Fine Art Photography, Fine Art Portraits, Photography, Weekend Wanderings

Weekend Wanderings – Photographing a Model

Yesterday I was teaching a class at Living & Learning Nillumbik in Eltham. The class was about photographing people.  I had such a wonderful time and had some fantastic students.  We spent more time taking photos and usually at the end a class I do a quick editing section, but we had such a great model that I decided that we should keep taking photos.  I told them I would edit some images and put them up here for them to see.  I hope you enjoy seeing them as well.

LeanneCole-thea-20131116-1422We started by doing some photos inside with one of my very crinkled backdrops.  I  had to teach them how to use natural lighting, and how to bounce light around with a reflector.  The dress she is wearing is one I got recently from a vintage market.  I took quite a few costumes, which I think made the class more fun, well I hope it did.

LeanneCole-thea-20131116-1477Then we had a break, a change of costume and we headed outside.  I have never really taken advantage of where the centre is before.  There are so many places around it to take great photos.  I knew there were possibilites, but I never realised how great the images could be.

I know this is a bit of a weird weekend wandering, but taking a class is a great thing to do on a weekend.  There are classes everywhere.  I teach some, but there are many others.  It is a great way to learn and a great way to meet like minded people.

I am going to put all the photos in a gallery now, I am going to put the original, almost unedited photo, only processed in camera raw, first then straight after the image the edited version.  I hope the students enjoy the photos.


    • She was a great model, and fits so many styles, I really liked photographing her, I am really hoping to do it again. Thank you John.

  1. You had a very beautiful model–and not your average victim of anorexia. One suggestion: I’d ask her to choose her own poses. (And perhaps you did.) I see the light of intelligence in her eyes, so I suspect that she’d lead you places you hadn’t expected.

    • She was very beautiful. Nice idea, but not the point of the class, the point was to get the students to direct the person or model, and learn to take charge of the session. It was interesting, though she was great and helped them a lot. You have to be so careful leading the model take the lead, especially when it is your vision, you can feel like you have no control. I had that happen to me recently, I got some nice images, but I didn’t get what I wanted, I got what she wanted. Thank you.

  2. Jenny Overton says

    This was one of the best photography classes I have done. My first intro class to photography was great, learning the basics but others I have done not once did we take out the camera. Never had much of an interest in photographing humans but you have changed my mind ;) I love the editing you did with the photo’s too. So thank you and to Thea for a great 3 hours.
    Oh and I love your work, very creative.

    • Thank you Jenny, that is fantastic to hear. I have to say I believe you learn by doing, and the best way to learn how to take photos is to actually take photos. You aren’t the first person who has said this and I am so glad you loved that. I am so glad you like photographing humans now, that is wonderful. :) I love editing photos, I love that as much as taking the photos.
      Thank you again Jenny.

  3. Love these, especially the outside shots. I like how you explain taking the lead, makes sense. Thanks!

  4. Wonderful pictures. Remind me of the tale of Cinderella. Your model looks like a princess but really well made​​.

    • I like the story, we even discussed that earlier in the class, there was a bunch of animals outside the window. Thank you.

  5. Wow, Leanne. I want to take your classes! Did you only use natural and a flash or were you using studio lighting? Those are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. You always make me want to be a better photographer.
    What is the meta data on the first shot? And what equipment did you use?

    • I am sure you don’t need classes with me Darla, though I do love teaching though. We only used natural light, no flash or studio lighting. That is such a nice thing to say, thank you.
      I have no idea, sorry, and the image is on another computer. I was using the D800, and a 24-70mm lens, I think I was using f/2.8, and ISO 500, not idea on shutter speed though.

      • you are very welcome and yes, I could use your teaching. My schooling in photography was VERY minimal. I don’t know many of the rules and am having big issues with lighting. Been working on some real estate images for the last two days. Still not happy with them, trying to get what the company wants is making me crazy! I felt like I did better before I tried to adhere to all their criteria. I’m over compensating and not getting the images I want. :-P

      • Lighting can be hard, it took me years to understand it, and I think, for me, it was learning to draw and paint and then doing those for a few years that really made me understand it. Also working in theatre and being friend with the lighting people was wonderful. Lighting can be hard to get right. That must be driving you crazy to get them right, it would drive me crazy. I have been lucky with the architectural images I have done, I haven’t needed to worry about making someone happy. Good luck with them. :)

      • My portrait lens is not a very good one. I could only afford a used 70-200 and it doesn’t give good results. What is your lends. When I can, I want to get a good one and want to make sure I get the right one.

