Despite having grown up around photography all my life (thanks, dad) and then starting my own commercial portrait business in 2009, there is one small little thing I'd never done before, silly as it sounds. I have never, ever shot in snow. Born in the Caribbean in 1975, then briefly living in Miami before settling down in Houston in 1979, I have truly never experienced real snow. But all that changed for me recently in Salt Lake City and Albuquerque - in January.
Glamour photography, fine art nude photography, lingerie photography, swimwear photography — all of the above involve nudity. Sex sells — no explanation needed here. Or, at the very least, it will get you more likes on your page or your Instagram account. Is the sexiness in itself a problem? This is a recurrent debate. The #WomenNotObjects campaign, launched by Advertising Executive Madonna Badger, is calling on the advertising industry to put a stop to objectifying women for marketing purposes. As photographers, do we have a responsibility in this controversy?
Fstoppers is happy to announce the next round of Critique the Community. We invite everyone to submit your best sports image to be critiqued by the Fstoppers team. The image doesn't have to have any particular style but it must be related to sports and action, incorporating a human element (not just products or sports equipment). Please follow the guidelines for submissions below to ensure eligibility for your image to be chosen. We will be accepting submissions through Sunday night, February 7th and will be offering feedback to a total of 20 pictures.
Everyone wants to win the lottery. In this day and age winning the lottery can mean many things, one of which is hitting it big on social media. Creating a body of work, an brand image, and a following so massive it creates clout behind your name so high, it is easily seen by everyone as the best in the business. For photographers and creative alike, achieving something like that can easily be seen as difficult, but in reality for some it was outrageously easy and can still be done thanks to Instagram.
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.
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.
If you look back to the beginning of photography, color didn’t exist. In fact, it didn’t exist for a long, long time. Even as 35mm film pioneered the way that photography was used and purchased, black and white was king. Slowly, as time progressed, color film began to take a foothold in the industry. Once legendary color films like Kodachrome and Kodacolor became widely available, black and white became far less popular for commercial use. Now, in the digital era, almost every digital camera records information in color. Why then, would I bother viewing my images in monochrome during my shoots, even if I know I’ll deliver them in color?
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.
For the last several weeks, the Fstoppers team has been working with Joey Wright in Curaçao filming a new original tutorial on swimwear photography. While we were filming, we used some of our time with Joey to offer feedback to a variety of images submitted by the Fstoppers community. We chose 20 images to critique. Check out our selections below and add your thoughts and ratings to the comments below.
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.
Faster, higher, stronger is the code by which I have made most of my lens and camera decisions for nearly a decade. I've never been satisfied with f/2.8. I've waged war between the focal planes of the eye and the eyelash, and I have the scars and image casualties to prove it. As I grow older and my battle-weary eyes begin to look back at my quest, I have begun to see the emptiness in it all. Were even my perfect shots completely out of focus?
We all know it's a little bit more competitive for females to "make it" in the photography and film industries. Yes, it is. The gender gap is real, and I'm not being a feminazi. There are studies about this — science. Even women who are the main characters in films don't get paid as much as their male counterparts (Jennifer Lawrence in the Hunger Games, anyone?). It's even worse for women who are behind the screen, the creators of these big projects. The team over at Vimeo isn't having it anymore, so they are doing something about it.
People continue to ask me the same question over and over, "How do I quickly grow my following on Instagram?" I will continue to tell them there is no easy way to go about this, but I have found one way in recent months that has been building my following much faster than I expected. Here are a few ways I am finding great follower growth, as well as a rise in engagement. Trust me, hold tight while I go through a few ways you as a professional can get ahead of some of these young guns with iPhones.
Working as a behind-the-scenes or “stills” photographer is an entirely different experience to most usual photography jobs. As photographers we naturally tend to take charge of the creative direction, and are used to getting our own way. Working BTS requires you to work within different dynamics, not least of which involves being surrounded by other creatives, each with their own opinions and ideas. Here are some of the best and worst things you can expect whilst shooting behind-the-scenes.