Forums > Model Colloquy > Who makes the photo, the model or the photogrpaher

Model

ResaVictoria

Posts: 34

Silver Spring, Maryland, US

I was just curious, since I am a beginner.
I'm not too pleased with how my latest photos came out
I'll be honest and say that I didn't do my best, but I feel like I was disconnected with the photographer or something, and wasn't a big help but I'm not going to point fingers..


so in your opinion who or what makes the photo?


*my apologies for the misspelling in the title*

Jun 04 13 10:40 am Link

Photographer

DNphotography

Posts: 180

Oxford, Alabama, US

It takes both.

Jun 04 13 10:46 am Link

Photographer

nyk fury

Posts: 2918

Port Townsend, Washington, US

my camera does. i have as little as possible to do with it. in a few years cameras won't need operators anyway.

Jun 04 13 10:46 am Link

Photographer

salvatori.

Posts: 3836

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, US

nyk fury wrote:
my camera does. i have as little as possible to do with it. in a few years cameras won't need operators anyway.

She admits she's new and is asking a legitimate question. Give her a break.

To the OP: It's a team effort. My thoughts are that both people need to be committed to making a strong image; but I also believe that serendipity has a hand in it as well.

"Sometimes the magic happens; sometimes it doesn't..."

Jun 04 13 10:48 am Link

Photographer

L A U B E N H E I M E R

Posts: 8791

Seattle, Washington, US

it takes two to tango.

Jun 04 13 10:50 am Link

Model

Ifa Brand

Posts: 128

Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Both definitely.
smile

Jun 04 13 10:51 am Link

Photographer

terrysphotocountry

Posts: 4149

Rochester, New York, US

legally it's the photographer. However it takes both a model & a photographer to make a good image.

Jun 04 13 10:52 am Link

Photographer

Tony Lawrence

Posts: 19225

Chicago, Illinois, US

Models that have a special something can be shot by chowder-heads like me and still look good.   Part of why fashion level models can go to a agency with simple snaps and get signed.   Either you good in photos or you don't.   Sometimes you can't always tell what will work until you study the results later though.   Good models shine no matter what though.

Jun 04 13 10:53 am Link

Photographer

Gary Melton

Posts: 6395

Dallas, Texas, US

That is such a tough question, and the answers really are "it depends" and "it takes both".

A really great photographer can make a so-so model look great.

A really great model can make a crappy photographer look pretty good.

Some photographers hardly ever take a bad shot, and some models just look great in any shot taken of them.

It takes talent, experience and dedication from both parties...

Jun 04 13 10:54 am Link

Photographer

Images By Joseph

Posts: 886

Naperville, Illinois, US

DTNphotography wrote:
It takes both.

+1

Jun 04 13 10:55 am Link

Photographer

nyk fury

Posts: 2918

Port Townsend, Washington, US

salvatori. wrote:
She admits she's new and is asking a legitimate question. Give her a break.

To the OP: It's a team effort. My thoughts are that both people need to be committed to making a strong image; but I also believe that serendipity has a hand in it as well.

"Sometimes the magic happens; sometimes it doesn't..."

that's like asking which end of the cat is the cat.

it's:
model
location
device
shooter
weather
lighting
luck


luck is sort of a wild card.

Jun 04 13 10:56 am Link

Photographer

RW Steele

Posts: 107

Raleigh, North Carolina, US

Just like any relationship, everyone needs to contribute equally. Being attractive doesn't you can pose just like having expensive gear doesn't mean you can produce awesome photos.

Jun 04 13 10:56 am Link

Photographer

RW Steele

Posts: 107

Raleigh, North Carolina, US

terrysphotocountry wrote:
legally it's the photographer.

*scratches head* Huh?

Jun 04 13 10:58 am Link

Photographer

Renato Alberto

Posts: 901

San Francisco, California, US

ResaVictoria wrote:
I was just curious, since I am a beginner.
I'm not too pleased with how my latest photos came out
I'll be honest and say that I didn't do my best, but I feel like I was disconnected with the photographer or something, and wasn't a big help but I'm not going to point fingers..


so in your opinion who or what makes the photo?


*my apologies for the misspelling in the title*

As it has been said, it takes both. The photographer can have the perfect lighting and settings, etc. buut if the model does not give the right pose look, etc. what the photographer is looking for, it will not be a good strong picture. On the other hand, the model can be right on the money with pose look, etc, but if the lighting, mood, editing is not right, again, the picture will not be ver strong.
To quote one on the people above me. It takes 2 to tango. And if you ever tried and dance the tango by your self, just does not look right...wink

Jun 04 13 11:02 am Link

Photographer

Azimuth Arts

Posts: 1490

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

DTNphotography wrote:
It takes both.

