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Old Jul 14, 2006, 2:02 PM   #1
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I posed this question in another thread but decided to give it its own.

Will you share yourtips/tricks of the trade on giving subjects direction onfacial expressions? There arevery few resources out there on this topic.It's easy to get someone to smile, even to laugh....but what are your tricks for getting good solemn, wistful, serious shots without the deer in headlights look? Can apply to either professional models or portrait clients.

looking fwd to having folks weigh in on this!
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Old Jul 15, 2006, 11:35 PM   #2
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urbanaries wrote:
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I posed this question in another thread but decided to give it its own.

Will you share yourtips/tricks of the trade on giving subjects direction onfacial expressions? There arevery few resources out there on this topic.It's easy to get someone to smile, even to laugh....but what are your tricks for getting good solemn, wistful, serious shots without the deer in headlights look? Can apply to either professional models or portrait clients.

looking fwd to having folks weigh in on this!
It's more a matter of comfort than direction (unless the model is a Professional, then it's all direction).

Most models are girls wanting to try modeling...hardly any of them have the drive to do what it really takes to make it in the commercial modeling world...at least 5'9" tall, size 1-4, willing to move (or have the resources to do so) to NYC, Miami, LA or Chicago (& this is ususally when they are 14 -16), plus have the drive to get agents & make themselves go thru the daily grind of training/lessons, go-sees, casting calls & rejection.

So, we're back to comfort & how good they want their images to look. My best models (at the very least) have taken the idea of going through magazines, ripping out pictures & practicing them in front of a mirror before a shoot. I tell all of them & maybe 5% do it...the rest have to get use to you and my trick is to have fun.

My shoots are ususally a running conversation between myself & the model. Up front, I try to give them an idea of the shooting goal and get a feel for how comfortable they are shooting in front of their companion (I insist they bring one the 1st time). If they can't get comfortable, I send the companion into the next room (to watch TV or something). Anyway, the coversation runs along the lines of what they like, do & want from their pics. I don't make them pose, I just generally tell them how to sit, why I'm setting my lights a certain way & joke around with them. I stay ready to get the shot & am prepared that it might take 3 sessions before they start getting the hang of it.

My tip-of-the-day....them looking mad is only one step away from them looking sexy (telling them to look mad works, telling them to look sexy ususally won't). Of course, YMMV......
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 4:34 AM   #3
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I agree with Kalypso. Comfort is the #1 requirement.

I'm not a pro, but from my experience, that 'serious' look is only appropriate for some poses. When you say deer in headlights, I imagine me behind the wheel and seeing the deer looking right at me. Try making your subject look somewhere else.

Also try to give a story to your photo... Sounds odd and artistic, but it could help your model create an expression. IE tell your model to think about when their pet died... or something depressing... It'll make it easier for them to recreate a serious expression... But maybe this method isn't right for models that are total strangers... :roll: ...

I think there are few resources because it's really hard to make a tutorial and different people do model shots differently. You just start to get a feeling once you've taken a lot of photos.


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