Professional photographers face many challenges. Catching the sun in the right position, too much shadow on the model’s face, and getting the right light level without washing out color are simple ones to overcome. One of the most difficult challenges concerns subject matter. How to capture a series of pictures displaying lingerie without the photos appearing improper? Individual opinions on exactly what defines sleazy makes this a difficult challenge. This becomes more complicated as the clothing being displayed increases in allure and decreases in “coverage.”
One method to avoid the shady connotations of a lingerie shoot would be to take it out of the bedroom entirely. An excellent example of this is the fabulous Shirley of Hollywood range of lingerie. A model reading a book while lounging on a couch can artistically display her lacy ensemble. A model preparing a breakfast in the kitchen might be another method to show provocative wear. This would be especially helpful when displaying a small apron or similar item. To avoid improper appearances some rooms should be avoided. A model deeply leaning over a pool table in a smoky game room might have an undesirable effect. A photographer should also avoid shooting models out of context. Women in lacy, erotic lingerie would be out of place playing volleyball on the beach.
Creative lighting can also be used to avoid a sleazy look. Properly placed lights can give any model a clean, holistic look, even one clad in the most erotic of lingerie. Minimizing shadows should take precedence. Highlighting the model with light eliminates any darker, unwanted impressions. In the case of lingerie that has a see-through element, back lighting should be avoided.
To avoid an overly sordid photo shoot there is one thing that is more important than placement, lighting, or any other factor. Posing of the model is the most important part of giving a creative impression over an overly erotic one. A playful or relaxed pose can be used to display the fit and features of some lingerie and still give a proper impression. Models can let what they are wearing be alluring on its own without having to resort to erotic poses.
To eliminate any unwanted sleaze from the photo shoot a photographer may want to consider shooting the lingerie without the use of a model. One and two piece ensembles can be draped on furniture or hung in the open for a complete view. While the exact fit can’t be displayed this way, it does allow the showing of features that would be impossible otherwise. Crotchless panties and tops with particularly low cups can be shown without displaying the parts of a model that might be considered improper. Displaying the lingerie without a model also allows it to be highlighted and contrasted against colors that skin isn’t capable of. This technique can also be used on particularly thin materials or those with a see through element.
By following these simple techniques a photographer can easily display the most exotic of lingerie and eliminate the shady connotations of sleaze.
Lighting in photography is the great equalizer because it can make everyone look beautiful. Unfortunately, lighting also has the power to make everyone look horrible too when it is poorly executed. To ensure that all of your models are showcased in the best light possible, here are a few tips to consider.
One Studio Light
Many photographers successfully create stunning pictures by simply using one light in the studio. Any single-light technique inherently creates dramatic contrast. If using a single light, it should be placed off-center from the front of the subject to ensure the model’s face is well lit. The shadowed areas in a single-light photograph are typically solid black with very small areas of transitional mid-tones. To properly meter for these types of photos, it is important to base exposure on the brightest area of the subject while allowing the detail of all other areas to be concealed by the shadow. Softening the dark shadows of a one-light photograph can be accomplished by incorporating the use of reflectors into the photograph. Placing a reflector on the opposite side of a subject away from the single-light source will bounce some light back into the picture so that basic detail can be seen even in the shadows. It is easy to create a hard dark line down the center of a subject when using a reflector, so be sure to adjust the reflector’s position so the mid-tone transition is smooth between shadows and highlights.
Multiple Studio Lights
Professional photographers in studio situations can use a variety of lights from various directions to portray a subject and background in an attractive way. Traditionally, three lights of descending intensities are used in single subject photographs. The strongest light is usually placed off-center from the front of the subject. This light is meant to give depth and texture to the subject while brightening the person’s face. The second light is used to lighten the shadows on the subject created by the first light to prevent and unflattering lines from appearing on the model’s face. Finally, a third light is focused from a position behind the model to outline the overall shape of the subject. Additional lighting can be added to light the background or the body. While this is the general guideline for setting studio lights, various combinations of multiple lights can be used to accentuate and highlight the model’s best look.
