Fstoppers Original Articles

5 Tips for Making Models More Likely to Reply to TFP Requests

Getting started in photography is expensive. Sometimes frustratingly so. This expense tends to compound a bit if one has to pay professional models to build a portfolio. Fortunately, you don’t. Models also need to build a portfolio, so collaborating with photographers to create images becomes extremely valuable. TFP (time for print, or time for portfolio) has becomes a keystone of the beauty/fashion/glamor world.

How to Shoot Full Length Editorials in Studio: Full Gear List and Lighting Setup

In this tutorial I will show you how to setup your studio strobes for full length portraits as we shoot an editorial style lighting setup. First we will look at the entire gear list we used and you can use for a similar setup, from the backdrop to the studio heads. I will breakdown our lighting. with lighting diagrams and explanation of WHY we are placing our lights where we are. Also, in this video tutorial we share some Behind The Scenes from our shoot day.

Why You Should Consider Working Out of a Shared Space with Other Creatives

As artists and creatives we thrive off of energy, at least I know I do. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies and talk ourselves out projects we want to do, want to come back to, or have almost given up on. I've been on this end of the spectrum, holed up in my editing bay whacking my head against the wall on my third cup of coffee. When there is no one around to talk through the details of a project, it can start to become extremely daunting. This is why working out of shared spaces can be a life saver for some creatives, like myself. Let's take a look at what benefits come with working in a shared space.

Critique the Community: Submit Your Wedding Photos to be Critiqued by Lee and Patrick

Since fall is the biggest and busiest Wedding Season for most photographers, we want to see your best wedding images for our next episode of Critique the Community. Lee and Patrick will select 20 images to critique; upload your wedding image of choice to your Fstoppers account, then paste the URL of the image in the comments below. We are anticipating a lot of images, so you have until August 25th to submit your best image.

The Phone Camera That Will Make You Put Away Your DSLR

Or at least that's what the salesman tried to sell it to me as. You see, LG's new G4 sports a pretty incredible camera for a phone. Its 16 MP 1/2.6" CMOS sensor has an f/1.8 lens in front of it for light-gathering goodness. If this wasn't enough, the full manual controls of Android's new camera have been implemented. This all sounds impressive. But, just how capable is it?

Create a Professional Looking Email Signature With WiseStamp

Giving a great first impression is imperative, especially when our work is mostly based on aesthetics. It can be the way we dress, the image we carry through social networks, or even a simple email signature. I have tried many different email signatures, using HTML formatted text, an image, or a mix of both. But I never was satisfied with how it looked. I then stumbled upon WiseStamp. A very simple way to create a professional and clean looking signature for your emails.

Dear Churches, Your Photography Rules Might be Making it Harder on Both of Us

Working as a wedding photographer is often an exercise in mutual respect with other vendors who have parallel, yet sometimes different, priorities in serving the bridal couple and their family. Most of time everyone is on the same team, but occasionally we photographers run into rules that don’t serve anyone properly. When those rules come from the church, it’s often hard to explain them away.

More Insight Into The "Escaped" Tiger Incident At Detroit's Packard Plant

So if you have been watching social media this week, then you most likely heard about British photographer David Yarrow who made headlines after a tiger allegedly got "loose" during a photo shoot that was taking place in the well-known Packard Plant in Detroit. As a photographer, I am in Michigan a lot for various still and video projects throughout the year and have a lot of creative industry friends in the region. After reading the initial news reports, I decided to do a little digging of my own and went to the source to find out what REALLY happened.

Insane Close Up Photo of Lightning Strike in Texas

Here in 2015, everyone and their grandmother has a smartphone with a camera. Subsequently, almost every interesting second of life on Earth is, for the most part, captured digitally on said devices, or so it would seem. Every now and then, it takes more than dumb luck to catch a one-in-a-million snap of something seldom seen close up. In the case of professional stormchaser Hank Schyma, this lightning strike near downtown Houston was a project 20 years in the making.

I'm a Wedding Photographer and I Have No Idea What I'm Doing

Over the course of a wedding day, you can shoot in countless locations with varying difficulties. Most of the time, the locations will be places you have never been before. If you ask around online for advice, you will probably be told to scout out your locations days or even weeks in advance. You may be advised to know which location you are going to shoot each image in and that you should build a list so you don't forget. When I first started shooting weddings, I would scout locations and build the shot lists; however, the more I would shoot, the more I would realize that this process was actually making things more difficult for me. That’s why I prefer to go into a wedding day with no idea what I’m doing.

