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Help with head shots for modelling agency

Discussion in 'Studio Lighting Forum' started by hooferinsane, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. hooferinsane

    hooferinsane EXIF Seeker Super Moderator

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    I have a friend who wants to send pictures of her 15 year old daughter to a modelling agency, they can’t afford a pro photographer to take them so I said I would do them. Haven’t got the full requirements but it seems to be a headshot face on and side on against a plain background, also a full length shot in jeans and t-shirt. They stipulate/ suggest to be taken in natural light as far as I can tell. Going to do this after work about 5.30pm. Her bungalow has nice smooth white walls , so can use that. It is fairly well lit at that time of day at the moment too and the light shouldn’t therefore be too harsh. Going to use a 35mm f2 prime on a mirrorless fuji body, probably shoot at f4. There is ample room to move her away from the wall to blur the bg a bit more. Was going to just bring a reflector and get her to perhaps hold it in front of her to light her a bit more if necessary. First time I have ever done any thing like this before, so any tips are welcome. Might have to use something wider for the full length shot, so possible a 23mm f2, but am aware a wider angle can be a bit unflattering. Any tips would be appreciated, am obviously doing this for free.

    Thanks

    Brian
     
  2. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Always on Premium Member

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    It's raining today Brian, have you not got a ttl flash you can use.I

    Will be difficult if the wall is lighter than her, flash will give just a bit of fill in her.

    Didn't think modeling agencies would want natural light only.

    good luck mate, it's only what you do normally except your shooting for someone else.
     
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  3. balami

    balami Always on Premium Member

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    As you probably know Brian, you're going to have to get fairly close to the model for the head shots using those short focal length lenses. I'd probably avoid the 23mm (head shots) for the reason you state, i.e. can distort body features.

    I've used a 35mm for hundreds of office head shots for its sharpness (Sigma ART), but would much prefer to go for something like an 85mm now (wish list for next year).

    In summary, if you have a longer lens, use that one as well so you have a variety of shots to choose from.

    Hope it goes well!
     
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  4. hooferinsane

    hooferinsane EXIF Seeker Super Moderator

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    Thanks John. Will have to go with the 35mm as haven’t got an 85mm either, although will take a fuji 18-55 which is very sharp throughout as well. Fuji lenses are a 1.4 crop factor
    Thanks Pete. Its not today - as you say it’s raining here, playing it by ear for the weather next week. Probably will bring a flash with me anyway. Her mum is sending me a copy of what the modelling agency have said hopefully today. They also want a short video of ? her walking ? so her mum said.
     
  5. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Always on Premium Member

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    A bit of prep time is handy. I'm sure you'll swing it.
     
  6. riddell

    riddell Active Member

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    You need to check with the agency what standards they require.
    If they are looking for pro grade photos then that is what they need, they are not accepting anything else.
    It looks highly unprofessional on a website and massively dents the chances of any model if a prospective booker looks at a page of models and sees lovely photo, lovely photo, lovely photo, and so on, all professional, to a professional standard, perfectly lit, and then so clearly sees standing out a an image which is clearly not of the same standard. Its just simply unprofessional.

    If its a decent agency, then they won't accept anything less than looking totally professional.
     
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  7. hooferinsane

    hooferinsane EXIF Seeker Super Moderator

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    Thanks, at the moment I think it’s more a photo to be accepted by the agency. Stipulated is no makeup, head shots front and side view against a plain background
     
  8. Blofeld

    Blofeld Forum Photobomber Moderator

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    Sounds like base images for them to look at rather than portfolio images. I would use the longest focal length you can (55mm), it will be the most flattering. Just make sure they are well exposed, so use as much window light as possible, but not so close you'll get harsh light (plain net curtain will diffuse a little), if you need fill you can add a reflector the other side to the window.
     
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  9. tenchy

    tenchy Rain maker Administrator

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  10. Richard Waine

    Richard Waine Member

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    For headshots, the best tip I can offer you is to use a tripod! Its an under-rated tool, and is probably the most valuable tool in my arsenal.
    Make sure to direct the expression and not have the subject look blankly or disingenuously at the camera. The whole idea of a headshot is to present the subject as authentically and charismatically as possible. In other words, the onus is on you to draw out a cool expression...one that draws the viewer in.

    your light should be flattering and soft.

    Your focal length should be anywhere between 85m to 105mm.

    Hope that helps!
     
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  11. Mike Singh

    Mike Singh Always on Premium Member

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    How did this workout @hooferinsane?

    Hi Richard
    Some useful pointers. How do I draw out a cool expression?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2018
  12. hooferinsane

    hooferinsane EXIF Seeker Super Moderator

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    Her mum, after taking all the kit to work with me ( they live near where I work) cancelled on me three times, twice at very short notice, so as of yet it hasn’t happened. I left the ball in their court....
     
    Mike Singh likes this.
  13. Blofeld

    Blofeld Forum Photobomber Moderator

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    That's the important part, to be honest the photography part is easy and only a small percentage of nailing the shoot. Talk to them, joke with them, get them to talk to you about themselves, and throw in a few directions as you're talking to get them where you want them. The more relaxed you can get them the better the images will be. It's a bit of an art form, you have to be confident. The more you can get them away from focusing on the photography, the better your results will be.
    If you want a really good insight go and watch some Peter Hurley video's.... he's incredibly good at it and is a top headshot guy in the US.
     
    Mike Singh likes this.
  14. DonS

    DonS Stuck in Toronto Moderator

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    Should bill for cancellations without 48 hours notice :)
     
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