Posts Tagged ‘models’

Posted by ScottJarvie at 5 May 2011

Category: (C) individual portraits

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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The other day I did a post about using a ridiculously large and expensive lens. 600mm f/4

I used two other expensive lenses that day… like this one the 200-400 f/4

It’s also a big lens but not near as large.

It’s actually a lens I’d consider buying if I had the money. The range is perfect.
I have the 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 and the next step seems like it’d be the 200-400

I thought it focused fast and had nice sharp images.
I also didn’t have to walk 100ft away to get a person in the picture… but if I wanted I could zoom into 400 and walk a pretty good distance away.

I can also see myself more easily shooting it hand held… though a mono-pod would make it easier to get in focus pictures and not get too tired.

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I ended up bumping up the ISO from time to time when I was shooting in darker environments because I was shooting hand held portraits.

Below in order the pictures were taken at 1/250 , 1/160 and 1/80 … not too shabby eh?

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I had a feeling it would be an enjoyable Saturday and it was. Good times were had by all, it was Fun.

And we also got some OK pictures out of it. haha

We took a little adventure to Antelope Island (in middle of the great salt lake) with the Cooper sisters.

I knew them because for years Kristina has been commenting on my blog and her sister Stephanie has been getting into photography. Years ago I even offered to re-edit some of Kristina’s bridal pictures.

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I love shooting for fun… aka… being around good people and shooting  just for the joy of it.

Often I’d have a lot more fun taking pictures than not… at any activity or party I’d probably be having more fun with a camera in my hand. I interact better, I still socialize. On one hand I know what I’m doing so much that it doesn’t stress me out at all and on the other I do enjoy figuring things out, so even if it is dificult lighting I prefer a good challenge.

However lest we misunderstand what shooting-for-fun involves

When is photographing “for fun”?

  • When it’s more about the social interaction than the pictures.
  • When at any time I can put the camera away and no one would complain.
  • When there are no high expectations to complete.
  • When we’re smiling, laughing and having a good time.
  • When people are happy I’m taking pictures of them.
  • When they’re grateful.
  • When it doesn’t cost me money.
  • When I can edit as few or as many as I want.

When is it work?

  • When I have to put aside part of my schedule in advance.
  • When the pictures are going toward an expressed purpose.
  • When someone requests a photoshoot.
  • When there is a higher level of expectation.
  • When I have to work hard in the way they believe I should.
  • When I start getting lots of instructions.
  • When people are not grateful but still expectant.
  • When I’m not only the shooter but the creative director.
  • When they start saying “You’re the photographer, you tell us what’s best”
  • They want me to give them free prints or print rights (and digital files)

A possible third option

  • There seems to exist another option “Shooting Work… For Fun”
  • It’s when I offer a gift or do a special like my yearly “charitable shoot” and say people can come get pictures for no cost or donate to charity.
  • It seems to hit many of the “for fun” areas and some of the “work” areas.
  • Expectations do exist but while money is not being exchanged the level of gratefulness is higher.
  • In these cases I am the one that offers the shoot. (requests on their end are limited)
  • OR they come up with the ideas, cutting down my work
  • more complicated than that… but you get the point.

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And just so you know… this shoot qualified perfectly for a “For Fun” shoot.

I mentioned I’d be willing to do such a thing upon hearing all 3 sisters would be in town. I set up my own level of expectation which did include they’d pay for gas and stuff.

Notice I didn’t say much about how much time something takes me. Nor money.

  • Both of those things might change levels of expectation and how fun something is, but it isn’t a determining factor for me about work.
  • A “for fun” event usually isn’t paid for in advance but the expenses might be paid for, or a voluntary gift given after.
  • Also it might take up a lot of time. Our outing lasted most of the day on Saturday and I spent many many hours editing. It was still fun… and I got some good portfolio pictures out of it.

They were perfect “customers” for a “for fun” event. We weren’t in a rush, they offered to buy my food even, they were enjoyable to be around.

I didn’t feel like doing OCF (off camera flash) so I didn’t, I went back to my roots and just dealt with the mid day, sometimes cloudy, bright day.

Going Through Pictures

I had them come pick through pictures knocking down the original 750 pictures down to 250… then I went through them and selected ones I wanted to show off.

