Photography for Webmasters: 2


In Part 1 of this series, we looked at some considerations involved when deciding which is best, shooting with a traditional film camera, or a digital camera. Today, we’ll take a look at Lighting equipment and finding models.

Natural lighting is always best. The problem with it is that it’s usually never enough or it’s too intense and hard for it to yield pleasant results. Get yourself a Litedisc or similar compact reflector and experiment with it. LiteDiscs come in several flavours; white, black, silver, gold and translucent. They even come in "multi" disk versions which are a translucent disk with a reversing gold/white or silver/white "condom". Using it in bright sunlight will give you ideas on how to use it in more subtle situations. Try placing a translucent one between the sun and your model.

When you shoot a model for content, you are going to want to shoot stills AND video to maximize your investment in her. (Video shooting is probably worthy of an article on its own so look for that as time permits.) The problem is that the incandescent (constant) light needed for video, will not produce the best stills. What I find myself doing is using studio flashes for the stills and the modeling lights in the flash heads for the video. Not a perfect solution but I do get the results I need in both media. The ideal solution when mixing video and stills (or blending incandescent with daylight) would be to use a blue (daylight) incandescent source.

Most of us can’t afford HMI lights (movie lights) so the only other solution is Studio fluorescents. This is NOT the same as daylight fluorescents. Studio fluorescents have, aside from the right color temperature, a high (90 or better) CRI (color rendering index). For some reason this increases the cost of the bulbs by about 10 times and store bought fixtures for them cost as much as the HMIs. So before getting involved in this kind of lighting realize that you are going to have to build your own units if you want to do it cheap. This is not as daunting a task as it sounds. (article on this coming as soon as I build one myself)

Avoid strippers like the plague. They lack reliability and come to work with lots of baggage that you do not want to deal with. Look for fresh sources of models, colleges and universities, clubs and any other social environment where your target group hangs. I would be doing a lot more of this if I were about 20 years younger and 50 pounds lighter. My major source of model talent is the Net. There are plenty of sites that will source models for you. The one I have had the most luck with is They have a very good search engine for models and flags that will allow you to target models in your area that are involved in the adult industry.

Be prepared to pay anywhere from coffee and doughnuts to $250 per hour with a minimum 2 - 3 hour call. Factors that affect the rate are: how pretty the model is, how much work she has done before you came along, where the shoot is being done, what the script calls for her to do and who she is doing it with.

Negotiate everything up front; surprises are a bad thing on a porn shoot. Tune yourself into the emotions of your model and pay very close attention to her mood. A model may perform everything that is asked of her because she needs the work. Even if she has signed a model release, if she has doubts, second thoughts or regrets… it WILL come back to haunt you.

Don’t blow sunshine up your model’s butt. This is not easy money and you are not going to make her rich. This business, as I am sure you are already aware, chews up young women and spits them out. If they want to make a lot of money with their bodies they have to work long and hard and catch a lot of breaks along the way.

The intimacy that an exclusive model brings to a site will ignite sales because this one model is now bringing to the table a factor that you did not have before. She is supplying your members with a GFE (girlfriend experience) and it is this link with her, this ‘soul’ that you have just given your site that will encourage your users to keep their memberships active.

I hope that this brief series has better prepared you for the adventures that await when you decide to pick up a camera and shoot your own exclusive content!