1 April 2017 - The Overrated Photographer

First Organised Model Shoot - 1 April 2017

I've always wanted to work with a professional model but I guess the opportunity has never arisen. I recently discovered a group on Facebook called the "The Melbourne Portraiture and Off-Camera Flash Group" run by Harn Teh who organizes regular events with models to allow amateur photographers to get access to models. You will have to request access to the group if you want to join.

The premise behind their shoots is the photographers get access to the models for non-commercial usage of photos (portfolios, social media etc) and the models get access to the photos to add to their portfolios.

Fuji X-T2 with XF90mmF2 - 1/500 f/2 ISO400

For our particular event, we had access to two amazing models, Diana Basnyak and Anu Khulan. I've linked in their Instagram profiles because they are really worth following if you are on instagram.

The shoot was run over a 3 hour period with about 30 photographers. If it sounds  busy, it was, but for something that didn't cost the photographers a cent, we really had no reason to complain.

Fuji X-T2 with XF90mmF2 - 1/6000 f/2 ISO200

We kicked off with a briefing in Federation Square where the large group had a chance to meet up, get to know each other, and meet the models. From there we set off looking for the first location to start shooting.

Fuji X-T2 with XF90mmF2 - 1/1100 f/2 ISO200

We spent about 45 minutes to an hour at each location, with the two models taking separate locations nearby so you could move from one model to the other. I have to say that they must have had a really tough time on the day with the amount of people taking photos whilst they tried to keep their poses going. I have the utmost respect for how they handled themselves on the day, they were extremely professional given the conditions they were working under.

Fujifilm X-T2 and XF90mmF2 - 1/1250 f/2 ISO200

Given the nature of the shoot, most of my day was spent shooting on the XF90mmF2 which is obviously an incredible portrait lens. In my old DSLR days, I probably would have been on my 70-200 f/2.8, but to be honest, there weren't any moments that I really missed my 70-200 on the day. The XF90 did such an amazing job.

The one thing I didn't miss on the day was lugging around a heavy bag with full frame gear that weighed a ton. I probably still brought along more than I needed as I didn't know what would work on the day.

I shot a mix of shots on the XF90, my X100T (for the odd wider shots when I needed them). I think I also had the X-E2S in my bag with the XF16-55mmF.2.8 but I didn't really pull it out often as the X100T seemed to be doing the job.

I probably picked up a good 500 photos on the day so it was a difficult process of sorting through and picking the best photos

Fujifilm X-T2 and XF90mmF2 - 1/300 f/2 ISO200

Due to the nature of the size of the group, it was always going to be challenging directing the models. I think in this case it was just accepting that you had to wait your turn, wait for the right look and try make sure the poor models weren't getting two frustrated with having so many people trying to get their attention.

Fujifilm X-T2 and XF90mmF2 - 1/550 f/2 ISO200

I've included some of the highlight photos in this blog entry but you can access all the photos below. It may seem like there are duplicates, but this is due to the creation of skin editing versions where I've smoothed the skin and removed blemishes using a portrait tool.

These are some of the highlights of the event but you can access the full gallery blow as a scrolling set:

I think as a result of this, I've picked up a couple of key learnings:

1. Learning in smaller groups makes it a little easier to direct models. Although I would highly recommend this as a starting point, I think I would like to attend smaller groups in future to allow for some level of flexibility. This is not really a surprise though.

2. Fuji XF90 is incredibly sharp for this kind of work. I was blown away by the sharpness of these images

3. Working with professional models makes a huge difference to the quality of the results.

4. There wasn't a massive difference between the full frame and APSC cameras in terms of the outcomes. I think any major differences are through skill levels, but I didn't feel that my photos were underwhelming compared to the other full frame photographers given it was my first shoot with a model.

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