Fstoppers Original Articles

Fstoppers Lighting Diagrams- Retro Fashion Shoot

A couple weeks ago I was fortunate to work with Tina Hughes, a talented local clothing designer. Her latest collection blends vintage and modern elements. I thought that my friend's modernist house would be the perfect location for the shoot. We were limited to doing the shoot during the (bright and sunny) day so I used speedlites, a polarizing filter and orange gels to add a moodiness to the images.

How I Shot A Corporate Promo Video With Motion Timelapses And A Steadicam

Back in October, the local headquarters of a global company that specializes in industrial automation hardware and software solutions contacted me. Over the next several months, I put together a production plan for this company and we agreed on what they wanted for a final product. This video is a behind the scenes look at our primary shoot day. Click on to read about how I used different tools to create an engaging video for my client.

How To (And Not To) Shoot Underwater Pt.1 Natural Light

This year my family and I escaped the cold of NYC and went to South Florida to celebrate the holidays. I was so glad to be heading to some warm weather, and I planned some shoots that wouldn't be typical of the winter weather up North. I had never shot underwater before, so I wanted to challenge myself and try it out. I contacted BorrowLenses to see if they had an Aquatech housing that I could

How I Lit This Fashion Shot

Lighting is one of my favorite things to play with on a shoot. Creative lighting can really give you're photography a large edge over just shooting natural/ambient light. I love using lights, because I am always growing and learning new techniques. This week I will walk you through the relatively simple setup for one of my favorite shots in my portfolio.

Tax Guide For Photographers

Its that time of year, the dreaded tax season. During this time, we all either hire someone to do this work for us, or we spend hours on websites trying to decoded the complicated tax laws that apply for us all. This can be a painful process, especially for us self employed photographers. Well, I'm here to help you dig through the complicated process, and simplify your taxes into some terms you may be able to understand.

Fstoppers Sits Down With Joey Lawrence

It’s six o’clock in the evening; Joey Lawrence and I are having what could only be described as the trendiest cups of coffee in all of Williamsburg at that very moment. To be fair, this part of Brooklyn takes its coffee (as well as its trendiness) very seriously. Outside, it’s not unlike being inside of a freezer during a power outage – it’s bitingly cold, wet and smells like something somewhere is spoiling. Luckily, we’re inside, sans rainwear, meeting over a table made from reclaimed wood while Edison bulbs on simple fixtures drip unassumingly from the ceiling.

Fstoppers Lighting Diagrams: The Martin Schoeller Portrait

Last week I tried my hand at emulating Martin Schoeller's portrait lighting with a single bare-bulb speedlite. Though the experiment was technically a failure, it still produced a nice portrait. Since then, I have tried two more lighting scenarios before finally nailing it on the fourth (please excuse my OCD tendancies) and final attempt.

How I Shot It... Bridal Portraits in Hotel Room

As a wedding photographer I have learned that our shooting conditions are not always ideal. One of the places I dread most is the bride's dressing room. It is typically a hotel room with bags, shoes and every beauty accessory invented strewn across the floor. The lighting is never ideal and the decor just might be the straight out of your grandma's home. Read on below to see a simple lighting setup using two flashes that can help you create beautiful portraits even in not so flattering locations.

Fstoppers Lighting Diagrams - Head Shot

The other day Phlearn came up with a way to emulate Martin Schoeller's portrait lighting. I have been wanting to lock down Schoeller's technique for years now, so when I saw Phlearn's post, I was stoked. And they did a fantastic job. I even learned their cool Photoshop technique of adding natural looking highlights and shadows. The problem was that in order for me to try out their lighting technique, I needed two strip soft boxes for my strobes, which I didn't have.

Fstoppers Look into Ian Ruhter's 'Death Do Us Part'

Ian Ruhter is quickly becoming a household name in the world of creative photography and wonderful documentaries. His name first broke into the scene last year, with his film entitled 'Silver & Light'; where he discussed his van which has been converted into a camera, but more importantly, takes us through his journey to find his passion again. Yesterday, Ian gave us a new story where he tackles death and the coping process.

