Outdoor Model Photography: Capturing Subjects with Landscapes

Stephen Vanasco Aka Van Styles, Photographer & Founder of V/SUAL Apparel

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8 Videos (28m)
    • Introduction

      1:19
    • Project Assignment

      0:24
    • Choosing Location

      2:38
    • Shooting

      11:48
    • Editing Color

      6:21
    • Editing Black & White

      3:49
    • Conclusion

      1:08
    • Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare

      0:36
30 students are watching this class

About This Class

Go behind-the-scenes with world-renowned photographer Van Styles as he blends the worlds of model and landscape photography. In this 30-minute class, you’ll learn everything you need to capture a subject and natural landscape in total harmony — from scouting a location to working with your model on the shoot, and finally to selecting and editing your images.

After going through the lessons, you are encouraged to set up a shoot outdoors and create some favorite images of your own. To get started all you will need is a camera, a subject, and a compelling setting. From there, it is on you to execute the photo shoot. Looking forward to seeing your projects!

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Van Styles is a Los Angeles based photographer and founder of V/SUAL Apparel.  

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Class Outline

  • Introduction. By capturing subjects and the surrounding landscape, you can build a skillset that will apply to a wide range of situations. Whether you're doing something on the side or growing your career, knowing how to use a camera and edit photographs is fun and rewarding.
    Let’s walk through an outline of this class, which features an overview of a few of the skills and insights that you’ll learn throughout it!
  • Project Assignment. Your assignment is to take pictures of models that feature interesting, complementary landscapes. Then once you’re done, you’ll share your best three images.
    Sounds simple, right? The project is actually more multifaceted than you might think. To capture and produce professional-level shots, you will need to learn the logic behind blending people and backgrounds. You will also need to learn how to edit fashion photos, which can be challenging.
  • Choosing a Location. Will this location work? Will the model overpower the landscape or vice versa? The tips in this lesson regarding landscape photography will help you develop instincts about choosing the optimal landscape for your model.
    No matter where you live, there are hundreds of scenes for your subject, including fields, beaches, streets, and rivers. Any setting can enhance a photo that might otherwise be bland. In addition, you will learn another related skill that will serve you well: scouting a location.
  • Shooting. When shooting models in diverse landscapes, you will need to consider many factors, such as color, lighting, jewelry, symmetry, elevation, vanishing points, and shadows.
    As you attempt to take different types of images, you might need to switch lenses. For example, a wide-angle lens might be more ideal for capturing large, natural backgrounds. However, a smaller lens is usually best for close-ups.
    As the shoot continues, remember to improvise. While you’re packing up, a sunset might strike your model in an interesting way. If so, don’t be afraid to snap more photos at the last minute. Bring other outfits so your model can quickly change looks to suit changes in lighting and scenery. This situation is a great opportunity to practice both fashion photography and product photography.
  • Editing Color. Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw are useful applications to learn. By watching Van edit his photos, you will see how this software applies to model photography:
    • Adobe Bridge is a popular tool that helps photographers manage their files.
    • Camera Raw can be instrumental in balancing colors that might pop too much in the original photo.
    • You might also consider using Color Efex Pro.
  • Editing Black & White. Camera Raw has black and white filters that you can use to augment color photos. This function is essential when altering elements of light and shadow. It can make images sharper as well.
    In addition, you will see some examples of cropping and contrast. These skills can be valuable for producing an excellent portrait of a model or non-model.
  • Conclusion. Given the unique number of landscapes in the world, your possibilities are endless. By balancing visual aspects of models, clothing, and backgrounds, you can capture amazing shots and edit them to perfection.  

156 of 171 students recommendSee All

Good class. Good teacher. Honest advices.
Great insight on how to pick locations that offer several options for lighting and backdrops. The use of shadows was awesome.. Thank you..
Excellent course. Through out the videos the dialog was helpful and insightful. Really an enjoyable class.

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Stephen Vanasco Aka Van Styles

Photographer & Founder of V/SUAL Apparel

Stephen Vanasco is a NY-born, LA-raised photographer heavily influenced by the '90s skate scene. Never one to sit and wait for people to give him an opportunity, he took a chance and followed his passion for photography. Now he professionally travels the world for photography and for his brand V/SUAL.

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