As a self-taught photographer, I’m an advocate of learning through doing. I didn’t study it, but I can imagine that reading all the Photography 101 books that are available still wouldn't prepare you for actually being on a set, with a model standing in front of you, and a team awaiting your creative direction. In my journey, experience has meant everything. Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the years that may help when shooting your own portraits.
Have you ever had aspirations to shoot for the movie industry? To travel to some of the most notable cities in the world? To rock the streets of New York City, Shanghai, Detroit, LA, London, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Paris? Well I hate to burst your bubble (actually I kind of get off on it) but chances are you're going to end up in my new hood, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Fan of the TV show “Doctor Who” and the Beatles? Well then, last week was your week indeed. The cast and crew decided to recreate the legendary 1969 “Abbey Road” album cover along with two prop Dalek cyborg aliens (always thought they were robots, but upon further fact-checking, they are in fact cyborg aliens). The actual road itself is in a busy portion of London, so you will feel completely under the gun if you attempt to do any shoot there while completely blocking it, which is why they took less than a minute to do it. Read below to see the lightning fast behind-the-scenes video.
John Free, for those that don't know, is considered one of the great street photographers of our time. His ability to capture the human spirit in a split second is uncanny. Here is a 10 minute video of a private lesson that was given to Ted Forbes of The Art Of Photography. It is full of helpful advice and inspirational lines for photographers of any genre.
Photography as an art form is all about creating something unique and original. Photographers will travel around the world and trek mile after mile to capture that secluded hidden waterfall or that secret cliff that overlooks a valley. Then they post their amazing image to the internet and now every other photographer wants to shoot that location. One by one, photographers seek out these locations in an effort to put their own artistic spin on the area. Eventually thousands of images are captured of a single location, some of them good and some of them bad, but at what point is the location no longer worth shooting?
Night photography is something that every budding photographer will play around with at some point in their learning process. It’s a great way to get star-filled nighttime landscapes or to capture the light-painting shots in which you write in the air with sparklers. Most people don’t associate night photography with wedding photography, though, which is a shame, because it can be a good way to capture some non-traditional wedding images. These nonyraditional wedding images can help you stand out in the sea of wedding photographers and can help you book more weddings.
Whether it’s high noon, sunset or the magic hour it’s hard to beat photographs taken under the natural light of the sun. But how do you contend with the myriad of conditions it produces? Easy. You watch this video by RocketJump Film School as director of photography Jon Salmon walks you through most of the lighting scenarios you might encounter outside. There are even some helpful DIY tips on modifiers thrown in.
Every year Crankworx holds a Mountain bike event in Whistler, Canada that is a combination of downhill, slope-style and enduro competitions. They also host the Deep Summer Photo Challenge, where they put six photographers head to head, with the challenge to build a slide show that showcases mountain bike culture within Whistler. Watch this behind the scenes from Laurence Crossman Emms, as he explains the thought process behind his slide show that later becomes the viewers’ favorite.
In case you missed it, ‘Rocket Wars’ is a five minute film that has changed the game. It's breaking new ground and heralds in a beautiful new era in filmmaking. 150,000+ views and a Vimeo ‘Staff Pick’ are pretty amazing, but what’s ground breaking isn’t that the film is just a beautiful cacophony of visual and aural eye and ear candy. What’s fascinating is the fertile new ground it thrusts us headlong in to, and how it engages us. How did the filmmakers pull this off – and importantly – what can we learn from them to apply to our own projects?
Erik Almas, one of the best commercial composite photographers, has recently teamed up with the team at RGG EDU to create a fully comprehensive tutorial on his complete shooting and retouching process. In this video Almas takes us through an hour-long tutorial, retouching and completing the backplate for one of his tutorial images. I'm always impressed when photographers and retouchers, especially those at the top of our industry, open the doors and reveal their entire process and Almas has done no less here.
Here in 2015, everyone and their grandmother has a smartphone with a camera. Subsequently, almost every interesting second of life on Earth is, for the most part, captured digitally on said devices, or so it would seem. Every now and then, it takes more than dumb luck to catch a one-in-a-million snap of something seldom seen close up. In the case of professional stormchaser Hank Schyma, this lightning strike near downtown Houston was a project 20 years in the making.
Over the course of a wedding day, you can shoot in countless locations with varying difficulties. Most of the time, the locations will be places you have never been before. If you ask around online for advice, you will probably be told to scout out your locations days or even weeks in advance. You may be advised to know which location you are going to shoot each image in and that you should build a list so you don't forget. When I first started shooting weddings, I would scout locations and build the shot lists; however, the more I would shoot, the more I would realize that this process was actually making things more difficult for me. That’s why I prefer to go into a wedding day with no idea what I’m doing.
Mary Ellen Mark, famed photographer, passed away very recently. It's only fitting that her final project center around rebirth, a term that is synonymous with city – my home – New Orleans. I found these images on CNN.com tailored beautifully with quotes that elegantly express the story that Mary Ellen Mark's images tell. Every image tells a story both literally and figuratively, there is a story included with many of the works that provides insight from those who are themselves players in the tales.