I'm not one prone to hyperbole. I don't easily get caught up in gear hype. However, I can whole-heartedly say that my decision to purchase and shoot with a little army of film point and shoot cameras early last year was easily the best decision I made for both my personal work and my own growth as a photographer. When I say that picking up a $20 camera will change your life and your photographs, I mean it – and other photographers agree!
Shooting on a clean white backdrop can be one of the more complex in-studio lighting setups around. Properly exposing for full lengths while giving your models room to work can require four or more extra lights and considerable amount of setup time. While taking the time to take care of the details is important for getting the perfect image and saving yourself hours of retouching on the back end, sometimes you just want to get a nice clean background without the hours of prep.
Photography, for many of us, is a very personal ambition. As with any art form we pour our blood, sweat, tears, and heart into every project be it a paid or unpaid venture. Many of us put so much emphasis on the success of our creations that we are afraid to share them with the world. Many great pieces of work go unseen because of this irrational fear we hold.
One of those most important parts of any portrait sessions is what happens after the shoot is over. In the last part of this series I want to talk a bit about the end of your photo session, and how you can ensure you have a happy client that will not only come back for more but will tell their friends how awesome the experience was. Almost every day I get a call from someone asking me to advertise on Google. I simply reply “no thank you” as I don’t feel that Google can compete with word of mouth. As I have mentioned in first part of this series, word of mouth is one of the most powerful advertising weapons you have, with the ability to grow your business exponentially. This will be a bit different for everyone, but I think you can take this and apply it to any type of photography session you do.
With companies like Profoto and Elinchrom offering an increasingly broad range of self-contained strobes, Broncolor was no doubt feeling left out with its predominantly pack and head oriented lineup. That’s all changing now with the release of the new Siros strobe; a compact, wall powered, feature rich and wallet friendly flash unit.
Thunderbolt docks have always been something that I've wanted, but haven't absolutely needed. The $300-$500 price range of these little all-in-one boxes didn't spark urgency in my search for the perfect dock either. Given a little time for the excitement (and price) of Thunderbolt-related technology to die down a bit, however, the prospect began to grow more interesting. An improvement on their previous dock, CalDigit's $200 TS2 seemed to be the perfect connection dreambox at the right price. So how did reality fare against expectations?
I first came across the work of Colorado-based photographer Drew Lundquist in 2013 when he was working for the powerhouse advertising agency Elevendy. Lundquist is a composite photographer who specializes in what he labels "theatrical special effects photography." His composite work is extremely clean with an immaculate attention to detail. Everything from his compositions to his color work leaves you wanting to see more and more. Lundquist's work has been featured numerous issues of Advanced Photoshop Magazine, and his work is the cover image for the current edition of The Professional Photoshop Book. Lundquist is well on his way to becoming one of the big names in the compositing game. I highly recommend taking a few minutes to check out his work.
About a year ago, I took new portraits of my production company's crew for our company biographies. One of my video camera operators, Mike Nelson, decided to Photoshop the portrait of one of my producers Shawn Lucas. It started with dropping his face into one comedic situation, and well, it just started spiraling out of control after that. Now, the dozens of photos are trending on the front page of Reddit. Learn how the retouched series came to be and see all of the images below.
Staying motivated and feeling creative becomes a challenge at some point or another for all us. As professional photographers, we are paid to create inspired work on a daily basis. So how do we fight back when feeling unmotivated and when we are losing that creative spark? Here are five techniques for getting refocused and remotivated.
Whether you’re brand new to photography, a seasoned veteran, or somewhere in-between, learning and re-learning the ins and outs of your craft is an essential part of the continuing education that comes along with being a photographer. If you’re a professional who makes a living on taking photos, then this is even more vital. Here are the most influential authors of the past 10 years who have helped me to understand everything from light itself through setting up my own office / studio.
When taking portraits with natural light, often times, there is one key aspect that is overlooked. This facet of naturally lit photos is far more important than things like shooting at a specific time of day. Before diving into what makes a naturally lit photo a spectacular one, it is important to know and understand the difference between artificial lighting and using natural light.
Who hasn’t contemplated the idea of living a simpler life? I know that I certainly have, pondering from time to time what my life would look with smaller bills and rent. What would my art be like if I could downsize just a bit? Could I ever dare? People everywhere are beginning to realize that they have become slaves to their own lifestyles. The need to be better and bigger than the next guy has taken over our lives, and had compromised our ability to live an authentic life.
I will start this article off by saying that I am not a pet photographer. I am a portrait photographer that typically captures humans for magazines and ads. However, a couple years ago I started a pit bull charity (Not A Bully) and it unexpectedly led me to some jobs photographing rescue animals. If you're reading this, you already know that capturing animal portraits is a unique challenge in itself. I've done some of the difficult leg work for you and put together a list of tips to hopefully make your next in-studio pet portrait session much easier.
This month I posted an article asking how you would build a new photo kit from the ground up with only a thousand bucks. The responses were all awesome (if you haven't left one yourself be sure to check it out, I'd love to hear from you), but they had one thing in common: everyone bought used gear. Buying used equipment can be awesome, but unless you're in an area with a nice local camera shop, you're stuck ordering online. While eBay and Amazon were traditionally the go-to sites for picking up used equipment, recently a lot of photographers have turned to buy-and-sell groups on Facebook.