About a year ago I started trying out other genres of photography as a way to jump out of my nature photo comfort zone, reshape my style, and give my creativity a kickstart. This came after some pretty tough personal challenges and dark times that nearly ended my career. For whatever reason, after a few shoots, I found myself drawn to model photography. Beyond the initial shock of having to work indoors while not spending almost all my day knee or waist-deep in swamp water, the biggest surprise of all was how much I enjoyed the challenges of … [Read more...] about NSFW-Working With Models, the Do’s and Don’ts of Implied, Boudoir and Nude Photography
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-infocus-interview-show-photofocus-podcast-january-21-2017 This is the PhotoFocus InFocus Interview Show FOR JAN 21ST, 2017. I’m your Host Rod Harlan. We have an all new quick & condensed, all the stuff with none of the fluff format for 2017, so let’s get started. On today’s show we have: Peter Treadway & David Williams interviewed by Levi Sim - Wedding and Travel Photography - how competitive they are with each other - their disagreement about the value of getting your name attached to … [Read more...] about The Photofocus InFocus Interview Show | Photofocus Podcast January 21, 2017
When shooting a portrait or head shot outdoors or inside a studio, I always use a reflector or bounce card to add some sparkle to the subject. This is Emily, I first shot her without any reflected light indoors in my studio. Now, I will add some reflected light directly below her and just out of the bottom frame. Notice Garrett is holding the reflector. Some photographers will ask the talent to just hold the reflector because they have no one to assist them. Get a stand or something, never ask your subject to hold the reflector on … [Read more...] about Reflected Beauty
Here's a great tip I got from watching some grips quickly change gels on some frames. In the past, when you removed an old gel or diffusion material you always had the mess of the sticky material. Either the 2-sided tape, or the foam stuff from 3M double stick, which ever material was used it was a challenge. I was observing some grips used the following technique and it was fast. This is a standard 18"x24" frame. The first thing you want to do is apply Blue Painters Tape around the entire frame. Here you can see I'm using 1" … [Read more...] about Getting Taped Up
So often someone will take the time to light the talent to look great but forget to light the background and give the image some depth: One method is to use a Cucoloris. Some will refer to it a s a cookie cutter:The Cucoloris will create a shadowed texture onto your background depending on the distance the light source is from the Cucoloris. The general rule with light is that the closer the light the softer the light, the larger the light the softer the light. Allow me to show you this theory in practical application:As you can see in the … [Read more...] about Cucoloris for Shadowed Texture
One of the most used tools on a Hollywood set, oh heck on any set, is the C-Stand. C in Roman numerals representing the numeral 100 is how the C-Stand got its name, 100's of uses. When closed it's 53" high, it can be extended to 10'6", it usually is ordered with a 40" arm and Grip Head. The C-Stand is a very versatile tool in the photographer's arsenal. Allow me to show you how to take advantage of the C-Stand. One way is a reflector holder:You simply secure a piece of foamcore or any material that you're using to reflect light onto the talent. … [Read more...] about C-Stands 101
Some of the most used tools on a Hollywood set are C-Stands and Apple Boxes. Then there are these little babies, Baby Plates. What is a Baby Plate you ask? It's a 5/8 stud, about 3" tall, welded onto a 3.5" x 6" metal plate. It has many uses. Allow me to share a few of those that I've used on the set. One of the most common uses for a Baby Plate is a very low light stand:It has a very solid feel and is very stable for most strobe heads. As you can see in the picture, this Baby Plate has 8 holes in its base. Some will have 4. The purpose for … [Read more...] about No Sippy Cups here, just Baby Plates
Its a beautiful sunny day, you're shooting indoors looking out to a sliding glass door or window and its brighter outside than on your set. Your talent is moving so HDR is not an option. You really don't want a silhouette, if you expose for the talent then your sliding glass door or window blows out with light, what do you do? Allow me to share with you about Black Scrim material. You can purchase it as a open ended flag with various sizes as shown here at B&H, or just the fabric, stretching it over a 18x18 frame as seen here from NCIS:For … [Read more...] about Scrim for Lighting Detail
A great way to challenge yourself and enhance your skills is to shoot some personal projects. Here is an opportunity to stretch your imagination. Building sets, buying props, coordinating wardrobe, scouting locations and casting talent are all part of the process of shooting your personal projects. When you apply all these things, your ideas will come to life. I'll get an idea visually, and then I need to make it happen. Like this 30's Hollywood glamour shot:Once I cast the beautiful actress, Sarah Deakins, I needed to get hair and make-up. … [Read more...] about Shooting Personal Projects
I've been following former Sports Illustrated / HBO photographer Anthony Nestes' transition from sports and entertainment to fashion and glamour photography. He has a unique way of adding simple elements to a scene to help bring the image to life. I took a day trip to Anthony's home in Flagler Beach, Florida, and spent the day asking him questions that resulted in this article "Five tips on photographing a model in a hotel room." Shooting this type of location has its challenges; but with Anthony's basic tips, you can achieve some very … [Read more...] about Five Tips on Photographing a Model in a Hotel Room (NSFW)
Most people refer to it as a clothes pin; in Hollywood it's referred to as a C-47. They were named that way because back in the day there were 47 pins in a pack. The C stands for clamp, hence C-47. We'll take them and reverse the way they clamp so that they have more of a pinch tip to grab stuff better: I like using these economical tools for clamping gels to lights and softboxes. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft stores sells them in different sizes and colors. I like using the medium clamps to secure gels inside small to medium softboxes: The … [Read more...] about C-47: The most useful tool you have in your laundry room.
