A few photos from my Kat Richards shoot. We were adjusting lighting between outfits and I wanted to experiment with a few body silhouettes on a red wall. I went with the hair flip because it was more dynamic than a standing pose. This is what we came up with.
Just want to send a shout out to amazing model, makeup artist, painter, friend, and all around awesome person Sarah Scotford. Wishing you a very happy birthday. I remember years ago back in 2008, when I was just starting out as a photographer, I hired Sarah to model for me. The photos I shot with her really helped launch my portfolio and get it noticed. Things really started to pick up after that point and I'm so grateful a model of her caliber took a change on a newbie like me. We've been friends every since. Here is a shot from a shoot we did two weeks ago. Can't wait to see what we come up with next.
How do I shoot such awesome pictures? Easy I set my camera mode to awesome.
Here is a sexy creative concept with gorgeous Canadian model Elizabeth Sabrina. Oh Canada there are some beautiful woman in Calgary. I should setup a photo trip out that way this year. Enjoy the photo.
Happy Friday everyone. Here is a little something for you to ponder over the weekend. I really enjoy this image. It's been sitting on my desktop for years. Every now and then I come across it and fall into an introspective mode and start doing some self analyses. I don't know who made it or where it came from so I don't have a photo credit to go along with the image so thank you to anonymous.
The image is pretty self expository. I'm sure you'll be able to figure how to apply it to your life and I encourage you to do so. Since this is a photographer's blog, what I wanted to do is take a look at this image from a photographer's perspective. More specifically give you my photographic perspective on this successful mindset philosophy.
Challenges: I feel as a photographer I love challenges. The more challenging the shoot the better. I always tell other photographers you have to fall in love with the process of taking photos. If all you love are the final results you're going to have a tough time shooting. There are times when i've bitten off more than I can chew and I get so frustrated I want to smash my camera against a wall but I can't because the client is in the room. And it's at those times when the going gets tough and I'm ready to explode when I have to calm myself down and embrace the challenge. I take a deep breath, pull myself out of the situation mentally and start problem solving in my head. In the end photography is all about making adjustments and correcting your exposure, composition, lighting etc. There are always going to be challenges in photography and that's why it's such a beautiful craft. Each challenge you overcome make you better at what you do.
Obstacles: This one kinda makes me laugh. Obstacles and photography go hand in hand. Everything in a photographer's world is an obstacle. Dealing with clients brings on obstacles. shooting indoors, shooting in day light, shooting in a dark environments, balancing noise and iso, depth of field and shutter speed. There is no easy way to be a photographer you are constantly making choices and the pressure is always on. Clients want results and your choices affect those results and ultimately your business lives or dies based on your ability to make the right choices. If you're a photographer and you're reading this i'm sure you're running through a list of obstacles in your head that come up at your shoots. We all have our obstacles whether it's understanding lighting, tackling a unique exposure, post processing styles or dealing with difficult clients. If we don't embrace our obstacles and move past them we don't move forward.
Effort: Effort effort effort has always been my mindset when it comes to photography or anything I do in my life for that matter. I'm a strong believer in two sayings: 1) You only get out of life what you put in. & 2) You make your own luck by working hard. I live by those words of wisdom. The moment you stop working hard and putting effort into what you are doing is the moment you start failing. Trust me I've made that mistake. I built up my brand and business to the point where I was making good money and so I started coasting on my success and focusing my effort in other areas of my life. My business slumped big time. It took a lot of work to build it back up again. Moral of the story is effort yields it's own rewards, you've got to put your work in if you want achieve your goals.
Criticism: Unless you're just straight up lazy, in which case you'll find challenges, obstacles and effort hard, for the rest of us criticism will probably be the toughest thing on this list to deal with. We all have an ego and we all feel hurt when people criticize our work. It's normal to feel protective of things you're passionate about. The thing is, as an intelligent human being you have to be able to recognize the parts of a criticism which are constructive and ignore all the other stuff. You have to keep in mind that critiquing photography is entirely subjective. Each person is going to have their own disposition and opinion and that's cool. Everyone is different, not everybody is going to like your work and, if you ask me, you have to approach criticism from that perspective.
Success of others: This one is huge in my books. I have distanced and even cut people out of my life who are threatened by the success of others. To me that is a huge red flag. I find that I can't trust people who are threatened by other people's success. Makes me wonder how my own success will affect them. Build a team of positive hardworking people around you and you will have your success. As photographers from an artistic perspective, there are always challenges and new things to be discovered. However, from a business perspective it's all pretty much been done before. Find those photographers who have achieved success and learn from them. Talk to them go have beer with them be humble and learn from them. Everyone is an open book if you're willing to read.
Playboy Playmate Tailor James taking a break. After a few hours of shooting she deserved to lay down for a bit. Tailor is so much fun to work with. What an awesome person all around. Wish I could go back in time and shoot her all over again.
