working with a new model, or what can we both learn from this experience?

working with new models is always interesting in you never know what you’re going to have walk through the door. i’ve written about this before that people might bring with them unusual attitudes and sometimes not. it’s always a pleasure to be pleasantly surprised by an open attitude , which i try and have about any shoot but i am only a part of the creative process.

so this posting is about this session with Mike. after many changes to times and dates prior to shoot mike walked into studio. 1/2 late. too many aspiring models etc think the world revolves around them, a problem of youth. i am just too old to be treated that way. he just caught me before i went about my days business thinking he was just another ‘no show’. seems when you’re doing someone a favor by shooting for their portfolio it’s not like a job to them. especially people new to the business of modeling, yes it is a business at least for some.

it’s about respect. seems a problem these days flooding this country, a complete lack of starting with our political leaders all the way down to our school children.



mike is a bodybuilder/weightlifter trying to learn how to be a model on model mayhem. i liked his beginning portfolio and contacted him, he was looking for headshots and full body. as we talked about the shoot he informed me he didn’t need the headshots as he had already did a session with someone else. ok with me but i did what i wanted because he was so interesting. he grew up in france and has a gentle demeanour about him. despite the modeling name of Black Chaos which is a bit off putting. i don’t need anymore chaos in my life it’s pretty full now.


but as we began talking things loosened up. he’s from france which gives him a totally different outlook on life.  he’s very gentle i guess a gentle giant. so i began turning on lights my normal 3 light setup. nothing special no time for that now. two grid side lights, one on each side and an overhead/back shoveled unit. i don’t have much studio height nor more room than allows a 9′ roll of noseam.


there i s a gridded strip softbox overhead on camera axises for soft front fill with a modeling light on.


i used a chair as a prop to give him something to work with, it  sometimes helps, in a way distracts and gives them something to do with their hands. good place to sit down and rest for either the model or a tired tog._MG_7023a

‘oh what have i gotten myself into.’

but not really. this session didn’t last too long maybe just over an hour because i had to go to a ‘go see’ explaining to mike what ‘go sees’ are and how common it is in the business to be asked to attend one. i asked another female model is she would come over yesterday. never heard from her, must have gone shopping or something more important.


mike has very deep set eyes, also very tired when he showed up. so what i tried to do here on these portraits was to add my 580 flash with a 40 degree grid holding it over the camera under or to the side. it didn’t seem to work here but i had both hands full had i the time i would have set the 580 on a stand but i was in a hurry thinking i could do it. oh well

i do like the way the session turned out. i am not a beauty photographer nor do i claim to be one and i usually get something i like out of the session that i like. seeing the images mike was all excited and wanted them all unedited. i deleted the really bad ones while i was setting the lighting & f stops.

here is the lighting setup

lighting diagram

he wants to come back for more so we will see if that happens. i’ve learned to get what i want on the first session as people don’t always do what they say they will.

i did get a chance after the shoot to test my LG4X remote from White Lightning to save me having to set the intensity with a ladder. moving along with life.

so it is for this sunday morning hope you enjoy



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4 Responses to “working with a new model, or what can we both learn from this experience?”

  1. Charlie Says:

    Do you have enough front fill Jene or do you mind it being blocked up? I am going to be shooting a guy soon and it will be good to give ideas a try. It seems your experiences with model mayem are quite mixed. My entry in group show opens June 14 at Hudson Guild.

  2. fuzzypictures Says:

    personally i don’t do actors/actresses headshots it’s all about shadows and mystery for me. the key to our souls may not be the eyes or it could be. model mayhem is like life very mixed.

  3. maryduranteyoutt Says:

    Love the lighting (ok there is the deep set eye issue)… My favorite is the one where he is seated with his hand on his bowed head.

  4. fuzzypictures Says:

    yes i thought you’d love that one so do i. he’s got powerful hands another thing i like about that shot.

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