Welcome once again to my blog. I hope that you are all well.
We are now in the middle of storm season, February, 2020 and many people tend to put away their cameras and wait for the good weather to return. However, the bad weather presents as many opportunities for beautiful images as the good weather.
The image above was shot in Doolin, Co. Clare, as a storm arrived. The wave looks spectacular and the people in the image gives us a sense of the size of it. An image of this kind could never be taken during good weather.
However, the image also brings to mind a very important point about photographing bad weather, being safe. Because of the work that I used to do, I was often out at the peak of a storm but I would never venture out with my camera at that point otherwise. With winds gusting at up to 130 kph, falling trees and flying debris are obvious dangers. If you are standing out in it there is also the possibility that you will be knocked over and fall down a cliff, into a river or get badly injured in some other way or worse still, get killed.
At all times, you should exercise caution. Plan your trip, let people know where you are going and when to expect you back. If you are delayed, phone home. Develop a habit of keeping in contact with someone, your spouse, adult child, close friend, etc.
Never take risks. Stand well back from steep edges, river banks, out from under trees or walls (unless you can be sure of them surviving the wind), brace yourself against the wind and keep looking about you, as circumstances change quickly. Avoid the peak of the storm, unless you know somewhere that you will be very safe. When the storm is building or dying you can get spectacular photos without too great a risk.
Most modern cameras are weather resistant but it is worth investing in a cover. There is a range of covers available for very reasonable prices. There is a limit to the amount of rain that your camera and lens can keep out, don't test it.
Don't forget to keep yourself well protected from the rain also. Wear warm, water proof clothing, strong boots and heavy socks. Bring a flask of coffee or tea and something to eat. Prepare for being stuck out there for a few hours and have enough to keep you going.
Fenit lighthouse, Co. Kerry, just before the arrival of heavy rains, ahead of a storm.
If you are using a tripod for your photography it should be weighed down. Modern tripods have a hook or some other system for attaching bags to help steady it in high winds. I also use a wrist strap for my camera and keep it on, so that if the tripod is blown over, I can grab my camera and prevent it hitting the ground.
If you are not using a tripod it will be very difficult to hold the camera steady while standing. I usually squat or go down on one knee to get a shot. Sometimes I use a wall or other solid structure either to brace myself against or to shelter me from the wind. For the top photo I was behind a metre thick poured concrete wall. The wind was only hitting my head. For other photos on the day I used boulders and the van that I was driving for shelter from the wind, while I photographed.
The golden rule is keep yourself safe and keep yourself steady.
This shot was taken in Kilkee during a storm. I used my van to shelter me from the wind and was parked over 30 meters from the edge.
When shooting don't forget that it's vital to avoid camera shake. The tips above about bracing yourself and steadying your tripod will help but you should also consider increasing your ISO rating, especially if shooting hand held.
A good guide to use is that your shutter speed should be at least the inverse of your lens or faster. That is to say that if you are shooting with a 100 mm lens, your shutter speed should be at a minimum 1/100 sec. You may be able to achieve this speed with a low ISO but storms often tend to be deceptively dark and higher ratings are needed.
The shots above were shot at ISO 200, 1000 and 100 respectively. The middle shot may look like it needed the lowest ISO but I was shooting with a long lens and the wind was blowing directly at me, making it difficult to avoid the camera pushing up and back. I decided to work on the safe side and not risk loosing the image to camera shake.
For this shot in the Gap of Dunloe, Killarney, Co. Kerry, wind was not a major factor but low light levels were.
During storms or in bad weather generally, low light is a problem. So, to know when to push up your ISO to avoid camera shake and dark images, it is best to use your histogram. The image you see on your LCD is not a good indicator of the final product.
When you view an image on your camera it is also possible to view the histogram. You may need to check your manual for this. In Nikon cameras when an image is displayed you simply either press the scroll button up or down and the histogram will display.
This is a representation of the distribution of pixels at the different levels of brightness. So, if you have a very bright image the pixels are concentrated on the right and for a dark image the are concentrated on the left. For a well exposed image their are towards the centre.
This is the histogram for the image above, as you see it, taken from Photoshop, not the camera. The bottom right corner represents pure white and the bottom left represents pure black. Points in between represent different degrees of brightness. Most of the pixels are to the right, with some on the left, representing the dark sky and mountains in the background. This is a correctly exposed image.
