What kind of photographer are you?

I know it's a bit of a silly question and I ask it form the perspective of my own genre of photography. What kind of photographer are you? I think the answer to that question lies within the realm of "what motivates you to be a photographer" We all do it for many different reasons but there is alway one underlaying reason that is more prominent than all the rest. There are some who do it because they want to meet hot women. There are some true artists who do it for the love of art. Some people are drawn to the technical side of photography. Some have the intrinsic desire to create. Others do it for the money. So what kind of photographer are you?

After 10 years in the industry watching and observing other photographers one quote holds true. I can't remember which photographer first told me this but he said: "Shit always rolls down hill" What he meant was successful photographers rise to the top and unsuccessful photographers naturally roll to the bottom. I've seen this play out so many times over the years. Now you're forced to ask yourself what is a successful photographer? I know, I know this post is going on tangents but follow me there is a point to all this. 

What is a successful photographer? This is an interesting question because the answer may not be what you expected. Does a successful photographer shoot great photos? nope. In fact I've seen a lot of so called successful photographers with boring photography skills. On the flip side I've seen a lot of fantastic photographers with great skills never achieve much success. Why? What's the deal there? This industry is strange in the way that talent with a camera doesn't necessarily lead to success. Lots of great artists start rolling down hill while mediocre talent finds success. Why is that? 

In order to achieve success in this industry you have to have longevity. Camera equipment is expensive. Programs and computers need to be updated constantly. There is a sizeable expense behind photography. A lot of the glam photographers who do it for the girls shoot for free, don't make much money, can't keep up with the expense of it all, and start rolling down hill. The photographers who are great artists and do it for the love soon learn that the love doesn't pay the bills and they too start rolling down hill, unless they get discovered by an agency and then they are given success. The photographers who love the technical side usually end up becoming hobbyists and weekend worriers. The ones that do it for the money, those are the ones that find success and stick around the longest. I know crazy right? But it's true.

If you want to have success in this industry you HAVE TO approach your photography form a business minded perspective. Most people don't realize how important that is until it's too late. No bucks, no Buck Rogers. Forget the quality of your work that takes second seat to your business plan. How do you make money? How do you market your business? How do you create brand loyalty? How to you cultivate your clients? What are you doing to grow your brand? How strong is your business model? 

Now I ask you again. What kind of photographer are you? 

Selfie Shots with Laura Christine Clark

So we were wrapping up our laugh-a-thon, i mean photo shoot. Always a good time when Studio V Photography and Laura Christine Clark get together. I had a simple concept I wanted to shoot with Laura. Black pantyhose and bra on a hardwood floor. I wanted to pop the texture of the floor and contrast that with the smoothness of her skin and finish the image off with a blueish tone. Something beautiful sexy and slightly abstract with the finishing touches. I've really been pushing myself to try doing things a little differently. It never hurts to experiment. I'm liking the results but I know I can do better. The lighting is too straight on. I want to create more of a light to dark gradient across the body next time. Some areas of the wood came out too dark so I want to revisit the workflow and I know the pose can be improved. So i'm going to call this one a work in progress. 

Studio V Photography Laura Christine Clark Sexy Model

After I got a few shots of Laura on the floor I gave her the camera and a mirror so she could shoot some shots of herself. The idea just came to me out of the blue and I wanted to follow it through because I was curious to see what it would lead too. I pulled out my phone and shot this video of her shooting herself. I wanted some content for Studio V TV. My YouTube channel. 

Conclusion: The camera is better utilized in the hands of someone who knows how to use it. lol. Although Laura did have some beautiful unfocused shots. I pretty much always have my camera set to centerpoint focus and I find it hard to explain to people that you can depress the shutter button half way to hold focus and recompose the image. It's a little more complicated than point and shoot.  

