Mike Schreiber is not your average photographer. The renowned hip hop photog shoots natural light, has never assisted, and doesn’t give a crap about your fancy digital camera. This badass photographer has shot for Vibe, Spin, Atlantic Records, The Source, XXL, and URB, and his portfolio is filled with incredible images of Erkyah Badu, John Legend, Mos Def, Diddy, MIA, and Nas. Not enough? Schreiber recently released his first book, True Hip Hop.
I knew it was going to be a good interview when hip hop photographer Mike Schreiber’s e-mail signed off with the words “Find food. Mate. Don’t get eaten.” Check out our interview, where Schreiber talks about getting the shot, getting to the top, and keeping it real in the digital age.
Meet Jeff Harris, photographer, who in 1999 decided to start a personal project of taking a self portrait every day, and continues doing it even today. He wanted to make it different than most of the 365 projects, and make it more like a documentary. “I didn’t want 365 images of me sitting on the couch each day,” Jeff recently told TIME.com, “There could have been that tendency, especially during the cold dark winter months to stay inside all the time, but this project inspired me to get out there and seek out interesting things”.
There is a twist in the story, which makes it even more interesting and inspiring so I recommend watching the whole video and not skip or stop in the middle. Do you know anyone who’s doing this kind of a project? share it with us on the bottom.
The Fstoppers 2011 BTS Contest is now closed and we are going through every single video 1 by 1 to choose our favorites that will make it to the next round. In the next round our panel of celebrity judges will narrow the lot down to the top 3 winners. At this point we still have not seen every video but if you would like to look through them yourself, you can see them all here on our forum.
I just ran across this really interesting video by Loren Byerstein and Syx Langemann that involved shooting a nude model with a projected pattern. Not only do they show you how they did it but they have actually released the software to make your own patterns easily. If you want to give something like this a try on your own, you can download the software here.
Peter Hurley is pretty well known among the Fstoppers crowd but after the release of his highly anticipated DVD, The Art Behind The Headshot, Peter has become an inspiration to hundreds of photographers around the world. If you’ve purchased his 4 hour training session on how to take the perfect headshot then you know just how powerful his teaching techniques can be for your career. But what you might not know is Peter has created an interactive community on Facebook for those of you who want even more instruction!
If you’ve already purchased The Art Behind The Headshot, you need to join The Artists Behind The Headshot Facebook Group. Not only can you post your own photos and have Peter critique them directly but you can also talk business with other photographers who have purchased Peter’s digital tutorial or attended his Headshot Intensive. I just got off a private conference call with Peter and his guest speaker Delane Rouse (who photographed over 800 lawyers in 2011!) It was really amazing to have over 25 photographers logged on and sharing business tips on exactly how they are making money in their local communities. These extra help sessions are only available to those who are members of the private Facebook group so join now! The information shared tonight was worth it’s weight in gold, and it’s inspiring to hear how people are turning their photo hobbies into full blown careers!
One of the biggest rewards of our 2011 Behind The Scenes Contest is we finally get to meet our readers and see what they enjoy shooting. Meet Kevin Kozicki; he is a great fashion photographer based out of sunny Los Angeles. In his contest entry, Kevin wanted to use poinsettia leaves in some sort of beauty themed image while not going in the typical Christmas/Holiday route. The images Kevin produced are outstanding and his lighting is perfect for this type of project. I do wish Kevin would have explained his lighting a bit more but it’s also nice to hear photographers talk about the overall production ideas because they are equally as important and often overlooked. If you have any questions for Kevin, leave them in the comments below and click the full post to see a few of the final images.
If you are like me, then you might have jumped straight into studio lighting without paying much attention to manipulating natural light. If that is the case, now is a great time to play around with reflectors outside especially since the sun is lower on the horizon this time of year. Jay P Morgan heads to the ultimate graveyard with the lovely Liz Hernandez to show just how effective reflectors can be in place of strobes.
Jay is using a few of the Photoflex 5 in 1 Reflectors in various sizes to manipulate not only the size of the reflected light but also the color. Unlike when using strobes, when using a reflector you really need to pay attention to where the sun is shining so you can maximize the amount of fill light bouncing back into your subject (backlighting your subject is a good starting point). The other major selling point of using a reflector over a strobe not mentioned in this video is your ability to shoot wide open at 1.4 or 2.8 for shallow depth of field. Unless you are using something like the Pocket Wizard Flex System, strobing outside is usually going to force you into the > f8 category which destroys the wide open aperture look. Hope this helps those who haven’t used reflectors as much and good luck shooting!
I’ve always been a huge fan of Annie Leibovitz’s work. I hear she’s one of the hardest photographers to work for – as it probably should be. She can make even Lady Gaga, Queen of Eccentric, look elegant for Vanity Fair’s January 2012 issue. While this video doesn’t explain much about her lighting technique or how she achieved each photograph, watching Annie behind the scenes is always a treat. Most of her lighting situations in this video are very simple using only a Photek Umbrella and a diffusion cloth attached to it. [more]
With just under three weeks left until the deadline of our 2011 Behind The Scenes Contest, our readers are really hitting it into high gear by turning in some awesome videos! Some of the ideas you guys come up with are really clever and a refreshing alternative to the boring “glamorized music videos” we receive daily. Wedding photographer Jaroslav Repta (based out of Bratislave, Slovakia) recently filmed an entire wedding from the perspective of his camera by mounting a GoPro Hero on his DSLR. Having started off as a wedding photographer myself, I found it really interesting to watch some of the conditions Jaroslav had to work in, and how his creative eye made the most of every situation. Weddings are tough with harsh sunlight one second and low light action the next, but Jaroslav shows how he (and tons of other fstoppers) work quick to find an interesting image. Love or hate weddings, I think everyone will get a kick out of seeing the hustle and bustle required at every wedding.
