COD Photo students were invited to Uwe Gsedl’s studio on November 4th for a Fashion Photography demonstration at his West Chicago studio.
Uwe got to know the students before he began his demonstration by asking them what their photographic specialties were. Students responded that they were interested in pursuing everything from Fashion to Photojournalism to Fine Art and Documentary work.
Uwe said, “(For every specialty) “You have to learn to see light.” Although he uses Photoshop to enhance his images, he advised, “Don’t fix your problems with Photoshop, fix them with lighting.”
He also stressed the importance of having a makeup artist, hair and wardrobe stylist for a fashion shoot.
Megan Bach, makeup artist and model was also on hand to answer the students’ questions. “Hiring a makeup artist saves the photographer a lot of time and Photoshop work,” she said.
When asked for advice on how to suggest poses to models, she said, “Tell the model to move with every shot you take. Have them change their expression, the direction of their eyes, their hands – and make sure you can see both of the model’s arms.”
“It’s the photographer’s responsibility to tell the model when he or she is doing something they like and go from there.”
Uwe then demonstrated one, two and three light portraits with hard and soft lighting. “Aperture and distance are what controls a studio shot. You can change the quality of light by simply changing the distance of the lights from the model,” he said. “Shutter speed doesn’t matter because of the flash duration.”
He was shooting tethered for the demonstration, but said “in a real shoot this would be too slow for me.” He said he generally shoots 200 to 800 photos per session, and with a really great model, as many as 1200.
“Experiment with lighting,” he advised the students. “Try turning the softbox away from the model and see what happens.”
He also said that white walls and ceilings are excellent reflectors and that students should use them when possible.
He also shared some tips for location lighting with the students. “If you have to photograph people in a poorly lit room, try shooting at f5 at 1/5th of a second. You will get some really great effects.”
“For an easy, no-sweat fast portrait, just bounce the light off the ceiling and you won’t even get reflections in people’s glasses,” he added.
After the demonstration, he showed his gallery of portfolio images and explained how they were created. When he had answered all the students’ questions, he said, “I wish you all luck and success.”