Here is a great economical way to soften your light. They're China Balls: These were used on the set of Grey's Anatomy. You can buy these light diffusers from World Market or Pier 1 Imports. Here's a link to Filmtools. Filmtools is a great resource; however, on some items they are a bit pricey. They cater to the movie and television industry. They range in cost from around $3.75 for a 12" China Ball up to about $17.00 for a 30" China Ball. Most are made of paper; however, some are made of silk. You do not need the silk ones unless you're … [Read more...] about Lighting with China Balls
There's a rule about having numbers or letters in a shot, "Your eyes will always go to the letters and numbers first to see what they say." I was planning on a personal project to have Wonder Woman breaking some binding chains on a set with some graffiti behind her. So I talked to a friend of mine, Greg, who is a painter on NCIS. I shared with him my idea, and he told me his son, Zach, is a graffiti artist. Great, let's do this! Greg and Zach show up to my studio, and we discuss how it should look. Zach started lining it out, so the process … [Read more...] about “What’s that say?”
What's in your bag? Do you really think that the cameras and lenses that are in my bag are going to get you my job? Stop! I'm not being arrogant, however, how you shoot and I shoot are so radically different it doesn't matter if you use the same gear as I do. We are creative knuckleheads and do what we do as individuals. Wanna know about some of the "stuff" that's in my bag? Allow me to share with you my camera brethren:Altoids, gum, Mentos, or anything that will freshen your breath. I hate working around bad breath. Whether it is from food, … [Read more...] about “What’s in Your Bag?” Stuff!
I'm a huge advocate of creating depth in a photograph. One of the ways is to use a back light or at times referred to as a hair light when shooting talent. Some of the challenges I might have are when the talent has blonde or gray / silver colored hair. I'll lose hair detail in the hair light. I found a great method for helping gain back that detail without losing the depth that a hair light can create. First I'll spray paint the inside of one of my reflectors from metal to flat white. This will soften the contrast: The next thing I will add … [Read more...] about Hot Hair Lights
We have all used smoke machines on sets, they're great, they create mood and help enhance lighting. We have all seen those amazing light beams.Smoke machines are handled on set by the Special Effects crew. Over the years I have seen them apply smoke several different ways. Allow me to share a few with you if I may. In the video you will see that Scott from F/X is applying smoke to a scene I had to shoot for NCIS:LA. What you need to notice is he's bouncing the smoke from the back of the car and not directly applying it onto the set. Most … [Read more...] about Smoke and Mirrors
"Your greatest curse could be your greatest blessing" Shadows, at times they are such a curse, but with a bit of creative manipulating they can be a wonderful blessing. When working on a Hollywood set there are times I'll will have the Grips (the guys who rig things, their name comes from old Hollywood "because you needed a strong hand grip to secure things") set up a diffusion panel for me. If its going to be a full length shot for one or more talent you might end up seeing the edge of a 6x6, or up to a 20x20 foot frame's shadow. Its a ugly … [Read more...] about Camouflaging Shadows
If you're a photo studio or photographer who uses Pictage to host and sell your photos, you likely have quite a shock this week. On August 24th, Pictage posted the following message to their users: The Closing of Pictagehttps://discover.pictage.com/pictage-update-20150824 Please accept my sincere apologies for the Pictage web site being down since Thursday. The Pictage web site is currently recovering, but it is an extremely slow process due to the high number of images we store. We are doing everything we can to bring the web site online as … [Read more...] about Pictage is Closing their Doors. What are Your Options?
