During the weekend I got together with another photographer, Susanna Honkasalo and we went shooting some fall colors (in finnish they have a word for it “ruska”). Also another girl joined the session, she will be our model. I never met her before, this was the first time I will do a photo shoot of a person that I never met before.
Shooting friends is easy, you know how to get them relaxed and usually you don’t mind in giving orders and suggesting things. But shooting a totally stranger has challenges. Luckily Emma was a lovely and easy going girl, so it was really easy. But at the beginning everybody was a little big uncomfortable, she was tense and I was not able to get a nice pose.
In some previous post I talked about how to make a model feel comfortable, so I won’t repeat myself again. But I will add some more things that I didn’t realize when I was shooting my friends. For example trying to get to know your model, ask them questions try to understand what they do and what they like. This I didn’t do that much with my model, by the end of the photo shoot she was more relaxed after having a coffee together and talking about random stuff.
Another thing is to tell them how good they look, it was quite huge the change in her expressions when you mention how pretty or good looking they are and how great are the pictures. Making them laugh is always good, because I don’t like fake picture smiles, so I try to say something stupid and they laugh. You have to be careful and don’t say something too funny that makes your model totally crazy, its hard to get back to focus after that. I am really good at saying stupid things, but sometimes too stupid
Another important thing is to direct the model, not only by giving oral instructions but by posing and showing what you want to them. Sometimes is hard to give directions to someone I don’t know, but then I think about it and I like that photographers give me instructions, its hard to be in the other side of the lens. So don’t be afraid and direct your model. Also try to be creative and get fun pictures (I have to say that there are not a lot of crazy poses from my photo shoot… I realized that after looking at the pictures). One good tip I learnt, people feel more comfortable when they have something to do with their hands, so make them do something, touch the hair, pose the hands some where.
Other more practical things to have into account are all the tips that Niki Strbian gave in her portraits session. I learnt a lot about the light and how it impact in the face. It was the first time I was using a reflector for making the portraits, and I love it! The filling effect is amazing, just place the subject with the sun 45 degrees in their back and use a reflector to light the face, the result is lovely!
When editing my pictures I had to delete some good pictures because the light was coming from a side and the face was in the shadow but there were some drops of light in the face, so be careful when taking portraits that the whole face is in the shadow and there are not spots of light there. In other parts of the body is not a problem, but in the face is not good.
Also be careful and always focus on the eyes, catch light and focus in the eyes makes the pictures a live. I still have a lot of work to do and to learn, but I think technically my pictures are improving a lot from my other photo shoots (Nela and Agustina). But the poses in the other photo shoot where much fun, maybe because those were my friends. I find it so fun to make portraits of people, its so fun!
All the pictures :