Saturday, March 09, 2013

Ask People to Pose

If you need good reference material you must ask people to pose. The worst thing they can do is refuse and you've lost nothing if that happens. If you're shy--get over it.

As a teenager, I was very shy and it was difficult for me to make eye contact with strangers, let alone speak to them. As I moved into my twenties and entered the corporate workplace this attitude had to disappear, especially when every job I had seemed to involve sales of one kind or another. My fear of strangers is long gone and that has come in handy when I am out photographing reference material.

Last year a boy was fishing on the dock while I was out painting one evening. He was pleased and somewhat flattered when I asked him to pose with his fishing pole in hand. When you take the time to explain why you want to take a picture and that the subject just might end up in a painting, most people are eager to help. I kept this painting generic enough that a viewer can't really tell who the model is, unless perhaps the viewer is his mother. :)

Last weekend I took hundreds of invaluable reference photos. I used my charm, my wit and this well-rehearsed question: "Would you mind posing for a photograph? I'm an artist and I would love to put you into one of my paintings?" I was at a fitness exposition, surrounded by thousands of interesting individuals and my utter lack of shyness allowed me to take dozens of reference photographs.

Dockside Fisherman

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