Tuesday Viewsday: Amanda – Fitness Model
We are more than halfway through the year and I think it’s time to turn this “behind the scenes” view from the past to the present. This week’s post features a look at the final images from a recent shoot I did with the talented and beautiful Amanda.
The story of Amanda’s modeling “career” is definitely interesting and I have to admit now: I’m totally responsible for her addiction to being in front of the camera.
Shortly after I graduated from college back in 2007, I started going to the gym with a good friend and former college roommate. We hit the Body Pump classes like we knew what we were doing there and that’s where I met Amanda.
It turned out that she and I both worked at the same place in our day jobs, as did a few of her friends, and we all quickly became gym buddies. Since that time, my college roommate has moved on as have I from that particular gym, but Amanda and I still remain good friends. About two years ago, I was starting to build my portrait portfolio and asked her to join me and help me practice my technique. She’s a good friend and therefore was more than happy to help out.
She was very nervous, but quickly relaxed after some direction from me and realizing that it was only for “educational purposes” anyway. We wrapped that shoot and we went our separate ways, but that’s not where this story ends.
I received a message from Amanda a few days later telling me how amazing she thought it was to be photographed and how much fun she had and “when can we do that again?” Since then, I’ve been honored to not only capture Amanda in some amazing portrait sessions, but I also captured her maternity photos as well!
Her baby boy is doing well, I’m happy to report, and Amanda is back helping me out from time to time. To help her ease back into things, I thought it would be fun to do a short hour shoot in an urban/industrial spot I saw on a recent drive through the downtown Peoria area. And yes, I swear to you, she was pregnant a year ago… she’s a gym nut and she looks great, doesn’t she? Enjoy!
The Dark Side (2012)
There’s nothing like a chain link fence to really give a portrait session a “grungy” feel so we started there. It’s also great for models and posing; you can have them loop their hands through the fence behind them, have them grab the fence and look over their shoulder at the camera, or even hook a heel up as they lean against it.
I didn’t do much in post to these images other than standard retouches (skin softening, whitening eyes, deepening eye color, etc.), but I did tweak Amanda’s eyeshadow color and saturation a dash to really make her eyes pop, a technique I learned at Photoshop World this year! Who says education doesn’t pay off?
This black and white shot is probably my favorite of the series. The pose, the look on Amanda’s face, the composition, and the contrasty treatment all comes together quite nicely. The color shot shown here is also one of my favorites for the use of bokeh (the way the point of focus falls off her face and blurs the background) and the pose; while it may feel unnatural to the model, getting her to turn her body away, but bring her head back and rest the chin on her shoulder is a great way to capture that “Who? Me?” look.
Last, but not least, another one of my favorite shots from the day. This was the last shot of the evening as the light was fading fast and so was my model; being a Mommy can wear you out, but Amanda is a trooper! When I shoot a woman on a staircase like this, I always try a pose with one leg stretched out; as you can see, it works well and helps to give her the “long legs” look while sitting down plus creates an extra “line” in the image for your eye to follow up to the main point of focus, Amanda’s face.
Want to see more of Amanda’s amazing work? Check out my recap of our May Strobist workshop!