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      04-01-2013, 12:15 AM   #1
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Tips for shooting (photographing) people

Hey guys, up until this point the only things that I have photographed were items: cars, guns, the occasional buildings etc. But aside from snapping casual family photos a few times, I have never really photographed people. I have a few models scheduled for a shoot, and I'm going to give it a crack, does anyone have any tips for me, please note that photography is a very new hobby of mine, and I'm very green.
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      04-01-2013, 01:12 AM   #2
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Be assertive and commanding. If you can't control your models you wont get anything done. I personally hate photographing people, but sometimes it is part of my job. Groups are the worst though. If the models are good and you talk about what you want out of the shoot they might be able to help and give you options on different poses on their own.

Do some research for what you are shooting to get an idea for a variety of poses. You can tell that sometimes the photographer has no idea what they were doing because every photo looks the same. Maxim photographers are pretty bad at this. I've seen a few magazines where the female celebrity (who is an actress/singer and not a model) does the same damn pose in every shot and they just change the background and wardrobe. Think sitting, one arm between legs, slight squint and mouth slightly open.
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      04-01-2013, 01:45 AM   #3
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      04-01-2013, 03:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate4641 View Post
Be assertive and commanding. If you can't control your models you wont get anything done. I personally hate photographing people, but sometimes it is part of my job. Groups are the worst though. If the models are good and you talk about what you want out of the shoot they might be able to help and give you options on different poses on their own.

Do some research for what you are shooting to get an idea for a variety of poses. You can tell that sometimes the photographer has no idea what they were doing because every photo looks the same. Maxim photographers are pretty bad at this. I've seen a few magazines where the female celebrity (who is an actress/singer and not a model) does the same damn pose in every shot and they just change the background and wardrobe. Think sitting, one arm between legs, slight squint and mouth slightly open.
Thanks a lot for the tips man!
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      04-03-2013, 11:18 AM   #5
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If its a head shot, prefocus on the eyeballs, then compose. If its a wider shot, prefocus on the face then recompose. Use thin DOF, but not too much (f2.8).
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      04-03-2013, 11:21 AM   #6
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Trendy sells, so look at popular magazines to get an idea. Are you shooting against a back drop? or at a location? What's your lighting setup?
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      04-07-2013, 12:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trijicon View Post
Trendy sells, so look at popular magazines to get an idea. Are you shooting against a back drop? or at a location? What's your lighting setup?
I'm doing a back drop with some studio lighting that I bought, first time shooting with this setup.
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      04-08-2013, 12:52 AM   #8
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      04-08-2013, 05:23 PM   #9
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post up the work you end up shooting & dont be afraid to be critiqued! It's the only way to push yourself further!
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      04-16-2013, 03:11 AM   #10
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I did the shoot tonight I think I got some really good shots, I will post some after I watermark/copyright them.
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      04-17-2013, 06:01 AM   #11
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Here are a few of the pics, I took over 800 so it was hard to choose some to show.











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      04-17-2013, 03:23 PM   #12
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For everyday people shooting.. EYE's! Everything else can be slightly blurry, but if you get their eyes you might still have a good shot.

Get a 50mm prime lens pronto. 1.8 or below. You can pick them up dirt cheap and they take great people shots (especially faces).

For the type of shots you are posting, it's more about lighting than anything (which can get expensive), composing your model and having a good background. You have a lot of harsh lighting going on in the shots and they are not very sharp. Also, the backgrounds are pretty bad. Place your model further away from the backdrops, step back some, and zoom in on your subject. This will likely blur the background some.

Ladies tend to like long lenses as it compresses the image down and makes them appear slimmer.. that's why the 70-200mm f2 lenses are so popular.

Shoot heavier subjects from the top down to slim them down, and place heavier people in the center of group shots if you using even a slightly wide angled lens.

If you are on a budget, check out collapsible reflectors (https://www.google.com/search?q=came...w=1680&bih=886) Even if you only have one camera flash/strobe/light source, you can use them as fill light. Use these during day light shots as well, to fill in the harsh light.

