How To Take Modelling Pics...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by acearchie, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #1
    Firstly, I would like to say thanks for all the help that I have got from these forums as there are a lot of great people here who offer their help without that much in return.

    I have a friend who is keen on signing up with a modelling agency.

    Before you question her looks and size I can pretty much clarify that she has "it" and think she is worth supporting through this process.

    For various agencies she has to have a full face pic, and side pic, upper half body shot and a full body shot.

    I have offered to take these for her and whilst I realise that the pictures have to represent the person (i.e no photoshop, airbrushing) I think I should still try and make the pictures look nice.

    I have two low wattage lights in soft-boxes and a reflector.

    Can anyone link me to some good light diagrams of ways to set up the portraits?

    Any other tips would be great!

    I will probably be shooting on my dad's Nikon D40x and maybe a couple of shots on my Hasselblad 500ELM (which I have never used indoors and under artificial lighting!)

    Thanks for any input you may have!
     
  2. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #2
    have you done any sort of portraiture before? and I don't mean taking a picture of a friend you're having lunch with... if you haven't, I suggest you find someone experienced to do this, and just piggy-back off his setups. that way she gets quality images and you get a learning experience.

    low-wattage lights are pretty useless. you'll need a tripod, and she'll have to stand very still, which can make for stiff images. rent some fluorescents, at the very least.

    lighting is up to you. grab a book about it, like Master Lighting Guide.

    also the type of modeling she wants to do determines how the image should be lit and posed. these are for her portfolio, remember. you don't put your landscape images in your portfolio when applying from a photojournalism job (not many of them, anyway).
     
  3. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #3
    Thanks for the suggestions. To be honest I think I am doing her a favour as she was planning on just taking some pics off Facebook and the like! I said if she was going to do that then there was no point in applying.

    The lights I have aren't that low wattage and I have used them as the sole lights for a shoot at a party with some success. I was just wondering if there are any tips or golden rules for portraiture that I should try and obey with the lights?

    I haven't done any specific portraiture before however, people are my favourite objects to take pictures of.

    Here is a link to my Flickr sort of showing the type of images that I have been capable of taking, it would help if you think my standard is high enough to do her proud!
     
  4. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #4
    well, you have a point there :rolleyes:

    I don't know any golden rules in terms of lighting, honestly. I guess the biggest thing is the nose shadow, which more or less defines where you can put your lights...you should really just buy a book.

    you should fix that huge light leak, for starters.

    some of the more recent ones are pretty good. I think "On The Fence" is by far the best-composed and -lit. "The Gardeners" is promising, but the standing girl's pose is weird and the sitting girl's feet are cut off for no apparent reason. "Bench Shot 2" would be good if her eyes were visible.

    I'm sure whatever you do will be better than her Facebook photos, though...but if she's really "keen" on modeling, she should be looking for better quality than that.
     
  5. Maxxamillian macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #5
    You might want to clarify what you are after here a bit more. Do these agencies want any posing? Is it their requirement that no post processing be done? (I would find this one odd, considering that is what they are going to do anyways). How many shots do they need?

    Toxic is correct on the light leak in your photos. Whatever equipment you are using that is causing this needs to go (out the window or to the repair shop).

    Head shots can be done very well with a large softbox (I would use an octa) directly in front and high on the subject. Your full body shots will require at least two light sources--I would go for a large soft box or a strip box as your main and a white beauty dish for a more specular rim type of an approach.

    As for post processed pics: if she is serious about this she is going to need it in her portfolio. Her competition is going to have PP work in theirs.

    Modeling is a tough, tough game. Hopefully she is not paying too much money to play...
     
  6. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #6
    Don't worry, it's gone. It's been bugging me for far too long so I bought a replacement part that's fixed it.

    They said that they wanted the shots to look as natural as possible so i assumed that this would mean no pp. If I send them an email and find any different I will have a good play around in Aperture.

    Thanks for the tips. I am just looking for suggestions as to how to position the lights, indoors vs. outdoors and backdrops etc.

    The help so far has been excellent and I am happy to have got a few sneaky photo critiques in there too!
     
  7. TheShinyMac macrumors 6502a

    TheShinyMac

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    #7
    Can I see the final product :cool: Good luck I am no help here sorry
     
  8. Presha macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2008
    Location:
    Double Down
    #8
    Hey Acearchie,

    I am starting to get into modeling photography myself and a friend told about this site called modelmayhem.com. It's a great site for answers and tips you're looking for, check it out!
     
  9. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #9
    Some model agencies request model photos that are bare. No post-production applied to remove anything "unflattering." Just the model in a plain two piece bathing suit. They're trying to see as accurate an image as possible of the model in question. Post-production, fancy lighting, etc, all come later. They want to see the blank canvas.

