Monday, September 20, 2010

Pre-Photo shoot Consultation

During the booking of a glamor shoot, your photographer will set up a time for a pre-shoot consultation.  This consultation has several purposes, but the main objective for you should be to explain what you want to see when you receive the proofs of your pictures.  You need to communicate your expectations very clearly, this will ensure that your photographer understands what it is you wish to accomplish and that the shoot will run smoothly for both of you.

For example:  You want to surprise your significant other with a glamorous photograph for your anniversary.  You should write a few things down and take them with you to the consultation.  Your photographer may have a check list as well, but it never hurts to be prepared.

a.  How sexy do you want to be?
b.  Lingerie or evening wear?
c.  All pictures in color or some in black and white?
d.  Is there a style you would like to copy or appropriate?
e.  Full body or head shots?
f.  Do you have certain poses in mind?

These are a few examples to draw from.  It would not hurt to ask some of these questions when booking a family session.  It is always better to go in prepared for the best possible pictures.

One of my clients who wanted a special picture for her husband for Christmas.
We discussed details and she was very happy with the outcome.
This shoot with a local rapper was set in an old industrial building, shot with just one light.  
We discussed the rugged setting and what he wanted to portray to his audience.  

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Clothing and colors

Whether you book a glamor or a business shoot, it is always best to choose jewel tones and expensive looking fabrics for your clothing.  Jewel tones need to compliment your skin tone and enhance your natural features.  Most people fall into two categories: cool and warm.  What does that mean?

*A person with cool undertones in their skin generally looks good in royal blue, apple red, deep purple, hunter green and pastels of the same category.  
*A person with warm undertones in their skin will look wonderful in bright yellow, orange, peach, turquoise and pastels in the same range.

Most brunettes have cool tones in their skin and many, but not all blond and black haired people have warm undertones.  If in doubt, drape yourself with a color you think will look good and observe what happens in the mirror.  If it is your color, your skin will look vibrant, if it is not, you will fade out.
A rule of thumb generally is, that if you feel good in a color, and I mean really good, then it is the right color for you.  Follow your instincts, listen to your inner voice.

You may ask: "what does she mean by expensive looking fabrics?"  This is rather simple.  It could be a simple cotton shirt, but make sure it's ironed, and of the thicker quality.  Linens, while not always inexpensive, will look slept in after just a short while on your body, so avoid linen for a shoot.  Never wear jersey, t-shirt, and sweatshirt fabrics, even the most slender person does not look good wearing these materials in a photograph of any sort.  In short, go for fabrics with body and garments tailored to have some structure.  The more put together and confident you  feel, the better the photograph will reflect who you are.

For glamor shoots, black often works really well, unless you look fantastic in white.  One might argue that neither black nor white are jewel tones, but one could also argue that they are.  Isn't onyx a jewel?  How about pearls?  In terms of clothing they both fall into the category of good choices and will work for most skin tones.
Below are a couple of examples to illustrate my point.

This hunter green gown and black background does wonders for the models skin.  
She does have blue undertones and brunette hair.

In this shot you can see how well the blue jacket works with the black hair of the model and how the white of the shirt enhances the skin tone.  The structure of the jacket enhances the models figure.

Neither one of these models would look good in yellows or oranges as both have cool undertones in their skin, even though one of them has a much lighter complexion.  This said, whether skin is tanned or not, it retains it's tonality.   The only color influenced by a tan is white since it needs a contrast to look good next to skin in a photograph.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Light and Make-up, how do they relate in a shoot?

Let's talk light and make-up:
In order to get a well lit shot in a portrait, lighting is important. Photography lighting is as powerful as stage lighting because even with the new cameras, we want to keep the ISO (film speed) as low as possible to get nice crisp images. No matter how a portrait is lit, whether the result will be dramatic or romantic and soft, lighting needs to be powerful. As a rule, light bounces off light surfaces and skin falls into that category when strong light is directed at it.

It is best to wear a heavier base, no matter how dark your skin tone is. Powder matts the skin and helps absorb some of the light, lending the skin a natural appearance on the photograph. it is said that eyes are the window to the soul and this is doubly true in a photograph. Never apply eye-makeup you would wear during the day. The smokey eye works best for glamor shots and for business shots go just a little less smokey. Cheeks should be accented to lend the face some angular planes. If the face in question has natural angularity, a little will go a long way. with a round or heart-shape face, it is important to accent the cheekbones.

The camera sees angles, light plays off them and creates a beautiful image. Accent your strong points in your face for the best shots. If in doubt about what to do, have your make-up done for the shoot and tell your make-up artist what you are after. This is something you should discuss with your photographer prior to the shoot so you are on the same page.

Below are two examples of good make-up for a glamor shot, both for color and black and white.

look at the eyes, they are expressive and the skin looks luminous, without make-up appropriate for lighting , she would look washed out.

the same holds true in this color photograph, her cheekbones are accentuated and her eyes sparkle.  both models have a smokey eye for best results.

Fort Frederick

Last weekend my hubby and I went to Fort Frederick in Big Pool MD. This is a fort that was built shortly before the French/Indian war and was used during that time. Later it became a prison camp during the revolution. Last weekend the fort welcomed re-enacters of the french/Indian war time period. A French officer camp, a canadian camp and vendors were set up and were very friendly. They told us about how they had hunted and cooked a wild turkey the night before and what projects they were working on. It was very hot that day, at least for Maryland, with temperatures in the upper 90's which made us grateful that we did not have to wear wool as the re-enacters did. It seemed that they were hot even if they were lucky enough to wear linen shirts.
The pictures I am adding to this blog are of the two encampments and the interior of the fort. I also shot a mock battle, but will post those images later with another blog. I have not edited them yet:) for additional photographs go to my website as I can not add them all here:)

Since my hubby and I had been to Gettysburg last, this was a nice shift in time and made you realize that some things really did not change that much in about 120 years:) The women's clothing was the most obvious change and the military garb of the day was more primitive in the day of the french/indian war as well. Camping and cooking, however did not seem to have made progress:)

Please peruse the photographs and let me know what you think:)