Posts Tagged ‘alter ego’

There are a number of reasons why you might be reading this post, however assuming you have at least a minimal interest in studio photography its probably because the thought of a ‘professional’ shoot excites you. I am however betting that a lot of people reading this have never made the leap into a full blown studio session, and that probably the majority of readers who have did so through a workshop or paid lesson rather than under their own steam.

Photographers found the thought of shooting in a studio exciting but have until recently never been brave enough to actually try. Fear of failure is a common paralysis experienced by photographers and primarily results from expectation and self pressure.

I am sure that most of you have found yourself in situations where friends or family have asked if you could take a few ‘snaps’ at that all-important family occasion. No matter how much they reassure you that all they really want are a few nice pictures, its not too long before tension and (a lot of Photoshop) set in.

So its easy to see why, no matter how much we want to do it, the thought of putting ourselves in a high expectation situation such as a studio shoot is enough to ensure we never actually do it. Having brooded over this for years, I’m here to tell you that no matter how formidable it seems, organizing and executing your own studio session is affordable, very achievable and probably one of the best opportunities you have for taking your photographic skills to the next level.

Benefits – Why You Should Rent a Studio

The main advantage of shooting in a studio is of course the ability to control and shape the quality of light. Shooting under studio lighting also has the pleasant side effect of making pretty much any camera capable of rendering sharp, well detailed images. All of this control and quality comes at a price, usually a fairly hefty price, so renting a studio space is a great way to gain experience without the financial pain of buying your own equipment. Studio rentals can be incredibly good value with a half day session costing as little as $75 per hour…not bad for one of the best photography investments you can make.

Hints for Renting a Studio Space

Whilst finding a studio should be relatively easy (usually it only requires a simple Internet search), there are a few things to be aware of before making a booking:
•Rates – Rates can vary greatly from studio to studio however so can the amount of time included, so it’s worth double checking especially when charges are listed by fractions of a day.
•Size – Studios come in a range of sizes and again this can have a bearing on hire charges, as a rule bigger spaces are better as they offer a greater array of creative options.
•Hidden Charges – Beware of hidden fees, examples include the use of consumables such as backdrop paper and parking which can make a big difference in terms of total rental cost.
•Overtime – Most studios will charge a premium for overtime and its important to be aware of these before booking. Plan your shoot carefully to avoid any overruns and nasty surprises.
•Equipment Hire – Whilst most studios include equipment hire within the total rate, some can apply additional charges so double check to see what is and isn’t included.
•Assistant/Tutoring – Some studios offer the use of an assistant in addition to hire of the studio space, this can be a great way to learn how to use available equipment and make the most of the session time. Sometimes the presence of a stranger can add pressure to the situation so don’t be afraid to go it alone
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Some might remember when a photographer had to load there non-digital cameras with stuff called “film” and then after the shoot, that film would be taken into a “dark room” and processed into photographs. Now that technology has made that process obsolete, the current day photographer has different tasks they need to follow, one that includes data management and social networks. Creating an effective workflow from the beginning of the shoot to the delivery of the goods, is essential to putting out a great photograph or design.

A basic and thorough workflow can consist of the following steps:

  1. Shooting images
  2. Downloading images to the computer
  3. Backing up raw (untouched/unedited) images
  4. Importing photos into image-management software
  5. Organizing images into an image library, with keywords and virtual photo albums
  6. Processing/retouching images to get a desired look
  7. Outputting images for clients, printing, or Web sites
  8. Backing up processed images and the image library
  9. Archiving images for permanent (offline or online) storage

Breaking it down into a series of steps helps to simplify workflow and keep it consistent, which increases the likelihood that you’ll get through all the steps efficiently and quickly. (http://blog.photoshelter.com/2009/09/an-effective-workflow-for-phot/)

 

I know… a shameless plug for our studio.  but, The Viewfinders having just returned from New York and having worked there during the prep week for Fashion Week, we had to give a nod to one of the most exciting and visually stimulating events of the our industries year.

Fashion Models - Runway

The Viewfinders and Fashion Week

The models wafted across the runway this year with a marked confidence placed there seemingly by the designers themselves.  With a slightly strengthening economy, the veil of decadence was indeed again in place.  The heavy-weights of the industry were again awash with ideas and colors were again welcomed into their idea sets.  The interesting dichotomy however, was the appearance of the runway models themselves.  It was noticed that the presentation of the new fashions was marked often by the covering of the models with bold and transforming make up…often illuminating on them what could be their Alter Ego.

