We’ve all been there, stuck with bad light and fresh out of ideas. I may spend up to an hour pre-lighting before a model or subject steps onto set, I work out the kinks and make sure everything is how it should be. But, despite my best efforts to make it right, every now and then I run out of time and have to wing it. We all have our “go to” lighting scenarios, but when you’re standing in unknown territory, keep the following tips in mind and you just might make it through the storm.
Fstoppers Original Articles
Retouching problems start well before we sit down in front of the computer and begin pushing pixels around. I know this because as I reflect on my past work, I realize that I’m as guilty of making countless mistakes as much as anyone else. Rather than talk about techniques like dodging and burning, frequency separation, etc. let’s focus on more high level problems that might be leading you in the wrong direction.
Flour bombs to the head, water balloons bouncing off my face, ribbon dancing, beer pours, back flops, a ginger eating cinnamon, and silly string to the face. These are a few of of the things we tried today in slow mo on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from Apple. Check out the results here.
I became a photographer because I love taking photos, and I’m fortunate enough to be one of those lucky few who gets paid to do what they love. That being said, when I got my start in this industry, I don’t think I could have anticipated just how much work was involved in running my own photography business. From taking and editing photos, to filing invoices, to professional networking, there’s no shortage to the number of items that fill my to do list each day.
Great photographers need to be excellent problems solvers that can rig up anything. Getting lights into tight spots or building new sets in tight quarters are just a few examples of what a photographer is faced with on a daily basis. When you are running a team of people, working with clients on set, or doing a test shoot by yourself, you will always have a new idea or inspiration that challenges you to light something differently. The Master Clamp is the tool to help you rig it up and not look like a fool in the process.
As a portrait photographer, I am always trying to make people feel comfortable in front of my camera so I can capture a real emotion from them. But what if I was able to make people feel so uncomfortable in front of the camera that I could guarantee an interesting portrait every time? This is the idea behind my latest series: The Stun Gun Photoshoot. I've edited two different videos as well as a behind the scenes in the full post below.
For the longest time I viewed tethered capture as a nice-to-have reserved for high budget shoots and simply shyed away from it. I tried it a few times and after constantly being plagued with technical problems, I decided I'm better off sticking to my camera's LCD screen and didn't give it a second thought. Through my ignorance, little did I know how much I was actually losing out on and how much time I wasted in the process.
The largest ring light I've ever seen consists of 27 bulbs and is four feet in diameter. Six months ago, I built it. With so many questions left unanswered, I put together a short film that explains how I built it, why it was built, and why it's the most amazing light I've ever used to date.
Over the years, Capture One has evolved tremendously in its feature set, and has steadily become one of - or arguably the best - raw processor available. Despite all it's advantages and praises, many remain hesitant to adopt it, largely due to its seeming complexity and the intimidation factor associated with a truly professional tool. In this tutorial I'll be guiding you through the key aspects of Capture One version 12, and demonstrating that it's actually quite intuitive and straightforward to use.
When it comes to raw converters and photo library managers, our choice of products has recently become more limited with the demise of Apple’s Aperture. My impression in the past was that one’s choice is largely based on features and ease of use with little difference in image quality between them. That opinion was quickly changed when I started digging into Phase One’s Capture One Pro 7.
Over my years as a fashion photographer and retoucher I’ve made contact and had conversations with countless other photographers. I’ve watched some of them flourish and some of them flounder. Those that rise above the competition and make their mark in the industry seem to embody a certain set of traits or characteristics that help in their success.
This week we are filming 5 days of fashion, beauty, test, and portrait looks with Michael Woloszynowicz from Vibrant Shot Photography. Michael is a Toronto based photographer and high end retoucher creating an in-depth Pro Tutorial with PRO EDU that will be available on sale in the Fstoppers store this summer.
All this week at the PRO EDU studio in St. Louis, Michael Woloszynowicz has been hard at work showing off his techniques for an upcoming tutorial series on creating fashion and editorial photography. Today at 11am CST, myself along with the rest of the video crew will be streaming his model test look demonstrations live from the studio.
A month ago I flew to North Carolina and was the Director of a 5 person crew for a week-long video shoot at a multi-million dollar corporate facility. Then just last week, I spent 4 days in Albuquerque as a Production Assistant, shooting behind the scenes images and getting lunch for the crew. My ego almost stopped me from taking that gig, but I’m glad it didn't. Here’s why.
