A while ago I wrote an article summarizing some of the key tools which are required when shooting apparel for commercial clients. That article served it's purpose to demonstrate the vast number of supporting tools we use on a daily basis, but the magic really happens when we roll out the lights. Today I would like to show you some of the considerations you need to take when lighting clothing for your clients.
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Even the best photographers need inspiration. 500px is a beautiful playground for some of the best photographers in the industry, and also one of the most powerful tools for motivation. There’s no sifting through rubbish to find quality work in your feed, which is often a problem with various social media platforms, like Facebook. Here's a list of photographers and their mind-blowing work in 4 different genres you MUST be following.
Getting it right in camera is one of the most important steps to achieving a great photograph, but color grading is what can really take your work to entirely new level. It has taken me nearly 2 years to find the right process and perfect combination to obtain the right look. And, over the course of my time writing for Fstoppers, I've been asked dozens of times about the coloring and process behind my imagery. Well, I've finally broken it all down in one quick tutorial.
Australian supermodel and Victoria Secret Angel, Miranda Kerr, exposes all for British GQ's May issue. Accompanying the provocative nude images of Kerr, is an interview where she discusses love, sex, and potentially experimenting with another woman-ooh steamy. I'm sure you're wondering what could be better than a naked supermodel saying things like "The more sex I have, the more defined my arms and stomach get.” Well, I'll tell you: Australian pranksters called The Bondi Hipsters mimicking the photo shoot frame by frame.
In the competitive world of social media experiments it seems companies are coming up with all sorts of tactics to build brand loyalty and interaction. Fashion designer Marc Jacobs is no stranger to the social media game. Earlier this year Marc Jacobs launched a pop-up shop that would trade free gifts in exchange for your tweets, likes, follows, and instagram pictures. Now Marc Jacobs is back with a new proposition. Tag your picture with the handle #CastMeMarc and you could be the new face of Marc by Marc Jacobs.
As photographers we face challenges day in and day out, but one of the toughest facets of the job is posing our subject. Regardless of experience, when a model steps in front of your lens for the first time he or she will expect some direction. It’s up to you to give that proper guidance, otherwise your images will just come up short.
Merely two years ago, Stanislav picked up his first camera: a Lumix G3 for $600. From that point forward his inspirational journey began. The majority of his mind-blowing work was taken in his attic using friends as models. Now he is known as Sean Archer - a natural light photographer who specializes in female portraits. His work is proof that it’s not about gear. It’s about the photographer; it's about the vision of the artist.
In recent years Photoshop has garnered more negative attention than any other platform that is utilized for image manipulation. Photoshop can be used to create unnatural product resulting in unrealistic expectations. As photographers and retouchers, we have the power to control what the media perceives as attractive.
Aaron Nace from Phlearn released a great video yesterday which highlights his technique into removing unwanted and distracting objects off of an image. In this case, he decided it was best to remove a bra strap off of the model in the photo using the spot healing brush in Photoshop.
When we first start out on any sort of endeavor, be it creative or otherwise, we all most likely begin same way: a head full of ideas, but a distinct lack of understanding and experience of how to achieve them. Over time, through the benevolence of others, and many hours of Youtube tutorials, our ability catches up and we reach the place where creativity meets experience
Here at Fstoppers, our goal is to hire some of the very best photographers and educators in the industry to provide some insight on how they work, and what they've learned within the industry they're a part of. Recent Fstoppers Writer and Lifestyle Photographer John Schell recently met with Framed Network to show them, and us, what it's like to work on one of his photo shoots.
Sharpening is a mystery to many, some do it well and others don't. There are quite a few methods to sharpen an image including the use of a High Pass Filter, Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen and Camera Shake Removal in Adobe Photoshop CC. However, it’s similar to hearing nails on a chalkboard when I see an image that is over sharpened. I'm no saint, I'm certainly guilty of cranking Unsharp Mask, I just never found the right solution. Until now.
We live in a time where photographers and filmmakers must combine powers to be competitive in todays advertising market. Recently a huge fashion client approached our production company to capture concurrent motion and still ad campaigns with supermodel Lily Aldridge, but we had to do it all in under 10 hours with 2 complete hair and makeup changes and 12+ outfits. Advertising creatives today need to be able to shoot stellar visual content and assemble bulletproof productions.
