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Andy May's picture


I worked with a model for the first time this week and wanted to get a natural portrait that was just her, no gimmicks or poses. In between changes (we had been working together for over an hour and relaxed a bit ) I asked her to just relax as I would just be shooting a couple of test exposures. The attached image is the result. Beauty dish with grid only no sock. Has anyone else used this tactic ? Do you think it's a bit sneaky ? How do you get your model to look natural ?

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Ian McCann's picture

Sneaky, no of course not. Anyway, it was a test shot, you are using it to test the idea, as you have asked for our appraisal, proves. She looks good as you have lit her. However, I would suggest pulling her further from the background to loose the shaddow on the bckground. I would also use a reflector below her boobs to bounce some light back up to lighten the shaddows under her chin and nose, a bit. Putting reflectors or very soft and low power lights either side of her, slightly behind her to put a little life in her hair might have added a little sparkle. Overall it is a very good start and some or all of the tips I suggest mught have improved it, further.

Andy May's picture

Thanks for the response Ian.All of the above are great suggestions. The squinch and pout seem to be a go to look for a lot of models and a great deal of the time I'm not sure that they are aware they are doing it. Asking a model to relax their mouth, eyes face etc is akin to asking a child to say "cheese" and rarely gets a natural look. I've had feedback from the model, she likes the image and says that it's "just her" which is encouraging I'm just wondering if playing the "take it easy for 30 seconds eyes to the camera for a couple of test exposures" is a good tactic or if anyone else has a better tried and tested technique ?