I have seen absolutely beautiful things happen in the photo industry. I've seen strangers become best friends, I've seen grand ideas being brought to life, and I've seen photographers grow from beginners to mentors. I've seen so many things that make me proud to be a part of such an amazing community. The sad news is that I've also seen the uglier side of it. I've seen jealousy turn into bad-mouthing, I've seen photographers knowingly leave out key techniques from classes or talks, and I've seen new photographers become discouraged and disheartened by the cold shoulders of the more popular photographers in the industry.
We’ve all been there, stuck with bad light and fresh out of ideas. I may spend up to an hour pre-lighting before a model or subject steps onto set, I work out the kinks and make sure everything is how it should be. But, despite my best efforts to make it right, every now and then I run out of time and have to wing it. We all have our “go to” lighting scenarios, but when you’re standing in unknown territory, keep the following tips in mind and you just might make it through the storm.
At the end of the day, a photographer's work takes just seconds to capture your attention. Usually, it is very obvious why you like a photographer's work, and other times, it is a bit of a mystery to you. This was the case when I first experienced photographer Cary Fagan's work recently. The fact is, based on what I like, what I shoot, and what I tend to gravitate to, I shouldn't like his work. But, I do.
How would it feel to photograph Will Ferrell or Seth Rogen? How would you ever get to be able to shoot clients like these? How do you marry technical capability and develop your own style to deliver something unique? What if you could learn from someone doing this sort of work day in day out? Well, now you can, in this exclusive interview with Emily Shur.
I get asked day in an day out; "What is that big black box on the front of your lens?" Well, it's a matte box that mounts glass filters in front of your lens... the LEE Filters System. In attempt to cover the question I recieve so often, I wanted to address it all and explain the system, but my friend and fantastic photographer Dave Kai Piper beat me to the punch! So, instead of writing my own article on the matter, I thought it best to simply share his article...
Ever since Benjamin Von Wong took a leap of faith and left his successful career as a engineer to persue his artistic passions, he has kept a legion of die hard fans enchanted by his ability to turn the ordinary into epic. Whether it be organizing complicated pyrotechnics, photographing surreal scenes of ultraviolet models, or chaining models to a shipwreck 25 meters below the surface in Bali, Benjamin has never been interested in being ordinary. In his insanely creative mind, his thought process of "If it's not epic, than what's the point?" has led to some of the most memorable photoshoots in the last several years.
If there is one medium that has been subject to the most censorship in society for well over a century, it's photography. Further, if there is one medium that has been responsible for the most heated debates about censorship, it's photography. For the most part, photographers decry and loathe censorship, whether it's because they capture nude figures, or create images with fictionalized depictions of violence, or perhaps - arguably the most important - they capture vital, photojournalistic visuals of the world around us which, let's face it, it's sometimes just plain scary. But consider this: Mainstream censorshop is not only necessary in photography, but it helps photography overall. No, really.
Throughout my career so far I have failed over and over again. Although it’s the successes that I'm remembered and known for, it’s the failures that are always the catalyst. At the end of the day, the key to success lies in failure. This improvisational beauty shoot was only a success because I set myself up to fail.
Annie Leibovitz has been pretty busy lately. Fstoppers recently posted her work as part of the "Live Who You Are" campaign for The Corcoran Group; the BTS video for it can be found here. In this campaign for Moncler, Annie pulls out all the stops - acrobats on ladders, backseat canoodling and even a hiker in the form of a Hindu deity (although to be fair, he could also be Buddhist or Jain). In any case, she brings her personal touch to the images.
British photographer Jason Bell is probably one of the most accomplished photographers in the world. By age 45 Jason shot some of the biggest names in the entertainment world (Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie), many film posters (Billy Elliot, Bridget Jones) and some very intimate family portraits of the Royal Family and Prince George. And he did it with style. Not many photographers get to shoot 'personal' work/projects with high-caliber names, but he's one that proves us all it is possible.
Did you know there was a beard and moustache growing challenge besides the MOVEMBER movement? Until today I had no clue! And after seeing some of these images, i'm suffering from Beard-Envy! Direct from The Beard Team USA website: "It’s time to start growing! The 2014 Just for Men World Beard and Moustache Championships® are invading Portland, Oregon on Saturday, October 25. Inside the spectacular, 3,000-seat Keller Auditorium in downtown Portland, hundreds of the world’s best “beardsmen” will put the art of facial hair on display in the most entertaining and creative competition to hit the Northwest."
For many, it's a coffee table staple to browse and shop with, or simply to gawk at. To several photographers I know, it is eagerly awaiting the latest Victoria's Secret catalog so they can scour the images for inspiration. If you ask most glamour or boudoir focused photographers what they cite the most as their image making inspiration, the Victoria's Secret catalog comes up just as often Playboy, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and even Sue Bryce. And for good reason; it is generally very well done, and tasteful.
With a saturated market for photographers, there are so many pitfalls a photographer can plunge into that can prevent them from being successful. Taking a step back to analyzing yourself and your business can be the first step to improve and guarantee chances of success for the future. Here are a number of things to look out for, these things can be what is preventing you from reaching your potential.
Chantelle Brown-Young was teased in school, often called "zebra" or "cow" becuase of her skin condition, vitiligo. However, things began to change when a Toronto photographer encouraged her to model at 16. Her alter-ego-named Instagram (@winnieharlow) became an outlet for her modeling photos and soon enough, Tyra Banks contacted her to become a part of America's Next Top Model (ANTM).