Having them come go through the pictures was part of the fun for me… one of the things I enjoy most about photography is seeing what people think and how they react. Having people go through the originals isn’t something I do a lot, but when I feel they have a strong positive opinion of my photography I don’t mind them seeing behind the curtain so-to-speak. And when I’d enjoy them being at the office for a little while. It does help limit my work… though often it takes up more of my time… but it’s more enjoyable.

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Kati said she really wanted to trash an old wedding dress and so I oblidged of course.

Festival of Colors is the perfect place for it… such a fun atmosphere and so photogenic.

I’ve been doing the documenting thing at Festival of Colors for a couple of years and taken crazy amounts of pictures… it was time for some planned pictures.

Kati is gorgeous so it helps.

She said she’d bring along a friend that could model for the groom and have a unique look.
Leandro was not only great as a model… but he brought a trailer that made the day so nice. I could sit down and relax and even eat some of their food and not have to stand in the long lines for the festival.

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As you can see here they are nice and clean at the beginning of the shoot… far from the crowds wielding colored powder.

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This is at the end of the experience after being pelted probably hundreds of times.
Here both her children and his take the opportunity to pelt them with even more.

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(Above) Here they brave the actual crowds

We focused on Kati for a little bit.

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There is so much dust in the air that the lighting can change drastically from one spot to the other.

Then in these shots I wasn’t using off camera flash and went with the  bright light look. (It was an overcast day to begin with)

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A couple of my favorites… the one below is as they ceremoniously light the witch on fire.

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Gotta love the hand print.

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Getting out some of the colors from the hair

Then we were done and headed back to the trailer and decided this was quite the scene and it needed to be documented properly.

A little white trash style. I happen to think it’s the funniest thing ever. Some of my favorite pictures.

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Kati will probably say she looks pissed off… but that’s perfect (i think)

It does help the effect that we used the Cheese Balls earlier in the day

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(Below) Then there’s this picture… the wind was blowing and it just kinda ended up being this… which was kinda planned but kinda not. And for some reason I really like it but I’m not sure if it’s appealing to anyone else… it’s just not that typical (and I’m not sure if that’s good in this case)
So sound off about those and the others.

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So I think I covered the range from Pretty, to Funny, to Neat to downright odd.

Go here to see more shoots I did that day

The Wedding Photographer going Commercial

Who am I? Scott Jarvie the Wedding and Travel Photographer

That’s how I introduce myself.

Meaning: that’s what I tell people I do…. weddings and lots of travel photography. I don’t put a lot of the travel stuff on this blog anymore and leave it to the Envision The World Blog and even then I haven’t had a lot of time to get those pictures worked on and edited. So mainly we see a lot of wedding pictures and the corresponding sessions that come with that like engagements, bridals and formals.

Recent History

So recently I did a photoshoot for a hair and makeup studio out on the salt flats (See this post with their pictures included or this full gallery)… this is more of a commercial type shoot but it was still primarily dealing with people and that’s something I know how to do. They liked my style (from what they saw on the website) and they were very happy with the results. In fact not a day after I published their photoshoot one of their clients came asking about a similar photo shoot.

The Style

OK so I do mainly weddings and I would say that my style is as follows

Personable A pleasent interaction and real experience and an approachable feel to the pictures (Friendly)

Personality - Capturing the real aspect of the people and the overall feel of the event

Emotion - Doesn’t matter which kind just want to allow and document REAL stuff

“Ideas for my models”

I tell people that my pictures are what the person is + lighting … there aren’t models for my ideas these are ideas for my models, all with a Jarvie-esque look… which is bright, clean and dynamic

How I work

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I have re-written this post now about 5 times. Because I wanted to cover some topics I considered important.

It’s important because I want to explain to present and future clients what I do and why I do it.

On this attempt I will do it in question and answer style

TOPICS: My Style, Posing, Good Clients, Soap Box

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(Above) In this picture can you see the personalities of some of the subjects? If so it was successful.

QUESTIONS

What is my style of photography? – “Documentive”

What do you document? People, places and events and the feelings and personalities associated with them.

Are you passive or an active participant in the moment? Yes

How would you describe your approach? The subject and feeling first… done in the Jarvie style. NOT the art of Jarvie with happenstance visitors and models.

