When taking portraits with natural light, often times, there is one key aspect that is overlooked. This facet of naturally lit photos is far more important than things like shooting at a specific time of day. Before diving into what makes a naturally lit photo a spectacular one, it is important to know and understand the difference between artificial lighting and using natural light.
I will start this article off by saying that I am not a pet photographer. I am a portrait photographer that typically captures humans for magazines and ads. However, a couple years ago I started a pit bull charity (Not A Bully) and it unexpectedly led me to some jobs photographing rescue animals. If you're reading this, you already know that capturing animal portraits is a unique challenge in itself. I've done some of the difficult leg work for you and put together a list of tips to hopefully make your next in-studio pet portrait session much easier.
The School Sessions is a novel idea and concept started by the photography community in an effort to help raise $200,000 on April 12, 2015 for building a school in Mellier, Haiti. The students of this community were greatly affected by the 7.0 earthquake that occurred in 2010. They are asking photographers from all over the world to sign-up and donate their session fee from one or more of their portrait sessions on that day.
One of the most intimidating things to learn when it comes to lighting is how to choose the right light modifiers. There are countless umbrellas, softboxes, octaboxes, stripboxes, and beauty dishes offered. All these contraptions help shape the way light spreads in different ways, and the appearance of the people and objects we photograph will be affected by this. The decision can be crippling. Thankfully there is an easy way to choose, and it’s all about understanding the language of light.
As a photographer, my skill set is constantly put to the test. In most cases, I’m handed an idea on a slab of wood and the mission is to hand that idea translated to a tangible artifact back to my client on a silver platter. It’s never an easy process, but it’s a part of my job.
Building a quality portfolio can be an expensive endeavor, especially if you don't budget and carefully consider your costs. Putting together professional quality shoots on a budget can be challenging. After experiencing some of the wide variations in cost for things like models, makeup artists, and the other essential pieces of a shoot, I wanted share my experiences and lessons learned the hard way.
With a combination of intimate portraits and urban landscapes, French photographer Lucile Chombart de Lauwe captures a snapshot of Mongolia in transition for her beautiful series “Foyers (Urbains) Mongols,” which documents the move of rural populations into large cities.
U.K. commercial photographer Karl Taylor takes us behind the scenes on a rather exciting and unique photo shoot where the goal is to create an animal portrait of a hawk during flight. There are so many variables to this concept that even with a trained bird of prey, Taylor still ran into a little bit of trouble at the beginning of the shoot.
Côte d’Ivoire-based photographer Joana Choumali documents the disappearing practice of scarification in a series of powerful portraits entitled “Hââbré, The Last Generation.” Illustrating “the complexity of African society today,” Choumali’s work is both compassionate and evocative.
It is never too late to start a senior model program. In fact, now is the best time of the year to define your program and select your models. Every market is different, but most of us slow down in the winter months. We have photographed the bulk of the senior class in the fall, however there will be a few spring senior's sessions that book right before graduation. This is the time to prepare for the next class. Jen Basford with 3 girls photography and Seniors Ignite joins us for another article highlighting how to plan your senior model program and at what times to execute your marketing for the new year.
It's amazing how adding just a little bit of shadows can drastically improve the depth of your photographs. Contouring faces is a little trick that can take a few minutes to do, but ultimately increases the overall image quality. I'm going to show you how to use the adjustment brush tool in Lightroom to act similar to the dodging tool in Photoshop, and then the key areas to brush for properly contouring a face.
When I was new to portrait lighting, I used to blast everything with light with reckless abandon. Although, as I grew as a photographer, I learned that the ability to control the spread of light on a multi-strobe shoot allowed you to not only create something with a more sophisticated appearance, but tell a better story. One of the most affordable ways to accomplish this is with the use of grids. The Slanted Lens put together a great video tutorial on understanding grids. Read below to learn more.
The ultimate wish to look young forever sneaks into all of our minds at one point or another. This hysterical portrait series by California-based photographer Zachary Scott illustrates how seamlessly this concept can be portrayed in a fun way. From a "Geriatric Gerber Baby" to an "Old Baby Farmer" the portraits are just flawless in execution and they set a great example of how to create the perfect story portrait.