This next histogram is of the same image but darkened in Photoshop, to show how an under exposed image would look. Now there are very little pixels on the right of the histogram and they are concentrated on the left, pushed against the edge. The peak going through the top indicates that there are points where information is lost and can only be represented by pure black, even though there is no pure black in the scene.
This final histogram shows an over exposed version of the same image. Now the pixels are concentrated on the right and the peak has gone through the top, indicating that some pixels will be represented by pure white, even though there is no pure white in the scene.
Where the peak breaks through the top it is not possible to recover information. These points will be represented by pure black or white and not the real colours in the scene.
Adjusting your ISO rating can help solve this problem. Reduce it for over exposed images and increase it for under exposed ones. This assumes that you want to keep your F number constant. Another way is to use your +/- button and tell the camera to either under or over expose the image, as necessary. As we're dealing with landscapes here, I recommend using Aperture Priority and letting the camera adjust the shutter speed.
If you don't know much about using the three settings that control your exposure refer to my blogs on the subject;
Don't be afraid to experiment with your settings and if you're not sure, bracket. That is where you take several shots of the same scene at different settings and then either use the best of blend two or more to get a better representation of the scene. You will be able to set your camera to automatically bracket for you, using three to seven shots, depending on the camera. This setting is available in your menu and as each camera is different, you'll have to check your instruction book.
As the light changes very quickly in bad weather, trying to bracket manually will give you very different images and you could miss that shot you wanted.
This shot was taken on Banna Beach, Co. Kerry, in November, as yet another period of heavy rain arrived on the west coast.
I use spot or centre weighed metering for most of my bad weather images. The reason for this is that light levels vary so much through out a scene and I want to be sure that what I've picked as the focal point is correctly exposed. I'm prepared to loose unimportant detail, if necessary. This, combined with the use of the +/- button gives me the results that I want.
Finally, I shoot in RAW. If your camera can shoot in RAW I recommend that you do for your bad weather shots, indeed, most shots. This gives you great latitude in correcting exposure problems, among other things, that wouldn't be available if you shot in JPEG. The files are much bigger, often ten or more times larger, so you will need plenty of storage but it's worth it in the long run. In the image above, for example, I would have lost most of the detail in the clouds had I shot in JPEG.
I hope that this helps with your bad weather photography and that if you do some, that you do it safely and enjoy it.
Until next time, take care of yourself and those that you love. Keep shooting.
Happy new year everyone.
This is the year of perfect eye sight or perhaps hindsight, who knows?
Hello and welcome once again to my blog. This time I'm going to discuss a model portfolio shoot done with a lady who is not planning on being a model but wanted the experience of doing a model shoot.
Silva had toyed with the idea of being a model when she was in her late teens and early twenties. She had the looks, height and figure to be a model but for some reason decided not to follow up on her idea.
Now, at about 40 she has decided to experience being a model before she gets too old. Of course you're never too old, there's always work available for models of all ages, it's more limited as you age and more in the lifestyle category but the work is there.
As usual, we discussed the style of the images first and I supplied her with samples of the poses I had in mind. I do this by providing a OneDrive folder of images and the model deletes anything she doesn't want to do and can add some of her own also. Most models are happy with my choice and don't upload any samples of their own but it's not a problem if they do, especially in a shoot like this.
The date was decided and I booked a shooting space. Silva was very professional in attitude. She came with a selection of outfits, shoes and jewellery.
As we prepared each shot, we discussed expressions and posture and Silva achieved them easily. Some shots required more than one take, as the lighting had to be adjusted to get the correct effect.
This image is an example of that. Placing the light at the correct height took three attempts. I only had to move it up and down slightly but it wouldn't have worked at the wrong height.
We did a few more unusual poses like this before moving on to a more casual style. Silva wore a long dress for these but the poses were relaxed and indicated someone taking life easy.
Silva also wanted to show here long shapely legs but in a daring style and we came up with the next pose, her favourite, I think.
The last image I'm going to include is my favourite from the shoot. I love the challenging way she looks into the camera. A shot like this, I feel, is very sensual. If a man were to see a woman looking at him in this way his heart would leap and he would get shivers down his spine. She would have irresistible allure and be a daunting challenge at the same time. Silva caught the look perfectly.
