Avoiding screw-ups while shooting
Before beginning a photography session with a female model (they're not professional models - mostly students of mine or people I know), various issues already have been addressed and mostly resolved. Included are:
I photographed Deborah on the roof of her apartment. As she experimented with a variety of poses, these were some of my “be sure” concerns:
- be sure her head and body are backed only by the dark area of the actual roof
- be sure her hair is arranged well
- be sure her head is tilted up enough for skylight to illuminate her eyes
- be sure nobody on the ground wanders into the shot
- be sure any slight compositional changes I make from shot to shot don’t contain any distracting elements
- be sure she does not slide off the roof
- be sure I do not slide off the roof
- and, of course, be sure her expressions and body positions are interesting
Here’s something I often miss. Deborah was moving around on the sofa, trying out some poses. As she slid down the pillow, friction kept the back of her hair from moving with her. The result was this odd hairdo. When I do notice this problem, I’ll have the model tilt her head forward, smooth down her hair with my hand, and then have her return her head to the pillow.
Meredith was standing between her two living room windows. This meant me keeping an eye on what was happening outdoors, being sure no changes occurred that might hurt the shot. I also had to be careful how I positioned my camera so that reflections from the strobes would not appear in the windows.
This was one of the few times I used a tripod to photograph a model. I had liked the placement of the camera and knew I wouldn’t want to move it for the remainder of the time we'd be shooting here. With the camera on a tripod, therefore, the composition would be set. I could then focus my attention more fully on the model and to other elements in the scene. Adeline, mostly on her own, was coming up with some great poses and expressions. My concern was her placement in the frame. First, I wanted nothing but the wall behind her. Second, I didn’t want the shower caddy or hanging brush, on the right, to appear to be touching her body. Third, I wanted to control what proportion of the shower door was covering what proportion of her body. Not having to handhold the camera allowed me more time to attend to these concerns.
It’s my palm Joanna is touching. That meant I was holding the camera and photographing with only one hand. As I shot, I kept watch on all that surrounded her, being sure that:
- her legs stayed between the toilet paper and toilet tank
- a good view of her face appeared in the mirror
- her hand was positioned gracefully on my hand
- the camera was held fairly level
Information for improving your
Finding The Shot
Focus And Blur
Lighting The Subject