Here is a natural light portrait I shot of Ashly Marie. I met Ashly at a networking party hosted by Paul Buceta at his studio. Those were fun times. He always had awesome parties. I met so many exciting industry people including Ashley. Just goes to show you how important networking is. You never know who you'll meet or what that will lead to.
I shot this image using natural light in the late afternoon. I used a window for the light source and put two flags up to narrow the light down to a vertical column. Than I placed Ashley in the light and bam. The hardest part was getting Ashley not to squint with the sunlight in her eye. I'm really happy with the way the portrait came out.
What's better than getting Would once? Getting Would Twice. hahahaha Punny punny. Well not really but I give myself thumbs up for effort. Last week I had the pleasure of working with the lovely Sarah Would. As per usual Sarah arrived at the studio in her bubbly personality and carefree attitude. I cranked up the rock music and we start off with a little catching up. It had been two years since we last worked together and a lot has changed but two years ago feels like it was only yesterday. Sarah opens up her suitcase and clothes explode out onto the couch. As she's showing me the outfits she brought she reaches into her bag and pulls out a tutu. "I don't know why I brought this I just grabbed it and shoved it in my bag" she says to me. In my head i'm thinking we could probably do something cool with that. So we knocked off the concepts we had on our shot list and now it's time to get creative with a the tutu. I wanted the tutu on Sarah's head to create a funky textile afro type shape and lots of character. Sarah put on the tiniest leather jack ever. It barely held in her natural awesomeness'. I used a three hot light setup and a bit of natural light form a partially covered window. My old school 1980's Pioneer SK-31 ghetto blaster also found it's way into the frame. We started shooting and having fun with it. Sarah got into character, I got into the zone and the rest was not important. Other than the noise from the high ISO everything looked awesome. In post production I started getting a little crazy with the cheesewhiz. There were a couple different directions I wanted to take these shots. Ultimately I went with the mirrored image concept and created these. Something different for my portfolio.
Here is a little Quickie video I made of Sarah posing around in her tutu for STUDIO V TV. This was such a fun shoot. I really love the process of letting loose creatively and allowing imagination to take over. And you know what else I really love, the relationships I develop with, I want to call them models but to me they are people like everyone else. Two years with no communication and we reconnect like we were old friends. That's a testament to the type of bond I build with the people I work with.
The other day I had the pleasure of working with new model Kat Richards on her second photo shoot ever. I was lucky enough to work with her on her first photo shoot too. She's got a fantastic glam look. So much potential. I made this quick behind the scenes video for the STUDIO V TV channel. Enjoy.
Exciting news!!!! I've been doing this for 10 years and I love it. It's been a great ride so far and I've met some amazing people along the way. When I first started out some really amazing models worked with me TF and helped my career move forward faster and I really appreciated that. Now I want to give back to the community that helped me get started. I'm going to give away one TF shoot per month for 1 year to help some of you get stronger portfolios and hopefully that leads you in the direction you want to go.
HOW TO APPLY
If you want to apply for a TF shoot please send me a message though my Facebook fan page and attach a picture of yourself in the outfit(s) you want to shoot in. I'll go through the images and every month I'll pick one look that really inspires me and we'll shoot. Looking forward to seeing your submissions. Good luck.
Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/awesome.to.the.sauce
Staying true to my curious nature and to satisfy my intrinsic need to experiment with everything I switched gears literally in the middle of my photo shoot. I was in the middle of shooting pictures of Leily, which you can see in the previous blog post, when I got that itch to try something different. I switched up my lighting and totally changed the style of my shots on the fly to create these moody mysterious images. I love the way they came out. Totally worth venturing off the beaten path to play a little. And after about 15 minutes of this style I switched it back to the more traditional glam lighting and continued shooting.
I always tell newbie photographers not to be afraid of experimenting, that's where learning happens. If you want to be a photographer you have to enjoy the process. In fact I'd say that's probably the most important thing. If you don't enjoy adjusting camera setting and playing with lighting and posing people, perhaps photography isn't for you. #justsayin'
Recently I had the pleasure of working with Leily a beautiful Columbian model. We worked together on a shoot for Arsenic Magazine which was being broadcast live on the internet. It have to admit It was a pretty cool experience. I'd never done that before. I only wish I had more time to interact with the people watching but I was focused on the model. Can you blame me? hahaha. I have a cool idea I want to shoot with Leily so you just might see more of her on the blog again in the coming months. She's got beautiful eyes and a fantastic smile.
Alright here is the behind the scenes video you've all been asking me for. Sarah Scotford Dancing at the studio. There's a whole lotta yes going on here.
I recently had the pleasure of working with Mayra from www.mayracollection.com for a second time. Woohooo. She wanted some new photo content for her webpage and this time she brought WBFF Fitness Diva Selena Stevens to model her bikinis. Myra was adamant about shooting on a blue background and lucky for her I have a recently painted blue textured wall at the studio. It worked out perfectly.
