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Unread 08-27-2006, 05:32 PM   #1
Tifa_Lockhart_X
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Instructing a model

I'm trying to get better at photography and such, but do you guys have any advice on giving directions to the people in the photos?
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Unread 08-27-2006, 05:39 PM   #2
Rain Miko
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Be sure to tell them if anything needs to be adjusted, no matter how little it is. I hate more than anything when I get a dozen pictures taken, just to realize that something was just a little bit off. I'm sure they would appreciate it, and see it as a sign of you having a good eye.

(I'm also gonna PM you about modelling in a sec)
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Unread 08-27-2006, 11:48 PM   #3
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When you're framing a shot consider what's in the background. If there's too many distractions, it can take away from whatever your trying to capture.
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Unread 08-28-2006, 01:08 AM   #4
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Hmm, it's a tough question, because every model is different, and their reactions to the photographer often vary depending upon how much they're used to being the focus of a photoshoot and how well they know the photographer.

Personally, I like it when the photographer goes into a shoot with a few concrete ideas about locations and some rough ideas for poses to try. I always think its a good ice breaker in a shoot to have some ideas ready, so the model has a chance to get into it a bit and loosen up. Sometimes models have their own ideas and are rearing to go, and if so, go with it, but if they seem unsure go with your ideas first.

Once that gets started, communicate with each other as much as possible, which keeps everyone less nervous and allows you to bounce ideas off each other - like, the model might do something that looks cool without realizing it, so stop them and get them to work with that. Or you might suggest something which gives them an idea which they can suggest.

As the photographer, however, make sure to stay in control over the entire picture. Pick your angles for the most flattering pose and best background. Adjust the model so that the pose looks as flattering as possible - they might have a good idea, but if moving a hand or smiling instead of being serious would look better, tell them.

Finally, there's the "eye" side to it, which is more art-conscious - how is the space working in the frame? Would a close-up shot work best? Would turning the camera at an angle be more dramatic? These things are usually ones which come with practice and are really up to personal taste. For instance, when I take photos, I tend to skew the camera a bit so the model is on a diagonal - I can capture as much as possible that way while still keeping the shot tight. When I take far-way shots, I tend to center the figure on one side of the frame and balence the other side with background rather than centering the model. That's just my style, but its worth experimenting with.

And I'd model for you anytime we're at a con or gathering or whatnot. It would be fun.
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Unread 08-28-2006, 06:30 AM   #5
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Ill stay very concise to the OP's question. How do you direct your subjects. I'm putting this in terms of a full shoot, but you can take from it what you wish.

I often begin by giving full reign of the posing to the model, I really don't care if the images are good, bad, indifferent. During this time, I'm examining my model's figure and shape, as well as other attributes. The model assumes I'm shooting, but really I'm just judging angles that I like. Sometimes the model's poses 'work' and it's great. But I have no pressure about making these work.

I take what I've learned from the angles I have observed, and offer adjustments. Typically I emulate these poses myself. Sometimes it's hilarious to see a big man with a camera tangling himself in wires to strike a very affeminate pose, however it is often the fastest way to convey what I am looking for from my model. I also operate under the notion that I wouldn't ask a model to pose in any style that I'm not willing to attempt to portray myself.

If I can't get what I want from posing my model, I will instruct with words, often while I'm posing, using very distinctive language. Think talking to a robot. 'put the palm of your right hand below your naval'. or 'slide your left leg up so that your foot is next to your right knee'. or 'keep your hips facing me, but by twisting your torso only, point your right shoulder towards me'. Notice directions and specific body parts. Very clear instructions.

Sometimes this still doesnt work. My next option is that I walk in to the model, and depending on comfort factor, I will either point to what I want moved and where, or I will help the model pose. If I am going to physically touch the model, beforehand, I will say "I'm going to help you adjust your pose, is that alright?" That way the model knows what I'm doing and doesnt just get a hand touching him or her. This is actually something that happens more often when I need to adjust clothing. Again, checking with your subject makes things a lot easier on them. 'Im just going to fix your pocket' or 'I just need to adjust your collar on your shirt real quick'. For the most part, when you dont catch someone by surprise and they are aware you are helping them out, they are fine with the assistance.

Obviously there are some areas of the body that are off limits to interaction of that nature. With a model Im not familiar with, I will avoid this completely, and will spend an ungodly amount of time attempting to explain what I want to avoid contact. If I know a model, and we are both comfortable with it, and aware of our professional relationship, I will follow the same steps as above on those areas too.

Really, I find as a photographer that I see only a subject during a shoot. Granted, I am a guy, but when I'm shooting, I am very goal oriented, and want to walk away from a shoot with great images. This sort of focus means that there is nothing but professionalism between me and my subjects. Even when shooting gorgeous models, I am seeing would be photographs through my lens, not a girl (or a guy for those interested in guys).

This comes through how I walk someone through posing. It is clear that I am there to take a picture.

The problem is that many people arent this way, and thus the uncomfortable nature of physical contact to help posing arises. As a photographer, the best you can do is to not contribute to your models apprehension, and rather be one of the people that is sensative to their personal space.

When in doubt, err on the side of caution and don't touch, but instruct.

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Unread 08-31-2006, 06:55 PM   #6
JadeCat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tifa_Lockhart_X
I'm trying to get better at photography and such, but do you guys have any advice on giving directions to the people in the photos?
It depends on the situation.

In a Cosplay situation, sometimes, I'll ask them if they already have poses for their character. Sometimes they do, but if they don't and look at me blankly, I'll strike a pose that I think might be appropriate and ask them to mimic it.

In a studio situation, I'll do the same thing (if it's a specific character costume). I'll also ask if they have a bad side or a 'better' side to their profile or whatnought. Usually people know that they look better from the left or right, and I try to emphasis that.

Sometimes, I might have to move people into the right pose. I'll STRICTLY ASK before touching every time.

"Is it okay that I touch you in order to pose you correctly?" Most of the time, people will say yes, but you have to stay away from sensitive areas (chest, genitalia area, etc).

But what I'll do is show them the pose, then have them mimic it.

Another trick, especially if you're doing digital, is to load your image onto the computer and show them.

"I like this pose, but see how you're slouching here, could you stand up straighter? etc, etc. etc."

It gives people an idea of what you want.

There are some good books on posing too that are very helpful.
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Unread 09-01-2006, 01:46 PM   #7
Tifa_Lockhart_X
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Thanks so much, all of what everyone has said is very helpful. ^_^ I appreciate it all.
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Unread 09-02-2006, 03:30 PM   #8
Trelyon
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Cool

use a wooden drawing manikin... bend the arms and legs into different poses... works great just like a voodoo doll... just kidding ::grins::

pro portrait/fashion photographer have great people skills... as well as technical... and artistic skills... to get those skills... you just need practice... practice... and practice.

many cosplayers rely heavily upon the photographer.... to provide them with direction regarding.... poses and expression... so they look their best... very high expectation for novice cosplay photog... or photog who are not familiar with the anime/game

advance preparation is good... making pose list and/or a pose book can be useful...... often... i would print out a cosplay composite card to show the cosplayers... and if all else fail... i simply pose myself.

- Alex
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