As a self-taught photographer, I’m an advocate of learning through doing. I didn’t study it, but I can imagine that reading all the Photography 101 books that are available still wouldn't prepare you for actually being on a set, with a model standing in front of you, and a team awaiting your creative direction. In my journey, experience has meant everything. Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the years that may help when shooting your own portraits.
Recently, I have been experimenting with creating a sort of more intense style of headshot for certain clients who are interested in a more surreal, vibrant, look to their headshot as opposed to the more traditional headshot which is designed to to more closely emulate realistic lighting. The heavy cross-light look uses powerful lights that are positioned perpendicular to your the main light to create a strong highlight to the side of the face while living a distinctive shadow down the subject's cheek. Heavy cross-lighting can do a great job of building a sense of three dimensionality without sacrificing the soft, flattering, feel of a traditional headshot.
Nope, we're not joking. Photographer Kotama Bouabane is creating photographs using coconuts. While he used the fruit in several different ways to create images, his most interesting method simply involves tape, a coconut, and some photo paper! Read on and check out the video for more!
It’s been almost 3 years since I moved to London to pursue photography as a career. I’ve learnt that there are many misconceptions about those who take photos for a living - so here I’m setting the record straight about what day-to-day life is really like for a portrait photographer in one of the world’s biggest cities.
For many years now since the digital revolution hit the mainstream, the continuing and growing complaint in the photography industry generally centers around two key points: Too many photographers out there and too many clients offering exposure in lieu of actual pay. The problem continues to worsen, but there is a way to possibly solve it, and it involves, plain and simple, revolution.
Recently, SmugMug featured the amazing artist Renee Robyn, based in Canada in a touching tribute video called "Dream Of A Digital Artist', and I recommend you take the 3 and a half minutes and check it out. If it doesn't leave you in awe and full of inspiration, then you must not have a pulse.
This week we get to look at yet another style of retouch, a sports styled image. Each genre, weather it be fashion, beauty, landscape, or sports is going to have different parameters to follow and slightly different goals to achieve. With a female athlete it can be particularly tricky, because it can be challenging to find the line between doing to much or not enough especially as it come to skin retouching. In this post we will look at some of the steps and tricks used in this particular image that can be applied to your own sport retouch. We will also take a look at what else can be done to this image.
When I started out in portrait and beauty photography, I tried to have a makeup artist for most of my photo shoots. Why? Because I had always been told it would help my retouching. This is true in most cases. As long as you work with talented makeup artists, you will shorten the time spent in front of your computer. However, this is not the only advantage. Since I learned to do the makeup myself, I have discovered how having makeup done can help your photography reach another level. Noticing these benefits, I do everything to upsell my clients to get makeup done at the studio rather than having them doing it themselves. Here is why.
I woke this morning to find that director Matt Rycroft, over at the Cooperative of Photography, had dropped this little gem in my mail box. In their latest video the COOPH team up with first class celebrity portrait photographer Greg Gorman, as he demonstrates how to approach a nude photography shoot.
Through his street photography, Brazilian civil engineer, economist and amateur photographer, Jairo Abud, sheds light on how his government chooses to allocate it's resources while millions live in poverty. This is another short yet intriguing video produced by documentary outlet, Seeker Stories, who use "...the imagery of photographers and adventurers around the world to give us a deeper connection to and understanding of the human condition".
First I have to say this video contains what some will consider very graphic images and language. So if you don’t subscribe to the "laugh a little, lighten up” theory of life, like comedic photographer Soraya Doolbaz and I do, then please don’t torture yourself (or us) and just avoid this post. That being said, Soraya's lighthearted project Dicture Gallery is exactly what it sounds like. Take an erect penis, dress it to the nines (eights, sevens, sixes or fives, we don't judge here) and photograph it like you would any other high fashion shoot.
Platon has photographed many of the world's most powerful leaders and biggest celebrities and often shoots covers for magazines such as Wired, Esquire, Newsweek, Rolling Stone and New York Times Magazine. Most recently, he captured comedian and TV show personality Stephen Colbert for the cover of Time, which you can see in the video posted above. His style of shooting proves that you can take some of the most legendary portraits of our most powerful people with nothing but a light or two and a real connection between subject and photographer. In fact, I learned that from him directly when he came to teach a couple of classes to some of us lucky photo majors back at Rochester Institute of Technology over 10 years ago. It was those classes that changed my view on portrait photography forever.
It's Monday so it's time for another speed retouch and episode of Retouching Mondays. This week image comes courtesy of last weeks winner, Ben Scott. If you would like me to retouch your image and send you back the full-high res final image, all you have to do is post your image in the comments and wait to hear back. I will email the winner on Thursday morning, so post your newest favorite image that you want retouched. It can be any genre, beauty, fashion, landscape, wedding! I'll record the retouching and send you the final image to use as you wish! Take a look at the speed retouch of Ben's image and let me know in the comments if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them. Now lets take a look at the before and after and the challenges for this week's Monday Retouch.