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Question
I am doing a couple indoor photo shoots in my living room with my new Canon PowerShot SX280 digital camera, this is for posting on my website and not for print so I'm using 1200x1600 pixels.

I am shooting models with various brightly colored clothes. My living room has plenty of light during the day and if it's overcast I will reschedule.

My first question is what type of easy to set up temporary backdrop to use -- would a king size bed sheet work, and if so, would black, white or some other color be better?

Secondly, are there any settings on the camera I should adjust or check for best results?

Finally, can you direct me to a very basic model release form that I should have them sign?

Thanks
Theo

Answer
Hello Theo,

Thanks for reaching out for some input. I do no shoot with your model camera, but I think I can help a bit

I'm assuming you'll be using only natural lighting from the windows and house lights. If this is the case, be very careful of shadows. Photos shot this way tend to be very unbalanced and over shadowing is difficult to remove in photoshop. Do not us a lens shade of any sort.

Often a white wall works the best depending on the genre you're shooting. A cloth backdrop works best and depending on the actual wardrobe colors, models skin tones, hair, makeup and so on, that will determine the correct color backdrop. If you're planning on super imposing a background, shoot on something white. If you're going to be shooting nudes, I recommend a black backdrop with some accent props like a chair, rug, cushion, couch and so forth that does not conflict with black. A little trick when shooting nudes is to apply a small amount of Vitamin E oil everywhere except their face, but only a small amount otherwise they will look too oily. The oil brings out a nice sheen look to their skin instead of being dried out. If they are wearing clothes, you can do this but be careful not to get the oil on their wardrobe.

Unfortunately with your camera you'll have limited setting adjustments so I would recommend using the auto settings and make any adjustments in photoshop. Don't reschedule if it's overcast as the camera's auto features do a fairly good job at compensating for low lighting. Regardless if you're going to be printing the photos or not, set your camera to shoot at the highest quality RAW and/or JPEG setting. If you were using a Canon 5D Mark III or similar camera with an L lens I could help you more with the settings.

As far as a model release, all you need is a standard model release available on the web if they are over 18. If they are under 18, get one specifically for minors and have a parent sign it. Very Important, make sure they sign a release prior to taking a single photo. Remember, if you are paying them, you own all copyright. If they are shooting TFP, copyright is 50/50 unless stated in the release. If they are paying you, they own all copyright and should have you sign a contract that states this.

If you'd like me to review your photos, please feel free to email me a few. My email is kgrphoto@gmail.com

Hope this helps,

Ken
KGR Photography  

Photography

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Ken

Expertise

I can answer questions as an expert for individual and model photography, portfolio development and networking. I can address your questions about location and/or studio photography, equipment selection, lighting, finding a professional photographer, difference between a professional photographer, amateur photographer and "Guy with Camera, what you should or shouldn't expect to pay for a professional photographer, pros and cons of nude photography, photo editing and more ...

Experience

I'm a published and agency recommended professional freelance photographer from Southern California. I shoot for the specific photographic requirements of private individuals, models, actors, entertainers, designers, PR & talent firms, Red Carpet, Corporate and special events. I have over 10 years specializing in fashion, lifestyle, portraiture, editorial, headshots, swimwear, glamour, boudoir, lingerie, artistic, nude, erotic and theme specific photography. I'm also experienced with photo enhancement and retouch and I utilize professional photographic equipment from Canon. My software proficiency includes Photoshop CS6, Lightroom and Portrait Professional.

Education/Credentials
I have studied photography at the Los Angeles School of Photography. I host educational seminars for amateur photographers twice a year in the LA area.

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