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A Muse Visits! Isabelle on koh Tao for her Hotbeach Swimwear

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
The suit is fabulous! The model even more so!

Rather brave to be her own runway model! I have seen a fashionable gown store near us where the designer in her 50’s or 60’s also with noticeable curves, models her own bespoke designs. But this is rare.

Asher
 

Nigel Allan

Member
The suit is fabulous! The model even more so!

Rather brave to be her own runway model! I have seen a fashionable gown store near us where the designer in her 50’s or 60’s also with noticeable curves, models her own bespoke designs. But this is rare.

Asher
Thank you Asher....great suit....great model...but what about the picture? Is it a good picture in your opinion? Is my photography and processing improving over when I first started posting on this forum?
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Well Nigel,

I was overwhelmed by the bold beauty of your daughter. I wouldn’t be allowed to photograph my daughter’s in law in such a sexy outfit! But then the family is far more conservative in values than my art would suggest. They accommodate my pictures of young women but I am expected to be very low key around young women, especially in our circle of friends.

My models are close to me in friendship but the communities are mostly separate, except that my wife really adores sone of the folk I photograph and appreciates how helpful and professional they are.

So the very idea of actually photographing a family member in a revealing swimsuit is next a possibility or a wish. My pictures of young women are either dressed or nude. They might be erotic but never “sexy” or “glamorous”!

So I was so taken with Isabella’s looks and creativity, that I was distracted completely from our mission of critique!

Forgive me!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Now to the picture!

This, my friend, Nigel is where my well-intentioned, (but surely rather naive), honesty, risks being taken as “uncourteous” in polite society. I will put aside all caution and trust you recognize my sincerity to help Isabella succeed in her creative enterprise. So here goes!

Progress: yes your technique is better and there’s more of a sense of pro shoot.

View: this scene is not wide enough to be grand! For Magazine work, I would start with destination atmospherics shot to “establish” the romantic buzzing/secluded location!

Lighting: shooting in the presence of bright sunlight we’d have giant lighting, (for ample 72” to 84” octadome or largest Mola that overwhelms the sun, so that there would be no solar white-out of the edges of her skin and hair backlit by the harsh sunlight!

A high overhead filtering, wide sun-screening shade would work too with angled reflectors hand-half by several assistants in front of her to balance the light.

Many prefer to arrange these important commercial shots early or late in the day to get richer sky colors. However, at midday a portable strobe system capable of at least 200 Watt-seconds, (Joules), is needed to best the sun at its peak.

Makeup: Only in art shoots of routine portfolio building and experimentation does the model do her own makeup!! I almost never pay the model, but always the makeup artist and hair stylists. These are the most important folk in the shoot!
Edited work shouldn't ever be discernible...

.... except to experienced photographers and artists who are technically as adept themselves.
I assure you that neither Maris Rusis from Australia, (an expert analog film photographer), nor Nicolas Claris, (a founder of OPF and both artistic master and post-processing technical perfectionist), would be fooled for a split second!

But for everyone else, the skin lighting, color, smoothness, texture or lack of it, shouldn’t call attention as either being “flawless” or else having been cleverly or otherwise corrected in some way!

If, in another life, you had an unlimited budget and could gain access to Annie Leibovitz’ retoucher, (for $2500 or more), you’d bring a waterfall of tears to Isabella’s eyes and you would simply faint!

But your picture, as it is, (given to a retouch from India, Bangladesh or Russia for even just $30), would be fine for print ads.

You can pat yourself on the back for this great picture and a job well done: the basic elements and needs of the picture are all already there. Just about $80 To $240 at the most towards retouching from India would deliver for Isabella a fine ready for print campaign image to sell the suits!

Asher
 

Nigel Allan

Member
wow, you've gone to town so this requires a considered response...so I will come back to this later....but bear in mind this is just me and my camera and my daughter...no props, no MUA, no lighting, no scrim, no reflectors and so on....and definitely not midday sun which is horrible overhead light...this is around 5pm in the evening and directional light.

So all your comments and critique would be valid were this a professional paid (expensive) commercial shoot, but under the circumstances I am very happy with it.
One comment on the MUA which you may not agree with...many models, my daughters included, feel that many MUA cannot do as good a job on them as they do on themselves. Firstly, they know their faces (and hence flaws) and many paid MUA are actually not very good at their jobs
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Nigel,

I do most of the work alone, except for a chaperone for women I don’t know well!

Even though this is a shoot with your daughter, I look at it as a very serious pro shoot, as her business depends on it! You can sometimes find an excellent MUA who will do work in trade for images for her portfolio.

It’s actually part of the costs like the money for the fabric and a sewing machine!

A professional retouch artist is also so worthwhile.

For your daughter who has invested so much creativity in her designs and workmanship in bringing mere ideas and dreams to life, the extra investment will pay off. I get such work done in India, Bangladesh and New York.

If it translates to more orders its worth it!.

Tell Isabella I really like her designs and wish her continued success!

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
Thank you Asher....great suit....great model...but what about the picture? Is it a good picture in your opinion? Is my photography and processing improving over when I first started posting on this forum?

Since you specifically ask.

Asher already pointed out about the light. The use of backlight is a good choice, but the contrast in the hair should be lowered.

In addition, the background should be better controlled. There is an umbrella and tree sticking up her head and some structure on the left pointing at her like a gun.

As to processing, the skin still shows some blemishes and I would correct the nail colour and the asymmetry in her mouth. I also find it a bit surprising that the swimsuit is white over the hips, but that may be the suit design of course.
 
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