David Bailey is a master of portrait photography. His four month gallery exhibition “Stardust” just closed in London. It took 3 years of planning to put it together, and looked at his 50+ years as a photographer and artist. I got to see it before it closed, but if you didn’t get a chance to go, don’t worry – here are five things that I think made Bailey the success we celebrate today, and what we can learn from him.
Posing your subjects can be one of the most challenging tasks you have to face on shoot-day. If the person in front of your camera is not a supermodel who knows all the tricks, chances are you'll have to direct and pose that person (or people) in order to get pleasing images that make them look at their best. If you're in the business of photographing people, you should clear your schedule and watch this 2-hour B&H class as soon as possible.
When someone tells a photographer that “their camera must be really good,” chances are the photographer will respond with an eye roll. The debate surrounding gear verses skill in the photography world is a tired albeit consistent discussion. Let’s not kid ourselves, gear does in fact matter. However, does a photographer need top of the line equipment to produce mind-blowing images? Take a look at this collection and decide for yourself.
When you think of conceptual, high-fashion photo shoots, you imagine big budgets. Turns out, couture shoot concepts don’t have to cost more than $100. Professional photographer Amanda Diaz is demonstrating how to do just that right now during her CreativeLive class aimed to help photographers concept, style, and capture stunning images on a true DIY budget.
There is one thing that constantly keeps cropping up in both my own work, and in the work of others I see around me. I've worked with more and more photographers and videographers lately who just shoot with a single zoom for most of what they do. So many people I see seem to be producing strong work with one decent zoom. This post asks a very simple question that keeps bouncing around in my head. "Just how many lenses do we actually need?".
The music business is a brutal, cutthroat, dog-eat-dog world and I lived it for nearly 10 years. Since the age of 16, I struggled as a touring musician, surviving off nothing but cold Spaghettios and sleeping in a decade-old 8-passenger van. I was fortunate enough to explore the nation and see things that most will never see, but by the time I left the business I was completely burnt out.
I've had some pretty amazing experiences in my life. Fstoppers.com has given me incredible opportunities like meeting Bon Jovi, or riding in the first Lamborghini Aventador in America. Our international workshop last week took a year of planning and insane amounts of stress. On top of it all, I had the flu during the entire week. Even still, last week was the most rewarding week of my life.
It was something I’d been thinking about for a while. Casually admiring others and how they went about it so naturally. Watching from afar, admiring the differences between them and me and wondering if there every was going to be a day when I was comfortable enough to do it myself. The more I watched, the more interested I became. Soon, I began visiting websites, looking at the photos and day dreaming what it would be like when I had the nerve to do it myself.
Over the past couple years we've all seen Benjamin Von Wong rise to the occasion time and time again with shoot after epic shoot. This time is no different, when he heads back underwater (this time in the untamed wild ocean of Bali) to attempt a shoot surrounded by a coral-covered shipwreck. In Von Wong's words, "everything is more complicated underwater."
The whole idea of what a camera strap should look like and how it should perform changed when the MoneyMaker hit the scene just a few years back. Gone were the days of tactical black nylon. A new era of stylish form and function began when Tulsa, Oklahoma based wedding photographer turned entrepreneur Matthew Swaggart founded HoldFast – a luxury line of leather camera gear and accessories.
It all started with a conversation between filmmaker Justin Gustavision and I this past Friday. Justin works for Nadus Films who just released a brilliant award-winning documentary “BBoy For Life” which shows how break dancing has provided teenagers a way out of Guatemalan gang life. The film has been picked up by Starz and Discovery Channel, yet their social media presence could be considered dry, when it should be arousing a well-deserved tornado of hype.
Former Fstoppers writer and Columbus, Ohio based portrait and fashion photographer, Nick Fancher has recently been working on a series he calls Studio Anywhere in which he photographs models in their own homes. Nick's an avid strobist; meticulously lighting every shoot with a small army of speed lights. He has kindly agreed to give us a sneak peek into his lighting setups from two images in the series.
When I met Laura Grier at WPPI this year, she showcased her latest editorial fashion shoot with a behind the scenes video. It isn't everyday you get a backstage look at the work and creativity that goes into this type of photo-shoot. Not only are the photos incredible, but the designs and creations showcased on the models are one of a kind. Truly an inspiring piece.
When each of us picks up our camera, whether it be for the first time or the ten-thousandth time, our finished work is a product of everything which has inspired us. Everything we've seen, everything we've done, everything we've learned and grown from can be seen in our work in at least some small part. That's why, I believe, it's important to not only look back at our work on a regular basis with an eye critical to how technically proficient we've become, but to look back at our work from an influence-based standpoint to see how much of ourselves we can find into our work.