How’d You Get That Shot with Jena Cumbo

 

How’d You Get That Shot With Jena Cumbo… 

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A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 

NAME:

Jena Cumbo
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WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:

Lifestyle and Fashion

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

Well, I switched my major from ‘bio/chem’ to photography back when I was a sophomore in college

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

Lately, my LED light

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:

I’m sort of know for having my giant SLR with me even when I don’t necessarily need that. I also kick around with an Olympus  XZ-1

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

I’m still not convinced that a phone is a camera, it depends who’s hand it’s in I suppose 😉

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY IN 2013:

Greater ISO sensitivity with less grain/noise

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:

Collaborating with Gina Tron to do interviews with me on this ‘We Met On the Internet’ portrait project has been really fun. I like getting another persons thoughts into the mix. And working with a wordsmith is new to me and adds another layer to the project I definitely couldn’t get on my own.

I love working with other stylists and hair and makeup people on fashion shoots when our ideas mesh well together. I’ve most recently worked with stylist, Ramono Martelli and hair stylist Pia Vivas.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

I chose a picture of Mariela and Tiago. A couple that I shot for my ‘We Met On the Internet’ Project.

I’ve been doing a series of portraits of couples that met on the Internet in various ways.

I actually met them ‘on the internet’ too. Mariela responded to a craigslist posting I had up for the project. I was at their apt for a bout an hour total. I think this is a good example of my ability to photograph someones personality, even in a situation where I have only met them for a little while. We definitely got a long well, I think it’s fair to say they felt comfortable with me and vice versa. The ‘making a mustache’ out of Mariela’s dreads was just something they did goofing around together. I had them just hang out together and do what they do. For me that’s how I make a ‘set up shot’ a little more genuine.

Here is Gina Tron’s synopsis of Mariela and Tiago from her interview with them:

Mariela & Tiago

Mariela, a 21 year old self-taught photographer, moved to New York in December of 2011 from the Dominican Republic. Tiago is a 30 year old who has worked as a finishing carpenter since he was a kid. They found each other in cyberspace thanks to their shared love of tattoos. Their initial contact began on tattoodatingsite.com. “[The name] is that blunt,” stated Mariela while laughing. “When you go there, you think it’s a spam website.”

The site was appealing to Tiago because he was frustrated with the lack of tattoo-clad folk in his neighborhood of Queens. “I wanted to meet people and where I lived there [weren’t] many people with tattoos.”

From his online photograph, Mariela thought that “Tiago was cute.” They started talking to each other on Skype, which lead to meeting in person. On their second date they shared some ink time together. Tiago got a previous piece polished off, while Mariela received a permanent eye onto her forearm. After two weeks of dating, they moved in together. After four months, they got engaged. Now the two share matching tattoos. “We both have [the word] ‘love’ tattooed in our hands.”

Besides getting inked, they also bond over their love of animals. “We have a zoo in our house,” admits Mariela. “We have three dogs, two cats, two ferrets, two fish tanks, and two bird cages, and I think…[she pauses for a minute]  I think that’s it.” Tiago and Mariela, and their collection of animals, live in Jamaica, Queens. They plan to wed in June of this year.

 

Jena Cumbo
To check out ALL of Jena’s work 
please go to her website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

 

How’d You Get That Shot with Steve Lesnick

 

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

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NAME:

Steve Lesnick
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WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:

My specialty is capturing the fleeting emotional moments in lifestyle photography.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

I took photography classes in college and fell in love with it. Then I decided to pursue the career by moving to NYC.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

My GX1 with my Rosco Lite Pad.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:

My GX1, because it’s small, has a decent lens, not a lot of noise, a great LCD, and shoots RAW files.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVELATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

I’m amazed by all the cool images I’m seeing everywhere, but I think a lot of them fall short. A great photograph has to have great light, great composition, and an emotional connection all at the same time. If you don’t have all three, then you’re never going to get anything more than just a decent picture.

Also, I hope the current generation of photographers will learn not to just give their work away and that they are creating something of value.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY IN 2013:

I would like to see the industry encourage people to learn more about their cameras and not be so dependent on the computer. I know the computer plays an important role in photography today, but I think it’s important for people to learn the basics so that they won’t have to depend on the computer as much.