    When I'm casting models for photo shoots, I always skip past their fancy photos and look at the most basic photos of them as I can. In this stage, I'm not interested in seeing another photographer's skills. I only want to see if there's a good starting point with the model in question.

    For a good head shot, put a soft light source 45 degrees to the front of the subject, slightly above eye level. Balance this out with a harder light source 45 degrees behind and to the opposite side of the model for rim lighting.
     
  10. Presha macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2008
    Location:
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    #10
    Great tip FrankieTdouglas, thx! I too am getting into this alot more. Recently purchased lights, umbrellas and a host of pocket wizard gear.
     
  11. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #12
    Cheers, this is exactly what I am looking for. Are you saying that I should aim for one side of the face being brighter than the other?

    Do you think I should add any variation for the 4 shots I need or should I just stick with this simple lighting.

    I was going to attempt to make a DIY Ringflash for maybe one of the headshots to provide the simple but effective "all over" light feel!
     
  12. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #13
    there should be contrast to show depth. completely flat lighting isn't any good.

    honestly, forget the ringflash.
     
  13. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #14
    One side is brighter than the other, but you don't want hard contrast. I'd almost say if the bright side were a "3" the dark side should be a "2" in the comparison. Make sure the soft light covers one side of the face, and also extends over to the eye on the other side. If she turns her face into this light for a headshot, you will also get some great light that falls off further and further down her temple and neck.

    Stay pretty consistent in lighting. For basic model shots, you're not trying to draw attention to your photography or lighting. You are just trying to be as accurate and consistent as possible.
     
  14. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #15
    Cheers, this is really useful! I am pretty keen to take these images now!

    I will upload them if they are good enough. Pity that it's still around 2 weeks away!
     
  15. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #16
    Most agencies want flat lighting for these shots. I've always been told to light from the front with two sources at 1:1, each from a 45 degree angle. I'd add a background light for separation- I have one of these to shoot in the next month, and need to talk to the agency, but that's my current plan.

    Paul
     
  16. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #17
    Is the back light a sort of hair light?

    I hate to be annoying but do you have any with/without pics to show the difference a background light would make?

    I really want to do my best for my friend so all the tips have been very useful!

    Cheers
     
  17. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #18
    In my experience, a hair light is generally gridded and just brings part of the hair out of the background, a back light will provide some separation for the whole model, or the whole upper part of the model depending on how you aim it. If you look at almost any Hollywood movie poster, they're shot that way and most film star's promo pieces as well. Directors like backlights because it brings a 3D quality to the image.

    I don't have anything handy at the moment, "backlit portrait," "rim lighting" and "Hollywood lighting" are your best keywords, should bring up links like the following:

    http://www.shortcourses.com/use/using6-15.html
    http://digitalphotobuzz.com/hollywood-lighting-photography

    For sure, shoot some shots with different ratios on the key and fill, but again most agencies want 1:1 for the general head and body shots, as they're evaluating the model's features critically and shadows from good portraiture hide things they want to see and change the way the face looks depending on if it's short or broad.

    If you can find out which agency, they'll probably have submission guidelines on their Website.

    Paul
     
  18. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #19
    Paul, thank you very much for your reply! I know that my questions may seem tedious but your suggestions and comments are proving to be very helpful.

    The search terms have shown me many tutorials and other useful sites and the links you provided (especially the video) have been very resourceful!

    Cheers
     
  19. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #20
    One other general thing you may or may not know depending on how much you've played with lighting. The closer the lights are to the model, the softer the light is going to be. Far lights become point sources and produce harsher light. When I do my shoot, I'll be bringing two shoot-through umbrellas for key and fill and probably go with either a reflector or a 5' strip box for the backlight depending on the space.

    The agency I'll be doing the shots for lists the shots and poses on their Web site.

    Even though it's a friend, be sure to get a model release signed. It'll get them used to signing them and mean that if they make it big, you'll be able to publish their "first shots." :)

    Paul
     
  20. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #21
    I have realised this and did a little bit of experimenting with how close I could actually get the lights! Makes for some interesting results!

    Do you have any examples of shots you've done?

    Great idea. Is this just a "I have the right to sell etc. these pics signing XXXXXXX"?
     
  21. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #22
    Sorry, generally I don't post my people or product shots, just the fine art stuff linked in my sig.

    It depends on where you are. Mine tend to be permission slips vs. contracts others tend to use contracts- Google can help you out, but you'll have to figure out the base stuff- recommending legal stuff without being a lawyer can also get you in trouble in lots of places, so I try to avoid that. Simple is good.

    Paul
     

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