jizika 9:58pm, 6 August 2009
((First off I'm only asking cause I admire and respect the skill and talent of many folks in this group, I need help and I will value you opinion))

COMPCARD: as a model- i need a professional comp card
i have gotten a few print jobs -but im needing a "professional comp card"- by tonight- i have photoshop and design skills so i can compose myself but what makes a really good professional comp card? im new to this- i have only been modeling ,what 7mos now(I have been telling models what to do for 8years now tho) I would like to credit the learning of some modeling skills via this group&members of - what variety of photos should I have? what sells?anylinks- i do not have swimsuit photos, im not interested in swimsuit modeling , will that effect the quality? should i have a photo exposing some skin in replacement? My MM profile: www.modelmayhem.com/853453

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY: any tips- ANY - im shooting my first wedding! a stranger is paying me- and well i dont wanna screw up- so i could use all the help- links , advice, tips, anything
it's during the day - so if it's really bright outside how do i get that money shot, reflectors? please help if able!

grateful for any help
WJPpdx 9 years ago
I don't know anything about comp cards...

As for the wedding. Make sure you know what your camera settings are, double check so you don't accidentally use settings you might have been using the night before. WB, ISO, Focus, metering, etc etc.

Arrive early and get a handle on light, backgrounds, areas to pose etc. Take some test shots to get comfy. Make sure your batteries are all charged up and you have plenty of spares. Make sure your lenses/filters are all clean before you get there, format memory cards ahead of time and make sure you have enough memory to shoot your friggin' head off. Check your histogram to make sure you are either metering correctly or compensating appropriately.

It's a good idea to have a large diffuser panel for day shots where you might need to have an assistant shade your subjects during the portrait session to tame the sun. Use reflector panels for fill where appropriate.

Look through wedding photographer portfolios who you respect for posing ideas. Direction of the subjects will be key, small details count such as position of their hands, expressions on faces etc. Try to get them to be honest with each other and you with natural smiles, really feeling their love for each other. Don't be afraid to have them change what they are doing to make sure you get what you need. Double check images on your LCD to make sure eyes are open, especially on group shots. Use the zoom on the lcd to check focus but don't stare at the back of the camera all day as you might diminish your connection to the happy couple.

Enlist a second shooter who can double as your assistant. Never hurts to have some backup, especially for your first wedding.

Bring a lead pipe or some other self defense weapon in case the bride goes rabid on you. Ha ha, just kidding, kind of.

Cover lots of angles, stay loose, relax, have fun and know that you are going to get great shots.

Hope that helps... good luck to you.
jizika 9 years ago
@WJPpdx: thank you so much - I think it did help me get in the right direction

ok so is the large diffuser panel used to shade? oh man- the whole shading -toning down the sun light freaks me out,, i have never shaded a person, always lit up- maybe it will be overcast..what if i were to raise the iso? meh....this is gonna be alot of work- but im going to get alot of great shots!thx for the advice
Randy Kashka PRO 9 years ago
jes - I googled comp card and found this site


Now I know what a comp card is too....

I shot a wedding about a month ago, my first, and boy did I learn a lot. Wade covered it all. Only thing I can add ---

1) Get help, don't think you can do it alone. A second shooter would be great, wish I had one at that wedding. I did have someone to hold a diffuser and umbrellas, it was windy and the sun was a bear to work with.

2) If you don't have good glass - rent. ProPhoto has a great setup for weekends. Pick up on Thursday after 3pm and return on Monday before 10am and only pay for one day rental.

3) If you can, use 2 cameras one with wide and one long. I carried two lens and wished I had two bodies, things get moving pretty fast and it was hard to change lens and not miss something.

4) Like Wade said, look for poses ahead of time. I collected a bunch of wedding poses and made colleges out of them with WORD and printed them out. I was able to use those to get ideas for set ups. Worked great.

Hope this helps and good luck.....
WJPpdx 9 years ago
You don't necessarily need the large diffuser panel but it will help if you have full sun to deal with. It's just like a softbox or umbrella, softens the light without creating full shade. If you do have one you might need someone to hold it for you, ie the assistant. Alternatively, you could pose your subjects in the shade and light them as you have experience with that. Here again though, you'll want an assistant to deal with the lights while you are moving to your next spot or pose. You won't want to be trying to deal with all your gear while wrangling the couple around.

It is alot of work, and stress, and risk if you don't get good shots. That's why wedding photogs charge so much and why most folks tend not to want to do weddings. But, think positive.

I agree with Randy about the good glass. I don't think you'll want to go in with a kit lens. You need sharp results, wide apertures for taming the backgrounds such as f2.8 or even faster on a 50mm or 85 mm lens such as a f1.4.

the 2 bodies with different lenses is a good idea as well but not essential.

