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Portraits for a friend... Advice?

Andy_Curtis 3 800 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2014 12:14PM
Hi all,

I have a friend who has asked me if I would to a few portraits for him to use in a fitness magazine and to send to a modelling agency (Hopefully his head will fir through my door Tongue)

now I am not an established photographer with lots of portrait experience to my name, this is just me helping out a friend.
However, it is a perfect opportunity to add to my own portfolio and get some experience in an area I have not dived into often.

What advice would you give me, if any?

I have a cheap slave flash I can use with a diffueser, my on camera flash also, and lots of spot lamps. I have read a few people's blogs who say they used a few spot lamps with a white bag over to act as a diffuser.... Good or bad?

And finally, after looking through some forums on here. I am not trying to take business away from anyone with real experience, I am a noob and yes, I do know I am under equiped. As I said, I am just helping out a friend. So no miserable, nasty comments which I see a select few members do to others.

Andy Curtis

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sherlob Plus
12 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2014 12:28PM
Andy - ask your friend to look on the web or in magazines and select a few images of the kind of thing he's after. It will allow you to better judge his expectations of you. It also then allows you to plan your shoot/s more precisely.

Edit: and don't forget the model release form.
Randle 12 112 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2014 12:30PM
Ask your friend to select a few pictures he likes from the fitness magazines, then study the pose's and where the light is coming from. this will give you some idea of what he is looking for and the shots he wants.
But don't let this cloud your creativity also do some things that you think might be different and get the best from his ability's.

I know what you mean about the comments, ok if funny but not when nasty!
Andy_Curtis 3 800 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2014 12:37PM
Thanks to both of you, I will ask him to do that and let me know before the shoot.

Also, the release form did cross my mind. I guess I can write one up on my laptop and get some signatures? And provide him with a copy?

Quote:I know what you mean about the comments, ok if funny but not when nasty!

yeah, sometimes it can be quite funny, but one I saw ( no names will be mentioned) was just rude and appalling. I could blabber on about it but that is for another forum Wink
Andy_Curtis 3 800 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2014 1:11PM
Just ordered a YONGNUO YN460 slave flash for less than 30. All the reviews say it is great for a cheap slave flash for amateur portrait photographers, which is me now I guess, but I doubt I will take it further than helping out a mate or two, who knows.
JackAllTog Plus
9 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2014 1:40PM
Typically for blokes with muscled you want to use the light to help define them more - typically by making them more directional and off camera axis, your remote trigger should help.
But The diffuser will give a bigger softer light which is not what i'd associate with muscle type shots and it softens the skin bye filling it in more evenly with light. - Watch this to shooting close to light walls as it may add more light back in than you want.

You may or may now want to darken hair with water/oil before hand. A body moisturiser should improve the skin and even some darkening make up in shadow area. He may even have a spray tan if he is into it in a big way - if so make sure its even across all exposed skin to keep the colour consistent.
Get him to pump up the muscles a 5 mins beforehand to maximise the look

Most Magazine images are probably all photo shopped so you initial image may not look as good as you expect.

You may both feel uncomfortable doing this - maybe plan 2 shoots with the first just working out ideas and doing test shoots.

Good luck.
TanyaH Plus
15 1.3k 393 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2014 2:42PM
Another option, depending on the weather, is to consider shooting outside and use natural light to enhance muscle tone and/or lighting? Let the sun do some of the work for you, and use the off-camer flash as a fill in? Not always possible with the British weather, but we're not having it too bad at the moment Smile Think setting sun (ie goldenish light raking across defined muscle tone; leaning back against a wall/tree/something along those lines ...) That may not be the kind of shots your friend is after though, so it is only a suggestion.

I'm no expert in this kind of thing, but as a woman I know what I'd like to see Wink

Stuart's (JackAllTog's) advice about getting your friend to pump his muscles just before shooting is great - once those veins are up, it really does help to give that feeling of 'fitness' Grin
Andy_Curtis 3 800 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2014 2:56PM
Haha. I welcome the "What a woman would like to see" advice very much,

I will take on board what both of you have said ad see what I can come up with. Time is short and will only have 2 hours to get it all done, so travelling to a decent location outside will be a time waster. But good advice for next time Smile

Thanks to all for the help!

Andy Curtis
Paul Morgan 16 19.1k 6 England
29 Jul 2014 9:24PM

Quote:Just ordered a YONGNUO YN460 slave flash for less than 30.

You may as well as gone for the next one up the 560, its only a few pounds more, not that there is anything wrong with the 460 mind.
scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
29 Jul 2014 9:43PM
Some good ideas here: Active Lifestyle
Dave_Canon 11 1.4k United Kingdom
30 Jul 2014 11:32AM
I do think that the first reply was important. Between you and your model, you need to know what style of photograph is required. I am a member of a Club Studio Group and we sometimes take photographs for other people and organisations to add to their portfolio or advertising. We once took some shots of a young actor who had just left a drama college and was looking for work. As a result of his CV and our photographs, he was given a part for his first application. He was very grateful and we were all very pleased.

Andy_Curtis 3 800 United Kingdom
30 Jul 2014 1:48PM

Quote:You may as well as gone for the next one up the 560, its only a few pounds more, not that there is anything wrong with the 460 mind

Did not have any in stock when I went to purchase it, "2-3 months expected despatch time". i checked this morning.... Back in stock! Its only a cheapo slave flash for now Smile it'll to the trick.

Some good ideas here: Active Lifestyle

Awesome thanks! Smile

And Dave, good to know. I bet that is a great feeling knowing your work has helped out someone else Smile
Paul Morgan 16 19.1k 6 England
30 Jul 2014 5:39PM
The S2 mode works well with the Olympus TTL, I have already tried it.
Andy_Curtis 3 800 United Kingdom
31 Jul 2014 3:23PM
does the 560 work with the EM5 that you know of? on the hotshoe I mean?
Paul Morgan 16 19.1k 6 England
31 Jul 2014 3:33PM
All these units work in the shoe, but all you get is manual mode and no TTL.

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