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Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 25,974
Dearborn, Michigan, US


Yes, I get better photos with better models.
Mar 26 13 02:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Neil Templar
Posts: 385
Glastonbury, England, United Kingdom


Jerry Nemeth wrote:
Yes, I get better photos with better models.

I've read the thread with interest. Thank you to everyone that's contributed.

While it's true that there are good, bad and mediocre photographers there are also good, bad and mediocre models.

I think most of us would agree that the best results will always be achieved by placing the 'good' together.....However, I still maintain that a mediocre photographer is still likely to create a more pleasing image (in the eye of the public) of a good physically attractive model than a good photographer is likely to get of a bad one.

Yes the good photographers shot might be well lit and technically brilliant etc etc but if you don't have an attractive subject to start with ...

Mar 26 13 04:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


Neil Templar wrote:
Yes the good photographers shot might be well lit and technically brilliant etc etc but if you don't have an attractive subject to start with ...

This is exactly why I don't post self-portraits! big_smile





Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Mar 26 13 04:47 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 20,644
New York, New York, US


Neil Templar wrote:
I've read the thread with interest. Thank you to everyone that's contributed.

While it's true that there are good, bad and mediocre photographers there are also good, bad and mediocre models.

I think most of us would agree that the best results will always be achieved by placing the 'good' together.....However, I still maintain that a mediocre photographer is still likely to create a more pleasing image (in the eye of the public) of a good physically attractive model than a good photographer is likely to get of a bad one.

Yes the good photographers shot might be well lit and technically brilliant etc etc but if you don't have an attractive subject to start with ...

I will say again, what are your goals, what are you shooting?  It depends.

Avedon's fashion work is impeccable.  His book The American West is heart wrenchingly good.  A good portraitist should be able to take good photos of anyone.  But if you are shopping a portfolio, that portfolio needs to be in line with buyers expectations.  So what kind of portfolio are you putting together?  For what purpose?

Mar 26 13 04:58 am  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
MainePaintah
Posts: 1,529
Saco, Maine, US


In my work (painting) the model is the CATALYST for a good work of art. I don't think that "we" are only as good as our models.

However, a good, professional model can get the creative juices flowing easier and better most of the time!
Mar 26 13 05:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jim McSmith
Posts: 647
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom


There's no point spending lots of money on a shoot if you have a bad model. That's why I hardly shoot models because I can never find models worth the effort.
Mar 26 13 05:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Josh Yu Photography
Posts: 206
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


The one and only time I paid for a model, the shots from the shoot got about 3 times as many 'likes' on Facebook as most of my work (for want of a better measure). No one knew I paid for that model and not my others, but I found that model worth paying and it paid off. Could have been luck, but I think the reality is a model with the 'look' and who knows how to pose is simply going to get you better photos than from an average model regardless of your photographic ability.

The better the model, the less need for actual photographic skill. Skill is never irrelevant but quality of model is a lot more important than many of us would like to admit!
Mar 26 13 06:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,515
Houston, Texas, US


I think it comes more with how we relate to our subjects and....ALL the elements of the image are important. 

Get a great model,  a great clothing stylist with great outfits, add an incredible makeup person and you'll likely find you will feel quite inspired to give it your all too.   

It's amazing what can happen, when working with a great team.  Everyone adds an element that may not be your particular expertise...

In the end, it's the photographer that takes the photo hopefully knows what to edit (select) when culling through the images.   

In the past just working with a great art director who has total trust in me, has driven me to do some work that I was quite proud of and found it held up to scrutiny even years later..   

I think it's all about energy levels.

JOSH..don't discount your abilities and the need to have very good skills even with a very good subject.
Mar 26 13 06:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leighthenubian
Posts: 2,610
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


A good model + good MUA + Good stylist + Good photographer = nice images.

Of course you can get nice images with just a good model and your GOOD skills. You probably shot more because the model was giving you dynamic poses, good emotional content etc. It's easy to shoot 100's of images before you realize it.

Anyone can get some old slapper on MM to pose nude or just stand in front of the lights so the photographer can try out equipment and say he's a pro. How many images of the three poses that are popular on here do you really need?

Finding good models is much, much harder, but it's well worth it.
Mar 26 13 07:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
natural beauties of qld
Posts: 2,086
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


Neil Templar wrote:
this led me to the inevitable conclusion that it's difficult to take bad photographs of good models.

Which in turn leads me to ask myself: Are we as Photographers only as good as the models we photograph?

Actually, it is not all that hard to take bad photographs of good models. 

