On Thursday the 2nd of March photography students from both Access and NQ came together to watch a portraiture Masterclass. The hands on day involved students from both camps setting up lighting equipment and getting an insight into how a professional studio works. This wasn’t an exhaustive set up, it was all about making things as simple as possible and giving student photographers an insight into what is required to keep your business alive in today’s workplace.
There where lots of interesting questions about studio flash, posing, striking up a rapport with the sitter and of course, what equipment is needed. Having all the correct equipment is nice but unless you can deal with the basics, it doesn’t matter, your images are always going to be average at best. Your model needs to look and feel good, if they don’t how do you expect to get really good images. Instead of worrying about how you are going to perform, think about how comfortable you can make your sitter feel. Put on some nice music, talk to them all the time, complement them, make them feel they are the best looking model you have worked with. At the end of the session it’s about getting that one image that says “you are still great at what you do”.
Once you have your images be brutal about what you discard and what you hold on to. You don’t have enough life left to trawl through all the images you take so be heavy on the delete button.
Like anything else we do we need to be warmed up so don’t expect your sitters to start taking beautiful portraits from the first click of the button. Usually you can delete the first round of images because you and your model are not in tune with one another. In the images above, if my model was looking at the audience around them then I am not doing my job properly.
Here are a couple of simple images that have come straight from the camera. A big thank you to Dionne who came along to be our model for the morning and had some great laughs with the students on the day. Her best line of the day, “take the lens cap off”
Don’t take 20 images of the same pose. Take short bursts of 4 or 5 frames and watch for that one image that makes all the work worthwhile.