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Old Jan 31, 2010, 1:41 PM   #11
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Shanghai, China
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I accompanied my daughter (who models in London & Shanghai) on a shoot whilst in Hong Kong recently. It was done at night in downtown Central (very few people around but all the lights were still on) and it was very enlightening for me - I took the opportunity to take a few shots of the photographer shooting the models ( I didn't use flash for 99% of the time so as not to disturb them) too ! I'll post a few of these HK photos later.

Firstly he got the models (my daughter and a male model) involved by showing them the photos and getting them to suggest alternatives or he would point out errors and then describe what he wanted, and also used this time to get them to suggest how they thought they could improve the shoot. My daughter later told me this was great because some photographers are aloof or nervous and unwilling to involve the models.

Secondly wear old clothes ! The photographer spent as much time on the ground as he did standing / crouching. Varying your angle / perspective will give you a much wider variety of shots.

Thirdly, they changed locations frequently - probably as many as 12 - 15 locations all over Central Hong Kong (all within easy walking distance) over the 5 hours of the shoot. He had scoped the scenes in advance and knew exactly what he wanted.

Fourthly, he had an assistant with a lamp, metered the scene then positioned the assistant with the lamp. I noticed he ALWAYS took a few sample shots to get the exposure right (which he then immediately deleted) before shooting for real. Then re-checked, re-positioned, re-shot.

Finally, some tips from my daughter ! She says that the model should actually wear MORE make-up than she normally would do (for example the eyes are heavily made up) because it won't look over-done in the shoot. Get your model to check out model poses in locations in magazines that may mirror your location, maybe she won't then be so self conscious (you could even take a few fashion magazines with you that have poses you would like her to imitate). Let her choose the clothes she wants to wear (it's not a pro fashion shoot after all) - as she will then feel more comfortable.

By the way, just my opinion, I would shoot as sharp as possible, you can always soften in PP but it's tough to get the eyes sharp if they weren't photographed that way to begin with !

Hope you all have fun !
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 8:49 PM   #12
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Frogfish made a great point. With model shots, the eyes should be the focal point in most cases. You can sharpen things in PP but eyes have a tendency to be difficult to do so try to keep the eye line sharp. And as many of us have stated, have fun with it and you'll do great!
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