Sunday, May 19, 2013

Models Aren't Always "Models"

So, I'm continuing to work on my new ebook: "Flash-Free Model Photography." It's a project that has seen me being a lazy-ass procrastinator for months now. Leastwise, in terms of diving head-first into it. Instead, I've done little more than dip my toes. Okay, maybe a bit more than toe-dipping. Let's say I've waded into it to my knees. Perhaps even mid-thighs bordering on the crotch waist. But all that has changed!  I've taken the full plunge! And, in so doing, one of the things that occurred to me -- a "duh" moment if you will -- popping into my melon in the form of (what should have been) an obvious question was: Why have I been focused on using models who are "models" for this book?

Just because the ebook's title has the word "model" in it doesn't mean all my models for this book need to be, well, models. After all, I'm going for a wide audience. That wide audience includes anyone who wants to learn to shoot models, all sorts of models, using only available natural light.  Whether my models for the ebook are "models" or they're simply regular people in front of my camera doesn't really matter.  (Which is not to imply "models" can't be regular people or regular people can't be models.)  "Model" photography isn't the point of the book. Shooting people who are modeling for the camera, regardless of their careers or professional labels, and with the shooter making use of available natural light, is the ebook's subject.

Many photographers don't shoot pro, semi-pro, or hope-to-be pro "models" on too regular a basis. Some don't shoot them at all. Yes. There are some do. And some shoot "models" semi-regularly. (Which is one reason why there will still be actual "models" featured in the book. But, for the most part, I think most photographers mostly shoot regular people who are, for a brief time, modeling for the camera.  I'm guessing many of those models won't be regularly modeling for other photographers because, if they did, they'd be "models," right? So that's why I've gone outside the "model" pool for subjects, people subjects, for my new ebook. The book will be entirely "G" rated by the way. It's focus is not people-genre specific. It's photo technique oriented. In a nutshell, it's a "how-to" book for shooting people portraits in natural light, with most of its emphasis on making natural light serve you.

People who aren't "models" (but might sometimes model for a photographer) are people like babies and kids, seniors (both kinds of seniors, i.e., high school seniors as well as senior citizens), brides and grooms, business people, actors and entertainers, wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, the list goes on.  The kinds of "modeling" they occasionally engage in is for head shots, family photos, weddings and other events, business portraits, social media use, etc. As a result, those are the kinds of models I'll also be featuring in my "Flash-Free Model Photography" book. So, when you think "models" in the context of this new ebook, think anyone who might be in front of your camera in a more formal or purposeful way than simple, candid, point-and-shoot snapshots.

When I originally came up with this idea for my new ebook, I decided a lot of photographers might like to learn more about shooting people (portraits, head shots, whatever) in available light, both in terms of the tools which will help make better photos and how to employ those tools.  I'm not downplaying the use or value of artificial light like small strobes, monoblocs, that sort of stuff.  I use those tools all the time. But I also shoot in available light. In fact, often enough, I prefer shooting with available light, either on its own or with the help of some simple, yet very effective, available-light lighting tools. 

Anyway, my new ebook focuses on using available light, i.e., natural light, either on its own or with the help of reflectors, scrims, flags, and more. I'm also including information on exposure, filters, and gear other than gear used to enhance or modify the available light. Yep. That's what I decided for the subject of my next ebook and that's what I'm writing about. Besides, do we really need yet another book, an ebook or otherwise, about lighting with strobes? Call me crazy but I think it's been done already... to death.

The pretty girl at the top is Daisy who, as you might guess, is a "model." (Click it to enlarge.) Daisy and I hiked down into a gully with a small stream running through it. The stream's water looked nastier and nastier the closer we got to it so, once we arrived, I decided not to include it in too many of the pics... which I originally wanted to do. But I still had the beautiful Daisy with me so it wasn't much of a loss. I brought along a large, very light-weight and collapsible, Flex-Fill reflector to light Daisy from the front, letting the sun add highlights from behind.


Bill Giles said...

I'll be interested in seeing your new ebook.

Fred Gallup said...

Good luck with the new book, look forward to reading it when done.