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My very first ever model photoshoot: Natalie, Set 01! Opinions please!

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by jambaj0e, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    816
    Aug 31, 2010
    Link to my Photoshoot Set 01

    It's my first time @ shooting in a model photoshoot. The model is the lovely Natalie Romero and I'm using the E-PL1 with the 14-42mm kit lens. Shot in RAW+jpeg and post processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.2.

    What do you guys think?? Comments, praise and criticisms =D


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    5078014200_4690e57a4f_b. 5078014332_2d0f1b9d48_b.

    5077419895_6df58dcfd6_b. 5078015680_3735d2fbaa_b.

    5077420527_6d710d3a03_b. 5078016204_7499f6a67f_b.

    5078016888_c04ff6de6e_b. 5078016302_871c78b0d5_b.
     
  2. cstevens

    cstevens Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Feb 11, 2010
    UK
    To me only the last bottom right works....and even that is a bit debatable with that glamour hands in face way (hand ruin a picture as much as missing them off do).

    Lighting wise the ones on the wall look good and you did well, the ones with greenary add nothing to the image and you need to watch the backgrounds (seating area in background really detracts as does branches across her hair).

    My biggest issue with this is the posing, and the look of the face, you could have done with cracking a few jokes with her, get a smile out of her, she looks a very attractive lady but looks almost angry in some of them.

    Other than that watch not to cut her hands out of most of the shots. A good attempt though mate, I remember how nerve wracking shooting models was to me in the early days.

    ALSO you might want to have marked your post NSFW (opening this at work and being presented with large bikini images is going to get some folk into trouble).
     
  3. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    She has the most awful sneer on her face : in almost all shots.
    I'm sure its de-rigeur to describe all models as 'lovely' and such, but there's no need : their beauty should speak for itself.
    Thanks for posting the pictures, I have no knowledge as to the quality of the photographs but I can confidently say that with a variety of more interesting facial expressions these'd be a great glamour set.
     
  4. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I hope this doesn't come across as harsh. My first inclination was "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" and I was going to move on. I'm offering these only to be supportive.

    Technically, I think the pictures are exposed pretty well. Lighting wise, it's not very interesting lighting. There's little drama, leading away from "glamour" and more towards "fashion" but the model is not helping here. The outfit is odd (the minnie mouse bow, with the bra and the jeans) and the sneering look is pretty off-putting. She also seems to have one main look "stick out your chest and sneer"

    You should think about post production work, as well. In the last shot, her arm is pretty hairy, and distracting. Unless there's some reason you want to make a statement with the dark hair on her arm, you should work to smooth that out a bit.

    Hope that helps in your next go-round, and please post some from your next shoot.
     
  5. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    I'm sorry but the facial expressions do nothing for me. She seems quite 'negative' whereas I suspect you were aiming for 'edgy'. I'd like to see her smile as she is an attractive lass. Don't be put off - keep at it and perhaps share the mood you were trying to capture.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes.. please.. Good thing I'm in the office before anyone else.
     
  7. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    780
    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    Peter
    They are nice pictures and lovely exposures but that model seems very unhappy and I am sure is thinking "Just give me my $50 and I will be out of here".
     
  8. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    816
    Aug 31, 2010
    Whoa, I woke up to a bunch of "I hate sneers" and other harsh comments? Really? Whenever I see models (Import models, designer fashion magazine ads/spreads like GQ) I see more shots where they don't smile.

    Funny thing is that her and the other 4 models are fun and all loved working w/ me. They all asked to be added as friends on Facebook the same day.

    Well, this was from a photoshoot workshop that I attended, where they provide the models, lighting/studio equipment, and location. I just show up with the camera and shoot. So it wasn't like I hired her or the other 4 models, nor do I dictate their wardrobe, makeup, and hairstyle.


    Having said that, I guess if you guys can comment on other things besides her sneer, hairy arms, or "unhappyness", that will be great. All have been noted repeatedly, I'd like to hear about other comments.
     
  9. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Thamks for responding.
    'Not smiling' is different.
    If only you'd told us this earlier : most of the comments which you find too harsh would have been deflected by the realisation that YOU could have done very little to change them.
     
  10. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I apologize if I offended with my comments. I would have made the same comments regardless of who chose the wardrobe and models, as I am commenting on the results, not you as the photographer. I did try to make some positive comments on the exposure, which was very good.

    Next time I think I'll go with my first impulse and say nothing at all, but I would be careful posting a call for "comments, praise and criticism" if all you were looking for was positive feedback.

    Good luck, keep shooting and keep posting, but do be careful -- you sometimes get what you ask for!
     
  11. antithetic

    antithetic Mu-43 Regular

    150
    Jun 7, 2010
    City of Angels
    Compositional-wise maybe some different crops to remove some of the more distracting elements like the telephone pole and the green chair. It probably wasn't possible but maybe different positioning of the model so the background elements would be farther out to allow for the person to stand out more.

    Browsing the EXIF for a few of the images in your flickr photostream, I noticed many of the pictures were taken around 14-18mm. In my experience, I find shooting at the longer end of the kit lens shows better proportions for people and opt for the PL 45-200mm vs Oly lens.

    The exposure seems spot on and far better than I can manage.
     
  12. cstevens

    cstevens Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Feb 11, 2010
    UK
    Actually, I was very polite, I work with models on a very frequent basis of varying degrees of experince, so I am quite well placed to make comments.

    Regardless of the situation, YOU are the photographer and its YOUR job to interact with that model. When photographing models, you are the one in control of not just the lighting, the camera, but also the poses and the expressions.

    There is little or no connection in these photos with the viewer. You are correct that on many commercial shots a model does not look at the camera, but there is a difference between looking off camera and just looking angry.