Laura Christine Clark

I had the pleasure of working with the beautiful Laura Christine Clark. Playboy Cyber Girl, home town model and totally awesome chick. We had a blast shooting together for the first time in 3 years. But we picked things up right where we left off way back when. I'll write a better blog post about the shoot later for now enjoy these behind the scenes videos. This is the first video of a series I'm going to do called "Another Day In Paradise" which will be a little bit of a behind the scenes mixed with a day-in-the-life type stuff. 

So half way though our photo shoot we decided to go grab a bite at Glory Hole Doughnuts. Laura had never tried them before so I figured it would be fun experience for her. Gotta love that name. We started giggling before we even got there. hahahaha. Glory Hole Doughnut!!!! They are seriously delicious if you get the change to try them go for it. 

Glory Hole Doughnuts Laura Christine Clark Studio V

Instagram Promo

The one lesson I've learned over the years is that marketing is always a good thing. Even if you're doing well getting your logo in front of people is always an important business building endeavour. Look at big companies like Pepsi and Burger King. We all know of those brands yet they still continue rolling out the marketing campaigns to keep their branding at the forefront of people's mind's. That's what it's all about. I've been rolling out the instagram marketing campaigns slow and steady for the past year. Little by little hoping to build up more brand awareness. Now everybody go follow Studio V. lol

Same name for Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat: @studiov14

No Time To Blog

Hey guys, sorry I haven't had time to blog recently. I've been so busy shooting and trying to catch up on editing the blogging has kinda started to slow down. As most of you know I'm now the staff photographer for Nine5Four Canada Magazine and the launch date for the first issue is August 15th. Needless to say I've been on an editing crunch. 

I've had a few really awesome shoots lately and I've posted a ton of behind the scenes stuff on instagram. @studiov14 https://instagram.com/studiov14 Give me a follow and keep up with the action as it happens. 

First 11 Quickie Videos

As you know I've been working on building up my YouTube Channel. It's been slow so far because time is always hard to find this time of year. With that being said I'm excited about the video's I've managed to get up there so far. Got a lot of content shot i'll probably get to editing that stuff when things start to slow down in the fall. Gees I don't want to think about the fall yet. Summer just started. lol. For now enjoy these first 11 quickie videos. 

Have a bootyfull day

Exciting times here at Studio V. So many things moving and shaking both literally and figuratively haven't had time to keep up with the blog. Lots of projects on the go including a bunch of upcoming magazine publications and cover, a really cool top secret project announcement on the way and next week I'm shooting Canadian hottie and Playboy superstar Charlie Riina on half a million dollar speedboat. vroooooommmmmm. It's going to be so amazing.  

Lot's of positive things happening here. Gotta stay focused and keep the good vibes rolling. Hope you all enjoy Playboy model Laura Christie's bootyfull booty. How could you not have a good day now. ;P  

Melissa Creative Edits

I've been experimenting in photoshop recently. I wanted to create a new editing style to put in my repertoire. I've been motivated by the fact that the glamour scene is starting to get a bit trite. It's so repetitive. Most models look the same, fake boobs, fake lips, long hair. Most photographers shoot the same, either natural light with a retro vibe or studio light with vibrant colours. My work included. Glam is getting very predictable.

It's in my nature to go left when everyone goes right. So why not try and do something a little different. I've been doing a lot of thinking about how to take things in a new direction. My plan is to add an element of fantasy and create a sexy whimsical vibe to my new work. 

So Excited

Only a few more days till I get to shoot on this sexy 74 foot luxury yacht. It's going to be awesome. Super pumped. Shooting an editorial feature for Nine5Four magazine. The model is a relatively new face on the scene but she has so much potential to become huge in the industry if she plays her cards right. Valerie oxx 

Kat Richards

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.  

Happy Birthday to Sarah Scotford

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.    

Studio V Photography Sarah Scotford

Successful Mindsets

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. 

Natural Light Portrait

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. 

Sarah Would Creative

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.  

Kat Richards - BTS Video

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. 

TF SHOOT GIVEAWAY: Giving Back To The Community

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. 



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