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Techniques for Digital Photographers

Figure Photography
Billy Pegram
Amherst Media

®

publisher of photography books

About the Author. Billy Pegram has produced cutting-edge fashion photography
for clients such as Fila and Swatch. Additionally, he has directed and produced
over 100 videos for The American College of Sports Medicine in conjunction with major sponsors such as Reebok, Gatorade, YMCA Corporation, and
Stairmaster. Pegram is the author of Fashion Model Photography: Professional
Techniques and Images (Amherst Media, 1999), Professional Model Portfolios:
A Step-by-Step Guide for Photographers (Amherst Media, 2004) and Posing
Techniques for Photographing Model Portfolios (Amherst Media, 2008). He
currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. To learn more, visit www.RedComet
Studios.com or e-mail Billy@RedCometStudios.com.

Acknowledgments. The author wishes to thank the kind individuals at Photoflex,
especially Norm and Renee, for their support of this particular genre.

Copyright © 2013 by Billy Pegram.
All rights reserved.
All photographs by the author.
Published by:
Amherst Media, Inc.
P.O. Box 586
Buffalo, N.Y. 14226
Fax: 716-874-4508
www.AmherstMedia.com
Publisher: Craig Alesse
Senior Editor/Production Manager: Michelle Perkins
Assistant Editor: Barbara A. Lynch-Johnt
Editorial Assistance from: Sally Jarzab, John S. Loder, Carey A. Miller
Business Manager: Adam Richards
Marketing, Sales, and Promotion Manager: Kate Neaverth
Warehouse and Fulfillment Manager: Roger Singo
ISBN-13: 978-1-60895-578-7
Library of Congress Control Number: 2012920988
Printed in The United States of America.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopied, recorded or otherwise, without prior written consent from the publisher.
Notice of Disclaimer: The information contained in this book is based on the author’s experience and opinions. The author and publisher will not be held liable for the use or misuse of the information in this book.
Check out Amherst Media’s blogs at: http://portrait-photographer.blogspot.com/
http://weddingphotographer-amherstmedia.blogspot.com/

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Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
A Short History of Figure Imagery . . . . . . . . . . 7

Fundamental Techniques
Location Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

8

Go With the Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
FEATURE: Brief the Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Play, Play, Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Perks and Drawbacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Networking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Privacy and Permits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

FEATURE: Shoot Reference Images . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

FEATURE: Pre-Scout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Add Props . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Change It Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
FEATURE: Model Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Indoor Locations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Lighting and Exposure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

18

Approaches, Part 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Window Light, Part 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Approaches, Part 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Window Light, Part 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

FEATURE: Soft and Hard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

FEATURE: Simple Lighting, Dynamic Pose . . . . . . . . 30

Quality of Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Choose the Right Light

The Golden Hours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

for Your Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Adding Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Capturing Movement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

FEATURE: Gobos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Shutter Speed: Slow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Placing a Single Source . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Shutter Speed: Fast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

White Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

FEATURE: Practice Shooting Action . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Black Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Short Light Duration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Simple Variations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Postproduction Enhancement . . . . . . . . . 39

34

table of contents 3

. . . . . . . . 68 Drama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Erotic . . . . . . . . . Gentlemen’s Club . . . . . 88 FEATURE: The Photoshop Trap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Fashion Design . . . . . . . . . . . 64 FEATURE: Keep the Options Open . . . . . . 72 Composition . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 86 FEATURE: Playboy Style on Location . . . . . . . . . 70 FEATURE: Make It Pay . 40 76 Elevate the Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 FEATURE: What “Category” Is It? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Lingerie Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 58 Pinup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Figure Photography Styles Commercial . . . . . . . . . 40 Glamour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 FEATURE: Bra-Strap Marks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Color + Sepia/Black & White . 79 FEATURE: Get a Release . . . . . . . . . 94 Jewelry Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 4 Figure Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Makeup and Styling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Food Packaging Design . . . . 65 Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Photoshop Is Just Another Tool . . 58 FEATURE: Models and Cars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Postproduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Hair . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Back & White . . . . 48 Styling Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 FEATURE: Keep It Classy . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 FEATURE: Disclaimer . . . 62 Watch Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Intense Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Headshots . . . . . . . 94 Jeans-Wear Design . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Calendars . . . . . . . . . 94 FEATURE: Skip the Shirt . . . . 94 Interior Design . . . . . . . . . . . Test Shoots . . . . . . . . . . . 76 FEATURE: Building Your Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 A Romantic Look . . . . . . 66 Fashion . . . . . . 55 Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 A Standard of Excellence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 FEATURE: Multiple Usages . 60 Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Alternative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Graphic Look . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Expression . . 78 FEATURE: Understand What Publishers Need . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Playboy Style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Fashion Nudity . . . . . . . . 60 Products as Props . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Clothing and Props . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Basic Retouching . . .

. 144 FEATURE: Find a Cause . . 136 FEATURE: Classic Looks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 Figure Photography in Practice Shaving Cream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 Universal Appeal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 Concept . . . . . . . 128 FEATURE: For the Makeup Artist . . . . . . 98 Ask Yourself . . . . . . 134 Balloons . . . . . 119 With New Models . . . . . . . 99 Lighting . . . 102 FEATURE: Variations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 Eggshell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 Fine Art . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Pink Hair . . . . 130 Textured Clay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 The Photographer’s Role . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 Lighting . . 146 140 Simplicity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 Body Parts . . . . . . 110 FEATURE: Shutter Speed . . . . 118 154 Keep the Image Use in Mind . . . . . . Share Your Vision . . . . 104 FEATURE: A Toned-Down Version . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Expression . . . . . . . . 110 Gear Isn’t Artistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Feathers . . . . . . . 123 Drama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 Watch the Eyes . . . 148 Experiment and Explore . . . . . . . . . . . 154 Book Cover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 Model Selection . 112 Working with Models Tips from a Model Schedule Play Days . . . . . . . 113 Interview with Karrin Rachelle . . . . . . . . . 124 Follow Your Passion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Tips from a Casting Agent Try Different Locations . . . . . . 100 Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 With Experienced Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Modern Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 Lighting . . . . . . . 156 Index . 139 Sexy or Sexual? . . . . 105 Smoke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Directing a Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154 FEATURE: Lingerie Hangtag . . . . . . . . . 127 Strawberries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Interview with Julie Green . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 Consider Specializing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 FEATURE: Take Care of the Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 Find Inspiration . . . . . . . . 105 FEATURE: Mood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 Body Painting . . . . . . 120 The Results Are Worth the Effort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Compositing the Final Shot . . . 136 table of contents 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Furthermore. There are endless ways to visually capture the beauty of a model.Introduction W hen Amherst Media® asked me to write a the human figure throughout my whole career. I was initially creating everything from highly stylized catalog going to write and illustrate a “nude” book. 6 Figure Photography . and in great pects of nude photography but also the thought detail by Amherst Media in conjunction with process behind the creation of a photo image. wanted to emphasize the details that need to be I’ve been a commercial fashion photographer considered when creating an image but also the for over twenty-five years. I de- However. so I have worked with marketplace for that image. Instead. art educators. and I’ve tried to show a wide range of them—as well as the techniques required to create them. Therefore. there are many fine books of this cided to approach this book as an informative genre on the market. I many of their great photographers. This book contains a great deal of practical information that I have found beneficial when working with models and clients. work to erotic figure studies. professional and hobbyist photographers alike. Therefore. the purpose of this book is to assist photographers to pre-visualize their figure work and create figure images that have a purpose. I’m sure there are some theorists who will disagree with my comments and suggestions. The subject has been pub- piece that would show not only the practical as- lished by museums. It is geared to help you. this is ® not a book on theory. In fact. to create more pleasing images. You’ll see examples of several different categories of figure work and the qualities associated with them. the book is structured in such a way that it will allow you to assist models in developing their own style in the modeling world. book on figure photography.

grab attention. Over the next several centuries.  man has been fascinated with the depiction of Slowly. Today. Aphrodite. she is probably a fertil- evolve along with society’s changing moral and ity symbol of some kind. Italian artists represented female nudes as idealized forms. A double-standard persisted nication between the creator of the image and through the Roman era and. The final result is a commu- love. female nudes with glow- hands of the artist. very popular. as witnessed by the the nude. the perfection of the human ing sensuousness and in modern settings were form is glorified. as is would continue to take center stage and to typical of much early art. The earliest known nude art piece is a tiny With the development of photography as statuette popularly called the Venus of Willen- an art form. In the into the 19th century. Classical art history of aesthetic standards. it was only natural that the nude dorf. idealized nude nudity. delightfully playful. images that the Olympic Games. the audience. lighthearted in both religious and secular art throughout his- approach. to some degree. It is classic. and create an and godlike mythical heroes. techniques are secondary to the image and its when sculptors began to depict the goddess of emotional quality. used a short history of figure imagery 7 . and to portray their gods make a statement. depicting the female nude became not only respectable but also a major theme in the visual arts. The Greeks used nude male ly beautiful. both mythological and religious natures.A Short History of Figure Imagery S ince the first caveman used a piece of char- mainly for depicting grand historical scenes of coal to scratch on the walls of his dwelling. nude photographs can be sublime- quite differently. timeless. and universal. begins in Greece—although images in magazines such as Playboy. The nude has been a consistent theme form gave way to a more frivolous. In the end. the classical. into modern times. The female nude emotional impact are successful. or downright figures of ideal proportions as a way of memo- erotic. over time. Photographic didn’t appear until around the 4th century BC. well tory.  rializing both real people. however. In approximately the 13th century. Penthouse. It depicts a corpulent female and. the nude male and the nude female were treated and others. such as champions at Take your pick. By the Impressionistic period.

to establish yourself as a commercial figure photographer you must become proficient and consistent in your work. whether exotic or simple. lighting. “I just want to get to a great location and see what I can record. 8 Figure Photography . You must be experienced enough to adapt and adjust to changes in the backgrounds. Locations. and environmental conditions. Why am I shooting? What are my goals? Who is my viewer? Is this a commercial image or an expression of my art? All these questions must be asked before you can proceed in planning a shoot. If your first answer is.Location Selection S tep off the seamless paper and add dimension to your work. will add to the message of your images. That’s especially true when dealing with location work. since planning is necessary just to get to the location and be ready to deal with unknown conditions.” that’s wonderful. However.

Fundamental Techniques 9 .

or events that can help you shape your to kick up some more dust in the background.Go With the Flow leave the area. to phone some friends so they can all stay and watch! . More than one of my models has and decided to show off. the dust started When shooting on location. figurative images. special design el- a couple of four-wheelers came by. unexpected oppor- more interesting look—so interesting that when tunities often provide interest. When creating the image above. I was shooting on a dirt road near a dry lake bed. however. to spread out. brief the model on how she should handle any interactions with Joe Public. giving the background a much use changes in their environment. I had my model and reflectors in place when an obnoxious Jeep driver came to see what we were doing Brief the Model When shooting on location. Our first reaction was to pack up and 10 Figure Photography can cause the person she’s addressing to call the authorities—or. conversely. Then. As the dust flowed past us.” This ring up dust. we panicked to cover the open makeup and camera lenses. bragged that she was “shooting for a client” or He began driving in my background and stir- “working on a nude shoot in the desert. Adept photographers learn to which they happily did. I asked them ements.

Fundamental Techniques 11 . or water.” Experiment with the color balance. Since you’re shooting with available light. Go beyond what the meter says is “normal. There may also be natural props to sit or lie on. How can you get the most from the model? How is it best to communicate with her about posing? What light works best for your style? How do you develop your style? What do you want as your message? Keep in mind that the most interesting images are not always technically correct. She becomes part of the whole. Play. see how creative you can be. Pre-planning will help avoid many problems—until the jobs or your budget allow you enough assistants to be prepared for anything. play! Perks and Drawbacks Outdoor locations help models get into the flow of the session. like extreme light conditions. Play When you’re first starting out. or even a workable makeup station. weather. or heat. or sand. exposure. she can see the scene around her. and any other variables you can conceive of during the exposure and in postproduction. She can also feel the wind. play. There are also potential problems. lack of privacy and rest-room facilities. Play.Play.

Networking A good source for shooting locations is camera clubs that share an interest in your style of work. When teaching seminars. and not knowing the best areas to shoot or the talent available. I have seen photographer’s faces light up when I offer to take them to locations I use around Las Vegas.) 12 Figure Photography Figure nudes created on location can be incorporated into commercial images. as well as talent and rental resources. . Some photographers have boats or barns or trains or warehouses that they have repeatedly shot at—but these locations are new to you. (Note: I have long wanted to establish a network of photographers to share information about locations in their area. I also loan them equipment (so they don’t have to fly it in) and introduce them to models and makeup people. because of travel restrictions. It is all about sharing in the creative process. such as this poster for a gun distributor. One of the biggest problems I face is flying to a region without necessary equipment.

