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Shaping Fire for Seamless Photography

San Francisco based photographer Rob Prideaux makes a living shooting still-life and product photography for clients such as EuroRSCG, 7X7, Google, and Wells Fargo. But what caught my eye was how Rob experiments with “smoke and fire”, attempting to bend it to his will using motion, air and interestingly, stencils. Another coolhot… (trying to avoid a pun here) neat thing about the way Rob achieves this is the use of seamless white which allow both the smoke and fire to, so clearly, coexist within the same frame. [more]

A Guide to Working With Modeling Agencies: Part 2

Alright, So you’ve made it past the hard part, making contact and getting the ok from the agency to work with their talent (As discussed in Part 1).  Now what?  Well now you book your first model!

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The Anatomy of a $100K Commercial Photography Estimate

Transitioning into commercial photography is no easy task. For some it’s the holy grail, end game, and ultimate dream job to have in the industry. For others it couldn’t be further from what they want- and that’s fine! However, for those of you planning a transition from event/portrait based photography into the commercial advertising world, there is a long list of connections, lingo, and experience based knowledge you need to have in addition to being at the top of your game visually.  [more]

The Best Video Combining Stills and Motion We’re Going to See All Year

It’s interesting times for those of us shooting photo and video. I enjoy highlighting photographers or videographers who are utilizing elements of both stills and motion work, and are pushing the creative envelope by integrating them so that the end result is more than just the sum of the individual parts. I’m going to go all in and lay my cards down here and say that the video in this post is going to be the most innovative, creative use of combining stills and video together that we’ll see in 2013. [more]

You Don’t Suck As Much As You Think You Do (And Neither Do These Guys)

I have a horrible habit of being really hard on myself when I hit a snag in my shooting or processing. Anytime I’m in a rut, things can go haywire. I get depressed, don’t feel like working, and become pessimistic. I know it’s the same for a lot of other shooters too.

One way I get over it is to go back and look at images from way back before I was shooting professionally. [more]

BTS – Outdoor Catalog Shoot In Jasper National Park From Lars Schneider

This behind the scenes video from Lars Schneider, would no doubt be a killer shoot to land.

The location for the outdoor catalog shoot took place in Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies last September for Ortlieb, a company that makes various bags for outdoor activities. [more]

Must-Have Tools For The Apparel Photographer

You’ve all seen these images. It’s the knob-and-hanger set up that has become the signature style for many kids retail sites such as Zulily. What you do not see, however, are all the tools that go into creating these minimalist images. The bulk of my work as a commercial photographer is with product, one of which is children’s clothing for sites like Zulily, so let me give you a sneak peek into my personal tool bag that I could not work without. [more]

The Changing Face of the Music Video and What We Can All Learn From It

The music we use in our work, whether for videos or slide shows for stills images, is an integral part of the narrative and story we are trying tell. The genre, artist and music track we choose, sets the tone for the entire story we wish to tell. I treat music as the keystone that underpins the visual story of a BTS video, commercial work, documentary piece or creative editorial shoot that I am working on.
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A Guide to Working With Modeling Agencies: Part 1

If you are into photographing people, the idea of working with professionals has probably been on the agenda at some point in your career. Whether an editorial photographer, fashion and beauty shooter, or just someone who likes creating awesome fantasy composites, the use of professional models will invariably improve your work.  So how do we go about working with these gatekeepers of the people photography industry?

I’m glad you asked!

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Behind the Scenes of a Falken Tire Ad

When Falken Tire decided they were going to run an all Honda ad on the back cover of Honda Tuning Magazine, their creative department, headed by James Yim, knew it had to make a statement. Their solution was to include a lot of cars…45 to be exact. Here’s how they did it. [more]

The Must Have Tool for Strobe Users

A few months ago, wedding photographer and Fstoppers writer, Trevor Dayley made a post about his favorite thing in his camera bag. Spoiler – it was a tilt shift lens, and the work he was able to produce with it made for some interesting and beautiful wedding and engagement photos. However, Trevor and I shoot entirely different styles, so what’s my favorite thing in my camera bag? [more]

The Client Blog: A Look into the Mind of Clients

In the past week, here on Fstoppers, we’ve been talking a lot about blogs for your business. But recently Joey L sent us over one that caught our eye called The Client Blog. It has been started by Andy Baker, Group Creative Director for the National Geographic channels. Andy has been writing, editing, producing and Creative Directing promos and print ads for the last 19 years. Andy decided to start the blog as more of a personal creative project and it’s starting to evolve into something much more. [more]

Fetch! The Right Mindset For Finding Clients

There are many factors to success in the creative industry. Of course a big chunk of it has to do with the quality of the work, but we know quality isn’t the only factor to being successful as a photographer, otherwise, there would be a lot more of us. Yet most photographers put all their efforts into developing their technical or artistic abilities and leave the entire business chunk untouched. [more]

Documentary On Fighting For Your Art In The Commercial World

Earlier this week, I stumbled upon Eskimo’s latest passion project “Wonderland”. At first, I expected a step-by-step guide to finding success with commercial work. But in fact, what I watched felt more reminiscent of a support group.  [more]

Photographer “Toys” with Centrifugal Force

If you look at Toronto-based photographer Peter Schafrick’s webpage you will quickly become aware of his special affinity towards the use of liquids in his work. In one of his most recent series – “Toys” – he uses paints, toys and centrifugal force to create spectacular images full of color and motion. Bright colors, high shutter speeds, low aperture and a shallow depth of field all contribute towards achieving these unique pieces, but the special ingredient is a custom-built contraption nicknamed “The Spinster”. [more]

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