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Ryan Cooper
Vancouver, BC, CA

Articles written by Ryan Cooper

Why I Loathe Sending Web Proofs After a Photoshoot

Why I Loathe Sending Web Proofs After a Photoshoot

The Internet has done a rather annoying job of trivializing the photo selection process. Culling images is a critical process in a photographer’s workflow that the client or model often wants to be a big part of. The majority of photographers I’ve asked address this by dumping all the photos into some sort of web-based proofing site and just send the link off to clients and let them make their choices.

Developing a Sense of Consistent Style in Your Photography

Developing a Sense of Consistent Style in Your Photography

One of the most valuable selling points that many of the world’s top photographers have is that they have invested in creating a signature look to their photography that builds a consistent sense of identity across their entire body of work. A very common question I am asked is how to develop your style. It seems to be a goal that many photographers are chasing, but have no idea how to go about.

Using Heavy Cross-light To Make Headshots That Glow

Using Heavy Cross-light To Make Headshots That Glow

Recently, I have been experimenting with creating a sort of more intense style of headshot for certain clients who are interested in a more surreal, vibrant, look to their headshot as opposed to the more traditional headshot which is designed to to more closely emulate realistic lighting. The heavy cross-light look uses powerful lights that are positioned perpendicular to your the main light to create a strong highlight to the side of the face while living a distinctive shadow down the subject's cheek. Heavy cross-lighting can do a great job of building a sense of three dimensionality without sacrificing the soft, flattering, feel of a traditional headshot.

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

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.

6 Things to Look Out for When Buying Used Lenses Locally

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.

6 Wacky Ways To Supercharge Your Creativity To Become A Better Photographer

6 Wacky Ways To Supercharge Your Creativity To Become A Better Photographer

Creativity is the core building block of every great photographer. Those who know how to foster and stimulate the power of their creativity often can enjoy a tremendous boost in their work. Some methods such as listening to music or getting hammered are pretty common knowledge but there are also an endless collection of somewhat less orthodox methods that are also worth giving a whirl!

What You Should Be Spending Your Money On If You're a Photographer

What You Should Be Spending Your Money On If You're a Photographer

Gear, of course! Camera bodies and lenses galore! Nothing makes you a better photographer than dumping thousands of dollars on the latest technology! Right? No? Ok, I digress, I guess blowing all your hard earned (or borrowed) cash on the latest and seemingly greatest in camera equipment is probably about the least effective thing you can do to improve the quality of your work. So what SHOULD you be spending your money on then?

Why Using Your Gear Should Always Be the Easiest Part of Every Shoot

Why Using Your Gear Should Always Be the Easiest Part of Every Shoot

I’m often amazed by how many photographers don’t really know all that much about the technical aspects of operating their gear. While I’m not expecting everyone to go out and study how the mechanics of a lens works, I think it is utterly paramount when you are on a shoot that the actual act of operating your equipment to achieve a professional-quality image should be trivially easy so that you can focus on the more important aspects.

Mount Speedlights in Your Strobe Softboxes with the Cheetah Stand Speed Pro MKII

Mount Speedlights in Your Strobe Softboxes with the Cheetah Stand Speed Pro MKII

It has always driven me insane that I had to stock multiple sets of softboxes that are largely identical but designed for use with either studio strobes (of a specific brand) or speedlights (via some sort of proprietary bracket). I even jerry-rigged some disconcertingly terrifying setups over the years involving a few Justin Clamps to mount my speedlights onto speed rings. Unsurprisingly, things didn’t go very well. That is until I discovered Cheetah Stand’s Speed Pro MKII bracket, which is a hefty bracket specifically designed to help you mount a small flash into Bowens-style speed rings.

Foolish Lies You Keep Telling Yourself That Are Holding Your Photography Hostage

Foolish Lies You Keep Telling Yourself That Are Holding Your Photography Hostage

Photography is crazy hard to master. That difficulty becomes impossible when you start locking yourself behind walls of your own creation. Stop deluding yourself, those little restrictions that you keep using as crutches to excuse your lack of progress are only inhibiting your ability to grow. Shatter those internal lies so you can keep pushing your photography forward and become the photographer you dream of.

8 Forgotten Things You Can Bring To Ensure Your Next Shoot Goes Smoothly

8 Forgotten Things You Can Bring To Ensure Your Next Shoot Goes Smoothly

The morning of a shoot has arrived and you are running around frantically loading gear trying to make sure that you haven’t forgotten a lens, power cable, or battery that will be the key to making the shoot a success. In the haste of focusing on gear, it can be too easy to forget to load a few simple tools that can come to your rescue and make sure everyone is as happy as possible throughout the shoot.

Why Self-Imposed Restrictions Might Be Undermining the Quality of Your Photos

Why Self-Imposed Restrictions Might Be Undermining the Quality of Your Photos

Recently I was sent a YouTube video of an artist who spent a huge amount of time creating drawings using MS Paint. The end product was decent enough, even impressive if you consider the tool he was using, but if you were to eliminate knowledge of his method it would merely be a mediocre, unimpressive digital painting. How amazing could this guy’s work be if he didn’t arbitrarily limit himself? This is clearly an extremely talented artist that is limiting the quality of his work by stubbornly insisting on using an inefficient tool. Which, of course, got me to thinking about how as photographers, we have a tendency to do the exact same thing.

Shooting Mythical Heroes In Iceland

Shooting Mythical Heroes In Iceland

In Spring 2015, two photographers traveled to the rugged mountains of Iceland to collaborate with a pair of elite costume artists (cosplayers) to shoot some of fiction's most iconic characters in an unforgettable location. With only a piddly $180 in the “candy budget,” the team set out to plan 24 shoots over the course of 8 days.