Making Halloween Portraits
Oct31

Making Halloween Portraits

“Halloween is an opportunity to be really creative.”— Judy Gold This time of year, one of my favorite photo concepts is to ask portrait subjects to bring their Halloween costumes to a shoot±even if it’s after Halloween, as I expect to shoot this Thursday. As adults they don’t get a chance to wear them more than just once and it lets you create the kind of images that are fun to make for both the photographer and the...

Read More
When In Doubt, Use Flash
Aug11

When In Doubt, Use Flash

“The whole series is black-and-white, so when I went to shoot one of the women I only had black-and-white film with me.”— Helmut Newton The ingredients for making outdoor portraits are easy to find: All you need is a subject, a camera, and some light but like any recipe it’s how all these elements are combined that goes into cooking up a delicious portrait. Just like Emeril’s secret ingredient Essence, I’d like you to...

Read More
Why It’s a Good idea to Test
Jul07

Why It’s a Good idea to Test

Back when everybody shoot film, testing was an important part of improving your photography and most people wouldn’t shoot an assignment or any critical images before testing the concept or gear beforehand. Before clicking the shutter, medium and large format studio shooters used (expensive) Polaroid film  and others would shoot test rolls or run clip tests before trying anything new. Along comes digital capture with its instant...

Read More
Surfing the Learning Curve
Apr25

Surfing the Learning Curve

“There is the desire of a consumer society to have no learning curves. This tends to result in very dumbed-down products that are easy to get started on, but are generally worthless and/or debilitating.”—Alan Kay In my experience, it seems that most photographers progress through three distinct stages while they are learning and refining their image-making skills. In my friend Rick Sammon’s book Creative...

Read More
These Day LEDs Are Popular; Here’s Why
Mar09

These Day LEDs Are Popular; Here’s Why

Continuous light sources are popular with new and aspiring pros because they let you see in real time the lighting effect produced. LED-based studio lights do that without creating lots of heat, especially when compared to other continuous light sources. At the WPPI show one industry insider told me, “When LED delivers a form factor that looks like a monolight, studio flash is dead.” While I’m not so sure that I believe that statement...

Read More
Shoot like it’s 1996!
Nov04

Shoot like it’s 1996!

Today’s Post by Todd Abbotts If you’re old timer like me, you fed your first camera a steady diet of Velvia or Ektachrome or Kodachrome—all film types and each one as different as the shooter who was loading them. If you were on a budget, also like me, then you had the math worked out as to how much each press of the shutter would cost. I went back and looked, in 1996 one frame of Velvia cost me 54 cents from time of exposure to light...

Read More
Tutorial Tuesday: Going Retro
Aug23

Tutorial Tuesday: Going Retro

  If you ever you get stuck for ideas, a retro style or pose is always something that’s fun to try. Last Tuesday, I told you how I made ‘Old School Hollywood Portrait’ images and today it’s an playful homage to the kind of shots that the late Peter Gowland made during the 1950’s. I was fortunate to know Mr. Gowland late in his life and my book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography is dedicated to Peter and...

Read More