      • I have a 24-70mm 2.8 lens for portraits. I got a couple of years ago. Takes beautiful crispy clear images. I also have a 80-200mm 2.8 lens as well, which I am starting to use more for portraits. Though many portrait photographers use a 50mm or 35mm lens, so maybe that might be a better option for you, also so much cheaper. All my lenses are Nikon, I know the first lens is about two and half thousand dollars, whereas you can get a 50mm for a couple of hundred. I am going to try and use my 50 for more portrait work, see how I like it.

  6. I especially like the second one as I love brick – the color, the history, the way it ages. The model, the dress, and the bucket are perfect against the brick

    • That little brick milking shed was fantastic for photos. I wonder if I could sneak over there on weekends and take more photos. The bucket was just lying around, so I thought it was perfect for what we were trying to do. Thank you LB

  7. Beautiful Leanne. What I love about your portraits is that they are so different from the norm.

  8. I do envy photographers that can shoot people – I’m OK at it, but my pictures are always lacking. Thanks for the before and after shots – really goes to show how a bit of manipulation can transform an OK shot into a great picture.

    • I think one of the things I learned on the weekend was that you have to be good with people to shoot them, I think. Willing to tell them what to do. It can be good to see the before and afters, I hope my students like them. Thank you Robert.

  9. My first -silly- thought was: the model could be Gemma Arterton’s sister. But then I realised I watch too many costume dramas and that was the only name I could come up with :).

    • I love costume dramas, hence why I dress a lot of my models like they are from a costume drama. Thank you, I hope that means you liked them.

      • I think being a model would be hard too, I always try to make sure they know what I want, and will demonstrate if I have to. I also like to make them feel comfortable.

      • I’m sure you do. But hey, don’t be too happy! I’m after your talent, just give me 20 years :-D . Jokes aside, all the best for the new week :-)

      • LOL, that is about how long it has taken me to get where I am, 20 years. Thank you so much and the best to you too. :)

  10. Great pictures and write up. You use RAW captures first, what advantage does this give later when editing?


    • I do use RAW, it gives you the advantage of having more infomation in the image, I believe, you also get better colours, and more colours, so there is the possibility of doing a lot more to your images. Thanks Jim.

    • Thank you, I wanted my students to see that my images were pretty much the same as theirs at first. I love that one, I love that old milking shed.

  11. beautiful model and skillful photographer always give the best output! do you have any shoot of jumping people or moving object something like that?

  12. Thanks Leanne – your very practical lesson has obviously been well appreciated. The photos are great!

    • That little brick milking shed is so good, I love it, can’t believe I never used it before. Thank you Nia, it amazes me how people like seeing the before and after.

      • Yes, the before and after really helps to see what you’re doing and to see potential in our own “befores”.

      • It is interesting, I used to show the before all the time, but then I stopped, I really did this for my students, but it is great to know that lots of people have got a lot out of it. Thank you.

  13. I really like seeing the original and then your edited version too Leanne .
    Lovely model – and you certainly knew what you were looking for when you went costume buying !
    What a great time your class must have had :-)

    • Thank you Poppytump, it is interesting showing them, seems people do like that.
      She was a great model, I think she could fit many different genres, she would be great, I really hope to use her again. The costumes, I have been lucky, both those items came from Inglewood, the top just this last week.
      I hope so, I think they did. :)

  14. thanks leanne, for liking my post. this is way back when I started experimenting with gels. I would’ve done it differently today. this weekend wandering shoot is awesome. I wish I could do more shoots outdoors. good job!

    • I think many of us feel the same way, there are lots of things I would differently today. I love outdoor shots, thank you.

  15. She has such a beautiful face you just want to keep looking at her :) I’m going to be signing up for some photography classes next month! I’m excited and super nervous! Would it be pointless for me to go to a Basics Photography class? Considering I’ve been doing it a while.

    • I agree, I love photographing her. I don’t know what to say Amanda, I would call them and find out what they are going to cover. My beginners classes cover learning how to use the camera, what all the different controls are, and then I teach them how to take photos in different situations. So I think you should call, it might not be worth your while. Let me know what they say.

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