Colorado Springs, Colorado, US
I have only done TF shoots so far. It's been a great experience. Of the several I've done, one of them I completely screwed up the entire session. I felt terrible about it. I felt I wasted her time, my time, and didn't produce quality images. I had moved my lighting gear, had the iso set wrong on my camera and didn't take the time to prep for the shoot to get some sample shots of inanimate things to set it up correctly. I rushed myself and I should not have. It was a regrettable lesson for me on being prepared.
Nov 13 12 09:34 pm Link
Jacksonville, North Carolina, US
Mark Laubenheimer wrote:
Nov 13 12 09:45 pm Link
Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Toto Photo wrote:
0 and 1 are both things I've been doing. I get together with other photographers who have put more time in and learn from them. Always surround yourself in any arena with people more experienced than yourself, you'll be forced to grow.
Nov 13 12 10:00 pm Link
Belmont, California, US
Alena Hovorkova wrote:
Nov 20 12 09:51 am Link
Alena Hovorkova wrote:
Try this...they are called "Wig Stands" from Hair Supply/Salon stores (add a cheap wig for hairlight practice, etc). They are about $40 for the good painted ones. You can also get the styrofoam ones for cheaper (like $6) but don't try to spray-paint them...because the styro melts! LOL!
Nov 20 12 12:07 pm Link
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Laura UnBound wrote:
If i got new gear i tell the model that i'm testing my new ** and they dont feel like a guiny pig but more excited to help me out and never know if we can get a good shot .. not everybody is looking for gurantee quality .. they love to do it and respect art , not just what they get out of it
Nov 20 12 12:46 pm Link
Westminster, Colorado, US
This is Fred, he has been my go to "Test" model since 1989!!
Nov 20 12 01:24 pm Link
Erik Ballew wrote:
Nov 20 12 05:07 pm Link
Los Angeles, California, US
even when you work with modeling agencies its called a "test," it doesnt mean that you are guaranteed photos, its exactly as it sounds, its a test. There is potential for photos, but because its free there shouldnt be expectations.
It would be different if there is pay (obviously), but beside that what are you expecting. ITS FREE
Nov 20 12 05:13 pm Link
.. haha, Fred apparently has already seen/experienced a lot,
I´ve been off my studio (/nor checking this thread) for a while ..
You are all so great - and so helpful,
and - thanks Toto Photo, for answering my equippement question,
and - for your nice words/support ..
As for how my shooting sessions went -
well .. the things/shooting(s) actually did not go quite the way I had planned... at all
The friend of mine got sick with a flu (so no ´pre-testing´ shoots were possible), and - the model - well, for some reason - did not show up in the end, neither (she actually called about 1 hour before our shooting session - asking wheather we can postpone/start shooting three hours later. That was unfortunatelly not possible for me, since that was not my studio - but the pre-paid/rented one, for a particular scheduled time.)
So my very first ´studio shooting session with a model´ turned out in a session .. without a model (sigh) ...
But - I was pretty lucky, though,
since the studio owner was a nice /quite amazing, in fact/ guy, experienced with newbies/ - who was willing to assist/help me out with the studio equippment - and even to provide me (just for a while, to test & see the difference, but that was great too) some more different lenses ... So - after my session time ´expired´, I ended up with about 3GB of pictures. No model, but - whatever that was available in the studio got shooted instead - chairs/stools/tabourets, bottles, boxes, children toys), testing different light set-up /distances /exposures/ backgrounds/lenses etc. .... which turned out to be SO great and exciting .. (and SO useful/essential, in fact - since - I actually felt a bit like an idiot - after I had figured out that I actually had had no clue about what a great/essential difference the different lenses make in a limited studio space .. and that those lenses of mine were actually not the very best choice, actually (yes, you were exactly right, TOTO, no ´full body´ shoots possible, with my telephoto lense in studio .. 5,5m max distance available, actually, due the furniture etc.)
So, I do not know - still no experience with a model shooting ..
but - enjoyed every single minute in studio.
And - I have already ordered the ´wig stand/head´, too - just to be sure next time when my model won´t (perhaps) show up again, I won´t stay alone, lol ..
(thanks -ArtisticGlamour- for a tip, I didn´t think of that before .. )
So, no ´new and exciting´ news from me, I am afraid ..
just thought I´d share - meet my very first model ...
Nov 22 12 05:55 am Link
Chelmsford, Massachusetts, US
Been there. Done that. Still along the way of branching out.