Fundamental Techniques 13 . try to shoot on off days. planning future shoots. Tuck yourself off the trail or behind a hidden dune.Privacy and Permits Privacy is essential. When using public areas. isolated beaches. I know several photographers who have gotten major tickets from rangers who thought they were shooting commercial images. These will be helpful resources when or secluded woods. If you are open with the rangers ahead of time. These might in- Shoot Reference Images As you encounter them. if you are seen. Many times you will find that a quick call and a permit will get you access to areas you didn’t know existed. Scout for backgrounds that are removed from public view. phy. Be careful. The middle of the week works well. you can get ticketed. These rangers want to protect the natural beauty from misuse by big advertising firms. they may set you up in an isolated area where they don’t have to worry about Joe Public running into you. farms. document potential new locations for shooting figure photogra- clude private gardens.

14 Figure Photography .

a stool. it can enhance easier to communicate your vision to all involved. Preparing a storyboard for the model and makeup artists will go a long way in chair. the photo artist. Fabric can That small bit of preparation will also show your even change the mood of the photograph. which is okay as long as you. ribbons. Sometimes. ing it dreamy or romantic.Pre-Scout If possible. Note what props are available and what will be needed. or even a rope can add dramatic design elements to your figure photograph. the model with color or movement. the props become the subject in-and-of themselves. Props provide interest and continuity in the image. have decided to make the model secondary in the image. Fundamental Techniques 15 . leave them out. Sometimes a simple image with clean lines is superior to a cluttered one. If the props don’t add to the image. a lighting. Fabric prob- helping you achieve your vision—and it will make it ably is the most used accessory. visit the area before the session to take Add Props sample photographs and make notes about the Simple props such as a hat. mak- professionalism to the team.

if you find that the background lighting or other factors are influencing the images in a negative way. but she is never the problem. Don’t ever let the model see your frustration. do something to give you a chance to succeed. shoot a few images and then move on. though. 16 Figure Photography . even if she is. In no case should you make the model believe that she is the problem. It’s best to explain that the lighting has changed negatively or that there are people in the distant background—whatever the case.Change It Up When working with a model on location. You may have to shift the camera position so her hips look better. Change the angles or change the lighting.

However.Model Selection Many magazines and web sites specialize in a certain look. or style. there are no weather issues to worry begin to create you own style and identity. ward capturing the images you desire. a few simple techniques (cov- travel time and the wear and tear on your equip- ered in the next section) will go a long way to- ment will be minimized. Look for ones that promote a style you are at ease creating and a genre of models you appreciate. Experiment cial indoor location—you have better security with poses. lighting. ethnicity. Indoor Locations Indoor locations require more refined lighting rooms). you’ll usually have less skills. about. consider us- There are many advantages to using a spe- ing staircases and parking garages. and there are generally convenient areas The erotic indoor image below was used as a for makeup and changing (as well as nearby rest billboard promoting a bar in Las Vegas. and props as you control. Working within your style and marketing to clients with similar styles will help sell your images in a very competitive market. Look for windows and doorways. Study your target market’s styles. and their clients like it. Fundamental Techniques 17 . Additionally. they have often spent years developing their look. locations.

Additionally. previsualize your images and be able to repeat lighter and more airy. You must be able to than what the camera chooses or. you’ll want the im- Likewise. For example. conversely. direct light or soft. direct sunlight and diffused sun- ages you deliver to have a creative edge that will light produce two very different looks. your results. “correct” exposure? The answers are large- diffused light) might be right for the image you ly subjective. the automatic expo- envision is up to you—at least on shoots where sure mode can give you what the camera’s soft- you’re creating images for yourself. Which of stand out enough to get you published. The your objective will be to create images that meet look you want might be darker and moodier that client’s requirements. of course.Lighting and Exposure W hat makes lighting “good”? What is the those looks (whether hard. 18 Figure Photography . ware considers to be a “perfect” exposure—but When you’re working for clients. that may not always be the effect you desire.

Shoot in doorways add only the light you want. Fundamental Techniques 19 . Shoot at one of impact the exposure and some aspects the golden hours (just before the sun of the overall lighting effect. or seek out hard light for more dramatic effects.These two images are the same. Take total control of the lighting in the photograph. and shadow areas. Add reflectors. The second one was simply darkened in postproduction to give it a more dramatic effect. Approaches. Use the surrounding backgrounds gobos. 1. Part 1 When working with the nude. Use flash to overpower the sunlight. approaches—and their impact. This is one way to impact the exposure and look of the lighting after the shoot. a photographer can take several approaches to lighting: 3. Be flexible and Read the next section for more on each of these shoot on a cloudy day. and lighting that are available at the Move the shoot into the studio and time of the shoot. Learn the endless possibilities of digital desired type of lighting for the im- manipulation—and how they can ages to be created. Schedule the shoot to assure the 4. Understand how the image can be altered in postproduction. goes down in the evening or just as it rises in the morning). 2. or scrims to modify the light.

The bottom line is this: you need to use all the tools and creative methods available to you to create images that will communicate your vision as an artist. it requires additional equipment and expertise. Part 2 Each of the aforementioned approaches is valid. 20 Figure Photography . and the difficulty of the work required to achieve an effect. Approach 4 involves taking control of the image in postproduction—and you don’t have to become a Photoshop expert to reap these advantages. Approach 1. Approach 3. reasonably priced retouchers on the market. simply adding reflector or fill-in flash can add punch to an otherwise flat image. Understanding how to best use your equipment and take control of situations is a necessity for success with this approach. however. will give you a great chance to create images with a warm glow and a beautiful effect. However. With this knowledge. you can communicate your vision to the retoucher to ensure correct pricing and accurate results.Approaches. is a free-flowing way to work—and in many ways the most fun. What is important is learning how and when to use the methods. There are many creative. I like to start at the morning golden hour and keep shooting until the sun becomes too contrasty for my desired images. scheduling a photo session at one of the golden hours. Approach 2. This will allow you to reach the maximum potential of any given situation. It is definitely to your advantage to know what can be done. gives you the most control of your images. using whatever light is available. In many situations. adding to or modifying the light. your results are predictable and more consistently marketable.

Fundamental Techniques 21 .

Shooting on a semi-cloudy day can be a frustrating experience. you must be able to constantly adjust for a change in exposure and lighting effects. the image is broken into a more visual message. therefore. Photo 2 shows how turning the image black & white simplifies the shot and adds to its graphic presentation. you can achieve the lighting effect you desire. Notice how the shadows from the building—and even the water—have a sharp edge that adds drama to a 22 Figure Photography 3 simple image. . with good timing.1 2 Soft and Hard Photo 1 shows how soft the lighting becomes when a thick cloud covers the sun. Photo 3 illustrates how dramatic hard. Eliminating the color brings the image to a simpler form. I once heard a museum curator say that the reason most fine-art work is shot in black & white is that black & white doesn’t exist in the real world. direct sunlight can be. With the clouds moving across the sky. However.

minimizing any flaws. Hard light is very bright and it). with its gentle shadows. I particularly like to shoot when there is a light cloud cover. If it is exposed correctly. the clouds turn the sun into one huge softbox. creating more problems. (One solution. shadows recede. The body painting was the same as in the previous images. penetrate. red rays to range of details. quickly. models tend to squint uncontrol- magnificent light. crisp shadows while soft light is the increased atmosphere blocking the shorter diffused. These two times of day are called the Direct sunlight. Especially rays beautify the subject’s face. the rays become warmer in color due to creates deep. colors are more vibrant. because of the way these warmer hard because it creates harsh shadows. For example. and wrinkles. Basically. This light can be beautiful and highly flattering to a model’s face and figure. is normally best for beauty shots. and the contrast ratio between the shadows and highlights becomes much lower. Fundamental Techniques 23 . scars. This is because it tends to have a smoothing effect on the skin. with gentle shadows that give a better rays and allowing only the warmer. As a result. it can add punch and saturation to an image—but. as seen on the facing page. so the photographer must plan ahead and also puts harsh shadows under the nose. Hard light can also accentuate concerns like large noses. it causes the eyes to appear dark and lifeless.Quality of Light The Golden Hours The quality of light is generally defined as how As the sun sinks on the horizon (or rises from hard or soft it is. resulting in soft light. is considered golden hours. these golden hours pass very ple. at midday it should be avoided in shooting peo- Unfortunately. again. This image shows the beauty of golden hour lighting. is to turn the model’s face toward the sun to minimize the hard shadows on it. and work efficiently to take advantage of this Additionally.) Soft light. lably at this time of day. A light covering of clouds effectively diffuses the hard sun. for example. hard light—especially if it is from the side—can help contour a model’s body with well-defined shadows. Conversely. be careful when using hard light on a model’s face.

and other modifiers to produce creative effects. photographers often just about any effect you can imagine—and to supply additional light to the scene. Some photographers love to add lots of light to a scene. I added a softbox to camera right. the variety of lighting tools and effects at our disposal make it possible to achieve 24 Figure Photography Gobos “Gobo” is an abbreviation for “go between. spotlights. or even car headlights. This can be satisfy the needs of your clients effectively. is throughout this book. as though the great lighting in their image was actually the result of ambient light. largely a matter of taste and individual style. using colored gels.To illuminate my model against the last bit of light from the setting sun. Adding Light Out of choice or necessity.” It describes a light-blocking device used between the light and the subject (or between the light and the camera lens). so they are something we’ll be looking at What light is added. any light source that is not normally in the scene Lighting techniques are important and var- such as strobes. ied. Others strive to create a natural look. . and how it’s added. Using gobos will help you control the light that reaches your subject and is very helpful in preventing flare in situations where a light source is directed toward the lens. Happily. tungsten.

the statue was moved slightly more toward the softbox.1 Placing a Single Source Sometimes. Next (2). gobo softbox Fundamental Techniques 25 statue 3 . The light is still soft but the statue has less detail. so very little light reaches her body. In the first image (1). This is because it was lit from the side. The softness of the shadows is the result of using a large light modifier (the softbox). a Photoflex half-dome softbox was placed to camera right. By understanding the position of your light in relation to the subject you can control the relative contrast and shaping you achieve. 2 The model was screened from most of this light by a gobo. the lighting stayed the same on the statue but the model moved back into the gobo effect. with ample highlights and shadows. Notice how the statue is well sculptured. a single well-placed light is all you need to add. For the final image (3).

White Background For a white background. 26 Figure Photography camera on tripod Photoflex half-dome aimed at background softbox at 1/2 power . such as seamless paper. and contrast. some photographers prefer a 2. Explore your own preferences—but don’t go too bright. color saturation. The exposure on this surface needs to be at least 1 stop brighter than the subject. start with some type of white surface (preferably smooth and flat). Excessive light bouncing onto your subject from the white background will reduce sharpness.or 3-stop Photoflex half-dome aimed at background value over the subject for a high key effect.

light placed high Photoflex half-dome camera on tripod Black Background To create a black background you need some 1 type of black surface. Light defines the form. The lighting for these two images was set up in exactly the same way. Fundamental Techniques 27 2 . such as black velvet or velour. and texture. making it 2 stops darker than the first shot (1). light placed high magenta gel. features.red gel. both placed high and angled down toward the model. To keep it pure black. added color on the edges of the model’s body. A red gel to camera left and a magenta gel to camera right. The only difference was that the flash output on the main Photoflex half-dome was cut in the second exposure (2). the exposure on the background needs to be 3 stops lower than the exposure on the subject. Color enhances (or diminishes) the mood.

For the first image (1). placed high and angled down toward model 28 Figure Photography 4 camera on tripod .1 2 3 Simple Variations All four images were shot with the same lighting setup: a tungsten theatrical can. the camera was set to a daylight white balance. For the next version (2). In all images. the model was posed close to the wall to enhance the shadow formation on it. the camera was set to match the tungsten light of the theatrical can. a black & white mask was used in Photoshop to drop out some of the red tone. Finally (3). grain was added for contrast. wall theatrical can light with parabolic lens. For a different look (4).

Fundamental Techniques 29 . well-placed reflector. By using reflectors you can visually adjust the light to create your idea of the photograph. In the top image. Part 1 With a small. window light can be as effective as a major light setup. An advantage of using window light is that you can see exactly what you are going to get—assuming you expose correctly (or according to your lighting preferences).Window Light. Using a pose to enhance the light as it streams through the window can make the shot. Window light is what the old master painters had and they were masters with it. pillows were placed under the model’s hips so the light could spill more on her buttocks and not just backlight her.

Simple Lighting. Part 2 The setting for this series was a small warehouse. Dynamic Pose When the lighting is simple. 30 Figure Photography . This will help to better engage the viewer in the portrait. This series of images is a perfect illustration of the fact that you don’t need a complex setup to create high-quality images.Window Light. you can create some dynamic photographs. used as a simple weekend studio. plus the camera’s built-in controls and filters. as in this window-light portrait. The secondary light source for this image was a theatrical can light (seen to the left in the photo below). so I moved in a soft bench for the model to stand on. was used for fill light on the model. With just two lights. This light. I suggest trying to use more interesting poses. This allowed me to create a full-length shot with the glass blocks as both the light source and the background. The glass blocks didn’t extend all the way to the floor. which is easily adjustable and moveable.

