After a four-hour trip to London and only being able to catch whatever sleep I could during the uncomfortable journey down, I met with Peter Hurley and immediately felt welcome. For those of you who don't know, Peter Hurley is a headshot photographer based in New York City. Hurley once had a career as a model and was also part of the U.S. Olympic sailing team. He is known for his clean, white background headshots and for coining the phrase "squinch," which has now become relatively mainstream thanks to news channels and shows like Orange is the New Black. To many, Peter is known as the best in the business and this may be true, but, what is Peter actually like to work with?
Artificial lighting is one of the best tools a photographer can learn to implement in his work. It’s not something we have to use and rely on all the time, but knowing it’s there and not being afraid of it is always best. When working in a studio for portrait and beauty photography, it can become a necessity depending on the natural light you have and the looks you shoot. In this short behind the scenes, Rossella Vanon shows how she created six different lighting setups that keep a consistent feeling. Take this opportunity to learn new lighting setups and understand her thought process when building a set.
Clay Cook recently photographed Jennifer Lawrence for the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation, which "assists and empowers charitable organizations that fulfill children's vital needs and drive arts awareness and participation." In what's perhaps the most unique twist, Cook has always wanted to professionally photograph Lawrence, who he and his family actually grew up with in another lifetime. But he describes wanting to earn it, and finally did.
It's quite common to shoot photo sessions in unimpressive locations; it goes with the territory when shooting on-the-go and outside of a studio. Fortunately, we have options to help us transform boring locations into beautiful backdrops, and it’s easier than you think. Making simple light modifications and quick edits in post can mean the difference between creating average imagery versus creating imagery that impresses your clients.
There are several debates over which type of lighting is better between natural light and off-camera flash lighting. Some photographers build their style on one over the other, while some find themselves using both. I believe that it comes down to your personal preference in which you like over the other.
Every year for the past few years, I’ve donated photo work to a local organization that puts on a half marathon in coordination with the local firefighters union chapter to raise money for local charities. Last year, I ended up doing a relatively simple shoot with just some firefighters and a ring light. This year, I wanted something different. And so, quickly and repeatedly, the question became, “Can we use real fire?”
Long before I ever picked up my first camera I was always fascinated by the subject of psychology. To understand some of the reasons why humans behave the way they do is rather useful in many areas of our lives. Once I started to get into photography more seriously I began to realize how the two subjects could be used together to make more powerful images.
I'll be honest, when it came to shooting swimwear, I went straight to Pinterest looking for whatever ideas and inspiration I could find. Swimwear is different enough from the other types of shoots that I was typically shooting that I really had no idea where to begin. Granted, my clients weren't clothing line companies, so I wasn't aiming for the more routine, catalog-style shots. Since the people wanting the shots were the models themselves, I wanted to make sure that the end results looked as good as possible and hopefully a bit more stylish.
Usually, people preach long lenses for portraiture. They can give you strong bokeh and they don't distort faces. But what makes an appealing portrait? Perfection? Admittedly, you can't rule out anything. Perfection in portraiture is desirable, but mostly as a base requirement. Perfection can only take you so far. What is certain is that when looking at portraiture we are looking for something to hang on to. We are looking for something that we can relate to and engage with.
When I chose to move beyond candid snapshots of my friends and family and actually asked them to sit down for formal portraits, my approach to everyday photography changed. Candid moments are wonderful, but practicing your craft with the people around you both helps hone your skills as a photographer and leads to precious moments with the people you love.
Makeup artists can be indispensable to raising the production value of a photoshoot. They make models fit the brief, they introduce important elements to the color palette, they make clients feel fantastic, and they bring the magic to conceptual photographs. Not all makeup artists bring the same value to the table though, so it's important for photographers to consider a few key elements before hiring an artist to their team.
Our friends at ViewBug are proud to present the Earth First contest series. These contests awards top-end gear that was lovingly used by another creative individual. Providing high-quality, pre-owned prizes puts less strain on the planet, and allows ViewBug to offer even bigger prizes. Classic win-win!