There are a number of superb models (Liz Ashley, Candice Nirvana, Melissa Trout, Katy T, and Carlotta Champagne immediately come to mind, but there are plenty of others) who can produce extraordinary images but, if you cruise various portfolios (photo.net is a good place to start) you will find that they suffer the indignity of some extraordinarily clumsy and amateurish images being published.

Mar 26 13 08:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Select Models
Posts: 35,156
Upland, California, US


Jean Renard Photography wrote:

you shot big boy...you win...(despite the photobomb from bikini chick)

Awwww thanks... but 'photobomb from bikini chick'?... hmm... that memo musta missed my cubical... lol

Mar 26 13 09:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Mossack
Posts: 1,224
Joplin, Missouri, US


As far as photographing models? Maybe.  I feel it's very possible to shoot outstanding images with beginner or average models, it's just that experienced models usually make the job easier.  And I seem to do pretty well with non model subjects ....
Mar 26 13 02:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
dave phoenix
Posts: 1,256
Phoenix, Arizona, US


they're not going to say, "brilliant pose, wardrobe and lighting"

they're going to say, "that girl is NOT a (fashion/glamour/whatever) model. does the photographer really think this is a portfolio-grade shot? he must be insane. no way we're hiring him."
Mar 26 13 02:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman van Gestel
Posts: 1,804
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands


I believe it's still possible to get with either model ...only good models give you more room, bigger buffer to work on...good models are the lazy way wink

...and now that i think of it, define "model"...so it's not about model but about photo-appeal...and about the proper casting...
Mar 26 13 02:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Neil Templar
Posts: 385
Glastonbury, England, United Kingdom


Josh Yu Photography wrote:
The better the model, the less need for actual photographic skill. Skill is never irrelevant but quality of model is a lot more important than many of us would like to admit!

This!

Mar 26 13 04:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mortonovich II
Posts: 701
San Diego, California, US


dave phoenix wrote:
they're not going to say, "brilliant pose, wardrobe and lighting"

they're going to say, "that girl is NOT a (fashion/glamour/whatever) model. does the photographer really think this is a portfolio-grade shot? he must be insane. no way we're hiring him."

Exactly.

Mar 26 13 04:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
4 R D
Posts: 985
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico


I worked with a girl who had no prior experience. I helped her look better.

Then I worked with a good model. She helped me look better.
Mar 26 13 05:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Reggie Dennis
Posts: 88
Charlotte, North Carolina, US


When I work with experienced models there is a better flow of communication, energy and positive vibes. I give 110% when I work with all models but I enjoy working with more experienced models.
Mar 26 13 06:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Stone Imaging
Posts: 509
Seattle, Washington, US


Experience is certainly a factor, however, I've had first time models hit the ball out of the park...meaning they couldn't take a bad photograph...while on the other hand I've had some experienced models leave a lot to be desired.

My current avatar is of "Feroce"...a first-time model from Craigslist who modeled astoundingly well.

I find the most important characteristic of a model is the ability to give different facial expressions (some experienced models can't), especially if it is complemented by the pose and surrounding props/location.  It is then up to me to do the rest with lighting, angles, exposure...and Photoshop smile .
Mar 27 13 03:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Frank Sanders
Posts: 75
Vienna, Wien, Austria


Are we only as good as our models?
No
I dont think that my skills as a photographer raise and fall, depending on the model I am working with. I get better by trying new things out, looking at work other photographers,...
Are we only as good as our models?
Yes
If you just look at the outcome of one shooting. Of course you get (more) better images if the model fits the job than opposite.

Another thing is the difference between an eperienced model and a good model. You can work with an very experienced model an the result is average, because she only has four or six poses and expressions she allways does, and that works for most of her shootings.
Mar 27 13 05:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
The Something Guy
Posts: 14,846
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


Not easy making a silk purse out of a sow's ear......... unless your a PS wizard.
Mar 27 13 06:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marciofs
Posts: 1,804
Freiburg, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany


Neil Templar wrote:
Recently I've been fortunate enough to shoot with a couple of really outstanding llamas and in so doing, two things have struck me...

Firstly, I found that I subconsciously shot more and for longer with each of them than I normally do.

Secondly,  I deleted far fewer shots.

As I'm the only constant with the llamas I work with, this led me to the inevitable conclusion that it's difficult to take bad photographs of good llamas.

Which in turn leads me to ask myself: Are we as Photographers only as good as the llamas we photograph?

Please don't take this too seriously...but it's a thought.

(Apologies if this subject has been here before but it's been a while since I've visited!)