Fundamental Techniques 31 .

The light was the shape of her figure. the goal was to create an wanted. in fact. I converted the image to black & white. 32 Figure Photography . which creates some shadowing to reveal head and close to the model. look at the image on the facing page. beautiful legs—something that would age. to fill her face with even the only source of light. Placing her on a small barely out of the viewfinder. work well in her portfolio. Her body is turned slightly away from very small softbox (with a grid attached) over- the sun. image that looked as though the owl lamp was I had her face the sun. I was wanted a simple shot of the mod- that it achieves your creative goals for the im- el’s long. we worked with the late afternoon sun. In postproduction. To do this. What makes the light “right” is Here. To get the look I For the image below. then added a brown tone to give it the warmth I had envisioned. right lighting.Choose the Right Light for Your Objectives There’s no one answer when it comes to the Now. Let’s look at two examples. The shutter rise so I was shooting up at her helped visually was dragged to allow the low light level from to lengthen her body. I placed a lighting. the owl lamp to register in the image.

Fundamental Techniques 33 .

a necessity in everyday pho- tungsten light source. during the long exposure (1/2 second shutter Shutter Speed: Slow speed at f/16).e. the exposure. unique images will be created. Second is the duration that a In these photos. control motion—or. photographers choose a shutter speed use movement creatively—will add another tool that is fast enough to freeze any motion in a to set your images apart. Third is using postproduction. she moved her head from front to back. let’s talk about using can be a nightmare or a gem. learning how to Normally.. Learning to it as a unique tool in your creative figure work. she swept her right arm in a circle. better yet. In the second and third Controlling the shutter speed is one of the basic images. Now. is shutter speed. the model was lit with a single and is. therefore. In the first shot. the flash still and move only one element of her body duration). scene. though. .Capturing Movement M ovement during the making of photographs tography. However. and most commonly used. First. the model was asked to hold potential image is exposed to light (i. exposure controls used in creating a photograph For these images. if the shutter speed is set slow There are three basic ways to control motion enough and the model is asked to move during in your images.

Fundamental Techniques 35 .

I thought I was prepared when I was hired for my first professional job: photographing horse racing at The Fairgrounds in New Orleans.Shutter Speed: Fast High shutter speed can be used to sharply freeze action—but it takes good timing. Practice Shooting Action Practice shooting sports to learn how to capture at the peak of action. (Learning this technique later came in handy when I was hired to shoot car racing for a sponsor!) 36 Figure Photography . Having shot sports in high school. Pick a point and prefocus. 105mm. Be prepared for some trial and error until you capture the movement at its zenith. Let me tell you a story. My employer suggested I practice for a few days before I started the job. a large portion of the images showed nothing but horsetails! I was not used to picking up the horse in the viewfinder and tracking it through the photo as I released the shutter. In this case the model was frozen in flight with a shutter speed of 1/160 second (f/8. then have your model begin her action. On my first full day of shooting. The faster the action. the faster your shutter speed needs to be to freeze it. He was so right. ISO 200).

this is an important technique because you normally want the clothing to be as sharp and free from blur as possible. With a short flash duration.Short Light Duration The second method for controlling motion is the duration the subject is exposed to light. this would result in motion blur. This is normally where flash photography comes in. you will get the results needed. Fundamental Techniques 37 . this technique can let you have fun with movement in the skirt or blowing up the dress—or even blowing the hair. because the subject was lit only for the flash duration (1/1500 second). As long as your shutter speed is slow enough to allow the flash to fire. Freezing motion can be fun and rewarding. However. Therefore. that is all that registered in the capture. In fashion and catalog work. These images were all exposed at shutter speeds from 1/ 60 to 1/ 125 second. you will create interest and fun movement in the image without sacrificing sharpness. Usually.

38 Figure Photography .

allowing me to use a very slow shutter speed—but the flash output was limited to f/6. I would have preferred to use f/11 or f/16. As a result.3 so the fastest available shutter speed was 1/125 second. I didn’t get the total blur effect I wanted. so I couldn’t use a slow enough shutter speed to totally blur the background as I desired. so I knew that I was going to be able to tweak my results in postproduction. Adding a little additional digital blur in the background finally gave me the look I was after. However. Fortunately. In this image. I used a slow shutter speed to blur the background as I was panning the camera to follow the mode. I also fired the oncamera flash to freeze her against the blurred background.Postproduction Enhancement The third method for creating/controlling motion is postproduction—using a digital processing program to manipulate the image and create the desired motion effect. the ambient light was very bright. Fundamental Techniques 39 . I had played with the motion blur filters in Photoshop before.

Not images have resulted in commercial jobs! only did I get trained in makeup. Until you understand lighting. that was a win–win situation. In large commercial shoots. 40 Figure Photography . We have were endless—and I was lost. a good makeup artist. and posing well enough to communicate your needs clearly to your team. cate with the makeup artist. As a result. Usually. composition. The makeup is being applied by my fabulous Did I want heavier eyeliner? The inside of the photo stylist and makeup artist. As a beginning photographer. Wendalynn is not only an incredible The look of the nose narrowed? The questions technician but also amazingly creative.Makeup and Styling I was raised with a sister who had four broth- properly. could learn the basics of applying makeup. we are going to of the shoot and what style the images are to look at the basic steps needed to apply makeup portray. clean headshots. that includes a second photographer or an assistant. too. I encoun- niques for creating a much more dramatic look tered another roadblock: I couldn’t communi- for evening. you will improve your chances of creating great images by building your own team. we wanted to create Building Your Team If you want to succeed in photography. it takes a team—a group of individuals with diverse talents that each advance the project as a whole. First. I walked what we call “play days. but I met a cli- Before shooting for any project. You also have to take responsibility for communicating your vision of the image to everyone Involved. Wendalynn eyes lined? How much concealer? Smoky eyes? Nelson. we’ll look at the application of makeup for once I felt comfortable enough in my photo- simple. Surround yourself with the best people around—people who do their jobs well and are dedicated to the quality of the final image. Finally. one person can be doing several jobs. you can’t expect to excel at the added challenges of directing a fashion model in a major shoot or infusing each shot with your personal style. The lesson will be in two parts. and a good hair specialist. ers—so a “girly girl” she was not. Typically.  As You would be surprised at how many “play day” it turned out.” where the objective is into a hair salon and asked the owner where I simply to create something fun and interesting. For most applications (including test shoots). a wardrobe stylist. you can add to that list an art director and the client. the same person may do the wardrobe styling. the photog- ent who helped me get started in fashion work. the makeup artist is also the hairstylist—and if there are a small number of models. For this lesson. Then we’ll study tech- graphic ability to photograph models. rapher must decide on the important concepts In this section of the book.

we placed makeup application. Eyeshadow and Liner Apply foundation on the forehead and eyelid. Additionally. Therefore. Tweeze any stray hairs along the eyebrows. blend the darker shade into lighter shade over the brow bone.final images that would show the details in the lighting on the model. Add highlight shadow (here. shimmery cream) over the entire lid. apply medium brown in a V shape pointing away from eye corner. With a soft brush. flat lighting was the model on a stool with two 6-foot Photoflex required. Apply pencil liner to the top and bottom of lids and blend with matching powder on an eyeliner brush. A small Photo- structured so that the makeup artist could work flex softbox was added directly overhead to cap- around the model without obstructing the even ture the detail in her hair. Basic Clip back the hair so you can easily access the model’s entire face. . To do this. In the outer corner of eye. Apply a moisturizer to the entire face and a silicone primer to the under-eye area and smile lines. the lighting had to be softboxes on either side of her.

Start on the inner corner of the eye and follow brow bone along the natural arch. Have the model look forward and slightly up to apply mascara evenly to the bottom lashes. blend any areas that look harsh. have the model look forward and apply mascara evenly to the top lashes. apply to the eyebrows. After all shadow blending and mascara is finished. . use a makeup remover pad to remove loose powder under the eyes. With a soft brush. On one side of the palette. mix lighter and darker foundation shades into your neutral color to get an exact color match. Mascara Lifting the lid softly to prevent blinking.Eye Touches Using a brown matte powder and a thin angular brush. save a lighter shade to use as under-eye concealer. Foundation Using a spatula.

apply concealer (two shades lighter than selected foundation) under the eyes and in the corners of the eyes. Under the eyes. Blend the blush up softly over the apples of the cheeks.Face Shaping 1 After cleaning the under-eye area. blend for a close color match but leave the area slightly lighter. blending well with existing foundation. Fundamental Techniques 43 . Using a sponge or brush. cover and seal the foundation with powder in a color that is slightly lighter than the foundation. Face Shaping 2 Apply a soft neutral shade of powder blush under the cheekbones and blend. Line the hairline and jaw line with blush to contour and give separation from the hairline and neck. Apply selected foundation to face and neck.

This results in a more natural look. curl the false lashes up and together with natural lashes. Using a lip brush. apply a small amount of latex lash adhesive to the strip area only and let dry for 20 seconds. fill in and over the lines with lipstick. Finally. .Carefully remove the eyelashes from plastic form without ripping them. Then. gently pressing the false eyelashes down to where the natural lashes meet the lid. darker or brighter shades for dramatic shots. Place the strip on the model’s eyelid at the lash line. Remove any extra adhesive from the strip. Use neutral colors for a commercial or natural look. 44 Figure Photography Line the lips with neutral shade along the outer raised line of the lip. False Eyelashes Lips Clean any foundation off the lips and apply lip moisturizer. This helps to make lips look fuller but not overdrawn.

Fundamental Techniques 45 .Final Touches Check the makeup application and adjust anything that is not blended or looks harsh. clean headshot. Completion of the makeup application for a simple. usually under the jaw line and cheekbones. Apply extra contour anywhere it’s needed. Tousle and beautify the hair.

Facing Page—Completion of the makeup application for a more glamorous look. apply darker brown and black to the outer corners of the eyes as well as underneath the bottom lashes. Top Right—Next. Left—Finally. apply a darker shade on the lips to coordinate with the bolder look. 46 Figure Photography .Glamourizing Top Left—For a more glamorous look. pump up the cheeks with a brighter color under the cheek bone.

Fundamental Techniques 47 .

More money was spent yourself to choose the right one. Be prepared and educate to send off to Playboy. There are just too many variables. so we can see how she really looks in photographs. I was approached by a model look in their test-shoot images. the model. I have made it my policy to have a model release signed before every shoot (unless the shoot is specifically for the model herself). I personally on the printing and image presentation. The model styled her own hair and makeup. When I first started out. this shoot. many models are encouraged by how good they Get a Release Don’t shoot anything without a release. I never recommend a model to a client if I haven’t had at least one test shoot with her be- who wanted images to submit to Playboy and forehand. Simple lighting was used—and no postproduction enhancements were used. She then can view her body in the images whether you will be able to work together in a and decide to go further or not. After booking a makeup artist and hairdresser. In my experience. These re48leases Figure Photography include a description of the shoot and the potential image usage. ensuring we all go into the process with the same expectations. That didn’t happen and established a good professional bond. and pro- to be with—polite to the client and crew? The cessing. Either way. respect. Vegas? Can I count on her to be up and ready having the model’s eyebrows and nails done. I will not even place images on my web site without a release. As a result of this experience. The images shown on the facing page are from a test shoot. It’s just to see how the model will tween you. the figure/nude environment. This how any future shoot will go. film. and your team. The shoot went fantastically and we were all proud of the images we were going not just a pretty face. photographer is not losing a great deal of time All figure models must have a test shoot be- or money and the model will gain confidence in fore booking a detailed professional shoot. similar magazines. wardrobe. The first move and if she really is comfortable with nu- test will give you and the model time to feel out dity. I offered to sell them the images at cost (plus time to the model). but they refused. and confidence be- makeup artist. the ones with whom I have worked previously and model called to say her boyfriend didn’t want her to submit the images to anyone—plus he wanted the images. he had no recourse when I didn’t give them to him. After prefer to work with “unknown” models—but everything was all but packaged to ship. before the 4:30am sunrise? Will she be pleasant plus supplying props. I had spent hundreds of dollars on model is very important to the whole process. . I was excited to find a mod- How will the model work in the desert environ- el with Playboy potential—and it was an oppor- ment—with the heat and blowing sand of Las tunity for those publications to see my work.Test Shoots T esting is extremely important in establishing test shoot should involve simple lighting and no mutual trust.

Fundamental Techniques 49 .

50 Figure Photography .

The model was very comfortable in her skin and showed she had a wide range of emotions and movement.This test shoot was a pleasant surprise. Fundamental Techniques 51 .