Bokehliscious photos. That is the ultimate goal for any photographer no matter the experience level. When "bokeh" is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is the lens and the aperture. Although both play vital roles in bokeh, there are a few key elements that play an even more important role in achieving the finest milkyness in a photo. These requisites aren’t often discussed or even seen as necessary.
I've been there, standing in the middle of a field on a hot day with a scorching sun, mulling back and forth on how to capture a quality shot. In the back of my mind, I'm wishing for some cloud cover or an overcast sky to magically move in. A commercial client or art director doesn't care what time it is, they just want the right image. It’s up to you to capture that image with the weather Mother Nature has dealt.
About 5 years ago, when I was still in my Photography college in Australia, our teachers would regularly introduce us to the new and noteworthy Australian photographers' and digital artists' work. Among others there was one artist, whose work really grabbed my attention and I have been watching her growth and success ever since.
I'm guilty. As a commercial and fashion editorial photographer as well as a writer for Fstoppers, I love lighting, bokeh, rigging, and all technicalities involved with cinematography and photography. For many months, content fell second to setup. From my experience, there are three types of photographers: those that confide in instinct and sunlight, those that rely on post processing, and those that excel at artificial lighting and formalities.
When retouching in Photoshop, there are many different ways to achieve the same thing. Personally, I've always struggled to find the best method to remove shadows under the eyes. Like everything else in Photoshop, there are a slew of methods to correct this, but each of them had their weaknesses. Check out this simple - yet slightly hidden - method that you probably never knew existed.
If you like social media and manicure, you can now combine the two with NailSnaps - a new product that let you turn your Instagram photos into nail polish stickers. All you need is to snap a photo, import it to the NailSnaps app, decide what each nail will look like, and wait for a shipment.
Creative clients and photographers love shooting on white. Whether it be seamless paper, foam core board or a cyclorama wall. I’m not sure if it’s the simplicity and absence of color or it just creates such clear contrast for eye popping subject matter. Yes, it's versatile and can go dark with less fall off but frankly, I've always found white somewhat boring.
The GlamSquad is a new app that has nothing to do with photography; it's not even related to retouching or filters. But it can help you on your photo shoots. How? Simple - the GlamSquad app is the 'Uber' of Hairstylists. Need a hairstylist for a simple fix for your model/subject right before your photo shoot? Just pick one of the 10 hair styles available, choose your preferred time (even within 1 hour) and pay. Your professional hairstylist will arrive at your location and do his/her magic.
Some may say it’s quite the phenomenon. I only shoot commercial and editorial fashion and I seem to make a living out of it without shooting weddings, families, babies or seniors. I don’t live in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles and I don’t travel like George Clooney in the film “Up In The Air.” The number one question I’m asked on a daily basis: “Clay, how do I get more paying clients?”
Day in and day out I see images that raise the question; what is the photographer truly trying to convey in the photograph? In fashion photography, editorial story-telling is commonplace, but you must have a strong foundation for that to manifest properly in your image. Forget the lighting, focus or pose, first you need to question the frame.
I’ve just watched one of the best fashion shorts I’ve seen in months. It combines gorgeous color, cinematography, camera movement and Hitchcock-styled, film noir sensibility beautifully. Interestingly, after speaking to one of the directors, regardless of budget or what we’re shooting, there are real gems to be gleaned from their experiences. Read on for the full scoop.
Flawless models and perfect-looking celebrities are all around us. We see their perfect bodies on magazine covers and their smooth skin on ads and billboards. Girls today grow up having a distorted view on what 'Beauty' really is, and many of them aspire to look like the photoshopped version of the famous people they love - flawless and perfect. Check out this video of 'real' women react to being photoshopped into cover girls with flawless bodies and perfect skin, the way they always wanted to look like.
We've been on the Miley Cyrus & Terry Richardson train before. We've seen the photos and the over-exposed whitewalls, but what we haven't seen is class. Miley posed for Mario Testino in the most recent issue of German Vogue & Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott for W magazine in sexual, but glamorous ways.
