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.
For years, I enjoyed cinematography and photography as almost non-overlapping magisteria. I was fully aware that they played by many of the same rules, but I didn't entertain the idea of extracting elements of cinematography and inserting them into my images until much later.
Have you ever gone out to a restaurant and seen a chef slaving away in the back for hour after hour, producing one delicious dish after another, and asked yourself, “Do they even enjoy cooking once they get home?” Well the answer to that is “Yes!” and photographer Ben Sassani takes viewers behind the scenes (and refrigerator doors) of some of the top chefs around with his personal project Shoot My Chef.
Just like writing a good story, in photography, the setting is a character that shares equal weight with your main subject. It’s the relationship between those two elements that sells and tells the story. This is why at Cooper & O’Hara we start the planning of every shoot with a question: what is the setting going to be, and how does it tell the story?
"I can't take a shot like that. My camera isn't good enough. Oh sure, you can talk all you want, but you have thousands of dollars in expensive equipment! Yeah, I know it's the photographer, not the camera, but let's get real: my beginner gear can't do that!" Excuses, excuses, excuses. A lot of people, especially those just starting out, use their lack of pro gear as a tether, holding them back from getting the shots they are capable of. Here are some reasons to push past your budget concerns and make the most of what you have.
As an entertainment and tour photographer, Susannah Brittany primarily shoot stills and video shots for some of the world’s top pop and country music artists. This basically involves shooting all day long: while they are doing media interviews or meet and greets, of/during travel on the bus, behind the scenes content of the artists getting ready or in-between shows, and then of course, while they are performing. Her work ends up being used used for new media distribution, including YouTube, social media, and sizzle reels.
Any seasoned filmmaker or photographer will tell you that it’s not the size of your camera, sensor, or lens that matters, but how you use it (or craft your supporting elements like lighting, composition, etc.). But what I’ve come to realize is that size does matter– because impressing a client on set is just as important as impressing them with the final product.
I think it’s probably a fair assumption to make, that at some point during your photographic journey, you’re going to purchase a piece of photographic equipment. With today's World Wide Web, that can be as easy as a few clicks and a wistful look at your decreasing bank account, but I’m here to make the case for your local, “brick and mortar,” camera store. Well maybe not all of them.
For years I’ve heard people saying, and probably have said myself, that if you chase your dreams, find your passion, and only do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. But do you really have to? Should you? This video provides an interesting counterpoint to that concept.
From Vogue to People, including Playboy and National Geographic, all these popular magazines are familiar to us and instantly recognizable, but just a few of us know what their first editions looked like decades ago. As time passed by, bringing forth new faces, new fashion, and a whole new way of thinking, magazines needed to evolve with their time and adapt. Some have stayed faithful to their initial visual identity, having only undergone minor changes because they knew what worked for them. On the other hand, other magazines covers have changed drastically, their covers being a far cry from the original design.
When traveling (flying, to be specific) for a photo or video job, there’s a lot more planning and logistics that go into being prepared for not only the job, but living out of a suitcase, sometimes without the support of people available to help you. I’ve put together a checklist of things that I often need to consider when traveling for a gig.
One of the most exhilarating aspects of environmental portraiture, especially when out on assignment, is that you never quite know what your shooting environment is going to look like. If I had a nickel for every time I walked into an awesome location, only to be quickly shuttled off to a closet-like space to do my work... Well, I'd be able to buy a sandwich. But a really nice sandwich. Here are some tips that may save your sanity while trying to compose an interesting portrait in a postage stamp sized room.
Every year, The Knot compiles statistics from thousands of weddings in their annual Real Weddings Study, and we get to learn all sorts of things about the ins and outs of what makes up a wedding in America. While there's plenty of interesting statistics, such as how 83% of couples used a smartphone in planning their wedding, the marquee stat is cost, and for the past five years that number has crept onwards and upwards to a brand new record that's just insane when you compare it to the average wedding in Europe.