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.
Yesterday was the 2014 MET Gala which is one of the most important fashion events of the year. This $25,000 a plate charitable event draws some of the most prolific and legendary names in the fashion industry so it is not surprising to hear that fashion photographer Mario Testino would be present at the event. This year he was not just in attendance, however, he was also the event's photographer!
I always tether. Whether it's for a client or fashion editorial, the CamRanger has played a very important role in capturing rock solid images. But, before the wonderful technology of wireless tethering came into the picture, I always tethered to a workstation. However, that came with the annoyance of a long tether cable dangling off your camera. I always felt the sense of being trapped or held back from moving freely, I was always concerned and it was always a distraction.
About four years ago - or about a month or so after I picked up a camera and decided I was a photographer - I thought it would be in my best interest to start up a Facebook Fan Page (as they were called back then). I assumed that because a few friends were liking the random collection of photos that I was posting to my personal Facebook page, strangers - and eventually clients - would find my Fan Page, like it, and then money and fame would come rolling in.
Although it would seem like common sense, proper motivation is key toward not only getting things done, but getting things done well. This is true in any creative field and this is especially true, it seems, in the over-saturated everybody-with-a-camera-is-a-photographer world we live in.
I’m a bit of a dreamer. I’m also a huge aviation geek, and I often catch myself browsing the web at 2am looking up articles on aviation and aviation history. So when I found Anthony Toth and learned more about his life’s work, I knew that I had my next personal photography project in mind. As I'm mostly an architectural photographer, I got bored of waiting around for an airline to hire me to photograph their next ad campaign, so I decided to hire myself into my dream gig.