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Thread: A Question for you all ...

  1. #1

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    A Question for you all ...

    Recently I've photographed several young ladies in my studio (typically in the 15 to 21 year old age group). They're all just "everyday normal people", and yet, I've seen shots of popular celebrities on the cover of magazines that are no better and no worse than ones like these (in fact - if anything - I'd like to think that the "retouchers to the stars" could do a lot better job than I do).

    So the question is, "Do young ladies like this have the potential to be cover material" and "are the celebrities we see on the covers just 'everyday looking people'?"

    A Question for you all ...

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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Yes I think there's nothing different but the very fact that it is a celebrity is more important to most people I would think, I suspect from a selling magazines sense the pictures only have to be so good a quality the who is more important to them. After all some of the most popular magazines are the cheap ones with just pap snaps.

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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Hi Colin,

    Simplistically I think the answer lies in the joint facts that their make up skills and your photography skills are what make your pictures look so good.

    Yes, most of your shots are as good as magazine covers and posters I see around (well done, I take that too much for granted)

    Yes, celebrities just have normal faces* - what else might they be?
    * with good make up and photography

    When/where I grew up, 'film star' make up was frowned upon my normal people (or maybe just by my Mum, god rest her), but TV advertising and fashion magazines has made it available to all. With good bone structure, many girls faces could advertise and be covers, pin ups, whatever. The differentiator is whether they have the 'whole package'; a good body, the confidence and mental capabilities to flourish in the competitive beauty world, etc. I hasten to add I am generalising here, nothing specific to your recent models. It is no different to your view on someone being a good photographer meaning they stand a snowball in hecks chance of succeeding as a professional photographer. Have I digressed again?

    Personally speaking, I prefer Ashley's brown eyes and dark hair, not sure about the stud though - call me old fashioned, at least it is small and only on one side - a very wise compromise on her part. Assuming it's not a 'stick on' for the shoot.

    Anyway, the "personally speaking" bit points to 'absolute' beauty being in the eye of the beholder, or am I confusing this with fancy/desire - however I can obviously appreciate that they are both attractive girls when presented like this, but without make up and good lighting, it might be different (no offence intended). I should stop before I say something (even more) embarrasing.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 31st October 2010 at 12:24 PM. Reason: last para added

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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    I think all the girls living near you are celebrity types. I was really fit a hundred years ago and had a preference for theatrical extroverted singers (proper ones in groups) and dancers (proper ones working all over the country).

    There was a world of difference between these and ordinary girls, my wife was an ordinary girl, so I know what ordinary girls are like and I suppose it was nice to walk into a club and not be molested by the local riff raff.

    I suppose there is an attitude and with it a confidence; you don't have to tell them they are good looking, you have to tell them you think they are good looking but not too often, because they always reply, that they know.

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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Just one practical thought, from an ex printer. Cover photos are printed, very quickly and cheaply, with a limited number of colours on paper which won't give the best results.

    So those photos need to be suitable for that purpose. A side by side comparison test when perfectly printed on best quality photo paper would be an interesting idea.

    And am I really interested in looking at photos of those so called celebrities on covers; especially those who are there more due their lifestyles than real talent? But the reasons behind 'stardom' are another issue!

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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Recently I've photographed several young ladies in my studio (typically in the 15 to 21 year old age group). They're all just "everyday normal people", and yet, I've seen shots of popular celebrities on the cover of magazines that are no better and no worse than ones like these (in fact - if anything - I'd like to think that the "retouchers to the stars" could do a lot better job than I do).

    So the question is, "Do young ladies like this have the potential to be cover material" and "are the celebrities we see on the covers just 'everyday looking people'?"
    A Question for you all ...

    Hi Colin,

    Your comments please

  7. #7

    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Hi Colin,

    There certainly should be a place for the ordinary girls but it is the tag of celebrity that sells the mags. I personally do not like magazine style photography, although I can certainly appreciate the work that goes into it. The celebrities certainly are (or were) ordinary people but there is something in our western society that makes it unacceptable to have them presented as such. You can make ordinary girls look like a celebrities as you have so capably illustrated but I cant see that there is a market except from the girls themselves. Its back to the x-factor syndrome. It is an extension of standing in front of the mirror with a hairbrush for a mic.

    To answer the question many, many girls have potential to be cover material but it is not the girl that is selling the image initially it is something else. clothes, celeb, sex etc. So a publication that is to present ordinary unknown girls must have an art/photography based theme...the image rather than the girl. This in itself would exclude the popular magazine styling and focus on the 'art' of the photographer. In this way the girl does not need to be well known or even pretty (thank god).