Take Your Food Photography Out Of The Kitchen!

Have you had trouble taking pictures inside a kitchen? Don't worry you are in good company. Architects generally don’t think of photographers when designing a kitchen space. The line of a busy restaurant isn't the best place to take pictures. Tight corners combined with a mess of tungsten and fluorescent lights shining from a multitude of directions make it very difficult to create mouthwatering images.

Fstoppers.com Is Looking For Guest Bloggers

Do you have something worth sharing? If so, you should submit a guest blog post to us. Fstoppers.com is currently reaching about 800,000 individual photographers every month and our community would love to hear your voice. Continue reading to learn what we are looking for and how to submit your articles.

Interview With Fraction Magazine

There are a few contemporary photography websites that make me immediately stop what I am doing and look through the work being featured each month. One of my personal favorites is Fraction Magazine. Each month Fraction brings a handful of emerging artists to their viewers, showcasing some really amazing contemporary photography in each issue.

Fraction Magazine is as an on-line contemporary photography magazine that features diverse bodies of work by established and emerging artists from around the globe.

Fstoppers Reviews: The Lightroom 4 Preset System By SLR Lounge

The internet has become a gold mine of resources for photographers of all different genres, experience levels and styles. It's so easy to find inexpensive Lightroom or Photoshop presets to help create interesting post-processing colors and effects without spending hours trying to create them yourself. The only problem is: which ones do you use? SLR Lounge has released an all-comprehensive Lightroom 4 Preset System that is user-friendly and takes the headache out of using presets.

How to Manage Your Administrative Tasks as a Photographer

Hi, my name is Tam. Most of you don't know me, but I've been with Fstoppers for a few months now. As a system engineer, I'm more or less like a ghost in the machine; I make sure the awesome writers here have a functional server to keep the fresh content coming, and everyone else have their daily Fstoppers fix. The job is simple 90% of the time; the other 10%... you probably don't want to be near me.

SEO Tips for Photographers

If you are like me, the acronym SEO brings a shudder to your bones. If you are a photographer with a website, you have no doubt received countless emails from sites offering to optimize your site for a fee. In this post, I will tell you the things I did for free or next to nothing that helped push my photography website to page one of organic Google searches. The one thing that I already had working to my advantage is that my website is a non-flash site that was launched almost seven years ago.

Product Photography With A Bang: Photographing The BAR Machine Gun

A few weeks ago, the South Carolina Military Museum offered me the chance photograph some of their massive collection of World War II firearms, shooting for the excellent Curio and Relic Firearms website C&Rsenal, and I jumped at the chance. I've always been fascinated by antique firearms not because of their destructive capabilities, but because they are incredibly elegant machines that are very, very simple. So needless to say I was very excited to get the opportunity to "shoot" them.

Digital Caricature Photoshop Tutorial

So I have seen quite a bit of caricature portraits and fell in love with them. I decided to try my hand at doing a few and kind of fell into a new little series with them. Everyone who has seen them has asked if I could shoot them or their families in this style. This little tutorial will show you how I go about doing these shots.

Richard Johnson's Imagination Series Will Stir Your Imagination

I first came across Richard Johnson's work in a group I belong to on Facebook called CREATIVOS. I have watched his Imagination series grow and grow over the last month or two, and his post processing really is quite unique. Richard is a 30 year old graphic and motion graphics designer, residing in Orlando FL. I have said it before, and I will say it again, but I believe that shooting personal work is a great way to grow as a photographer. I asked Richard some questions about himself and his series for the readers of Fstoppers.

Stop Charging, Start Shooting For Free

This past Monday I wrote a piece titled "Six Things Every Beginning Photographer Should Know". One of the points I made was the importance of sometimes shooting for free. Here are just a few excerpts of reader responses:
"Shoot for free? Really lol?"
"Shooting for free is what's wrong with the photography business."
"Go ahead shoot for free. You set your price point and show how much you value your work that way."

So I thought it would be worthwhile to explain what I meant.

