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.
I'm a big admirer of Lindsay Adler and her work, and I spoke to her recently regarding her most valuable career mistake. As you can imagine, my ears pricked up when I heard Lindsay was doing a walkthrough of how she conducts a fashion shoot from preparation all the way through to post-production.
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.