    I always have an issue with what the stylists presume to be 'acceptable' for me to view in popular media. I have always been a boyishly enthusiastic admirer of the voluptuous figure and for me I would have no problem with every single magazine model being size 16 plus. It will never happen because it is not about presenting reality it is about a miniscule and ridiculously influencial section imposing their egos.

    One comment I was going to make on these images but decided not too because i was not too sure where you were coming from is that the make-up is that applied by a young girl. To really reach into the glossy world the make up needs to be flawless and designed and applied for the job in hand.

  8. #8
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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    There isn't a place for ordinary girls, and celebrity has nothing to do with it. When you advertise for a model you get somebody that thinks they are special in some way.

    Lead female singers in a male semi ..... sex pistols group, are not ordinary girls, are not bad girls either. They have a personality, and what I find interesting a mind.

    I think maybe too much middle classiness diagnosis is going on, in reality I only think any girl couldn't do it.

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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Short answer, yes.
    The transformation comes with the hair stylist, the makeup artiste, the dresser, the studio props or location, and the skill of the photographer to pose and light his subject in an eye-catching way.
    I would love to attend a course that you help me with the latter and have the wherewith-all to tap into the former.

  10. #10

    Re: A Question for you all ...

    I would love to attend a course that you help me with the latter
    Are you questioning Colins skill with the eye liner? I too would like to see how Colin works with all this equipment and indeed how he gets the most out of his models....votes for the Southern video tutorial anyone?

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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Thanks everyone.

    What was going through my mind when I asked the question was the fact that so many girls strive to "be like the model on the cover". They see the cover girls as being "on a different level" when the reality (and perhaps irony) is that there really isn't a big difference (in the looks anyway). Personality wise - although I don't know any celebrities - I suspect that if Miley Cyrus or Britney Spears popped across for dinner I'm sure there would be little difference between them and the girl in the next street, although no doubt being in the public eye constantly would certainly build (or totally destroy) one's confidence pretty quickly.

    So in taking photos like this, it's just occured to me ... I'm in the "super-model" business - and of course, the confidence building business. Wow - what a responsibility!

    @ Ashwin: Thanks for the edit. I think that raising the shadow detail around the camera-right side of the face is a good improvement. The face I think now looks a little too contrasty for a "girl next door" type shot, although comparing with mine, I think mine perhaps needs to have the contrast pushed a little further, so somewhere between the two would perhaps be ideal. On a related note though, I'm now seeing large areas of washed out skin to camera left. In terms of the increased contrast around the eyes and increased saturation of the lips, again, a little too strong for my liking. By the way, since this image was originally published, I've updated it to accommodate your nicer shadow detail - so what folks see for an image in post #1 could be either version (as browsers and pBase both cache the image for a while). If anyone wants to update the image, it SHOULD work if they press Ctrl+F5 on a PC.

    @ Steve: I've been thinking about doing some video stuff for you folks - problem is that I'm no film producer - so I'd have to find someone to man the video camera, and gawd knows how I'd go about editing. There are so so so many parts to it though - from setting up the lighting - the shooting - processing - printing - spraying - framing - so would probably be at least a couple of hours worth. Too much?

  12. #12

    Re: A Question for you all ...

    So the question is, "Do young ladies like this have the potential to be cover material" and "are the celebrities we see on the covers just 'everyday looking people'?"
    Celebs are not ordinary people. Like artists and high-power business people they are driven to power and fame. They probably have issues about who/what they are that drives them to seek attention and power. Us mere mortals don't have those drives to the same extent, but somewhere at the back of our minds we almost wish we did have them, and that's why we love celebs. Except me, of course.

    What they actually look like is just a deception, facilitated by money, access and yes, photographers. But it's what drives the celebs and others that really counts. You can photography 'ordinary' people but that won't make them extra-ordinary, I'm afraid. Like-wise, you could remove all of the celebrity photographers from the world and the celebs would soon find a way to force themselves into our lives.

    If you get bored of shooting them let me know.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    @ Steve: I've been thinking about doing some video stuff for you folks - problem is that I'm no film producer - so I'd have to find someone to man the video camera, and gawd knows how I'd go about editing. There are so so so many parts to it though - from setting up the lighting - the shooting - processing - printing - spraying - framing - so would probably be at least a couple of hours worth. Too much?
    In one lump yes, but split into byte size chunks like the Portraiture School, it would be fine.

