HELP!!! Need Recommendations for My 1st On-Location Photo Shoot

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by david_hall|8, Feb 17, 2003.

  1. I know I am posting this inquiry a little late, but I hope someone
    can offer me suggestions for shooting on-location.

    I will be utilizing a 35mm format (Nikon F4, Nikon F90X, & Nikon D100)
    and will be shooting beach scenes (yes, we're warm here in Florida) &
    some sidewalk cafe scenes.

    I am aware that if I plan to use existing (ambient) light, the best
    times of the day are early morning and late afternoon. However, that
    does not necessarily suit my model's schedule.

    She is available between 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. I can only imagine
    the light will be harsh and deep shadows will result. I could use an
    opaque panel, reflector, or diffusion panel; however, would I not
    need one the size of a house (maybe I am exagerating somewhat) to
    block/diffuse/reflect some of that light?

    We could shoot in the shade, but I fail to understand the concept of
    fill-flash (& my photos attest to that fact). I have a Nikon SB26, so
    I know I can compensate for fill-flash; I just do not completely
    understand how.

    Finally, the model is semi-professional (at least 50% of her income
    comes from modeling), and she can be a real female dog (trying to
    keep this clean). She's great at posing, but does not have even the
    faintest understanding of light and its affect on the overall image.
    She thinks a flash is the answer to everything! Any suggestions of
    how to deal with a whiny, control freak, model (bodily harm is out of
    the question & somewhat unethical).

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Any suggestions of how to deal with a whiny, control freak, model (bodily harm is out of the question & somewhat unethical).
    Simple: work with someone else. Unless you're getting paid to shoot someone who is a pain in the ass, don't.
  3. Good luck and remember to keep your gear a few feet above the sand.
    Three bodies are probably two too many, but it's your back.

    If you let the model control the shoot, perhaps you should pass on the task...
  4. You are the photographer, you are the one getting paid for this
    you need to direct the shoot and that will include the time of day
    that it takes place. If it was in studio I can see you working with
    her a little on the time...but on location the time of day is critical!
    The decision can't be left up to the model as to what time of day
    is best for the shoot. Take charge of the shoot, ...if necessary
    find another model.
  5. Anabel Williams talks about portraiture with direct sunlight in her book. Basically her tips are: Place subject under top shade, use reflected light, and have the subject look away from the camera so that the shadows are more flattering.
  6. Unless this is a famous super-model, get a new model.

    This stuff is hard enough without putting up with brats.
  7. I did that at my very first photo workshop and continue to do the same kinds of shots now.

    What's missing from your post is what these pictures are for. Plan out the types of shots you need ahead of time and pick the location and lighting to match.

    For any of these shots, you have five choices: find an area with natural indirect light (under a tree or in the shadow of a building), use a diffuser (all you need is a 40" round one - and someone to hold it for you), use a reflector (I've used as large as 3'x6' and as small as 8"), use fill at 1 stop below ambient (unless you are trying for a special effect) which your camera probably does on program mode, or use direct sun and take advantage of those wonderful shadows (a lot of fashion photography is done that way).

    As for the model, start out with some flash pictures to get her settled down (and to experiment with your technique) and slip in the others for "a different kind of look." And have her check out the Sports Illustrated site. They have virtual panoramas of a number of the shoots and not a single one has a flash evident.

    Of course, it's critical to have high quality hair and makeup help - as well as excellent styling (clothes, props, location).

    And maybe so many models are on drugs because the photographers give it to them to keep them quiet!
  8. By the way, this is a shot from that first workshop. A 15-year-old model under a tree on South Beach. No flash, reflectors, etc.
  9. John - I think that's really pretty!
  10. i wouldn't imagine the light to be all that harsh during that time. i'd just nix the flash, and use the reflector. or find a spot in the shade. i took this shot in downtown san fran last month, about the same time frame on a very bright day. i found a doorway on the shady side of the street, and the glass from the panes and the tile on the ground made for ample light and some nice reflections in the eyes. i didn't even need the reflector.

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