I’m old school, I’ve always been a color photographer, so you had to get it when you shot it.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION: 

My clients get photographs that are more dramatic and narrative than the usual images they use. Since we’re so experienced at solving problems we welcome them because it creates spontaneous moments that are unpredictable and irreplaceable.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

This shot of Stefanie makes me very happy inside. She is such a warm, kind, unassuming person, and when she put this giant wig on, her whole persona changed. She even let me try on the blonde wig.

We mixed ambient and tungsten light to give this scene a warm, soft feel. I shot with a long lens to blur out the foreground so that she would stand out.

FREE SHOUT OUT: 

I’m so supportive of all my clients that keep coming back to me and letting me do my thing.

 

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To check out ALL of Steve’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

 

How’d You Get That Shot with Ramon Purcell

 

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

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NAME:

Ramon C Purcell
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WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:

I am a multi-faceted photographer, my specialty is being adaptive to the client’s needs and utilizing a variety of specialties to create advertising imagery.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

Unexpectedly through the Surf industry from a friend of mine who was a professional surfer.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

iPhone!!!  It saves the day with all the apps that support the business.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
I love the iPhone, I don’t have the weight of different gear, and it is great for capturing an intimate moment without interrupting.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

We are at a crossroads of creativity and technology that has never been seen before, it is the most fantastic moment in history and I encourage everyone to photograph with any camera they have at their fingertips.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY  IN 2013:

I am excited to see the development of the touch screen interface cameras.  It is the next evolution in photography and I can’t wait to see the amazing changes it makes in creativity.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:

A variety of hospitality client’s benefit from my cross pollination of photography.  Having several areas of specialization allows me to approach every project with a broad knowledge base to help accomplish the goals for the client.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

Creek side Relaxation at L’Auberge de Sedona.

The concept of the shot is to escape from your everyday and enjoy being pampered, in their tranquil setting.   The image evokes a sense of luxurious serenity.  To create this image, I utilized a variety of equipment, a mixture of natural light, minimal strobes, reflectors and diffusers.  The use of iTechnology was extremely beneficial for the client, photographing Wi-Fi tethered with an iPad.  This allowed the client to see instantly the images being created and find the “Hero” image that would achieve the goals of the campaign.  The shot had a very narrow window of light to achieve the concept, the preparation started six months prior.  The actual time to create the image on the day of the shoot took about 4 hours, with correct placement of the model and props.  Approximately a 100 frames were taken to create the image, utilizing iTechnology allowed the client the ability to select the final image on the spot.

FREE SHOUT OUT:

I am very thankful for my creative team that assists me in exceeding the client’s goals.  I want to thank several clients for having me involved in creative projects, L’Auberge de Sedona for a new branding campaign after their renovation.  Island Hospitality for updating their marketing strategy.  Finally Blaine Warren for the USAF Reserve recruiting campaign.

 

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To check out ALL of Ramon’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

How’d You Get That Shot with Michelle Kawka

 

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 

 MichelleK_Shot

 

NAME:

Michelle Kawka, photographer
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WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY ?

Portraits, Corporate, Events and Weddings. I shoot landscapes for my soul.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

I studied in Italy while in college & started taking pictures.  After college, I worked for awhile in a bunch of office jobs, but I still took pictures.   My friends all got married around the same time and kept telling me that they liked my pictures better than their own photographers’.  Finally, I decided to pursue my passion and I went to photography school.  I never looked back.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

My Gary Fong Lightsphere.  Lightroom 4, and my Canon camera.  

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
My Droid Bionic because I love Instagram.  I don’t really like to carry around a separate camera, I carry enough stuff around with me in my pocketbook !

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

I don’t think that it really impacts my business much.  I feel it’s the same way Turbo Tax impacted the accounting field.  Some people are going to do it themselves, and some people are going to understand what a professional brings to the table.  We do so much more that click a button.  We have to plan the shoot, organize it and direct a crew while under time constraints.  Those aren’t skills that an amateur with an iPhone can necessarily do and get great results.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013 ?

