"It's a vulnerable thing being photographed," says the photographer sitting across from me, "It's not abnormal for me to sit and chat with people for 20 minutes before I photograph them. I'm timing myself; I am watching for a look in their eye... Once I see it, I know we are ready to start photographing." Sitting down in Michael Schacht's studio, nestled in the heart of Chicago's meatpacking district, I have come to realize he is all about human connection.
Fstoppers is happy to announce the next round of Critique the Community. We invite everyone to submit your best editorial and fashion images to be critiqued by Clay Cook. Please follow the guidelines for submissions below to ensure eligibility for your image to be chosen. We will be accepting submissions through Friday night, November 18 and will be offering feedback to a total of 20 pictures.
A couple of years ago I was tasked with getting a shot of grape stomping for a local food magazine, Edible Ozarkansas, who were doing a story on the history of local wine production in Arkansas. Right away, images of Lucy and Ethel of "I Love Lucy" stomping grapes in the giant barrel came scrolling through my mind. Challenge accepted.
From a personal experience I've found that the more mature the person is, the more honest the portraits are being captured. These people have seen it all, especially celebrities. They are not camera shy. It's a privilege to work with such subjects. You can't have a bad photograph of them, yet you need to make history by capturing an iconic photo of that person. In this behind-the-scenes video, Celebrity Photographer Mark Seliger captures portraits of legendary singer Tony Bennett on his 90th birthday.
As an aspiring photographer, it eventually becomes obvious that likes on Facebook or comments such as “Beautiful work Kiddo!” from your mother aren’t exactly providing an objective evaluation of your talent. Constructive feedback from others in your field is something that everyone can benefit from at times, even as a professional. The problem is, most of us don’t take criticism very well especially when it comes to something we’ve poured our heart into and may actually love on a personal level.
Homelessness is something most of us encounter on a daily or weekly basis, but few of us have ever had to personally experience the hardship of being homeless. Many of us probably probably don't realize that today, October 10th, is World Homeless Day; a day started in 2010 which is observed by every major continent and dozens of countries. Its goal is to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally, and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness.
We've all done it. We find a location for our subject, place them, set up a light pointing down at 45 degrees, check the light power, and start shooting. When shooting an environmental portrait, there's a lot to worry about. From interacting with your subject to hauling equipment and making sure makeup and wardrobe are on point, it's easy to fall back on our go-to lighting setups. As an exercise, though, let's concentrate on ancillary lighting first and see how it can drive the narrative of our shot.
Whenever I am working with models on a shoot, I always have their best interests at heart. You may say I care too much about my models, but I am alright with that. No one badmouths a caring photographer. I have seen firsthand how some models are treated badly on set and it saddens me to see how bad attitude from photographers can ruin the photographer-model relationship and also lead to bad photos. Knowing how to build a relationship upon meeting your model and engaging in a photoshoot with the latter is a must and I asked a couple of models for advice to write this article.
When I first started photography at 15 years old, I didn’t know anything about organizing a team. I would bribe my younger sister into being my model for the afternoon, pulling clothing from her wardrobe and doing the makeup (really badly) myself. I was worlds away from the average fashion photography set, which typically involves a team of agency represented models, a professional make up artist, hair stylist, set designer, wardrobe stylist, and assistants. This is how I conducted my photoshoots for years, and after a while I realized that I needed to expand.
Earlier this year Fstoppers teamed up with Miami-based swimwear photographer Joey Wright to produce a full blown tutorial on all things related to swimwear photography. All in all, Joey's tutorial Swimwear Photography - Lighting, Posing, and Retouching is 8 hours of on-location photography and 12 hours of Joey's full postproduction workflow. Today we are releasing a short 50 minute excerpt from the tutorial as well as the included raw file so you can follow along at home.
15 years after the tragic day, Time Magazine published a video from their "Behind the Photo" series about "The Falling Man,” captured by well-known Associated Press Photographer Richard Drew. Apart from the published images of 9/11 attacks, this photo made viewers feel the despair and horror in an unusual way.
Style is one of the most important aspects of fashion photography. Having a consistent portfolio of images that reflects who you are and your creative vision is really important when it comes to clients viewing your work. Many fashion photographers, including myself, have struggled with making their work stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips from what I have learned about finding your style and visual voice as a photographer.
It’s always a nice treat to come across some images that make you grin. Not in a “haha” way, but rather with the satisfaction that maybe you’ve figured something out. You’ve seen past the initial satire and have found the stabbing, subtle cultural commentary that the artist wants you to see. Los Angeles-based photographer Qingjian Meng’s series “Gold Rush” does just that. There is a certain sad whimsy in his carefully crafted images of 19th century characters posing thoughtfully amongst the glow of iPads and mini drones that leaves you smiling and searching for deeper meaning.