Monday, March 22, 2010

Different Looks, Same Model

Allie No. 2

One of the most difficult things I can think of when shooting a model in a studio, is coming up with different looks.  You want to flatter the model and shoot photos that will work for her/him but you also want to try to be creative and create different looks for your model so they can diversify their portfolio, as well as your own portfolio.  Even if you're just shooting portraits for someone to have new images for their online profiles or just recent images of themselves, its a good idea to mix it up as much as possible.  Having many looks in a single session ensures that you and the client get what you need and is also more fun imho than just having the standard headshots.

In the image above, we were going for a more swanky, non-studio looking shot.  Only one light was used in a small softbox to camera right.  The model's face is the focal point, but also her amazing shoes!

In the next image, we are obviously back in the studio and the model had this really cool dress that had these neat designs on it that we wanted to show.  So after studying the models outfit and makeup, I decided to go with a darker background with just a little splash of color.  This was done by placing a gelled light directly behind the model.  The key light was a boomed overhead softbox and then I used a silver reflector below for fill.

My girlfriend Jenn (also an exceptional photographer and amazing artist) did the hair and makeup for each shot so that we could have just a little more diversity in the looks.  Having a hair and makeup artist really makes the session so much easier, for the model and the photographer.

For this next portrait we decided on something a little sexier, so we went with a simple man's button down shirt and let the model's hair down.  For this image, I wanted a really soft look, so I used the Softlighter II boomed overhead and a silver reflector below for fill.  This created a huge, soft light source that really flattered the model.

This was one of my favorites from the day and I thought the model looked absolutely beautiful!

Now for something a little more fun.  The model had this dress that was made from material similar to a red bandana and it was Jenn's idea to put the model's hair up in pigtails. We just happened to have a teddy bear accessible too (on loan from one of Jenn's daughters) so we threw that in as well.  Sometimes, a few good props can really add a lot character to the image and may even relax the model a bit more.

For this last image, the model had a simply stunning dress that she really loved, so we changed hair styles, adjusted the makeup and went with more of a 3/4 portrait to not only show off the model but that gorgeous dress too.  I gelled the background light to get colors that were present in the dress and I used a small softbox overhead for the key light.  The small softbox was used so that I could light the model independently from the background and have full control over both.

I really love this last image for composition, color and of course the beautiful model.  This was a fun session and I we got a lot of different looks in a short time and in a limited space.  The model also had an awesome selection of outfits for the shoot.  All of these images were shot on either a white seamless or my collapsible gray background and were lit with either one or two lights and a reflector for fill.

So the next time you have a portrait session to be done in studio, remember to try to mix it up as much as possible.  It will be a much more rewarding experience for you and your subject.



Christy said...

I really love the diversity you've captured! Seeing them all layed out together really shows the different personalities and even maturity levels. Very well done!

Jenn Lee said...

This was another fun shoot. I had fun helping with her hair and makeup! Allie was a pretty girl and your lighting techniques met each challenge perfectly.

hostess milano said...

Nice blog, you did really good job, your are looking completely different in the all the photos