Overall, it was a very satisfying shoot for both of us. Silva enjoyed the experience and wants to repeat it some time in the future. Being a model is a very enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Doing it under these circumstances is even more enjoyable.
I got some great images and enjoyed the experience of working with a super model. Had she followed up on her ideas at a younger age no doubt she would have been successful. It's never too late to follow your dream.
Well that's it for this time. Next time out I'm going to discuss a landscape shoot, so if that's your area, make sure to look in. Until next time, take good care of yourself and those you love.
Welcome back. Last time out I wrote about the first part of a model portfolio shoot with Katie. I'll write today about the second half of the shoot.
It's not unusual to divide a portfolio shoot in two or more parts, doing very different styles in each part. Usually, these all happen on the same day, with a short break in between. In Katie's case, we did part one in the late afternoon and part two in studio the following morning.
I've already taken you through the process of deciding what poses we'd use and the lighting for the shoot. I've also covered choosing outfits, hair and makeup in my previous blog, so there's no need to go through it again.
We decided to base this shoot on promotional images of actresses from the golden era of Hollywood. Mostly from the work of George Hurrell. The shot above is based on a Marlene Dietrich shot. It took a bit of acting on Katie's part to get the expression but she was well able to do it. Low key portraiture was new to her and she was surprised at how dark the studio was.
Moving about required huge care as there were cables leading from the lights and stands holding the lights and gobos. The centre of the studio was kept clear but we still had to be very careful. In between shots I put on extra lighting but that was only while we discussed the next pose.
I find it a good idea to have the sample shots open on my laptop to show my subject. It makes it much easier for a model to assume a pose or expression when they can see how others have done it.
Some of the shots from this shoot are used else where on the site, so they may not be new to you. It's worth including them here, in any case, so that you can see how well Katie achieved the poses.
I find that the majority of people can achieve even the most complicated pose, as long as they have seen what it is they are trying to get. That is why I send samples in the first place and keep them available to view during the shoot.
While we got less shots from the second part of the shoot, even though it was the same length, it wasn't a problem. These poses and the lighting were more difficult to achieve. Often the light would have to be moved a little to have it fall exactly where I wanted or to prevent it falling where it's not wanted. It would be moved in increments, one light at the time. I would take a shot after each move to see if I got it correct. Having sorted one light, I would then move the other, again in increments.
Katie had great patience during all of this, having to take a pose several times to just get one finished shot. I think that it was worth it and as she used some of these shots in her portfolio, I think that she did too.
As it happened, the studio shoot took place on one of the hottest days of the year. Sealing out the very bright sunshine was a problem but when achieved, it sealed in the heat and air. We had to take several breaks, to let air into the studio and go out for some fresh air ourselves. Lots of water was needed also.
Just as a point of interest, if you ever wonder what lights were used and their position, look into the eyes of the subject. There you will see the lights reflected out at you. Some photographers edit out one or all but I don't. If you look close you can also make out the modifiers used. Hair and rim lights won't show, as they are behind the subject.
In the last shot you can see that I used two lights. The key (main) light was to Katie's left and the fill light was on her right. There was also a light on her hair but set at it's lowest setting, to just barely illuminate her hair. The purpose of the fill light was to soften the shadows and it was set at half the level of the key light.
So, that's it. Thanks for reading my blog. Until next time, take good care of yourself and those you love. Keep shooting.
Hi and welcome to my blog. This time I'm going to discuss a shoot that I had recently.
Katie was aiming to build up her modelling portfolio and wanted to show a range of styles and poses. So, we decided to divide the shoot in two parts, one on the water front in Limerick and the other in studio. One of the studio shots is on my home page.
To begin with we had to decide on poses and styles. That's when Katie decided that she would like to do an outdoor shoot as part of the overall project. I suggested O'Callaghan's Strand in Limerick because of the range of backgrounds there and the modern look of the buildings in the area, something Katie had expressed an interest in having.
I selected a range of shots to use as a base to plan from. I sent these shots to Katie, in a OneDrive folder and she selected the poses that she liked. I usually send about 40 shots and the model will select about 12 to 15 of these, indicating her preferred six or seven. The model can add some samples of her own as well, she doesn't have to choose from what I suggest. We work on the preferred ones first.
