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How to shoot this girl?
I just asked to shoot this girl (age 26) this weekend (2 days from now!), and I haven't had experience with this "style" of girls before, so I was wondering if you have any tips to make her come out stunning? Below are some pictures that she sent me to study:.

Http://img166.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=18792_ej1_122_806lo.jpghttp://img128.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=18797_ej2_122_881lo.jpghttp://img187.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=18799_ej3_122_411lo.jpghttp://img226.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=th_18804_ej4_122_7lo.jpg.

Should I just go for the provocative/sexy shots (which I don't know how to pose her)? Or put her in a park and make her look pretty and cute? Dark abandoned building shots?.

I just have a Canon XSi with the kit lens, nothing else. (doh) Anyways, I just want some professional opinions before I go mess things up... By the way, she knows that I am new/learning, so I am not charging her anything. Still, I want this shoot to be meaningful for the both of us. Thanks!..

Comments (13)

Sounds like you don't have a flash unit for your camera, other than the on board one? If that is the case, your best bet is to not use the onboard flash, as it will not be flattering at all..

This would be hard to shoot anywhere but outdoors if you are not going to be using a flash...Benhttp://www.b3nbrooks.com/blog/..

Comment #1

Thanks for the reply. I do not have an external flash, so I think I will do outdoor shoots. But shouldn't I still use the onboard flash as fill light? Plus, she has that darker style, so should I just go for the high contrast style?..

Comment #2

Not a pro but just my opinion to give you food for thought. I would stay away from the sexy side. she has a very interesting face. try to capitalize on that. I would shoot in in natural outdoor light but not in direct sunlight. try to use some sidelight and take a white posterboard with you for reflected light.

Again just my opinion on what I would try. be wide open on ideas and try them all. if it doesn't work that's what the delete is for but don't delete anything til you try pp. good luck and enjoyswampers..

Comment #3

Hmm... Biker style... I like... B&W is a must for her, plus her face is really pretty in her style. I am just so afraid that I will mess it up and not do her justice! I am getting so nervous! haha....

Thanks for the comments btw...

Comment #4

Nervous is normal. go scout out some sights in advance and shoot some pictures of a friend to get the feel of it. my first shots were of girls running for rodeo queen. was very nervous at first but you settle in quickly.swampers..

Comment #5

As others have said - no direct sun. Cloudy and overcast is your friend. The last hour before sundown is gods gift of light to your camera..

Do not use wide angle. Stay at 45-55mm on the kit lens..

Make sure you have a decent shutter speed. I would try and stay over 1/125th which should yield nice sharp images unless you have IS on your lens..

Make sure you set your white balance accordingly. Shoot RAW so one day you can go back in when you have photoshop and skills..

Ask her to bring you ideas. Go through some magazines. Treat it like a client collaboration. Have fun. Bring music and friends of hers if possible. That opens some doors if you can grab some white posterboards and have them hold them..

Goof around. Have fun. It's not a gear or skillset thing so much when you are brand new and have no clue. Focus on making your model feel like this is the best time of her life and you won't have to worry about anything else. As long as you are somewhere in the range you can correct just about anything but her dour expression in post. Work on the human side..

Praise for your model is good. GREAT! AWESOME! WOW! does a nice job. Pausing after every pic to review on the LCD and moaning in anguish does NOT GET IT DONE..

Bring a blanket and/or a laptop if you can. Every so often pull the card and dive under the blanket so you can really see what you are getting..

Oh, beer helps. Bring a cooler. Those friends are important here as well.Don't get sloppy but a drink or two and a goofy mindset helps. Make it FUN!.

Setting expectations. You are just goofing around with the camera. Silly. Goofy. Fun. You might only get 2 or 3 images that are "keepers" and you can probably just forget anything in the first 100 frames being noteworthy.



Take lots of breaks to review on that laptop which is important. Get her involved..

Also, get a cheap mirror you would normally hang on the back of a door and bring it with you. They are about $6 at Target/Walmart etc. Those extra hands come in handy here. Or just stand it up against you (camera position) so she can SEE what she is DOING. What an amazing difference when you have a feedback loop in real time..

Makeup is important. If you have a department store with a MAC counter, have her go before the shoot, they do comp makeovers - all they ask is she buys a couple products. Lot of young girls know nothing about makeup. She should bring a picture that exemplifies the "look" she is going for..

That's about it - I mentioned beer , right?.

