When you take a lot of photos of people, you notice the different types of models that could potentially be at any given photo shoot. Now I don't normally used experienced models and I pick the people I photograph in order to create a character rather than because I think they "look like a model". So photographing a number of people I've noticed there are a few different types:
1. People who think they know what a "model" face should look like so they contort their face into something that they think looks good. I normally tell these people to relax their face and give them more of an emotion to convey
2. People who have dead eyes. Not much you can do about that. Try to tell them to be extreme with their acting.
3. People who forget what their hands are for when they get in front of a camera. Not to say that people should "just know" where to put their hands. But sometimes you'll get people that literally forget how their ams and hands actually hang on their body.
4. People who are naturally good at posing with their hands and face. I've run into a few people that are naturally god "posers" and it's a nice surprise because you can focus more on getting different types of shots and moods than constantly reminding them to loosen up.
5. People who take direction very well. These people no matter how they start out will listen carefully and often times turn out to be the best models because if you know what you want, you can coach them until they give it to you.
I'm sure their are more categories of models out there and I'll probably make a post in the future with different types of models that right now I haven't run into. But these are the types I run into the most and honestly, I've gotten decent shots out of all of them, it just takes some patience. And after all, if you love photographing people than its kind of fun to work hard to get the pose or expression that you really want.
I've been working a lot on compositing images lately and I have to say I'm starting to really enjoy it. I'm able to illustrate concepts that I've never been able to illustrate before. I still have a long way to go, but I would recommend trying it out.
Sometimes they don't always turn out very realistic, and it's easy to get frustrated when you spend a lot of time on an image and it doesn't end up turning out the way you wanted it too. But if you keep working at it you could end up doing some REALLY cool stuff.
These two photos I made were inspired by anxiety. I struggle with anxiety often and sometimes I try to illustrate how it feels. I'll probably come back to this idea in the future but until then this is what I came up with.
So fashion photography has been pretty difficult for me, but a shoot I recently did that I'm proud of was inspired by Film Noir. I did some shots out on locations which I haven't done in a while. I'm going to try and do some more on location work in the following weeks.
So as I've said before I've never taken a stab at fashion photography before. And now all of a sudden I've thrown myself into an entire fashion class with a lot of really talented photographers.
My first assignment was to shoot photographs for a "series of lingerie shops". I decided to take the classy, vintage route with black and white with crisp detail. Not that original, I know. But I had to start somewhere! Overall I'm not unpleased with my results. I had two wonderful models work with me and overall I had a lot of fun photographing them.
For future assignments though I'm going to not play it so safe... or at least I'm going to try. My professor said I should push the concept more and so I'm going to try to come up with more creative ideas. In my other shooting class I actually just shot an assignment inspired by pictorialism. It was really cool actually and I like the results, so I think I might incorporate that style into my fashion work. I think it would be cool. I'll show you the results of today's shoot soon. But until then, you can take a look at my fashion shots and tell me what you think if you wish!
Sometimes I get inspired by old people. Like the guy in the photo above this sentence. His name is Mathew Brady
and he was a famous portrait and Civil war photographer back in the... well... when the Civil war was going on. But I am currently more interested in his portraits then his war photography.
I think it's interesting to see old photos of people dressed up in their Sunday best trying to look impressive. I like looking at the hair styles, the dress, the sharp details created by daguerreotypes and albumen prints. Also their gaze can be quite striking from trying to stay completely still for an entire minute. Mathew Brady took thousands of portraits in the 19th century and I think some of them are pretty cool looking.
So anyway I had an illustrative portrait assignment in photo class this week and I decided to shoot a good friend of mine with facial hair that reminds me of these old portraits. We had to do 2 portraits total so I did one that was inspired by the work of Mathew Brady and another, more "modern" photo that we would normally see today. In both portraits my friend is sitting to the same side with the same facial hair. The lighting is not dramatically different but I made the second image have more "artificial" looking light.
Yes, I know the one on the right is taller and thinner than the one on the left. I DON'T CARE OK!!! I'M GOING TO GET OVER IT!!!
Ok, but seriously. I really like both of them but especially the one on the left. It would be cool to do more of them actually. I'll have to look out for people with a vintage vibe.
Yup, that's one of the things that I'm doing this quarter... jumping into fashion. I'm taking a fashion photography class and I have no idea what I'm going to end up doing.
"But Sarah, you're a people photographer. Surely you've shot fashion before?"
Ummm... No. Not really. My strength is in PORTRAITS. And there is definitely a difference between portrait photography and fashion photography. In portrait photography a photographer's focus is the subject and how to portray that subject so that it shows their personality or demeanor. (Ok, that's pretty general, but role with me for a sec) Fashion photography, on the other hand, is created to show off clothes or accessories and often times creates a feeling or world that you want the viewer to get lost in. So that they think if they buy those clothes they will be a part of this awesome, greater concept.
So since I've never done fashion photography before. I don't know what to expect. I've seen old, classic fashion photography like Richard Avedon
And then there's the generic catalog work like for Khols or jcpenney's or something...
Look! She's so happy! You can tell because you can kind of see her smile but it's hard because her head is cut off. Maybe for my class I'll take photos of people with their heads cut off! Or I could do the high-production crazy out-of-this-world fashion photography like they do in Vogue...
I honestly have no idea. I know my knowledge of fashion and famous fashion photographers is pretty pathetic. I really need to work on it. But that is what this quarter is for! I'm going to be doing a lot of photo research between this class and my people illustration photo class. And I'm actually kind of excited about it. But we'll see what kind of work myself and my peers are able to produce. Here go's nothin!
The end of winter quarter at RIT was a big blur. I had projects to do, papers to write, finals to take, and concerts to perform in. (Fun fact, I'm in an a cappella group on campus.) I did take a few portraits in the last few weeks and these are the ones I think turned out the best.
I must admit I had become nearly burnt out by the time these photographs were taken. So how do you muster up the energy and creativity to create photographs that you don't absolutely despise? Well being a people photographer I decided to go back to the basics... people. What makes them unique and how do they spend their time? Going off of these questions helps get you thinking about ideas and possible shots.
And in this case it paid off. I mean, I'm at a college, right? People do all kinds of things here. So I scouted locations and found some wonderful people to model for me. A scientist and a French horn player to be exact. Sometimes you have to just get some nice lighting, find a location, and try to take the best photo that you can.