One of the best things about window light is that you can find it almost anywhere. As winter approaches and chilly weather threatens to keep photo sessions indoors, photographers will face the choice of how to light their portraits. Strobes and flashes are a great option, but not all photographers own them. Almost everyone has access to a window though, and a window has plenty to offer any photographer who knows how to use it.
Articles written by Nicole York
18-month-old Augie is getting a head start in the modeling industry thanks to his uncle, New York-based model Aristotle Polites, and the adorable Instagram account they share. What began as an older sister teasing her younger brother by having her son imitate his uncle's modeling photos has turned into a social media following of over 28,000 people.
Industry icons like Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz often look to us plebs like they’ve been blessed by the photography gods with talent the rest of us can only dream about, yet their success stories often include incessant practice, unwavering determination, apprenticeships, and lucky breaks. What separates those of us at the bottom from the select few at the top? And, if you want to be front and center stage, how do you get there?
I’ve always been jealous of people who know where they’re headed. They’re like greyhounds chasing a rabbit, absolutely certain of what they were put on this earth to do, and doggedly (pun intended) pursuing their purpose. When I first picked up a camera, I took photographs of everything. Bees, power lines, babies, weddings, families, anything I could point a lens at became my subject. It didn’t take long before I had people asking me to photograph them, and soon enough I was dragging families through shrubs and fields looking for that perfect outdoor shot.
If you are interested in the commercial side of the photography industry, working with models and agencies is a must. Approaching a modeling agency and asking to work with models can be intimidating, particularly when you aren't sure how to get started. Fortunately, Dublin based fashion photographer Anita Sadowska recently shared a video on her Youtube channel that provides helpful hints any photographer can use to get their foot in the door.
In a recent article entitled "Why You Shouldn't Submit Your Photographs to Magazines," I discussed Vanity Magazines and how, in my opinion, they often fail to deliver enough value to justify the photographer's effort. As a result of that article, I've had the opportunity to talk with the editors of two of the more well-known and better-curated vanity, or submission, magazines, Lucy's and Jute, to find out how their work benefits photographers.
It started in the year 1900 with a trip to Montana to photograph the ritual Sun Dance of the Blackfoot Tribe, and ended with photographer Edward Curtis having photographed 100 Native American tribes, producing 2,200 photographs that would come to comprise a 20 volume anthology called "The North American Indian," bankrolled by investor J.P. Morgan to the tune of $75,000. In the article written by Elisabeth Sherman for All That Is Interesting, you can see 33 of his most stunning portraits.
Any photographer who has photographed or recorded multiple skin tones on film will know that lighting suitable for one skin type won't always work for another. Exposing for a dark skin tone may blow out a lighter skinned companion, and lighting for a pale skin tone may leave a darker skinned person in the shadows. So how do you properly light dark skin? Xavier Harding recently interviewed Ava Berkofsky, HBO's director of photography for the show "Insecure," for Mic to find out what her techniques are for lighting the show's black actors.
Award-winning Wedding Photographer Susan Stripling recently shared an open letter she wrote dealing with sexism in the photography industry. In the letter, she shares her experiences with male peers, wedding guests, employees at camera stores, and everyone in between who makes gender an issue in a field where sex shouldn't matter.
Every couple of months it seems like there is a new story about how a magazine cover was photographed with an iPhone. Magazines like Bon Appetit, Elle Australia, and Billboard have opted out of the realm of photographers using traditional, professional gear, and into the realm of gear used for taking snapshots and selfies. For each announcement, there are thousands of photographers grinding their teeth and shouting, "this is nothing but a publicity stunt!" But is it? Maybe it's time for the photography community to face the truth: it's not the gear that matters.
Makeup artists can be indispensable to raising the production value of a photoshoot. They make models fit the brief, they introduce important elements to the color palette, they make clients feel fantastic, and they bring the magic to conceptual photographs. Not all makeup artists bring the same value to the table though, so it's important for photographers to consider a few key elements before hiring an artist to their team.
Vanity magazines are a popular place for photographers to submit images to when they are looking to take their photography to the next level. Eager photographers who want to shoot fashion or beauty will scour the Internet for fashion magazines that accept submissions in the hope that these publications will be a rung on their ladder to success. Unfortunately for many photographers, rather than climbing the ladder, they’re merely wasting time and money.
Photography requires repetitive tasks that can often become habit forming. When we find a way of doing something that works, we repeat those steps to get the desired result. We get locked into certain styles and certain ways of thinking. This can be valuable because it makes us dependable, but these habits can also have an undesired effect: they can make us predictable, bland, and stifle our creativity. What can a photographer do when their creativity starts to atrophy? The answer is play.
Photographs taken by intrepid photojournalists and documentary photographers have been informing the public and galvanizing people to take action on social issues for over one hundred years. The disturbing images coming out of the recent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia are a powerful reminder of how much impact an image can have, and how much responsibility a photographer bears when telling a story.
Photographers will spend tons of money and lots of time perfecting their use of the tools of their trade. We buy books and classes, watch tutorials, and spend time practicing, gather in professional groups, and shadow other photographers. While we learn how to use our gear, there is one thing we shouldn’t overlook, because it’s the thing that ultimately matters the most: vision.
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” What an inspiring, hopeful idea. Unfortunately, it’s not always true. According to this article on USA Today, only about 20 percent of businesses last past their first year, and even less survive past the five-year mark. So, what happens when someone falls in love with photography and thinks to themselves, I should start a business? The answer is: a lot of stuff that is not related to photography and, sometimes, the death of a passion.
A couple of years ago, I broke an important rule I made for myself: never take my camera on family outings. We were going to visit the zoo with extended family, and my grandmother said, "You should bring your camera! I bet you could get some great photos of the animals." The whole thing was very innocuous and she was well intentioned, but the results were exactly what I had decided I wanted to avoid, and a good reminder of why I made that rule for myself in the first place. If you find yourself doing the same thing I do, then perhaps this is a good rule for you to adopt.
Work-life balance is like a unicorn: no one knows whether it really exists, but vague hope persists. Balance is particularly difficult for entrepreneurs because we wear so many hats. More often than not, work-life balance is like a seesaw, with life on one end and work at the other. One side is always either up or down, and time spent in the middle is fleeting. The seesaw will never be completely balanced, but there are ways to maximize the time spent in the middle. These seven tips will give you a start.
Are photographers artists? This question causes endless debate and, up until now, my answer has always been yes. I've begun re-thinking that answer though, and now my answer is a bit different and, unfortunately, more vague, but I think it may be closer to the truth than my self-aggrandizing, knee-jerk reaction. Now, I believe that photographers are craftsman and, sometimes, artists.
Strobist. Natural light shooter. These words are at two opposite ends of the spectrum of photographer that seem like they're always a hair's breadth away from starting a photographic civil war, both sides preaching their philosophy as if deviation is blasphemy. One side is derided as being "afraid of learning to use flash" and the other side is jeered at for creating "flashy," "fake," or "contrived" images. Both sides seem immovable in their adherence to their preferred light source. Despite this disagreement, a popular saying in photography is, "light is light." So which is it? Is one better and the other worse, are they just preferences or are both sides cutting themselves short?