Joey Wright's Swimwear Photography BTS Episode 1: Arriving in Curacao

This week we released the longest photography tutorial Fstoppers has ever produced; Joey Wright - Swimwear Photography: Lighting, Posing, and Retouching. Our entire team headed down to the island of Curacao for 10 days to film a variety of photography lessons ranging from how to pose models, how to use scrims, reflectors, strobes, and how to create portfolio worthy images with minimal gear. During this incredible journey the behind the scenes cameras never stopped rolling, and each week we will be releasing a new episode of all our adventures. This is episode 1!

If you are not familiar with Joey Wright, he is a full time swimwear photographer based out of south Florida. His business consists of a variety work including shooting for swimwear designers, local model agencies, corporate calendars, and other swim and tanning related brands. Lee and I asked Joey to be a part of the 2nd Annual Fstoppers Workshops down in the Bahamas last year, and his class was one of the most well received courses at the entire event. 

There are a lot of photographers who have made a living shooting swimwear but what I love about Joey's work is that it looks very natural. It is so natural looking in fact that I falsely assumed Joey simply shot with natural light 99% of the time. After watching Joey teach in the Bahamas and now throughout our 10 days in Curacao, it became apparent that Joey's work has a lot more lighting tricks than I would have thought by just looking at his photographs. I also learned that Joey is extremely meticulous when shooting and picks up on very subtle elements that most photographers like me would completely overlook. Here are a few of my favorite images from Joey's portfolio so you can get an idea of the type of images he is so well known for producing. 

Miss USA 2015 Olivia Jordan
Swimwear model Bryana Holly
Model and Actress Charlotte McKinney

In Episode 1, the entire crew prepares for a long day of travel, Lee gets left behind in Charleston, and everyone checks into our rental house for the first time. You will also meet the entire team as we prepare for our first natural light photographic lesson on the beach.  Make sure you stay tuned and subscribe to our Youtube Channel so you don't miss the next week's episode. If you purchase the full 20 hour tutorial, you can download all 7 episodes now.  

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David Stephen Kalonick's picture

Call me crazy, but that last shot of Charlotte McKinney looks like he photoshopped out her boob/nipple. Making it look like she's got a beer belly. :)

Eric Knorpp's picture

Your NOT crazy, it looks awful...

Joey Wright's picture

She's actually covered up by the arm… And not sure how her belly would be all the way up there... Thanks for the constructive comments.

David Stephen Kalonick's picture

Beer belly was a bit low... Or too high. :) That little triangle of skin looks chopped. That's all.

Michael Kormos's picture

Patrick, I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that footage on Fox news. Kudos for keeping a straight face with that "awesome" look :-)

Igor Butskhrikidze's picture

nice video +)

David Whitaker's picture

That Iphone Slo-mo though!

Patrick Hall's picture

I know right? People still get upset when we claim the iphone takes better video (in bright daylight) than our D750s and expensive lenses but it really is true most of the time. We have a lot more iphone shots sprinkled in throughout this tutorial and BTS so try to spot them (hit, most of the time the camera is moving).

Douglas Snyder's picture

Great location... love Curacao, my favorite of the ABC islands. Looks like a great team too.

Patrick Hall's picture

I have to shoot a wedding in Aruba in May so I'm looking forward to another adventure down there. What island is the B, you never hear much about that one?

Joshua Boldt's picture

Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao

Douglas Snyder's picture

Bonaire..... Diver's Paradise. Not recommended for non-divers or those traveling with non-divers.

Peter Timmer's picture

4:00 It gets me up and going but still, I despise that sound...

Mike Baker's picture

Patrick? Why aren't you wearing the moon boots? Combine those with the facial hair and you've got 80's gold!

Patrick Hall's picture

Moonboots and Stache was simply too much power, I had to contain myself. Moonboots will be back soon though I promise :)

Kuba Spatny's picture

I didn't think these BTS could be as funny and eventful as the ones from Elia's tutorial.. I was so wrong!

Felix Wu's picture

Not sure if I like the Patrick look...please just be normal...XD
With regards to DVD tutorials, is there a free watch version so people can see whats really in there? BTS is interesting to watch but would be great if viewers can get some ideas of the actual content (useful parts). EDU and creative really nail it when it comes to tutorials.

Patrick Hall's picture

We don't have a way to stream 20 hours of material free but we do release full sections from our tutorials from time to time on our youtube channel. That being said, we also have a 100% refund policy on all our tutorials if you find yoursself not happy with the purchase.

Felix Wu's picture

I was more referring to releasing only a small fraction of the tutorials to let people get a glimpse of the good stuff covered. It will help entice people purchase the full tutorial rather than purchasing first then want to refund.

Felix Wu's picture

Oh one more thing. You know how you guys have a lot of gears and stuff. Would be nice you could do a video on the thought process on deciding on what to bring and what to use, then the gear list, the packing using which cases and why, then how you transport all that gears. Gear heads like me would be very curious to know how other photographers/videographers pack.

Patrick Hall's picture

We do showcase a lot of the gear we use throughout the behind the scenes and you can see all the gear we packed in this current episode. Basically we are shooting with a variety of DSLRs, manfrotto tripods, and a few specialized pieces of gear like the Rhino Evo slider and the Kesler Pocket Jib (which we never actually used on this production). As for bags, all of our stuff fits into Thinktank airport rollers and backpacks with a few of their production bags for larger gear. We also have a few Lightware bags for lightstands. Hope that helps

Anonymous's picture

respectfully; just too much photoshopping for me and not enough 'zing' in the contrast, I also like the girls wearing lots of accessories to 'fill the image with drama' that being said it looks like a great adventure, of which I have been fortunate to enjoy, fill your boots gentlemen, I look forward to the next chapter!

Patrick Hall's picture

Hey Mark, yes I agree I like accessories and more styling too when it comes to fashion but what Joey is teaching is how to shoot swimwear for designers and commercial clients. In many cases those designers do not sell jewelry and therefore don't want accessories on their models if they don't sell them. It would be like a fashion shoot for Banana Republic and then having the girls wear a bunch of stuff BR doesn't sell...they wouldn't go for that. If you are shooting for the model then anything is fair game. Modeling agencies however also usually go for the less is more when it comes to styling too.

I haven't seen the Before and After images of the above images so I'm not sure how much Photoshop has been done but you will see the before and afters in upcoming BTS episodes. Even though Joey teaches 12 hours of retouching, I have to say that his retouching side by side is actually very clean and fairly subtle compared to a lot of photographers out there. I'm not sure what is going on with Charlotte's boob as others have mentioned but that photo seems a bit more heavy handed than most of Joey's work I've seen.

Tom Archer's picture

I love BTS videos! They're always really interesting and make me incredibly jealous.

Joey Wright's picture

Thanks for watching Tom!

Alex Lucas's picture

I 've been thinking about one of those iphone gimbals for a while. Which one did yall get and do you still recommend it?

Patrick Hall's picture

I believe this was the one we had:

Diego Nossa's picture

Great BTS video!! Very well edited! Hopefully we can get to work together in the future!

abzmystery's picture

I really love the BTS video can't wait to see the others. Seems really interesting the tutorial.

Anonymous's picture

Great place Curacao. Lived there for 3 years, now on Bonaire bit different but a great island to shoot photo's