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Jeff Carpenter
Nashville, TN

Articles written by Jeff Carpenter

Using Flash Duration to Freeze Motion

Using Flash Duration to Freeze Motion

Flash duration is one of those terms you hear in the world of flash photography but may not know exactly what it is, or why it matters. It’s really quite simple, and pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The measurement of time from when the flash begins to fire until it’s completely off is what’s known as flash duration. Like a light bulb filament slowly burning off when it’s turned off, a flash tube does the same thing, but much quicker.

Why Are You a Photographer?

Why Are You a Photographer?

Perhaps a better question to ask is: “Why am I a photographer?” In recent months, I feel like I've completely lost touch with why I became a photographer. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love what I do, but sometimes I forget why. When I was first starting out as a photographer and all of my shoots were “just for fun,” it was easy to see why I enjoyed it. After all, there were no consequences if I screwed something up, and I looked at photography as more of an escape from reality than a job.

You Need to Take More Self-Portraits

You Need to Take More Self-Portraits

As photographers, we may not always think about taking pictures of ourselves, but having a current headshot is extremely important. Think of it as your own personal little billboard that allows people to see your ability as a photographer. After all, if you don't have a good picture of yourself on your website, what would make anybody believe that you can take quality pictures of anyone else?

Easily Balance Flash With Natural Light

Easily Balance Flash With Natural Light

There are plenty of reasons you may want to blend natural light with flash. I know I rarely shoot with more than one strobe on location so the ambient light often acts as a fill light or rim light. Regardless of your reason to do so, knowing how to easily achieve this is extremely important. Check out this video where I explain my process for balancing strobes with natural light on location.

Do You Shoot Wide Open? You Might Not Want to, and Here's Why

Do You Shoot Wide Open? You Might Not Want to, and Here's Why

Bokeh, it’s something that we all love, whether we like to admit it or not. It seems like every other client I work with asks me to "make the background blurry" or tells me "I want everything behind me to be out of focus." The obvious solution would be to shoot wide open, but the truth is, having your aperture wide open can actually have a negative impact on the quality of your image.

Do You Share Images With Clients on Set?

Do You Share Images With Clients on Set?

There’s nothing worse than wrapping up a shoot that you’re really proud of only to have your client tell you that they’re not happy with the final images. If this happens, you really only have two options: either take the time to re-shoot or provide a refund. Either way, there’s about a zero percent chance that you will get a referral from them. By simply sharing your images with your clients on set, you can make sure that everyone is on the same page and you can begin the editing process with peace of mind and confidence that your client is going to be thrilled with your final product.

Flash Photography for Beginners: Intro to Off-Camera Flash

Flash Photography for Beginners: Intro to Off-Camera Flash

Last week, I posted an article about how to create amazing portraits with on-camera flash. My hope was to help anyone who was on the fence about shooting with flash feel more comfortable and confident in their ability to shoot with flash. Granted, shooting with on-camera flash has its caveats, so in this article, I am going to go over some of the benefits of shooting with off-camera flash.

Flash Photography for Beginners: How to Take Amazing Portraits With On-Camera Flash

Flash Photography for Beginners: How to Take Amazing Portraits With On-Camera Flash

Shooting with flash can seem daunting at times, but it also opens up a whole new world of possibilities to take some truly epic photos that just wouldn't be possible with natural light. As a minor control freak, I was drawn to shooting with flash pretty early on in my career because I wanted to have control of the elements that made up my image. I didn't like the idea having to rely on what the sun was doing to determine whether or not I would be able to create the image that I envisioned. I wanted control so I took it. If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should start shooting with flash, this tutorial is for you.

The Headshot Setup That Will Save You Time and Impress Your Clients

The Headshot Setup That Will Save You Time and Impress Your Clients

I call it the 3-in-1 Headshot Method. As a professional photographer it is imperative that you are able to adapt to your surrounds and the needs of your clients. I run into a situation quite a bit where my client doesn't know exactly what they want out of their headshot session so it’s my job to give them multiple options. In many cases my clients are very busy and they may only have a few minutes to get the shots they need so that doesn't give me the time to tear down my set and build a whole new one just for one look. Anytime I find myself in a situation like that I try to use my 3-in-1 headshot method which allows me to shoot three very different looks with just two lights and one grey background. Check out this video where I go through my process step by step.

Strobes vs. Natural Light Portraits in a Studio Setting

Strobes vs. Natural Light Portraits in a Studio Setting

Sometimes when I'm shooting in a studio setting I find myself using strobes even when the shot doesn't lend itself to being lit with artificial light. After all, I'm inside and it just seems natural to use flash. That is of course until I stumbled across this behind the scenes video of Calgary based photographer Nathan Elson explaining some of his techniques for using both natural light and strobes in a studio setting.

Balancing Business With Passion: Where to Draw the Line

Balancing Business With Passion: Where to Draw the Line

I think it’s safe to say that we are all photographers because we love photography. I know I do, and I am so thankful that I am able to wake up every day and make money doing something that I love. However, like any other job, you’re going to run into an occasional gig that might not be right up your alley. That is a daily struggle for me and that is why I make a point to separate my business photography from my passion projects. The tricky part is where to draw the line.

Four Things Every Photographer Hates to Buy, but Absolutely Needs

Four Things Every Photographer Hates to Buy, but Absolutely Needs

We all know that being a photographer can get expensive, from camera bodies to lenses, there is a never ending list of gadgets and goodies that we can spend our hard earned money on. The last thing anybody wants to do is spend their money on the “must haves” of photography when we could just as easily drop some cash on the things we want. Below is a short list of gear that every photographer should have in their arsenal, but probably doesn't want to spend his or her money on.

Having Competition Will Make You More Money: It’s Science!

Having Competition Will Make You More Money: It’s Science!

Well, technically it's economics but let’s be honest, proclaiming to the world “It’s Economics!” just doesn't pack quite as big of a punch. You probably haven’t heard that competition is good for business since (if I had to guess) your high school economics class, but most of us probably weren’t paying attention anyway. No offense Mr. Holt… The whole idea that competition increases your business is a super backward concept but when you break it down, it actually makes a lot of sense. As a photographer, I am going to explain this as it pertains to the photography, but the whole idea works for any industry out there.