I would love to see the industry come up with creative solutions to the issues that photographers face today instead of complaining how much the industry has changed and how they wish how things used to be.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION: 
I have photographed jobs for Wella Hair Color, the United States Marine Corps and Microsoft as well as for many private individuals.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

The techniques I used to get this shot were fairly simple.  I went to the beach as the sun began to set.  The beach itself faces North so it gets a lovely cool north light at sunset.  I shot all available light, ISO 800 at 125 at f/8 with the 17-40 mm Canon L lens set at 17mm.  I did a color balance and auto tone in Lightroom 4, then used presets to bring in the contrast and color as well as used vignetting to give a spotlight type lighting.  I shot 5 angles of the building , all hand held and decided I liked the one the best.  I also cropped in it Lightroom to make it more of a panoramic shoot.   I stood on the beach for approximately 15 minutes before I decided it was too cold and I was done shooting.
The image I have chosen is called Beauty in Devastation, which is a series of photos that I created in the 2 weeks after Hurricane Sandy.

Growing up in New York City, the beach has always been a place of relaxation and spiritual renewal for me. When Hurricane Sandy came through and wreaked her havoc along the coast on Long Island, it was a heart breaking experience to see so much devastation. However, in the cold November autumn air, in spite of the destruction, there was something eminently beautiful about how our human made structures were bent and reshaped by the force of Nature. This body of work, taken in the Rockaways, Long Beach and Hampton Bays, are a meditation on how very fragile we are.

The photo is of the Beach Hut, which is a lively restaurant on Meschutt Beach on Peconic Bay.  It is a beach I frequent often because of it’s shallow, warm water perfect for swimming or sitting in an inflatable tube with a cheap novel.

FREE SHOUT OUT:
I love taking photos and directing video.  I have a really great team and shoots are pretty chill and a lot of fun.  

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To check out ALL of Michelle’s work 
please go to her website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

 

How’d You Get That Shot with Kevin Steele

A Spotlight Series About
The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.com

 

NAME:

Kevin Steele
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WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:

I shoot People in Motion: active lifestyle, travel and portraiture for advertising and editorial.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

Life began in the darkroom every day after high school. Although I went to a university to study astronomy I never became an astronomer.  But I’ve been an engineer, author, climbing guide, and tech specialist before focusing full time on photography the past 7 years.  Photography had been on the side until word of mouth led to my first big location ad shoot.  Which fittingly enough is this photograph on Mt Rushmore.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

White gaffer tape. Black coffee. The Nikon D4 and D800 with 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, 85 f/1.4 lenses most of the time.   When shooting motion I love using Pentax 6×7 lenses adapted for the Nikon, nice long manual focus throw, beautiful optics and the full frame 35 sensor uses only the sweet center spot of those medium format lenses.   And really my absolute favorite and sentimental tool is the Rollei SL66 with Zeiss lenses, alas it seldom gets out. It’s original owner, my Dad, handed it down over 20 years ago  – it’s a 46 year old beautiful piece of kit.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:

iPhone. I just always have it with me, great for scouting and snapshots.  I’m so bummed about Instagram – I’m about to bid them farewell as they’ve screwed up their terms of service.  I love the simplicity of it (I stick with one filter) and the creativity born of constraints.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

A fellow photographer turned me onto Seth Godin’s post of the recent Christmas Eve: “True Professionals don’t fear amateurs”. In a nutshell professionals love it when passionate amateurs show up – it pushes us to higher levels. I think it’s great that everyone can create and share and film and edit and experiment.  Maybe it’s just capturing a retro snap of their friends or maybe it sparks entry into a creative field that we don’t even have a name for yet – everything moves forward.  I do feel that those pros in the middle that had satisfying careers for years can’t rest on their laurels, especially if they’re in client direct portrait, wedding or corporate work.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013:

I expect the tech will always move forward – better tools. I do like where we are right now and feel that we’ve come to where it really is almost good enough. Maybe the industry should take a break for a while and let us flesh out the craft of what’s in our lap.  But people never rest J.  On a recent shoot for Adobe I saw some amazingly talented digital artists stretching CS6 in ways I would not have imagined.  I think the business side will continue to evolve: agency Art Buyers and Art Directors are being hired by their clients: in-house work will expand as the ad side becomes less about a single campaign and more about a broad brush of digital, social media, print and viral campaigns.   Editorial is changing rapidly and favors the niche mag that has great content.  Publications that deliver only good-enough images, design, and story will find themselves behind. It doesn’t matter if it’s on paper or pixels – one doesn’t kill the other, the source material is what counts.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:

My favorite kind of shoot day is when we are all feeling the love.  The client, maybe an agency, definitely the crew, are all making it happen. I’ve had great shoots recently with FedEx, Adobe, Oakley and Polartec. On the editorial side – Runner’s World, Trail Runner, Men’s Journal, WebMD, Parade Mag. There are a few local clients that really get to benefit although my rates are a stretch up from the local norm.  I love shooting athletes of all ages. I love photographing people with passion.  Much of the local work doesn’t go in my portfolio but it keeps my chops up and is always fun.  The locals include Opera Santa Barbara, The SB Triathlon and California’s regional visitor’s bureaus.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

The concept here was an iconic image that shows the monument with a unique viewpoint.  The client, CMC, manufactures and distributes equipment for the rescue industry: firefighters, police, SWAT, search and rescue teams.  Their customers get into some dramatic locations and each year CMC publishes a catalog with an epic cover shot of their gear in action.

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.com

The immediate issue was access: the client and ad agency worked well in advance, almost a year, to get permission from the Park Service and Homeland Security. We flew into Rapid City, South Dakota and spent three days on location shooting in early morning and late afternoon.

With a climbing background I’m very comfortable working at heights and on ropes. The models were actual Park Service rangers and although some may mistake the rangers for climbing the faces they are actually rappelling down  – part of their job is to inspect the cracks on the faces.  There’s a big one crossing Lincoln’s nose and in 1998 an instrument was installed to monitor the expansion and contraction of the crack with the seasons.

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.com

For this shot I’m standing on the tip of Jefferson’s nose, secured by a rope to my climbing harness, leaning over to frame Lincoln, the rangers and the landscape.   If you watch Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” you’ll see Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint drop down between Jefferson and Washington at the end of the film (they were actually on a replica built back at MGM’s studio).

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.comThe strenuous approach to the top of the heads was almost as exciting as being out on the granite faces. Step off the trail and over the “No Access” fence, up past security cameras and sensors, scramble behind the heads, past the large Secret Chamber which was envisioned as a “Hall of Records” and onto the top.  Ropes secured and harnesses checked, the rangers went up and down, moving across the faces as I shot from different vantages.  Changing lenses had to be done with care.

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.comThis was not the client’s first select. But as I looked through the edit again and again this was clearly the photograph that best represented the sublime feeling of being out on the tip of Jefferson’s nose with a view very seldom seen.

FREE SHOUT OUT:

Shout outs?  All the support from my wife Linda and boys Nico and Aidan. Mom and Dad. My rep Doug Truppe. And of course my interns and assistants Meg, Meagan, and Megan (thank god they’re spelled differently!), Karla, Jerry and Anna.  Those embarrassing light-test photos we’ll save till the next spotlight series…

 

 

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To check out ALL of Kevin’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

How’d You Get That Shot with Michel Leroy

 A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 


NAME:

Michel Leroy
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WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:
Portraits and large group ensembles

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:
I got started in photography for my high school newspaper and yearbook.  Then I got into the business of photography in college working for the Dayton Daily News.  Finally, I got into a career in photography after I arrived in New York assisting Gregory Heisler and a select group of very talented commercial photographers.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:
Leatherman Skeletool (My absolute go to device)
Princeton Tec headlamp (Next to a Sharpie it’s the single most used item I own)
Bosch laser measure (My favorite gadget)

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
Canon G10 – because it’s always in my bag.  The best camera is the one you have with you at all times.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?
There is a huge difference between everybody having a camera (iPhone) and being a professional photographer.  The idea of crowd sourcing good photography is a zero-sum gain, editing through all the not-so-great images is endless.  If you have hundreds of thousands of people with cameras there are going to be some good shots created for sure; it’s just statistics.

However, if a client wants a great image for their campaign what they really want is a guarantee that a fantastic image will be created on schedule and on budget.  Clients expect a return on their investment.  Only a professional photographer has the experience, skill and talent to “create” those kinds of images.  A professional also has a personal style and brings their own visual instincts to a project adding extra value to the final result that is greater than the some of its parts.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH 2013:
I see a distinct return to the principal concept of photography; content.  The market has really shifted toward images that are creative and successful regardless of how they were created.

In the recent past a big part of professional photography was the closely guarded secret of craft.  The exact type of film, camera and f-Stop actually mattered if you wanted repeatable results.  Then everybody, myself included, went crazy over sub-menus, megapixels and RAW processors – for what?