You'll do fine. G'luck!.

D..

Comment #6

Haha! Those are not only general tips, they are "candid" tips! I love the beer one... We can tell you are a pro photographer!.

Seriously though, all those are good points, I will see if I can follow them when I am shooting.....

Comment #7

Not quite. When you bring a generator, blender, limes and tequila and make margaritas by the pitcher on set - THEN you are a pro.  ))).

You are not ready for this yet young Jedi. Patience. And a designated driver are in order..

Oh - did I mention?.

Try not to drop your camera. Mr. Gravity is death to cameras.Make sure the lens cap is off.Make sure there is a flash card in the camera..

Don't laugh! I have DONE these things myself. One time I shot 3 wardrobe changes before I realized my flashcard .....was still plugged into my laptop..

I had disabled the thingy in the menu that STOPS you from releasing the shutter without a flashcard..

Doh! True story!.

D..

Comment #8

Ben Brooks wrote:.

Sounds like you don't have a flash unit for your camera, other thanthe on board one? If that is the case, your best bet is to not usethe onboard flash, as it will not be flattering at all..

This would be hard to shoot anywhere but outdoors if you are notgoing to be using a flash....

In addition, using light inside from a window or glass door can be sensational. Don't discount that source of light. It's a large, soft directional source of light that can wrap around your subject while letting you capture some ratio across the face..

I got my wife to look out our bedroom window and took this one (even if I then modified it heavily in Photoshop)..

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I really need to reprocess to lift the highlights, but I'm sure you get the idea. I could have got her to turn more towards me for a short lighting effect where the near side of her face is darker and the far (narrower) side of her face is brighter. Plenty of options there..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Fuji F10..

Comment #9

4honor wrote:.

Thanks for the reply. I do not have an external flash, so I think Iwill do outdoor shoots. But shouldn't I still use the onboard flashas fill light? Plus, she has that darker style, so should I just gofor the high contrast style?.

It's good that you're asking, but it looks like you need to do some homework about lighting. Books are generally more focused and informative than online sources, but google for portrait lighting and see what you find for free online. Most will probably cover studio/indoor lighting, but some of the principles translate ok to outside, plus you're bound to find some that cover outside portrait lighting all the same..

If you see examples in DPR posts and want to know how to do the same thing, just ask the poster, who hopefully will be happy to share..

A reflector (white is safe) will give you a much better result than onboard flash for fill light, but a reflector is harder to manage unless you have someone to help..

I can only try to guess what you mean by high contrast style. Can you point out some examples? Even if you know what you mean, you have to understand what the light is doing in order to be able to create the results you're after..

Figure out where the light is coming from and where it's going to illuminate your subject. Look at the suject from where the light originates to see what the light sees. Consider how large the light source is to determine how far the light will wrap around your subject and how soft the shadows will be. Think about how to achieve a 2nd light source by using a reflector..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Fuji F10..

Comment #10

Not had chance to read all replies, but planning is a key factor..

Get loads of photos of different poses off the net and print them out large thumb nail size, so she can pick which she wants. Try to find a few props, like a guitar, an umbrella, a hat, a toy gun etc (if thats your/her thing).Take the photos out doors, but hopefully not in direct sunlight.If you have no choice but direct sunlight, then dont have her facing into it.Use a reflector for unsightly shadows (you may need a helper here)..

Go for comfortable safe shots, and not arty or sexy ones, as they may make her feel uncomfortable.try to go where there wont be anyone else, to save her (and your) embarressment..

Believe me, you WILL soon run out of ideas when your out there, so make sure you plan your poses and what you want before hand..

Here are a few of mine....

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Matt Simpson.

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Comment #11

Just my 2 cents. I'd get a strobe and use it off camera as both a fill light and as a primary source at times. I'd get a Gary Fong diffuser for it. Canon has several good ones..

As others have said, stay with the longest focal lengths you have. Her face is somewhat elongated so you might not want to emphasize that. Strong sidelighting might also not be as attractive on this model as others..

The use of reflectors by an assistant might be valuable, especially since you don't use a strobe..

I'd shoot raw and burn up a good bit of memory, so you have plenty to choose from later..

Here's my model. LOL Lot's of sidelight..

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Comment #12

Thanks for the photo examples, they help a lot. I think I will bring a white cardboard with me just maybe I can use it... I guess I am gonna go research some poses so I won't run out... Any more suggestions are welcome!..

Comment #13

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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