This past week I've been sleep deprived, socially inactive, and holding a camera in my hands for more than I ever have in my entire life. You see, this past week I've been working with PRO EDU to film my first tutorial series to go on sale at the Fstoppers store this summer. Though learning a lot about my own work and process, I think I learned the most when I used a rented PhaseOne IQ250 system for one of my shoots.
Last week PRO EDU launched the Ultimate Guide To Newborn Photography and it's been a huge hit for photographers and new moms. Tomorrow is the very last day to save 100$ on the most comprehensive natural light newborn photography, lighting, business, pricing, and post production tutorial in the world. If you were ever considering adding this genre of photography to your services then this may be the wisest investment you will ever make for your career.
Newborn photography is one of the hottest genres of photography today. And with more and more babies being born everyday, the demand for talented newborn shooters has never been higher. Here are ten reasons from Stephanie Cotta on why you should be photographing newborns.
An estimated 370,000 babies are born per day throughout the world. Knowing this staggering statistic will only grow each year, I'm left wondering if newborn photography is the most promising line of portrait work to be in. This is exactly what Stephanie Cotta was thinking back in 2010 when she began creating timeless images of newborns for her clients . Today, Stephanie is one of the busiest newborn photographers in the country. Her new tutorial is the culmination of her entire business including booking, pricing, marketing, posing, and post-production.
Talk to a photographer long enough and the question of screen calibration will be brought up. Often many will say it's an incredibly important tool in your post production workflow, and often many more disregard it all together. So what is screen calibration? Is it still a viable issue within photography today, or is it becoming more and more obsolete, like sync cables and light meters? I'm here to explain it to you.
Let's imagine you've lost the drive that houses all of your RAW files for Lightroom. Let's also assume ninjas broke into your off site location and stole your backup. Let's even go so far as to say that hackers erased all of your images backed up in the cloud. If you've made previews there may still be one way to recover your work.
You probably know that getting your uploads to look sharp on screen, in print and on social media goes beyond resizing. Now, resizing is incredibly important in order to retain the optimum quality for sites such as Facebook, but there is an element far deeper than that and it is not often discussed. This is the secret to getting your images looking “sharper” no matter the medium.
Food, beverage, and product photography is all about sculpting light, your composition, and understanding which modifiers to use in which situations. In this behind the scenes tutorial, PRO EDU takes you in their St. Louis studio for a step by step look at building an image. Join PRO EDU this May in the Bahamas for a 2 day intensive workshop on liquids, glass, beer, and beverage photography. You could even win a free trip.
Cyber Monday is winding down as midnight draws closer but you still have a few hours to save 20% on what we believe is the best Lightroom Workshop collection on the internet. This download includes 23 hours of tutorials as well as some of the best Lightroom presets on the market today. Use the code "BF2014" to save 20% now.
Here is a look at a 4 day photo shoot my studio PRO Photo did for Bailey's Irish Cream through Brand Content in Boston. This job was especially technical due to the bottle's reflective and concave properties. This called for an extra technical and precise lighting setup. The slightest move in any of the lights drastically changed the light shape on the set and bottle. Take a look.
On November 7th, 8th, and 9th Rob Grimm of PRO EDU will be giving away a 2-day pass to the Fstoppers Bahamas Workshop in May of 2014. It's free to enter, just tune in live for your chance to win on CreativeLIVE next week where we will announce the instructions for how to enter. The pass we are giving away is for our liquids, liquor, beer, and splashes workshop that will cover everything we know about shooting liquids.
In the last segment of our commercial pricing guide we will tackle the least talked about and most misunderstood portion of your invoice; the licensing fees. I will go over what they are, why you should be using them, and my preferred method for calculating them no matter who my client is!
Each week, we ask our writers to answer a question submitted to us in the comments from the previous weeks. These questions can cover anything, and hope to provide some insight on what its like to be a working professional photographer in the industry. Last week, we asked "Ten Headshots for a Corporate Client, What Do You Charge?" and got a lot of feedback, which spawned this weeks question -- "What is Your Cancellation Policy?"
Dixie Dixon is a Dallas based badass and one of the sixteen "celebrated contemporary photographers" of the Nikon ambassador program. Dixie specializes in commercial fashion photography and is a prime example of how hard work, apprenticeship, and relentless dedication pays off in commercial photography. I recently chatted with her and stole all of her secrets of success for you, the reader. Because that's how much I love you, reader.