    I gave you valid advice, on both the models look and the hands, I think you have 1 fairly good photo here, but all too often people think shooting a pretty girl against a wall is all thats required when there is a lot more to that.

    Working with models is a skill like anything to be learnt, and believe me its a harder skill to learn than using your camera.

    I am sorry you feel hard done by, but I also commented that your lighting was pretty good, but as you say even that was setup for you?

    If you want some advice (not sure you do) when shooting models again, KEEP talking - even if its crap, just KEEP talking - you need a connection with her. And posing is EASY just get her to move things, you say you look in fashion glossys so you should know what looks good?

    Dont give up, but equally if you dont want to get better dont post and ask for comments, there was someone on here before who starting working with models and he got better quite quickly.

    I think 40% of your problem here was the model, but then you could have changed that a bit, a girl looking happy in that outfit or even pouting would have nailed some of these.

     
  13. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    816
    Aug 31, 2010

    I tried to blur background to remove the green shrubs. Is it better to be at wide end of the lens at 14mm f2.8 or zoomed In a bit with a higher f stop to get a better bokeh with the zoom lens?
     
  14. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Video that's on-topic. The post is about the new Panny m43 video camera, but the video (shot with the Panny video cam) is of a fashion photographer, though he's a bit quiet here.

    Any rate, thought it'd be on-topic. The video is safe for work in the first half, but maybe not the second half.

    http://www.43rumors.com/first-panasonic-ag-af100-footage/
     
  15. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    The 14-42 kit lens is not a tool to provide blurred backgrounds I'm afraid : neither at short or long end, it hasn't a big enough aperture.
    (Not impossible, but better lenses do that job better.)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. JoeFriday

    JoeFriday Mu-43 Regular

    88
    Jun 28, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    my thoughts have pretty much all been said already, but I'll just comment to support the others.

    Your exposure is good. Lighting is very bland. I'm not sure how I could tell you to improve that, altho assistants with reflectors would probably help here.

    and yes, her facial expression is a sneer. It's the way she is showing teeth that doesn't work for us. She doesn't have to smile, but here she looks afraid and protective. Not what I would choose, even in an edgy photoshoot. Also, female models should generally have their chin down rather than up to make them look more approachable.

    The outfit is a bit amateurish, I'm afraid. Sort of what you would see a young woman wearing in her 'look at me, I'm hot' facebook photos. She's a beautiful woman and could pull off various different looks (perhaps a loose fitting sheer blouse over her bra) with her body on a 3/4 pose with her face turned another direction.

    But I do see a lot of potential, so don't take this criticism to mean give it up. Just try to work on some of the issues we see. That's why you asked, right? :)

    And yes, you definitely need a different lens to blur out the background (assuming you want to do that, and I would have in most of these shots).

    I would also suggest, if you want to go with the 'edgy' look rather than fashion style, to have the final images in black and white format with slightly more contrasty light.
     
  17. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    780
    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    Peter
    You can look pleasant and even happy without smiling. The model in question just looked as though she was going through the paces and wasn't particularly happy. While I didn't use the term, "sneering" it is a very good description.

    WTW, technically there is nothing particularly wrong with your photos as far as I am concerned. They look fine. It is the model.
     
  18. JoeFriday

    JoeFriday Mu-43 Regular

    88
    Jun 28, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Just for comparison sake, here's a link to a flickr gallery of a portrait/model photographer that I really admire (altho I don't necessarily like all of her work)

    CAUTION: NSFW (there are some nudes, but its all artistic and tastefully done, IMHO).. there's also an equal amount of classic model poses with studio lights and edgy on site photography

    Flickr: Angharad Segura's Photostream
     
  19. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    574
    Aug 16, 2010
    Australia
    It is the photographer's job to interact with the model, to get the results that he/she is after. Unfortunately, in this series, the model has an expression that, to me, suggests there is a bad smell. And this ruins most of these images for me. The only one that works for me is the one where she doesn't have that expression - #8. (And that's not a bad result - you don't expect to walk away from a portrait shoot with all keepers - there are a lot of throwaways).

    And just for the record - this is not to hurt the OP's feelings, or a criticism of his camera-handling skills. It is how these images come across. He asked for opinions from others on this board, not for unconditional praise.
     
  20. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
    I have a strong preference for capturing either completely candid shots or shots that look candid. That said, this is about working with a model, and most model shots look posed. I haven't done photo shoots with any models, but I have taken life drawing and painting.

    I think the challenge of using a model is to try to capture the best they have to offer while minimizing any issues they have -- recognizing that some of that can be post-processed out.

    The others are right about her facial expression: it's an issue in some of the shots.

    Shot one: branch in front of hair is distracting. Part of her arm being out of frame is distracting -- she's off-center, but not quite enough to feel artful. This is one of the shots where her expression works better than in other shots.

    Shot two: sorry, she looks like she's in pain. The pose is okay, the green chairs are distracting; wooden chairs in back are less distracting.

    Shot three: she's trying a bit hard here, but the composition is better than in the prior two.

    Shot four: you'd need more of her body for this composition to work. I'm always disconcerted when a shot ends at a woman's wrists, it makes me immediately wonder what's up with her hands.

    Shot five: I like most of the composition, don't like her facial expression, and would like to see either more or less at the bottom end of the shot -- slicing it right there doesn't work for me.

    Shot six: works for me except for expression.

    Shot seven: my spidey senses are tingling! I don't like this shot -- it's got too much wall, awkward position, and the pole on the left is distracting.

    Shot eight: works more than most but I'd like to see a bit more of her face; she feels a bit anonymous in this shot.

    Shot nine: need more space above her hair and a better expression, but otherwise okay.

    Shot ten: I don't like this position at all. Too close on the left edge, don't like the pose or the expression.