I have been watching some Youtube videos lately on how to improve my “people” shooting skills. I watched a few videos of this one guy and was hooked – his name, if you would like to check him out, is Joe Edelman. He makes great, quick, energetic, and very helpful videos on his channel. Joe shoots people – that’s his thing. He’s really good at it too. Like really really good. After watching a few of his videos I noticed a mannequin in the background. It looked like he uses it to set up his lighting before the clients arrive – he definitely doesn’t need it for practice – haha! But I thought to myself – I do! I thought I could replicate a real portrait session over and over again using a dummy. So Thanks Mr. Joe Edelman!! You’ve been a tremendous help and I hope you keep putting out videos for a long time!
The mannequin thing fermented in my brain for a week or so until I finally started checking Kijjijji. Was I in for a shock – they’re not cheap – haha! Just the heads were going for close to $100, full bodies into the couple hundreds. Up until this point I had never really been a student of mannequins. There is a wide variety to choose from. Heads, just torso’s, heads and torsos, full body. Then there’s the faceless, the face with no hair, face with plastic hair. It seems to be a very serious business and I’ll now have a new appreciation for them in the future. After looking for another couple weeks I finally spotted her – “Sandy Rivers”. She was a full body – with stand – face and make up – and plastic hair – so I didn’t have to buy a wig right away – haha! The asking price was $130 but I ended up talking the guy down to $80, so not a bad deal.
After scaring the family with it dressed up in black clothing and a ski mask on a Sunday, I got down to business and set it up for some photography fun. I tried a whole combination of lighting – but always trying to bounce the flash – off the ceiling, a reflector, off the background – it was so much fun – haha! I’ll keep researching and trying new lighting – for these I used a strobe with a softbox off the ceiling, a large reflector and some flash to the left on a couple.
The thing I’m super excited about now is convincing real people to sit for me – haha! I’m so curious to see if I can obtain similar results on real skin and eyes!! I couldn’t have picked a better time to be practicing these types of shots – it’s been close to -30 degrees C for the past week on the prairies – it’s way too cold to go outside!
It blows me away what changes in the lighting can do.
Thanks for stopping by!