(Editor's note: This guest post by Andrew Darlow is excerpted from Focus and Filter: Professional Techniques for Mastering Digital Photography and Capturing the Perfect Shot, by Andrew Darlow, © Ulysses Press.) They say: “It’s not what you say but what you do.” Well, in portrait photography, what you say to your subject is as important as what you do with your lighting, framing and camera settings. Knowing a few simple things can help your subjects relax, and at the same time help them to express themselves so that you can capture their … [Read more...] about How to Talk to Models, Family & Friends to Make More Natural Photos
Simply put, a model release is a permission given to the photographer from the subject to use photos of them. In order to assure the best return for photographs offered for sale through Adobe Stock or any agency, releases are needed. A model is anyone being photographed Model releases are important. They are a written agreement between model and the photographer as to how the photographs may be used by the photographer. Anyone in a photograph is a "model" even in a family or editorial setting. Anyone who can be recognized in a photo is a … [Read more...] about What is a Model Release?
Let's be clear on one important fact. I. Don't. Shoot. Weddings. Period. Back when film was photography's medium, I did my share of weddings. For the most part, it was fun. I took great satisfaction in recording a happy time for the couples and their families. Early on I noticed that the women of the bridal party were outwardly happy while, at the same time, wondering how they and been convinced or was it coerced into wearing hideous (their description not mine) eggplant or fuschia colored dresses that would never leave their closets until … [Read more...] about Bridesmaids and The Bride
Headshot photography, once reserved for actors and the occasional executive, is now about as mainstream as LinkedIn or Facebook. Whether you're looking for a job, changing careers, starting a new business, or looking for a date, an amazing headshot is step one. Headshots are the core to the now overused term of personal branding. Call it whatever you want, but it all starts with a headshot. I can think of no better way to learn headshot photography than from the man himself, Peter Hurley. Peter has been perfecting the craft of headshots for … [Read more...] about Reviewed: Perfecting The Headshot
Shooting tethered means that your camera is connected to a computer and the pictures are saved to the computer while you shoot. You can do this by using a long USB cable or sometimes an ethernet cable from the camera to the computer. If you're using a Lumix camera, though, you've got to buy Promote Systems software to tether with a cable. Or, you can just connect to your computer wirelessly anywhere in the world with camera's built-in wifi. Here's how to do it on a Mac--I'd love some help from you writing this up for a Windows … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: How To Tether Wirelessly With Lumix
Happy Summer! It’s time to get away from the computer or out of the darkroom and enjoy the beautiful weather and shoot! Here are 3 tips on making great beach photographs. I shot these photographs at the end of the day, catching the very last bit of light, at the same location, yet achieving very different visual impacts. All of these photographs are shot without a tripod even though they are fairly long exposures. Exposing for the last light of the day. Start by using the in camera meter to read the light on the horizon. Make sure you are … [Read more...] about Shooting on a Beach!
Much of the photography you see daily, from internet ads to magazines, includes a model. A model is simply a person who is in a picture for a purpose. Maybe the purpose is to sell something, maybe it's to practice being a model, maybe it's to practice making pictures. Whatever the reason for the picture, I have some tips about working with models. This is stuff from my own experience, growing from a hobbyist to a full-time contract photographer. You Should Photograph Models First of all, you should be photographing models. You need to … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: You Should Be Photographing Models
I made it a goal this year to learn something way outside of my photography comfort zone of the great outdoors. After my first plan for a project exploring "underwater fine art nude food photography" fell through (apparently, Thanksgiving dinner was not the place to jump-start this idea), I decided to take a workshop on studio model photography. Yes, that is correct. Me. Indoors. In a studio. With models. Gasp... Let's face it, I am a lot more comfortable waist deep in a swamp filled with ‘gators than in a studio! Fortunately, a few weeks … [Read more...] about Getting Out of Your Photography Comfort Zone: A Nature Photographer Wanders into a Studio
Recently I wrote about how Digital model or property release forms have made it easy for photographers to always have a release handy. Now the next step is where to store the forms. Here’s how to organize and store the forms to keep them safe and easily accessible. Storing Digital Release Forms Most digital release form applications have the ability to email both the photographer and model a PDF of the release. It’s tempting to keep this in your inbox or in the application. A better solution is to create a “Model Release” subfolder in the … [Read more...] about Where to Store Your Model Release Forms
The eyes are the most important part of a portrait, and the expression in the eyes makes the difference between a well-lit picture and a stunning portrait. You'll notice that when people look into the camera you have about .026 seconds before the eyes start to glaze over. The eyes quickly look disengaged and even frightened. The majority of pictures posted on the internet have dull, uninterested eyes. But there's a simple way to help you get fresh eyes in every picture. "Look down at my toes, please." Whether I'm photographing old friends, … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Great Eyes Start At The Toes