This is just the perfect series of photographs to share on Valentine's day. Suzanne Heintz’s series, "Life Once Removed," was born of frustration; a frustration with the perception that as a single adult woman her time was continually running out and that she was somehow abnormal or missing out by not having a ring on her finger.
It's no secret that we creatives are often introverted, or simply don't know the first thing about self-promotion. Thus there are thousands and thousands of brilliant talents out there that very few have discovered. I have been on a mission of finding such gems and helping them expose their work to the worldwide online photography and digital imagery communities. And today I would like to share some beautiful and fun images and inspiration from Spain with you.
If you are a lifestyle photographer one of your jobs is to make your images look natural- not stiff, not awkward, and definitely not staged. Your audience should see your images as moments that were going to happen regardless of whether or not you were there to capture it. The imagery that Roxy uses in their advertising is a spot-on example of this. Their photographic brand is made up of images of surfer girls living their carefree, summer lifestyle. Each image is a moment.
No matter where you are in your photographic journey, one thing is certain: you need to know how to manipulate light. The team over at Monte Zucker Education have put together an interesting speed light tour featuring pro Canon shooters Bob Davis and Stephen Eastwood. The Need Light? Speedlite! Tour starts March 9th and hits 32 cities throughout the US. If you have never used off camera lighting or are looking for unique ways to add excitement to your photographs, this workshop is definitely worth checking out.
Even if you don't recall the name Dixie Dixon I bet you will recognize her images. Over the past few years Dixie has been taking the fashion industry by storm and we are excited that her first major workshop will be taking place at Fstoppers Workshop Atlantis in the Bahamas this year.
Photographers and artists alike are extremely passionate people. With strict deadlines and hectic schedules, we all have the tendency to jump the gun and act or open our mouth before taking a step back from the situation. There is one word which you will be hearing a lot throughout this article. It is a trait at the core of what we do and it’s very much a necessary virtue: patience.
When I first picked up a DSLR and got a taste of artificial lighting, I loved shooting in darkness. I felt like I could control light a lot easier without having to fight the ambiance of a location or sun. Using an array of speedlights, I would light the location and subject how I wanted. Sometimes, that included putting speedlights in lamps or mounting them in the background. Eventually, that style took a sharp 180 degree turn, now I love using natural light in my favor to create a dramatic portrait.
Anyone interested in fashion photography owes it to his or herself to watch this documentary. In the 1960s, three photographers dominated the British fashion scene - David Bailey, Terence Donovan and Brian Duffy. "DUFFY: The Man Who Shot the Sixties" is a fantastic film that follows the rise, the (literal) flameout and the comeback of an iconic photographer.
Sometimes tattoos can add a lot to the character and the general feeling of your images. The problem is most models you'll work with wont have any tattoos, or won't have the type of tattoo you would like to have in the image. In this 15 minute video tutorial you can learn how to add any tattoo to your subject in Photoshop, and make it look real. The techniques used in this tutorial are very useful for many other uses, so if tattoos are not your thing, it's still a great video to learn from.
Photographer Tim Coburn takes us along on his commercial and lifestyle shoot in Ocean City, Maryland. View behind the scenes as he scouts locations before the shoot and how he troubleshoots with unexpected weather. Shooting a beach scene and don’t have a bright sunny day? See how to use clouds as your own natural soft box. Using only a 4x7 panel reflector, Tim demonstrates the advantages of simple lighting while incorporating shadows for texture while letting his model’s movement come alive on set. See the post below to learn more and see the final images.
My photographer-friend from Moscow Aleksey Dovgulya is visiting me in Los Angeles right now. We went to the same high school, but only met in 2008 after I got into photography. While I was studying in Australia Aleksey built an impressive list of commercial clients in Russia. In the past few years he has photographed for major brands such as Rolls-Royce, Renault, BMW, Schwartzkopf & Henkel, Benetton, Vogue, Christian Louboutin, and the list goes on and on.
I would like to wrap up my Secrets to Crafting Top-Quality Beauty Portraits series in a quick roundup on the most common mistakes I have been noticing beginner Beauty photographers make.
