So since the advent of digital photograhy many fashion photographers have asked me why their photos don’t look like film. Some of the complaints are that everything is too sharp, too much contrast etc. Well there are many reasons why these things happen, however the main consideration is that they are using too tight of an aperture. For example they are shooting at f/11 or f/16 or even f/22.
When shooting with a 35mm DSLR, shoot as if you were shooting medium format. When shooting medium format you lose alot of depth of field. Consequently your model or subject is very sharp and the background is out of focus and you get very beautiful bokeh. The best way to achieve this is to use a long lens. For this photo I used my Canon 200mm 2.8 on sticks and shot it at ISO 200 f/4.5 1/200th. I also used my Canon 580 EX II on ETTL. Now here is where my little secret comes into play. I bumped up the flash power to +3 stops and zoomed the flash head to 105mm. I was a good 25 yards away from the model.
I got a great smile out of my model by joking with her, complimenting her and not just sitting there clicking the shutter like a robot. I connected with my model because I took my time and composed and thought about the shot in my mind before I even thought of clicking the shutter. Very simple make up and no shoes, great smile and a very beautiful girl in nature make this a very marketable stock photo.
In this next photo I told my model to walk along the log and try to balance in bare feet. I also directed her to look at the camera and smile, laugh and just be silly. The important thing to remember here is that she can’t just do all this like she NORMALLY would. Normally one would smile too big and you would lose the eyes, and / or she would laugh so hard that she would get a double chin. So directing your model and constantly reminding her to keep her chin up and look at the camera and don’t squint the eyes is of utmost importance. The result is another very marketable photo that the model can also use for her portfolio.
In this photo again I used my Canon 200m 2.8 on sticks about 25 yards away. Notice the beautiful bokeh again. I shot this at ISO 200 f/4.5 shutter speed was 1/325th. I also used my Canon 580 EX II on ETTL, bumped the power up +3 stops and zoomed the flash head to 105mm. What I did different for this shot is set my flash to high speed sync mode. In high speed sync mode this allows you to set your shutter speed to whatever speed you want. I set it to 1/325th so I could keep my ambient light down. Remember, you control your flash exposure with your aperture. Any questions or comments are welcome !