+1

Some believe that a really good photographer should be able to capture at least one good shot of any person - but it does require the person to cooperate in most cases.  Photo journalists and street photographers often shoot when the subject doesn't even know their photo is being taken, so clearly it can be done without the model.

But if you are shooting a story (be it fashion, glamour etc.) it does require the two people to work together.  I've taken great shots of average models, and crap shots of excellent models when we haven't been on the same wavelength.  And some of my favourite shots are of great models when we were working well together (not that I am a great photographer - I'd like to think I am good with plenty of room to grow).

A bad photographer probably won't get a great photo with a really good model - unless they get lucky (I've taken some of those when starting out).  And no matter how good the photographer sometimes you just can't get a bad model to give you the pose/expression/emotion that you want (though even then sometimes you get lucky).

Try shooting with a few different photographers.  As you work with more and more you will probably find it easier to work with those you might not otherwise be hanging out with.

Jun 04 13 11:02 am Link

Photographer

nyk fury

Posts: 2918

Port Townsend, Washington, US

Azimuth Arts wrote:
Photo journalists and street photographers often shoot when the subject doesn't even know their photo is being taken, so clearly it can be done without the model.

that's a good one. i tend to think it can only be done without a model if the model isn't in the image. tongue

Jun 04 13 11:06 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

A poor photographer can certainly make an image of a model look bad. But, I think, most can see past bad photography and tell whether the model looks good...or has the potential to look good. In other words, we can tell if the shortcomings are because of a bad photograph or a bad model.

I say that because there are many of the more well known professional models on here that have been photographed by photographers of all levels. Some of the images are excellent, and some are terrible. But even in those terrible images I can see how great the model is.

On the other hand, even the best photographer can't take a picture of a turd and transform it into a model. It's still only an excellent shot of a turd.

Jun 04 13 11:07 am Link

Photographer

nyk fury

Posts: 2918

Port Townsend, Washington, US

M Pandolfo Photography wrote:
On the other hand, even the best photographer can't take a picture of a turd and transform it into a model. It's still only an excellent shot of a turd.

then you also need a good MUA.

Jun 04 13 11:10 am Link

Photographer

Miss Photog

Posts: 287

VALLEY VILLAGE, California, US

L A U B E N H E I M E R wrote:
it takes two to tango.

+1000

Jun 04 13 11:14 am Link

Photographer

David J Martin

Posts: 458

Amberg, Bavaria, Germany

RW Steele wrote:
*scratches head* Huh?

Ownership of copyright is what they are talking about.

Jun 04 13 11:48 am Link

Photographer

Jorge Kreimer

Posts: 2393

Los Angeles, California, US

What the fashion editor of L'Officiel told me once over dinner:

Model and hair = 80% of the photo.

Everything else = 20%

Jun 04 13 11:51 am Link

Photographer

Darren Brade

Posts: 2831

London, England, United Kingdom

RW Steele wrote:

*scratches head* Huh?

The OPs question can be taken two ways. "What makes a photo better" or "Who physically makes a photo"

Legally its the photographer that makes (produces) the photo as in the painter paints a picture.

Jun 04 13 11:53 am Link

Photographer

Darren Brade

Posts: 2831

London, England, United Kingdom

It really depends on the photo, though both photographer and model are required.

Jun 04 13 11:55 am Link

Photographer

Shot By Adam

Posts: 5946

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

An excellent photographer can bring out the best in their models, regardless of their talent or skill.

An excellent model can make a weak photographer look like a seasoned pro.

Mix the best of both worlds, and you make magic!

Jun 04 13 11:57 am Link

Photographer

Gary Melton

Posts: 6395

Dallas, Texas, US

Jorge Kreimer wrote:
What the fashion editor of L'Officiel told me once over dinner:

Model and hair = 80% of the photo.

Everything else = 20%

I think the point here is that IF you have a top-notch, really photogenic model...then the photographer is not a HUGE factor in getting a great end-product.  I can understand this because I've photographed models who simply look great no matter what I do.

On the other hand, if a model is NOT good at what she does...if she is NOT naturally very photogenic - then the photographer becomes a MUCH larger factor in getting a great end-product.

* this is the correct answer...end of thread

Jun 04 13 11:57 am Link

Photographer

Select Models

Posts: 36199

Upland, California, US

ResaVictoria wrote:
I was just curious, since I am a beginner.
I'm not too pleased with how my latest photos came out
I'll be honest and say that I didn't do my best, but...

There are no 'buts'.  If you admittedly confessed to not doing the best you could... while quite possibly even being at your worst... then why are you blaming someone else for the shortcomings of the shoot?... hmm

Jun 04 13 12:04 pm Link

Photographer

DougBPhoto

Posts: 38567

Portland, Oregon, US

Jorge Kreimer wrote:
What the fashion editor of L'Officiel told me once over dinner:

Model and hair = 80% of the photo.

