Model Mayhem Has Been Good To Me!

I broke down and paid for a model and I couldn't be happier with the results.  Don't get me wrong, i've been lucky to have worked with some amazing models over the last couple of years.  There is something about the change in dynamic when it's a paid shoot.

 I worried less about how much time I was taking and took the opportunity to work different angles and lighting positions.  I'm fairly new to off camera flash and wanted to spend some time playing with the light that a one light setup provided.  I was shooting with a Fuji XT1, a 56mm 1.2 lens and a Yungnuo 560 Mark III Speelight and the Yungnuo 560TX radio transmitter mounted atop the camera.  The flash was used in conjunction with a small, square, softbox.  

I worked with an amazing model from modelmayhem.com Marie Jean .  She arrived on time and ready to work and I believe we achieved some beautiful results.  

I'm a fly by the seat of your pants kind of photographer.  I try not to have too much of a preconcieved notion of what i'm going to achieve.  I have a general ideal but I am flexible with where that takes me.  I wait to see how the model works with me and the situation and try to capture what happens without too much direction.  

Most of my photography has centered around landscapes, still life and the occasional portrait.  Lately I have been excited by what I have been able to accomplish with portraits using both natural and off camera flash.  Light can be tough to master.  It's always changing and can either help or hurt you depending on how you use it.  The goal is to remember what worked and add that to your tool kit.  

For this shoot I had an idea that I had never tried and had no idea how it would turn out.  I've traveled some in Italy and Greece and have always been taken with how widows show their respects to their partners when they are gone.  In Greece there is a tradition that a widow dresses in black for the rest of their life.  I wanted to add some beauty to this idea in the form of the subject and some flowers.  The idea was great, but carrying it out took patience for me and the model.  Marie was fantastic and worked with me until I got the results I wanted.

The hardest part of the above image was getting the focus right.  I am still learning the capabilities of my Fuji XT1.  The light was very low in the studio and it was impossible to see well enough to use manual focus.  I set the focus to area mode and was able to capture this shot.  I couldn't be happier with this image.  I actually used the out of camera jpegs and worked them a little in LIghtroom.  

It was a pleasure working with Marie and I hope we get to collaborate again in the near future.  Here are a couple more images from this shoot.

Copyright Wineberg Images 2016

My First modelmayhem.com Shoot

About a year ago I signed up with modelmayhem.com .  I wanted to expand my photography skills and start working with models.  I have been working on building a home studio.  Backdrop, backdrop stand, sofbox for my speedlite and a not so steep learning curve were complete.  I didn't want to subject my friends and family to the time that it would take for me to be comfortable shooting with this setup.  So I put it out there to a few models that I was interested in someone that was patient and that could deal with me fumbling a little.  We as photographers must admit that we do fumble a little when we attempt a new type of photography.  Mistakes will be made and it will take time to perfect your abilities.  

A few weeks later I received a response from a model and the correspondence portion of our potential meeting began.  After a few e-mails we arranged a meeting at a neutral location.  You have to be careful.  This goes for photographers and models.  While modelmayhem does some screening, you must protect yourself.  Bring a friend as well, if it makes you feel more comfortable.  So we met at a local coffee shop, more to get a feel for each other and see if it would be a good fit.  I asked a ton of questions as well as presented what I was interested short term as well as long term possibilities.  The meeting went well.  We then scheduled a time to meet for a shoot.  Like most photographers I do not have a dedicated studio.  My setup is in my garage.  It is neat and clean and with the backdrop setup it actually looks the part.  I shared this up front as I didn't want there to be any surprises.  She asked if she could bring a friend.  I told her that, of course, she could.  I believe that any photographer that says you can't bring a friend is someone you should avoid.  I went the extra step to tell my wife that I would text her if everything was going smoothly.  Safety, safety, safety is the name of the game.  

The shoot went well.  Some of the shots were great.  Some of the shots were not so great.  I also learned the limits of my equipment.  My SB600 Speedlite overheated.  It would still work but needed time to cool down.  I'm thinking of switching to dedicated LED's or may spend some money on professional strobes that have dedicated power.  I have to thank the amazing model Molly Scott for her patience, professionalism and her poise during our first shoot.

Below are my favorite images from that day.  I am looking forward to our next shoot and have to say that I may be hooked on this type of photography.  While it is more labor intensive than my regular shoots, the results are worth it.