Visual Appeal- The Art of Model Photography


Visual Appeal- The Art of Model Photography

About This Class

Create a set of photos that intimately showcases a model with multiple settings. Join me on a photo shoot outside of Los Angeles as I provide lessons in scouting a subject and location, setting up the shot, interacting with the model, and post-processing the images. You will then conduct a photo shoot of your own and upload the results to the student project gallery. I hope this behind the scenes look at my process will inspire everyone from beginners to professionals to create awesome model photography.


What You’ll Learn

  • Introduction. Not only will you get a basic introduction on how to shoot a great model portrait, but you’ll also get a peek into photographer Stephen Vanasco’s process, and prepare to think about a shoot of your own.
  • Project assignment. Stephen will assign your project, which is to find a model and conduct your own photo shoot. Your challenges will be to reveal your own personality in your photographs and figure out how to turn “just a person standing there” into a piece of art.
  • Choosing a model and location. When photographing people, you’ll learn to choose your model wisely — based not just on looks, but more on their personality, flexibility, and willingness to have fun with the shoot. Stephen will explain why you should avoid looking at other photographers’ shots of the model before your session, and why you should let the model choose their own wardrobe. As for choosing a location, you’ll get an understanding of Stephen’s personal style and learn the advantages of shooting in a place with western-facing windows.
  • Shooting. You’ll learn how to use your space creatively and take advantage of its unique offerings to capture surprising shots. Next, you’ll witness how to reposition not just the model but also yourself to catch poses and create illusions. Stephen will discuss the meaning of the term “bokeh” and teach you how to turn clothing into props. When shooting in monochrome, you’ll learn to see through your own eyes in black and white, which means paying extra attention to shadows. This technique will come in handy when clients look for a variety of color choices and tone value.
  • Editing color. You’ll get a look into Stephen’s post process, where he narrows the hundred or so pictures he takes per session to the top 10 to 15. With Raw photo editing software, you’ll walk through lens correction, white balance, and tone curves. Next, Stephen will import the photograph into Photoshop, where you’ll learn the importance of cropping your photograph and how to adjust it based on overlaying grids. You’ll also watch as Stephen removes minor marks and blemishes from his portrait subject using the Healing Brush tool to match skin tones from different parts of the body.
  • Editing monochrome. You’ll learn never to rush your work as you watch Stephen edit a photograph of a backlit model in black and white. With great attention to detail, you’ll see how he emphasizes shadows after converting the image to an RGB format and eventually removes eye bags and smile lines in Photoshop. In between, you’ll learn the advantages of using Silver Effects plugins to make a flat, monochrome image pop and draw attention to small features.
  • Conclusion. Stephen will remind you that “it’s not about the likes” as he wraps up his lesson. He’ll explain how he shoots what feels natural at the time,  only later deciding if the image will fit best on Instagram or on a T-shirt.
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