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20 Tips for Taking Quality Pictures of Your Model

two young beautiful female models in a yacht posing in swimwear for photo shot
Do you want to take professional and quality pictures of your models? Taking high-quality picture takes a lot more than pointing a camera and pressing a button. It requires you to be totally familiar with your camera, gaining knowledge of photography, and practice to become a skilled model photographer.

The techniques for operating a digital camera are the same as a film camera. If you plan to photograph models, you will need a DSLR camera. There are some built-in features on the DSLR cameras that are not available with phone cameras or compact models. The key is to learn how to use the built-in features to improve the quality of your shots.

You don’t have to invest a lot of money to take quality photographs. All you need a basic DSLR camera. You also need a 50-90 mm zoom lens if you don’t want to spend extra money for different lenses. You also need a tripod, independent flash attachment, and a reflector.

You should spend time and read the manual about your camera. You can follow few general rules to ensure professional pictures with your digital camera.

pretty female model wearing large sunglasses posing for commercial photo shot

Here are 20 tips for taking professional and quality pictures of models:

1. The best lighting condition for photographing model is early morning or late afternoon when the light is soft. Avoid mid-day when the sun is harsh. Choose an overcast day rather than bright sunshine.

2. Avoid pointing your camera directly at any light source.

3. Make sure your model is in full focus after carefully select the subject.

4. Avoid harsh shadows.

5. Use natural light where possible.

6. Check your background for any distraction. Stay away from busy background for most of your model photography.

7. Make sure your shadow is out of picture.

8. Use a tripod to avoid camera shake.

9. Use longer lens such as 90mm or zoom lens, rather than shorter lens that will require you to get close to your subject, especially for head shot and portrait photography.

10. To avoid underexposure, increase the aperture size or decrease shutter speed.

11. To avoid overexposure, decrease the aperture size or increase the shutter speed depending on the amount of available light.

12. Avoid using the built-in flash because the flash makes your subject less flattering. Turn off the flash, slow the shutter speed, and use a tripod to stabilize your camera since the shutter will be open longer to let in more light.

13. The range of flash is about 10 feet. If you have to choose flash, stand within 10 feet and program your flash to 50% by dialing back the flash power.

14. Manually slow down the shutter speed, making sure to keep your camera still and extra light will be let in resulting in a more natural looking photo when using flash.

15. Make sure your subject is not standing directly in front of the sun before you take your picture.

16. When the light source is behind the subject, your subject becomes dark. Use reflector to direct light towards your subject.

17. Use natural light more than your flash. Whenever in doubt, set your camera to automatic or program mode. Your digital camera will automatically adjust to different light setting.

18. Use the digital camera’s zoom lens rather than getting too close to your subject to record clear and crisp details of your subject.

19. Most digital cameras focus when you hold the shutter down half-way. You can focus the camera, and then move the camera to get the frame you want without letting go of the shutter button.

20. After taking photograph of your model, look at the photograph immediately by pressing a play button to see the picture you just recorded. If you don’t like the photograph, take another photograph.

By Robert Stevens – 2019 – Update 2020
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For additional articles written by Robert Stevens, see Robert Stevens is the author of How to Start a Successful Model Portfolio Business published in 2019.

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