7. #17
    rince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomalophicon View Post
    Huh?

    How can you get into trouble by touching people in a non-sexual way?
    Well 'non-sexual way' is very subjective. In general every physical contact can (and will by some people) be interpreted as a sexual or at least uncomfortable gesture by a stranger.

    Even though you will hopefully not get into legal trouble, the shoot can be basically over because your model will not relax because they feel you overstepped a boundary.
    ---
    There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.
    ~ Ansel Adams

  8. #18

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    Wow - that's some great advise!
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  9. #19
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    This "touching" thing is quite a bit paranoid to me. I don't much agree with the suggestion to do it in the first place, but I am especially in disagreement with the warnings about the possible legal ramifications of doing it. All you would have to do is ask, and be respectful (i.e. not a creepy groper or gawker). That being said, I've never touched a model for purposes of posing;I believe that if a model doesn't "get it," me physically positioning him or her isn't going to change that. I have done it for grooming reasons (e.g. to remove a piece of lint, a stray hair, a fallen eyelash, or to position hair, clothing, or the like).
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  10. #20
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    Models are ordinary people and if you're relaxed and friendly then they'll tend to be relaxed and friendly.

    A good model will work with you to achieve what you want - but to do that they need to know what you want so you need to tell them. I've found that people tend to understand better if you show them - perhaps with some pictures or by posing yourself. That'll give you a shared starting point, but it'll rarely be the 'magical moment' that you're looking for. To get that magical moment you need to work with them - i.e. give them directions.

    The way you give directions will no doubt vary depending on what you're doing and the kinds of poses you're working on.

    Usually if people are in a pose for too long it gets uncomfortable and they begin to look tense and strained - which leads to bad pictures. Allow them to relax and drop out of the pose so that when they go back into it it's fresh. As you get used to working with people you'll begin to understand how the body is interconnected and how a small move here can have a big effect there. You'll also discover that some poses aren't possible...

    If you need to move a foot or a hand then it's usually much, much easier to simply say: "do you mind if I move your foot a bit?" than to try and explain verbally what you want. Likewise, if a hair falls then it's much easier to simply move it back than to ask the model to do it (because that will probably disrupt the pose) - if you have an MUA then you can ask them to look after hair.

    I prepare the model for contact right at the beginning of the shoot. I tell them that often I'll need to make small adjustments and that it's much easier for both of us if they allow me to do that - and I tell them I'll always ask first. Almost always its limbs or hair. If a model is not relaxed about this during the shoot then you probably won't make good pictures anyway.

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