Russell Jamesis perhaps my favorite photographer of all time. His images of sexy women never look cliche, and basically everything about his photographs are brilliant. But few people probably know what steps Russell took in becoming one of the world’s most successful photographers. Check out this behind the scenes video as Russell photographs the 2011 Victoria’s Secret Christmas campaign and dives into his history of becoming a photographer. I love how much attention goes into making the models comfortable and creating a connection with them. If it wasn’t for Peter Hurley teaching me otherwise, I would have completely gawked at Russell’s lighting and production. In reality, what makes every one of Russell’s images stand out is his subject’s connection with the reader. Hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did.
A few weeks ago we posted a video by Nick Fancher that became a huge hit. Nick showed us what it was like to shoot for an online clothing store that required over 10 unique looks shot and edited every day. I was hoping that Nick would create another video for our Behind The Scenes Contest which ends on December 31st and lucky for us he did. With a camera and a few on camera flashes, Nick creates some fantastic shots.
It’s pretty rare that a solid behind the scenes video comes from a super high end photoshoot. Usually they aren’t full of much photography insight and instead focus on the model. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get inspired and learn something from the best of the best. In this video supermodel Irina Shayk and makeup artist Baltasar Gonzalez Pinel talk about their recent cover shoot for Elle Magazine Spain which involves a lot of body beads. In the second video below, you can see how a simple hard light with some reflectors can produce a super high end fashion result. Check out Santiago Esteban’s website for some amazing fashion images.
Some of my favorite behind the scenes videos we’ve featured on Fstoppers are of Matthew Jordan Smith. He speaks well and always articulates his lighting and setups in a way that both amateurs and pros can understand. In this video Matthew talks about exposing for a high key background, metering your subject’s face for dramatic studio light, and balancing ambient backlight with a studio keylight. I’ll be honest and say that I’ve never used a Sekonic Light Meter but I can see how useful they can be for more advanced studio lighting. I think Matthew might be the only professional I know of shooting on a Sony DSLR! I guess it goes to show that your camera brand makes little difference in producing great images. Check out more of Matthew’s tutorials here.
Nick Fancher is the lifestyle photographer for the website JackThreads.com. JackThreads is constantly receiving large shipments of totally different types of apparel that need to be shot as quickly as possible. Nick takes us through a normal day of shooting that may involve multiple, totally different looking photoshoots. This is a fantastic example of how a poorly filmed video can still become a killer BTSV with some simple voice over information. The bottom line is that Nick uses the absolute smallest amount of gear to come up with fantastic images in an extremely short amount of time. I’m hoping that Nick has something big planned for our Behind The Scenes Contest.
Things have been pretty quiet in terms of video submissions for our big 2011 BTS Contest and I know that everyone is planning to have theirs done last minute. Let me give you a little advice, DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. As submissions are posted on the forum we will be posting our favorites on Fstoppers. If you submit your video with the masses the very last day, it will not get the attention it deserves. In this submission Dave Gruentzel (who is a still photographer) decided to film a his buddy Cory Albrechtson’s new fashion concept. Cory was inspired by a simple fabric print and from that came this whole shoot. Check out the full post to see the final image.
Taking your creativity to the next level can make all the difference between typical photographs and artistic photographs. Orb Outerwear just released their new Fall 2011 fashion designs and they included a fun behind the scenes video to go along with it. So many photographers already have a pretty solid understanding of lighting to produce great photos. What they lack is artistic vision to do something different and unique. Everyone who reads this blog can easily create a small team of set designers, hair stylists, makeup artists, and clothing stylists to produce studio quality catalog profiles. Try putting something like this together for your entry into the Behind The Scenes Contest we are running. Unfortunately I could not find out who the photographer was so if you know the talent responsible for these please reply in the comments. Click the full post to see a stop motion video of some of the final images (the snow shoot doesn’t appear to have been published yet).