Lighting Model’s Outdoors
Working in direct sunlight has advantages that many photographers prefer because of the even coverage of light created by the sun. When shooting outdoors, photography lights should be used to remove harsh shadows created by the sun. This technique is called fill-flash and requires some manual flash adjustments. The sun is a powerful light source that can fool TTL flash functions into perceiving that the scene is already well lit. However, a strong light source from above will typically create unflattering shadows under the chin, nose and in the eye sockets. To lighten those shadows in an attractive way that still gives the subject natural texture, begin by metering the brightest areas where the sun meets the subject. Next, set the flash to full power, which is often called forced-flash. When the image is taken, even a flash at full power will not overpower the sun as long as the exposure has been set properly.
Light the Eyes
The most fundamental element of an attractively lit face in a photograph is the twinkle in the eyes. This is a simple dot of light that appears on the eyes in a photograph to give depth and shape to the eyeball. It is a subtle yet powerful detail in good lighting.
Light is an active element in any photograph, but it behaves in a predictable way. It will always bounce off reflective surfaces, which can add or detract from the quality of an exposure. Experimenting with the above lighting schemes will help you fine tune your exposures for different photograph locations. The direction of the strongest source of light will always cast shadows so be sure to check that those shadows are not unflattering and determine whether a fill or reflector technique would help to improve the photograph’s balance.
Creating the perfect picture is all about confidence and the ability to relax and let the scene create itself.
First one should determine their best angle. As you might have noticed stars on the red carpet frequently use the same pose when being photographed. This technique is very good to remember, pose in front of the mirror and see which angle looks best. It is not just about the angle of ones body but of ones face, so don’t forget that.
The classic model’s pose is to arrange your body three quarters facing the camera with a foot in front of the other and a shoulder farther away from the camera then the other. Try looking slightly above the camera so your eyes do not appear to be closed. Additionally it helps to reduce the chance of getting the ‘red eye effect’. Leaning slightly toward the camera adds intrigue for the viewer and improves the definition of your face.
Focus on your posture, having good posture improves confidence and increases visibility of your full figure. The most important rule of having your picture taken is to relax and act natural. Read a joke book before the shoot, think about a goofy friend or just practice your breathing technique. When you are calm and collected a great picture is sure to be at hand.
Smiling is a great way to relax but remember that a fake smile is always obvious and very stale. So when smiling remember how you really smile in real life, and don’t forget that smiling might include the lips but it also includes the eyes. Smile with your eyes too. The best advice any photographer will give is to practice in front of the mirror, and remember not to be too hard on yourself, it will just show up as insecurity in the picture. Keeping the importance of relaxation in mind, do not hold your breath. You will appear tense and strange in the photograph.
If you have the opportunity to do your own makeup remember to deeply accentuate you cheek bones and chin area. This tip will bring focus onto your face where you want it.Taking a photograph is an art of creating a sense of naturalism while looking perfect and precise.
It’s no secret that working with live photography models is tremendously difficult. Your job as a photographer is to make your model look perfect and the fact is that most people are filled with blemishes, imperfections, awkward expressions and simply bad body composition. While a lot of things can be fixed in post, you can make your job a lot easier by capturing the best possible image from the very beginning. The use of props, flair and color to make your photography model look better than real life will help you immensely. Remember, in the photography business it’s often all about your turnaround time. Your time is money to you, and you don’t want to be spending forever correcting simple things you could have avoided.
It goes without saying that having appropriate lighting is the first step to making your live model look great. When working with props, you should also take care to light them appropriately as well, so that no awkward shadows are cast on the model. Remember that the point of the photograph is the model: props should not steal focus, and they should only be there to make the model look amazing. There should be a reason behind every single element in your photograph. You should also do tests with any of the props you keep on hand as well, to ensure that they photograph well and have no awkward attributes of their own.
The first element to consider is size. If you want your model to look smaller or slimmer, props used should be larger and the opposite is true as well. The angle of the props can also create an illusion of smallness or largeness depending on the way you compose your photo. It can also put a certain emphasis on your subject’s actions or pose. The second element to consider is color. A bland model will be overpowered by brightly colored objects, but a bold model may be accented by it. If your model has startling blue eyes, throwing in bright blue props will enhance, not distract. On the other hand, if your model is a brunette with dark brown eyes, placing her with bright red objects may simply steal focus away from her rather than emphasizing her more natural beauty.
When using amateur models either in news photography, or portrait studios the use of props that they are more familiar with can make them open up and gain confidence in front of the camera. Playful props such as umbrellas, balls and other fun items can help an amateur live model find poses they wouldn’t otherwise think of as well. Working with amateur live models can be extremely challenging, so finding unique prop opportunities for them can be both technically and socially rewarding.