Postproduction P erfection before the shot is no longer a requirement. drama. it lets you approach photo sessions differently. It has become the standard of the business and it gives you so much potential to work with your images. impact. I have shot with a household outlet in an image or power lines in a landscape all because I knew they would be simple to remove in Photoshop. With some study and practice. down so it just darkened the overall image. I created a black layer in Photoshop. That’s no different than in the pre-digital age. however. also save you time and money. Commercial clients no longer want you to submit “plain” photos. Likewise. In the past. the creative control you can attain through pro- skin. I reduced its opacity ited only by the retoucher’s imagination. Knowing how to do your own retouching will The black layer was selectively erased to create the look I wanted. perspective can be corrected. As a photographer. 52 Figure Photography . Pre-planning and pre-visualization are just as important as always. right grams like Adobe Photoshop is boundless—lim- above the model layer. you need to embrace Photoshop. and a stray hair or a pimple can be quickly eliminated. and magazine editors had to spend photographers can do at least simple retouchThis image was exposed normally. or just simply a boost in contrast. Today. most Many images require retouching to give them flair. Being able to create an endless variety of visual effects allows the photographer to create and convey a multitude of messages Basic Retouching from the same image. art directors. a lot of money and man-hours on lab techni- cians to get each image just right. they all want them retouched to a certain degree before you turn them over to their in-house graphics people. then processed to smooth the skin. To darken the blinds and create highlights on the model’s ing on their own. Additionally. For example. lighting can be enhanced or changed. but postproduction has given the photographer the added tools of a painter. photographers.

or a combina- lected areas to allow the colored layer beneath it tion of the two. The image was shot in color. Fundamental Techniques 53 . a duplicate layer was converted to extra control when creating their images—and black & white and given a sepia-tone look. The the option to present a single color capture in brown-toned image layer was then erased in se- three ways: color. fashion and commercial work to drawn attention What is correct? Who knows and who cares? to the product. In Digital technology has allowed photographers Photoshop. black & white. to show through.Black & White Color + Sepia/Black & White Who shoots in black & white any more? Images The effect seen in this image is widely used in can be converted too easily to worry about it.

Working on a duplicate layer. high and behind the model. but they don’t want the message of the advertisement to be upstaged by the model. You could then change the contrast of one of the images and start all over again to get even more results. The model’s nipple was also removed. A small strobe.A Graphic Look Many times. . the curves were then adjusted (as seen below) to create numerous different variations. This image was originally shot using a blue-gelled light on the model’s right side. In Photoshop. was aimed where the water was going to be poured. images that are suggestive and artsy—images in which the model is not identifiable—are more marketable than straight beauty images. The light was coned down so as not to spill over into the model’s front. the contrast was boosted to get a strong black and multiple shades of blue—a graphic look. These clients are looking for an image that will draw attention.

the image was retouched as normal and a little more warming filtration was added. Photoshop is not a replacement for dramatic. When you have a look in mind. the blues were and backlit. Part of the blue a warming gel over the main light to give her tone I envisioned came from setting the cam- skin a warm glow—as if it were lit by firelight. A red was boosted to the maximum in Photoshop. The contrast fan was added for movement in her hair. then maximized. The image was shot with no filter or gel) to camera left. layers of flames to make the image even more However.Fire Intense Color The concept for this image was to create fire sur- This image was shot using a single strobe (with rounding the model. exposure. mosquito net was also placed behind the model Using the color filter sliders. To make the fire. but I liked the The Photoshop Trap Don’t get caught in the “fix it in Photoshop” trap. don’t quit experimenting until you have explored a variety paying careful attention to composition. If you are shooting with a specific Photoshop effect in mind and you still have con- flames I achieve here the most. A era’s white balance to tungsten. that’s great. styling. of possibilities. I tried several. posing. and all the other technical aspects of imaging that result in a professional-quality photograph. I added multiple trol of the image you are creating. I simply Googled “making fire with Photoshop” and many good tutorials came up. In postproduction. Fundamental Techniques 55 .

A creative image will make a statement about your art and your unique artistic perspective. play. The female figure is probably the most drawn. Unless your images require realism for a client or a specific product. show something unique. It has already been illustrated in so many spectacular ways—so be creative. and represent the beauty it is. 56 Figure Photography . create. sculpted.Photoshop Is Just Another Tool When working with a figure model. an unusual image will often get you noticed. and experiment—both during the shoot and when exploring your postproduction options. painted and photographed image of all time.

Fundamental Techniques 57 .

Interior Design Jewelry Design The image on the facing page was for a jewelry The photograph below was created for an inte- designer. When I asked the designer how she model’s eyes were closed to force the viewer’s wanted the chair photographed. The art collector. ents and provide maximum versatility. displays. For this dramatic image. 58 Figure Photography . The elegant hand posing it artsy. high above the model and aimed it down toward her figure from camera left.Commercial igure photography is often requested by com- F decided to have the model’s head down so she mercial clients—photography buyers who didn’t have a identity that would upstage the need sensual images for their advertising cam- chair. The lighting was from a simple theatrical paigns. then converted to rior designer who had just sold the chair to an black & white with a slight brown tone. I didn’t have to poses. I placed a theatrical can. In this section. It was shot color. we’ll look at how these worry about color balance of the can because images can be created to satisfy a variety of cli- the image was to be in black & white. she said. “Make gaze to the jewelry. with a parabolic lens.” I added to the grace of the jewelry. Maybe fine art—use a nude model. or other business-related pur- can with a parabolic reflector.

Figure Photography styles 59 .

who loves a “rock” feel. For the shoot. First. In the image on the left. we used a fashion/ figure model—although nudity was not required by this designer. I learned the second reason after shooting for a jeans manufacturer years ago. bare skin will never conflict with the garment. The client loved the images—for about three months. “Why did we put that shirt on the model? All my clients want to buy the shirt. The photo on the right was the client’s favorite—especially after the background lights were added in Photoshop. Skip the Shirt When photographing jeans.Jeans-Wear Design small softbox For the ad campaign above. light placed low contact with the camera. We don’t make shirts!” 60 Figure Photography . These lights were pasted in from a runway show camera on tripod I shot earlier in the year. light placed low red gel. having the model topless (as on the facing page) is a good idea for two reasons. Then he called me and said. notice how your attention can be drawn away from the logo by the model’s eye magenta gel. the model wore the designer’s jeans and a nondescript white shirt.

Figure Photography styles 61 . I chose this loca- kles were removed to smooth out the fabric. The photograph below was also created to tion because the rugged archway provided great sell the jeans. In Photoshop. I added a small reflector to kick contrast with the texture of the jeans and the the sunlight back on the jeans. highlighting the model’s skin. some of the wrin- model’s shape and the logos.

shot for a prospective client. Also. I needed the model to represent many beautiful women.Gentlemen’s Club A gentlemen’s club wanted something sexy and edgy (but not nude) for a billboard. If she had looked into the camera. shows a pinup style image with a modern watch. A second Photoflex reflector was added to highlight her face. Watch Design The image below. A Photoflex reflector on the floor kicked light from a skylight onto the model. dramatic shadow. the viewer would have identified her as an individual. so I had her cover most of her face. The image was shot at ISO 800 in black & white using only window light. I used a hard light source near the model and placed her close to a wall for a large. 62 Figure Photography .

These images were all shot against a gray background so we could ensure separation on the white gloves and the gun handle. The designer wanted to create images that were fun but sexy. These types of jobs allow the most creativity for the photographer. The backgrounds were later removed so the images could be used on a wide range of backgrounds. The image with the gun went on to be used in multiple promotions—including being painted on a wall to promote a restaurant/bar! Figure Photography styles 63 . it’s always best to get assurance from the client as you go through the session. Still. making sure the whole photographic team is working toward the desired results.Fashion Design The clothing designer who commissioned these images has a fun personality and markets to a specific clientele.

sold in health and fitness stores. A rectangular mirror was used to direct the window light back onto the model. The layout was designed to wrap around the can. contemporary way. Lingerie Design The image to the left was a conceptual image to show a potential client how we could highlight their underwear designs in a sexy. highlighting the “Candi Wrappers” logo on the waistband of the underwear. It was shot at ISO 800 in black & white using only window light. No fill light was used.Food Packaging Design The above series of images was used to promote a soy milk product. 64 Figure Photography . as I wanted to show the figure in its simplest form: the silhouette. The lighting was from a simple theatrical can with a parabolic reflector.

[PRODUCT LOGO] Crop line 1 Crop line 2 Crop line 3 Keep the Options Open This image is a sample of a multi-usage photograph. so overshoot—and overshoot some more. it can be cropped many ways for a client’s specific needs. Reshooting is an expensive proposition. . Often. Include horizontal images with your selections. Photography 65 When shooting images for stock or specific sales potential. you need toFigure overshoot and includestyles many possible croppings. a client will need negative space to run ad copy.

or other media format. These stories are usually assigned to a writer and then to a photographer by the publisher.Editorial E ditorial photographs are created under specific guidelines to illustrate a story within the context of a magazine. Fashion sells a garment or product.” what is “fashion. What “Category” Is It? Things do become pretty fuzzy when you’re trying to determine what is “glamour. Here’s how I suggest you think of it: Glamour sells the beauty of the model. Topics for these assignments can include anything from health-related stories (below) to feature stories about fashion trends and designers (left and facing page).” and what is “editorial. Editorial sells a story.” All of these styles and purposes involve figure work at some point. newspaper. 66 Figure Photography .

Figure Photography styles 67 .

Fashion T he fashion figure model must know how to These models are the backbone of the fashion pose and create a story with her body—that’s industry—and the demands on them as profes- how these images sell a garment. spend more time preparing for a shoot than the In fashion photography. or sionals are high. In fact. transparent clothing. many fashion models even a concept. models seeking work in this genre must fit the clothing. and even personal body products. In addition. a product. 68 Figure Photography . figure models are of- photographer does! ten called upon to model lingerie lines. skimpy swimwear.

the lower output of the theatrical ened the light. A thin layer of diffusion material soft- valuable here.Drama Here. not the model. Figure Photography styles 69 . This cre- Try this in black & white (or correct the color ated a distinctive lighting pattern with defined balance to your desired effect). mains on the product. A tripod is very shadows. with the model close to a white wall. A theater- you can adjust the model’s distance to the back- style spotlight with a parabolic reflector was used ground to control the shadow size and intensity. the look is dramatic but the emphasis re- effect. If distance is not a restraining variable. but it still retained the spotlight spotlight yields slower shutter speeds.

This is why “arm bras” (hands and may create shock value. some more progressive American fashion magazines. 70 Figure Photography . you must be especially aware of how ments while adding sex appeal. on the other hand. Make It Pay Professional high-fashion figure work requires a good makeup artist and hair team. In America. features less nudity than European fashion photography. and make sure you’re ages that can help draw attention to the product not distracting them from what is being sold being sold. hair clients. not an accessory for the clothing. nudity is the subject in and of itself. they isolate the gar- something. and art photo magazines. clasped over breasts) became so popular in ads Since the goal of a fashion image is to sell for jeans manufacturers.Fashion Nudity Nudity in fashion works to create stunning im- the viewers’ eye will flow. American fashion photography. Most of the top models in Europe do nudity. Possible sources of revenue from these images are European fashion magazines. It also adds femininity to the image in your images. plus a garment stylist. while heavy on sexuality.

Figure Photography styles 71 .

Therefore. Bra-Strap Marks Brassiere straps and bands can leave indentations and redness on the skin. pose. Many erotic photographers’ work crosses over into fine art or fetish styles. It makes an artistic statement.Erotic E rotic photography is an artistic style of figure photography that is intended to evoke sexual arousal or appreciation. it is best if she remove her bra well before the shoot so there will be no remaining marks on her skin. if a model is to be photographed topless. or attitude that makes the image erotic—not necessarily the amount of skin showing. 72 Figure Photography . this doesn’t look good when photographed. Obviously. Erotic photography doesn’t even have to be nude photography. but it doesn’t cross over into mainstream pornography. It may be a suggestive expression.

Figure Photography styles 73 .

74 Figure Photography .

Likewise. its own story. the empty As you can see in the above photo. with a sexual message. what makes space of the wall and the stairs leaves room for an image feel erotic can be as simple as a beauti- copy. is the beauty in the hands and tells a story. the stairs draw your eyes down to her torso. For this reason. Figure Photography styles 75 . both genders. Plus. Es- there is a great demand for erotic images in to- sentially. It is always provocative and stimu- so the hands lead us right up the body. or causes the viewer’s mind to write feet. every line in the image draws you to- day’s men’s magazines—and on web sites for ward its erotic center. The mirror adds another element. or element.Composition Expression In the image on the facing page. Our eyes enter the image at the lower left. the stairs add movement. Probably the most important compositional Erotic photography makes a statement. ful model with a teasing expression on her face. giving the shot a sensual edge without being vulgar. lating. though.

