I'm panicking! Tomorrow I'll have my first photo session, I need advice.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 66217, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    So I have been practicing a lot with my camera (Nikon D40x), I've had it for about 1 month, and tomorrow I would be the photographer in a photo session, but I am really starting to get a little nervous.

    I have not taken photos of models never, and I really don't know what is expected of me as the photographer!! Should I just let her pose and so, or should I be like "Grrrr, get angry with me, move like this, etc." (I guess you get my point :p)

    Also, what else could I need for the session? I already have the illumination, and extra battery, my laptop, the battery charger, tripod, and the models already have someone who would help them change hair-style and whatever they need. Am I missing something?:confused:

    Any advice would be highly appreciated.:)
  2. Habakuk macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2007
    Vienna Austria Europe
    The latter of course - maybe better without getting angry ;-) (Except you need explicit photos of angry people.) YOU are the DIRECTOR of photography! Most of the younger models are pretty but they don't know how to move or pose AT ALL! You'll have to tell them EXACTLY what to do. They are getting paid for doing what you say. Don't hesitate. Be a little bothersome if it needs to. Articulate loud and clearly so that they can understand you despite of long distances and wind machines.

    It is not necessary that the models (actors) love you. It's much more important that the audience and the orderer loves your photographs.

    THIS is the major part of a model photographer. Technical facilities, lighting, costumes, hair-style, make-up, requisites etc. are self-evident. It's the staging what matters. Don't forget the sourroundings and backgrounds. Don't let them feel that you are panicking because then they will start to panic too. Create a calm and professional ambience.

    All those advices from me without knowing at all what kind of production that is...
  3. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    Ooops, I forgot to say the objective of the shooting.:eek:

    The main point would be the clothes, and it has to have a spa connotation. It would be for a dry-cleaners promotion, where they want to transmit customers that they give professional care to the clothes they receive.

    The shooting would take place at a hotel, and we would have a room, the pool and other spaces available. We have almost all the day to take the photos, so we can also take some night-shots, but I am not sure how good this ones can be for this case.

    I think the most complicated photo would be the one of the wedding dress, I am doubtful in what kind of photo could be the best for this. But I guess I'll just shoot hundreds of photos, and learn from my mistakes.:)
  4. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    What lenses are you using? Do you have a backup camera body in case something goes pflooie? Is whoever hired you aware of your inexperience in shooting models?
  5. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    Thanks for the help,

    I have quite a handle of lenses from my dad. I don't have the specific models, but they are wide angle, standard and telephoto. The only problem is that they won't autofocus with my camera, but I think I can handle that.

    1- Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4
    2- Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm 1:4.5
    3- Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1:3.5-4.5
    4- Nikkor 24mm 1:2.8
    5- Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 (Kit Lens)

    It is worth noting that my dad's lenses are quite old, but I guess I can still use them.

    Which one would you recommend using for interiors and outdoors? I am thinking that telephoto can be OK for outdoor photos, am I correct?

    Nope. I just don't have the money to take that precautions. Not yet.;)

    Yes, of course. It is family, and I am not charging a cent for it. I took the opportunity because I knew it would be a good experience for later works, and they were willing to take the risk of my inexperience in shooting models.:)
  6. shecky Guest


    May 24, 2003
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    i would strongly suggest you see Blow-Up as a good indication of how a photographer should act with models. :)

  7. alecmcmahon macrumors regular

    May 18, 2007
    Woodbridge, NJ
  8. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    I am using two flashes mounted in some kind of tripods (or how do you call them?) , that fire when I shoot. Nothing very sophisticated really, but I guess they'll do the work. I hope they do.:)
  9. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    You want a longer lens 85mm is good for head shots, but you are "panicking" and want help yet didn't disclose the number of people. The only thing you did do was disclose that you're not charging, that you have no experience, and that you don't have the luxury to take precautions. The good news is that since you're not charging you can get away with actually uttering the words "I just don't have the money to take that precautions."

    My advice, buy a camera that allows you to focus with the lenses you have or use a lens that allows you to focus with the camera you have. Free or not you should be able to focus. I would also suggest reading up on lighting and such and those things you intend to put your flashes on are called light stands. Clever eh?

    Good luck and calm down. After the day of the shoot I'm sure it'll all be one big blur...hmmm perhaps even literally by the sound of it.
  10. Butthead macrumors 6502


    Jan 10, 2006
    Sheesh, you've got some superhottie VS model as your 'tar, and you haven't tried photographing any models before? You know, like at a carshow or other event where you can practice, practice, practice? Hell, run down to the mall tonight before it closes at least and take pictures of the manequins for a start, lol.

    If she knows what she's doing, and she knows you don't; don't push your luck, let her lead if she's willing :).

    Well you would wait until the last moment to even post about it, which seems will do no good for your now. Next try, post a week in advance when there is barely enough time to do some rush per-shot preparations. Too much to go into at this short time before the big event. Just make sure all of your equipment is ready, relax, if it's going to be an all day shoot, you need to try to pace yourself or you'll get burnt out to quickly.