1) TF* can be great or it can be rough. I started out doing CL and worked up to MM. You can get some people who really want to test and want to build their ports on all ends, model, H/Mua, photog, and this can be great to build everyone's skills. For a new or growing photog, this is the hardest to pull off. You may get some people from free, but the model does mater. I have shot some who could not pose or really did not have a body awareness, and an experienced photographer will be able to guide them along, get the shapes, et al, but when you are new, you start fighting a lot of different battles? Is it your set up, the model, your position. When you work with your first real experienced model, you really see the difference. Lot of pictures at this stage can be salvageable, but a lot of times either the face or body can be off and makes for a tough shot.
2) A lot of times TF has cash components... for me at least. Most of it is still trade, but generally I am paying for gas, snacks and drinks, make up kit, and often throwing a little extra towards the model and hair and makeup way. Make sure you have this defined up front. I recently got bit by "negotiable". I had one understanding, they had another. We had only roughly discussed the details and nothing was brought up before, during or at the close of the shoot
3) Practice, Practice, Pay, then Invest. This is more to me just personally and because I am really focused right now at becoming a better shooter and really stepping up my portfolio. TF* shoots like what I describe in #2 can start getting pricey. Does not take much to get your out of pocket to be $250 or more. You may get a ton of great shots, but how much can you really use in your portfolio? While you can have different looks, I think you need to have variety, so maybe 2 shots in your book from a shoot are o.k., anything more starts looking like you don't have enough work. These days I lean more to when you really want to make your portfolio make a big leap when you are really trying to take the next step, you need experienced models who will nail that shot. Makes your job easier, but pinnacle images will help you shine more as well as the experience will help you be able to get the looks out of newer models
Nov 24 12 10:50 am Link
(I was also wondering wheather - or to what extent - ´body awareness´ is kind of natural thing for models .. or wheather that´s something they need to learn/practice, perhaps, too ..
Interesting .. )
I´ve approached some other models again, in my location (not Prague, this time), but no one has replied yet - so I´ll wait a few days more, and/or I´ll keep on trying, again ..
(for Toto, and/or those who may care, too, perhaps):
Untill I find a real/live model who is willing to shoot with me,
here´s a new model-friend of mine.
Very tolerant & patient of me ..
And here´s also her collegue(s) -
at the ´figurine/wig stand´ store ..
I actually was a bit lost about the lighting (and space available) there ... It was pretty dark there, side-day/sun light mixed with low-intensity ceiling fluorescent lamps and some few randomly placed strong bulb-lights here and there, giving some strong light/highlights, but almost all faces were ´hidden´ in shadows .. .. I couldn´t move/touch anyting there, nor I could get different angle/distance, since only two narrow and short corridors among standing figurine-groups were available there ..
So - it´s just a test, I didn´t expect much while taking the photo (but I couldn´t resist, though) ..
(edited, cropped, color/tone ballanced)
But - still only plastic model(s), though.
Nov 25 12 05:18 am Link
Alena Hovorkova wrote:
That's what I'm talkin' bout! You will become a lighting master because it allows you to "slow down" and think (and experiment!) Well done.
Nov 25 12 06:39 am Link
Chelmsford, Massachusetts, US
I have only shot a couple real experienced/agency models. Unfortunately probably the best model I worked with was the 2nd one I ever shot, so I was really fighting more the light than being able to capture what she was giving. That is one of those sessions I would LOVE to have back to do over today. Got great shots, but were I shooting it today, would have have much much better shots.
Even for shoots I have been on with Agency models where I was doing web/behind the scenes video, I have seen a lot of models that take a while to warm up. You can see them thinking, they are more posing than flowing, but once they get into it, you really see the difference.
Back to the 2nd model I ever shot, she was real professional and had about a 70 - 100 pose routine. She knew her angles, faces she wanted and it may have been more technical, but she was very aware of how hip, shoulder and other angles affected the shape of her body.
She was also excellent in being aware of where the light was, and did not pose or move out of it.
I am still working on my direction and awareness, one of the reasons I picked up a tablet to have a fast and bigger screen to quickly review, but with some of the new models it comes down to really having awareness. Her pose could be good if I am shooting more down on her, but if I am shooting up, it looks totally off. This ultimately falls on my shoulders, not hers, but I think with more experienced models they just have a better awareness of the photographers perspective and seem to be shaped in the frame better.
One phrase I have heard is that the more experienced model you work with, the less time you need to get the shot you want. I tend to agree with this.