Alternative
W

ith the popularity of tattoos in mainstream
America, some figure-photography clients

are starting to request models that are considered “alternative.” From commercial to sensual
or erotic web sites, many avenues have opened
up for these models. There are also many successful web sites where the alternative models
are the sole focus of the site.

Elevate the Model
Whenever possible, elevate your model so that
you can shoot straight at her body. Not only
does this aid in your comfort as a photographer but also it helps to keep the model in one
place. There is something about the elevation
that helps get the model in a shooting mode.
If you want a low camera angle, it also allows
you to drop to your knees and get that perspective (one we all desire sometimes) without
lying on your stomach and getting a cramp in
your neck. I have built permanent elevation
platforms in all my studios, but you can also
construct a temporary one. For the photo to
the left (see detail below) I made a stage of
crates and an old board that was in the room.

76 Figure Photography

Alternative modeling is a unique subset of
the modeling business that features models who
do not conform to mainstream ideals of beauty.
The models often have a personal style that represents Goth, or tattooed, or burlesque.
Alternative modeling can be nude, seminude, or clothed. Commercial assignments and
portfolio images for these subjects sometimes
promote the model’s personality and non-conformist attitude in addition to her unique physical appearance.

Figure Photography styles 77

Glamour

78 Figure Photography

Styling Team You’ll call on an extensive array of styling. and Photoshop techniques to idealize every aspect of the subject’s allure. Whether it’s a small team (you and your makeup and hair stylist) or the extensive team you might find at some large studios (makeup and hair stylist. a team is of the utmost importance when shooting glamour. photo assistants. Figure Photography styles 79 . wardrobe stylist. Glamour photography often uses professional models. usually female. but (unlike erotic photography) glamour photography stops short of deliberately arousing the viewer. pinup posters. are photographed in a romantic or sexually alluring way. The models may be fully nude or semi-nude. Amateur models are also frequently used. and studio manager). casting director.G lamour photography is a style of photography in which the subjects. and the photographs are normally intended for commercial use in calendars. and for men’s magazines. travel agent. photo stylist. your team will be critical to your success. Therefore. beauty lighting. creative directors. in which case the photographs are sometimes intended for private and personal use only. set builders. A great team can add glamour—even when the model is just wearing a simple shirt.

A Romantic Look As seen above. Soft. quality that is based on the idealized beauty of a Crop line 4 model. glamour photography has a gentle. depending on the need. muted colors. This model has beautiful skin. Headshots For the headshot on the facing page (shot with a large Photoflex softbox behind me) the mod- Crop line 1 el’s makeup was darker than normal because I planned to overexpose for that glamorous look created by pale skin tones. and soft clothing all contribute to the marketability of glamour work. so no retouching was needed. soft mood—a sensual feel with a dreamy Multiple Usages Notice that this image can be cropped for multiple usages. Crop line 2 80 Figure Photography Crop line 3 . late afternoon light. Realism can also play a part in today’s glamour work but realism usually has sharp focus images and bright colors.

Figure Photography styles 81 .

Textured materials contrast well with the smoothness of a woman’s skin—so look for a big fuzzy sweater draping off the shoulder. and texture to the figure. This photo was later purchased as a cover for an international beauty magazine. You can ask the model to bring any garment/prop options she owns that might work. Any of these will add warmth. for example. Additionally. 82 Figure Photography . Swap meets. The bottom-left beauty shot was created during a “playday” session—and the candy props certainly make it very playful. second-hand stores. depth. but the studio should also have a selection of these items on hand. it’s good to stock some fabric pieces. These can be used in a vast number of ways. We then added the candy for color and impact. such as chiffon and silks. Don’t overlook unexpected options when thinking about props for your images. In the image on the facing page. Props and accessories also play an important role in creating a mood especially that of a romantic style. We wanted a shot with clean beauty makeup and soft curls in the hair for the model to use in her portfolio. the subject was photographed through a piece of lace fabric. and discount centers are all great places to find props and costume jewelry (as well as garments) for glamour photography. or even a rough-looking pair of jeans (top left).Clothing and Props The model’s clothing is very important in setting the mood of the image. lacy (matching) bras and underwear.

Figure Photography styles 83 .

.

the ultimate style is glamour. It’s a genre of figure photography that can be rewarding both financially and artistically. Figure Photography styles 85 .For many photographers who want to shoot figure/ nude models.

Playboy magazine always maintains the best quality in their images. Before these magazines became mainstream. The ity of mainstream nudity. opening the door for America would accept. The images in this section have were chosen as examples of what is needed to present a model to these magazines. and a few camera magazines. to the postproduction. Their level of quality control is something very few publications have matched—and they have consistently maintained it throughout their history. They are very controlling as to the usage of their images and selective about who their photographers are.Playboy Style P layboy magazine has done more for liberat- many other magazines to follow in their foot- ing us from conservative concepts and values steps and benefit from the newfound popular- than anyone or thing in the past sixty years. fine-art museum shows. to the light. From the models’ poses. Other magazines were Playboy Corporation has brought the visual de- then free to redefine their own image of beau- pictions of beautiful. Disclaimer None of these images have been published by Playboy. nudity was found only in underground publications. nude and semi-nude wom- ty and push the envelope of what mainstream en into the mainstream. A Standard of Excellence Playboy magazine also set a standard of photographic excellence that the other magazines had to attain to be competitive. 86 Figure Photography . I have a very successful record in assisting models to be selected by Playboy and other magazines.

blue gel truck red gel camera on tripod softbox at 1/4 power Figure Photography styles 87 .

I placed a beauty dish to the model’s left. They devote a lot of attention to making their images elegant and as beautiful as possible. and highend accessories characterize the Playboy style. You can also barndoors to narrow its beam.Lighting a tungsten light bounced off the wall. accent lights. creating a gra- lighting should have a warm and romantic feel. The model was leaning against a warm golden wall. For the background. I used 88 Figure Photography Keep It Classy Classy wardrobes. . exotic locations. A few imperfections on the a hallmark of the Playboy look requires using model’s skin were cleaned up in Photoshop. This had Achieving the style of lighting that has become dient on the wall. back- Hair ground lights. so the reflected light from the wall added a soft glow. the overall look of the ment in the shot or add sex appeal. For the Playboy-style lighting in the image above (left). Additionally. and more will often The right hairstyle can bring dynamic move- be needed. multiple light setups to accentuate every aspect of the subject’s beauty—hair lights.

Many times. Figure Photography styles 89 . messy look than it is to have each hair in perfect place- backlight placed low ment—as long as it adds to your image and doesn’t distract from the message. Hair can also be used to break up a predominate forehead. it is easier to create a sexy.use the hair to conceal a problem area (like a lazy hair light placed high eye) or create a sense of feeling and movement when the model is not projecting an emotion. giving the face a more pleasing shape. Tilting the head and the camera helps the hair to frame the face and forces the viewer to look into the mod- softbox at 1/4 power camera on tripod el’s eyes.

a beautiful silhouette against the sunrise. 90 Figure Photography 6:40am . I wanted Postproduction can also enhance this effect. flash just as the sun was rising at 6:40am. To meter. I ter of minutes.Playboy Style on Location The three images in this set were all takn in a mat- in the viewfinder and set the exposure to manual. The second image (top right) was shot just a cou- I turned the camera toward the sky without the sun ple minutes later using fill in flash at 06:42am. The first (below) was shot without a shot several images and bracketed multiple times.

The third image (bottom right) was shot a few minutes after the sun came up. 6:42am Figure Photography styles 91 6:59am . The model was lit by the beautiful early morning sunlight. Notice the long shadows at 06:59am—that’s a side benefit of the low angle of the sun. during the golden hour.

silver reflector 92 Figure Photography sunlight .

Knowing a tention to their preferred lighting styles. This image was created as a dramatic two-page spread to introduce the model shown above and on the facing page. prefer a girl-next-door. they When looking for new publishing opportunities. “snapshot” look that cap- study your potential clients’ profiles and pay at- tures the natural beauty of the model. Instead. Figure Photography styles 93 .Understand What Publishers Need look that typifies the Playboy style. Some web clients’ preferences will help you market your work sites and magazines don’t want the highly polished to them more effectively.

but pinup work has been documented back to the 1890s and images in this Models and Cars style continue to have a wide popular appeal. Like traditional pinup imagery. move her away from the vehicle so the If the model is the main subject in a car imcar adds to the background but does not over- Calendars power her. on the facing page were all created for a com- boats. Also. 94 Figure Photography .Pinup T he height of the pinup art scene was during the 1940s. are a mainstay of today’s advertising. Pinup continues to be very popular for calendar work. planes. though. beer. using a low camera angle will give her a more imposing look. the standards are culturally biased and today’s “pinup” Products as Props category crosses over into many genres. age. contemporary The photographs that are shown below and pinup work may revolve around products—cars. As you might expect. and even vacuum cleaners. mercial calendar that featured pinup-style im- Pinup images like the ones on the facing page ages throughout.

Figure Photography styles 95 .

96 Figure Photography

Models
Many of the 1940s pinup models were actresses—the sex symbols of their day. The current
pinup model is a sexually attractive woman,
often with a playful and erotic innocence. This
is especially true for retro pinup images, which
tend to have a playful feel.

Figure Photography styles 97

Here, I combined an image of
a model with some illustrated
artwork in the background.
For a more family-friendly image (maybe for a conservative
client), I could have easily covered this model with soapsuds
or illustrated a swimwear top.

Expression
In order to achieve pinup work that will be fun

poses. You must also add as much energy into

with over-the-top expressions, you must hire

the shoot as you expect the model to reflect

models who are uninhibited—models who em-

back.

brace fun, goofy facial expressions and creative

98 Figure Photography

to the muted colors popular in the 1960s and 1970s (right). Modern Options The digital technology of today allows photographers to re-create any visual effect of the past. Figure Photography styles 99 . we have three choices—from the beautiful.Classic Looks. rich colors of today (above). to the black & white of the past (far right). Here. Each has a purpose and can help the photographer create the mood of the time period expressed in his image.

” er. With my fine art portfolio in hand. or in major advertising past the simplicity to determine how it relates to campaigns. was ready. “Your work make the viewer think and feel—even if the im- is too commercial. I felt discouraged as a fine artist as an advanced amateur for many years. The fine art photographer must my technical ability but turned me down flat. for example. the intrinsic beauty of the The director was very nice and had praise for female form. 100 Figure Photography . I wanted to be a fine art shoot- outside influence.Fine Art W hen I decided to become a professional pho- of a series that stands alone without the need of tographer. it may be a simple message and get a show. Fine art must stand alone or be part the viewer’s world. I had but encouraged as a commercial photographer. images that She was kind enough to elaborate. selling my work at galleries. won a few awards and had several small shows Her comments have served me well as a com- in galleries and coffee houses. I love your use of color but age is so simple and plain that the viewer has to I can see your work with a Kodak logo on it— look at the simplicity as the message. showing. I had worked After I left. so I thought I mercial photographer. Fine art makes a non-commercial statement. create images that have a message. or look or on an album cover. I decided to walk into a local gallery I admired In its purest form.

Figure Photography styles 101 .

answer might be that. besides basic bodily func- 102 Figure Photography . the human body is the only totally univer- phy—and especially in fine art work? I think the sal thing that all of mankind has shared.Universal Appeal Why is the nude so popular in all photogra- tions.

Images like this body of fine art figure photography work that cause viewers to ask questions. This figure work is often so graphic that simple and elegantly beautiful lines of the hu- it even loses its sense of “sexiness” but becomes man form. On the other hand. showing the seums.Sexy or Sexual? Many fine art pieces are non-sexual. What was that is so sexually graphic that its shock value has person experiencing? What is next? landed it on the walls of major galleries and muFigure Photography styles 103 . there is a large a visual statement of wonder.

Share Your Vision The term “fine art” refers to artwork that is created by the artist to illustrate his or her creative vision. In fact. Contemporary fashion photography has recently also been identified as crossing over into the realm of fine art photography—especially in the editorial categories. Create art that appeals to you and communicates your vision. For example. It is work created solely for its aesthetic value. Photography has been valued as fine art more than ever in recent years. experiment. That’s an approach to try in your photography. Seek inspiration from artists you admire. show your vision. artists like Warhol and Liechtenstein used simple elements and color to bring fantasy to their work. Be creative. 104 Figure Photography . many older photographs have been re-classified as more than the editorial images of their time. too. Strive to create images that will grab attention. and play. but as true works of art.

and tungsten color balance. and coal. the real question to ask yourself is this: Do the lighting and the mood communicate my message to the viewer? Figure Photography styles 105 . it is nearly impossible to work with a model who is not a figure model.Model Selection It takes a special model to bring to life a concept such as the one we were creating here: primitive images that represent the concepts of fire. electronic flash was used to shoot for black & white. For a shoot like this. Work with creative people and they will add life to your images. ice. Is one of these “correct”? Who cares? As an artist. In this case. she had to be comfortable with nudity being included because there were no guidelines or limits as to the posing or cropping of the images. my model had to be able to bring emotion—even though she was covered with pounds of wet clay. daylight color balance. Mood From left to right. Even though her body was covered in most of the images.