Well it turns out Selena is a riot. Totally awesome to work with and full of laughs. Mayra was on point in serious business mode. But that didn't last to long. The conversation was light and fun and the laughs came often. Before long we hit our stride, everyone was happy and all the shots were winners. You know It's a funny thing, literally, when everyone is smiling on set all the pictures come out amazing. Maybe i'm really newage with my thinking but when the fun is flowing it changes the energy in the room and everything becomes better. It's so hard to take a bad shot when you're having fun. Than before you know it the designer and the model turn the shoot into a dance party. hahahaha. #TrueStory
If you're a fitness competitor go check out www.mayracollection.com Mayra sews all her bikinis herself and she's a perfectionist which means you're probably going to get an awesome product for your stage show. I haven't seen one bikini from her that I didn't like. Oh and she also made those wings too. How cool is that.
Alright people it brings me great pleasure to announce STUDIO V TV. Time to start getting excited!!!!!!
Above is my little intro video for the STUDIO V TV Youtube channel. Click on it, like it, subscribe! This is all part of the master plan to take Studio V and make it a multimedia entity out there on the interweb. Things change fast and I realized I cant get caught flat footed in this digital age. Markets shift, trends shift, technology continues to advance and create new fads and opportunities. The future of photography is gonna be a different world than the one we photographers grew up with. Being a straight up photographer might become a thing of the past very soon. Our future is multimedia production. This is an interesting topic i'll save this thought for another blog post. I'm getting way off topic.
Back on track. Welcome to Studio V TV. For now i'm populating the channel with fast paced behind the scenes "Quickie" videos. In the future expect to see a series of several shows with ongoing themes and story lines. I really don't have a clue what i'm doing or how YouTube or video editing for that matter works. I have an idea and i'm running with it and I'll learn what I need to learn along the way. If I can give any of you advice it's that the race is not always won by the best prepared. It's more often than not won by those who take action. Action always leads to progress and it's progress that wins you that race. So for now Studio V TV is as they say, a work in progress.
Here is one of my favourite sets ever. My friend Aleksandra called me about doing a shoot. She suggested we shoot at her apartment. I figured what the heck, let's give it a go and knock knock I was at her door with my gear. I have to admit It was an enjoyable experience shooing a model in her own environment. All the connections and emotions that came out only led to more depth in the photos. We shot a few different looks and this was my favourite. I like chaos and disorder because it creates an interesting visual dynamic. So I asked Aleksandra to toss clothes on the floor and make it look messy. After that I asked her to hop into her closet and we got to it. The result was a set that I totally loved.
I was thinking the other day I would like to do some more sets like this. I shot Playboy model Rachelle Wilde in her apartment not to long ago and it was awesome too. So this is a casting call. If you're a model and want to do a shoot and get creative in your home send me a message via my contact page or via facebook and let's talk. I want to shoot more photos with a raw edgy visual impact. No lingerie or any of that overdone boring glam wardrobe. I want something fashion with lots sex appeal. Lots of emotion.
I shot these photos of Canadian fitness hottie Caithleen Heffernan in the Dominican Republic on the Paul Buceta Pool Party trip. It was one of the fun-est shoots ever. One of those photo trip adventures you wish you could go back in time and relive. I scouted a great location for the shoot. A nice long pool between two white buildings which essentially acted like two giant reflectors. Lots of bright natural light bouncing around. The trick was to make sure that the speedlights matched the ambient light so I could fill in shadows on Caithleen's body without darkening the background. I used two speedlights. One on the camera as a fill flash and a second speedlight on a softbox to add depth to the body. Not bad for our first shoot together.
A little behind the scenes action from the Arsenic TV shoot. Got to meet and work with these lovely ladies for the first time. Special thanks to Adam Julian for putting the shoot together it was totally awesome. Thank you to Giordano Ciampini for assisting and snapping this shot. Got to catch up with fellow photographer Daniel Camer and shoot the breeze on a few ideas. And thank you to Everleigh for letting us use their spot. Stay tuned pictures coming soon.
So I finally setup an official Studio V YouTube Channel. I hope to be posting a lot more videos over the coming months. I've put together a little action plan for video production so I have an idea of where I want to go and how I want to get there.
I started things off with a little promo video I made with a phone app called Magisto. I shot some short video clips of my work on a computer screen and popped them into Magisto and let the app work it's magic. The quality of the video is far from good. It's meant for sharing via smart phones and tablets. However, all things considered I can't complain. It's a fun little clip and it promotes the brand. For now it's useful for that reason alone. At this point in time, thinking of the rebrand, I need to get as many people aware of the new branding as possible. That's one of my top priorities right now.
Awesome news for all you fans of Studio V you're about to see a lot more of me in the coming months. Nine5Four is expanding north of the border and starting a Canadian magazine. If that wasn't exciting enough they also asked yours truly to be one of the staff photographers!!! YAAAAAAA!!!
I'm really excited about this opportunity. I had a long chat with the editor and they have some pretty cool ideas and access to some awesome talent. I'm not going to go into to much detail. You'll have to come back and check out the blog for more news. Summer 2015 is going to be big. Instagram @nine5fourcanada