6 Ways to Survive a Wedding As a Photographer (When You’re Not the Photographer)

Recently I had the distinct honor of being a groomsman in a close friend’s wedding. It’s a lot of hurry and stand while remembering where to look. The pressure really is more on the two people getting married to remember their lines: “I do.” But as part of the wedding party, you also get the full brunt of posing, smiling and cheesing it up for the wedding photographer.

Superstar Photographer Erik Almas Explains How to Market Yourself to Big Clients

Erik Almas is one of my all time favorite photographers. His work mixes equal parts clever advertising and personal vision in a way that makes each image intriguing to study. But behind all of his brilliant images is a businessman who works diligently to get his brand in front of art buyers and advertising agencies. Today PRO EDU has released a free section about marketing from Almas' Composite Photography tutorial, and this advice is something every photographer should hear.

The Monday Retouch: Episode 2

It's Monday morning and that means another completed retouch and time to submit your image for next week. We had more amazing submissions last week and here is the winner! In this post, you will see the SOOC image compared to the retouched image and I will discuss the particular challenges and the direction I decided to go with the photo. You can also watch the entire retouch in the video. And once again, you can post any image of yours that you would like and it may be chosen to be retouched for free and delivered to you in full-res to do with what you'd like.

Life on the Road: DesignEgg's Andy Wickstrom on Photography, Business, and Travel

Many of us dream about the idea of traveling, and using our skills as photographers, filmmakers, or designers to sustain a lifestyle that allows us to travel and work at the same time. Guys like Elia Locardi come to mind, but his methods are just one of many different ways to make a nomadic working lifestyle a sustainable one, and in this article I’ll tell you the story behind Wickstrom Design.

Tips on How to Choose Your Next Lens for Photography

One of the questions that crops up often on photography forums, sites, and even in photography conversations over a pint is "which lens should I buy next?" It is said with such sincerity and met with so many recommendations that are, in the end, mostly meaningless. It even rears its ugly head in the form of "What is the best lens for 'X' photography?", as though somehow, another person's answer will guide the asker to greatness.

When We've Lost Sight of the Image

Lenses, bodies, lighting, software, film, digital. Photographers can be a technical bunch. We must not forget what lies beneath the tangible, first-order details, though.

Why You Should Stop Contouring in Post

Natural-looking images are making a comeback. If you look at recent issues of big magazines, you will see that makeup is often a nude with some shine to it, retouching is less "doll like," and even simple 1-light setups seem to be the standard. Some people will argue that it has been like this for quite some time. It is true, but I find that retouching is more flagrant than before. Even well known high-end retouchers seem to leave more imperfections in their images than a year ago.

Why You May Not Be A Boudoir Photographer Even Though You Think You Are

Recently, a fellow photographer (who shall remain nameless) posted a rather beautiful image on his social media, and added "Shot a little bit of boudoir this weekend..." as the caption. This made me take pause and ponder about what boudoir is, or rather is supposed to be, and how it could very well be the most misunderstood labels in portraiture.

6 Things to Look Out for When Buying Used Lenses Locally

Buying used gear is always a balance between risk and potential reward. There is always a chance the lens will be defective in some way or another, but there is also the potential that you will get a perfect lens at a great price. When buying online, you are at the mercy of the seller, but when going out to buy used gear in person from local classifieds, there are several things you can do to decrease the chances of getting a lemon.

Relativity and the Context Within: Thoughts on Power and Responsibility in Photography
An unedited photograph I took in the Santa Cruz Mountains and posted on Instagram got a decent amount of feedback. People asked questions about where this was, what kind of dream world I had uncovered, and if they could repost it in some form in different areas of the web. I loved this image, too; but naturally, I began to wonder what it was that was so special or engaging about this photograph? I almost never take anything but "people" shots.

Take an Emotional Journey Through Time with Photographer's Amazing "Past and Present" Project

Three years ago, Photographer Christian Carollo came upon his grandfather's travel photography from across the United States. The initial spark for the "Past and Present" Project started with a particular image of the small coastal town of Winchester Bay, Oregon. Christian wondered if he could replicate the image and he succeeded. This was the start of an epic and awe-inspiring project now known as the Past and Present Project. Christian has traveled all over the United States, continuing to replicate his grandfather's images. The results are breathtaking and have re-inspired in me the true emotional potential a single image can have.