Should I get a mannequin to practice lighting?

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by f_k|2, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. I've been reading Master Lighting Guide, which is a really good book on all
    kinds of lighting style such as broad, short, butterfly, side and loop
    lighting. Since it's hard to find models, I'm thinking of getting a mannequin
    to practice on. Has anyone practiced on a mannequin before? How is it? Where
    can I get an accurate one? Thanks
  2. I've bought cheap mannequins for art projects at the major online auction site. You can buy a head (with neck) for about $15. Full bodies are far more expensive, but probably not necessary for your purpose. You can also get a cheap wig for checking what a bit of back-light looks like with any given light set-up. Real wigs are pricey, but costume wigs are $10 bucks or a bit more, and probably good enough.

    Scot Steele
  3. Just get a cheap foam head without wig. Then use yourself.
  4. I do. I bought a torso and head from a closing shop for a fraction of the price (25 euros) on eBay. I would not spend a lot of money on it as you probably won't use it for an extended period of time: mannequin are patient but they are not great looking models (having said that, I recall an exhibition where the photographers was using mannequins instead of human models and achieved interesting results but I disgress).
    I produce a podcast on photography (popular in France) and I've used the mannequin to illustrate lighting challenges and how to overcome them. If you're curious, it's here: Lumières d'été
  5. bdp


    I've been looking for a somewhat realistic mannequin from about mid-torso to top of the head and haven't been able to find any reasonably priced.. anyone know of a place that sells them reasonably priced? I'm thinking of resorting to a large Barbie Doll Head
  6. One of the things I use mannequins for is to gauge the light reflection in the eyes. For this I require some very good mannequin heads, not just the cheap ones. Although the more inexpensive variety can help a lot in terms of general light set-up when you are starting out, I find that the more expensive ones with the really good eyes are very helpful for critical lighting practice.

    Happy shooting. -BC-

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