Thoughts on a Modeling Shoot and some lessons learned
Taking pictures of models is hard for me, so I am thankful that some of my contacts sometimes throw mass modeling shoots and I am invited along. Along the way, I get to learn a lot about lighting, and how to take better pictures of people. The Femme LTD modeling shoot in Burien was my third modeling shoot since the early 1980’s, making for an interesting day to go along with that and some important lessons along the way.
Probably the most problematic and this is something I could have controlled was one model who wanted to have permission to post the pictures. I really didn’t think anything of it, and used that model for 2.5 hours of a 7 hour shoot, with hundreds of pictures. It was much to my surprise when she said she didn’t want any of them posted, and was finally able to negotiate them down to some of them being posted as long as she was not in her underwear. Never ever change your model release on the fly; you could end up like me with a few hundred pictures that took a significant amount of time that you suddenly can’t use anywhere. So if any model ever wants to change the model release, just say no, you worked hard on that release and there is nothing worse than having awesome pictures that the model has said you can’t use. It is not worth the lawsuit later on down the road, and this delays my model mayhem debut until next week.
The good part is that I have another model shoot this weekend so I can try to fill those lost pictures in. There is also a huge difference between taking pictures of Caucasians and African Americans, I got to work with my first two African American Models, and both were awesome. However, you have to change lighting and you have to change how you take their pictures. I also learned that a white background can be a detriment in a small crowded space, so the need for a neutral or black background is apparent as I was getting wicked shadows across the background that are hard to filter out without filtering out the Caucasian models.
Yellow light sucks, even when you white balance for it, yellow regular incandescent light bulbs suck and makes shooting in a house difficult. I should have turned off the yellow lights, but didn’t so that is on me. Color corrections across the entire photo shoot along with the white background made for some interesting pictures. You end up bleaching out the whole thing and either going for a soft black and white effect or end up with washed out models with a wicked red shift in the color correction that you really can’t get rid of in lightroom. I ended up either doing my best for color correction on the cool side, or using vignettes and/or black and white treatments to get some of these pictures to come out awesome. But you end up with bleached colors, which does not make for model mayhem quality pictures.
I had a blast though but shooting pictures in someone else’s house with a lot of incandescent light bulbs and a white background with Caucasian models means I have a lot of pictures that require a lot of work. Work I will make time for, but will be a significant amount of work to make them come out usable, not awesome, but something I can use on my own right. You can see one of the heavily modified pictures above.
Good lessons learned, and with a model shoot tomorrow, and then an ongoing project to recreate some of the Ziegfeld Follies pictures later in December will keep me busy. Then a hot car and hot model photo shoot in January, it looks like it is going to be an interesting way of closing out the year. I have a black backdrop, a different way of lighting the set, and if I see regular in house lighting, the first thing I am doing is turning it off. And yes, there will be no more last minute changes to the model release ever and going forward. The bad part is that I also cannot afford to use that model again, because I want to use the pictures I take.
You can see the pictures over here on Smugmug if you want to brave it, they are mostly rushes as I have not had time to clean them all up.