I think llamas are like any other tools, like cameras, lenses, loghtings, etc.

The best you got the better and easier will be your job. It doesn't metter how good or bad you are as photographer.

But only good photographers can get the best or the better of the tool he have on hands, doesn't metter how good or how bad is the tool.

While bad photographers are limited by the quality of their tool they have on hands and by the experience, skills and knowlodge they have with such tools.

I have seing greate photographers being able to make anybody looks great as llama. They may spend more time directing and get less results but they can get the best of they have on hands. While I jave seing many beginers with money spending in expensive tools and good llamas. They get a lot of good results which looks avarege and they are far to get the best of what they have in hands. With more experience, skills and knowlodge they could getter much more interisting images with less.

And as said above, good llama and experienced llama is different. One can give a satisfactory result for any type of shoot but will look avarege. The other can help you to make the diference when you have a different approch.

Mar 27 13 07:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 11,611
Atlanta, Georgia, US


What I find interesting is people taking a different view on good models.  Some are talking about skills and experience and others (like myself) are talking more about the look of the model.
Mar 27 13 07:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Don Garrett
Posts: 4,060
Escondido, California, US


I have had both models who seem to always get the most amazing pose possible, and do it consistently, one right after the other, and have also had models who wait for direction.
  I tend to prefer the latter, because I consider myself to be "the artist", but, the rare model who is always doing something that I didn't expect, and does it amazingly, every time, is a treat to work with, and gives me images that I wouldn't have gotten if left to my own sense of form and composition.
  I can think of two, (and especially one), model in the whole time I have been shooting,  (over 20 years), that needed NO direction at all, and I got many more usable images from her, percentage wise, than I have ever gotten by doing all the directing on my own.
  One of the biggest reasons I usually prefer the "passive" model is the rarity of the one who can do it skillfully, with no direction at all, consistently.
  Of course, there is the much more common model, who is good, gets great poses, but often needs for me to say, "hey hold that one", or "go back a step, and we'll try that one again".
-Don
EDIT: As AJScalzitti said above, it is the look of the model, but I take that for granted, and choose accordingly BEFORE booking a shoot.
Mar 27 13 07:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Neil Templar
Posts: 385
Glastonbury, England, United Kingdom


AJScalzitti wrote:
What I find interesting is people taking a different view on good models.  Some are talking about skills and experience and others (like myself) are talking more about the look of the model.

Yes, I should have been more clear at the outset. My original thread was aimed more at the look of the model as opposed to their experience and the benefits/advantages that a good look brings to the image.

An attractive model will provide a 'better image' (in the eyes of the public) to the same photographer photographing a less attractive model.
There are many less physically attractive models with a wealth of experience that will never trump a stunning inexperienced model (with the same photographer).

Mar 27 13 07:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Brandon Nixon
Posts: 40
Denver, Colorado, US


Neil Templar wrote:

Yes, I should have been more clear at the outset. My original thread was aimed more at the look of the model as opposed to their experience and the benefits/advantages that a good look brings to the image.

An attractive model will provide a 'better image' (in the eyes of the public) to the same photographer photographing a less attractive model.
There are many less physically attractive models with a wealth of experience that will never trump a stunning inexperienced model (with the same photographer).

Agreed you can have a great technique but perception of the image both yourself and public will depend on the subject.  Better looking models will make an overall better looking photograph.

For example an absolutely stunning well composted, properly exposed, otherwise PERFECT image of an unattractive person will get less interest than a cell phone shot in a mirror of a stunning model.

Mar 27 13 10:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 11,611
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Your right Brandon.  Sometimes we forget but a lot of what we do in creating images is subliminal, like rules of compisition.  When we do a good job most of the time people "feel" it's a better image and don't know why.  But obviously the subject isn't usually so.

Quite literary we see things differently
Mar 27 13 10:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Neil Templar
Posts: 385
Glastonbury, England, United Kingdom


This thread has probably run its course now and if so..
Thanks to every one who has contributed.
There are some interesting perspectives.
Mar 27 13 11:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 7,802
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Giacomo Cirrincioni wrote:

I will say again, what are your goals, what are you shooting?  It depends.

Avedon's fashion work is impeccable.  His book The American West is heart wrenchingly good.  A good portraitist should be able to take good photos of anyone.  But if you are shopping a portfolio, that portfolio needs to be in line with buyers expectations.  So what kind of portfolio are you putting together?  For what purpose?

+1

Mar 27 13 12:22 pm  Link  Quote 
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