Now that the temperatures are getting milder and the weather is more compliant, there are a lot more options to do model and portrait photography outdoors. But sometimes, you will still want to utilize an indoor location. If you don’t have one of your own, and don’t have the resources to pay to rent a fully set-up location, here are a few creative ideas that might work.
While you will always want to be sure to ask management, many stores will allow you to shoot photos as long as you aren’t a disruption for customers. I know someone who recently shot a model at major craft retailer Michael’s. I’ve also come across some shots done in a Lowe’s Home Improvement Store.
These areas can allow for a sophisticated and intellectual feel in your shots and so long as you aren’t doing anything inappropriate or making a lot of noise, there are usually a lot of empty areas that nobody will mind if you use.
Subway Stations, Bus Stations, Train Stations, oh my. These spaces can give you a candid vibe and often have interesting (but sometimes challenging) lighting.
Easy to access most of the time, free to hang around, often empty.
At times it is tempting to think that only “correctly” exposed images are the way to go when taking quality shots. However, as with any art at all, there are occasions when it is ok to bend the rules or even completely break them.
Some may have heard of the use of overexposure to reduce wrinkles and skin imperfection but there are several applications for having a picture underexposed as well. One of the biggest is that is can help increase the detail and color. These are a few samples out of the camera and edited.
Even though it would be nice, the reality is that many people who are interested in photography do not have the financial means to purchase expensive software to edit or retouch their pictures. And in some cases, they don’t have the time to do some of the necessary but tedious tasks without the help of automation.
These three FREE web-based tools can be a big help.
Can’t afford Photoshop or similar applications? Don’t want to have to deal with downloading big programs like GIMP? The Pixlr tool allows you to do all the basics and a lot more in your browser. It’s powerful and relatively easy to use with a professional feel layout.
Even though LunaPic is a bit less user-friendly, it’s still fairly easy to work with and gives people the ability to make all sort of filter adjustments and more. It’s like some of the filtering apps available for your phone but generally less generic and more powerful.
Resizer: Bulk Resize Photos
There are a bunch of reasons why you might need to resize photos to make the smaller. After all, if you all posting them online it’s not always a brilliant idea to have them in full resolution. You can use this to quickly resize any number of pictures.
With the exception of some rather snarky photography purists, many people like the idea of spot color photographs. And while there are many ways to get this done, some either involve expensive software or a level of expertise that takes a long time to attain. However, there is a simple and decent option for anyone that owns an Android smart phone or device.
The Color Touch application is free and allows easy adjustment.
Here is a promo sample from the app’s page.
Unless photography is our full-time occupation, and even if it is, many of us cannot afford to own a studio space. Sure, we can rent as needed. But if you have the space and aren’t opposed to having clients come to your home, you can easily set up a nice, professional studio without paying a bundle.
Here’s the basics of what you need:
You can either order some or make your own. I would suggest getting or designing at least 3, a black, a grey or white and one molted color blue or grey.
If you get steady lights it will be cheaper and you won’t need any triggers or sync tools. If you want to go a little more expensive, you can get strobe units for a reasonable price so long as you aren’t looking for the big brands.
These are more affordable than soft boxes and basically do the same thing. They also come with some lighting units as part of the deal.
You can check out my upcoming book on how to make your own reflectors, diffusers, product setup and more. I’ll be sure to let you know when it is out.
As you probably realize by now, I enjoy being artistic with my photos. This being the case, one of the tools I find interesting is what are commonly referred to as gobos. I mentioned these in another post as any material that is placed in between the light and the subject to make a pattern out of shadows.
The biggest problem with today’s gobos are that they are big, heavy and tend to allow for just a single pattern making them inconvenient and costly. I recently invented what I call my “Universal Gobo” that solves ever one of these problems.
You can buy our Do It Yourself guide for just $3.00 and the materials should cost you less than $20. This is a lot nicer than paying around $20 each for those available in stores and over the web.
There are typically two types of people two model, those who do it on a freelance or independent basis and those who are represented by some sort of agency.
When it comes to a photographer choosing who to work with, this can make a massive difference.
My preference, having worked with both, is to go with the freelancers as much as possible. Here’s why:
1. Less hoops to jump through for booking
2. You’re going to find more variety in look and style
3. More options for being creative in you work
4. Less overall red tape