Shooting fashion can be a whirlwind of activity as you try to corral a team of creatives into constructing an amazing array of images. More than with any other type of shoot, I find that things have tendency to go wrong during the course of the fashion shoot. As the photographer, it is your job to not only be prepared for these things to happen, but also to be fully equipped to solve the problems as they come up. Below you will find a series of things I like to keep in my camera bag that are often saviors during a shoot that seems to be going belly-up.
Articles written by Ryan Cooper
Another day, another new camera has been announced. Most of the time the latest and greatest doesn't actually solve any real world problems or improve the shooting experience for the average photographer in any way. That said, camera makers have become rather adept at writing specs sheets designed to make you think that the latest and greatest in camera tech will revolutionize your shooting experience and thus, in turn, your work. I call hogwash, especially in terms of some of their favorite specs that they use to hide the fact that you really don't need a new camera.
Spring has arrived, which means the time for gorgeous golden hour shoots in wonderful weather is nearly upon us. Sunset (and sunrise) are indisputably the most consistent crafters of amazing natural light for portraiture. The warm soft glow of the sun as it falls towards the horizon not only creates fantastic atmosphere but also some of the most flattering light that can be found. For portrait photographers the golden hour as the sun rises or sets is the perfect time to shoot.
As photographers, part of our job often involves making a relatively unexciting location into something exciting. Everything from subject to exposure to framing plays a part in this transformation but one often overlooked tool at a photographer's disposal is color. By adding color to a scene with the use of gels a photographer can bring an uninteresting scene up a notch by creating ambiance and drama.
Being able to preserve the ability to alter any of the edits you have already made while working on a photo is critical to ensuring that you are able to maximize the influence of your creative vision on a photo. There are few greater frustrations than realizing that an adjustment you have made was not quite right but it is so far back in the history that it cannot be altered without starting over. In order to avoid such situations it becomes quite critical to build an editing workflow designed to let you make alterations at any time to any aspect of the photo without the need to start over to undo work.
Model Mayhem was the website that more than any other helped me find models to work with when I was just getting started with portraiture. Starting this month, Model Mayhem has updated its subscription service going far beyond offering perks as it once did. While the update is being touted as an improvement, photographers using Model Mayhem are likely going to be quickly re-evaluating if this service is one that they are interested in continuing to use.
Every photographer is always on a quest for sharper photos, but many only have a vague idea of how to actually create sharper images. The obvious is fairly well known such as high shutter speeds, closed down aperture, keeping ISO low, etc. There are also quite a few other minor techniques that can make a huge difference and are often ignored.
First impressions are everything, and your website is often your first chance to make a great impression with a potential client or fan. Unfortunately, most website portfolios are pretty rough. I will try to skip the obvious and avoid telling you about having a nice design or great work, instead lets focus on some of the things that are a lot less obvious but also super important when it comes to putting your best foot forward.
Apparently issues with memory cards are quite common, even among Mac users. Personally, I almost never have issues but I happen to also be the guy all my friends flock to each time they are having issues with photos on cards. In this post I will share a few strategies to help you avoid a headache when dealing with memory cards.
We Photographers sure love our lenses! So much so that the previous article of a rather similar name received so much love that I couldn't help but write a follow up. The world is filled with amazing glass that doesn't have to completely bust the bank. Sure we all want that new Nikon 105mm f/1.4 and certainly the enormously priced brand new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E but do we really need them? I'd argue probably not, the market has an enormous selection of great lenses, many of which are cheaper and offer exactly what many photographers need.
I began my journey as a portrait photographer quite obsessed with the premise of blasting large studio strobes through giant modifiers. It was my workflow for years. In studio, I'd usually be washing my model with giant waves of light and on location I'd lug big, powerful strobes along with huge lengths of extension cords so that I could plug in and not bother with heavy battery packs. About a year and a half ago I stopped using my big strobes completely and eventually ended up selling them in favor of completely switching to small flash.
As a photographer who happens to live in Canada, shooting in the winter for me often means braving the snow. The problem with snow is that it means facing the cold. As the photographer you are more that free to bundle up in order to stay warm. However, the model often is much more limited by wardrobe which is an excellent recipe for hypothermia. Goose bumps are an utter pain to retouch so my best advice for you is to come prepared to keep your model reasonably warm.
As photographers, many of us are obsessive gear heads always on the hunt for the holy grail of glass. No lens is good enough, we have this mysterious idea of a perfect lens in our imagination that no company could possibly ever actually create. There are, however, a ton of fantastic lenses out there that many photographer would never give a second thought that are more than capable of bringing magic to your next shoot. In this post I'm going to cover three of my favorites.
Portrait photography comes with a tremendous sense of anxious pressure that most other forms of photography do not. The nature of working with a living, breathing human that brings with them strength, weaknesses, and expectations can be enough to trouble many new portrait photographer. A shoot filled with anxiety almost never works out. In fact, the anxiety itself is far more harmful than anything that a photographer could possibly be anxious about.
The dreaded 2016 has come to an end and from the ashes has risen a brand new year filled with creative opportunity. Everyone wants to be better this year than they were last year, no matter what year it is and 2017 will be no different. Improvement, however, doesn't just happen, it begins with a plan. If you don't have one, you need one. Antoine De Saint-Exupéry once wrote: "A goal without a plan is a wish." He was right, stop waiting for a road to being a better photographer to reveal itself and instead start paving one for yourself.
If I had a nickel for every time I encounter a photographer who is preparing to sell all their gear and jump ship to another camera brand I would actually be able to do so myself. Except I wouldn't. Swapping out camera brands based on some ill-conceived belief that it is the brand of gear you use that is holding you back will do nothing more than lighten your wallet and force you to spend a chunk of time relearning a new interface.
The magnificence of 2016 is about to come to and end and with it comes a throng of New Years resolutions, most of which will be broken by mid next week. Many New Years resolutions, however, are quite useful and beckon for positive change, while others can be more damaging than beneficial. Today we are going to take a peek at some of the most common, and also most useless new years resolutions that seem to come about each year.
This week, ON1 Software released their new Photo RAW 2017 processor. It functions as both a raw processor and a simple editing workflow that can be used as a standalone application or as a plugin within various other editing applications such as Lightroom. In this article, we will take a quick look at Photo RAW 2017 in order to provide some first impressions on what ON1 is touting as one of their most powerful tools to date.
Christmas is two weeks away and you are probably starting to panic about your lack of gift buying progress. Have no fear, Fstoppers is here! The stocking is a perfect opportunity to make your resident portrait photographer's Christmas magnificently jolly as there are so many wonderful little toys that fit into an oversized sock. In this post you will find an assortment of fantastic small pieces of gear that will stuff any photographer's heart full of joy this holiday season.
Every photographer worth their salt has had that moment when they get a message from an excited friend who just bought their first camera. That friend is absolutely thrilled with their purchase and has become starry-eyed with the prospect of all the amazing photos they will soon create. There is only one problem: they know nothing about photography. That is where you come in. You have the opportunity to mentor them and create a shooting buddy for the indefinite future, so get it right!