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.
The videos keep coming in for our 2011 Fstoppers Behind The Scenes Contest as we enter the final month of submissions. Most photographers use either strobe, fluorescent, or incandescent light to mold and sculpt their subjects. German photographer Julius Ise went a completely different route and used UV blacklights along with some gelled lights for separation to produce extremely vivid images. The shoot has an overall tribal theme and I really think the blacklight look brings something to the overall vibe. I’d say this is one of my top 5 submissions so far but Julius will have to impress our judges. What do you guys think? Leave Julius your thoughts below in the comments. Also check out Julius Ise’s full portfolio because it’s pretty awesome as well.
Most people know Joe McNally for his photojournalism or his editorial work. Others know him as the author of some of the best photography books on lighting. But Joe “numnuts” McNally is also one heck of an advertising photographer too. Recently Joe photographed the Anti-Gravity Dancers in an ad campaign for Epson’s new R3000 printers. By using huge Octobanks and powerful gridded rim lights, McNally and his team were able to create some dramatic portraits of the dancers flipping and soaring above the New York City skyline. Click the full post to see the final image and a BTS lighting setup and head over to Joe McNally’s Blog to view a ton of images throughout the day. This shoot looks like a ton of fun and has my wheels turning a bit!
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.
A week ago today, a friend of mine introduced me to environmental art photographer Jack Gescheidt. Minutes after talking with Jack about his Tree Spirit Project I knew I had to share his work with the Fstoppers community. Jack’s photographs are unlike anything I’ve ever seen; yet even while they appear rather innocent, they still somehow strike up a bit of controversy. In a nutshell, the Tree Spirit Project is as much about bringing attention to ecological injustice as much as it is about evoking an almost spiritual experience for Jack and those posing in the photographs (yes he has posed in his own images). By allowing both groups and individuals to pose naked on and around trees that are involved in political and ecological debate, Jack has not only found a way to create amazing art but also unite communities together who value their natural surroundings. Recently Jack was in Charleston, South Carolina where he caused a huge media frenzy as he posed more than a dozen people naked around the Angel Oak (claimed to be the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi). Check out Jack Gescheidt’s story below and click the full post to see a few images of his work. NOTE: while Jack’s work doesn’t always contain full frontal nudity, it still might be Not Safe For Work. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did and click here for many more photos of Jack’s amazing work.
There are just less than 7 weeks left to submit your behind the scenes contest video. Submissions are starting to come in and it’s amazing what our readers are doing through their photography. As the video submissions come in we are going to feature the standouts here on the front of Fstoppers. In Zach Hetrick‘s behind the scenes video, he shows how he created commercial sports portraits of The Hoosiers’s track and field team. Zach takes some time at the beginning to talk a bit about the lighting setup he used and shows how you can give your group shots a punch with some nice light thanks to a few Alien Bee monoblocks. Leave your comments below if you have any questions about this shoot or simply want to give some friendly support to Zach. You can check out all the entries on the BTS Contest Forum Thread, and remember to get your submissions in early so we can share your work on the front of the site.
After almost a year of work we have finally finished Peter Hurley: The Art Behind The Headshot. We created this to be a double DVD tutorial and we may eventually still make a physical copy but for now we have decided to begin with a digital download. I would like to thank each one of you that supported us by pre-ordering this video and I am so sorry it took so long to produce. Patrick and I filmed and edited this and it was far more complicated than we ever imagined. Creating this video has been the hardest project I have ever worked on but at the same time one of the most rewarding.
During the 5 days of filming this video Peter completely opened my eyes to a new way of shooting people. Peter helped me look past the technical side of the camera and the lighting to see the emotion and feeling that each of his clients were producing in each image. When his clients weren’t producing compelling images, Peter knew exactly how to coach them into creating that perfect “look.” This experience has changed my photography more profoundly than any other experience in my life and I hope that everyone who watches this video will feel the same way.
Fstoppers is full of new and free information every single day including the first video we did with Peter over a year ago. This video was created with the professional photographer in mind and it costs $300 for a digital download of the 4 hour video. We know that many of our readers are photography hobbyists and if you don’t shoot professionally you may not see the value in this download and that is fine. Please realize that this is a tool and a piece of education that will help (some) professionals take their business to the next level. If you don’t see the value in it, please do not buy it and enjoy all of the other free material on our site. If you do decide to buy this video, I would like to thank you so much for supporting this venture and Fstoppers.com. Never in a million years would I have thought we (two wedding photographers from South Carolina) could have created a 4 hour tutorial of this complexity. I know we will never make enough money from DVD sales to make up for the time spent producing it (for some reason we thought it would only take a few weeks to edit) but I hope that this video will impact the photographers who watch it in a huge way.