The Breakdown: How Photographer Alexis Cuarezma Shot This Cinematic Image

Have you ever wondered what went into creating the most iconic images? In this insightful breakdown, see how photographer Alexis Cuarezma shot one of his favorite images. 

In this informative ten-minute video, released by San Francisco-based commercial photographer  Alexis Cuarezma, he takes you behind the scenes of how how he created this moody and cinematic image of boxer Juan Funez at the Ten Goose Boxing Gym. In this episode, Cuazerma recounts that the athlete was not feeling well, and his entire pre-production had to be changed in the blink of an eye. He explains that as professional photographers, we always have to adapt to the situation and walk away with great images every time.

In this image, see the settings and lighting that he used.

By the time I finished the video, I didn't even feel like ten minutes had past. The way he explains his process is so easy to watch. I left feeling inspired to go out and create better images and developed a deeper understanding of what it takes to consistently make great images. 

This video is part of a ten-part series Cuarezma is releasing over the next few months, called "Breaking Down The Vision." In this series, he dives deep into the details of his most iconic shots, and breaks down his lighting choices, camera settings, and the stories behind them.

You can see the rest of the series on his YouTube channel and be on the look out for his new episode coming out on January second. 

Log in or register to post comments

24 Comments

gabe s's picture

We get it, he was sick.

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

Yep! And still walked out with amazing images and showed the audience every step of the way! That's a great video in my book

Daniel Medley's picture

Great video.

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

For sure! Lucky to have found this series! It's epic! So hooked

Alexis Cuarezma's picture

appreciate it Daniel Medley , glad you liked it

Mr Hogwallop's picture

Is cinematic the same as theatrical?

Alexis Cuarezma's picture

hmm... never heard of theatrical images. I guess you can say it's the same as cinematic images? Cheers!

Motti Bembaron's picture

I am really surprised this guy has only 3.1k subscribers, he should have way more than that. Great and clear explanations and fun to watch.

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

Right? It's insane! The way he communicates and explains thing is so easy to watch and always walk away inspired. His work is amazing too. Looking out for his new videos soon! I'll be posting them here too

Alexis Cuarezma's picture

Motti Bembaron , uploading more & more to YouTube so hopefully, that should help. Also so thankful to Eli Dreyfuss for sharing it here and hopefully it can spread more so more eyeballs go to these videos. Cheers!

user-216690's picture

Thanks for posting this :)

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

Of course! Glad you found some value in it!

Alexis Cuarezma's picture

glad you liked it Deleted User , cheers!

user-216690's picture

Very much so, Alexis. Your passion and ability shines through. I've subscribed to your channel :)

Alexis Cuarezma's picture

welcome!! :) appreciate it so much!

Bruce Allen's picture

Im still confused how the left side of the photo was blue.

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

I believe he set his white balance to a cooler side to bring blue ambient into the scene. Then, to illuminate the blue from the right half, he put his CTO gel on with the grid.

Alexis Cuarezma's picture

Hi Bruce Allen , thanks for the comment. I'm not sure how familiar you are with strobes and color temp, I start explaining everything about the color and light at 4min 30sec mark. To summarize, strobes are daylight balanced which is 5500Kelvin in temp. I set the white balance in my camera to 2700Kelving, which renders it blue. And as Eli Dreyfuss stated, the other strobe was gelled to look warm. The image is 100% lit by strobes. Hope that helps, cheers!

David T's picture

It's nifty trick, I feel like it's easier to gel the smaller light sources instead of the big/fill ones.

Bruce Allen's picture

That made alot more sense. I never paid attention to Kelvin Temp as a creative variable. Thanks for opening up my mind!

Alexis Cuarezma's picture

happy to help, cheers!