As a photographer, my skill set is constantly put to the test. In most cases, I’m handed an idea on a slab of wood and the mission is to hand that idea translated to a tangible artifact back to my client on a silver platter. It’s never an easy process, but it’s a part of my job.
Building a quality portfolio can be an expensive endeavor, especially if you don't budget and carefully consider your costs. Putting together professional quality shoots on a budget can be challenging. After experiencing some of the wide variations in cost for things like models, makeup artists, and the other essential pieces of a shoot, I wanted share my experiences and lessons learned the hard way.
With a combination of intimate portraits and urban landscapes, French photographer Lucile Chombart de Lauwe captures a snapshot of Mongolia in transition for her beautiful series “Foyers (Urbains) Mongols,” which documents the move of rural populations into large cities.
U.K. commercial photographer Karl Taylor takes us behind the scenes on a rather exciting and unique photo shoot where the goal is to create an animal portrait of a hawk during flight. There are so many variables to this concept that even with a trained bird of prey, Taylor still ran into a little bit of trouble at the beginning of the shoot.
Côte d’Ivoire-based photographer Joana Choumali documents the disappearing practice of scarification in a series of powerful portraits entitled “Hââbré, The Last Generation.” Illustrating “the complexity of African society today,” Choumali’s work is both compassionate and evocative.
It is never too late to start a senior model program. In fact, now is the best time of the year to define your program and select your models. Every market is different, but most of us slow down in the winter months. We have photographed the bulk of the senior class in the fall, however there will be a few spring senior's sessions that book right before graduation. This is the time to prepare for the next class. Jen Basford with 3 girls photography and Seniors Ignite joins us for another article highlighting how to plan your senior model program and at what times to execute your marketing for the new year.
It's amazing how adding just a little bit of shadows can drastically improve the depth of your photographs. Contouring faces is a little trick that can take a few minutes to do, but ultimately increases the overall image quality. I'm going to show you how to use the adjustment brush tool in Lightroom to act similar to the dodging tool in Photoshop, and then the key areas to brush for properly contouring a face.
When I was new to portrait lighting, I used to blast everything with light with reckless abandon. Although, as I grew as a photographer, I learned that the ability to control the spread of light on a multi-strobe shoot allowed you to not only create something with a more sophisticated appearance, but tell a better story. One of the most affordable ways to accomplish this is with the use of grids. The Slanted Lens put together a great video tutorial on understanding grids. Read below to learn more.
The ultimate wish to look young forever sneaks into all of our minds at one point or another. This hysterical portrait series by California-based photographer Zachary Scott illustrates how seamlessly this concept can be portrayed in a fun way. From a "Geriatric Gerber Baby" to an "Old Baby Farmer" the portraits are just flawless in execution and they set a great example of how to create the perfect story portrait.
When people walk through my living room studio, they are puzzled that I do not own or rent a permanent studio space. What many do not know is that when I’m contracted for a commercial assignment, about 80% of the time I must travel to a location or shot at the client’s home base. And, in many cases that requires transporting several 9 foot seamless backdrops and a whole lot of equipment. I don’t have a giant bus to haul all of my studio gear, so it’s been a trying experience to find the right tools to efficiently pack and tote my mobile studio.
Getting your clients comfortable in front of a camera is always a challenge. I still get a little nervous before a shoot so I can imagine what my clients must feel like. In part one of this series, we talked about the importance of the pre-shoot consultation and how it can start you off on a good path toward a successful headshot or portrait session. In this article, I want to talk about ways we can address skin issues with our clients, how to deal with makeup, when to use a makeup artist, and discuss the basics of getting clients comfortable and focused in front of the camera.
The last time I talked with Alexis, he was just trying out a technique of shooting two different lighting setups with the press of a button (be sure to check that article out for details on how the SpeedCycler feature of the Pocket Wizard MultiMax works).This time around, he managed to pull off five different looks (three at one time) – nabbing himself six pages and the cover of the World Cup preview issue of Sports Illustrated. His behind the-scenes-video gives a ton of insight into how he pulled this off, but I asked him to go even further than the video or what he already explained at his blog and explain the "whys" of it all.
A new year and a clean state; last year’s resolution was to take wedding photography "back to basics" and capture images that truly matter to couples and their families. At the end of this year, I had the opportunity to look back on the moments of 2014; a new emotional set of images that are imperfect perfection.