Paris Stock Photo Expedition - Day 3: Slow Down for Better People Shots

“The secret is to take your time. You mustn't go too fast. The subject must forget about you. Then, however, you must be very quick.” -- Henri Cartier-Bresson

What’s it like to photograph alongside one of the top-earning stock photographers in the world?

Bonnie, here, coming to you on Day 3 of our Paris Stock Photo Expedition with Shelly Perry and Lise Gagne.

Today, Lise is showing half of the group how to use the different rooms in our penthouse apartment as backgrounds in our model shoot, while Shelly is out by the Seine, showing the other half how to photograph outdoors in natural light.

Lise is an expert at photographing models indoors, and she gave her full attention to each and every attendee at this expedition.

The one thing she told everyone to do today was to slow down.

It’s easy, especially when shooting with models for the first time, to get excited, get out your camera, and start snapping away.

But stock photography is all about the details. If you take your time and look at the photos in the back of your camera, you can correct any issues you see along the way.

Things to watch out for:

** Clutter. Make sure to move all clutter out of your photo, so there’s nothing distracting from the subject.

This photo, by attendee Caroline Maryan, includes background elements, but nothing to distract from the model, like anything on the bed or wall.

** Copyrighted elements. Make sure there are not book titles, brand names, cereal boxes, etc. in the back of your photo.

This photo, by Aimee Everly, includes books on a shelf, but they’re blurred in the background and we can’t read the titles.

** Good light. You want even, soft light when you’re photographing people. In our apartment, we worked with both natural light coming in the window, and a single flash bouncing off the ceiling.

In this photo, by Valerie Wickland, we can see that there are no harsh shadows on the model’s face, and she has a glint in her eye from the window light. Perfect.

** Interesting and different composition. Shoot some photos straight-on, but make sure to also take some full-body shots, up-close shots, and shots of the model doing different things.

This shot, by Elizabeth Coughlan, does a great job of using the model AND her reflection to create an interesting composition.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at what’s going on with Shelly’s group out in the streets of Paris.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

3 responses to “Paris Stock Photo Expedition - Day 3: Slow Down for Better People Shots”

  1. Perry

    These photos are quite inspiring. I still have so much to learn, I have been trying to get my photos approved at, and I only have had 1 of 15 approved so far. I believe the biggest reason for the rejections was chromatic apparition and noise issues. I just downloaded Lightroom 4 last night and tried it on a few photos, so I am going to see if this improves my percentages.

    Thanks, Perry

  2. Zoe

    This series is well produced, from the copy to the photos. Helpful, interesting; a solid example of a series that compels one to open each message. Thank you.

  3. Gordon

    That was very intresting, I'm a wanta be photographer.I love the glint in the models eyes. That was something I never thought about , thank you.

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