The next stage is where the model will choose outfits to suit and accessories to match. I have a selection of accessories which are often used. You may have noticed certain hats, gloves, shoes and jewellery popping up in more than one set of shots.
Some models prefer to sort out their own makeup. Many have friends who are qualified makeup artists or are training and would like a few shots for their portfolio, so a deal is struck. Other times I book a local makeup artist, Victoria Tautke, who has done excellent work for me in the past and gets on great with the models.
Now that all of that has been sorted, we set a date and time. In Kate's case, we did the outdoor portion of the shoot at 4 pm to avoid the brightest part of the day. Strong, direct, overhead sunlight doesn't suit any kind of portraiture.
Most of the shots were taken using an off camera flash and soft box. The sun acted as a hair/rim light.
Like most inexperienced models, Katie was quiet stiff and nervous looking in the first few shots. I usually handle this by telling the model that these are test shots and that there's no need to pose, I have to check my lighting. Sometimes, we get good shots at this point but most importantly, the model relaxes and gets into the flow.
The reason that we choose so many possible poses is because the model may not want to do one of her choices on the day or for some reason it's not an option that day. Depending on how things work out, we could get six poses done, on occasion, more.
Katie settled in very quickly and we got quiet a lot of work done in a relatively short space of time. It's not simply a case of her striking a pose and me taking a photo of it before moving on to the next shot.
No matter how good a model is, she will never get it spot on immediately. So, I talk to her and work her slowly into position. Turn your head a little to the right, drop your chin a little and other instructions like that. Each stage is photographed because it may actually look better than the target pose.
I may also have to move my lights a little because it's not falling correctly on the model. For example, in the first shot of the pose above, my light was set a little too high and there was a strong shadow across the top of her forehead.
All of this requires great patience from the model and the ability to interpret instructions. Models must be able to act, as expressions are very important to the success of the shot and must match the mood being created.
For this part of the shoot, Katie brought three outfits and had very definite ideas of the looks she wanted to achieve. While every shoot is a collaboration, the model must get images that will fit in her portfolio, reflect the work she wants to do and her personality. It's my job as a photographer to ensure that she gets what she needs.
Our relationship is very important. I must set her at ease from the very start, guide her into poses and maintain her confidence. Many inexperienced models think that each pose should be perfect at the first attempt. That's not the case, even for the most experienced models and it's the reason most shoots are timed for a half day or longer.
As we went through outfit changes and moved locations along the waterfront, Katie adjusted with ease. Her intelligence came through, something a successful model needs. Modelling is considered easy work but it is in fact very demanding. Holding a pose, following instructions, creating a look and expression, all require concentration and the ability to interpret quickly and successfully.
When shooting in public there will always be an audience. It's important that the model is aware that it will happen and is ok with it. If the model becomes self-conscious with a group watching, the shoot is ruined. Katie was perfectly at ease with her small audience. As usual, some people watched as they passed by, some stopped for a minute or so and others stayed a good while and even commented. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as they don't interfere with the process. The model has to ignore anything that is said and concentrate on the conversion between herself and I.
As we were shooting on a public walkway, people were regularly walking past and we had to pause, as Katie was on one side and I on the other. Again, this is not usually a problem, as people pass by quickly and Katie can hold the pose. On one occasion though, a couple were passing by, the guy was transfixed by Katie and his partner didn't like it.
She decided to express her thoughts just as they came into the middle of the shot. Another audience member wasn't long telling her to get out of the way and the couple slinked off but I imagine that the woman was still a little upset.
Luckily the shoot took place during the very hot weather that we had this summer. There was no fear of rain, the breeze wasn't strong enough to knock anything over and we had great light to work with. In bad weather shoots often have to be rearranged or cut short. I usually select a number of venues when the weather isn't too promising. One will either be indoors or a very sheltered location. The others will have shelter on at least one side, each one a different direction, so regardless of the wind direction, there's an option.
Most model portfolio shoots that involve outdoor shots take place between mid-spring and mid-autumn but I've had some in winter too.
Many of my model portfolio shoots are not with beautiful young women, like Katie, who aspire to be successful models but are with more mature women who want to experience being a model for a while. Some had entertained the idea of becoming a model when younger and for some reason didn't follow up on it, others only thought about it in later life. They put it on their bucket list.
