So I dabble in model photography as well. I enjoy having a person pose so I can figure out, well, how to pose them. There’s a definite art to giving direction that I haven’t quite mastered. I usually look up a few stock poses, see what comes up organically, and then have the model give suggestions on what they want to see.
I’ve only done maybe 3 TFP (trade for pics) shoots so I also don’t have much practice in this arena. I’m glad I thought to post to Craigslist this time around. I was hoping to find a beautiful Asian woman to shoot some night time city lights/lifestyle type work with in Taipei. And Erica reached out during my last week there.
We met at Ximending and walked around for a good hour and a half. Some thoughts on modeling at night:
- Night lighting is HARD to work with!
I found getting skin tones right incredibly challenging. The Auto WB settings weren’t that trustworthy and whenever we’d walk to a new area or a different color light source dominated, which was constantly happening in the neon-lit Ximending shopping area, her skin tones would shift. I was getting green, pink, brown, and orange undertones constantly. And trying to correct them left her looking like either a doll or a corpse…And by the time I figured out how to correct for it, I had thought I was finished. So I had to go back through and re-edit the entire series. However, I learned a lot about how Skin Tone Corrections work in Capture One Pro, so that’s a solid win!
- Posing a model in unique and realistic ways is a challenge!
Turns out I don’t know much about model poses. After the same few poses, I was honestly at a loss as to what pose should come next. Of all the thousands of possible ways to pose a subject, I was drawing a blank. I know it all comes with experience but that was also surprising!
- Wide-angle portraiture is HARD!
Perspective distortion is a bitch! It shows up constantly wherever there’s straight lines. And even when I want to embrace the distortion it doesn’t always pan out quite the way I want in my head. But when it does, boy does it rock! I need to spend time studying the Horizontal and Vertical Keystone Correction tools.
Challenges aside, I’m really glad we had a chance to work together. I still prefer more documentary/candid types of photography but it was a lot of fun to do a model shoot. And I got some images I genuinely like as well, like the American flag staircase series. I’m going to ask Erica if she wants to do a reshoot there next time I’m in Taipei. The perspective distortion is annoying me on a few of the images but that spot has so much promise it’s worth the time!
If you like what you see, you can follow fashion designer, business owner, and full-time traveler Erica Chang on IG@punkec