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Hi and welcome back.

One of the most often asked questions from beginning OCF photograhers is: how do I get someone to pose for me?

Answer: you don’t!

Why try and coax, cajole, or make false promises to someone who doesn’t want to be there in the first place?  Instead head to your local beauty supply and purchase a styrofoam head.  I named my foam head Sally because I purchased her from Sally’s Beauty Supply.

Take that foam head, which doesn’t talk back or give an attitude, set it on a table in your living room, dining room, or kitchen and set up your light and shoot.  You can see how light position affects exposure and how light actually interacts with your subject’s face all in a quiet and peaceful and stress-free environment.

Before we begin, here’s my equipment list:

  • Sally
  • Card table
  • Medium gray seamless paper backdrop
  • Manfrotto 1052 BAC Quickstacker Lightstands
  • Matthews 40″ Hollywood Grip Arm
  • Lumopro LP 633 Umbrella Bracket
  • Photoflex 43″ Convertible Umbrella
  • Nikon SB910
  • Nikon SD9 Battery Pack
  • Pocket Wizard Plus 3

Heres my first shot and behind-the-scenes.  Here I used the umbrella reflective style, but you can and should do both reflective and shoot through to see the differences.

The traditional 45 degree portrait setup, sidelight, toplight, and finally full frontal ligt:

For about $5.00 you can have a full-time posing tool that doesn’t talk back or give you a look or attitude!  Priceless!

That’s it for now.  Till next time, happy practicing!