What’s the best compliment? A friend or family member telling a client that the picture is “SO YOU (Them)”

What the client doesn’t get? Directed poses from your favorite modeling magazine. (If your purpose is to look past the person at a product then perhaps those are proper.)

How much do you pose? In the comparative world I apparently pose almost none (so I’m told)… But I feel like I take control of the pose a lot more than people perceive. (Create the situation)

Why do you think you pose people a lot? Because I put them into the proper locations, and facing the right directions and having put them into the right situations the scenes usually just create themselves.

What are 5 important things in the interaction between the shooter and the person being shot?

  1. That they like my work. (and therefore have trust.)
  2. That they know I have their back and will tell them when they’re doing something that will look like crap. (Again… Trust)
  3. That they don’t feel confined or limited in their personality or creativity.
  4. That I don’t feel limited in what I am able to do.
  5. They are able to act naturally around me.

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Best way of posing? Take what someone does and enhance it. For example (above right) take how they sit and take it to the next level. Or make adjustments so nothing looks bad.

(Above Left) This was how they posed themselves. You can tell the little girl has a lot of character by the way she chose to stand. The best part is she did this herself with no coaxing from anyone.

One person’s fun and fancy pose is another person’s nightmare and stupidest thing ever.

Idea of a perfect client? Someone with lots of personality that feels ownership in being part of creating the perfect pictures.

Idea of a client you would rather not have? No passion for the result… but high expectations.

What you’d like to say to a client? This is a team process for us. I want you to want the best and work with me to create the best.

What you want to say to clients but won’t usually say? I want to tell them to be themselves… but I don’t, because there’s no need… they are already themselves and will act that way. I just need to put them in situations where they are comfortable and motivated to do so.

Would you rather (For a photoshoot) … Beautiful Appearance or Sparkling Personality? Sparkling Personality.

What you hate to hear during a shoot? Competent people being needy. (We both need to work together to strike doubt and worries from the photoshoot. So I claim part ownership in that problem)

What would help your clients prior to a photoshoot? To love my work and trust my abilities. That every shoot i do works out just fine so what is there to worry about?? When they can understand that they’ll just have fun and enjoy the moments and start focusing that energy with me towards the creative process.

Most common comment by grandmothers at weddings? You must really enjoy doing what you do… because you’re always smiling?

Funnest comment at weddings? You did such a great job (They haven’t seen a picture) I ask how do they know? “Because you handled yourself so well and made it enjoyable”

Do you like the very posed type of photography? Yes, I appreciate what those photographers and models do… but don’t feel the industry needs yet another photographer like that. I’ll try to stick with my strengths.

Who wouldn’t be the best candidates to shoot with me? Though I joke, it’s only a partial joke to say that: if you’re not comfortable with who you are then my style of bringing out who you are might not be your favorite. But on second glance we are often hard on ourselves and my objective is to bring out the BEST in others.

When does it call to break from this form? In some cases companies are trying to sell a product so they actually might want very little personality to show from models. This is understood.

See or create? I’m much more of a see the potential kind of dude. I don’t often go out with an specific idea in mind. (Although I appreciate that style) But based on lighting and the emotions and feelings I’ll look around and come up with the best scenario. I can bring out the best in any scenario I’ve learned to not wait for the most fortunate circumstances to take pictures.

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(Above) I knew I was going to get on top of my car at some point in the shoot… when I saw the clouds and the lighting and understood the need for a couple more group shot options. When I saw how they interacted and the feeling of the group. This is when I decided to do a shoot like this. I didn’t have this shot in mind until about 1 minute before I pressed the button. (BTW I wouldn’t have minded if that cloud were a few dozen miles closer and bigger.)

A Motto? Don’t wait for the best situation make whatever situation you’re in the best you can.

What you want people to know about the photography industry?