Regardless of whether you're 22 or 52 if it's something that you would like to try, even just for a day, you should. Life is short and we all change with it. What ever you want in life, go for it, as long as it doesn't harm you or someone else. Otherwise, you'll live to regret it.
You can be a model at any age. It's unlikely that you'll strut down the catwalks of London and Paris at 60, especially, if you're a beginner but only a very small proportion of models get to do that anyway. In my experience, models enjoy the shoots and are glad to have done one. Take a leap.
I'll be back next week with part two of this blog. In the meantime, take good care of yourself and those you love. Keep shooting.
Hello and welcome to my blog. This is just a short one this time.
Here in Ireland we've just experienced a long, hot and mostly dry period but it's coming to an end. This shouldn't finish your photography. All you need do is change what you photograph and how.
The obvious one is to shoot more indoor portraits. Low light levels may require the use of flash but unless you have the means of shooting off camera, try and avoid this. Window light should work for a while more, as the sun is still high in the sky.
North facing windows are often recommended for indoor portraits. This is a good idea when the sun is strong but on a rainy day, with lots of clouds in the sky, any window will do. The clouds will act like the baffle in front of a soft box and soften the light, by spreading it widely.
When you photograph in direct light, the light comes directly at your subject, with most of it hitting the subject on the bright side and causing strong shadows on the other side. When light passes through clouds or a baffle it bounces off the particles in the cloud and goes in all directions, landing on your subject from many directions and the shadows are not as strong.
This shot of Cathy was taken using light coming through a glass door and nothing else. To achieve the shot I had to use ISO 1250 to get a shutter speed I could hand hold, without camera shake (1/100 second). Avoiding camera shake is vital and it's one mistake you can't correct in your editing programme. I explain more about this in other blogs, here http://www.eddieguiry.com/blog/low-light-situations and here http://www.eddieguiry.com/blog/shutter-speeds.
The weather itself can also prove to be a great subject.
Once again, high ISO ratings are necessary to avoid slow shutter speeds and camera shake. In shots like this you should also underexpose a little to avoid the bright areas burning out and losing details. Use the +/- button and select -0.3 or -0.7 but experiment to get the best level and one that's to your taste.
You could also decide to take images of your hobby, house decorations and plants, toys and much more. Bright sunlight is not necessary for photography nor are wide open areas.
So, keep shooting and enjoy your hobby regardless of the weather.
Until next time, take good care of yourselves and those you love.
A low key portrait is one where light levels are low in almost all of the image. Shadows and low light levels are used to make the main subject stand out and optimise curves or facial features. The image of Katie above is a prime example of this style.
The style was very popular during the Hollywood Golden Era and has, to a large extent, disappeared today. Modern portraiture tends to use high levels of light, filling the image with detail. I'll do a blog on this style at another time.
I like the combination of mystery and class that low key lighting evokes. The setting completely disappears from view in most examples. Our eye concentrates completely on the main subject and the photographer can manipulate the shadows to accentuate the sitter's features.
Low key portraits are much better at conveying mood also. In the shot of Katie she looks deep in thought, watching something in the unknown distance, while in the shot of Christina, above, the mood is one of disinterested, thoughtfulness, almost sadness.
Most low key portraits involve only one light, the key light. Shots like this one of Lee Anne, above, involve more. In this one I chose to use two hair lights, one from either side. All involve a darkened or black background. In each of the shots you've seen so far I've used a black background.
The final example, also of Katie, has much more light but it is highly controlled to ensure it only fell on Katie. The background is a good distance away from my model and no light falls on it. To make sure that I would get full effect of the low light I used a strong light on Katie that allowed settings that would not register light from the background.
While this is from the same session as the first I didn't use the black background, it's behind me. I wanted to experiment to see how dark I could get the room by using the settings in my camera. There would not have been a need to get it this dark under normal circumstances but there is a lot of equipment against the wall behind Katie.
So, there you are. I hope I've ignited an interest in you in low key portraiture. Many famous artists, like Rembrandt, used this style, as did film noir. It's much more evocative than other styles.
Until next time, take good care of yourself and those you love. Enjoy your photography and keep shooting.
Welcome once again to my blog. This one will be a short one and will be in the form of advice for anyone who wishes to be an independent model.
