Portraits

Up the Ambient, Create Beautiful Portraits by Mimicking Daylight

Up the Ambient, Create Beautiful Portraits by Mimicking Daylight

When I first picked up a DSLR and got a taste of artificial lighting, I loved shooting in darkness. I felt like I could control light a lot easier without having to fight the ambiance of a location or sun. Using an array of speedlights, I would light the location and subject how I wanted. Sometimes, that included putting speedlights in lamps or mounting them in the background. Eventually, that style took a sharp 180 degree turn, now I love using natural light in my favor to create a dramatic portrait.

Can The 'Selfie' Redefine Beauty?

Can The 'Selfie' Redefine Beauty?

Just couple of months ago 'Selfie' was chosen as the word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary. Now that pretty much everyone have a camera in their pocket, taking self portraits is easier than ever. It seems like everyone are doing it, and you can see it all over social media. The thing is - because the subject controls everything about the creation of the image - from posing to angle of shooting, it's easy for them to hide things they don't like. In this beautiful short film, Dove shows girls how including their insecurities in their selfies can change their opinions about their own beauty.

Commercial Photography: Recipe For Success

Commercial Photography: Recipe For Success

My photographer-friend from Moscow Aleksey Dovgulya is visiting me in Los Angeles right now. We went to the same high school, but only met in 2008 after I got into photography. While I was studying in Australia Aleksey built an impressive list of commercial clients in Russia. In the past few years he has photographed for major brands such as Rolls-Royce, Renault, BMW, Schwartzkopf & Henkel, Benetton, Vogue, Christian Louboutin, and the list goes on and on.

Dale Earnhardt Jr Nascar Photoshoot by Douglas Sonders

Dale Earnhardt Jr Nascar Photoshoot by Douglas Sonders

About 9 years ago, I was a tour photographer for the rock band 3 Doors Down and I had the chance to attend my first Nascar race (from the infield no less!) As a car guy, it was a great chance to watch all of the action from the front row. Never did I imagine in my wildest dreams that I would be getting a call from the National Guard nearly 10 years later to do the official 2014 photoshoot of one of my favorite drivers and his new car, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Ingenious Camera Work Allows Photographer To "Time Travel" In Self Portrait Series

Ingenious Camera Work Allows Photographer To "Time Travel" In Self Portrait Series

I’m always intrigued by those photographers who shoot self portraits, particularly when they bring something new to the mix. Chino Otsuka used her camera and some skillful Photoshop work to not only carry out a self portrait series, but to transport herself back in time, into photographs featuring her younger self - sometimes from almost three decades in to her past. The results are both thought provoking and mesmerizing.

Selfie Olympics: Let The Games Begin!

Selfie Olympics: Let The Games Begin!

The "Selfie", love it or hate it, had a pretty great year. Within a decade the term has gone from drunk forum ramblings to being accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary as of November 2013. Scrabble players rejoice! This meteoric rise to fame for the simple word has garnered the attention of celebrities and it has even spawned customized cappuccino machines that turn your morning cup of joe into a literal cup of Joe...or Frank...or Bobby.

How To Sharpen Eyes In Your Portraits To Make Them Pop

How To Sharpen Eyes In Your Portraits To Make Them Pop

When looking at portraits, we have a tendency to look at the eyes first. We can't help it, it's part of human nature. This is why I personally believe it is extremely important to capture and refine the eyes in your photos to create more engaging portraits. Retoucher Michael Woloszynowicz created an awesome 4 part video series about how to make your eyes look amazing in post production. See the rest of the post below to watch video parts 2 through 4.

Celebrating The Life Of 'LIFE' Photographer John Dominis

Celebrating The Life Of 'LIFE' Photographer John Dominis

Last week John Dominis, one of the most prolific photographers for LIFE Magazine, passed away aged 92. His work was celebrated not just for the strength of his image making, but because of the sheer breadth of what he shot. Today, when we're told to "focus and specialize" let’s take a moment to look back and remember one of the most consistent and diverse photographers of the 20th Century.

Martin Schoeller Discusses His Work for National Geographic Live!

Martin Schoeller Discusses His Work for National Geographic Live!

Martin Schoeller is undoubtedly one of the premiere portrait photographers in the world. In this episode of National Geographic Live! Schoeller talks about shooting for National Geographic (including the images found in the most recent issue) as well as several of his other projects. Shooting for the magazine took him to Tanzania where he shot his signature style of portraits as well as some epically beautiful environmental pictures.

Secrets to Crafting Top-Quality Beauty Portraits: Posing & Framing

Secrets to Crafting Top-Quality Beauty Portraits: Posing & Framing

This is yet another article of the Secrets to Crafting Top-Quality Beauty Portraits series. If you haven't read the first three, you can find them here: on compositing, on shooting Beauty portraits on location and in studio.

Today I would like to talk about framing, posing and directing your models when shooting Beauty portraits. While lighting and compositing are very important parts of creating a striking image, the model's pose, facial expression and her body language can make or break it.

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