Find Inspiration When I was a kid I. These images were later displayed in a gallery show. This was probably my fastest photo session ever.) After the clay images. The model on the facing page was covered with syrup and silver glitter. I created a sixteen-piece set of photographs of figure models covered in clay. Gelled lights to the left (placed low) and right (placed high) added color. 106 Figure Photography . the glitter began to run down her body! The session was over in fifteen minutes with only ten images shot. Creating these images required the models to remain still for hours as a team of assistants covered their bodies in clay. watched an artist friend of mine create beautiful figure work from a sack of clay. I looked for other materials to cover the female form. As the syrup heated up. This mesmerized me so much that I wanted to honor him when I got into the arts. (For the image to the left. the model’s upper torso was “broken off” in-camera using black paper taped to the film rails. today I would do this in Photoshop.

Figure Photography styles 107 .

Find a Cause
These images are
from an ongoing
breast cancer project
in which the models
are asked to bring
their personality
into a topless shot.
The shots aren’t
about the model’s
identity, so the faces
are cropped out.
The lighting is very
simple to let the
personal statements
shine through. The
model shown to the
left is studying to
be a chef, while the
model below loves
chocolate in all its
forms.

108 Figure Photography

Watch the Eyes
When working in the fine art figure genre, be

the model close her eyes, look down, turn her

careful that the model’s eyes don’t upstage the

face away from the camera, or even mask the

message of the image. We, as viewers, will first

face, as seen in the image below.

read a model’s eyes to get the message of the

In the images above, notice how you see more

image.

detail in the face and hands when the model’s

If your message is about more than the model

eyes don’t draw your gaze away from other as-

herself, you may want to crop out the eyes, have

pects of the image.

small
softbox

blue
gel;
placed
low

gobo

camera on tripod

red gel;
placed low,
aimed at
cross

Figure Photography styles 109

Simplicity
Sometimes the best approach to fine art pho-

For the images above, the lighting was sim-

tography is to keep it simple, shooting with one

ply soft window light passing through multiple

light or just available light.

layers of sheer fabric. I find that photographing
individual body parts (something that’s not normally equated with figure modeling) can be just
as rewarding as full-body photography—and the
simplicity is beautiful.
The top pair of photos to the left were created
with one soft light and a simple background.
This streamlined technique allowed all the focus of the image to remain on the emotions the
model was expressing.
Often the best results are recorded with available light. In the bottom left photo, shooting in
the rain with heavy cloud cover led to a portrait
with a moody look. The bottom right image
employed the light streaming in from a skylight
above the cabin stove. The kettle was placed to
lead the viewer’s eye to the subject.

Shutter Speed
When shooting available light images, watch
your shutter speed. Shoot from a tripod if it
drops below 1/125 second.

Now. the capabilities of each piece of equipment in Twenty-five years ago. Do not become a slave to every It’s important to use the tools that are avail- new gadget—the so-called latest and greatest. I became a photog- your arsenal. many images are no longer Keep in mind that. Figure Photography styles 111 .Gear Isn’t Artistry As you explore figure photography. photographs. they are better classified as a new the tools of photography are simply record- genre: digital art. at the same time. The digital era has brought a vision. with the know exactly what it can do and how you can transformations possible with Photoshop and adapt it to fit any situation. not get so I don’t mean to imply that I am opposed to caught up in them that you lose track of your new equipment. your artistry. able to you—but. Explore and fresh ideas. start with multitude of new artists into our field with new the basic equipment and experiment. working with each one until you rapher because I couldn’t draw. keeping devices. similar products. without the artist’s eye.

Body Painting 112 Figure Photography .

Additionally. Many models who would not normally consent to do “nude” photography love being photographed with body paint. It’s very helpful to have a range of working ideas you can present to prospective clients. As nonphotographers. Figure Photography styles 113 . watch for ideas and concepts you can use on future assignments. giving you a chance to learn their strengths and address any weaknesses. During these sessions. Schedule Play Days Play! Play! Play! Never stop planning personal assignments and setting goals for yourself. commercial clients are now using this technique in some of their advertising campaigns.B ody painting has become a fun and artistic style of expression that may work well in your figure photography. This helps build team cohesion. it can be challenging for them to pre-visualize the style of image you want to create for their product. Finding a good body-painting artist to add to your team will give you added creativity in your figure images. ensuring that everyone can work together effectively in pursuit of a common vision. I like to plan regular play days. opportunities for my team to work through the whole creative process at a more leisurely pace than when we’re working on an assignment. These sessions can also be used to develop new models.

In front of the model on both sides. The model said she cover the model’s body from head to toe—front felt comfortable—except for a feeling of being and back—and shoot the whole day to see how totally dressed (something that was funny to the pliable and durable the paint would be. The objective was simple: model wearing a bathrobe. paint wore off was on the bottoms of her feet as she walked through the desert! magenta gel red gel gobo camera on tripod gobo softbox The lighting for the studio shots was very simple. The crew). We had no problem with the paint for product. the proached to work with a new artist. The only place the be durable and breathable. These were gelled red and magenta. It didn’t wear off at the chance. I jumped paint performed as promised. When I was ap- as the photo session continued outdoors. but even cational and visually rewarding. She was testing a new paint so even when driving to a new location with the we set up a play day. which was new to the artist.Experiment and Explore Working with a body-painting artist can be edu- We began with images in the studio. The backlights were 1 stop brighter than the main lights. A Photoflex half-dome was placed directly toward the model and two lights (one on each side) were directed toward the model from the rear. claimed to the entire 5-hour session. 114 Figure Photography . gobos were added to prevent lens flare.

Figure Photography styles 115 .

116 Figure Photography .

The smoke machine body paint and a smoke machine—in a pool. To added a nice haze to reflect more light back to light the shot. red to camera right and on the water di- Figure Photography styles 117 . left. I used a small on-camera flash to the camera.Try Different Locations For this late-night fun session. we worked with rectly behind the model). The saturation of tors and gels taped to the front (blue to camera the final image was boosted in Photoshop. I used a flashlight to help with fo- trigger slaves in Photoflex flash units with reflec- cusing in the very low light.

body- figure models are often used in marketing. Images of legs. Also. hands. Study the poses and lighting used by major These shots can also be very useful in model advertisers so you can create images that look portfolios. 118 Figure Photography . and more have all been used also create additional income from other models to promote salable products—from lipstick to who need these specialized services. practice shooting products where has exceptional legs (or other features). ket herself to the appropriate clients. pantyhose. You may lips. eyes. If you are working with a model who current.Body Parts P hotographing body parts is not a new con- parts images in her portfolio can help her mar- cept in figure photography.

though. There are advantages to both options. Notice how the postproduction helps keep your eyes on the product—plus there’s room around the model for text and a logo. the first photo has the advantage of also showing the length and quality of her hair. Having her lift her hair and raise her arms made her waist and bottom look even better. This image would be appropriate for a lingerie hangtag.Okay Better Keep the Image Use in Mind The original shot (top left) was for the model’s portfolio—she wanted a shot to illustrate her bottom. By adjusting the pose (top right) we were able to create a much better body profile. It just goes to show the value of overshooting! While shooting the figure model. showing her marketability for lingerie and even swimwear or jeans advertising. Give yourself cropping room (for Lingerie Hangtag hangtags or product information) and shoot for maximum variety. keep aware of the marketing potential of the images you are creating. Figure Photography styles 119 .

Book Cover Lighting The image above was designed as a cover for a For the image on the facing page. intense highlights on her showing a pretty woman holding a rose. to show two different qualities of light and how To create it. The exposure was set for toshop. a symbol of love—but I didn’t want to settle for producing the sharp. but in this case carefully erase the top layer where you want the (since we have detail in the feathers and skin). di- book about breast cancer. a small softbox. 120 Figure Photography . I wanted nique that is frequently used by photographers. you duplicate the background layer and the camera-left light. Then. this would be unappealing. a hard. Normal- pia) using whatever method you prefer. which was 2 stops brighter convert it to black & white (or in this case. the original is shot in color. think it works. notice the more gentle quality This image demonstrates a partial-color tech- this adds on the side of her left breast. In Pho- they shape the body. I chose a red rose as rectional light source was set to camera left. I added ed to create something with more visual impact. To camera right. ly. I color to show through. se- than the camera-right side of her body. I want- figure and the wing.

Figure Photography styles 121 .

122 Figure Photography .

Consider Specializing As a figure photographer. Figure Photography styles 123 . You may even want to spe- of lips for cosmetic companies (below). you have to use your cialize—creating feet and leg images (facing creativity to capture body-part images that have page) for shoe designers or tight glamour shots a high market value.

letting them illustrate their creative abil- is looking for to fill a role in a given production. These images depict actors in dramatic the depictions matches the qualities the director scenes. 124 Figure Photography nudity. That feeling is often amplified when the images involve For this image. ity for casting directors and talent agents. The model/actress was asked to hide under the kitchen counter and go through a range of emotions.). etc. part of a lengthy series. horror films.Drama D ramatic images comprise a limited. An actor will often be given greater actor’s comfort in a diversity of roles. . Working with an actress to help her build her portfolio can be very challenging—and a lot of creative fun—but it’s not necessarily lucrative. This will allow you to show the projects. looks) they want to be considered for future romances. very spe- consideration at auditions if her portfolio illus- cialized market in the genre of figure photog- trates a wide range of roles—especially if one of raphy. I used a single light with diffusion gel on the left and the same on the right. A warming gel was paced on the right-hand light. Some One place you can start is by re-creating actors create a portfolio of various roles (and scenes from old films (westerns.

Figure Photography styles 125 .

This time. I wanted to design a color- once a month for a play day. I had two personal objectives to Wendalynn. as a total professional. we’d never been able keep the icing from melting while on the model. Be creative 3.com) and I get together at least add to that list. we tried for a romantic image with flowers. No matter what the model is wearing— weather it is feathers or chocolate or just received from Photoflex. I took a test few images. shaving cream—she is still beautiful. Michele. Initially. but the flowers wouldn’t stay in the shaving cream so we needed another approach. Wendalynn. and lipstick. 4. the shaving cream was so reflective that it had virtually no detail in it. eye shadow. The play-day rules ful image so I could see how the new red wall in are very simple: my studio would photograph. . I realized that I needed to break-up the solid feel of the shaving cream to get the look I was after. 2. Experiment by doing something we have not done before. However.its In this case. As we were setting up. an element of fun to play off of with her expressions (2). I realized they would break up the solid shaving cream. When I saw the small dolls. Second. slightly overexposing for the model’s skin tone (1). Unfortunately. Concept Wendalynn and I had experimented with using cake icing to cover a model’s face—with colored sprinkles to add the look of blush.Shaving Cream M akeup artist Wendalynn Nelson (www. Create an image with visual impact. always comes to play-day sessions with an assortment of items she has collected over the past few weeks. 1 126 Figure Photography plus give the model. I wanted to experiment with the new lighting system I 1. First. we tried shaving cream instead.

just out of the camera view. This re- reflected light. There are also products on the the team continually experiments throughout market designed specifically for this approach. to reduce the exposure value on the dolls and shaving cream by 1 stop. (Normally I also use a hair light in this setup.Lighting I used a basic glamour light setup (3) to produce beautiful.) After shooting several test images. a warming reflector or even gels on this surface I have found the best images are created when for a rosy glow. Figure Photography in practice 127 3 . I had two Photoflex Starfish softboxes (one on each side of the camera) aimed slightly down. 2 The secret to the “beauty” part of this lighting is the reflective material that was placed on some of which let you control the angle of the the table just below the model’s chest. she is bathed in soft light from these boxes. I asked the makeup and chin. no matter which way the model turns. You can use artist to add small kiss marks on the model’s face. the shoot by constantly changing variables. giving the model a glow. flected light filled in any shadows under the eyes To add a little more fun. but here it would have exacerbated the problem with the white shaving cream. I lowered a gobo directly in front of the model. shadowless lighting.

except that I used a hair light to emphasize the strawberries. 128 Figure Photography . As a photographer. you must learn how to communicate your vision to the model (and to the whole team for that matter). This was removed in Photoshop. The contrast and vibrance were also boosted in postproduction. we added glitter to Chelsea’s lips and the lower strawberry. For this sequence. Wendalynn can bring the right energy level for what you envision. make sure the model understands the motive behind the shoot and For the Makeup Artist Be sure to include some shots that will benefit the makeup artist in her training and serve as a reference for future projects. but they kept sinking into it. Wendalynn and I decided to try an additional shot. Chelsea’s hands were overpowering the fruit she held. we used Chelsea (my photo assistant for the day) as the model—because Michele’s hair was a mess. In our initial images.Strawberries W hile we still had everything set up from the shaving cream shot (see previous section). I opted for a 300mm lens on these headshots to get a beautiful perspective when shooting at the model’s eye level. The lighting setup was the same as in the shaving cream image. We had planned to use strawberries in the shaving cream. challenge you set before her. When experimenting. For extra sparkle. and she always wants a shot with the model’s eyes needs to have the beauty and skill to pull off the closed so she can refer back to what she did. Bobby pins were used to place the strawberries in her hair. so we added a toothpick at the bottom of the strawberry.