The downside, especially if you are shutter happy, you may start to have trouble selecting images because there may be 5 or more that all look great, but are so similar. All and all, not a bad problem to have
Nov 25 12 09:05 am Link
Seattle, Washington, US
Use meetup.com for your local area - subscribe to some modeling groups in your area, for example here in Seattle, Black Mist and Selective Focus are the two most friendly for learning how to take pictures of models - Femme LTD is also good - but shoots in odd locations that might be difficult to get to with a ton of lighting equipment.
That is how I got started two years ago - meetup.com has been awesome for helping me find groups that are willing to work with newbie photographers - you can learn a lot from those experiences.
If a studio ticks you off - don't go back, there are a couple of studio groups I won't work with because you meet the "jerk photographer" - but there are always groups out there that are awesome for connecting new models to new photographers or new models to experienced photographers you can learn a ton from.
my 2 cents. YMMV.
Nov 27 12 05:29 am Link
Frankfurt, Hassia, Germany
First off, the market you currently belong to (Europe-Chez) is so different than here. For one most Europeans are different in their approach to photography. "if you see something or nothing in a portfolio of a photographer that wants to work with you as I see it you have two choices. 1)- Tell him you need a certain type of motive or genre of work for your port. This will give him/her the opportunity to work in a format or range as if contacted by a regular client for a specific purpose.
2). Think past what you need currently.
I have often re-learned how get excited by just shooting simple stuff. Sometimes even the simplest stuff produces some amazing results.
Maybe you should start other ventures in other types of work. Try product or convention work?
Alena Hovorkova wrote:
Nov 27 12 05:51 am Link
Also check these...(and vids like them)
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q … xbkiomOUwU
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q … 3m53yUoP8k
Nov 27 12 06:34 am Link
Goodyear, Arizona, US
If they have them near you, group shoots or meetups are another way for beginner photographers to quickly get an opportunity to work with several different models in one event.
Nov 27 12 05:37 pm Link
Imperial, California, US
Alena Hovorkova wrote:
Ahh yes! But what if the model only has phone pics?:-))
Nov 27 12 05:47 pm Link
glad to hear that
and thanks for your links, interesting, added them all to my ´check-it-out-soon´ list ..
thanks for your post/thoughts ..
btw - love the English expression ´shutter happy´ .. (and yes, I think I am .. )
meetup.com - looks interesting ..
but - for me /unless I overlooked something/ - there are unfortunatelly no such meetup groups for my location available (only very few existing groups for Pague/almost none for Brno - or - if so - none modelling/photography-related. So far.)
But, definitelly interesting link, thanks for the tip ..
about the market - I can´t compare myself - but - I also believe there´s a difference. (At least I can see it in other fields of my activities/people work or communicate with.)
And yes, you are right about the ´empty portfolio´ -- I do not have any photography work up yet - still nothing to show, no live-model-shooting yet .. (and, not sure wheather my other non-model-related photos - that I shooted so far - might impress potencial models so much .. )
Looks like I´ll have to overcome this ´empty-portfolio-stage´, somehow .. until my first real/live model-shotting, hopefully some day ..
yes, completely agree about the simpliest stuff .. So true. (I actually have full hard drives of simple stuff already - and - it still attracts me to experiment with some new ideas/settings/context/attitude .. ) But, at the moment - I got to the point I want to make another step - towards shooting with people/models in a studio.
Nov 28 12 12:18 pm Link
Just the last update:
finally I found my first model to shoot with - and had my first shoot (TF*),
(with my non-existent - yet - photographer´s portfolio it was not easy to find a model willing to shoot with me .. at all )
We spent some 3 hours shooting in the (rented) studio.
Though I was struggling many different (technical) issues while shooting, and the technical quality (focus, ligting etc.) of images I took was far from being perfect - I was pleasantly surprised by how the shooting went.
The model was just great (and very patient with me) ..
I got about 200 images - but - only a few of them actually are up to ´some´ decent/usable technical quality/standard, in fact .. Now I am trying to edit (or rather ´rescue/retrieve´ the technical mistakes I made while shooting), hopefully I manage to get some ´usable´ 10-15 images, in the end.
Though I did not expect (nor promised) much for the very first shooting session,
I enjoyed every minute, and also learnt a lot ...
Also took your advice here and decided to attend some local workshop for beginner-photographers, to get some basic technical experience in working with studio equippement - lights/flashes/flashmeter etc. at least, for the start.
for all your advice/inputs here.
Feels good to be on the other/photographer´s side, too.
Dec 12 12 11:32 pm Link