It all started with a conversation between filmmaker Justin Gustavision and I this past Friday. Justin works for Nadus Films who just released a brilliant award-winning documentary “BBoy For Life” which shows how break dancing has provided teenagers a way out of Guatemalan gang life. The film has been picked up by Starz and Discovery Channel, yet their social media presence could be considered dry, when it should be arousing a well-deserved tornado of hype.
You might someday find yourself working within the overall vision of someone else – like an editor, an art director or, in this case, a director of photography – when shooting on assignment for publications as big as Sports Illustrated. Limited time with your subject and being asked for simple lighting against a simple background isn’t uncommon in this industry. So how would you go about getting the type of photographs your employer wants plus creating a dramatically lit and colored set for yourself?
What does nostalgia for broken things say about us? Over the last year or so, we’ve undoubtedly seen an exponential increase of the intentional “glitch” used in visual arts. The glitch – defined as a short-term fault in a system – has gained tremendous popularity as a visual style. My theory is that a person’s predilection toward a preference for random events can be explained as both a desire for nostalgia and perhaps even a loss of control – and that very act of self-awareness can aid in becoming a better thinker and artist.
“Make me look skinnier” is one of the more frequent requests I get from my clients. Although those kinds of requests are usually accompanied by some laughter as more of a joke than anything, there is some bashful truth there that we, as photographers, need to be aware of. Of course, you have probably heard the old adage “the camera adds ten pounds,” but do you know why and how to combat it?
A few weeks ago I released a video featuring my friend and fellow photographer Blair Bunting in the backseat of an F16. The video blew up on Reddit (#1 in r/Videos making it to the top 5 of the front page), was featured on Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Daily Mail, Telegraph, CNN, ABC World News with Dianne Sawyer, hundreds of other blogs and even was officially recognized by YouTube. But for reasons still unexplained to me, it has been removed from YouTube and there is nothing I can do about it.
During an initial meeting with local publication NFocus Magazine, the Editor-In-Chief asked for a unique aesthetic on Louisville's theater and arts community and wanted a massive group shot, but not your traditional group shot. I threw out the idea to shoot actors and their "characters" from directly overhead on a theater floor, as if they were action figures laid out and organized. Two seconds after I uttered the idea, I realized I had no clue how I would pull it all off.
When you’re backed by the likes of Silicon Valley superstars like Youtube co-founder Jawed Karim, Y-Combinator, and a half-dozen or so other techie entrepreneurs, you know you’ve got something good. That something good is Lumoid, which rents photo gear at unheard-of prices, especially when you add in a few perks...
David Talley is a photographer from Los Angeles who recently had the one experience no photographer ever wants to have happen: all of his gear was stolen. Fstoppers, together with InMyBag.net, are helping David recount what happened, tell the story of how he internalized the emotions and explain how he plans to move forward after the tools he uses to make his living were taken from him.
When I met Laura Grier at WPPI this year, she showcased her latest editorial fashion shoot with a behind the scenes video. It isn't everyday you get a backstage look at the work and creativity that goes into this type of photo-shoot. Not only are the photos incredible, but the designs and creations showcased on the models are one of a kind. Truly an inspiring piece.
When each of us picks up our camera, whether it be for the first time or the ten-thousandth time, our finished work is a product of everything which has inspired us. Everything we've seen, everything we've done, everything we've learned and grown from can be seen in our work in at least some small part. That's why, I believe, it's important to not only look back at our work on a regular basis with an eye critical to how technically proficient we've become, but to look back at our work from an influence-based standpoint to see how much of ourselves we can find into our work.
If you've been a long time reader of Fstoppers, you might recall one of my original editorial pieces: How China Changed the American Lighting Industry. At the time of its publication, I had just come off a recent spell of a few years at an American photographic lighting company and got to see first hand how American greed led to a Chinese takeover of the industry. In the years following that article, the problem hasn't gotten any better. If anything, it's gotten far worse, and to the detriment of you as a consumer.
Anyone who reads Fstoppers knows about Peter Hurley and his successful headshot business. Aside from being a great photographer, Peter is also a respected educator and speaker. We always see him in action in the different videos, and see his working techniques and creative direction, but we never really had the chance to hear the story of how he became the successful photographer he is today. Check out this very interesting video where Peter talks about how he went from being on the Olympic team, to being a headshot photographer.
There is a major problem in the photography industry, and it's the photographers fault. Photographers spend countless hours in the right side of their brain taking photos, then more sleepless nights bringing those images to life in post. They agonize over the processing, feedback from peers, and then publish the images for the world to consume. Sadly 97% of these photographers aren't copyrighting these images making them much more attractive to steal. We need your help to fix this, Adobe.
One of the keys to running a successful photography business is to be constantly innovating and searching for the best ways to serve your clients. A month ago I made the decision to use Pixieset for my client galleries. Here are my Top 10 reasons why I feel it is a good choice for all professional photographers.
Photographer Sam Hurd is sharing yet another one of his artistic photography techniques with his followers. He mastered The Brenizer Method, he basically had all of Amazon on backorder for Prisming, he ripped the lens mount right off his 50mm for Freelensing, and then he did some convex Lens Chimping. This time around, Sam attached an old anamorphic movie lens to his 85mm in order to shoot a very cinematic wide field of view. Take a look at how it works!