Here’s another project I hope to bring back to life. Almost a decade ago I managed to get some people from Craigslist to stand in front of my camera. I had this idea, using the 1000mm lens my dad gave me (a Sigma 1000mm f8 APO vintage 1990’s) to photograph people around sunset to make silhouettes.
I put out a call for people that looked interesting in profile. For example, mohawks, big afros, shapely people etc. I got a really pretty woman and her daughter, and a couple of punks the guy had an awesome mohawk.
Technically I found this more challenging than I expected. The use of the 1000mm lens is very tricky. It’s about a meter long (as implied by its focal length.) That’s not including the lens hood. And I was using this Nikon mount lens on a Canon camera with manual focus. But manual focus wasn’t much of an obstacle. It was trying to point this lens where I wanted it- and to avoid showing anything behind the models. Also, being maybe 30 meters away made communicating with the models tricky. That and the fact that the waterfront path lied between me and my camera and the subject- so I had to pause as cyclists and pedestrians walked through the scene.
That having been said, I’m very happy with the results. The punks looked great from profile. The young woman had a really nice figure and the guy’s mohawk was as the best I could imagine. And you can tell they were genuinely in love.
The other set of models were very different. A lovely young mother brought her daughter along. She told me her daughter had a great day- I wish I asked them to come back for another couple shoots. I particularly liked the shots of her with camera in hand.
I post this now as a reminder to repeat this idea. I’ve got some better gear for the task. I’ve got some other silhouette ideas. It’s time to open up this project again!
(note the Mohawk couple is not model released for whatever that’s worth)
Yet another day of stock portrait shoots to report. I had a busy day of three different models: Yami, Martin and Josh. It occurred to me that I hadn’t mentioned another model I worked with too…Tre.
The stock photography model shooting has been pretty intense. I’m not used to working with people like this. And I’ve never met anybody prior to our shoots so it’s kind of like getting to know somebody and only having an hour or two to get a sense of their “look”.
In the end I feel like I’m learning something. This hasn’t been a particularly lucrative endeavor, at least yet. But while learning to work with models I hope to improve my skills and find what stock photography does sell.
The second model I’d scheduled in this casting was Bianca. I felt especially good about photographing her. Not only because she had a nice look, but because all her sample photos were just random photos with other people cropped out. I felt in addition to getting some nice new photos in my library, I’d hoped I’d also be helping her build her portfolio.
From first shoot with Gina, I’d also learned a bit. I still didn’t have all the lighting gear I wanted to test, so once again I was using “nature’s softbox” (in other-words a big gray sky.) Some photos from the Gina shoot stood out when using certain gear- so I tried to use the longer telephoto lens to compress the scene and blur the background. One of my smaller cameras also seemed to work really well in keeping the eyes in focus while blurring the background too. So I tried to concentrate on what worked before.
In the middle of our shoot I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize. Dooh! I’d actually scheduled a second model and put the wrong time on my calendar!
Bianca and I met Rachel, the other model…. Now what to do? We opted to do a few shots together with the two models. It may have been a bit weird for them at first but they did a great job playing friends. And they made a nice contrast too. Bianca is caucasian with blonde hair and green eyes and Rachel is Asian with black hair and brown eyes.
I had another idea- to use some props. I’ve taken up shooting medium and large format film – I had my Mamiya TLR in the car and pulled it out and asked the two of them to take turns pretending to photograph one-another. The prop really seemed to disarm the two of them and get really nice natural smiles and expressions. I also took a photo of each of them on film which I have yet to develop. If those photos turn out I’ll add here and get copies to my wonderful models.
The young woman above, Howland, posed for some stock photos. I think she has a really nice look. I’m still in the process of adding model released people to my stock photo library and hope to find more like her.
One more in a series of model released people I’ve been working on for my library. This is Angeline, who worked out really well for our shoot. She had a great look, and the light overcast weather really made for a nice natural outdoor lightsource.
When I have free time, I’ve been hiring some models for released stock photos. The above stock photo is Pat using a smart phone. I’d seen a number of requests for people using technology and hoped to build up my library. Pat has a smart business woman look that seemed to work well.