I try my best to have a hair and makeup artist on set but sometimes the shoot doesn’t have a budget for it. Here’s how Photoshop can help fill the gap and add realistic eyelashes in about 5 minutes. Download and Install Eyelash Brushes There are many online resources that offer eyelash brushes. A simple Google search--Eyelash Brush Photoshop--will return several great sites. I download the brushes from Obsidian Dawn’s website and paid a small $3.00 fee for commercial use. After downloading the brushes, double clicking on the brush name … [Read more...] about Adding Realistic Eyelashes in Photoshop
Category: Portraits Photographer: George Prapas - GP_MG_8774 Hey guys! My name is Kristina Sherk and I’m a professional retoucher and portrait photographer from Washington DC. At our DC headshot studio, we like to think we know a thing or two about photographing and retouching people, so I’m going to start featuring some amazing portrait photographers on Mondays, here on Photofocus! Here’s our first featured portrait photographer: Bulgarian photographer George Prapas has got a keen eye for photographing people and it absolutely … [Read more...] about Photographer of the Day – George Prapas
When a photographer works with a model for the first time, what should you do? What expectations does the model have from you as the photographer? What can the photographer do to ensure a successful shoot? Rather than speculate and come up with answers that I thought might be appropriate, I put these questions to three models with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working: Julana, Stevie and Zan. What are the 2 or 3 most important things a photographer can do ahead of time to ensure a successful shoot? [Julana] Scout the location to find … [Read more...] about Advice To Photographers From Models
There are very few additions that you can make to your camera bag that spur your creativity as much as a Lensbaby lens does. I’ve bought my first Lensbaby for my full frame DSLR in 2006. Today, 10 years later I still enjoy using my (latest version for APS-C Fuji X-Mount) Lensbaby Composer Pro Sweet 35 lens. But the lens has really grown up compared to the early version from 2006. Instead of the flexible rubber tube that you had to manually turn and hold in place with your fingers, the new versions come with a flexible stepless locking … [Read more...] about Get creative with this lens – My quick Lensbaby Composer Pro review
While I was in Colorado Springs, I led a photowalk sponsored by Perfectly Clear. A group of us met up and photographed The Garden of the Gods. When nighttime fell upon us, we retreated to Applebee's for a late dinner and a roundtable discussion. Waiting for our dinner, we snacked on appetizers as I answered questions on a wide range of topics. Showing an image from my portfolio, my new friend, Richard Firth, asked How did you create that look? I stopped in mid sentence, smiled as I quickly wrote down his question and made it the title for my … [Read more...] about How to Create the Look – Adding Accessories
I've put together a comprehensive look at the new drone registration policy. This full length course walks you through the why, when, and how. Seeing how steep the penalties are you may want to pay heed. Failure to register an aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. ?The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years. The In-Depth Look If you fly a drone, quadcopter, model airplane, or UAS in the United States airspace, the Federal … [Read more...] about What Does the FAA’s New Drone Policy Mean to You?
I know, I know: you can't possibly use a tripod in portraiture because you're moving around too much, and reframing, and chasing kids, and it'll just get in the way and slow you down. I've heard all the reasons before, and I used to say the same things. Until I made a real effort to use a tripod in every shoot, I couldn't believe I really needed it. Now I can't shoot without it and my pictures are better, the expressions are more genuine, and my keeper rate is far higher. Getting that black box of metal and glass out from in front of your face … [Read more...] about Three Tips for Using a Tripod in Portraiture
Here is a basic set up to achieve a commercial studio headshot. If you've never played with lights, it can be intimidating but once you just do it, you will find you have much more control and it's not as scary as you imagine. This is a very basic set up with two lights. 1 Key light, 1 hair light and a white board for reflection. The Gear: 1 Photogenic Powerlight 1250 w/beauty dish 1 Elinchrom D-lite 4 with a grid 1 old piece of broken white piece of board The Setup: As you can see we have the beauty dish right in front on one side. … [Read more...] about Setting Up the Shot: Commercial Studio Headshot
We're really pleased to team up with the PAC for this event--check out their groups around the world. This is a free event, we've got several raffle prizes, including a license to Perfectly Clear, and a complimentary ticket to Scott Kelby's Seminar on Tuesday! This is a hands-on shooting time: bring your camera and your speedlights/flashes. Don't worry if you don't have any lights, we'll share tools. The retouching demonstrations will not be hands-on (it just isn't feasible), so you can leave your computer at home. We'll show you how we use … [Read more...] about 2 Photowalks: Models & Lighting in Phoenix, AZ with Levi Sim and Robert Vanelli
When I heard that Photofocus was renting the Pinball Hall of Fame for a party, my mind started going crazy with ideas. The plan was to host a party during Photoshop World in Las Vegas and invite Photofocus readers to join us for a live shoot with models and borrowable cameras from LensRentals.com. The party was a blast, and you've already seen some of the pictures posted here on the blog. I had a particular plan in mind, however, and I'll show you how I made it come to life, and maybe my method will help you realize a vision you've had in … [Read more...] about Pinball Heroes: How I Previsualized and Realized a Photograph