I’m sure many of you have heard the saying “overcast skies make for amazing photos”. While it’s true that soft overcast light is usually more flattering on people’s faces, it can also make your photos super boring and even gloomy. So what can you do with your bag of tricks to spice up a photo session during cold, rainy, or overcast days? Damien Lovegrove explains how you can use a “dingle” (or more commonly a Cookie) to bring some pseudo-sunlight into your portraits . This clip is from Damien’s Speedlight Mastery DVD and he does a great job explaining this super useful technique that can be applied to many of your own shoots at almost zero cost. Next time you see those interesting shadow patterns while thumping through your girlfriend’s fashion magazines you can imagine the dingle that created them!
The team over at [Framed] has created another great BTSV, this time with underwater fashion photographer Mallory Morrison. Mallory, a dancer for 23 years, uses her history in the field to help direct her models under the water. I’ve attempted underwater photography like this before, and it is so much harder than it looks. Check out the video below to see a master at work.
Remember the Lytro Camera that made it’s viral rounds a few weeks ago? The camera that lets you focus after you take the photo has finally showed its head. Photographer Eric Chen has apparently been given a prototype of the miracle camera to test and put through the ringer. Shockingly enough, Eric did not use the camera at all for macro or multi-layered compositions that would best suit the Lytro. Instead he went into the streets of New York to shot fashion shots of super model Coco Rocha with little more than a reflector for lighting. I’ll have to admit I wasn’t too impressed with the image quality from this camera even with Eric giving his best efforts. What do you guys think; is this “focus after you take a photo” technology from Lytro ever going to live up to its promise? Either way, be sure to check out Eric’s portfolio and and hit the full post to see the final Lytro images with variable focus points.
Markus Klinko is a famous celebrity fashion photographer that you’ve probably seen on Bravo’s Double Exposure television show or the countless high end fashion magazines featuring his covers and spreads. Together with his photographic partner Indrani, the duo have produced some of the most iconic celebrity photographs of the last 15-20 years. What you might not know about Markus is that he shoots on a collection of Mamiya RZ and DM cameras and digital backs and uses Leaf and Capture One by Phase One software. What makes his Mamiya cameras so unique though is his custom made ivory mammoth tusk pistol grip which combines the prehistoric era with the modern era all in one camera. For a more serious look at Markus’s camera, hit the full post for video number two.
Recently LeBron James was photographed for GQ Magazine. The video below is really just a promotion for that magazine but if you keep a sharp eye, there is some really good information to be learned. The lighting for most of the shots appears to be pretty simple; a single light above the camera. The size of the light changes from shot to shot from a huge parabolic reflector to a simple bare bulb held by an assistant.
A few weeks ago we posted a video by SLR Lounge that we called “The New iPhone Fashion Shoot.” In that video a reflector was used to light a model and the results were fantastic. In the video below Pye takes us through a few of the ways that you can use a reflector to get similar results.
For the last three years or so, Scarlett Johansson has been the face behind the acclaimed Spanish clothing company Mango. In their latest Spring/Summer 2011 campaign, set in the Goldstein Residence in Beverly Hills, photographer superstar Mario Sorrenti builds his images exclusively with natural light and reflectors. It’s hard to imagine a wet haired Johansson ever not looking incredible, so it should not come as a surprise that Mario and company produced some stunning images. Hopefully these photographs will encourage a lot of photographers to step away from the strobes every now and then and work with the best light given to us: the sun!
Fellow Fstoppers reader Alex Masters sent me an interesting video featuring fashion photographer Koto Bolofo. In this behind the scenes video for German Vogue, Koto is collaborating with fashion stylist Christiane Arp to create images that have both a circus influence and also an early photography feel. It’s refreshing to hear Koto talk about how a shoot of this nature comes together, and how having an initial guideline can lay the groundwork for improvisation and spontaneity. I think the final photos capture the mood everyone was going for on this shoot and model Elena Sudakova helped bring the circus performer element with her crazy flexibility.