Figure Photography in practice 129 .

I hired a model I knew would must be treated as such. that is her job: to interpret the story or with her often. the client couldn’t each participant’s contribution into a single openly use nudity—but that didn’t mean the winning image. you will organize or even light the image. She must be included put feeling into her work and be comfortable in the vision and especially the feel of the image. Together. 130 Figure Photography . Having worked After all. sions fun for all. shoot.Pink Hair T he opportunity to create images without The object of this shoot was to create promo- expectations is rewarding and challenging. show- covet. the model is a vital component and shoot. for a “recycled chic” look. These were my These are the dream jobs that all photographers objectives going into the shoot: have fun. Also. Even though she may be new model was going to be clothed during the entire to the team. tional images for a hair stylist. Therefore. the team’s communication is of the ut- We didn’t know how we were going to crop most importance. and use pink shades Because the goals will evolve throughout the in the makeup. with any style of fashion shoot. It takes a lot of trust from the client to case a pink hairstyle. use clear strips of plastic invest in this type of shoot. I also know she makes the ses- feeling of the image.

Figure Photography in practice 131 .

show- have great presentation. called “Fire. but them for the rewarding experiences. unless Steven Christian—a true creative genius. Creative people all takes us back to a primitive time. of the masters in their fields. the work—especially if you want to sell the im- One of my recent projects was working with ages. you need to produce series we created. start using the best of art. As a pho- I’ve had the opportunity to work with many tographer alone. This is a very competitive business.” was exciting and unique images. models and team you can assemble. you can only take the images master hair stylists on different projects—and I to a certain level without other professionals could never sufficiently express my gratitude to adding their expertise. These proj- a professional model makes all the difference in ects will always remain highlights in my career. introduced earlier in this book (refer back to the When your images look professional and you fine art section). Ice & Coal. mud. The you’re shooting for fun. 132 Figure Photography . start approaching some ing textured hair. This gallery of images.Textured Clay A s your photographic skills improve and your love to be part of the process of creating works confidence improves. It is fun to practice. and creative coloring.

Figure Photography in practice 133

We created the series over the course of a
three-day shoot. Most of the first two sessions
was spent experimenting with techniques to
produce the textured effects we desired and
exploring lighting possibilities for each hair design. It’s important not to quit experimenting
during a session. Don’t settle for the first shot.
Even if it was successful, push yourself to create
additional variations. This is important for your
own learning process.
Our model, Karrin Rachelle, was a pleasure
to work with—despite sitting covered in cold,
wet clay for all three sessions. This is another
reminder that using professionals is important.

Take Care of the Team
Give the members of your team images to
promote themselves. The biggest complaint I
hear from makeup artists is that they never
receive images from photographers.

134 Figure Photography

Figure Photography in practice 135

Balloons Ask Yourself Why are we shooting? Who is the client? What lighting reflect the mood I want? How can I is the message of this image? What is the final communicate the pose and expression I desire end product I (or the client) intend to produce? to the model? What refinements or adjustments Will the image have potential usages in multi- can I use to increase the variety of images from ple markets? Will I get an adequate return on the session? How many ways can I crop these the time and money I invest in this shoot? Is images to get maximum marketing potential? this shoot primarily a learning experience? All (Providing your client with multiple cropping of these questions need to be considered before options is especially important when shooting the shoot begins. too. How can I make the 136 Figure Photography . on location or when creating images for maga- During the shoot. tion to ask yourself. there are plenty of ques- zine editorials).

Figure Photography in practice 137 .

1 2 138 Figure Photography .

Adding a constant light source to elevate the ambient light on the subject allows the camera to focus more quickly. you don’t want her to squint. it keeps the model’s pupil slightly constricted. the model was elevated on milk crates covered by plywood and seamless paper. This is a great setup for doing the test shoots described on pages 48 to 51. With even lighting like this. Be reasonable with the level of this light. the model’s undergarments were On the facing page (1). Elevating the model gives the photographer a better working condition and a better perspective. you see a three-light set- covered with shaving cream and she posed eating an up for flat light—a simple lighting approach that ice-cream cone. Two softboxes were placed at 45 degree angles flanking the model. Setup For this setup. works well to surround the subject in a consistent level of light from all sides. and this can slow down the session.Lighting Variations For another look. note the additional light in the photograph. so you’ll see more of the iris (the colored part of the eye) in your images. In the second image on the facing page (2). This was a Photoflex Starlite—a constant light source. the paper was lowered behind her to eliminate showing the hard edge of the floor. Many digital cameras have a hard time focusing in low light. An additional small softbox was placed high and directly in front of the model. Additionally. Figure Photography in practice 139 . the model can move in any direction without having heavy shadows fall in unwanted places. angled down toward her. As you can see in the top image on the facing page.

my makeup art- ing. diffusion material was used to actress—so we put her to the test. and were employed to attach them to her arms. a model. Color correction was done in place in the model’s hair. First. Finally. a chicken coop was left ready to shoot! in the studio parking lot (apparently. A a creative makeup artist—who needs more? piece of rabbit fur from another project covered A lot of things came together unexpectedly to the model’s underwear. Second. The can gives the light a dramatic meet. a model walked into the studio feel. feathers. notice how the whole mood changes when the model’s eyes are cropped out. while rubber bands the camera. soften the hard edge a bit and spread out the Bobby pins were used to hold the feathers in light more evenly. A Toned-Down Version The model didn’t mind being topless but she needed a toned down photo. In the image on the right. In wanting to shoot. we were create this shoot. She said she wanted to be an front of the light. a light. someone What makes this series interesting is the light- missed the dumpster). too. because it produces abundant shadows. The photo on the left shows her beauty and that she is comfortable in her skin without the blatant message of the photo on the right.Feathers A chicken coop. With that. Photoshop was used to make the image more discrete by cloning feathers. A single theatrical can was used with a para- ist had recently found a bag of feathers at a swap bolic lens. 140 Figure Photography .

Figure Photography in practice 141 .

This image romantic times of Hollywood glamour. The was created while the model was waiting for the smoke is easily shot by backlighting it against a dark background. Color can be added to the 142 Figure Photography lighting to be completed.Smoke S moke can add drama and take us back to the backlight to enhance the smoke. .

Figure Photography in practice 143 .

Setup Next. sink—plus a shower for messy photo sessions. The vendor was kind enough to give me a few that were cracked.Eggshell D uring this session. I moved a 4x8-foot elevated platform into position (2) and spread out heavy black felt to use as background. I covered the platform with a canvas Below (1) you see an overview of the studio liquid mess from the hair gel and water spray before setup. The concept originated when I found emu eggs being sold at a local farmers’ market. The building is a hundred years bottle we’d be using. This material also functions as a privacy divider when other photographers are using the studio’s other shooting areas. so I decided to (digitally) place a model in the eggshell to focus on her face and hair. we were creating a dy- old and includes a hair cutting chair and salon namic new art piece for Steven Christian. (3) and then newspaper to absorb some of the 1 2 3 4 144 Figure Photography .

Then.5 6 Finally. the main light was a simple softbox spread the light evenly over the model’s reflector with a grid (to control the spread of body. keeping it from going too blue. background has shifted to a dramatic blue. the white model. Two ropes suspended the net. Notice how the window light in the when the light is extremely close to the subject. Lighting 7 As seen above (5). The model stepped into the net and pulled it over her body. because the original concept involved having part of the net draped over the eggshell. I set the camera’s white balance to tungsten different parts of the softbox. This was fitted with a diffusion gel and going to show above the eggshell. Again. I also used a small Photoflex softbox with Because I wanted dramatic blue coloration warming gels taped inside. The final image in this setup sequence (7) was The warming gels on the main light and soft- shot to show the overall design of the set in the box let me control the light that was hitting the studio while the lights fired. the texture of the feathers. though. I suspended a mosquito net from the ceiling (4). Putting the gels in on the skin and hair to match the egg’s color- the box let me vary the color of the light from ing. (I didn’t know how much of the body was light). The backlight was a grid with a light to the extreme side caused it to highlight blue gel over it to intensify the color on the hair. gel and feathers were applied. The color of the net was chosen to resemble emu eggshells. The balance was set for tungsten. This only works lighting (6).) Placing this a warming gel. Figure Photography in practice 145 .

and her hair was completed during lighting setup. the image was shot under to take to the composite stage. 146 Figure Photography . For continuity. I they were combined with an image of the emu had to select some of my favorites (seen below) egg. The model did her own makeup before she arrived on the set. The detail shots to the right give you a sense of the level of detail that went into the styling. the same lighting as the model.The stylist added the final touches to the gel and feather application. Compositing the Final Shot Once we had created our images of the model. At this point.

Figure Photography in practice 147 .

no. We became friends KR: Are the shots about my body parts—my and I enjoy their art. Most of them helped me out when I BP: What do you mean by “artsy”? was first starting as a model. model Karrin Rachelle to see what she had to say about photographers. ones involving figure work? Karrin Rachelle: I first look at who the client BP: What about non-commercial photo rates— is. should pay. Those shots can’t be too where the model stands. but nude and semi-nude work is usually twice as Billy Pegram: As a successfully model how do much as non-nude. besides. my agent is really you determine what jobs you take—especially picky about usage and rights. 148 Figure Photography . boobs or crotch—or are they pictures where my So. She also provides BP: How do the rates differ between figure and some good insight into all the work she does to commercial jobs? make each session a success. KR: My agent works with the client’s budget. the client is pay- be possible without them. so I interviewed ing me well. What we do wouldn’t explicit anyway—and. Do I like his or her style? Will the im- and if I am interested in the project. or statement? I like shoots with meaning nude or not. BP: What do you look for in their portfolios? BP: Are there special photographers with whom KR: Do I like the pictures? Is it a style I like? you have established a relationship—or whom you Will this photographer make me look good? Is enjoy shooting with? Is it all about the money? it fun or artsy? KR: I have a very select few that I enjoy working with.Tips from a Model P hotographers often fail to consider things BP: What about commercial figure work? from the other side of the camera—from KR: That’s different. What are the pictures for and where will they say for a fine art photographer? be used? Then. it is not always about the money—but body adds to the scene as part of the message. mood. I decide cuss the budget. However. to promote their product or work and depth. I do feel that a client who is using my image. budget. I look at the photographer’s KR: I discuss the project with the photographer portfolio. we will dis- ages benefit me with future jobs? Then. But I don’t shoot for no or low if I will work with their budget.

Working with Models 149 .

and I can no longer do trade for print prefer light conversation and humor more than like I did at the beginning of my career. who is responsible for GWCs. BP: What are your limitations with props and animals? BP: What do you think is a model’s responsibil- KR: I don’t do bondage or fetish work. rapher who explains their vision and allows me to work with that vision. . Add to that travel and if it’s a full day shoot. Also. makeup. clothes. No BP: Speaking of posing. try. the poses? KR: A mixture of me and the photographer. it is very expensive. I am there to work and I only work with photographers who are professionals. I prefer a closed set or only the produc- really annoys me when I get no-shows or last- tion people—no guests! I also prefer a photog- minute cancellations. Yuck! BP: What grooming do you do before a shoot? KR: That’s an embarrassing question. there’s a lot of communication among right emotion into the shot and give the pho- models—so I don’t know why anyone would tographer a variety of poses. I also have my eyebrows done. raphers just starting to work with figure models? KR: Don’t be a creeper! My favorite photog- BP: That sounds like a lot of time and cost. toenails are trimmed and painted. I try to bring feeling and the Internet. I trim my pubic hair to the length we discussed at 150 Figure Photography Pages 149 and 151: Images of model Karrin Rachelle. raphers always have water and sodas available— KR: Yes. cepts of the shoot are explained. I costs. and any- hit on you? thing I have that we can use to make the images KR: That is a stupid thing to do. It takes tense and uptight people. Then. and that my fingernails and my normal comfort level is Playboy-style nudes. I BP: GWCs? try to feel the pose—but he can actually see it KR: “Guys With Cameras”—men who are not and help me make small changes to fit the feel- photographers but posers who are trying to ing he wants. I make sure my armpits KR: Depends on the usage of the photos. then a food break.BP: What are your limitations for figure work? the pre-shoot meeting. I make a list of what accessories I have that will make the shoot BP: How do you handle photographers who worthwhile—shoes. but and legs are shaved. On set. date the models. when the con- gerous situation. Please always be re- me hours to get ready and it’s expensive—so it spectful. Well. Because of the successful. I love ity during a shoot? working with animals as long as it is not a dan- KR: At our original meeting. I have to have clean skin BP: What suggestions do you have for photog- and hair for the makeup artist and hairdresser.