Very few changes in the past one hundred and fifty years of the photographic process compare with the current technology revolution. The rate of change in our field has accelerated beyond anything previously experienced and remains on a fixed trajectory.  However, for the first time in years I see photographers comfortable enough with the tools of the digital age to create great images, regardless of how.  The legacy of photography is not tools but images.

I’m really excited about the future of our field in the near and long term.  Photographers are creating incredible images with point-n-shoots and $45,000 digital backs with equivalent emotional impact.  The photography industry has leveled the playing field in such a way that every photographer has the tools to express their own style – limited only by personal creativity.  With so much of the craft of photography supplanted by technology the moment has arrived for content to reign above all else.  Content is the future of photography.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOSING:

The creative team at Body and Pole reached out to me to photograph the rapidly growing roster of instructors for their 2012/2013 season.  The co-founders, Lian and Kyra, wanted an image that highlighted the incredible physical prowess of the instructors while remaining approachable.  They are top performers in the field and yet remain dedicated to a welcoming and nurturing atmosphere.  The large group image would find it’s way into print, marketing and web placements but also stand as a keystone 4×6 foot fine art gallery print mounted in the lounge of their new 5000 sq. ft. midtown mega studio.

After preproduction meetings with the creative team we created a mood board that ranged from highly staged sets to subtle arrangements with beautiful, directional studio lighting.  For most groups, props help the talent relax and become part of their environment.  However, in this case the strength of character and physical presence of the instructors is so dominant that we shifted from props to personality.  Each of the instructors looks like a statue – it was like doing a shoot in the Roman sculpture hall at the Met.

This section is where you take over. Format is free here for you to describe your image. Some ideas you can mention are:

Over my years in New York I have had the great fortune to work on some enormous productions involving tens or even hundreds of people for a single shot.  It’s intimidating the first few times and then the numbers become transparent and the project is all that matters; three or thirty it’s all the same.  The client expects the best – the stakes are high either way.

This is a good time to mention that this was shot in-camera, not a composite.  What fun would it be to shoot 17 people separately and composite them into a background?  Coordinating a group this size is no small task but the rewards far outpace the challenges.  Dancers thrive on the pressure of performing and feed off the energy that builds as the group takes the stage.  Directing a large group means there are interweaving moments when everything connects and those precious seconds are when the magic happens.

There is a wonderful quote by Yousuf Karsh that best describes this singular moment: The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world.

The technical aspects of creating a group shot of this scale are the kind of problems that I relish.  When you understand the principals of studio lighting you can scale them to fit any group. However, when you are scaling the light to cover a 30’ stage with flawless, even lighting from left to the right your lights needs to be very large and very powerful.  For this I rely on a really talented and trusted lighting director who I have collaborated with for years to make sure that the crew has enough lights, grip and power to make it work.

For this shot I scouted the Galapagos Art Space in Dumbo a week in advance for a better idea of what we were getting into. The setup took a full 6 hours while the shoot itself was over in just thirty minutes.  We were wrapped and out the door before we hit O/T at 8 hours.

FREE SHOUT OUT:
The success of this group shot is the cumulative effort of everybody involved.  Special thanks to all the stylists and makeup artists who worked tirelessly to highlight the very best of the entire Body & Pole team.

Body & Pole Dance Studio – Client
Michel Leroy – Photographer
Lian Tal – Art Director
Kyra Johannesen – Choreographer
Kyle McBeth – Photo Shoot Producer
Jonathan Orenstein – Lighting Director
Brian Bloom – First Assistant
Keziban Berry – Second Assistant
Linn Edwards of Feather Creative – Retouching

(L-R): Tiffany, Rica, Marlo, Issac, Kelly, Kat, Kyra, Steven, Michelle, Tracee, Meritza, Brooklyn, Roland, Olga, Rebecca, Lian and Lauren.

 

To check out ALL of Michel’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today at: hello@iheartmrktg.com 

How’d You Get That Shot with Cristopher Lapp

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 

NAME:
Cristopher Lapp
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WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:
Celebrity and Fashion

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:
My dad had a Konica 35MM that I used to take pictures of the neighborhood kids. At 7 years old, I didn’t know I needed film!

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:
Actually, it’s my camera’s strap. Having an extra cardholder on the strap let’s me work all day without slowing down.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
I use my iPhone’s camera a lot. It is always with me, and oh yah, it’s a phone too!

