One of my favorite little quips to drop on my workshop attendees is "Did you know that models are, as it turns out, human?", which usually just yields a few chuckles. But the truth is, that is just my lead in and my way of sarcastically reminding model photographers that fashion and glamour models have opinions, preferences, and emotions as much as anyone else. Which is sadly something that seems to be overlooked in the often callus industries of fashion and glamour. To that end, I invited some Texas based pro models to sit down with Staci and I discuss the industry.
Recently, during my annual trek to Las Vegas for WPPI (wherein I arrive in the city of sin and proceed to actively avoid going to the actual expo because I book too many other things), I found myself in the deserts outside of Vegas with a Sony A7RII, a few bits of glorious Zeiss glass, no modifiers or lighting of any kind, and Renee Robyn as my model. Welp, guess it was time to see what Sony's dynamic range claims were truly about then.
Late last year, Playboy magazine announced that starting this month, March 2016, the publication would no longer - simply enough - feature nudity. This announcement was immediately received as shocking, welcomed, amazing, derided or just plain hated, depending on who you asked. Curious as to the impetus behind the format change, I asked Jarmo Pohjaniemi about it when we spoke recently, and have since heard from another Playboy master lensist, Ales Bravnicar, about the matter. Bravnicar and I also discussed his phenomenal career and his upcoming retrospective in an upcoming international Playboy edition.
My high school enemy is my new best friend. I'm talking about a glorious thing called "tests." In the photo world, a test is a shoot set up for the sake of portfolio-building, experimentation, fun, or all of the above. It's not a paid shoot, but these suckers pay off big time. A test shoot is when you book a model (we'll talk about how) to shoot a concept that you put together. As I'm writing this, I actually have my journal open on my desk in mid-plan for a test that I'll be shooting later this month. Let's talk about a few reasons why testing is so important, how to find models, reach out to agencies, and what you need to do once your model is booked. Dig in!
Just like ever camera owner is a photographer, every person who owns an abundance of MAC products is a makeup artist. At least that is how it seems on Instagram these days. There are now more makeup artists on social media than ever, and finding the right ones to follow can be tricky. Following the best makeup artists can make a portrait photographer better. If you follow them closely, you can step up your game.
Jianmin Huang is a fashion and street photographer born in village in China. He can now be found chasing moments throughout the streets of Amsterdam, which has earned him the nickname of Jimmy on the Run. In this seven minute video portrait, we learn how he got his start, what his aspiration as a photographer are, and about his struggles to earn the respect of his family.
Black and white photography may well be the ultimate classical expression of the art form, after all it is how photography started. It's still a continually popular aesthetic, even now well into the digital age. However, black and white images, in my opinion, should be simply more than the removal of color. Thankfully many thousands of photographers and designers agree with that, and the usage of black and white conversion methods and approaches is prevalent in the post production world.
For an instant, she stares blankly out into the distance as she would for any photograph. But almost immediately, she takes notice. You're there. She turns her head, looks over, and then slowly turns back, looking down at her outstretched legs. Her eyes move slowly, looking down, as her chin lifts her gaze from the top of her legs to her feet. She's admiring herself — for you. She even starts crawling toward you. You turn your head to look around ("Toward me?," you think, but no one else is there). You turn back to her. The clip is over. You can take off your Google Cardboard viewer and go back to flipping channels on your living room TV.
This story happens much more often than any of us would like to believe. A beautiful model receives a text from a highly respected photographer asking if she would be interested in doing a swimwear shoot at the beach. The model has heard great things about the photographer or maybe has even worked with the photographer before and jumps at the opportunity to shoot with him. The model, back home for the holidays, drives 7 hours across the country for an opportunity of a lifetime only to find out that she has been catfished by a creeper posing as a real photographer.
I admit it freely: I didn't used to pay attention or care about portrait lighting patterns. In fact, when a photographer would mention them around me, I would cover my ears and say "La la la la la" as loudly as possible while hurriedly trying to leave the room. There was a time where dismissing the standards was my usual, as was my tendency, but eventually I realized I was missing out on fundamentals that I could easily have built on and expanded rather than ignored. Just starting out? Don't make my mistakes.
With his brother, Romeo, the face of numerous Burberry campaigns, Brooklyn Beckham has now been spotted working on the other side of the camera for the famous fashion house. The teen, who last year was reportedly working in a West London coffee shop for £2.68 an hour, is the official photographer behind Burberry’s latest fragrance campaign, entitled "This Is Brit."
If you work in portrait photography, be it commercial fashion or high school seniors or anything in between, at some point you will be on set with makeup artists (MUA) and hair stylists, if you aren't already. A good makeup artist can make or break your sessions, and a bad one can simply ruin everything. And since no amount of retouching can totally undo subpar makeup, hair, and styling, Staci and I decided to sit down with pro makeup artist Sarah Stafford in The Backyard to shed some light on the relationship between MUAs and photographers.
Casting is time consuming! It can suck up all your energy. It can leave you exhausted and frustrated. It is mostly the one part of photography that always demands tons of effort, and does not always reward us with the results we hope for. That’s why there are casting directors, both in the stills and film industry. It is a job! When you are working on your portfolio you rarely have the means to hire one, so better to get efficient with it on your own. If you are a landscape or a still life photographer, move along gleefully.
The ability to direct models (any model) in your shoot is key to any visual project. You might have the best location, styling, and lighting setup, but if you don’t have the right kind of emotion in your model's face, it will all have been for nothing. Your mission is not just to press on the shutter release, but to also be a director. Here are the dos and don'ts and a little bonus at the end.