Two Photographers, Two Motorcycles & One Model

by | Apr 27, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

We’re taking a little detour today: First the subject includes motorcycles and second, it features portraits of a woman. In this case, a very specific woman—Tia Stoneman— who was photographed by two different photographers with two different motorcycles but on the same day. The guest photographer is my wife, Mary Farace, and both portraits were made using mostly daylight with speedlights used as fill. You can read more about Tia on my photography how-to Blog.

Cliche: In this portrait Mary Farace photographs Tia dressed in leather reclining on a motorcycle. What makes Mary’s portrait so more interesting than the cliche of “girl with bike” is the pose. Instead of, what you might normally do, standing the model next to the bike or sitting on it, she placed Tia in a reclining position with her feet on the back of the bike—this pose, of course, works better of the subject is wearing slacks or leather chaps as she is here.

Sometimes the initial pose causes the subject to naturally place their hands and arms and all that’s need for you is a slight refinement of the pose and some additional direction. In the case, Mary only shot two variations on this pose; this is number two. (Number one was, for some reason not as sharp as she may have like. Camera movement? Maybe. So the concept of a “safety shot” may be an old one but is still not a bad idea. She used an Olympus E-500 with ED 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 SWD lens and an exposure of 1/160 sec at f/2.8 and ISO 100.

Same model, different bike, different photographer. I photographed Tia with a dirt bike from a relatively low angle. Now all of the experts will tell you that it’s a bad idea to photography anybody from a low angle because you will see up their nostrils, which to be fair is not always a flattering look. It doesn’t bother me here but if it bothers to and especially your clients don’t do it!I started photographing Tia with the lens at a wide-angle (65mm on a 28-135mm) lens but kept zooming in as I worked and ended up with the lens at 135mm for the shot at right.

Here Tia is posed with all her weight on one leg, something I ask all subjects to do and like any other posing suggestion, sometimes they get it, sometimes they don’t. Then she has the other leg bent and is standing on her toe; that’s all her idea that grew out of us shooting more than 30 images in a series of poses and this one was the fourth from last one. As I’ve said before, it’s a good idea to shoot through a pose and after you’re happy with what you’ve got, keep going for at least 3-5 more shots. You never know what will happen. In this case there are a few other shots after this one, but I like this the best. Exposure with Canon EOS 5D Mark I was 1/200 sec at f/8 and ISO 200.

If you’re interested in learning how I use cameras, lenses and lighting in my in-home studio and on location, please pick up a copy of Studio Lighting Anywhere which is available new from for $31.89 or used starting at less than four bucks, as I write this. The Kindle version is $19.99 for those who prefer a digital format.