Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Practice shoot

A few months ago, an old high school friend of mine, Kristin, told me that she's dying to get started in photography.  I know the feeling, because when I first started, that's all I could think about.  I'd have trouble sleeping at night because all I could think was different ways to pose people and different shoots I could do.  So when I made plans to go home for Thanksgiving, I told her I'd be happy to do a practice shoot with her.  Now I'm not saying I'm ready to give seminars and stuff, so please don't get me wrong, but I figured sharing what I know is better than nothing.  So we found a model, this sweet and GORGEOUS girl, Kayla.  Somehow, neither of us knew Kayla.. which is weird because this is Alexandria, Louisiana.  Everybody knows everybody in this town.  If you don't know somebody, you know someone who does.. which was this case.  When I met her, I found out that she got tattoos with my sister.  Haha, small world.. well, small Alexandria. 
So we went Downtown and shot in a coffee shop, and then headed to the famous Alexandria Ampitheater. 
If you're starting out and interested in photography, I included some tips in this blog that I hope you find helpful.

Natural, indirect lighting is your best source of light.  If you're shooting inside, find a nice big window that's giving off a lot of light.  You don't need to be right next to it, like this.  I just liked her reflection.

She's facing the light from outside, so it's naturally lighting her face. 

Don't be afraid to talk to your model.  Tell her she's gorgeous and that she's doing a great job.  Get excited!  The more comfortable you make her, the better she feels infront of the camera. 

Hello gorgeous eyes! 

We moved outside, and I put Kayla in the direct sun and pointed out that it made shadows on her face.  Then I moved her back into the shadows, so we got the indirect light.  Now there's nothing breaking up her face.  Also, the pavement is acting as a natural reflector, giving her a glow. 

Even when your model isn't sitting below you, always ALWAYS focus on the eyes.  Some people also do the bridge of their nose, but in a close up like this, definitely do the eyes, so they are completely in focus.  Everything else will be slightly or really blurry.  Make sure your aperture is all the way down.  I suggest no higher than a f/1.8 when you are doing portraits.  My absolute favorite portrait lens is the Nikon 35mm f/1.8.  Get it.  Love it.   

I'm a huge fan of sun flares.  It's a taste thing.  I understand not everybody likes it.  If you want sun flares in your pictures, or just good lighting in general, you have to shoot within two hours, or better yet hour and a half to sunset.  When the sun is directly above you, it gives you the worst light of the day.. casting awful shadows on your face.   But when the sun starts to lower, it gives a pretty golden glow.  Depending on how strong the sun is, it's easier to work with, having the model face the sun or have her back to it.

Kristin, you captured my favorite shot of the day.  You rock! 

Kristin and Kayla, you both were such a troopers.  It was FREEZING and yall didn't care.  Thanks so much for putting up with my blabbering.
Kayla, you are a STUNNING girl.  And so super sweet.  Thanks so much for letting us be in your face with our cameras.  You are such a great model.  Totally gorgeous, and I hate you for it.
Kristin, I totally 100% believe this is your calling.  Not only do you have the passion for it, you have the talent too.  And you're learning so quickly!  I can hardly wait to see what your future has in store for you.  You are amazing! 

Kristin also came along for the Cook/Britt wedding and completely kicked butt.  Those pictures will be posted shortly!


Kristin said...

Yay!!! Love this!! Cant wait to see the Britt wedding pics!!!

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