I regularly do portfolio shoots for models and actors and I also use models when I want to try out new ideas or new equipment. I've been dealing with models now for over fourteen years and I've noticed some mistakes that beginners often make. I hope that the following advice will help you in your bit to start out as a freelance model.
It's not easy to get that first job, especially if you don't have any professional photos to show. Facebook on it's own is not good enough to catch the eye of photographers or others who may book you. Use Instagram and portfolio sites like Starnow, Purpleport, Model Mayhem and others. Make sure to use good tags and keywords. Model as a hashtag or keyword will not get you attention but #Limerickmodel, #blondemodel, #tallmodel, #Irishalternativemodel or similar specific ones may. If you join any of the sites I mention above there will be plenty of blogs and form discussions to help you out.
For the first few shoots you must be willing to shoot TFP or TFCD. That is Time For Prints or Time For CD. These are not free shoots but a collaboration between you and a photographer and perhaps makeup artists, stylists, etc. Castings for these style of shoots will be listed on the sites but you can also list one yourself. See how others word their's and learn from that.
The deal with these is that you pose for the photographer and he or she provides you with an agree amount of images in print form or on CD to use in your portfolio. This should all be agreed beforehand. Don't expect too many, I usually provide between eight and twelve, depending on the range of outfits and locations we use but some photographers only supply three or four. So you pay him with your time and he pays you with images. Both of you get something for your portfolios.
If you don't get any offers you have to do the chasing. Do a search on the site and find a local photographer whose work you like and contact him. Try several and one of them may agree to work with you.
Make sure beforehand that you both agree on the style of shots to be taken. This applies whether you are making the first contact or the photographer is. It's vital that this is very clear. The last thing you want is to turn up to your first shoot prepared to pose in sports gear and the photographer has a lingerie shoot planned.
Check out the photographer before you agree to shoot. Sites like Starnow has a system of recommendations where models recommend photographers they have worked with and vise versa. If someone has recommended the photographer contact her and ask a few questions. Not all models will answer but some will. If the photographer has no recommendations it doesn't mean anything, as models are bad at following up on them. Instead, look through his portfolio on the site and check if any of the models are also on the site, then contact them.
Model Mayhem has a system where photographers list models they have worked with and recommend. Feel free to contact any model listed but again not all will respond.
Check out the photographer's website and do a search for him or her on google, see what comes up. If the photographer is local to you one of your friends may already know him and could tell you what he's like. You may even recognise someone in his portfolio. Contact them, do your research.
A lot of beginner models tend not to do background checks on photographers but instead turn up with an escort. Many photographers will immediately cancel the shoot because escorts interfere with the shoot, the equipment or both. It's not unknown for an escort to break or steal the photographer's property. Camera equipment and accessories are expensive and wanting to protect them from a stranger is normal.
If you still want to bring an escort let the photographer know in advance. Generally, boyfriends, brothers and fathers are a big no no. Very chatty friends are too. Anyone wanting to take their own photos, even on camera phones are also out. An escort must remain in the background and not interfere in any way. One that sits in the car or reads a book while the shoot progresses is fine.
If you do your homework you shouldn't need an escort. Tell someone where you are going, how long you will be and the name of the photographer. Have them phone you at a particular time, for example, if you expect to finish at 5 pm have them phone you at 5.15 pm. When you arrive at the shoot and when you're leaving the location, text your friend. Let them know to expect those texts.
It's very unlikely that anything will happen to you, if you do your research but it's no harm to take precautions.
When you get professional photos get rid of the selfies. A portfolio full of selfies is not taken seriously. One, perhaps, to show how you look without make but no more should be the rule. If you have professional shots with selfies beside them it tells the photographer that you don't know the difference in quality. You're putting equal value on a quick snap and a photo that too expertise and time to produce. Why would anyone put effort into giving you something you put so little value on?
Wherever you are listed you must indicate the genres that you are willing to pose for. Don't list anything that you won't do. If fact, I would advise going on the safe side. If for instance you are willing to pose in a bikini don't list it until you have some experience of the scene.
Don't go to your limit until you have done several shoots and are very comfortable in front of a camera. Your boyfriend may have taken lots of beautiful shots of you on the beach last summer but posing for a stranger is a different thing. Especially as a professional.
