A little over a year ago I had the opportunity to do my very first celebrity photo shoot with Grammy Award-winner Fatman Scoop at my studio in New Jersey. He had posted on Instagram that he was looking for photographers and videographers to collaborate with. Thinking I had nothing to lose I submitted a brief email expressing my interest and directing him to my website to review my work and to reply back if he liked my work. To my surprise, I received a response a couple of days later asking to schedule a date to shoot!
Tokyo is one of my favorite cities and I lived there for many years. While the crazy volume of traffic and crowds can be overwhelming at times, it's always an inspiring and surprising place to explore with a camera. So, where should you go if you only have a few days or less to shoot this incredible city? Here are a few of my favorite locations to visit with a camera, and the stories of some of the photos I have taken there.
Many photographers have that one muse who inspires creative projects, knows exactly what the direction is, and is always the perfect collaboration. One artist found his own muse in himself when he set forth on a project to capture every stage of emotion of his own work. Creating composites from film, this artist brought a new light on the emotional range that photographers face everyday.
A while back, while on a shoot for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art here in Northwest Arkansas, I was asked to get a shot of the museum’s executive chef and the Director of Culinary for their members magazine. Time was short, the kitchen was starting to prep for dinner service, and every second I was there I was inconveniencing someone. I had to get in and out quickly and create a dynamic image in the process. Here’s how it happened.
The best creative projects will leave a permanent impact on someone, whether that's the photographer, subject, or viewer. The best projects will move the world. Renowned sex and relationship expert Layla Martin set out to help women feel more comfortable in their own skin by showing them and their partners pictures of their genitalia, and the results are remarkably powerful and moving.
"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.