    It is a big undertaking though.

    I don't suppose #1 daughter, or #1 wife, wants to be a camera person/director do they - imagine that; telling dad/hubby what to do and him not being able to answer back

    Although of course, we have to have the out-takes as a christmas bonus for a laugh

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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    Celebs are not ordinary people. Like artists and high-power business people they are driven to power and fame. They probably have issues about who/what they are that drives them to seek attention and power. Us mere mortals don't have those drives to the same extent, but somewhere at the back of our minds we almost wish we did have them, and that's why we love celebs. Except me, of course.
    I hear what you're saying Rob, and I don't disagree - but I wonder if that is just one scenario. I'm wondering if another might be perhaps a "less driven" person, but one none-the-less with a good management team? I can't help but think of many "stars in their eyes" performers (where folks do their best to emulate their favourite singer) ... some of the folks I've heard have voices that are every bit as good as "the original" - every bit - in every way - and yet they never get past square one in terms of a singing career. I know of others too - like a Russian girl now resident in New Zealand called Yulia; stunningly amazing voice - fantastic looks - very intelligent and yet open and friendly girl - could literally sing anything that Sarah Brightman could do (and arguably even do it slightly better) ... and yet despite having several managers, her career STILL hasn't really got out of 1st gear.

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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    In one lump yes, but split into byte size chunks like the Portraiture School, it would be fine.

    It is a big undertaking though.

    I don't suppose #1 daughter, or #1 wife, wants to be a camera person/director do they - imagine that; telling dad/hubby what to do and him not being able to answer back

    Although of course, we have to have the out-takes as a christmas bonus for a laugh
    Hmmm - warming to the idea. Anyone have any suggestions as to good editing software? Adobe Premier?

  16. #16
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hmmm - warming to the idea. Anyone have any suggestions as to good editing software? Adobe Premier?
    Good,

    What was it I read somewhere recently "I'm a 100% Adobe man"

    Why change the habit of a lifetime

    Seriously I wouldn't know, but I expect there's plenty of support for it.

  17. #17
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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Recently I've photographed several young ladies in my studio (typically in the 15 to 21 year old age group). They're all just "everyday normal people", and yet, I've seen shots of popular celebrities on the cover of magazines that are no better and no worse than ones like these (in fact - if anything - I'd like to think that the "retouchers to the stars" could do a lot better job than I do).

    So the question is, "Do young ladies like this have the potential to be cover material" and "are the celebrities we see on the covers just 'everyday looking people'?"

    A Question for you all ...
    There are certainly different levels of beauty and I think runway models have something more appealing than your Hollywood starlets. Sometimes the popularity of both get blurred when they combine full body glamor shots which get the models even more attention and then lead to more glamorous head shots.

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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hmmm - warming to the idea. Anyone have any suggestions as to good editing software? Adobe Premier?
    Yes Colin, I prefer Adobe Premiere for my Video Editing, and I am using this since last more than 12 Years with full satisfaction.

  19. #19

    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I know of others too - like a Russian girl now resident in New Zealand called Yulia; stunningly amazing voice - fantastic looks - very intelligent and yet open and friendly girl - could literally sing anything that Sarah Brightman could do (and arguably even do it slightly better) ... and yet despite having several managers, her career STILL hasn't really got out of 1st gear.
    Exactly my point! Perhaps it hasn't got out of 1st gear because she lacks the complete drive that most 'celebs;' have? Look at it the other way - you often get celebs and other 'top' people who seem to lack any talent or ability at all, and you find yourself thinking "How the heck did they get were they are?"

    If you're not sure about the 'celebs are troubled and dysfunctional and that's what drives them' thesis then take a look at the list of celeb suicides in recent years! http://answers.google.com/answers/th...id/702580.html
    Last edited by carregwen; 1st November 2010 at 08:03 AM.

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    Re: A Question for you all ...

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    Exactly my point! Perhaps it hasn't got out of 1st gear because she lacks the complete drive that most 'celebs;' have?
    To be honest Rob, I think she's exceptionally intelligent and motivated - took her only two years from when she moved to NZ to learn English and pass her senior high school exams, but I think it's a classic case of knowing how to do the technical work of a business (singing), but not knowing how to run a business that does that technical work (be super-successful as a singer).

    Tell me again what Paris Hilton is famous for? (2nd thoughts, I don't think I want anyone to repeat that in public!)

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