  • Anyone can take the best lighting, the best models, tons of time, great equipment and turn them into great pictures. But in our not-made up world with lower budgets and limited time. Learning to make the very best of any situation is true skill.
  • Sometimes photographers can become well known for taking pictures at fancy, perfectly planned weddings or for taking portraits of beautiful superstars. This should neither be a reason for or against them. But be careful they rest on these things alone. (See what’s inside)
  • Look for consistency. Just because there are 25 great pictures in their portfolio doesn’t mean your pictures are automatically going to look awesome.
  • The experience is on par with the product. A misanthrope will tarnish your pictures forever with ugly memories.
  • You don’t always get what you pay for… but you usually do. You need to be smart and informed.  Look for a good return on the investment. Most expensive is not the best, neither is least.

Most encouraging comment from a potential client when on the phone (or email)? We loved your work, but it was the personality we see in your work and in your writing that really sealed the deal.

What do you preach from your soap box?

  • Deception in Marketing = Bad and Sad!
  • Photographers who show their work in chronological galleries ONLY
  • Symbolism. This deserves a post unto itself. If it were a couple I would encourage and work with them to internalize their feelings for eachother and things that are special to eachother. To include into the theme of the pictures. Nothing so big that it takes away from them or takes away from good solid photography.

There is a point an attraction becomes so overwhelming it turns into a distraction.

What is your stance on editing? While I can make any picture many times better with a few quick edits. My editing is about bringing attention to what is most important. I stick with bright, clean and simple… If someone views a picture and fixates on a series of edits I have made the picture about my editing and forgotten that it is about “People, places and events and the feelings and personalities associated with them.” I can edit as much or as little as needed as long as it has an end and an objective.

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Will you pose? Well yeah of course, I’m not opposed to it. I posed this one (Above)… but it’s not my favorite shot because it doesn’t really match the personality I got from this girl. But then again I didn’t tell her the facial expression to have, so there’s plenty of her in it. But mainly I’ll do things that will put them in the way of the best lighting.

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OK so i’ve photographed in rain plenty before… but something I haven’t done was shoot with the rain ONLY behind the subject but not at all in front.

See the problem is the rain can sometimes be in their face and you have too shoot a bunch of shots to make sure you have one where the rain isn’t ruining the picture . Granted these were small drops.

So we are on a sidewalk downtown logan utah under a large awning, the rain is falling just inches behind her. So it works. I can actually back up a pretty good distance and well her hair isn’t even wet. Oh but I suppose my backlight is a bit wet on the ground behind her, but like I said it wasn’t raining hard, I guess I could have used a plastic bag.

So next time I want some shots and it’s raining I’ll probably think of overhangs.

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Really what can I say here to do this picture justice? … what can I say to do the whole evening justice?

Both of the models… (Yeah you can’t wait to see them, I know… me either.)

This Picture!?

Am I just caught up in the epic-ness of the evening and the photoshoot and the wonderful people… or is this really as awesome as I hope it is.

Just don’t hate me for having the best job in the world… a chance to be an artist and to make others feel beautiful… to share and give and to be appreciated.

I haven’t even checked all the pictures… I have no clue if this is even one of the best pictures.

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In One Week

NOTE: Each title is a Link to the FULL gallery

I believe in stretching yourself to such a limit that all the rest of the time everything’s a cake walk.

See how far you can go. I found out I can do 48 shoots in one week.
All fine until I’ve almost went crazy sorting them all then editing 3000 pictures in the last 3-4 days.

This is a long and yet very fun post… like 48 mini-posts all wrapped up into one.

See 48 pics with 48 links after the jump

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The last day of the charity shoot went very well.
I was pushing myself to take new and unique pictures in a location I had done 10 shoots in 2 days previous.

I did a few more family shoots which isn’t something I specialize in… but I’m learning to like it, and at the same time conform them to what I do like, which is the Family Lifestyle Photography format.

And of course I totally enjoyed getting the aspiring models to come take pictures. (As seen above)

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Thanks to dad for coming up with this laugh! As the photographer you don’t know what will get the kids to errupt in laughter… or tears for that matter.

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The whole family was crazy photogenic and that helped. Look at these two models!

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No need to put a lot of effort into posing these kids up… they’ll do their thing and I hope to get them as they Are, and make them good pictures while i’m at it.

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Nice big landscapes don’t mean the group has to be tiny, but sometimes a bit smaller in the frame can help show off why we drove all that way and make it not only a portrait, but a work of art.

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Tender moments with mom and dad.