When Corel, the people behind Corel Paint, announce that theyre releasing a Photoshop and Lightroom plugin it peaks ones interest, so I bought the Starter Pack and gave it a try. Starting image for this post comes from Fotolia Starter Pack As an online purchase the download was fast and the installation was quick and easy. The Starter Pack plugin comes with 11 different brushes and costs $49.99 (Appx 32.50 / 44.60). Full brush sets can be added for a 24.99 for me here in the UK, thats about $38, so I was in no rush to start filling my … [Read more...] about ParticleShop – First Look
Melissa Niu of Photofocus talks with headshot photographer Peter Hurley about his transition from a model in front of a camera to a world-renowned photographer behind the lens. https://youtu.be/nnpeNeBqI44 Brought to you by LensRentals - http://bit.ly/pflensrentals SongFreedom - http://bit.ly/songfreedom Photofocus - https://photofocus.com About Peter Hurley Peter Hurley is a New York photographer who found his way behind a camera after starting his career in front of one as a model and actor. He first picked up a camera to photograph … [Read more...] about Model turned Professional Photographer | Peter Hurley – What’s in Your Bag
"I want to be a boxer!" said model Vanessa Guillemette as we were preparing a test shoot in my studio last week. She pulled out some pink Everlast boxing gloves and the fight was on... The Setting Most photographs begin with the environment. I thought about how to represent a gym-like feel. The scene would evoke a smokey, window lit place with lots of shadows. I hung an old canvas drop cloth from a friend who painted commercial buildings. A piece of cardboard with cutout shapes in front of a Dynalite SH2000 studio head cast the shadows. I … [Read more...] about Making “The Boxer”
She got me thinking I saw this beautiful girl walk by for a second time. I loved her outfit and her carefree attitude. I asked myself, if she were a celebrity and I only had 5 minutes to photograph her, where would I start? Then I thought what the heck, let's see. I smiled at her, lifted my camera and said hey do you want to do a quick photo shoot? We both laughed knowing it was a weird request but it sounded like fun. Remember, we were strangers in an airport. Self talk while breaking the ice I told her I'm a professional photographer and an … [Read more...] about Quick: You Have 5 Minutes to Get the Shot. Where Do You Start?
onOne's new Perfect Portrait 9 is such a versatile tool, it makes portrait retouching simple and easy. I created a short video demonstrating how I use the tool when retouching a model's portrait. This style of portrait tends to be more glamorous, using more skin smoothing and shaping than regular portraits. (Download the free demo here and try it out yourself). http://youtu.be/S55osPWYnpo Tips to Remember Select the Smart Photos option. Smart Photo are a special PSD format that allows you to save your settings and masks. Apply a heaver skin … [Read more...] about Perfect Skin Retouching with onOne’s Perfect Portrait
When I first started photographing portraits, I enlisted the help from a local model named Wendy. Wendy was one of the most requested models in our area. Sure she was beautiful and had a great physique, but that wasn't why everyone requested her. She knew her stuff! How to pose, create emotion, where to look, the list goes on. The best part, she taught me how to interact with a model. Photographer's Job A photographer's job is to command the set, to be a leader. As a leader, we need to make sure our subject feels relaxed and comfortable. … [Read more...] about How to Direct Models (Or Any Subject) for Great Pictures
By adding the word model to the title, I knew that would get your attention. I really meant to say, how to find someone willing to allow me to photograph them so I can work on a new style or learn about lighting. But that title was way too long and really, most photographers like the term model. It conjures up images of drop dead, beautiful runway women. So, how do we find subjects to work with? Experimenting Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, you can use family, friends, co-workers or people you meet everyday. Approach them and be … [Read more...] about How to Find a Model
Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Roger Cicala of LensRentals.com I suspect Ill never be on any manufacturers early review copy list for new lenses. There are already plenty of good early lab reviews on the eagerly awaited Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens our there. So when we received our first Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art lenses for rental stock I really didn't plan on posting about it. But I always think its worthwhile to review multiple copies of a lens bought off-the-shelf from retailers. Plus, well have our new MTF bench installed in another … [Read more...] about Comparing the Sigma and Canon 50mm to the Zeiss 55mm
We'd like to welcome Erik Valind to Photofocus. Be sure to catch his classes at Photoshop World in Atlanta April 810. A lot of forethought goes into making a photograph. We usual need to find a model, select a location, and then lug out the lighting gear... not to mention camera settings and lens selection after everything else is setup. Prior planning like this can ensure that your shoot runs smoothly and you walk away with the images that you set out to create. With everything planned out in advance though you don't want to comfortably slip … [Read more...] about Elevate Your Viewpoint For More Unique Photographs
At some point, youre going to grow tired of shooting or recording the same subjects. At this point you'll turn to working with models or actors. For some projects, you'll have professional budgets and can afford top talent. For other projects, you may need to find talent through recruitment. Favors will be called in to get friends and acquaintances. Perhaps your client or employer will put the call out for people to appear in the project. Others will also post ads to online list serves and job boards. Chances are if youre going to this … [Read more...] about Recruiting Models and Actors