The other thing is that GWCs will see it as an invitation and will try to get you to go further. Guys With Cameras are those who only do shoots with the intention for getting some girl to take her clothes off. The photos will never be processed and you'll get nothing from the shoot. Along with that you will feel uncomfortable throughout and will be under pressure to go further than you are willing.
For a GWC a bikini shot reads as "possible topless or nude". When you're new they will check you out and pressure you to do what they want.
Don't give in and as soon as you feel uncomfortable, leave.
Never pose for anything that you are uncomfortable with. Every shot is likely to end up on the internet and you or someone you know well could come across it at anytime. "Just this once, no one will know about it" never happens. If you allow the shot to be taken it can't be untaken. The photographer may genuinely not intend putting it up on the net but he drops his laptop in for repair and the technician finds it, sends a copy to a friend and he posts it. Don't take the chance.
If you have posed for a shot and are not willing to do that type of shot anymore, don't post it in your portfolio.
Going back to those bikini shots your boyfriend took last summer, they may be beautiful and show how confident you are in front of a camera and your great figure but if someone sees it in you portfolio it says that you do those type of shots. For a GWC it's an indication that you may take off more and an invitation to try.
Start out conservatively and expand your range as your confidence and experience grows. Never go beyond the limits you have set yourself, for anyone.
When you're offered work and you're interested in it, respond quickly. Any follow up emails you get at least acknowledge them, even if you can't give an immediate reply to questions it contains. "I'll get back to you at the weekend" will do, as long as you follow up.
Many new models set up a separate email account for modelling and forget to check it regularly. Don't do that. It's vital that you keep communication going. If a photographer is planning to shoot with you and wants to know your dress size but you don't answer for a week or two, he has already moved on.
The photographer may have booked a studio and makeup artist. If you haven't answered for a week, how is he going to know that you're still interested? He's not going to take the risk of loosing all that money and will either have found another model that he can be sure of or have cancelled altogether.
Keep in contact.
Hello and welcome to my blog. If this is your first time here I suggest that you take a look back on what I've written in the past, especially if you're new to photography. I think that you will find several blogs that would be of aid to you.
A very common question that I get asked is "I want to buy a camera, what should I get?" This is not as straight forward a question, as many people seem to think.
The first thing you need to ask yourself before you make a decision is "what do I want it for?" Taking photos may seem the correct answer but what kind of photos? For example, do you want to take some snaps of your family around your home, maybe a few landscapes when on a trip and photos of your friends when out at the pub or on holiday? Perhaps you would like to take a lot of photos at matches or rallies or maybe, you would love to produce some very classy portraits. Wildlife photography may be your thing or flowers may be the love of your life. The answer to this first question will determine what type of camera you should go for, compact or DSLR.
You can get an answer to this by looking back on photos you have taken in the past and looking at your hobbies. The snap shooter, who rarely uses the camera should go for a compact but then, many phones now have cameras every bit as good as a compact camera, so is there need to trade up?
If you find that your phone or compact camera is not allowing you to take the type of images that you want it's time to consider getting a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera (DSLR).
Most brands of DSLR come in three grades, beginner, prosumer and professional. The beginner grade speaks for itself and should be purchased by anyone who is a beginner at photography. Apart from the fact that it will satisfy your needs it's not a huge investment and if you later decide that photography is not for you, you haven't lost too much.
The prosumer grade camera is for the more advanced amateur. If you've reached the point where the beginner level DSLR is holding you back it's time to move up to a prosumer camera. These cameras are much more advanced, better built, have more features and have much of what you'd expect to find in a professional grade camera.
You have a choice between purchasing the traditional mirrored version or the mirror-less version, which shouldn't really be called a DSLR, as the R part isn't there. There was a time that I would have told you to stay away from a mirror-less camera, as the range of lenses and accessories was very limited but that is more or less sorted now. If I was starting out again, I would go for the mirror-less version because of it's smaller size, lower weight and ease of handling. As things stand, the cost of also replacing my lenses and other accessories make the change over very expensive, so I'm sticking with the traditional DSLR for the present.
The last grade is the professional camera and I suspect that if you are ready for one of those you wouldn't be reading this blog. They are much more expensive, have much more features, are better quality and require a much greater understanding of photography than either of the two other grades, before you can get value from one. Unless you are ready to go professional the investment required can't be justified.
