Blake Michael - Portraits

renadurhamI’m going to have to warn you.  If you have a teenage daughter, chances are she might squeal as she reads this post over your shoulder.

Today’s featured post is not about a unique look in her imagery or a distinct post-processing that her portraits possess.  This feature is about applauding an artist’s knowledge in a specific industry and her capitalizing on it.  Based in the heart of Hollywood, she somehow has a way of knowing what little cutie has big star potential.  She has been known for grabbing photoshoots with these potentials before they become teen heartthrobs for Disney, Nickelodeon, or even on the big screen.   Meet Rena Durham, a children’s commercial and editorial photographer.

Whether you have teens in your house or not, you’ve probably heard of some of her clients; Zac Effron, Justin Beiber, David Archuletta and even the Jonas Brothers.  Each of these fresh faces are packed full in Rena’s portfolio.  She then has a stock of images to submit to children’s magazines before or while they hit the big leagues.  Not only is Rena featured in multiple magazines with her youthful portfolio, she also is an actress and voice over specialist for cartoons, video games and other Hollywood featured media.
Rena’s favorite gear:
Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 5D Mark II (for video) with my 50mm 1.8
Canon 70-22mm 2.8 ISL
Canon 24-70mm 2.8
Profoto Acute 1200r Lighting
Photoflex 52″ Reflector
And can’t go anywhere without my Tamrac camera and lighting cases
And when I can travel lightly, my Kelly Moore bag
Advice for Emerging Photographers:

Figure out what it is that you LOVE to photograph and focus on that (and become really good at it) and only show what you want to shoot on your website. If you don’t enjoy doing weddings, don’t show wedding images on your website. Also, I think it is fine to look at other photographers work and ask yourself what is it about their work that you like but not try and copy them. Find your own style…You don’t always have to fit in with the standard either. Just because everyone else seems to be doing it, doesn’t mean you have to to. Find what drives you and makes you feel excited and inspired and shoot that!

To see more of Rena’s portfolio, head to or follow her on Facebook.


This Post Sponsored by:

Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom for US$9.99/mo. This is a limited-time offer. Get it here. Be sure to also check out the Video for Photographers learning center.

The HDR Learning Center Check out new ways to use High Dynamic Range photography to make compelling images. Free tutorials and posts to get results. Produced in partnership with HDRsoft.

Mosaic A complete solution for photographers using Lightroom who want to manage and share their photos. You can easily view images with their iOS app or web service. Plus your photos are backed up to the cloud with several plans to match your needs. Learn photography anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace—from bite-sized tutorials to comprehensive courses. Try free for 10 days by visiting Photofocus.

The Topaz Labs Image Enhancement bundle. Open up a world of creative possibilities with a seamless, integrated workflow. You don’t need to be a Photoshop wizard to look like one. Click here and use the code photofocus to get a 15% discount.

Let us know your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

About MelissaNiu

Melissa Niu is a storyteller at heart. Niu's work ranges from her Broadcast Journalism experience at NBC in Seattle to her recent work as a co-founder and host of the photography platform, [FRAMED] Network. Her passion for photography, music and journalistic skills harvests into a massive need to tell a good story. As a mother of three daughters and running multiple businesses, Niu is constantly seeking balance, health, laughter and progression.


Commercial, Photographer of the Week, Portrait, Shooting, Your Focus