Give Your Social Media a Good Ass Kicking

Websites such as Twitter and Facebook can be extremely powerful tools for our businesses however most of us are using them all wrong. Over the years we have continued to pile on layer after layer of distractions that in the end leave us feeling guilty of even trying to use social media. We walk away feeling like we wasted our time. It's time to regain control of these tools and use them for good to connect, be inspired and market ourselves. Read on to learn some valuable tips that have been real game changers for me.

How to Beat Feeling Uninspired

As creative beings, we all have moments where creativity seems to be flowing through us; times when we feel so stuck in a rut, and feel as though we may never climb out. These can come to us in cycles, in swings, and in whichever other notion you’d like to describe it. Certainly, we've all experienced both sides of the coin, but when we're feeling particularly uninspired as creative bodies, it can feel like no end is in sight.

Favorite Android Apps For My Photography Business

When smart phones first started gaining in popularity I was one of those who insisted I didn't need one. I was quite satisfied with my flip phone and the ability I had to send a text message every once in awhile even if it took three presses of the number 7 to get the letter "S." When I finally made the leap to the smart phone a couple years ago I realized it was probably the single most valuable tool in my life for productivity, business, learning and entertainment. I wanted to share with our readers the 48 android apps I use most often and hear about your favorites in the comments below.

Fstoppers Exclusive: Shooting Cirque du Soleil with Matt Beard

Photographing a Cirque Du Soleil show requires a bit of acrobatics from any photographer up to the challenge. Matt Beard is one of the few photographers, hand picked by Cirque, to bring his talent and experience into capturing both live action and beautifully staged shots. He has worked with Cirque for many years, under the wing of master photographer Veronique Vial (as a photographer’s assistant) and had gained first hand experience in the ways of a Cirque shoot.

Six Things Every Beginning Photographer Should Know

About once a week I get an email from a student or aspiring photographer that wants advice on how they can break into a career of being a professional photographer. I found that I was writing the same response every time. So for the sake of time just as much as my desire to share what I have learned, here is my list of six things that I think every beginning photographer should be doing.

How To Ask For (And Receive) Good Critiques And Comments

Being a member of a lot of online photography communities, I see stuff like this all the time. A photographer just took a shot that I can tell they are really excited about, and want some feedback on it. They'll post it to a forum or a Facebook page with the typical "C&C please." line. And it drives me up a wall.

Fstoppers Interviews Calvin Hollywood: Conceptual Photographer And Photoshop Master

When I hear the name, Calvin Hollywood, a few things instantly pop into my mind. Photoshop guru, Scott Kelby instructor, 'freaky, amazing details', and lastly 'Calvinize'! Calvin is a master of digital art and his standing room only sessions at Photoshop World prove so. I had the chance to catch up with the intriguing and witty Calvin for an interview for an opportunity to see a glimpse into the mind of a digital genius.

Fstoppers Reviews: SLR Lounge's 'Mastering HDR Photography' Workshop Will Change Your Photography In Ways You Never Imagined

If you own a DSLR camera, the odds are that you've tried to create an HDR image using one of the many available HDR software programs available on the market, and you might have even created what people call 'disastrous' results. But fret not, because SLR Lounge recently released the end-all, be-all HDR tutorial to conquer all other HDR tutorials.

The Fstoppers Wedding DVD Is Now Available

After 3 years of planning and 2 years of filming and editing, our newest tutorial: How To Become A Professional Commercial Wedding Photographer is now available. Our goal was to create the most complete and informative video on wedding photography and we believe we have done it with this 14 hours digital download. The world is filled with people trying to turn their passion for photography into a career and I believe that wedding photography is the easiest way to start making money with your camera.

ENDS TOMORROW:  Win a Sneak Preview of Fstoppers New Wedding Photography Tutorial

UPDATE: CONTEST ENDS TOMORROW! After 2 full years, it is finally done! Our digital download, How To Become a Professional Commercial Wedding Photographer "DVD" tutorial is ready to be released. Lee and I have spent countless hours in filming, editing, and producing this 14+ hour tutorial, and we want to give three lucky Fstoppers readers a free, pre-release copy in its entirety. And to top it off, we are giving each of those 3 winners one of our secret light modifiers currently in preproduction.