Fstoppers Originals

Flying Your Photography Gear Using a Media Rate

Many of you know about my headshot work, but one of the other major areas of my business is photography for hotels, also known as hospitality photography. Hospitality photography often requires a jack-of-all-trades. I frequently shoot food, cocktails, headshots, mock weddings, and work with models for lifestyle shots. Then add to all that the architectural elements and details of the interior and exterior of the property and you have a shoot that requires quite a bit of different types of gear. When you add it all up, sometimes I’m flying a few hundred pounds worth of gear with me. As I was traveling recently, I thought it was a good time to write up an article about flying and traveling with your gear, and the best way you can minimize the cost of moving it all.

Branding and Logo Design for Photographers: Part 1 of 2

Being fiscally successful as a photographer requires more then just taking great pictures. Branding, marketing, and promoting are huge aspects of the business of photography. One of the first steps photographers often take when starting their business is designing a logo, but this can often be a mistake. Before designing a logo, photographers or really any business should carefully develop and create their brand identity. In this post, we will look at the multi-stepped process of developing and designing a photography brand.

Photoshop Video Tutorial #2: Layer Masks from The Beginners Basics Series

Brand new to Photoshop? Literally got hooked up on Adobe Creative Cloud last week? If so, more than likely you're fumbling around trying to make sense of the damn thing, and are looking for some help. Online videos about Photoshop techniques number in the hundreds of thousands, and it's quite likely you've watched at least half of those by now. If you've had trouble finding video tutorials for you, the bare bones beginner, then my Beginners Basics Series videos are for you, and I welcome you to check out Lesson #2: Layer Masks.

Composite Tutorial: Movie Poster Style Embers and Sparks

When it comes to compositing, more often than not it's the little things that take an image from good to great. In this tutorial I show you how to pull off a simple yet very effective way to create those small embers and sparks that are all the rage in Hollywood action movie posters. Adding details like sparks, debris, fog, dust, etc. to your composites can change the overall mood of your composites and give them that epic feel you are looking for!

Photoshop Video Tutorial #1: Layers from The Beginners Basics Series

Photoshops Layers. You gotta know 'em. Without knowledge of Layers, you are not going to go anywhere in Photoshop, and I mean literally nowhere. I can't think of a more foundational function in the program than Layers. So if you're just starting out, this video series is ideal for you beginners because it discusses the basic use of Layers in just 5 minutes. Sure, Layers can get much more involved and complicated, but if you don't understand them at all, maybe this will get you started.

Photoshop Video Tutorial: The Beginners Basics Series Intro

I get a lot of questions about retouching. More specifically, what I do in retouching. But if there is one consistent theme in the questions I get, it's "Do you ever have any information or lessons for total beginners?" For years now, the answer has been "Not yet" but starting today, and going over the next few weeks, I will be uploading a free YouTube series on Photoshop Beginner's Basics: Retouching. These 10 videos will get you off the ground using Photoshop because, as they say, you can't run until you've learned to walk.

RED's Gorgeous 4K Short On The World's Best Dance Festival Film Maker Is Beautiful

Last year I interviewed Stijn Verlinde, probably the best dance music festival filmmaker in the world right now. Last week, RED, makers of the camera equipment Stijn uses, recognized this and released a gorgeous 4K mini-profile that takes us deep into Stijn’s life, philosophy, shooting style and creative vision. If you're in need of a little inspiration today, take 4 minutes to check out this beautiful mini doc on one of the world's best.

When CC Becomes WTF: My Problem with Online Comment and Critique

We all want to get better at what we do in our work, that's a given, right? Studying, reading, taking classes or doing workshops, watching videos on YouTube, and of course tireless practicing, are a few of the many ways we strive to better ourselves in our photography. The time will come however, without fail, when nearly every single one of us will post a photo to a photography group on social media or a forum, and ask for "CC" or "c&c" or simply "Any thoughts?" and await the comment storm that's coming. And usually that's when the problems start.