Got a jump on 2013 with a few guys in the studio last week for some business headshots and wanted to try some alternatives to the usual way I pose and photograph portraits. While much of it has to do with the willingness of your subject to stretch or to move a certain way, it’s my job to make sure they look good, natural and at ease. These fellows were quite different from one another but the goal is always the same… make a few great shots they can use for their marketing materials and get a few outstanding ones for the blog! So here they are… you can tell by the last one we do have a lot of fun doing this!
Rummaging around up in the studio attic looking for something else one night, I ran across an old dear friend. We met in 1977, my junior year at ASU and while it was a little awkward at first, we soon learned how to make it happen and man, we did it! I graduated
So many rolls of film have gone through this camera that I sometimes laugh when I see one of these or similar cameras being used as a “vintage camera” nowadays in a wedding or fashion shoot If that’s your thing, that’s cool, but I remember when the real camera actually meant something. A step up from 35mm and “you now need a bigger negative carrier”. That sort of thing. It’s really neat that you include them in your shots as kind of an implied quality.
Man, I loved that camera can’t wait to take another look in the neg files to what gems (if any!) are there. I know there’s thousands of candidates!
This was shot in the very simple studio-in-a-box technique. I took a 16x16x16″ box, laid it on one side and cut out the remaining three sides, leaving 1″ of cardboard on either side. The inside was spray-painted flat black and tissue paper was taped over the openings. This diffused the speedlite’s light and created those large soft highlights. This is a great technique to use when shooting small products for catalogues, eBay or Etsy sales.
Since I was set up already shooting a tech assignment, I laid down a piece of black tile in the set and let speedlites do the rest. It was great spending time with an old trusted friend!
I put on a lighting demo in my studio last night for the PMPA After-Hours program. My studio in SW Portland can accommodate large and small projects just fine but when you pack it with over 40 people it gets downright cozy! It just so happened that a former photo student and current body-builder friend of mine needed photos last night for a $25.000 competition she is entering and since I needed some new sports portraits for my website and book, it was they say, fortuitous! Laura is also an incredible newborn baby photographer herself littlelaurajane.com. Since she is a strong photographer in her own right, she had no trouble posing for the group.
We had a great time discussing lighting theory, placement and my favorite ~ modifiers! The demo was a preamble to my full-day lighting workshop at Stage 13 on May 12th.
It is so rare that a photographer gets to see what they look like when they are working so it was really cool that Danny Abrego of Portland Reign Photography sent me these pics of me! Thanks, Danny
Here I’m shooting with my homemade DIY Speedlite Ringflash to add some soft fill for the more powerful Alien Bees studio strobes.
We’ll be exploring this and way more lighting techniques in the full-day Lighting & Portraiture Workshop May 12th at Stage 13 in NW Portland. Find out more info here or here. Hope to see you there!
My client from Thailand was in the States picking up this wedding/engagement ring from his custom jeweler and wanted some hot images of it before he carted it off to the Kingdom formerly known as Siam and origin of all that yummy food! He also brought over to the studio some authentic Thai figurines he wanted me to work into some of the compositions and it was a challenge because of the differences of scale between the ring and the assorted sculptures.
At $12K for the large diamond, around $3K for the smaller two and about $1K for the setting, and shooting without a Brinks guard, I was never so happy as to get this assignment out the door!
So my favorite financial planner was in the studio yesterday for an updated photo for his website and various social media uses. We talked beforehand about the feel and emotional impact he wanted the images to convey. He said: Accessibility, confidence, warmth. And from that, it was my job to interpret it into a visual representation. At that point, decisions are made; lens selection, background selection, RAW or jpeg? (Of course RAW, just kidding!) lighting set-up, shutter-speed, f/stop, white balance, reflector, grids, gels, etc, the list goes on. And yet, it’s all so cool when it comes together, like building a puzzle on a deadline
What do you get when you bring thirteen naturopathic doctors into the studio, after hours, for a group shot for their collective website? If you stick with it long enough, the above shot! We started off with some simple groupings and as we shot some interesting forms started to take shape, much like arranging musical notes on a scale. After a dozen or so shots, I’d have them rearrange themselves then make my compositional tweaks. We ended up shooting about 8 or 9 groupings.
After the final shots, when I knew we had it in the can (memory card?) I let them do what ever they wanted for fun. That’s when all the personalities came out and I really like this one for all the different expressions. It’s always a good idea to have a final fun shot like this when shooting certain groups in the studio or on location. Even better when they bring the beer and pizza!
Detailed coverage of Canon’s four speedlite-580EX II, 430 EX II, 220 EX and the new 270 EX-built exclusively for Canon DSLRs.
If you use a digital SLR camera, then you understand just how critical it is to have a capable flash. Canon Speedlite shines a whole new light on taking photos with a Canon DSLR. This full-color, in-depth guide takes you beyond the standard manual that accompanies the Speedlite and shows you the types of settings you can use on your camera when working with the Speedlite.
You’ll explore the possibilities of wireless lighting with multiple speedlites as well as the creative effects you can achieve. Author and professional photographer Brian McLernon demystifies setting up the speedlite, synchronizing the speedlite equipment, and determining lighting ratios.
Canon DSLRs are only growing in popularity and the Speedlite system is a must-have accessory for exploring a new world of digital photo possibilities
Shows you how to create an inexpensive and portable wireless studio lighting system that can go where you go
Demystifies setting up the speedlite, synchronizing the equipment, and figuring out lighting ratios
Covers other Canon lighting system components, such as the ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter, Macro Ring Lite, and Macro Twin Lite
Real-world information on using these speedlites illustrated by full-color examples and untangles the complexities of using the Canon Speedlite system.
Mimi the Clown came to the studio recently for some promo shots and to help me out with a few images for my new book on Canon Speedlites. After she got into costume we did various poses showing a range of her expressions. The original plan was to do some shots outside in the fading light, then move into the studio once night fell. Unfortunately, the light faded quickly to black but we moved outside anyway.
As Mimi danced and mimed in what little ambient light there was, I set up two Speedlites on either side of her, one on the left zoomed all the way to 105mm undiffused, and one on the right in a Westcott softbox. I like this shot because after fiddling with the settings on the Speedlite, I forgot to zip the softbox back up and a tiny sliver of light escaped from the bottom that lined up perfectly with her fooot and the shadows from her legs. A mistake that added to the overall image. Mimi thought it gave the shot a “highwire” look!
Afterwards, we moved back into the studio for the top shot and the rest of the shoot. When Mimi was done, we shot some portraits of the real person and I think she cleaned up nice!