I have had this Sigma 70-300mm macro telephoto lens for the longest time. I purchased it used for experimentation. However, with school and travels I haven’t gotten a good chance to use it yet. It’s best for nature and candid portraits which means good lighting.. which means good timing.. which means free time.. its also really heavy.. etc. It is not a great lens but good for beginners. Finally last Saturday, my roommate Marisa Fiat and I woke up to a beautiful morning in Rome and we decided to do a picnic at our favorite park, Villa Pamphili. Then it had hit me that it would be such a perfect day for a photo shoot! I asked her to model for me and it was much more a begging statement than a question. She was definitely hesitant because she has never modeled, but she eventually agreed.
Keeping in mind this is my first organized attempt at using my macro telephoto lens so give me a break on my focusing errors… but Marisa was perfect!
If you all haven’t read my first blog entry on when I was getting back into the swing of photography again, take a quick look here. I am going to reference a lot of the same thought processes I have with learning to photograph in that entry. In this photo, we’re just getting started. This is what I call something like the “cold” phase or basically the moment before the photographer and model connects. I told her to just be herself and if at any moment she realized again that I was in front of her, I tried to make her forget. I almost want to disappear so she can get lost in herself. Then I can capture more candid moments not something “pose-y.” Of course, this depends on the goal of the shoot, too.
One of my favorite things is capturing a geniune smile or laugh. After some inside jokes, I was able to capture it. This is relatively easy to evoke from any model because we are now so used to smiling at the camera, but it is much harder to capture a genuine one. I also think if a model is able to look directly at the camera with their feelings, it shows confidence and esteem.
Here I’m trying to get a deeper look and I think she does it well as she smiles but with a more playful intent.
Then she suddenly to my surprise without me asking looks right through me with a beautiful passion in her eyes. This is definitely one of my favorites.
I love after getting some great shots and showing them to the model to tell them, “This is what you look like and it is beautiful.” So after some very successful posing shots, we are more comfortable and I want her to just do something, think of anything and I just wait.
Telling someone to walk, run, or think about something is easy in general, but when we’re in front of the camera we all get a little self-conscious. However, by having the model do something allows so many opportunities to capture a more intimate moment. I asked Marisa to pick flowers and with spring all around us it was easy. Then I told her to smell it. Funny thing is that she actually can’t smell. So I told her to just imagine what the flowers smelled like…
Her thoughts and her imagination blooming, she gets lost for just a second, which is all I need, then she’s back. She looks up to see if it was real.
One photo is just 1% of one moment out of the millions in our one lifetime.
Thanks Marisa Fiat, awesome roomie and model! And thanks all for reading :)