We move on, removing the mirror that we used on the previous page.

For me, the difficult part about preparing for a sitting with a new model is figuring out what we should do.  The objective for initial sittings is "get acquainted", but it takes a session or two before I have a good sense of what the model looks like & how she moves & how she responds to direction & what animates her, etc.  So, for many of these setups, it's just a blind guess.

Note to beginning photographersDo your homework before the sitting.  It's not enough to invite a model over & then hope that something good happens.  You should prepare some concepts ahead of time, and if necessary have the appropriate props & lighting available.  Sure, there's room for spontaneity, but the best photographs come from a prepared photographer. 

So, what if you don't know what to do?  For me, that often happens when working with a new model (especially one with limited experience), and when that does, I fall back on some generic ideas.  For the images on this page, I fall back on a favorite concept:  Do something to keep the model's hands busy


In this case, I gave Jessica a beautiful scarf to pose with.  

The Good News:

  • Jessica responded well in working with the scarf.
  • She enjoyed herself.

The Bad News:

  • In these scans, the scarf is too dark.
  • For this scarf, the lighting is not optimal.  
  • That blasted hair light is bothering me still.














I didn't realize it at the time, but for technical reasons, these are probably the least successful images from this sitting.  But that's okay -- it happens, and they can't all be top shelf pictures.  I sometimes wonder if I should edit more severely (i.e. whether I should include fewer images from each sitting), but I do listen to the feedback I receive from you visitors, and you seem to find my "near-misses" to be instructive (as do I).

I still believe in keeping a model's hands busy, and Jessica did very well with the scarf, but the lighting wasn't optimal for the scarf, and my scanning flat out didn't work at all. 

At the time, I didn't realize the technical problems we were having -- I didn't check the exposure with the digital camera for this setup.  The scarf is dark, but when the light hits it just right, it has a deep ruby sheen that's great, but this side lighting isn't the right light for the scarf -- we needed more direct light (meaning light that came from the direction of the camera position).  Ah, well.

But we weren't done -- I get Jessica's boyfriend to help for the next images.  


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