Model in Red

Model in Red

Model in Red

Fashion runway

Thank you to the designers, models, MUA’s, stylists and all who produce fashion week.  The colors, the tones, the geometry and brashness of the event make artists like The Viewfinders realize we are definitely not alone.

At least since the 20th century, many artists and architects have proportioned their works to approximate the golden ratio—especially in the form of the golden rectangle, in which the ratio of the longer side to the shorter is the golden ratio—believing this proportion to be aesthetically pleasing. A golden rectangle can be cut into a square and a smaller rectangle with the same aspect ratio. Mathematicians since Euclid have studied the golden ratio because of its unique and interesting properties. The golden ratio is often called the golden section or golden mean.Other names include extreme and mean ratio, medial section, divine proportion, divine section, golden proportion, golden cutgolden number, and mean of Phidias. -wikipedia.com

When a boy comes of age at 13-years-old he has become a “bar mitzvah” and is recognized by Jewish tradition as having the same rights as a full grown man. A boy who has become a Bar Mitzvah is now morally and ethically responsible for his decisions and actions. The term “bar mitzvah” also refers to the religious ceremony that accompanies a boy becoming a Bar Mitzvah. Often a celebratory party will follow the ceremony and that party is also called a bar mitzvah.

The Viewfinders had the pleasure of covering Louis Shulman’s Bar Mitzvah. After the ceremony, fun and games and celebrity appearances… and adulthood, awaited. The link here is to the highlight video of his coming of age party.

Check out these pictures from artist Natalie Irish.  Can you tell what her brush technique is?  I’ll give you a hint, she does not use a brush.  Here at the studio, we think they are amazing.  So what do you think of them?

Late last week, news broke of parents suing a retailer and a photographer over pictures of model Haily Clauson that ended up on t-shirts.  The parents issue is that at the time of the pictures Haily was only 15 years old and the photos were “blatantly salacious” and may have violated child pornography laws.  The first two pictures are the ones in question.  Do they have a level of sexuality to them, yes.  Are they salacious or pornographic, no.  Should the photographer have used more restraint with a 15 year old subject, maybe.

This is not an first time model, this is an experienced model that has worked the runway for Gucci, Diane von Furstenberg, Elie Saab, Giambattista Valli, Donna Karen, and Oscar de la Renta.  At our studio, we know how important having the proper documentation can be, such as releases and user agreements.  Now, if the pictures had been published and forgotten would the parents be suing?  We doubt it.  So, who is really doing the exploiting here?  Is it the photographer or the parents that were present when these photos were taken?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like most in our generation, we grew up on superheros.  One was greater than all the rest.  Superman!  What kid didn’t fly around with a cape pretending to save people.  Hell, I have a cape now that fits me!  So, when the first picture of the new superman was released this morning we could not wait to see it and make comparisons.  The new movie is just under two years from release and we are already excited!  What does this have to do with photography or our photography studio? Well, these are both professional photographs.  So, which superman do you like better?  Or are you withholding judgement for now?

    

OK, yes we saw our chance to express our opinion about the candy bar, and we took it.  But our inspiration was from the images of the Milky Way that yahoo posted yesterday.  Lately, running the Las Vegas studio has turned into a full time job for us, which makes us long for the days when we could venture out and take shoots like these more often.  These photographs are great, but there were a few more beautiful ones we thought were worth a look…

This one taken is Eastern Utah by Wally Pacholka

This one taken by Richard Payne in Arizona

This one taken by Kerry-Ann Lecky Hepburn in Ontario, Canada

And these we don’t know for sure so we will leave them un-credited.

We were here at the studio this morning and came across some pictures from this years Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain.  While we noticed that most of the photographs are clearly taken from a safe distance, there were a few, like the last two below, that looked like they really put the photographer and more importantly their equipment is harms way.  This is certainly not like shooting a sporting event from the sideline with a long lens.  With those angles and that crowd, the photographer is right there in the middle of the action.  That spurred the debate, at what point is it no longer with the risk to yourself and your equipment to get the shot?