The other day Phlearn came up with a way to emulate Martin Schoeller’s portrait lighting. I have been wanting to lock down Schoeller’s technique for years now, so when I saw Phlearn’s post, I was stoked. And they did a fantastic job. I even learned their cool Photoshop technique of adding natural looking highlights and shadows. The problem was that in order for me to try out their lighting technique, I needed two strip soft boxes for my strobes, which I didn’t have. [more]
Niko Tavernise has every portrait photographers dream job. Well at least my dream job. He hangs out on movie sets and takes pictures of what he sees. And what he sees are the top actors of our time in impeccable costumes and makeup, on sets that are pre-lit by masters in lighting. And before you start scheming about how you can try to get a job like this, read about how he came about landing this epic gig.
Skreened is an eCommerce company that specializes in on-demand screen printing. Shirts are their biggest sellers. Since each shirt design is unique, they needed a library of images with models in blank tees so they could overlay the latest designs in post. When they approached me to shoot for them, their main request was that these portraits be fun and energetic. [more]
Many of you readers are like me in that you don’t have your own photography studio. While it’s sometimes inconvenient, I have learned to make do without one. This diagram will show you how to get a polished looking product shot in a boring office hallway.
The other day, David Bickley wrote a fantastic article on 365 projects. In the article he made some great points about how the project will sharpen the photographer’s skills and even lead to work. And while I agree that projects like this are great for growing as a photographer as well as producing regular content for your readers, I know that it can lead to burning out, for both the photographer and the reader.
This week, we are exploring how to create a white-to-grey backdrop using strobes. Though this technique can be done somewhat efficiently with two lights, three is optimal. And as in last weeks post, I want you guys to try out this technique and share your results. I will post my three favorites in the next lighting post. I shot all of these images on a white sweep, with the figures about ten feet off of the background. [more]
If you are like me, the acronym SEO brings a shudder to your bones. If you are a photographer with a website, you have no doubt received countless emails from sites offering to optimize your site for a fee. In this post, I will tell you the things I did for free or next to nothing that helped push my photography website to page one of organic Google searches. The one thing that I already had working to my advantage is that my website is a non-flash site that was launched almost seven years ago. [more]
Last night I was fortunate enough to catch Brief Encounters, the new documentary about Gregory Crewdson. Many of you may be familiar with his work, and may have even read our previous article on his production process. Crewdson operates on an extremely large scale, using a film production crew to execute his large-format photographs. [more]
In my opinion, nothing is sexier than a glossy black surface. And you don’t even need a black backdrop sweep to achieve it.
During my time as the lifestyle photographer for JackThreads, I shot many different products in many different ways. Since I was shooting an average of 10 brands per day, I had to work quickly and in a tiny space. Through working in this condition, I developed some cheap and easy lighting scenarios.
This past Monday I wrote a piece titled “Six Things Every Beginning Photographer Should Know”. One of the points I made was the importance of sometimes shooting for free. Here are just a few excerpts of reader responses:
“Shoot for free? Really lol?”
“Shooting for free is what’s wrong with the photography business.”
“Go ahead shoot for free. You set your price point and show how much you value your work that way.”
So I thought it would be worthwhile to explain what I meant.
About once a week I get an email from a student or aspiring photographer that wants advice on how they can break into a career of being a professional photographer. I found that I was writing the same response every time. So for the sake of time just as much as my desire to share what I have learned, here is my list of six things that I think every beginning photographer should be doing.
I am a photographer. I love to shoot. I live to shoot. But I am not a gearhead. I’ll use anything available to me. From film to toy cameras to digital cameras, I’ve shot on it all. But today, with a case full of professional photo gear, I still use whatever tool I have available to me to take pictures. This includes my phone. [more]
I came across Lee Jeffries‘ work on Flickr several months ago. While I am normally turned off by heavily processed portraits, these seemed somehow different. These weren’t just processed for the sake of the process any more than they are just simple portraits. These are something more. [more]