Built in flash is always horrible.

In low light shots and you need to use a flash , get a speedlight with a swivel head, rotate it backwards so it points behind you (or points to a wall or something that will reflect light).. bump your ISO up to 800, F4-5.6, and it will dramatically improve indoor low light shots.

You can also buy (or make your own) beauty dishes as well.

If your camera has the ability, you can remotely fire off multiple speedlights to create some cool effects or properly light a subject. Get some cheap umbrellas and light stands.

Once you get the hang of lighting a scene/subject, look into getting some Einsteins or other high power strobes with some pocket wizards to go pro.

http://www.paulcbuff.com/e640.php

Finally, visit sites like http://digital-photography-school.com/. They have a ton of tutorials, photo challenges, tips and tricks in their newsletters, etc.
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      04-19-2013, 12:35 AM   #13
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1. Know your camera's ergonomics - When your on a session time passes by very quickly. So especially if you're outdoors, you need to be able to move fast to grab the best light(magic hour). Manual is ALWAYS the best(and a must, if your shooting anywhere into the sun), although AV mode can work for beginners. Learn the exposure triangle(shutter speed, aperture, and ISO), and practice adjusting on the fly in manual. Be familiar with the buttons on your camera...doi*. Besides shutter and stop, I most frequently use the spot focus point, moving it around to create different composition framing.

2. Shoot in RAW - The editing opportunity with RAW, far outweighs the inconvenience.

3. Shot Technicals - Exposure, Histogram, and Focus. Nail these 3 things! The first two take practice in manual. The third is hit and miss due to operator error and AF error.

4. Shoot A LOT of frames - Memory is cheap, use it. In a 2 hour session, I can easily produce 600 images. Pause only to review in camera playback to check exposure/Histogram. I normally at least take 2 shots per pose, to ensure I hit focus.

5. Learn to EDIT - I use LR and CS5. If you do portraits, then the Portraiture plug-in for LR is Amazing(you have no idea until you use it). Setup action in CS5. etc etc.. Creating your editing workflow is the single most time consuming aspect of digital photography. Editing is what WILL separate you from the others, LEARN IT.

If I had to break it down, I would say that, to create great images that are 80% better than most semi-pro photographers.... it is 30% Shot technicals, 50% Editing, and 20% composition. Meaning; if you can shoot in focus and at exposure, Edit well... then you will be better than 80% of the "others". That final 20% is what moves you into the upper echelon, and is rooted in experience.

Tips for creative composition?; Join Flickr or 500px and do some research. Find images that look really well, then ask yourself how they could look any better. Write down your ideas! I will sometimes bring prepared notes I have written about certain poses that I want or angles. Again... when your on a session, and time is of the essence... that stuff can go right out the window. Be PREPARED.

Good luck!!
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      04-28-2013, 09:53 AM   #14
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King, those are pretty strong poses, particularly the first one. All need work on the skin and the first BG needs the folds and wrinkles removed or diffused.

The first has perfect lighting on the boobs, which are the most important element there. I'd play a little with how the top of the head is cut off, maybe cutting a little more to make it look like it wasn't an accident. I'd remove one of the moles on her right boob, or maybe even both. Still, she's probably is a great model that made it easy for you, but you got a good reaction from her.

I don't like the 2d pose. It looks cliche' to me. Skin tones and textures need a good bit of work.

I love the lighting on the abs in the 3d shot. Once again, there are annoying folds in the BG. If you have one with her left eye showing, I think it would be stronger. I think a light looking down on the front of her hair would have added.

The 4th is a neat pose, that I like a lot. Folds on the BG and the bottom part of her mask are annoying. The bigger problem is that the right and left eyes have different light. Her right brow is darker to a really large amount vs. her left eye.

In this kind of work, the PP finishing is almost as important as the shooting. You've created some strong raw materials, but it's expected that your finished images will actually make your models look even better than they already do.

You might "polish" one and repost.

Dave
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      04-29-2013, 11:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcstep View Post
King, those are pretty strong poses, particularly the first one. All need work on the skin and the first BG needs the folds and wrinkles removed or diffused.

