Photography can be quite an expensive hobby or career. Needless to say us photographers love our gear and always want more of it - or at least I do! Over the past couple of years, I've been transitioning from being primarily a wedding photographer to incorporating more studio photography in my business. I don't plan on leaving weddings, but I love having a couple more thousand dollars a month doing quick and easy headshot photography. Here's how I built my studio with both simplicity and quality in mind.
Virtually all photographers' portfolios have some form of studio work in it. The clean white background has been used the world over, from high-fashion shoots to everyday e-commerce. Here's an effective way to give your model or product shoots a touch more class for little to no cost.
Confession: I love me some Felix Hernandez, and I'm pretty sure the rest of Fstoppers would agree with me. Felix first came onto my radar when we did an article on his piece "The Wardrobe" in June of last year. Then, later that same month, he won "Fstoppers Photographer of the Month" where a variety of his awesome miniature-based photography was featured. This past May we featured him again after Audi hired him to do an artistic campaign for the new Audi Q2. I hope you're getting the idea now; Felix Hernandez makes magic, and he's back with more.
I use a bike in Paris, and I use bungee cords to tie things down when I need to, but this video shows a way to use it in studio which I think is so simple, yet so brilliant. Studio space can seem large and vacant at first, but after a couple of weeks things start piling up and if you and your team don't clean up and maintain it, can become a place you dread going to. Light stands are one of the items we use mostly in a studio, and we have more than two at any given time.
Much like the way the Willie Geist of Sunday Today describes his senior portraits in this video, mine were definitely a somewhat lackluster experience. The "edgy" photos I had were me in front of a shiny corrugated metal wall holding my favorite guitar at the time, I thought I was cool, and thank goodness this was really prior to the days of digital workflows otherwise I would be obligated to have an embarrassing photo of me somewhere in this article. But times have changed, and with those changes the standards for what constitutes a senior portrait have risen exponentially, especially with the emergence of social media's "do it for the likes, bro."
In an industry saturated with educational materials, navigating the minefield to find which resources are valuable, and worthy of your hard earned money, can be rough. As a photographer, I have purchased countless tutorials, books, and magazines. I have poured through blogs, YouTube videos, attended numerous workshops and endured some questionable Facebook Live sessions. When I tell you I have discovered a gem, it isn't because this is my first time mining.
When I moved in to my studio a little over three years ago, I needed a place to hang, store, and use my rolls of seamless paper. I didn’t have many — just a few nine-foot rolls of white, gray, black, and green — but I wanted them out of my way. Storing them vertically wasn’t a good option in the space, and storing them laying down is never a good idea. So, I wanted to figure out a simple system that I could build that would do the trick. Here’s what I came up with.
I previously wrote about Benjamin Von Wong's latest project with Sarah Jane in the Blue Mountains of Australia. Benjamin’s portion was just half of the project set up by Karen Alsop. She invited Benjamin to join in on some friendly competition. While her approach and style was different, there was still some amazing images created out of this cooperative project.
We’ve all been there; the studio is set, the model is awkwardly waiting, but the light isn’t quite right and the stress begins to build. With every test shot, the light quality increases and the anxiety level decreases. Finally, like a blast of cool breeze on a hot day, everything clicks into place. The light is perfect.
The Broncolor Scoro was initially released in 2012 by the Swiss flash manufacturer. Five years later, they introduce a new release of the high-end power pack and it’s called the Scoros S WiFi/RFS2. Along with it, the bronControl app is made available for Mac and PC to make remote control of your units easier than ever.
Implementing gels into your photography is a really simple and effective way to make sure your images really stand out from the rest of the crowd. There are a ton of different ways to use gels to create some absolutely stunning imagery, but in this post I am just going to show you a few ways that you can use them to add color to your background to produce really dynamic portraits.
I call it the 3-in-1 Headshot Method. As a professional photographer it is imperative that you are able to adapt to your surrounds and the needs of your clients. I run into a situation quite a bit where my client doesn't know exactly what they want out of their headshot session so it’s my job to give them multiple options. In many cases my clients are very busy and they may only have a few minutes to get the shots they need so that doesn't give me the time to tear down my set and build a whole new one just for one look. Anytime I find myself in a situation like that I try to use my 3-in-1 headshot method which allows me to shoot three very different looks with just two lights and one grey background. Check out this video where I go through my process step by step.
There's something that isn't really talked about among the freelance photographers that I know, or at least not something that I hear about often. It's a small truth that nags at us all the time until we really, really get to where we want to be in our career, and sometimes even after that. And sometimes it involves bread.
When creating portraits in your studio, there are instances when you may opt for a shallow depth of field, which produces portraits with a more artistic flair. In this video, Gavin Hoey describes some techniques for maximizing that look of a shallow depth of field portrait.