Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Let me have it.

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  • #15340

    I just started working with models and branching away from my plants.  I decided I wanted to start working with people, possibly making money.  So here are some model shots.  Let me have it- faux or not?

     

    http://www.mjbrennanphoto.com/models.html

    #15342
    Bill
    Member

    Something up my alley.
    MJ, I took a look at your photos and I will give you my best overall advice, good and bad. It is nothing personal, so please do not take it that way if my critique appears too hard.
    I would say that you need some more work before charging. There are some that are okay but it appears that you need to edit more or at least render your images better before getting to the $$ making part.
    Just out of curiosity, you have a 5DMk3, what lenses are you using? From what I see, it looks like a 50mm and a 70-200.

    The girl displayed on the very 1st page is crooked, like she is leaning right. Shots like this benefit from symmetry and a clean background. There are some elements in the BG that are distracting.

    Without getting into each and every one, here how I see it. I think you need to brush up on your lighting techniques and poses a bit, along with your editing. The editing does not make your female models look flattering. No one has perfect skin, but no one wants a large photo highlighting their imperfect skin.
    I was going to say something about your color control, but I realized that I was looking at them on my 2nd monitor which is not color calibrated (yet).

    The website – I like the style, the minimalistic approach works, but the layout is hurting your photos. Just curious? Why is the header so damn large? It takes up about 50% of the on-screen real estate, this is where you should be showcasing your works, good or bad.
    The good part is once I scroll down and scroll through your photos, I don’t have to scroll down each time, so maybe it does work. Let’s hear from others before re-designing anything there.

    DOn’t give up, we all start from Zero. You can’t learn this stuff overnight,it takes time and a lot of error. If anything, keep making mistakes and learn from them. But above all, KEEP SHOOTING!!!

    As for your question, Faux or NO. If you keep down this path without progressing, then yes a FAUX. But I see some early learner’s mistakes in your work. You’ll get better if you keep trying.

    #15349

    Hi Bill,

    Thank You for the honesty.  I am wondering what specifically I can do to improve?  I have only been working with models since September.  Is there a special tool, filter or program I can use to smooth the skin better?  I have edited them, but I am being heavy handed?  I am very interested in how to improve.

    I shoot with a variety of lenses, mainly 24-105 f4.0L.  I am about to invest in a few new primes, like a 35 f/1.4L (there is a less expensive f/ 2, but I am trying to stick to L if I can afford it) and a Sigma EX DG HSM 85 f/1.4.  I wish I could afford the Canon 85 L, but that one is out of budget.  Again there is a f/1.8 version from Canon, but I want as fast as I can afford with the best optics possible.  I also need to get a calibration program.

    TIA.

    #15351
    Bill
    Member

    From what I see, skin re-touching is where I would start.

    I would not totally rely on apps or actions for skin touch-ups or smoothing but there are some good apps out there that will help with heavy workloads, but I would use them wisely.
    Imagenomic Portraiture is a good one and is fairly easy to use. I use it from time to time but lightly. The best method that seems to work for me is to export as a separate layer and then adjust the opacity from there. This way you can keep a lot of the natural skin texture while still touching it up.

    Another is Portrait Professional Pro, I have never tried this app, but some say it is good, but I have no idea.

    Remember, all these apps and plugins do what photoshop can right out of the box, it may save time using the plugins, but knowing what it is doing and how can be very beneficial. Photoshop classes in your area and YouTube can help you out. In my area, there are local groups that do free or nearly free courses, you may want to check out some of the local community groups to see if they offer anything like this.

    As for the lighting, YouTube, again, can be a valued resource if you don’t mind spending the time to watch countless videos and how-to’s. It is very helpful and you get to see how others achieve those shots, sometimes using simple techniques.
    Another way would be to see if a local photographer has a need for an assistant to get first hand experience, but this can be a little restrictive and time consuming, but again beneficial.
    Meetup.com can also help out. Again, several groups to choose from, some offer hands-on some free some not. You’ll have to determine which would be a better deal for you.

    Color management is a big deal, I use a X-rite display pro, but they have other models like colormunki

    As for lenses, you can always rent one before making that big investment. I have “L” lenses and yes they are nice, but pricey. They can easily destroy any budget. I tend to go towards the larger focal length when doing portraits. Typically, I use either a 24-70 f/2.8, 50 f/1.2, 135mm f/2 or a 70-200 f/2.8, those are my goto lenses that I use. Not saying one is better than the other, they each have their pro’s and con’s. The Canon 85 L is nice, good choice.

    Hope this helps out

    #15353
    stef
    Moderator

    Your best lighting and posing is on the black man, and even then the wrap on his face was a bit hot. The others largely look contrived or poorly exposed. Post processing and lighting technique, as said above, need work.

     

    Your single light images would’ve really benefitted from a reflector and proper exposure.

     

    You might calibrate your monitor to verify it’s not set too bright.

    #15354
    Gerbles
    Member

    I would also work on the facial expression of your models. The first girl featured with the dark hair has a very goofy looking smile- not to offend anyone, just being totally honest. If you could direct her to smile with her eyes and not so much with her mouth- especially that sideways smile, I think that would improve things. The other model you have- the one with the red hair- looks as if she smelled something unpleasant in most of her photos.

    Those issues accompanied with the lack of processing and flattering lighting are really hindering your work. I would definitely slow down and not charge anyone for quite some time until these issues are worked out.

    #15410
    nairbynairb
    Member

    You should choose a set of like 10 of your best images and upload them to flickr in a higher resolution so we can critique those specific images.

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