Working with Models 151 .

Inc. The love scene in a movie or lingerie commercial. That’s A casting agency will contact all the model/ where casting agents come into play. Casting companies are usually credited for their work in the movie or video business. talent. Let’s Julie Green: Model/talent agencies represent say a department store is doing a catalog and models and talent. training films. We can spend days looking for the one person that a director wants. we the talent or models make for each job. pays the talent agency. the casting agency then to create. which pays the talent photographers also may want to direct them in (less the agency’s percentage). taking a percentage of what they want a certain theme—or. how to take the next step in their career. Casting agencies are paid a fee for I spoke with Julie Green of Nevada Casting their services and don’t take a percentage from Group. The nude girl in the shower for a shampoo ad. Webinars. To get talent agencies until they find the right person some insight into the job of the casting agent. BP: How do you handle a project that involves Julie nudity? Do you? Green of JG: There is so much nudity in today’s work Nevada Casting Group.Tips from a Casting Agent A n integral part of figure photography is find- A casting agency works for the client directly ing the right model for the images you want and is paid by the client. but casting companies are also used for commercials. market the talent to casting agencies and clients. They do whole campaigns for casinos. Billy Pegram: What is the difference between a BP: What type of jobs do you get? model/talent agency and a casting agency? JG: We do print jobs for major companies. 152 Figure Photography that we do deal with it. Inc. in Nevada. . and short films— everything from 30-second television commercials to full-length movies. for the client. When working with new models.

where will the submit models or actors for your consideration? work be distributed? Can a model have a copy JG: Sure—as long as the images are respect- for their portfolio? ful to the model and talent. especially. We also ask for a list of all the people who will be on the set. They need to show respect for have the client in the room for the auditions. and they are of good enough quality that I can show the work BP: How about the video/movie requirements? to clients.BP: How do you qualify the jobs that you take? to see how the film will be shot and from what JG: We have a screening process that we use angles. for all clients. the model/talent at all times. and discuss the BP: What about body-parts models? specific projects—determining what is actually JG: Nothing different. meet with them face to face. Is the proj- looking for the right model. ect union SAG or AFTRA? What is the budget? How much nudity is required? Is there a hold harmless agreement? Liability insurance? Plus. etc. You can tell if a project is JG: I get talent from all the regional agencies. we screen the same way whether it agency. He or she just has or producers—or we actually hold a casting ses- to understand that this is a business and not a sion for the client. worked with them before? Our interview process is quite extensive. with. especially the first time. I read the script. I prefer if the talent is listed with an JG: Well. I have BP: What about a new photographer? them submit images that I can show the client JG: It’s the same process. I want specific answers for the credits. BP: How do you find the talent? but not really difficult. We check out their background. We will either record this or dating service. permits. legitimate or if someone is just shopping for his plus photographers and directors I have worked or her own pleasure. I require all the same an- expected with the talent. Is BP: One last question: Can local photographers this a closed set? And. Have we swers to the questions for print or movie/video. but sometimes we are scouring the cities is a figure movie or a Disney film. Then I screen the talent to find out what their comfort level is and if they can act. I want to see the storyboards Working with Models 153 . I also require a deposit for the talent up front.

there are several options to try. this usually makes the models laugh. the model to “pose. Again. A positive envi- ing pose.Directing a Model I t is the photographer’s responsibility to create will flow smoothly so that the quality of the im- a positive dialog with the model throughout ages required may be attained.” Rather. The Photographer’s Role   With New Models The photographer must maintain a positive en- Most models require direction from the pho- vironment. the photographer she will assume that she is the cause and will must instruct the model as to the overall aim of have difficulty maintaining a constant flow of the shoot and give her suggestions for a start- beautiful. If a model feels tension. Have examples of photos you are trying to emulate or show the model a playback of what photos you have taken and explain what changes are needed. but that sometimes will break the tension and create a more positive. “Well done—great shots. The best solution in this situation is not to acknowledge the lack of success but to suggest a different path. the photographer must accept total responsibility for the lack of success.” If the model lacks the posing skills you desire. keep the conversation positive and take the responsibility for the photography. If the session is not going well for whatever reason. the photo session. Now let’s try this. especially when working with less tographer and it is not sufficient to simply tell experienced models. graceful movements.  One might say. Then. the photographer must gently ronment can be created by continually voicing guide her through a series of movements that encouraging comments. relaxed mood. Demonstrate the pose and feeling you are seeking. Use the following types 154 Figure Photography . Yes.

It Lack of communication can be a death knell for also gives the team a sense of accomplishment. They simply say. thereby losing the rhythm and flow. Many experienced models tell me that is also a valuable skill.” or “What I would like to achieve is . . they enjoy my photographer–model communi- I love working with beginning models.”  self-confidence grow and their skills develop. then stepping sometimes laughable. I may It is the photographer’s role to encourage the give directions at first until I see the model’s model. and skill level. remember that the success of the shoot is the responsibility of the photographer. When shooting an experienced model. but it is a joy to work with such ing when to give direction and when to be silent a model. bolster the team. to teach   an inexperienced model how to move on camera in a way that insures a successful photo shoot. nication and patience. She may need a few generally worth the effort.  It is possible.  great images. . She may also become defensive and/or moody. but the end results are back and letting her work.  This can be exhausting and the model to get into character. It is gratifying to see their “Show me something” or “Do your thing.” If a model doubts her beauty in the image. This. Know- of the image.of statements: “Notice how the light falls across your body. helping the desired images. With Experienced Models The Results Are Worth the Effort Above all. Working with Models 155 . she will become anxious and stiffen. stifles creativity.” and “See how this photo shows the curve of the torso? That’s what I’m after. Sometimes. through patient direction. enhance creativity. even cation and complain that most photographers though they require a greater depth of commu- don’t give any direction at all. This is when the photographer must know how to precisely direct the model as suggestions if she seems to be running out of clearly and eloquently as possible—all the while ideas or if you wish to change the look or feel bolstering the model’s self-confidence. directing a model is as otherwise do whatever is necessary to achieve simple as communicating your vision. in turn.

For example. Lack of passion for the work will show in your Don’t be afraid to experiment and to stray photography. You must love what tography will allow you to choose the styles you you do and you must do it for the work itself. creative career. 156 Figure Photography . an exciting. Passion for your work is a necessary ingredi- Happily.Follow Your Passion S ome photographers become so concerned Photographers should not allow themselves to with theory and technical knowledge that be trapped in a field that they consider mundane they lose the passion in the photograph. if you don’t like from the norm! women. feel passion about. it becomes just another job rather than there must be passion in the images. that dislike will come across in your images of female subjects. Un- or boring. unless you are doing a line catalog. If you are not enjoying what you are fortunately. doing. the many categories of figure pho- ent for all photographers.

117 golden hours. 70. 64. importance of. featuring. 102. 53. emphasizing. 109 goal of. 16. 76–77 B Backgrounds. 62. 11. 76. 82 romantic looks. 65. 120–21 buttocks. 140–41. 132–35. 118–23 breasts. 8–17 white. 32 Lighting. 18–33 F Fashion photography. 120– 21. 64 watch design. 100–111 eyes in. 110 G Gels. 103 simplicity. 144–45 Hands. 66–67 Erotic images. 118. 58–59. 22–23 soft. see Light modifiers Golden hours. 130–31 nudity in. figure images in. 23. 119. 92– 93 Playboy-style images. cont’d) gentlemen’s clubs. figure images in. 80 E Editorial photography. 22–23. sexual. 58 jeans-wear design. 126–27 Exposure. see Lighting History. 78–85 accessories. 79 Gobos. 123 Bra-strap marks. 130–31. 90–91 hard. 113. 88–93 quality. 61. 119 book cover. 63 black. see also Light modifiers ambient. portfolio images for. 117 on location. 88–89. 26 Black & white images. 27. 58–65. 100. 120–21 modifiers. 117. 111 sexy vs. emphasizing. 23. 60 jewelry design. 82 headshots. 90–91. figure images in. 20. 82 clothing selection. 110. 112–17 Body parts. 22. 20. 62 interior design. figure images in. 80 props. 130–31 drama. 69 lingerie images. 40. 72 C Camera position. 22–23 index 157 . 114. see Light modifiers on-camera flash. 105 postproduction. 72–75 composition. 80 styling. 88–93. 106–7 models for. 64 (Commercial photography. 65. 32. posing. 8–17. 32. 110 choosing the right. see Light modifiers Glamour photography. 18–33. 18–24. 58–59 Hard light. 119 legs. 32–33 flashlight. 22–23. 62 Cropping. 56–57. 27 changing. 7 L Legs. see Movement. 75 content of. 122 lips. 104 inspiration. 28. 61. 119 logos. see Lighting H Hair. leaving room for. 19.Index A Action shots. 105 mood. 63 food packaging. 58–59 lingerie design. 68 models for. 70–71 Fine art photography. 139. 72–73 expression. 27 Body painting. 152– 53 Commercial photography. 124–25 Alternative photography. 120 ad copy. 19. 145. 120 fashion design. 32. 99 Black backgrounds. 16. 89 Casting agent. tips from. 90–91. 63 on location. capturing Actresses. 26. 75 Experimentation. 68–71.

8–16. 70. 41. 29. 24. 88. 86 Posing. 128. 99 composites. 88 on location. 139. 128. 22. 111 fire effect. 79. 61. 60. 55 graphic looks. 117 Soft light. 132–35. 144 Postproduction. 48–51. 94 expression. 96–97. 56. 89. 128. 114. 10 networking. 60–61. 124 P Photoflex. 38–39 short light duration. 11 158 Figure Photography (Models. 25. 119 Posing platform. 65 Styling. 27. 14–15 M Makeup. 55 intense color. 148–50. 128 sepia effects. 70. 140 Location selection. 11. 134 Test shoots. 20. 62. 132–35. 19. 88. 70. 148–50 Movement. 98 models for. 34–39 fast shutter speed. 25. 70 pinup images. 30. 25. 145 Light modifiers. 34–35 N Networking. 19. 145 theatrical can. 145 Window light. 10. 139. 146. 53 time spent on. 93 Q Quality of light. 55 pinup images. 28. 145 barndoors. 26. 110. 117 fine art images. 140–41. 62. see Lighting . 139 Pinup photography. 48 S Scrims. 99. 152–53 tips from. 117. see Makeup. 16. 28. 11. 29–31. 70. 40–47. 12 O One-light portraits. 116–17 privacy. 24. 32. 8–17. 19. 28. 87. 61 permits. 117. 37 slow shutter speed. 69. building your. 60. 60. 144–47 Publishing opportunities. 117. 58. 88 beauty dishes. 144–45. 19 softboxes. 109. 105 new. 32. 126–29. 136– 39. 140–41. 27. 28. 48–51. 128. 27. 106–7. 30. 17. 86–93 hair. 89.(Lighting cont’d) tungsten. 61. 56. 62. 56. 53. 10 comfort of. 90–91 standards. 117. 110 Smoke machine. 127 reflectors. or Body painting T Team. 127. 94–99 calendars. briefing. 120. 111. 36 postproduction. 126–27. 56. 61. 155 fine art images. see Light modifiers W White backgrounds. 8 outdoors. 40. 38–39. see Lighting Stock photography. 55 Props. 28. 13 scouting. 13. 32. 145 gobos. Hair. 87. 114. 154–55 experienced. 154–55 nude fashion images. 17 reference images. 17 model. 12 objectives. 10. 120. 105. 88. 60. 142–43. 139. 52. 11. 27. 29. 26. 127. 88–89 lighting. 82. 79. 55. 13 pool. 26 White balance. see Light modifiers Release forms. 140. 109. 34–36. 146 contrast. 139 Theatrical can. 17. 87. 96–97 postproduction. 48 selection. 15. 96–97. capturing. see Light modifiers Shutter speed. 110. 146 (Postproduction . 11. 88 gels. 58. 116–17 indoors. 96–97 releases. 24. 114. 88. cont’d) directing. 62. 127. 109. 48–51. 22. 58–59. 62. cont’d) black & white images. 72. 139 window. 76. 109. 127 scrims. 25. 52–57. 94–95. 99 products as props. 61. see Lighting R Reflectors. 48. 106–7. 99 retouching. see also Body painting Models. 154–55 briefing for outdoor sessions. 94–95 Playboy-style photography. 69. 19.

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