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.
Parker Gibbons is an 18-year-old photographer and freshman student at the University of Utah. He recently shot and released a series entitled "Resolve" which shares New Year's resolutions from the subjects depicted. These simply shot images allow the subjects to be honest and silently share thoughts they may otherwise not share. The results from the series range from the more comical "Be Rad" to the more introspective and honest "Authenticity to self and others."
Vaping is a phenomenon that has swept across America and much of the First World, mostly as a safer alternative to cigarettes. The culture, however, is what has caught the attention of the media worldwide. Smoke tricks have likely been around for as long as humans have been inhaling smoke, but vaping has spawned something quite interesting out of it: smoke tricks and ridiculous plumes of vapor spilling out of people’s nostrils. Photographer Louis Amore (whom we featured last year with his portrait series of English veterans) went to a local vapor shop, Prohibition Vapes, to document a vaping competition.
Shooting portrait work during the day outside has always meant that you have to think on your feet and improvise depending on what Mr. Sunshine decides to do. Some days, you get brilliant, bright rays of sol pummeling the entire city with impunity, and other days the order of the day is cloud cover and über diffusion. The biggest challenge, in my opinion, occurs when the sun and clouds start to play games with you and change the game every few minutes, causing you to contend with hard light at 3:54 p.m. and soft diffused light at 4:03 p.m., etc. So, how do I deal with that?
For the majority of people, the day after Christmas is usually filled with farewells to extended family members, house cleaning, writing thank you cards, and crashing on the couch to watch the final games of the football season. But for many Americans, the day after Christmas offers a unique opportunity: a chance to head out to the firing range and test the new guns and accessories they received from loved ones. This year, I decided to take my camera out to a local rifle range and document the people and guns who showed up the day after Christmas.
Lumopro has had several flashes on the market, like the LP160 and the wildly popular LP180 of Strobist fame. This fall, however, Lumopro announced a brilliant new unit, the LP180R. As far as specifications, the LP180R is almost identical to the LP180, but there is one key difference that makes it an excellent tool for photographers both experienced and inexperienced.
As a photographer and an artist, one of the most rewarding accomplishments you’ll have is when you see your work featured in some type of way, whether it is in a magazine, an art gallery, an advertisement, etc. In this piece, I will take you behind the scenes of the exciting and riveting experience of a fashion editorial, from the preparation, to the actual shoot, post-processing, and beyond.