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Posted by scott at 11 October 2009

Category: (h) Studio Pictures, (ii) Model Portraits

Tags: , ,

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I had a wedding reception to photograph friday night so I only did studio stuff for the charity shoot on friday.

In fact I only took pictures of 3 people.

That is in stark contrast to the 10 sessions I did yesterday (saturday) and I’ll be recapping later today.

As you can tell I experimented even more with the background lighting.

I tried mixing colors… and worked harder to make sure the light didn’t bleed onto the subject.

I was using speedlights an SB-900 on each side of the background and since they don’t recharge super fast if I shot fast enough I could get several different lighting situations.

One with both background lights going off… one with one, one with the other and then one with neither. I thought that was pretty fun.

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It was also matching tones to what they were wearing… or letting the model pick their own colors.

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Jumping pictures or wide width shots were hard on a small little background… but we made it work.

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I also played more on the white seamless, but I need to work a bit harder on the lighting.
And I also need to use the Black seamless one of these days.

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This girl is a BYU swimmer and has wanted to model some… glad to help out. She was lots of fun and did well.

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And this was her roommate along for the ride… who obviously gets pictures too!

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It was a busy busy day.

Day 4 of the charity shoot had me in the Studio for only one shoot and outside for 11.
It’s a really amazing experience to take 11 shoots in the same location. seeing 4 hours of changing lighting affect one area.

I was doing really short shoots so I couldn’t go far so that incoming groups could find me. Therefore I didn’t wander around as much as I usually do.
It really stretches the photographic ability to keep shooting in the changing lighting situations and keep shooting in a small radius and keep things fresh and now just go with what you did on the last one.

Of course I focused on the highlights of the area such as the mountain backdrop and the sections of trees that were still changing color.

The Location

This location is awesome because the mountains start blocking the sun about 3 hours before sunset (on average) which means it was perfect lighting starting around 4pm

The above picture was about half way through the shoot and already the mountain was providing a great backdrop with only a little bit of light compensation on the subject.
(More examples when fully edited)

Below is the last shoot of the night when it was pretty dark and sun had already been set for a bit… we were working on twilight light by then with a bunch of external lighting.

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STUDIO

But I did start experimenting even more with how to make studio interesting and new.
Since I’m not a studio photog and have never even read a book or watched a blog on studio setups I was just winging it.

I guess that’s how I did my whole photo existence just coming up with random ideas.

But I must admit I’ve heard of the idea of lighting the backgrounds and even seen a good friend David Terry setting up a studio setup at Suzanne’s house shooting through something colorful to get some background color.
So I had these filter strips perfect for my SB-900′s which I got from Pictureline for pennies (well worth a stop at the Draper pictureline to grab, even if you never use them… like me up until this point, at least you bought a photo thing for a couple dollars when everything else is too expensive)

So anyway I’m playing around and having people pick random pictures and shooting the backgrounds. I’ll continue to experiment of course.

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The Seasoned Charity Shoot PRO

Ashley is the only one to have been to all 3 of my charity shoots… at the first one I didn’t even know her.

She’s a way awesome model when she’s sure of herself and not worried she’s acting to vain in front of Angie who acts it up even more than Ashley.

So having been to all 3 Charity shoot either she’s super duper smart and/or cheap… haha.
But in any case it has always been a fun shoot with Ashley and Angie around!

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I was excited to do this shoot because I was offered to do baby shoots a while back but never could get the time or whatever, and I was happy to be doing pictures for a good friend, and even though this little girl is now a bit older I’m glad we could at least get some.

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Model Photographers

Many might think Angela looks familiar and that’s because she’s featured in several parts on my blog ever since I did her wedding in California.
We refer to her as the “Beach Bride”

But angela is also a photographer and so is Liz the girl in the blue, and for that matter so is adrienne and Monica who came for shoots as well.
In fact yesterday 2 of my interns came with their families to get pictures taken. (We missed you Heidi and family)

In fact many people that took advantage  of the charity shoot were photogs.

I think it’s an amazing learning experience for a photographer to have pictures taken of themselves, I think it helps to be in the shoes of the future clients.
Now you know the feedback you should be giving when you’re the photographer.

You can tell Liz and Angela know what a good expression looks like and are able to capture it in the pictures.

