Portraits

Three Ways to Use a Beauty Dish

Three Ways to Use a Beauty Dish

A beauty dish can be extremely versatile if you learn how to control the way it modifies light. Most photographers simply use beauty dishes to light the face, but you can use it to light full length photos if you know how to position the light correctly. In this video, I’ll demonstrate three ways to use a beauty dish for beauty and fashion photography.

3 Reasons Why You Should Own the Westcott 7-Foot Umbrella

3 Reasons Why You Should Own the Westcott 7-Foot Umbrella

I have always preferred simplicity when it comes to lighting portraits. When connecting with a model or subject, especially when working without assistants, I hate having to deal with several lights or various flags, cutters, and bounce cards. This way I can work the camera and move around without having to worry about tripping over my whole setup, and my subject feels more comfortable without obtrusive equipment crowding them. Also, if the model can move around a little, I feel that I can get far more natural poses when they aren't confined by specific lighting. My favorite lighting tool to "keep it simple" with is the Westcott 7-foot Parabolic Umbrella.

The Eye-Opening 'Awkward Years' Project

The Eye-Opening 'Awkward Years' Project

Have you ever opened an old drawer and found an old picture of yourself, only to discover how funny you looked back then and how many insecurities you had? Merilee and her friend were remembering their teenage years. The conversation took them to the point where her friend wasn’t convinced that Merilee had any awkward years back then. This wasn’t true.

The Tyranny of the Travel Photographer

The Tyranny of the Travel Photographer
Travel photography has to be one of the most rewarding kinds of photography. You get to experience other cultures, places, foods, and parts of human history that you wouldn't otherwise. On top of that, you get to photograph it all. In one day, the variety of amazing new things you get to make pictures of is truly incredible. However, during my travels over the years, I've noticed some extremely disturbing behaviors from "photographers" while traveling.

How to Shoot a Dramatic One-Light Portrait

How to Shoot a Dramatic One-Light Portrait

One of the best things a portrait photographer can do is learn how to master a single off-camera light. Most photo shoots don’t allow enough time to set up multiple lights, and when shooting on location, carrying more than one light can be too cumbersome to manage. In this video, we see a very useful way to use one off-camera flash with some simple modifiers to create a dramatic portrait.

Warrior Within: How to Embrace Your Creative Rut

Warrior Within: How to Embrace Your Creative Rut

As artists, we have all been there. The creative rut. The most fatiguing part of being an artist and perhaps the downfall of many talented individuals who could not climb out of it. Creativity comes from many places within us all. However when a photographer's passion is absorbed by the repetition of what we specialize in, the outcome of the work becomes all too grueling to look at. So how do we get back to the love of what we do? How do we fuel once more the passion that showcases our work as new and creative?

Mauritian Photographer Shamma Esoof With Her Astonishing, Sad Owl Portraits [Interview]

Mauritian Photographer Shamma Esoof With Her Astonishing, Sad Owl Portraits [Interview]

A couple of years ago, I came across a portrait of a sad owl under the rain on 500px. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I never knew there existed such a deep photograph of a non-human creature. I was not the only one thinking so. That picture had won an award and I discovered Shamma Esoof (Sham Jolimie), a person who advocates for animal welfare, social justice, and is passionate about nature conservation. The cherry on top was when I discovered that the author of that unforgettable owl portrait was a mutual friend on social media and was from Mauritius, a country I call my second home after Armenia.

Quick and Easy Way to Fix Shiny Skin in Photoshop

Quick and Easy Way to Fix Shiny Skin in Photoshop

Highlights that glow can be a great way to give your portraits and beauty work some pop, but there is a fine line between skin looking dewy and just straight oily. Shiny skin can be overwhelming to an image, but when faced with that problem you don't have to scrap the shot. In this quick video, photographer Joe Edelman shows us a quick and easy fix for controlling that shiny skin using Photoshop.

Contentious Retouching Just Got Easier: How to Use the Face-Aware Liquify Tool

Contentious Retouching Just Got Easier: How to Use the Face-Aware Liquify Tool

Beauty and fashion retouching has been controversial for so long that some of the argument's ground has been conceded. For example, skin retouching is rarely debated anymore and it's merely a "given" that someone in an advert or magazine will have had their skin corrected. However, criticizing body manipulation in Photoshop is very much still in vogue (if you'll excuse that glorious pun).

Making Your Beauty Model Feel Special Leads to Better Photos

Making Your Beauty Model Feel Special Leads to Better Photos

It goes without saying that creating a comfortable, safe environment while shooting beauty photography can go a long way towards building a strong working relationship with your model. Comfortable, however, is what I'd define as the "barrier to entry." What you really want to do is go beyond that by giving your model a slight boost in confidence. By building up the model's self-esteem you get her thinking positively, and that state of mind leads to fantastic moments which create a genuine spark of expression.

Mixing Photography and Activism: Are You Making Work That Means Something Or Are You Just Pushing A Button?

Mixing Photography and Activism: Are You Making Work That Means Something Or Are You Just Pushing A Button?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort." It's no secret that many of my clients belong to the LGBTQ community. I've worked hard to build a following in a demographic that should consider me an outsider; there is a real fear of being judged by anyone who doesn't routinely walk in their shoes. However, my client base hasn't always looked like this, and the road to building trust has been interesting to say the least. Why go through trouble? The simple answer is, “Because I love doing it!”

Improve Your Outdoor Portraits With This Inexpensive Battery-Powered Fan

Improve Your Outdoor Portraits With This Inexpensive Battery-Powered Fan

It's all in the details. Adding elements like wind is a great option to add more life and emotion into your photographs. Studio photography and natural light photography can be very different genres. In the studio, you’re in total control of your environment and surroundings, and having an industrial fan that plugs into a wall is pretty standard in most studios. Unfortunately with natural light, you’re at the mercy of Mother Nature. But that’s OK; with this inexpensive tool you will add a little “studio flair” to your natural light portraits.

Learn How to Make Better Headshots by Watching the News

Learn How to Make Better Headshots by Watching the News

Learning how to properly light the human face can be a challenge for many beginner and intermediate level photographers. Sure, you can grab a single light source, your significant other, and turn a Sunday afternoon into an experimental test shoot, but what happens when you want to start playing around with multiple lights? Figuring out where exactly to place your lights can be a daunting task, but luckily there are dozens of common lighting setups available for critique right on your television!