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#598998 - 06/26/12 09:35 PM Graphic designers: cameras and models?
Gerald Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 1108
Just curious, what do you guys do when you need a model for a project? And if you use a camera what kind?

I don't have a good camera but I try to use royalty stock photo sites but the good ones can be expensive.

Right now I'm getting by with an iphone for small ads.
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#599001 - 06/27/12 02:10 AM Re: Graphic designers: cameras and models? [Re: Gerald]
Joe Lee Offline
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Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 12277
Doing the photography yourself, and begging a few friends to model for you would be the most cost effective route. Especially if it's a personal project with no budget.

If it's a paying gig? The short answer? Hire a photographer. You'll get much better stuff and they will handle all the details. They usually have models they use for stuff already, just tell them what you want, they'll give you options, or you can go with a modeling agency and hire your own or just post an ad at the local art school. Depending on what kind of model you need. Expect to pay anywhere from 9-18 dollars and hour for the cheapest models you can find, much more if you go with an agency maybe $40 to $100, depending on the model, but I'm on Ohio and everything is cheaper here, your prices may vary.

Some projects the client can't provide you with art, and you just CAN'T use stock photography or the client isn't happy with the stock photos you have available. So you have to hire a photographer, some are pretty reasonable depending on the type of shoot, and their level of experience. Students or inexperienced photographers can be really good or really mediocre but also really cheap. But everyone is different. Some may charge you for the just the shot you use or some may provide you with a disk of the whole shoot, and just charge by the hour. Get them to be very clear about what you want and what you are paying for before you agree to anything. And get an estimate in writing. The price may even vary depending on the type of project.

I used to try and cut corners and do my own photography on some projects, but it ended up being one more way to do more work and not get paid any more. So now I put "photography" costs right in the estimate, and it's one less hassle and the client covers the cost anyway.

What stock photo places have you tried? If you get a yearly sub, Photos.com is pretty cheap for the size of the library they have, and they generally knock off a few bucks every year to get you to re-up. I usually tack on an small art service fee for projects that needs stock, so it pays for itself after a few jobs.

I knew a guy who worked in advertising who would sign up for different stock photo services, get the unlimited use plans and have an intern download as much stuff as he could into archives, and then not re-up the subscription. Shady little guy, but totally within the rules of the contract.

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#599087 - 07/01/12 01:48 PM Re: Graphic designers: cameras and models? [Re: Joe Lee]
granfalloon Offline
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Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 724
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I am not the ideal guy to answer this because I am not a full time professional. However, I do make a bit of money with my art and I have some knowledge. First, I have a mirror in front of my drawing board. I will try to pose for myself whenever possible. It is also good for lighting effects. When that is insufficient, I will ask a friend to pose, shoot it and extrapolate the finished product. I am no Alex Ross but it is the same idea. Also, I have books called the Fairburn System which can be found, no doubt, on ebay or amazon. They are sold individually or in packages of three and contain most of what a person needs, provided that the artist does not become a slave to them. They are a good place to start a drawing. More recently another series was published, cheaper and not as good, called Illustrators Reference Manual. I bought them about about $30 each but I have seen them in used books stores for as little as ten. There is an set of books like them but put out somewhere in Asia which can be useful. I can dig up the titles if you wish. A friend who manages a used book store bought a similar set from the 1940's which he says are excellent. Anyway, I know many artists through out their stock photos when the digital camera became practical. Also, let me paraphrase Andrew Loomis. He said that it is not the model that is important as much as what is done with it.
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#599091 - 07/01/12 07:47 PM Re: Graphic designers: cameras and models? [Re: granfalloon]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7089
I always liked the quote from a Hal Foster interview [I'm paraphrasing, of course], when asked if he used models as reference for Prince Valiant he responded, "Do you think I have time for that?"
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#599097 - 07/02/12 04:38 PM Re: Graphic designers: cameras and models? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
granfalloon Offline
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Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 724
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I have never heard that. I show slides of Foster when I am teaching figure drawing. I emphasize that Foster drew Prince Valiant for forty years and if he did draw verbatim from models, he had to have run into problems for the model would age. I do wonder though if he ever utilized models. Raymond made no bones about it. There are several published photos of his models besides the drawing he did from them. Frazetta says he never used them and I imagine he didn't in his later years, but I have seen drawings he did for skin magazines in the 1950's where he worked quite closely from models. Jeff Jones took photos of people and did entire strips from the photos, though I have also seen drawings he did utilizing no models at all. Ditto for Williamson. I have seen him draw with nothing in front of him, where it looks like he had a model.