Maybe if you have time before the wedding you might get a couple friends to pretend they are a couple for you and you can do a dry run in a park somewhere. That would be pretty helpful to see what you can manage on your own and decide whether you want to find an assistant.
Laura Jennings 9 years ago
Congrats on the wedding gig! I wish I had this much help when I shot my first wedding. Randy and Wade are right--especially the two camera bodies/lens set up. I carry two bodies with a wider lens and a longer lens. However, I found that its okay to carry one solid fixed lens like a 85mm. Don't be afraid to get in there to get the shot and move back. You've been hired to be a photographer not a sniper. People are expecting to get their photos taken. Going in with a fun attitude helps to open people up. Also maintaining a zen-like calm will do wonders in the potentially crazy environment.

Be careful with the faster f-stops (1.8/2.8)--yes, they will allow more light into the camera but the results can be soft images if you are shooting across the room. I keep my f-stop at 5.6 for general use but then go down to a 1.8 when taking photos of the details: flowers, rings, dress detail etc. Don't be afraid to use a high ISO--just make sure your camera will blow up the image with little to no noise.

An alternative to a diffuser might be a scrim. Prophoto rents out something called a Scrim Jim, which does a really good job of diffusing the light. Also, the 5 in 1 reflector has become my best friend in shooting lately. That way you can bounce natural light on to the subjects (with help of an assistant) without having to deal with lights.

I also agree with Randy and Wade as far as an assistant goes. Even if they don't pick up a camera, they can help get people together, move lights, hold diffusers etc. Having someone second shoot is also a good idea.

Shot list: probably the best tool for the portrait session. Ask the couple to get a list together of people they want photos of--especially for the formals. Another part of this is having someone to actually get the people together. Usually a random uncle/aunt is a good choice because they know people in the family.

I would study other photographer's work: our own metakephoto (jeff mawer) has a nice wedding portfolio, Rebekah Johnson, Lauren Brooks, Amy Oulette, Rosemary Ragusa, Powers Studio, etc. also have good work. The website: myportlandphotographer is a great one to snoop around on as well. You'll find a ton of over produced work out there too--crazy light set ups etc.

Most of all shooting weddings takes practice. If you find you like it--try to hook up with other photogs to be a second shooter. I've got a bunch of second shooting gigs this summer and with each one I've learned so much.

And finally, I am sure you've done this but make sure you get an idea of what to expect of the day i.e. schedule. Ask if it would be possible to attend the rehearsal--take a few shots there but don't go crazy. It'll look good and the couple will be more comfortable that you are in the loop.

Jeepers so much advice---one last thing. Do not edit you photos during the shoot. Avoid the temptation of deleting images off your camera, wait til you get home. Because if you press the wrong button--oooooh I don't even want to think about that. My first wedding, the bride and groom were coming through the door of the reception hall, they were severely back lit and I was planning to use my flash to fill in. But the flash didn't go off (!). I went to erase the photos but my assistant (boyfriend) intercepted and thankfully I didn't get rid of those images. They turned out to be some of the best shots of the day!

So good luck, ask if you have any more questions. There are a ton of wedding photogs in PDX---study their work. :)
jizika 9 years ago
thx you all so much!!!! - im sure i will have lots more to say but i need to leave the land of the internet for the night-and fast -so i'm actually gonna print this off and take it on the road w/ me- i will email all with my response asap-thankyou-thankyou - im overwhelmed by the response - Im so happy to have found this group of amazing people- thank you Wade, Randy, and Laura :] it is such a pleasure/honor to have your help now and to have even just meet you- words are fleeting as the pressure of time tics on but I'm grateful for your help .onelove
If you need some help with printing, I just had some cards and brochures done at gmkwebsolutions.com Got a really good price and some excellent quality. Gerrit Kelly is also a great guy to work with and a fellow photog.

And no, I don't work for him. I am just a happy customer. :-)
Strober 9 years ago
I was just looking at this stream now, so I hope you got what you needed with a comp card. If you would like something newer, I'd be glad to do some comp cards for you. I'm currently doing some for another model.

Here's a sample of a card I did for senior photos which is similar in strucutre to a comp card:

Also I do animoto slide shows which look like this and can be linked to your profile: (Haven't tried this link on Flickr yet so here goes), or I could put it on DVDs which you could mail with a comp card)
Strober 9 years ago
Looks like Flickr doesn't take a javascript pointer. I'm working on another way to link a sample video or I could email it to you. A 3min lo-res web video sample is about 11MB.

Here is a flickr pointer to half of the video (flickr clips videos to 1.5 min:

Regarding skin or no skin. I'd say be true to what makes you feel comfortable. I think as long as you wear clothes that shows your shape and some good headshots it can go along way. Of course your range of jobs may be less, but, if you look in the right places, I think it can go a long way. For example if you were going to model clothes for a department store, they probably would not be looking for photos that show a lot of skin. A lot of photography classes come through Portland that pay, and they are happy if you look good. I think not necessary to show skin there either. Be carefull about showing what you don't feel comfortable with because a possible side effect is lowering your self esteem and depression. Just my thoughts. I've taken a lot of creative shots of models that were very impressive to men and didn't show skin. And in most cases, women clients rather not see the skin anyway. Just my thoughts.
Strober 9 years ago
Here is a link to the whole video slideshow sample:
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