“It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” I used to hate that phrase growing up. I still do. The fact that it’s such a true cliché really just gets my goat. I really hated that phrase in college because it was always said by the guys who coasted by and actually KNEW people who would help them out. I aced all of my production classes but this one guy quit school because he knew a producer at MTV who got him a job. That dude literally knew nothing about production. AND that’s the way it works sometimes. Continue Reading
The ancient city of Varanasi (Banaras) is widely considered as the holiest of cities by the Hindus. It is the abode of the greatest of all Hindu gods, Lord Shiva. Narrow by-lanes crisscross the entire city which is dotted by over 2000 temples dedicated to various deities. Millions of faithful visit the city each year to bathe in the holy waters of the river Ganges and to catch a glimpse of the presiding deity of the city – Viswanathji. They also come here to perform the last rites of their relatives, friends and family members. Continue Reading
As photographers/videograhers we always need more storage space for our files, as well as backup up options for all that data. Many of us are actually paranoid of losing this data and if you are not, you should be. Having a redundant backup solution is something every person working with digital media should consider. For this reason, I would strongly encourage you to consider a NAS (Network-Attached Storage) device, especially if are running digital media and photography oriented small business (from home or office). The beauty of NAS is that it’s not just a backup drive, its actually its own smart computer that can potentially open up a wide array of opportunity for you and make digital life easier (and often cheaper). Continue Reading
One great trick up any product photographer’s sleeve is shooting items with a natural reflection. It makes whatever you’re shooting pop that much more and it’s a little trick that looks cool and wows the senses. This technique makes items richer looking, a little sleeker, and aren’t your average product on #255 white background photo. Continue Reading
Virtually all modern cameras now implement reflective lighting metering system. The fact that they do makes it possible in so many ways to make better images not only in good lighting condition but also when lighting is not so conducive. Essentially this system is what measures the light and calculates what settings should be used when in all other modes but full manual.
The biggest benefactor of modern digital metering systems are the newbie photographers. These are the juvenile exponents of photography who are the future of this vocation. Thanks to built-in metering systems these photographers are capable of producing great quality images even in the most trying of circumstances. Continue Reading
Shooting still life is an art within itself. Styling anything for photos is an art within itself. Many times we as photographers are asked to do both. However, don’t despair. If you have a little creativity and a decent eye you can create some great images with every day items.
Here is an example from a recent shoot I completed.
This project was showcasing a luxury wallet brand to entice a viewer or potential customer with a more worldly image. My thought process was that luxury equals travel. Going from that first thought I put the monkeys in my head to work. What signifies travel? Well, a passport for one. What else? Maybe a nice watch and nice pair of sunglasses? Sure! Ok. Let’s put those together. But something was missing. I couldn’t just shoot these items on my coffee table and be done with it. I remembered that I had a nice little box with a pretty swell map printed on it. The box had no branding (keep in mind that if you’re shooting for a specific company – not to show any other branding in your photos. It’s confusing to the audience and would probably piss off your client.)
You don’t have to go crazy styling something for the first time. Think on your feet a bit and figure out what you have around you that would compliment your images.
Here is a simple example. These headphones were shot for another client of mine and simply by placing the two color product on a lit up sound board made for an interesting and appealing image. A good still life photo speaks to you like a well presented plate at a restaurant. Even if you didn’t know that was a sound board you got the impression that these headphones are being used for some kind of production work. The rest is up to the viewer’s imagination.
Using somewhat found items definitely gives your images a more home grown feel which is what you want to achieve with most still life.
Here is another example using the same wallet. In this image we give the viewer the idea that whoever owns this wallet is at some kind of bar and drinking whiskey either after a long day or on the way somewhere. This simple setup conveys many different ideas to the viewer. I shot this on my wooden dining room table and no whiskey was injured in the making of this photo.
Here is an actual image shot in a bar for another client. We were fortunate enough to have the bar’s owner sign off on us using the space during off hours. Shooting in an actual bar could yield some amazing results. This still life shot was done with natural light.
The textures of the bar plus the bottles in the background really shine through. For this setup I used the bottle itself and some hot peppers in a shot glass as the alcohol itself is one the spicier side.
Try and take some photos with any items you like to look at home and surrounded them with colors and pieces that blend with that item. It can be a fun experiment!
For all conceivable reasons digital technology has completely overshadowed film in the last decade. A majority of professional photographers including newspaper photographers and of course commercial photographers have completely switched over to digital. Many photographers just do not have the luxury of time on their side to wait patiently as the lab develops their film and produces the negatives so that they can scan and send them back to their editors. The world moves at a completely different pace now for such luxuries. Continue Reading
Sometimes we lose sight that photography is an art form and form of expression. There are certain rules and parameters that commercial photographers sometimes need to follow that instinctively seem wrong but that’s the compromise you need to sometimes make to please a client. I have learned through trial and tribulation that the best way to handle those situations is to shoot plenty of coverage in a few styles so that your client or subject can pick those standout images that they may have not envisioned. Continue Reading
Photography is a wonderful thing. Pictures are certainly worth a thousand words and many times those pictures are worth well over thousands of dollars. But how do you get to the point where you are making sustainable income with a photography business? It’s a long road that has not been completely figured out but when there is a will there’s a way. Continue Reading