You may choose to shoot in natural light or artificial, A full frame or a crop sensor camera, A DSLR or a Mirror less camera, Outdoors or in a studio or on location, with a zoom or a Prime lens...the list of decisions to be made before shooting a model, is endless.
With so much experience in shooting models for various magazines and fashion designers, I decide things mostly based on my Instinct.
The Camera - Unless, its a fashion or an advertising shoot, a medium format is not really required as the file sizes are too big and an aspiring model does not really need such large files. On the other hand, I do not like to use the crop sensor either. I always prefer shooting on canon 5d markIII which is working quite well for me and I have not really taken a step to change over. Many of my wedding Photographers at " Together We Rock", our wedding Photography company also use Nikon cameras besides Canon Cameras. With both the brands we get some great shots and it is more about the Photographer than the camera that matters more.
The Lenses - I use a mix of Zooms and Primes which shooting a model or a corporate profile. the selection of lenses also depends on the available space and what really is the objective. If I am looking for a nice Bokeh in the photograph, i may go for one of the lenses I have with an opened aperture. While it lets me shoot in low light situation, it helps balancing the light even while shooting at twilight with mixed available lights and a flashlight.
canon 50mm f 1.4
Canon 24-105mm f4
Canon 70-200 F4 IS
Canon EOS 6D - 70-200 f4
On the personal front, I love to shoot with a 40mm pancake lens as it makes even a 5D Mark III quite portable and gives a bit more wider view as compared to a 50 mm prime.
Studio Lighting - As we also shoot automobiles and large interiors, we have a huge stock of Elinchrom lights with a whole lot of light modifiers. Though Broncolor and Profoto are great as well but have not really changed to any of these from Elinchrom.
Canon 5D Mark III - 70-200 f4 IS
On the other hand, while shooting Models and CEOs I generally do not use more than one light unless it's absolutely essential or I may use another light just as a fill.
These photographs have been shot with a single main light in the Studio.
Flash - While shooting outdoors I often add on a Subtle flash to fill in the shadows or the balance the light especially at twilight or for Bokeh at Night.
Canon 5D Mark III +50 mm f 1.4 with an off-camera external Flash
This interesting Composition of a Young couple for their Pre Wedding Shoot was clicked with 24-105 mm lens on a Canon 5D Mark III
The Bride was short lighted with external Speed light -RT 600 through remote trigger on Canon EOS 5D mark III with 24-105mm lens at f5. Flash works very well when not on top of the camera. With experience one can certainly understand the placement of Flash strobes and pre visualise the effect the light would have on the subject. Flash Lights are more portable as compared to the mains powered strobe lights. These are quite handy during weddings, be it during a formal setting for Bridal portraits or more on the go candid shots during the course of wedding events.
Canon 5D Mark III / 24-105 mm at 24 mm
It's not just the long telephoto lenses that bring out the subject by throwing the background out of focus but wide angle lenses can also be used in a very effective manner. The closer subject appears bigger in comparison to the background. Wide angle lenses do not always lead to distortion when used properly.
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