Take A Shot: Babe of the Month Photo Tips & Tricks
Horse Sense: For more on the Foose Mustangs, check out www.unique-performance.com
So, you want to shoot your woman for Babe of the Month. Rock on! Sincethe first flathead Ford was stuffed into a car it was never meant for,hot women and hot cars have gone together like hot dogs and mustard,beer and baseball. Well, beer pretty much goes with anything (exceptdriving), but that's another story.
With the Babe of the Month contest becoming more popular with everyissue, the crew at 5.0&SF thought it was time to do a story with somehints and tips so you could shoot your girl with your car. As 5.0&SF'sresident photographer, helping the citizens of 5.0 Nation take betterBOTM pics was given to me. More often than not, potentially winningphotos end up in the BOTM reject drawer in Editor Turner's office (notto be confused with the black hole of the universe, Assoc. EditorJohnson's cubicle) because of some serious technical flaw. Sometimes,the pic is out of focus, underexposed, overexposed, or the girl justdoesn't look right. Many times we've looked at photos and thought, Ifonly the person had done this when shooting...
With my mission clear, I went in search of appropriate subject matterfor this story. Enter the extremely beautiful and talented Jen, Kara,and Rachel. We met Jen and Kara at 5.0's favorite local eatingestablishment, the Winghouse in Brandon, Florida, where Jen and Karaserve wings, beer, and good cheer to the masses. Rachel is a formerWinghouse girl who now models and keeps busy with other things.
Now that I had the subjects, I needed a car to shoot them with. As luckwould have it, the two Chip Foose Mustangs built through UniquePerformance were at our offices after the Barrett-Jackson West Palmauction for evaluation. Hot women and hot Mustangs--do you notice thegeneral theme?
So, in the studio we went. Now, I know what you guys are grumblingabout--you don't have a studio and can't afford one. Well, don't sweatit. These techniques and tips apply to indoor and outdoor photography.And we're going to talk about outdoor shooting and things you shouldkeep in mind.
First, when taking a photo, try to fill the viewfinder with as much ofthe car/babe as possible. This makes the main subjects of the photovisible so they don't get lost in the background. Second, watch forcamera shake. When taking your pictures, try to keep the camera assteady as possible.
If you're using a film camera, have the negatives scanned at the highestresolution possible. If shooting with a digital camera, set the cameraat its maximum resolution. This makes the photos look a ton better andhelps on our end in case we have to tweak anything in the computer.
First thing on outdoor shooting--never shoot into the sun! This not onlycreates unsightly shadows that make your babe and car look bad, but itcan also wreak havoc with the camera's exposure of the picture. As arule of thumb, you always want the sun at your back, preferably at a45-degree angle to the car.
Try not to shoot between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. During the middle part ofthe day, the angle of the sun is high and directly overhead. This makesthe light on the car and girl flat. It also creates problems with "hotspots" on the car. These are places where the sun causes brightreflections on chrome bumpers, trim, polished wheels, and paint. At thistime of day, the sun creates lighting problems that can confuse thecamera and result in an overexposed/underexposed problem, and the sky is flat and uninteresting.
If you can only shoot during this "forbidden time," look for a placewith even shade. This helps reduce the problem with hotspots and canmake the lighting more desirable.
Also avoid shooting too early or too late in the day. If you don't haveenough light for a good exposure, the photo won't look good, especiallyif you have a dark-colored car. A good rule of thumb is, if the sun's lowenough you can't see it, it's too early or too late to take the photo.
So you found a great spot to shoot the car, now what? Before you takeany pictures, there are a few things to remember.
1. Always stay relaxed: If your babe is tense or not having a good time, itwill show in the photos. Keeping the fun factor high will go a long waytoward making your pictures better.
2. Wardrobe is important: The outfit your girl wears is important forseveral reasons. First, no thongs for Babe of the Month. Sorry, guys!Unfortunately, 5.0&SF has to deal with its own panel of censors, andthey like to bounce photos like this in a heartbeat. Beyond that, thewardrobe is wide open. Second, your girl shouldn't wear anything shedoesn't feel comfortable in. If a model is wearing something she doesn'tfeel good in, it will negatively affect the photos. This ties into thetension thing mentioned above. When shooting for Babe of the Month,take pictures of your girl in two or three different outfits. We like tosee variety in the submissions, and multiple outfits make your chanceseven better for getting some BOTM-worthy shots.
When choosing outfits, tell your babe to pick out what she feels bestin. Try to have her dress in something that complements the color ofyour car. Complementary colors work like this: red and blue, yellow andgreen, orange and purple. If you're not sure what best matches yourcar's paint, ask her to dress in white, black, or neutral colors that gowith anything. Ask her to take off her jewelry, which can be distractingin photos or can scratch the paint.
3. Clean your car: Beyond giving the car a good wash, detail it for brakedust on the wheels, bugs on the grille and hood, tire stains, rubberpieces behind the rear wheels, and such. Dirt and grime you can't seewith the naked eye have a nasty habit of showing up in photos.
So your girl's dressed and ready to go. The car's clean, the light isjust right, and she's standing there wondering what to do. Keep thesethings in mind when shooting.
Avoid awkward or uncomfortable poses. Chances are, if your girl feelsuncomfortable or awkward in a certain pose, it'll look that way in thepicture. Start out by using simple, comfortable poses, the type you seeall the time. As you get into shooting, try some different stuff, andyour girl will probably get into the spirit of things and come up withsome ideas of her own. Try to avoid overtly provocative shots (front orrear) because the censors will bounce them.
Shoot from a variety of angles. You can't submit too many photos forBabe of the Month, and the better the variety, the better your chancesare for seeing your girl and car compete for BOTM honors. Try shootingfrom low angles, high angles, to the left of the car, to the right, anda few at eye level.
Have fun. This is important. Having fun helps keep the relaxedatmosphere you need for great photos, and you're taking pictures of ahot woman with a hot car, you should be having fun anyway.
So you've taken your pictures, and it's time to submit them for BOTM.There are two ways to do it: e-mail them to 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords at
5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
9036 Brittany Way
Tampa, FL 33619
Hope this story has helped you out, at least you've got some greatpictures of your girl/yourself with your car, at the most you'll be acontender for Babe of the Month honors!
To see the pics from our Babe of the Month Photo Tips teaser story, click HERE
Here's a gallery of some good and bad photos to give you some more posing ideas and so you can see some other dos and don'ts that'll come in handy when you're taking Babe of the Month submission photos.