Portraits

If You’re Going to Work for Free, Make it Count

If You’re Going to Work for Free, Make it Count

The debate whether to work for free is an old one. It’s also one that I don’t care to get into. However, for most of us, there comes a time when we do shoot something without payment, whether it be because we’re testing lighting, doing pro bono work, or we just aren’t very good at asking for what we’re worth. But what do we do with the images after the shoot?

Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial Part 3: Basic Skin Retouching

Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial Part 3: Basic Skin Retouching

In Part 3 of the Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we will finally get into the first main step of the skin retouching process. Basic skin retouching involves addressing subtle skin and texture issues on our portrait images. We will not only look at techniques for skin retouching in Photoshop, but also discuss the theory behind our decision process during the retouching process. I will also show optional techniques for those looking for quicker or alternative options during their portrait or beauty retouching. In case you missed it, during Part 1 of the tutorial we went over the lighting and shooting of our image and in Part 2 we looked at the "pre-editing" process.

Peter Coulson and I Discuss the Potentially Illegal Sale of His Photo by Richard Prince

Peter Coulson and I Discuss the Potentially Illegal Sale of His Photo by Richard Prince

It's never a bad day, or more often evening, when I get to Skype with Peter Coulson, an artist I am proud to say is my friend, from his place in Melbourne, Australia. However, our most recent Skype discussion was totally hinged around the controversy surrounding Richard Prince's appropriation and subsequent sale of prints featuring Instagram screenshots of photos by other photographers. One of these photos, in fact, was shot by Coulson. I asked him about it, and we chatted.

Annie Leibovitz Photographs Caitlyn Jenner for the July Cover of Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz Photographs Caitlyn Jenner for the July Cover of Vanity Fair

In his physical prime, Bruce Jenner and his Olympic success made him a household name. With the start of his step-daughters' show, "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," Jenner's name became familiar to a much younger audience. Today, however, we can begin our goodbyes to the Olympic legend and welcome Caitlyn Jenner, who will be introduced to the world within Vanity Fair's coming issue (due June 9) with the front cover tagline, "Call me Caitlyn."

Photographer Sid Ceasar Talks About Creative Inspiration

Photographer Sid Ceasar Talks About Creative Inspiration

Zach Arias has a new educational site called DEDPXL where him and a group of his friends write on their experiences, struggles, and successes. Commercial Photographer Sid Ceasar is among those writers. A few months ago he produced a video appearing as Sid "The Muppet" Ceasar and talks about inspiration, getting out and making new work, and why surrounding yourself with creative people is so important.

Model Testing with the Broncolor Siros Monolight

Model Testing with the Broncolor Siros Monolight

A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to shoot with the Broncolor Siros Monolights for the first time. Until now, my light of choice has been the Profoto D1. I, like many of you, have seen reviews on Broncolor's new monolight, and like many of you as well, have been a bit skeptical about their delve into competing with Profoto's D1 and B1 Series for the high-end monolight market. The Siros is available in two models, a 400W/s monolight and an 800W/s monolight, and for this shoot I used five Siros 800s. In this article I will give you my complete lighting setup, gear list, a retouching preview, and complete review of my experience with the Siros Monolight and BronControl app.

Getting the Most out of a Photoshoot's First Look

Getting the Most out of a Photoshoot's First Look

Whenever you work with someone new, whether it’s a member of your crew or a client, there is often that initial hesitation that comes with working with someone untested. There is a question of personalities clashing, of their skill, their expectations, and how they’ll handle direction or feedback. The sooner you are able to ramp up production and start capturing photographs, the better. Here are some best practices for making the most of the first look, and setting a great tone for your next photoshoot.

Simple Pure White Background Setup for Beauty Portraiture

Simple Pure White Background Setup for Beauty Portraiture

Beauty photography is something that I have become drawn to over time. Setting a mood, imagining a makeup style, and finding or even creating props to fill the frame with my model’s face is something I came to love more than anything else. In any genre of photography, I feel like it is important to develop a style that is recognizable. May that be retouching, posing, lighting, or something else, if people can tell you took the picture it means you have developed a signature style. For my beauty work I wanted to create a signature lighting setup that would be easy to recreate wherever I would go, no matter the condition or the place the shoot would take place in. Here is how I created it and how you can recreate it as well to make it your own.

5 Ways to Improve Your Engagement Photography

5 Ways to Improve Your Engagement Photography

If you're a wedding photographer, chances are couples are also asking if you do engagement photos. The answer to this should be “absolutely!” So you’d better get good at them quick, because well-executed engagement sessions will lead to more work. But before you think about weddings, spend some time and find your style shooting couples. Here are five simple ways to improve your engagement photography.

My Experience Shooting Cinematic Headshots Indoors

My Experience Shooting Cinematic Headshots Indoors

Recently I went to New York City to do a week of headshots. As many of you know, part of my cinematic style involves shooting outdoors, but flying from Los Angeles to New York City to put this on meant I couldn’t rely on the weather. Figuring out how to translate the look and feel of my style indoors was the only way to make it a success. As I’ve had many questions about how to make this look happen inside for those that can’t always be outside, I decided to share my own experience with you.

Photographing Dan Gable for Sports Illustrated

Photographing Dan Gable for Sports Illustrated

Last spring, I got a dream call from one of the photo editors at Sports Illustrated to photograph the legendary Dan Gable, a wrestler from Iowa, and one of the most winning athletes of all time. From winning gold in Munich during the 1972 Olympics, to having coached other U.S. teams to gold after, this guy oozes excellence and passion in everything he does. I’m not one to be intimidated by people because of their status in life, but people who work as hard as he does definitely stand out to me.

Pre-Edit Your Photos For Better Final Results

Pre-Edit Your Photos For Better Final Results

We are all guilty, or have been guilty, of slamming out edits right after a shoot, only to realize we don't like what we've done when we see it the next morning. As any artist can attest to, the morning after can be a sobering, if not disquieting, time for you when you recognize that your hasty post work is simply no good. Can you avoid this blunder? Yep, with a self-imposed doctrine of pre-editing your most important of project images instead of knocking out flawed or misguided finals in haste.

Dramatic Beauty Tutorial Part 2: Preparing Your Image for Retouching Using Lightroom and Camera Raw

Dramatic Beauty Tutorial Part 2: Preparing Your Image for Retouching Using Lightroom and Camera Raw

In Part 1 of our Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial , we looked at the lighting setup, gear breakdown, and shooting of our dramatic beauty shoot. In Part 2 of the tutorial we will now look at two different ways of exporting and preparing your image for retouching. The first method involves creating versions in Lightroom and exporting directly to Photoshop. The other method utilizes Adobe Camera Raw and the ability to make variations within Photoshop. I will also discuss the overall goal of our pre-edit stage.

Bokeh and Portraits: Why I Just Don't Care

Bokeh and Portraits: Why I Just Don't Care

Pull up almost any lens review these days and one of the primary attributes people are judging is the oh-so-important bokeh. Purchases are made and lenses are brought back all because of the how a lens does or doesn't measure up in the bokeh department. Well I’m here to tell you, at least for portraiture, it’s just plain overrated.

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