Friend of mine wants to be a model, and needs a portfolio done... Help Please!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by crazydreaming, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

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    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #1
    A friend of mine asked awhile ago if I would help her make a modeling portfolio for her. She realizes I'm just starting out and so is she, so she's willing to work with me. I'm not charging her, I'm just happy to get the experience working with a model. The only experience I have with someone modeling for me is in my B+W photography class this past semester for my portraiture assignment.

    I have a D200, the 18-70 kit lens, a 50mm 1.8, and a 70-210, a tripod, and a really bright homemade bulb... I don't have a flash yet should get on that soon I suppose.

    We plan on going to a park with a lot of gardens for some of the shots, I live by Niagara Falls, so also talked about doing some there. But I've been looking at some of the professionals modeling portfolios, and whoa, I'm impressed!

    She also would like some "studio" type shots, but I'm not sure how I'd do that with my equipment. I'm going to try and setup a little homeade studio with white sheets or something?? I really think I'd need flash for that.

    We are planning on doing it late in the day when the light is good. I was thinking it would be good to have some kind of reflector for the outdoor shots. Anyway advice on making a reflector as there's no photography stores nearby? Would about a softening filter?

    Please, any advice is appreciated. I'm a little nervous, but I'm sure if we work together we will get good results.

    THANK YOU!
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    This is very indirect advice, but get an account at fredmiranda.com and go to their people photography forum. There are great discussions of how to get by on limited gear, and some outstanding available lighting artists there. People can be a little rough sometimes, and posting in that particular forum can be scary, but reading replies and seeing the discussions can be very valuable....
     
  3. crazydreaming thread starter macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

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    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #3
    Hey thanks for the advice!

    except... they won't let me post in that particular forum. I'm assuming because I'm a new member. :(
     
  4. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

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    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    I've done some headshot photos for my niece who does acting, and when I needed a reflector I use the silver sun shade that I put in my car windshield to block the sun on hot days. If you have one of those it works like a charm. If not, they're only like $7 - 8 at Walmart. It helps to have a 3rd person hold it for you, though, to get it aimed in the right direction.
     
  5. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #5
    Studio shots are not too terribly difficult, but you do need some equipment. At the minimum, you will need good lighting. If you can't afford strobes, work lamps from homedepot will work, although hot and uncomfortable. You will also have to make sure you get the white balance right.

    You can get excellent results with one strobe. I have an Alien Bee B400. With an umbrella, strobe, and stand, it comes at around $350.

    If you don't have the money and time to practice, I would completely skip the studio shots for now and do just the outdoor shots. If you can't find a reflector, use a foamcore board and it will work well enough.

    Be sure to practice before you take on her portfolio shots.

    I'll post again in a few hours when I have more time to go more in-depth about portraits. I have a few one light examples that I can post as well if you want to see them.
     
  6. crazydreaming thread starter macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

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    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #6
    hey that's a good idea. Someone on the Nikon Cafe forums suggested white foamcore board which you can get at hobby/craft places such as Michaels...
     
  7. crazydreaming thread starter macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

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    Apr 17, 2005
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    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #7
    Hey thanks! Examples would be awesome. I did go out and buy one of those work lamps from home depot along with a massive 150 watt bulb. Very bright, very hot, but I have used it for some product photography.

    Don't have the money for strobes right now because I don't see myself doing this enough at the moment to make it worthwile. I think a flash would be a better investment, say the SB 600, but from the feedback I've been getting, seems like I should get a reflector first! I think I'll stick with outdoor shots first, sounds like a good plan to me.
     
  8. beavo451 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 22, 2006
    #8
    I would go ahead and buy a SB600 as well. The speedlight will be useful in all situations. When used outdoors, it can be used as fill flash to help with shadows on the person.

    One light studio examples:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Outdoors with fill flash:
    [​IMG]

    And one studio light with reflector :p :D
    [​IMG]
     
  9. baleensavage macrumors 6502a

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    On an island in Maine
    #9
    One thing that you can do is do an outdoor shot that fakes a studio shot. Get a couple white sheets and set them up outside on a nice day in good solid shade. Then with a few pieces of white posterboard on tripods or whatever else you can rig up you can fill in some shadows.

    i would however absolutely recommend that you get a flash of some type if you intend on doing any type of portrait photography. A flash, even (or especially) on outdoor shots can make the difference between an ok portrait and an excellent one. Personally I use Lumedyne's modular flashes. They are great because you buy the pieces and they are portable but over time you can keep adding parts and eventually have a pretty good studio light set. Of course they are also quite expensive. Even if you just pick up a little speedlite it should help your portraits immensly. In my college days, I even used a cheap digital camera as a flash in some shots, but that requires a long exposure and a very still model.

