In the fall of 2010, I decided to shoot my dream assignment. I knew that no one was going to pay me to go out and tackle this subject matter, and I had not seen any photographer do what I wanted to do, so I did it. At the time, I had no idea what the assignment would turn in to or how it would change me as a photographer and a person. Here is what I learned from photographing 35 College Football Tailgates.
7 years of shooting Automotive Editorial Photography has taught me to streamline as much as possible. One area I've simplified to fit my needs is my lighting kit. I used to rent gear wherever I could, but after you use your own gear long enough you almost develop a relationship with it and now I definitely prefer to use my own lights.
I'm not sure when it happened, but sometime in the last couple weeks my website received one simple update that filled in the single complaint I had with the design: it made right clicking to save my images to your desktop a thing of the past. I received no notice and ran into this update by mistake, but I might be happier with my service more now than ever.
Yesterday, I showed you the process of pre-producing a successful photoshoot and used a recent session as an example on all the steps it takes to put together a successful session with a large team. Today, I put together a breakdown of the entire production and post production process on creating a successful portrait session and a behind the scenes look into what all goes into it.
Crazy thought, but not everything that makes a photographer's life better is camera-related. To be good at what we do, we have to unwind. We must find ways to relax. Sounds easy, right? Not so much, as it turns out. I've been looking for something to help me unwind while on the road, and I think I just found it.
Automotive Editorial Photography will teach you many things. Mostly though, it'll teach you how to make something out of nothing and how to operate quickly and efficiently. I can't tell you how many times I've shown up to shoot a car only to be told it can't be moved from where it sits. It's those situations that will really test your mettle as a photographer and I've actually grown to love those challenges. One challenge from last year that I really enjoyed was a RIDES Magazine cover that would require fitting and lighting 10 cars. Here's how I did it.
Chilling to the bone, Joshua Hoffine's children horror series is one that will keep haunting you even with the lights on. He uses his own daughters as the terrified dreamers in the images, and the results have definitely caught the attention of many people, going viral recently. We get to know the man behind the maniacal machinations and how he captures these childhood fears.
The photography industry is so drastically different today than it was just ten years ago that if you’re going to survive, you absolutely have to be dynamic and ready to adapt to the things quickly. You have to find your niche and go for it full force or risk failure. Hasselblad is doing this with their form-over-function Lunar and Stellar. Yet I’m left thinking… Hasselblad, I’m not certain you thought this latest set of moves through. I’m not certain you know what’s happening to your brand. I’m not certain this is where you need to be.
When scooping other sources, being the first is king. Everyone knows that and the race is constantly moving faster and faster to do so.
There has been some buzz around companies like CrowdMedia, Scoopshot, Rawporter and Blotter whose sole purpose is to get imagery out to major news outlets that have been scraped off of Twitter and Instagram.
It’s very easy to get used to the option of being able to “spray and pray” – shoot a nearly obscene amount of photographs and hope for a few that meander over the line to above average. I know I can be guilty of this sometimes – modern shutters are both a benefit and a crutch. So I issued myself a challenge: go out and shoot without looking.
In case you missed it, Google recently rolled out a pretty big change to their Gmail system: tabs. The new layout comes standard with a few, but you can also add your own. One of the standard options is the “Promotions” tab which, as you can imagine, is quite good at catching and segmenting marketing emails. This is great for users, but scary for marketers, especially given the data MailChimp just released.
There are times when I find myself shooting the same stuff or using the same lighting setup over and over again. Repetition helps to improve and fine-tune my skills, but sometimes it just feels boring and degrading, let alone useless for my portfolio.
But as much as I dislike feeling stuck and repeating myself, I now realize how such times in fact help me to become a better artist and shooter. It's usually the desire to entertain myself and experiment that leads me to new personal artistic discoveries. It's when I'm bored and want to "spice it up", I start searching for new lighting ideas, tricks and techniques.
In what is another phenomenal documentary from the BBC program Imagine..., we are given the chance to view the world and lives of iconic photographer William Klein as he is preparing for a retrospective of his work. Klein is one of the pioneers of street photography (more raw, up-close and personal than Henri Cartier-Bresson) as well as the creator of some of the most iconic fashion images of the 20th century. He is an artist and a filmmaker - making over 20 films, including the first ever documentary of Muhammad Ali.
I have had the privilege of traveling all over the world as a photographer and love shooting photos of locals. They always light up seeing the images of themselves. However, I realized that while they loved seeing the images on the back of my camera, I was missing something important. Many of these people, especially those in third world countries, don't even have a single printed image of themselves. I found a way to change all that.