Fashion and Portrait Photography with Filipina Model
Pictures of this Filipina model were taken back in 2004 when I started to experiment with model and portrait photography.
It is fun to look back and see what aspects of composition, use of light and creativity evolved throughout the years. And even more interesting what has not changed.
The next ten pictures are from three different photoshoots at three different location all from Hawaii. I get bored easily so I always have been quite picky about my locations, I only use the same place more than once if I can create completely different pictures each time.
Exotic Filipina Model in Red Mini Dress
The first location is the stairway of the Waikiki Marriott Hotel. I loved the harsh fluorescent lights and the colorless concrete which created a set that did not distract from the main subject.
There was very little room and it is easy to tell from the distortion that I had to use a wide angle lens. I don’t mind it though as it adds great perspective to the picture and lengthens the model’s legs.
Overlaying the Rule Of Thirds grid, we can see that due to the wide angle composition, the face of the model is not even close to grid intersections. The reason for the wide angle lens was because of the lack of distance between model and camera.
Wide Angle Fashion Model Photography
This wide angle model photography really favored this location. There were many lines created by the concrete steps and metal handrails which could be exaggerated.
As usual much of the photoshoot was improvised, letting the model get inspired by the clothes and location is a sure way to get genuine emotions and poses from her. In turn and inspired model will undoubtedly inspire the photographer.
The reason is simple for this pose, as the model was sitting down the camera was looking up her short mini dress even from this high vantage point so she pulled the dress down covering up.
It is a bit provocative pose which can engage the viewer’s imagination and create a story around the picture.
Overlaying the Rule Of Thirds grid, we can see that not all wide angle shots go against the ROT. If something is placed or accidentally falls on a grid intersection -like the decorative neckline of the dress here – the photo is more balanced out.
Playing With Shadows While Photographing On Location
Of course the color cast of the fluorescent light could have been corrected during post production but I not only kept it but enhanced it. I like how the stairway takes on the look of the Matrix. Green is not only more organic color than the original gray but it is the color opposite of red ensuring excellent color contrast against the red mini dress.
The shadow was created by the single large fluorescent light. The position of the light was fortunate as it was not too high therefore the shadow was placed behind and slightly above the model at a really favorable angle.
This is an example of the fun and beauty of on location photography when things just fall into place. The same effect can be achieved in a professional studio with careful placements of lights and the use of assistants which I did not have.
The slight misplacement of the Rule Of Thirds grid here can be easily fixed by cropping the image during post production, by decreasing the space in front of the model.
Hard Rock Model Photography Concept
The next location was the foothills of Diamond Head crater. Once again none of this was planned but the mode’s guitar that was brought as a prop found a great background in the form of some great lava rock walls. Therefore this guitar image adopted a “Hard Rock” theme just by all elements effortlessly falling into place.
I also like how in sync the curves of the guitar are with the knees and shoulder of the model. That was the reason why the model is not wearing clothes besides the boots .. so the curvy, skin-colored body of the guitar would substitute for the model’s hidden figure. Not to mention the obvious phallic reference.
Being very new at model photography when these images were taken meant that sometimes I was quite lost. There seems to be no rhyme and reason for the above composition. Perhaps a square crop could balance out the model against the unimportant dead space around her.
Model Smoking A Crack Pipe Concept
The foothills of Diamond Head crater is the home of some homeless and drug users who spend the night here but away during the day. So this is not a proper modeling photo of course. Between setups the model decided to pretend to smoke a crack pipe just as a goof. Not very politically correct I know but no real crack was smoked during the creation of this picture.
Overlaying the Rule Of Thirds grid, we can see that the model is sitting too far forward and her face missed the grid intersection. I was too concentrated about lining up the background and precisely framing the composition with all those straight lines.
Filipino Model With Windblown Hair
When the warm trade winds are blowing outdoor on location portrait photography can get a bit messy. Not for all photos but for a few the windblown hair look is great though. It makes the portrait dreamy and whimsical.
Overlaying the Rule Of Thirds grid, we can see that a close-up portrait with a slightly tilted head will line up one of the eyes with a grid crosshair.
Portrait Photography With Over The Shoulder Look
The time-tested Paris Hilton style over the shoulder look nicely brings out the jaw line of the subject. On location especially on exotic places it is a lot of fun to create backgrounds from plants or rocks as long as the backdrop does not overwhelm or confuse but assists or completely stays out of the picture.
Only when the Rule Of Thirds grid is superimposed can we see the slight misalignment. Without the grid, the composition is balanced. Moral of the story: the precise placement of the grid is not necessary.
Signature One-eyed Portrait
I like the look of this one-eyed portrait. Turns out that this concept came up a few times during the photoshoot, it might have been the model’s signature pose. One of the first places the viewer looks in a picture is the eyes of the subject. But when it is ONE eye a strangeness factor makes the image a biz more puzzling to process.
Overlaying the Rule Of Thirds grid, we can see that we have a near bulls-eye here, as far as the placement of the left eye is concerned. The composition also has some great straight lines, some leading the eye towards the model’s face, some framing her face.
On Location Portrait Photography On Lava Rocks
The third location was the high cliffs behind Hanauma Bay which is a great place because both the foreground and the background can be composed with dramatic results. The juxtaposition of lava rocks, ocean and sky offers countless possibilities, moods, stories.
The one-eyed model has returned, I like the lines created by the arms and the horizon, all pointing towards the main subject, the model’s face.
Overlaying the Fibonacci spiral, we can see how the eyes of the viewer are taken on a gently curving journey along the upper arm and the hat of the model, until we arrive at her face. Alternately, on the other side, her forearm and fingers also lead the viewer’s eyes up to the main area of the photo.
Portrait Photography Using Sky, Rocks And Ocean
Every composition is further explored by changing from landscape to portrait format, by varying vantage points, focal lengths, aperture and so on. I like both the piercing confident eye contact and the gentle elegant wave of the hat’s rim in this picture.
Overlaying the Rule Of Thirds grid, we can see that we have a perfect bulls-eye. After awhile, the beginner model photographer will start to see “what looks right”. And not always but very often what looks right is the Golden Ratio.