Why are prints are so important? Printing is a part of many photographers business or workflow that can be improved. Most of us don't know how to print or even understand the basics of printing. Sure, the ease of going from one screen to another is often easy, while figuring out how to print at the right size and the right output can be daunting. Why Print? Printing can bring another level to your photography and client base. Prints obviously do not require hard drives, cloud storage, or a powered on device to view. A print is a tangible … [Read more...] about Printing is the Lost Art of Photography
This week's podcast offers a special treat. We talk Scott Bourne out of retirement to come on to one show as a guest. Rich and Scott catch up about Fuji cameras and cloud photo editing. Then Levi Sim sites down with boudoir photographer Jennifer Rozenbaum to learn about her approach. Get the show here or get it on iTunes Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. Scott Bourne Longtime readers will of course recognize Scott as the founder of Photofocus. We wanted to catch up with him and learn about what he's been up to. … [Read more...] about Photofocus Podcast April 5, 2015 — Scott Bourne and Jennifer Rozenbaum
This week's podcast interviews photographers Cindy Harter Sims about printmaking and competitions. Then we catch up with well-known glamour photographer Lou Freeman. Tune in and get inspired. Get the show here or get it on iTunes Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. Cindy Harter Sims Cindy Harter is a portrait photographer located in Cartersville, GA. Her philosophy for her life and her business is Live Independently. Feel Intimately. Love Courageously. She shares her philosophy on making images that inspire. Who is … [Read more...] about Photofocus Podcast March 15, 2015 — Cindy Harter Sims and Lou Freeman
Thanks for all the great questions you've been sending in to the Photofocus podcast. This week is a two part show. First up, Rich Harrington catches up with photographer and educator Abba Shapiro to tackle some great topics to help photographers. Then Levi Sim catch up with Ray Roman & Matt Thompson to talk about shooting weddings and making the transition from photo to video. Remember, you can post questions for future shows via Twitter with the #pfqa or send us a note here at Photofocus. The music in our podcast comes from the cool … [Read more...] about Photofocus Q & A Podcast with Abba Shapiro + Ray Roman & Matt Thompson — February 5, 2015
Interview with a Makeup Artist: How can they enhance your shoot? I first met Janelle Corey when I was assisting on a fashion shoot with photographer Zuzanna Audette. I was very impressed with the group effort between the photographer, hair, wardrobe and makeup. I since then have worked with Janelle and have seen her career take off and travel the world with her talents as a Make Up Artist, working with major artists. Janelle has given me some wonderful advice on working with Make up artists and how they can really enhance a photo shoot with … [Read more...] about Interview with a Makeup Artist: How can they enhance your shoot?
Reflections should be on your short list of images to make every time you go shooting. These are the steps for making a reflection picture like the one above. Step 1: Frame Your Mind Firstly, you've got to have photography on your mind, you've got to be looking for a picture. I was wandering around at the Newark International airport waiting for my flight when I noticed a woman wearing hot red high heels. I thought to myself, Those shoes would make an interesting subject. That got me thinking about what picture I could make, and what picture I … [Read more...] about Instantly Interesting Photographs with Reflections
Nikki Harrison's photographs are overflowing with dramatic, emotional light. Her style takes portraiture to an elegant, even ethereal level. It's hard to pin exactly what you are feeling or why you are feeling it when you look at her photos. All you know for certain is that they are beautiful. "I was always an artist, mostly just drawing, sketching, charcoal and pencil," Nikki told me. " I have been shooting seriously only since 2008. I was a Mortgage Broker, and suddenly had a lot of free time on my hands. I started shooting and realized I … [Read more...] about Nikki Harrison | Photographer of the Week
Some artists are born with a beautiful artistic eye, and others are very knowledgeable in the techniques of photography. This particular photographer possesses both characteristics and we are more than thrilled to have Greg Sims a regular author and contributor on Photofocus. Greg Sims was born and raised in the dynamic beach culture of Southern California. From an early age, Sims was heavily influenced visually by Hollywood cinema, beach life and the incredible visual carnival of So.Cal. Once considering himself a photographic purist Sims … [Read more...] about Meet Photofocus Contributor: Greg Sims
Kevin Ames is a commercial photographer immersed in creativity. He shoots fashion, intimate portraits, executive portraits, high-end interiors and works extensively in the arena of digital retouching. And now, we're proud to have him a part of the Authors & Experts team here at Photofocus. Kevin's photographs have appeared in Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and on the covers of Professional Photographer, Photoshop User, Jezebel and Atlanta Sports and Fitness magazines. He works for corporate clients including AT & T, Carter's, … [Read more...] about Meet Photofocus Contributor: Kevin Ames
This week's podcast features a triple dose of photo knowledge. First up, Melissa Niu catches up with portrait photographer Tamara Lackey. The Rich Harrington and Ron Pepper discuss panoramic photography workflows. Then we jump back to Melissa as she interviews Jerry Ghionis for his take on shooting portraits and where the photo industry is headed. feed://feeds.feedburner.com/photofocuspodcast Get the show here or get it on iTunes Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. Tamara Lackey Tamara Lackey is a professional photographer, … [Read more...] about Tamara Lackey, Ron Pepper & Jerry Ghionis | Photofocus Podcast 3/25/14
Her life was altered from a horrifying and near life-taking motorcycle accident. As she lay bed ridden, she craved travel and the outside world but because of her condition was unable to see these places she dreamed about. She depended on her creativity to take her mind to these epic locations and recreated them with her photography and self-taught Photoshop skills. Today, she continues to create worlds through her love of digital imagery. I'm thrilled to introduce you to the talented, Renee Robyn. Canadian born, Renee has always been a … [Read more...] about Renee Robyn | Photographer of the Week
As a wedding photographer, I know that there are only 52 weekends a year that I could possibly work. Usually, theyre one wedding weekends with the occasional smattering of a double or triple header, but all in all, the amount of opportunities are pretty finite, especially if youre a one man show. Through the years Ive come to realize the patterns and know that Summer and Fall will afford me no free time, Winter will make me bored to tears, and Spring will get me energized again to do it all over again. Now, its great to know these things and … [Read more...] about Boosting Wedding Profits With Boudoir