    Not much we could say now that will help other than, you're going to make a ton of mistakes, expect lots of disappointments, if you do well that would be a surprising triumph :). I hope the models are not any more experienced than you are (family & friends perhaps?), as paid models with experience will not be so kind of your lack thereof.

    Too late now (heh, I was just thinking, instead of watching "Blow Up" lol, try catching tonights "Top Model"..couldn't hurt now)., but lighting is everything in a photoshoot (and experience with how to control using your camera). I'll assume you have Nikon flash with sync TTL, so you can at least control flash output levels. next thing is flash sucks for harsh contrasty effect if gives. If you can bounce of a wall or even shoot through a white sheet of cloth/fabric/paper to diffuse that harsh light, it will look less amatuerish.

    Being inexperienced, it would be better to take along extra batteries (you at least have one extra battery, please tell us you have that?) and extra memory. You'll want to take multiple exposures -1EV or fractions thereof (does the D40x do auto exposure bracketing, or is that only on the D50?) and bracket the exposures for as many shots as you can. If you want detail in a wedding dress, you're going to have to underexpose and doe PP with Photoshop or other image editing software to bring up the shadow areas and try to get details of the wedding dress fabric (i'll assume it's ornate, and not simple smooth silk like fabric).

    Check out how difficult it is to get detail in super white fabrics at a wedding outdoors even with flash fill, even with a high-dynamic range Fuji S5 Pro, vs a high-end Nikon D2H


    I say stick with the AF kit lens (it is one of the better kit lenses) that you have most experience with, only use the others if they can give you something the kit lens cannot.
  11. sblasl macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2004
    Heber Springs, AR
    You really do need to calm down. She was trying to be helpful. You are wound way to tight.
  12. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    I've only had for one month my camera.....but I'll try the manequins.:D

    I know, I'll try posting with more anticipation the next time.:)
    I burrowed some books from my college library about photography and went to ask advice to a professional photographer I knew, who gave me tips on how to manage the lighting, etc.

    They are paid models, but they assured me they are friendly. So I hope for the best. But yes, I know I'll make ton of mistakes, but I guess I must learn one way or another.:)

    I'll try and post some photos after the shooting for you guys to give me some feedback.

    Yep, I do have one extra battery, and I'll take my charger in the case I need it. I have a 4GB memory and a 1GB memory, and I'll take my laptop with me, so I think I won't have problems there.

    Nope, it lacks that feature.

    I was thinking of using the Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1:3.5-4.5 for outdoor shots. To keep the subject focused and the background out of focus. I have been practicing with them for some time also, so maybe I'll try them.

    Thanks for all the advice.:)
  13. jlcharles macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2006
    Wenonah, NJ
    When she gives "help", she almost always comes off as snotty bitch. The help usually comes with so much denigration as to make it useless.

    My Hasselblad is manual focus. Does that make it worthless?
  14. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Everyone, please calm down a bit and, if you're going to post in the thread, no need to be condescending.
  15. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    The kid said his lenses wouldn't focus. Lack of information leads to snotty bitches like me handing out of information that is otherwise useless as jlcharles kindly pointed out. The information also comes off as "snotty" and "bitchy" as jlcharles also pointed out. I'm sure that's clear.

    Roco, you want advice, I get that. I'm a snotty bitch though so I'd venture to guess in order to give advice you'd have to disclose the exact situation you will find yourself in. (insert snotty bitch attitude here) If I come to you or jlcharles, because he's a snotty bitch like me and we roll together, and ask for advice on a photo shoot what kind of advice can you give me without knowing the number of people for starters? You asked which lens would work, technically they all do but to your point you said they won't focus so maybe none of them work. I'm not really sure. Not all lenses will work for one model and not all lenses will work for a group shot.

    Now, jlcharles, no one said your Hasselblad was worthless, no one is attacking your equipment. Heck, (insert snotty bitch) no one was even attacking roco's. I dig the unity though, it's rare (insert snotty bitch) in this case. Roco said to me "If you don't feel like giving advice, then don't do it. But there is no necessity to come here and tell me how wrong I am, after all, I came here asking for help." Since you are clearly better equipped than I ever will be please take the advice given to me by Roco and help him. It sounds to me like since you own a Hasselblad that you could probably dish out great advice like you dish out great compliments to snotty bitches such as myself.

    So I'll write it again. Roco, unless you can tell the good people of MacRumors what your exact situation is then how can anyone be expected to give any kind of advice? And in all sincerity (which will be read as snotty and bitchy by jlcharles) it never occurred to me where you lived and English wasn't your first language. Heck, I'm not even sure I picked up on anything of the sorts and my reply doesn't imply that I did. I'm a snotty bitch, not some narrow-minded woman who assumes everyone online is from America and speaks English as a first language. That's not the snotty bitch way. ;) I do apologize if that is how you read my comment.
  16. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    You GUESS? I hope that you at least have tried using them on the camera! When you say, "quite old" just how old are they? This may be important if they are not at least AI-S lenses.