In spite of what Foster has said, I wouldn't be surprised if he utilized models now and then, though I would be shocked if he dressed a paid model as Prince Valiant, took photos then got down to work.
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Jeez, granfalloon, that longer post above might be one of the most thoughtful, best written things I've ever read on Comicon.
--Lawson

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#599100 - 07/02/12 06:46 PM Re: Graphic designers: cameras and models? [Re: granfalloon]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7089
I'm just giving the money quote. Foster's overall point was that life study is very important, but that's like the homework and should be done before you get to class.

I've seen some Frazetta life study paintings done later in life slightly pre-stroke, I believe and they're amazingly naturalistic. Except for the way he blends colors, it's almost unrecognizable as Frazetta.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#599109 - 07/03/12 04:52 AM Re: Graphic designers: cameras and models? [Re: Joe Lee]
Gerald Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 1108


Thanks for the advice. I started using morguefile.com but now I'm looking on iStockphoto.com . They have a big selection and some excellent photos but they can range from 5 bucks to 50+$.

I would like to shoot my own models but don't have the funds to invest in a good camera. Photos.com looks good.


I sometimes want to use models or even figurines to properly capture a pose or angle but that takes too long and for me takes away the spontaneity and imagination of just sketching out how you think it should look. Good quote. Don't get me wrong models can or reference can save time for big pieces but I don't think it would be good to be overly reliant in it.


Edited by Gerald (07/03/12 04:55 AM)
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#599121 - 07/03/12 04:06 PM Re: Graphic designers: cameras and models? [Re: Gerald]
granfalloon Offline
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Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 724
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Tim Bradsteet, so I have been told, poses people under a lightbulb. I believe it. Rick Taylor who did four Sandmans for DC gets his friends and family to pose and stays very faithful to the shots. Peter Hsu who worked for Warren years ago and drew Quadrant magazine during the black and white boom posed people and had a huge stack of basic reference photos. It can be done. I will take a look at morguefile.
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Jeez, granfalloon, that longer post above might be one of the most thoughtful, best written things I've ever read on Comicon.
--Lawson

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#599126 - 07/03/12 04:23 PM Re: Graphic designers: cameras and models? [Re: granfalloon]
Gerald Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 1108
I was thinking about small, more respective things like panel work. The last two artists you mentioned, they did interiors. When I made my last post I had the Final Crisis artist in mind since it looks likes he uses slot of reference and/or models which may contribute to the extra time it took him for that series.
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#599138 - 07/03/12 08:45 PM Re: Graphic designers: cameras and models? [Re: Gerald]
MightyQuin Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 1069
Loc: Tallahassee,FL
Of course Greg Land is famous for it and not in a good way. So, I guess it's advisable to cover your tracks somewhat if you're using lots of photo reference. One thing would be not to use photos of people whose likenesses are well known. This is kind of weird though since plenty of artists design some characters with a particular actor in mind, Gene Colan and Paul Gulacy come to mind. I do it myself, but if you do it with a projector, it's too close and you will be busted! So, Dave Sim coopting Groucho Marx' likeness is 'genius', Greg Land with a stack of porno actress photos is hack work.

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#599142 - 07/03/12 11:53 PM Re: Graphic designers: cameras and models? [Re: MightyQuin]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7089
While I disagree that Lord Julius was "genius," I will agree that what Sim did is not the same thing that Greg Land, J.G. Jones, et al do. One is caricature (which involves original creativity) and the other is merely synthesizing borrowed elements.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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