    Also, since your friend is going into modeling, I would do some research into head shots. There are very specific things that modeling agencies look for in a head shot (certain posing, framing, etc.). It's been a while since college for me and I don't regularly do head shots ;) but I do remember that from college.
     
  10. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #10
    Additional portrait information:

    I would use either the 50mm or the 70-210. Longer lenses provide a more flattering picture. Wide-angles distort proportions and you will end up with large noses.

    Meter for the background so that the background is perfectly exposed. Then use fill flash or a reflector to fill in the shadows on your model. An even more dramatic effect is to underexpose the background by one stop and use flash for a normal exposure on your subject. Also with longer lenses, use a wider aperture (around f/5.6 ish) for a shallow DOF and to get good subject background seperation.
    See my outdoor shot above as an example.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    Lighting is key. Outdoors a reflector and a third person can help. All you need is a large stiff sheet of cardboard. Paint one side white (cheap house paint) and glue aluminun foil to the other side. The cardboard must remain flat so you might need to staple it to a wooden stick or something. Photo store sell fold up refectors made of cloth over a frame. These are more transportable. The reflector needs to be as large as the subject (sunlight is made of parrallel rays of light) So for a head and sholders shot 2 foot square might work but for a full body shot you want a 6 foot tall reflector and an assistant to handle it. The point is to fill shadows. The other way is to wait on the weather. could cover can make for softer light.

    Indoors it's the same thing, With digital camera you can but work lights from Home Depot and bounc them off white cardboard. Stobes are cooler but expensive

    I may seem like "cheating" but what beeter way to learn then by finding image you like and attempting to duplicat them? You might say it's steeling someone elses idea but he likely got it from someone else. People have been doing portraits from the days of cave drawings, later is oil paints then film. Look at the best work of the last few 100 years.
     
  12. Mantat macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #12
    Bring a pale grey papier. You will need to color balance your pics if you shoot near sunset.

    Personnaly, I prefer taking pictures of people very early the morning because the light has more white in it.

    As for lens, you have a 50 1.8, so you can handle it. A 85L would be better but yours should do.

    As for background, dont use sheets. You will never get a good and pro output out of these. You are better off trying to find a wall with an interesting texture. Just mkae sure it has no patern else it will screw up the picture by looking non organic.

    For outside shots, make sure the background includes part of a blue sky and some vegetation and shoot between F2-F4 to blur everything but the face (focus on the eyes). The Bokeh will provide a nice background and the subject will pop out well. Ty to use a fill flash or reflector to make sure the eye sockets are well exposed. Its easy to under expose them since you will be shooting in bright light at a wide aperture.

    If you want more comments/tricks, you will need to show us some of the pics so we can comment!

    Oh.. btw, I know this sound stupid but:
    - carefull about the paterns of the models' cloth
    - model requires makeup
    - always watch what is in your background
    - before going outside, look at the meteo to know the time the sun will set/go up and plan
    - bring some foods that you can share with birds/rotens. If there are some, have the model feed them and shoot away. These are always nice and original pics. Maybe not portfolio quality but fun!
     
  13. beavo451 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 22, 2006
    #13
    Personally I prefer warmer outdoor portraits, so if you set a custom white balance, you may need to warm it up some.

    I disagree about the background. All my example photos except for the outdoors one were shot with a white or black sheet as the background. Outdoors, you can be creative and incorporate a blowing sheet as the background. "Never" is almost never applicable in photography.;)
     
  14. Mantat macrumors 6502a

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    Montréal (Canada)
  15. beavo451 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 22, 2006
    #15
    I'm a little dense so I don't understand what you mean. I use bed sheets for a black or white background in stuido type shots... :confused:
     
  16. snap58 macrumors 6502

    snap58

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    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    somewhere in kansas
    #16
    Way too complicated, just toss her in the grass and fire away! : )
     

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  17. triotary macrumors regular

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    #17
    :eek: :D :p ;) :)
     
  18. iJimbo macrumors newbie

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    Aug 7, 2006
    #18
  19. crazydreaming thread starter macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

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    Apr 17, 2005
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    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #19
    Hey great resource! Thanks! Man, now all I want is some photos like the examples on it site. amazing. :eek:
     

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