I’ve always enjoyed shooting angela because she’s so creative and I think that will make her a great photographer one day.

And Liz was a joy to take pictures of because she had so many looks and was so fun to be around. The Camera loves you all… (as the saying goes)

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I did the first few Studio shoots of the week.
I did a few other shoots later in the day, but I wanted to show the studio stuff off first.

It’s been a while since I’ve said this… but, studio isn’t my thing.

But because studio isn’t my thing I’m trying to do it a bunch more.

I believe that people should try to learn to do and enjoy those things they aren’t good at or don’t enjoy.
Thus I’m doing studio.

Last year the charity shoot was All studio… this year mostly outdoors… but I’m doing some studio stuff.

I have a nice basement and got a few more items for the studio… if desired i can do a video post about my setup and what I did.
Let me know if you’d like to see me do such a video.

I’ll add some info on what i did for the following pictures later… for now I need to drive to the location for day 4

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I try to make it to Photo meetups in the area when I can.

One of my favorites is the Strobist Meetup.

I’ve only been to 3 of them… but they’ve always been very informative for me.
Or at least a great chance to play with lights and do things I wouldn’t normally do in my shoots.

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It’s not just girls I take pictures of… but i actually took some of some of the dudes.

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Jules Jewelry

So if I’m not mistaken this might be my first commercial shoot I’ve done.

I offered a friend help with her Jewelry business because she was in need of some good pics.

Photographing 6+ beautiful models was a perk. She even got her son some extra pics for his modeling portfolio.

The ages ranged from 8 to 38

All 500+ Pictures on Smugmug

Soon she’ll have lots of nice new pictures on her website

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OK so coming off of a blog post in which I kinda poked at the studio crowd a little.
(All in good fun right?)

Now my thoughts on Model or Senior portrait only photographers.

Cheating?
Last time I think I used the word “Cheating” for studio types ;)
I think i’ll use it again… haha
But this time it’s the cheating that I really really like.
It’s all said in good fun… or is it ;) Mwahaha

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More people More harder
I think we can all admit that the more people you add to a photoshoot typically the harder it gets.
So that being said… shooting one individual is the easiest number.

When they’re the Model types it gets even easier.
I suppose it becomes more about your skills in setting up shots and being creative, than it is about how to interact with the people. (Obviously those elements are still there to a degree)

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Case in point: Angela

I did her wedding last year in California.
You may remember her beach bridals

She’s getting into photography so we did a little trip looking for places, training on photography and taking pictures. Full Gallery

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Another case
Even more fulfilling was taking pictures for Nichole.
She wasn’t very into it and you’d think she’d be since she’s an actress.
Heck she has the lead role in a play right now.
But she was a bit shy and didn’t quite know what to do.
I kinda had to coerce her into even doing the shoot.
Very different from Angela… and yet the pictures of Nichole were great. They captured her very well.
Who she was and so forth. I’m very happy with it. Full Gallery

Thanks for the fun days to both of you! Enjoy your pictures and show them off!

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The point?
So the point of this all is to say:
Dang!!! Individual portrait sessions are so much easier, specially when they are the fun types, the outgoing and the posers…
I’m not hating on Portrait only photographers… I would do it ALL the time if there were a better market for it all.

Supply and Demand
And there probably is a decent market. But see the thing is every person photography wants to do it, but not everyone wants to do weddings.
The need for individual shoots isn’t very high and the price is pretty low.
It’s understandable… it’s supply and demand.
Meaning not as much demand and yet the supply is huge.
Sure we can focus on it until our quality leads to higher prices.
But i guess I just am too lazy… either that or I do love weddings. The concept and the challenge.

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There are difficulties
There are some things that make individual portraits hard.
For instance if they aren’t good at posing they have no one there to interact with to make them more comfortable. So it’s more sink or swim. Hit or miss.
I can usually tell a couple to interact with eachother… when it’s one person… I can’t do that can I?

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Not everyone should nor can do poses like these

In the end

I’m more or less saying I would LOVE to do more of these types of shoots.
So come on down good looking people wanting pictures.
Where are you at? Don’t you just want some fun pictures to put on your blog or facebook?
Get some good pictures for those dating sites… invest in your future, invest in yourself. haha ;)

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