You may have a budget of x and can find a DSLR that matches your budget but that doesn't mean that you should buy it. All DSLRs allow you to change the lens, so you need to allow for that. They also use speedlights and you have to budget for one of them. The beginner models usually come as part of a package that will include a standard zoom and sometimes a speedlight or flashgun, as they are sometimes known.
Again, if your budget is x the camera you can buy may be too advanced for you and you would be better buying a cheaper one and spending the savings on going out there and getting experience. Then again, it may not buy one that is good enough for your level of skill and I would suggest then that you save for another while and buy the correct one, rather than buy one that you will want to replace again in the near future.
You also need to allow money for at least a second lens. The best arrangement is one lens at 24 to 70 mm or similar and a second at 70 to 300 mm. This gives you a huge range of coverage without breaking the bank. You may also want to get a much longer lens, 500 mm for bird watching, for example or a macro lens.
It doesn't end there. Now that you know what type of camera you want and the grade, if a DSLR, you still have to find a camera that matches your requirements within all the choices still available. You'll need to compare the brands, the range of accessories they make, the backup service provided, etc. Most likely they will have more than one model for you to consider, with slightly different features, which one matches your requirements? One will suit a sports photographer, another would suit a portrait photographer, for example.
You have a lot of research to do before you make that final decision but there's one more question that you must consider even before doing your research. "Am I ready for an upgrade?" Regardless of the quality of camera you have or it's age, is there any point in investing money on a new camera if you still have a lot more to learn about photography?
Perhaps you should be out there taking more photos, getting to understand the settings better and exploring your tastes in photography. When you've learned more you may decide to purchase a completely different camera to the one that you would purchase now or may even decide that the one you have at present is more than enough for you.
Regardless of what you decide, a new camera will not improve your photography, experience and experimentation will. Go out there and take lots of photos, try new things and be prepared to take bad photos. When you do, ask yourself what went wrong and learn from it. That should be your priority.
I hope that I've given you some food for thought and helped you make the correct decision. Until the next time take good care of yourself and those you love.
Welcome once again to my blog. I hope you have been getting value from reading it and that it has helped improve your photography. This time I'm going to answer a question I was asked in an email, "when should I use my lens hood?"
The simple answer to that question is "always". There are a few occasions when you may wish to leave your hood in the bag but for most people they are very rare.
There are two main reasons to keep your lens hood attached to your lens, the first is to reduce the risk of flare and the second is to protect it.
In the image above there are no very strong sources of light but there are still many different sources, coming from all angles. Light coming through the window, just out of the image on the left or light from behind the counter, just to the right, could have caused flare. So, even though it's a low light situation, the potential for lens flare exists.
There are occasions where you can't completely avoid flare, for example, at a rock concert but you can reduce it. Your lens hood is a vital piece of equipment and should be used at all times, even when you think that there may not be a need.
The other use for a lens hood, as I've already stated, is to protect your lens. It creates a buffer between the front element of your lens and anything that may strike it. In crowded areas, for example, people may brush up against the front of your lens. Studs, metal parts of handbags, rings, etc. all have the potential to scratch the front element of your lens. The cost of repairing these scratches can be very high and are an unnecessary expense.
When you have the hood on your lens only objects coming directly at it are likely to strike the front element. Anything coming at an angle, which in practice is most things, will hit the hood instead of the glass element at the front of the lens. Even if it damages the hood it's not a major problem. A good hood will cost you about €5 or less, depending on the lens it fits. Repairing a lens will cost considerably more.
There will be a few occasions when your lens hood will get in the way. My only experience of this is when shooting macro images. This involves focusing on an object just millimetres from the front of the lens and the hood will not allow this. For this type of photography my camera is on a tripod and both of my hands are free. I set up the lighting to avoid flare but I also place one or both hands to shade the lens from the light.
So, in summary, you should use your lens hood in almost all situations. If it's not needed it does no harm but when needed, it improves your image hugely. You may decide from time to time to use flare for artistic effect but even then a lens hood is useful to ensure that you get the flare where you want it and only just get the amount you want.
Well, I hope that has been of use to you and helps improve your photography. Thank you for reading it and feel free to make comments or ask questions by using the comments section or by emailing me at [email protected]
Until next time, take good care of yourself and those you love.