Critique Photoshoots from convention

Archived Thread
Our site is currently being changed over to the new version. Everything you see is currently in read-only mode. Additionally, the layout and UI will not be complete until all sections have been re-enabled, so please ignore any layout issues (or bland-ness) at this time.
#1 ChaosFoxCostuming on 5 years ago

[CENTER]So I did a few fun shoots at the convention I attended this weekends and I wanted to know once again what can I improve in my Photo's.


[/CENTER]

[url]https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.260932624082676.1073741843.210093412499931&type=3[/url]

[url]https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.261089780733627.1073741844.210093412499931&type=3[/url]

[url]https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.261095524066386.1073741846.210093412499931&type=3[/url]

[url]https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.261092294066709.1073741845.210093412499931&type=3[/url]

#2 fam-cosplayphotographer on 5 years ago

1st, youll want to upload your shots to flickr (free and it allows 1tb of storage and allows for high res shots...facebook destroys quality to make everything look like cell phone shots)

Jinx,

Watch poses and positions. To me, she isnt fat, but when you have someone sitting like that or shooting from those angles they arent going to be as flattering as having her stand up tall and work it a little bit and find angles that really work for her figure.

She's really shadowy which can work in dark environments, but when your background is brighter than your figure...you should be using flash to light her up. Youre cutting off fingers and elbows and your framing is a little messy too. Sometimes those florescent lights are tricky.

Ben Long's foundations of Photography courses on lynda.com are fun and friggin amazing! You can get a month membership for like 20 bucks and breeze through them all and instantly get a grasp for whats going on in the camera and how to control it.... froknowsphoto.com has so many critiques and tutorials and some paid guides as well.

I think your Kill La Kill set is probably the strongest on a few shots.....some shots youre fighting your natural light and some youre working with it.take a look and youll see what I mean..you did get some creative poses\expressions\ and angles so you do have an artistic eye and thats the main requirement to get started...thats the one thing you cant always teach, so keep working and keep learning.

#3 nathancarter on 5 years ago

Jon touched on some of what I would have said, and I'll refer back to my critique of your Vocaloid shoot:

Your number one goal should be to make shots that flatter the subject. To that end, do these two things:
1) Look at the pose, make adjustments as necessary. Don't be afraid to give direction if something isn't working. Sometimes you'll give bad direction and that's OK, those shots won't be keepers but you'll learn from it.
2) Look at the light - especially if you're working solely with ambient light - and see how it plays on faces. Different faces will look better with different light.
1 and 2 together) Direct your subject so that the light falls on the face in a flattering way. One of my usual methods of direction is this: "Point your chin and nose at my hand ... right here... OK, great, hold that. Now without moving your head, look with just your eyes, toward the camera." (or at my other hand, or at that thing over there on the wall, or whatever).
----------

Jinx:
The seated position didn't really flatter her. A "longer" pose, stretching out her body, would have been much more flattering.
A variety of different facial expressions would have been good too, especially for this particular game character. Don't be afraid to ask for a different facial expression or direct the subject - especially if they're novices at modeling. Again, some facial expressions will work, some won't. Some will be terrible, some will be fantastic.

Looks like a potentially difficult shooting situation, with very high dynamic range and hard light. You can use that to your advantage, though - making a very contrasty shot, and directing your subject to point their face in such a way that the light falls on the face in a flattering way. Look up the different styles of portrait lighting - butterfly, rembrandt, loop, etc - and keep those in mind while using light like this to light faces. Sometimes to get good lighting on the face, you'll direct the subject to look away from the camera, way up off to the corner of the ceiling. That can be okay!

Technical point, they look a little mushy - like your shutter speed was too low? I can't quite put my finger on it, and Facebook stripped the exif data.
White balance and skin tones are also not consistent within the set, looks like AWB done you wrong.

Next one (free shoot):
Much better than Jinx. Nice variety of poses and expressions. Exposure and colors look better. Careful with backlighting - it's easy to underexpose, on your one backlit shot she's about stop darker than the rest of the set.

Start looking past the subject to compose the whole image, not just the subject. As part of this, start using perspective & focal lengths to your advantage. If you stand farther away the background will appear larger relative to the subject - then use a longer focal length (that is, zoom in) to get the framing you want on the subject. This is an easy way to reduce or eliminate much background clutter.

The last one in the set - the face portrait - I think is the best of the set. Intentionally or not, you're using a "short lighting" portrait lighting technique, which is an easy way to slim a round face.

Kagome/Inuyasha:
Consistent within the set, exposure looks pretty good.

She's making the same blank facial expression in every set, meh. A quick Googe Images of Kagome shows a bunch of different facial expressions: Happy, excited, thoughtful, winking.

Similar advice as above: Frame and compose the whole shot; look past the subjects to work within the background and available light. Careful with cutting off at joints (e.g. ankles).