Everything else = 20%

Gary Melton wrote:
I think the point here is that IF you have a top-notch, really photogenic model...then the photographer is not a HUGE factor in getting a great end-product.  I can understand this because I've photographed models who simply look great no matter what I do.

On the other hand, if a model is NOT good at what she does...if she is NOT naturally very photogenic - then the photographer becomes a MUCH larger factor in getting a great end-product.

* this is the correct answer...end of thread

I think the other point of that statement from the editor is that it assumes that the photographer is more than adequately skilled at their craft.   If that part of the equation is stipulated as successful/adequate then the other variables take on a greater significance.

A really good model can sometimes overcome a photographer not being so great, just as a great photographer can sometimes overcome a model who is not so great.

Ultimately, there are a lot of things that go into creating really good work, and the proportions or ratios vary from situation to situation and person to person.

Jun 04 13 12:07 pm Link

Model

JadeDRed

Posts: 5460

London, England, United Kingdom

The photographer, as he has all the control usually.

Jun 04 13 12:22 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12835

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Assuming complete creative control then the photographer.  In some cases the client wants something specific and that doesn't always make for the best image.

Jun 04 13 12:30 pm Link

Photographer

noir

Posts: 344

Crewe, England, United Kingdom

Generally agree with the last two posts. 

Seen on Mayhem rubbish photos of models I know can look great.  Great photographers take great photos.  A great photographer will always take a great photograph of a monarch, celebrity etc - Can't use the excuse the subject wasn't good enough.

Jun 04 13 12:41 pm Link

Photographer

nyk fury

Posts: 2918

Port Townsend, Washington, US

David J Martin wrote:
Ownership of copyright is what they are talking about.

what who is talking about? i don't think the OP was talking about the legal system. hmm

Jun 04 13 12:49 pm Link

Photographer

nyk fury

Posts: 2918

Port Townsend, Washington, US

DougBPhoto wrote:
Ultimately, there are a lot of things that go into creating really good work, and the proportions or ratios vary from situation to situation and person to person.

right, and many of the responses here are so simplistic as to boggle the mind. tongue

Jun 04 13 12:50 pm Link

Photographer

Philipe

Posts: 5214

Pomona, California, US

The model.
If they don't look good I don't look good.

I just capture the moment.

Jun 04 13 12:59 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12835

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Philipe wrote:
The model.
If they don't look good I don't look good.

I just capture the moment.

So they have never been great images of people who don't look good?

I am sure you could create one given the chance

Jun 04 13 01:01 pm Link

Photographer

Ed Woodson Photography

Posts: 2644

Savannah, Georgia, US

Both.

It takes both to make a great photo and both to make a bad photo.

Unless, of course, you have a really good camera.  smile

Jun 04 13 01:15 pm Link

Photographer

Apodyopsis

Posts: 6087

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Depends on whos involved. Some photographers can take a picture of a rock and make it amazing. Some models can work with terrible photographers and still make decent images. Some great people get together and make great work, some great people get together and somehow make shitty work.

Jun 04 13 01:25 pm Link

Model

ResaVictoria

Posts: 34

Silver Spring, Maryland, US

Select Models wrote:

There are no 'buts'.  If you admittedly confessed to not doing the best you could... while quite possibly even being at your worst... then why are you blaming someone else for the shortcomings of the shoot?... hmm

*sighs* I already pointed out that I wasn't pointing fingers
Yea I admit to me not at my best but I have pictures where I'm not even ready or I just look plain akward
That's kinda the reason I asked this

Jun 04 13 01:36 pm Link

Model

ResaVictoria

Posts: 34

Silver Spring, Maryland, US

Gary Melton wrote:

I think the point here is that IF you have a top-notch, really photogenic model...then the photographer is not a HUGE factor in getting a great end-product.  I can understand this because I've photographed models who simply look great no matter what I do.

On the other hand, if a model is NOT good at what she does...if she is NOT naturally very photogenic - then the photographer becomes a MUCH larger factor in getting a great end-product.

* this is the correct answer...end of thread

Thanks smile

Jun 04 13 01:38 pm Link

Photographer

RW Steele

Posts: 107

Raleigh, North Carolina, US

Shot By Adam wrote:
An excellent photographer can bring out the best in their models, regardless of their talent or skill.

A model with a unique look can be taught how to pose and it happens every day, but how many models do you know who instruct photographers how to use their fancy gear?

Shot By Adam wrote:
An excellent model can make a weak photographer look like a seasoned pro.

Not always. An excellent (experienced) model can easily be made to look mediocre when working with a weak photographer, especially those that have no idea how to compose or use light. I see examples of this every single day.

Jun 04 13 01:40 pm Link

Photographer

O b s c u r a L L C

Posts: 616

New York, New York, US

Light.

Jun 04 13 01:44 pm Link