Go all out

Don’t be afraid to go all out during a photoshoot, always think about movies, when do we “believe” the movie?
When everything is right, the makeup, the acting, the clothing, the lighting etc.
In fact model photography is just like acting, only our models do it on 1/1000’s of a second instead of 24fps.
So when I want to shoot something I’ll try to push the model for the right expression, get the clothing right, take care of the lighting and the location. When this all comes together…. you have a story telling shot.
So the next time you watch a movie from (for example) the Asylum you will see that the acting is bad, the decors are bad, the SFX is bad etc. etc. so you don’t get pulled in to the movie. Now when you watch a well produced movie where everything is fitting to the story this is where you get pulled in.
So when you want to shoot something with A LOT of expression/madness don’t hold back on expression, but also make sure the clothing is 100% perfect, in this case we used a great stylist and as you can see he did not only used a straight jacket but he actually also made it dirty, damaged etc, it all adds that little bit of extra. Combined with a model that REALLY went for it, and there you go, in opinion a cool shot.
So for your next shoot, make the clothes a bit dirty, push your model for expression or in other words…. think movie :D

Lizzy  July 16 2013-322 B2
For more tips to master YOUR photoshoot  get my book “Mastering the modelshoot”

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Tip on pointing the meter

Often I’m asked where to point the meter when metering.
You have to realize that the light meter is an incident meter, meaning it meters the light falling on the meter…. so if you know which part of the subject you want to be lit correctly you hold the meter in front of that part. In the studio this often means you meter towards the light source, however sometimes you don’t, like in this shot that I took during the Photokina.

Frank Doorhof Leaf 0221

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The power of the portrait

Often people struggle with getting that little bit of extra out of a portrait, now I never claim to be an expert on this (I think no-one really is), but over time I found out that it often helps to let the model “act”, in fact I always describe photography as acting on 1/4000 of a second.


This is our model Bertrie and she is going through several expressions, by converting the images to BW I added a little bit of extra mood, which for me works very well with these shots.


When you’re shooting a portrait try to work through different emotions with your subject, some can be subtle, some can be extreme, but keep playing. Now some people will say “my subject doesn’t have any emotions to go through” and I disagree, of course she/he may not be as expressive as this model (and many others) but there is always something you can squeeze out of your model. It often helps to first play around with them, have some fun before the photoshoot, make some jokes, make them laugh, but most of all make them feel relaxed.


A good photoshoot should never feel like a photoshoot, it should feel like “fun” or “acting” in other words a “flow”, as soon as you let your subject pose too static I often find the results lacking and “boring”. So the next time you do a shoot make sure to COACH your model, and I think you will be surprised.

Bertrie September 11 2014   (130 of 161)

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Some random shots from shoots

Today some random shots from shoots we did over the last few weeks and did not fit any blogposts.

Petra Bouma Juli 22 2014 59

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The subway in New York

During my travels one of the things I really like is to do some street photography.
Recently we visited New York and because we only had 2 days of free time I did not have a lot time to do street photography, and when I’m “stressed” for time I always try to squeeze at least some subway shots in. The great thing I like about the subway is that there is always something to shoot :-)


Here are some of my results.

Augustus 26 2014 NYC  (96 of 130)_DxO

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Low angle with wide angles

One of the things I sometimes love to do during street photography is to go really low close to a crossing and shoot up.
Sometimes people will look a bit funny but one of the advantages of doing it in New York is that…. well nobody really cares.
The results however can be pretty interesting.

Augustus 28 2014 NY  (254 of 298)_DxO

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Styling in a photoshoot

Styling is one of the key elements in a successful photoshoot. A lot of people overlook this subject and end up with “perfect” lighting, great locations and still unattractive photos, or at least photos that don’t make you go “WOW”


In my opinion styling will make or break the shot, however as soon as you start using styling you also dive into the snakepit called personal taste…… so prepare :D


Now most people think “I can’t do this” or “This is SOOOO expensive” in reality however it isn’t.


In our studio I work together with (I think) one of the most creative stylists in the Netherlands at the moment Nadine, she can do wonders with almost nothing, and she is a pretty good model too (so what more to wish for), the idea is to combine materials and colors that work together, for example strong red with a blue wig would seem ridiculous on paper but when you execute it the right way you will see that it really works.

nadine dec 27 201317711-Edit Read the rest of this entry »

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