Specific example: I know there's not a whole lot you can do in a convention center, but: In the last one (Inuyasha on the ground), you could have taken half a step to the left, and turned the camera slightly right. This would have gotten you a very similar framing, and the stairway-clutter would have been out of the frame.
[URL="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151568048095047.1073741849.46588730046&type=3"]Here's an example[/URL] of where I had to use a very undesirable space in a convention hotel - by putting some distance between the subject and the background, using a long focal length, and using a somewhat-wide aperture, I was able to minimize the clutter and ugliness of the surroundings. Still got some hotel carpet in there and some of the low ceiling in the wide shots, but whatcha gonna do.

Kill la Kill:
Nice variety of poses, no weird or unflattering stuff, and you've got a slight cariety in facial expressions.. Good exposure in potentially hard lighting - direct sunlight (even through windows) can be tough. Good use of the background in the last shot.

#4 ChaosFoxCostuming on 5 years ago

Does anyone have anymore tips and working with ah difficult or nervous models? Or even a good read on it? I seemed to have done a lot better for the kill la kill shoot just because she was very easy to warm up to despite never doing a photo shoot and took direction easily and was very energetic during the whole thing as the others were not the same and I had a lot of difficulty even when trying to direct.

#5 fam-cosplayphotographer on 5 years ago

Not many of your subjects are ever going to be trained models...so being nervous or being oblivious to what poses work is normal. Talk to them....ask them everyday questions...who made your outfit...compliment it...ask how their day was....maybe a joke here or there...there's no set way to make someone feel comfortable you have to read the person...personally I let them realize im a goofball and I make jokes to get them to REALLY smile and then I blast away...sometimes you can even tell you model something shake their arms to keep them from being a stiff.....keep in mind ALWAYS ask before you touch them or guide them as touching is always a no no unless they say its ok....but being a chick youve got some advantages there as it wont be creepy unless youve got a secret creepy face.

Here's a few things to watch for fun
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U90BQUpISBs[/url]

[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v51lGZfro-k[/url]

[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWmlPisPBzw[/url]

#6 nathancarter on 5 years ago

Show confidence in yourself and your abilities (even if you're internally nervous); this will put the subject more at ease.

Keep talking, complimenting, small talk, light jokes. Silence will quickly get uncomfortable. Some people play music, even bringing along a little boombox (like it's 1987) or a bluetooth speaker paired to their phone.

I generally will demonstrate poses, instead of simply describing them. As a guy, when I do an exaggerated feminine pose to show the subject what I want, that always gets a little chuckle, and lightens the air a bit.

Don't touch the subject without asking.

It gets easier and easier with practice and experience - seeing the pose the model is doing, identifying what needs tweaking, and giving direction. Practice, practice. If you're not a "people person" or an extrovert - and I'm usually not - you have to pretend to be one, if only for a few minutes. Spend some time outside of a convention environment, working casually with friends, to improve your communication and pose direction. Get some experience with friends, and then doing the same thing with strangers will be much easier.

#7 figment1986 on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=nathancarter;4832050]Show confidence in yourself and your abilities (even if you're internally nervous); this will put the subject more at ease.

Keep talking, complimenting, small talk, light jokes. Silence will quickly get uncomfortable. Some people play music, even bringing along a little boombox (like it's 1987) or a bluetooth speaker paired to their phone.

I generally will demonstrate poses, instead of simply describing them. As a guy, when I do an exaggerated feminine pose to show the subject what I want, that always gets a little chuckle, and lightens the air a bit.

Don't touch the subject without asking.

It gets easier and easier with practice and experience - seeing the pose the model is doing, identifying what needs tweaking, and giving direction. Practice, practice. If you're not a "people person" or an extrovert - and I'm usually not - you have to pretend to be one, if only for a few minutes. Spend some time outside of a convention environment, working casually with friends, to improve your communication and pose direction. Get some experience with friends, and then doing the same thing with strangers will be much easier.[/QUOTE]

This!

I have the WORST problems being around others (yet I work in a theme park) and I find pushing myself to make small talk with people helps get everyone more relaxed. if you know the anime they are cosplaying as, talk about it. if there was a major sporting event (olympics happening right now) see if they are interested and talk about it. Talk about pie! (I do..) small talk helps break the ice and makes both of you feel more relaxed. I've had a model relaxed, but i was stiff and it showed in my photos.

Feel free to have both of you move around between shots if needed to relax a little bit. and as every one said, ASK permission before touching. It is a personal space bubble and it's broken every day at my job, and I refuse to break it myself.

I love the suggestion on showing the pose, and trying to get the subject to laugh when doing it... I will try that this weekend at renfair.

I'm not the best to critique your work, but what the others said is a lot of what I noticed. Keep experimenting. You wont learn unless you try.

Follow Cosplay.com
CosTools