Scrolling through Instagram, I came across a photo that I deemed worthy of a double-tap. Curious, I clicked on the profile to see more from the same photographer. Scrolling through his feed, I started to notice that although every photo included a human subject, there wasn’t a single face in sight. Intrigued, I had to know more and reached out: Meet Noel Alvarenga, the photographer who hides his subject’s faces.
Let us venture back in time for a minute. 35mm film was always considered small. In fact, it was developed in the early 1900s as a means to make high-volume shooting and consumer photography possible. If you were a working professional, you were shooting at least medium format (6x4.5-6x19 cm) or even more likely, large format, like 4”x5” or 8x10”. The idea is that the larger the format, the more detail you can see. As we fast forward to digital, full-frame is the ideal format for many working pros in a variety of genres. While full-frame can be expensive and yields incredible image quality, there is something more.
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.
Every portrait session with a new subject could bring new challenges. Some people are more comfortable in front of a camera than others, while some just take a little time to open up. I've put together a list of tips that may help you along the way during your portrait sessions.
Keeping a fair amount of texture seems to be an issue for a lot of photographers and retouchers. No matter what technique they use to clean the skin of a model, I often hear people trying to find a solution to get a more natural and visible texture. Here is one for you!
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.
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?
I hate being in front of the camera, and I think many photographers feel the same way. So when I discovered Mike Mellia and found out that his Instagram account is almost 99% self-portraits, I was more than a little impressed. But wait! Many of his selfies are also cinemagraphs? I don't know how much more impressed I can get.
Over the weekend, while millions along the Northeast were tucked away from Winter Storm Jonas, a photographer and an engaged couple despite the elements, created one attention-grabbing engagement session. The photo shoot has since gone viral and goes to show that taking advantage of unique situations can create beautiful imagery.
I’ve always been a fan of big lights. There are certainly situations where they aren’t appropriate, but a lot of my work is centered around big, soft light. What has always drawn me to large sources of light is their versatility. Almost every subject looks good with soft light. Because large light sources cause such soft gradation in the shadows, they can be useful for both younger subjects with smoother skin, or even older subjects that may have wrinkled and scarred skin. However, there is one thing that should be cleared up: the definition of a large light source.
Make no mistake, Shoot The Centerfold is the most exclusive and well respected glamour and model photography seminar on the planet. And as it turns out, this year I've been invited to see everything that goes on at STC, both up front and behind the curtain, in what will be an exclusive insider view on this most revered of photo events. Oh, and I might be a little bit excited about it.
Regardless of what genre of photography you shoot, understanding light and its characteristics is key to creating better photos. For those of us working with off-camera flash, there is another layer to the complexity: balancing ambient and artificial light. On top of that there are various modifiers that can be used for artificial lighting to replicate or create certain effects. A great way to become proficient in understanding and seeing light is to examine photographs by other photographers in your genre.