The first has perfect lighting on the boobs, which are the most important element there. I'd play a little with how the top of the head is cut off, maybe cutting a little more to make it look like it wasn't an accident. I'd remove one of the moles on her right boob, or maybe even both. Still, she's probably is a great model that made it easy for you, but you got a good reaction from her.

I don't like the 2d pose. It looks cliche' to me. Skin tones and textures need a good bit of work.

I love the lighting on the abs in the 3d shot. Once again, there are annoying folds in the BG. If you have one with her left eye showing, I think it would be stronger. I think a light looking down on the front of her hair would have added.

The 4th is a neat pose, that I like a lot. Folds on the BG and the bottom part of her mask are annoying. The bigger problem is that the right and left eyes have different light. Her right brow is darker to a really large amount vs. her left eye.

In this kind of work, the PP finishing is almost as important as the shooting. You've created some strong raw materials, but it's expected that your finished images will actually make your models look even better than they already do.

You might "polish" one and repost.

Dave


Thank's for the tips ,and critique Dave. I agree that the backgrounds are pretty rough, thankfully I took a lot of shots on a green screen so I can get rid of most of my backgrounds, as for the ones with the black backdrops I need to edit them, I'm new to this hobby so it will take a little practice to get used to perfecting the editing process.
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      05-02-2013, 08:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tekademic View Post
3. Shot Technicals - Exposure, Histogram, and Focus. Nail these 3 things! The first two take practice in manual. The third is hit and miss due to operator error and AF error.
+1 for technicals.. read up on the exposure triangle and learn to read your histogram.. Check out:
http://digital-photography-school.co...roper-exposure
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      05-02-2013, 08:07 PM   #17
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Check out the articles here:
http://digital-photography-school.co...for-beginners/

and then here:
http://digital-photography-school.co...position-tips/

I cannot give this site enough credit-- I learned a ton from reading through their articles.
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      05-02-2013, 08:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tekademic View Post
1. Know your camera's ergonomics - When your on a session time passes by very quickly. So especially if you're outdoors, you need to be able to move fast to grab the best light(magic hour). Manual is ALWAYS the best(and a must, if your shooting anywhere into the sun), although AV mode can work for beginners. Learn the exposure triangle(shutter speed, aperture, and ISO), and practice adjusting on the fly in manual. Be familiar with the buttons on your camera...doi*. Besides shutter and stop, I most frequently use the spot focus point, moving it around to create different composition framing.

2. Shoot in RAW - The editing opportunity with RAW, far outweighs the inconvenience.

3. Shot Technicals - Exposure, Histogram, and Focus. Nail these 3 things! The first two take practice in manual. The third is hit and miss due to operator error and AF error.

4. Shoot A LOT of frames - Memory is cheap, use it. In a 2 hour session, I can easily produce 600 images. Pause only to review in camera playback to check exposure/Histogram. I normally at least take 2 shots per pose, to ensure I hit focus.

5. Learn to EDIT - I use LR and CS5. If you do portraits, then the Portraiture plug-in for LR is Amazing(you have no idea until you use it). Setup action in CS5. etc etc.. Creating your editing workflow is the single most time consuming aspect of digital photography. Editing is what WILL separate you from the others, LEARN IT.

If I had to break it down, I would say that, to create great images that are 80% better than most semi-pro photographers.... it is 30% Shot technicals, 50% Editing, and 20% composition. Meaning; if you can shoot in focus and at exposure, Edit well... then you will be better than 80% of the "others". That final 20% is what moves you into the upper echelon, and is rooted in experience.

Tips for creative composition?; Join Flickr or 500px and do some research. Find images that look really well, then ask yourself how they could look any better. Write down your ideas! I will sometimes bring prepared notes I have written about certain poses that I want or angles. Again... when your on a session, and time is of the essence... that stuff can go right out the window. Be PREPARED.

Good luck!!
Beautiful shot by the way!
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      05-07-2013, 11:18 AM   #19
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Thanks for the great advice guys!
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