    Yes, the D40 and D40x autofocus only with Nikon's AF-S lenses, but that doesn't preclude the photographer from using other lenses and manually focusing if he or she has good eyes! In fact, when shooting macro subjects, it usually is necessary to manually focus anyway, even if the camera and lens has an excellent autofocus system, because of the shallow DOF and closeness to the subject.

    The 50mm f/1.4 is an excellent lens and should work well for head shots. The 80-200mm will be fine outdoors in good lighting. I'm not familiar with the 35-135mm lens. The 24mm f/2.8 is reasonably fast and also somewhat wide angle. Remember that with digital cameras, you have to figure in the so-called "crop factor," and consider that it will actually be 1.5x whatever the 35mm "full frame" range is. For instance, that 24mm lens is 24mm on a 35mm full frame digital or 35mm SLR camera, but when put on a Nikon DX digital camera appears to be 36mm. That 50mm lens, when mounted on your D40x, becomes the equivalent of a 75mm lens..... This is important to keep in mind when making lens choices for specific shots.

    Good luck with the shoot!
  17. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    Don't worry, I also apologize if I over-reacted.;)

    So now, to answer your questions. The photos would be most of only a single person. But I am planning to also make some of a couple.
    The objective is to show the clothes, so most of them would be full-body photos.

    The place of shooting would be a hotel, so I have quite a lot of places. Hotel room, pool, spa, gardens, stairs, etc.

    As for the clothes, one is a wedding dress, other is a men suit, also a women suit and some other more informal clothes.

    I hope that clarifies the photographic situation:)
  18. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    :D Of course I have used them. They work perfectly, aside from the autofocus. They are old as in 10-15 years old. Is that too much?

    I am planning on starting getting lenses, but I don't want to spend soo much right now. Maybe for Christmas.

    I've been practicing manual focus, even with my kit lens. I like it more that way, not sure why, but I like it. But of course, autofocus still has its advantages.

    Thanks for the advice. I hope things go out right tomorrow. I'll make sure to post some photos.:)
  19. seahawk09 macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    Just be yourself and take your time things seem to work out when you think before you act. If you get all flusterd then the model will too let the coolness settle into your vertibrate. just enjoy the shoot.

    And pratice shots with family maybe that will help:)
  20. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    (1) it's your family
    (2) they aren't paying you at ALL.

    There is only two things you can do at this point.....

    (1) Ignore what everyone else has said, their advice is great, but this shoot shouldn't be about all that.

    (2) JUST SHOOT and PRACTICE and LEARN and ENJOY IT... you will end up not liking model photography if you complicate things and think you need this and that and need to spend money here and there. Just calm down and shoot, make great images with what you have, you don't need a thing besides a camera and a lens.
  21. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    Hi there, I have just finished the shooting. Thanks for all your advice.

    So you must be wondering how it went...:) It was OK, much better than what I expected.
    The models were young and didn't had much experience, so it made things more relaxing for me.

    I'm certain they weren't perfect photos (far from perfect maybe), and maybe we won't use many of them. But I do believe some are good enough to put in posters for promotion. From 807 photos at least one must be good.:D

    In summary, I enjoyed the experience, it was definitely tiring, being all day taking photos is way more demanding than what I imagined, but I know I learned a lot from this.

    I learned how is the best way to make the model look more natural (making funny comments helps here). I also got a little experience in what poses and what angles are the best ones. I also realized I like a lot more the outdoor photography than the indoors, maybe because I didn't had the proper lighting, but indoors was boring and appeared more limited for me.

    I'll try looking trough all the photos tomorrow, since right now I am only focusing in what went wrong. I need a refreshed attitude to look at them again.

    So again, thanks a lot for the advice.:)

    One more question: Is it professional (or ethical) to post photos from shootings in the internet?
  22. srf4real macrumors 68040


    Jul 25, 2006
    paradise beach FL
    lol that's why i love the digital age!!

    Go ahead and post some, we won't tell.;)
  23. seahawk09 macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    Hey Roco,

    Being a photographer is a great job when know what you want the best way to convey that to your models is being yourself think of the models as old friend's and your just hanging out shooting some shots. Your photo shoot sounded like it went well there's alway's room for improvement dont think everything will be perfect the first time around it takes time and patience, you sounded like you had fun which is a major part of doing a photo shoot making the model feel at ease will make everything flow smoothly.:) Just you wait one day you will be making the big bucks and ejoying your profession.:)
  24. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    If you were being paid, you'd at least need to tell your customer you were putting them up, but seeing as how you're pro bono right now, they're your photos do what you want.

    Congrats on your first shoot :)
  25. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Oh, and only 800ish exposures from an all-day shoot? That seems like a small number to me (I shoot primarily football, where 3.5hrs=1000 exposures)

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