I will sure talk more about Beauty photography in the future, but I'd like to summarize a few things at this point.
Here at Fstoppers we featured both Brooke Shaden and Lindsay Adler countless of times for their great photographic work as well as their methods of working and handling business. Today they joined forces once again and did an hour and a half live broadcast answering questions asked by fellow photographers - from inspiration to business and struggles. Bring some snacks, sit back and enjoy!
Most people haven’t heard of Saul Leiter, yet he was one of the great photographers of the 20th Century. The reason you might not know him or his work is because he simply didn't care about pursuing recognition or a particular career path. With his passing last month, let’s use this opportunity to reflect back on his stunning work, and see what we can all learn from his artistic vision, his philosophies and his razor sharp eye.
This article is for those of you how enjoy beauty photography: from fashion and advertising beauty, to beauty portraits of non-models and even boudoir photography. And while there are always millions or rules, trends and opinions, I base my article on my own ideas and beliefs as to what's important to be aware of to successfully create attractive beauty images.
Rob Oechsle, a photographer and researcher, has compiled a series of photographs from the late 19th and early 20th century featuring Geishas. What makes these photos all the more striking is the fact that they feature these women in swimwear and against themed backdrops. It goes against our traditional views of how these women lived and dressed and gives us a deeper insight into the extent of Geisha influence on Japanese culture.
I've long been a big supporter of photographers that seek to achieve their look in camera and not rely much on post production. In this 2-D makeup series by photographer Alexander Khokhlov, he created optical illusions in camera with perspective and great makeup. Simply stellar work.
As the end of the year looms, we begin to look back and reflect on the previous year and think about aspirations for 2014. What will make this coming year successful for you? Getting paid to live and work as a photographer? Producing creative, fulfilling work? Being published? Teaching and helping other photographers? One photographer I've worked with this year did all of these and in this interview, she shares her insights on what success is for her - and importantly, what this could mean for you and your career in 2014.
I have been teaching retouching and photography for a couple of years, and I found that even my advanced students often didn't know some basic tools or techniques. Those gaps in knowledge are to be expected among self-taught photographers and retouchers, of course. However, I have just returned from my trip to Italy where the amazing Italian Photoshop guru and Wacom evangelist Marianna Santoni organized a series of educational events, in which I taught Beauty photography and retouching.
For the opening of the new Tate Britain art gallery, Miles Aldridge set out to reimagine the painting 'Merry-Go-Round' by Mark Gertler. The painting was originally created in 1916 while photography was still pretty much in infancy and hardly considered an artistic medium by many. Aldridge's approach was to take elements of the painting and create a series of photographs that hold the true form of the original while still delivering something definitively Miles Aldridge.
When you look at the new cover to WSJ's magazine you might suddenly be hit with a sense of Déjà vu. Certainly you've seen it before, but can't exactly remember from where. Don't worry you're not alone, it's because the new cover seems to be a spin to Vogue's August 2013 editorial spread photographed by Craig McDean . The kicker? The WSJ cover and spread was shot by none other than our favorite plaid wearing, controversial photographer Terry Richardson.
Be it with a camera or with a gun, a girl who shoots is unquestionably sexy. So what's that make talented commercial fashion photographer Dixie Dixon as she takes on the role of Director of photography for Magpul's 2014 Calendar? Hot, no doubt, but more importantly she adds professionalism and class to a genre that is traditionaly little more than string bikinis and thongs. Dixie's sophistication and style is a refreshing departure from a genre typically shot far too often through the male lens.
Amy Lynn is a 24 year old photographer from Nebraska who wanted to do an institutionalized themed shoot for a long time. Right before Halloween, she decided to finally make it happen by heading to local thrift shops in search of the right materials to match her vision. The BTS video captures the whole process and the final results are more than awesome.
UK retailer Debenhams is on a mission to prove that we don't need to be sold a Photoshop fantasy every time we shop for clothing. Save the perfect smiles and slim figures for their competitors; Debenhams is opting to use average every day people to appeal to the masses. Is this a breath of fresh air, or a clever marketing ploy?