So many of you have taken the approach of simply kicking back and waiting to see what happens to your business “naturally.” Guess what? Virtually nothing happens naturally in this business, which is why God created marketing. And just like building your skill set, marketing never stops. Let’s come up with a game plan or at least a check-off list for you to work with the rest of the year.
If you’ve never photographed a dog before, it’s an experience fairly similar to photographing a toddler—except we think it’s way more awesome, because dogs give kisses and have wiggly butts. What makes photographing dogs different is that their bodies are low to the ground, they have fur of all colors, some listen better than others and, because of all these factors, we have to think a little differently about lighting.
In this issue, you’re reading exceptional advice on shaping light with strobes, softboxes and speedlights. But what if you’re limited to available, natural light? There are unique challenges. What you gain in reduced gear, setup and purchases, you lose in flexibility. Yet there’s a distinctive beauty in using only the sun. With care, it can produce timeless imagery.
Self-portraits are not easy. They’re hard mentally and emotionally for myriad reasons, and they’re hard physically (especially if you don’t use an assistant). Lighting doesn’t have to be difficult, though. On the contrary, lighting your self-portrait should be a fun challenge. I’m going to outline some ways I’ve lit my own self-portraits to give you a good foundation.
My first paying gig as a photographer was shooting headshots of doctors at a medical convention, packed into a tiny corner of a trade show booth. Back then I didn’t quite understand the impact that type of situation would have on my methods of lighting. Every technique I developed over the next decade was based around learning to shoot a great, professional portrait quickly and in just about any location. I’ve since refined the process, and have found that most of my lighting for high-volume headshots can be categorized into three main techniques.
We are currently going through a lighting revolution. Off-camera flash technology is progressing quickly. The technology for low-noise, high-ISO sensors has improved over the past five years. Flashes are becoming less expensive and coming with more features.
If you are not using off-camera flash, there has never been a better time to start. Here are a few of my recommendations for equipment.
Light is pretty much everywhere, you just have to find it. Just because you find light doesn’t mean it is good light. As a full-time wedding photographer, it’s part of my job to find the best light to flatter my subjects. My groom wants to look cool and my bride wants to look beautiful. When good light is available, I’ll certainly use it, but it’s not always there. But guess what is always available? My off-camera flash.
As a photographer known for my creative use of small “pocket” flashes, I long resisted transitioning into the world of larger studio strobes. But I did my research and became intrigued by Phottix’s system. If you shoot like I do, Phottix may be your ideal all-in-one setup for powerful, portable destination photography.
Nothing affects your ability to gain and maintain business like learning how to light in a way that defines your brand image. If you haven’t honed in on your photography brand image yet, now is the time to start. You have control over lighting like no other businessperson does. There are three easy ways you can start displaying a strong brand using lighting as your guide.
If you’re overwhelmed by the technical side of lighting, don’t fear. You can try these simple approaches to wedding day lighting. As with every part of the wedding day, I apply in-studio lighting techniques to my photographs using my keylight (the main light), hair light (light that separates the subject from the background) and fill light (fills in the shadows). The mood I want to create changes throughout the day as the story I am telling changes, so my light sources vary from natural to artificial.
In beauty light, there are several tried and true tools and techniques guaranteed to create gorgeous light every time. In this article, I demonstrate the basics of beauty lighting, lighting pattern and fill light options, introducing accent lights and best tools and techniques to get the job done right.
Why do we covet those last few minutes of light at the end of the day? Obviously, the golden light is much easier to work with. It’s the beauty and versatility of the light that we cherish. Most importantly, it provides us more options for creatively capturing our couple’s love story. The key to successful wedding portraiture at golden hour is flexibility.
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The change from Lightroom to Capture One is a challenge at first. They look completely different, and I am sure you had the same feeling before you used Lightroom for the first time. Learning the interface, customizing your Workspace and designating keyboard shortcuts will save you the most time. With this article, I intend to show the possibilities of migrating from Lightroom to Capture One.
Recently I had the honor of working with and photographing the beautiful Bella. I met Bella and her family at ShutterFest 2017. She was one of the models for the event. At the time, I didn’t have a chance to work with her one on one, but I knew I wanted to spend some time and try some new concepts with her.
There is an expectation for professional wedding photographers to deliver our best work at every single wedding. Location can certainly help with this. It’s a lot easier to create impactful images in the streets of Venice than Flint. Now, I don’t know about you, but I rarely get to shoot in the streets of Venice, and still create artistic, impactful images for my clients on a consistent basis. You need to set yourself up for success.
As photographers and business owners, we need to be celebrities of a sort—potential clients need to know and trust us so they feel confident enough to hire us (and rave about us to others). It’s time to start creating your fame through behind-the-scenes content. Here’s where to start.
What is behind the shutter?
Behind the Shutter is a free online photography training and educational resource created to help both professional and amateur photographers run successful photography businesses - covering lighting, posing, social media, marketing, post-production, pricing, sales and more.
Photography training and education for the modern photographer
In today’s competitive landscape, quality online photography training and education is priceless to your growth. Unfortunately, most publications contain a ton of fluff. No real meat to their content. Not at Shutter Magazine. We are committed to the photography community and improving professional photography by providing current, insightful, and in-depth educational content.
Training topics include photography lighting techniques, photography off-camera flash tips, photography posing guides, photography business concepts and marketing strategies, Facebook for photographers, boudoir and glamour photography training, high-school senior photography concepts, IPS (In-Person Sales) strategies, family photography, lightroom tutorials, photoshop how-tos, and much, much more.