One of the areas of photography that has always interested me is glamour portrait work. Working with beautiful models seemed like it might be a fun way to spend an afternoon. This last week I decided to dip my toe in the water and I participated in a glamour shoot with volunteer models who were willing to pose in exchange for prints after the shoot (also known as a TF Shoot, or Trade For Shoot). I guess it is a leap of faith on their part that anything that might come from such a shoot would be worth trading their time!
I tried to do my homework and researched glamour photos, posing techniques, etc. with the goal of not appearing to be a complete moron in front of the ladies. On the morning of the shoot I had two confirmed models scheduled to meet me at the small studio space in the Los Angeles Arts/Warehouse district near the Little Tokyo part of the city.
Now I had been warned that models who book TF shoots are notorious for not showing up, so I booked two girls figuring that most likely one would have [car/boyfriend/work/hair/etc.] issues and flake out. Instead, both turned up right on time and I had two models to juggle over the next few hours of shooting.
I had decided to start by shooting close up portraits so that I could ease into working on poses with as few variables as possible. I also thought that this was when make-up and hair would probably look its best since there was not a dedicated make-up person on the shoot. After about 30 minutes of fussing with lights and gear, the shoot finally got underway. I decided to shoot these against a wall in the studio where there was some natural light coming in through the windows, though I also lit with the strobes.
This is Destiny…
And this is Crissy…
For the full body shots we moved to a white seamless. Destiny went first, changing into a rather daring red and black outfit!
Crissy was a bit more conservative, but still played up the sexy look..
I alternated between the two girls for about three hours, giving each a chance to change and rest after about 30 minutes of shooting. Giving them posing instructions was and interesting and educational exercise in communication! I can only imagine how they felt as I tried to verbalize twisting and turning them like pretzels! In the end, I found actually demonstrating what I wanted was much more successful than describing it, and provided some comic relief as well.
All together I shot about 500 photos, and narrowed it down to about 25 for them to choose their favorite five from. Since I spend about 15-30 minutes retouching the final photos, five images is about all I have time for..
It was a great learning experience and I have a couple more shoots in the works this week. Hey, there could be worse ways to spend some free time…