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?
What an amazing time in photography! What was once an art form seems to becoming a commodity, and where we end up is anyone’s guess. However, I do feel it is essential to know your value and charge for it! Remember, the next time some asks for a ‘freebie’ or a silly price, what’s the first thing they will grab when the house burns down, the pictures! 

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013:
My hope is that the buyers will continue to understand that this is a business and an industry. As photographers, it is our job to constantly educate them on the cost of services and overall quality of image making.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:
A smart photographer never talks about his or her client list. However, it is safe to say the higher you reach, the better the clients will be.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:
I like these desert images since they show a ton of moving parts in front of and behind the camera. They were for an Italian department store and use a variety of designers and models all in motion. It was shot using natural lighting and on location. Tents, trucks, RVs, generators and gallons of sunscreen were involved. 20 people needed to be feed and hydrated for 20+ hours. Bathrooms and changing rooms were also brought in … no easy task. Not to mention the full-time job of keeping the dust off of everything, including my computer and card readers.

FREE SHOUT OUT:

 

 

To check out ALL of Cris’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today at: hello@iheartmrktg.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

image (c) Alex Geana

How’d You Get That Shot with Alex Geana

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography! 


NAME:
Alex Geana
Website
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Link to Alex 

WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:
I work in fashion and still life, with a focus on fine art conceptual pieces and commercial work.  I know – vague.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:
I’ve always loved it. When I was in high school I had a really amazing photography teacher named Mr. George Talley. This was before all electives were cut. He showed me how to develop film and work in the dark room – an experience that forever changed me. It wasn’t until I got published by Gawker and started attending fashion shows that I really looked at photography as a career. I had access to an industry I loved and the moments to make good pictures were plentiful.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:
I use a 5D Mark II and have a Leica D‑LUX 5 for my blog. I work with a variety of lights, from Impact to ProFoto, I’ve even worked with Alien Bees. Each shoot is different. I’ve really wanted to work with Broncolor but I’ve never had a chance to.  Recently I’ve become obsessed with Hahnemuhle Baryta for my fine art show.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
I try to always keep my Leica D‑LUX 5 with me. I really want an M9, but that’s really just a dream till I book more commercial work. The small camera takes really honest photos. When you have a DSLR with you, the camera takes over the moment, people try to pose, we’re in an age of over-styled street fashion and everyone’s watching out for cameras, they’re either drawn to them or afraid of them. I really like having a small “walking about” camera. But readers on blogs are really judgmental and they need a good photo. If you can’t make a good photo for your blog, they turn away quickly.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?
It makes educating the client harder. I’ve had clients tell me they can’t afford to work with me because they spent 4k on a camera and don’t know how to use it. They wonder why they can’t get the same pictures I do with the camera we both have. It breaks my heart, because for half that cost, we’d have enough cash to make some good photography.

Photography has really moved away from the camera, it’s just a tool we all have. It’s become more like sculpture. Michael Weschler (@MichaelWeschler ) a photographer friend of mine likens being a photographer to being a director. We produce photography. We make the picture happen. That’s what people don’t really get about photography. We need to make the photo. Then you also have to know how to record the image you’re making. It’s a holistic 360-degree process, which people don’t get. You don’t just show up, point and shoot.  Then fix everything in Photoshop. Photoshop can’t create a pixel. You need the right exposure to capture an image that Photoshop can improve on.

We can’t stop clients from thinking it’s the camera, but it would be nice if they spent more on photographers they liked, instead of gear they can’t use. It would help everyone and make better content.
Clients, especially new clients don’t understand how much time and planning photography involves. I also think this is effecting the top of the market, because art buyers seem very weary to try anyone new, unless they have proven themselves a countless number of times.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013:
Have no clue. Probably the same as 2012, I don’t see technology effecting us greatly. I think their needs to be changes. Lots of changes and I see no organization. Which is frustrating. Lot’s of young photographers are depressing their own industry because they’re jumping at every “Work for Hire” contract sent their way and lowering their rate to next to nothing. It would be great to educate and figure out a way to communicate to all the “cool kids” who don’t really understand the business of photography. I was one of them. Now I really understand how to estimate and say no and build value for my work. So much of art has to do with making your own market. I don’t know if my long road will pay off. I’m hoping it does. When an emerging photographer gives in to a “Work for Hire” contract everyone suffers.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:
My work is in two museums. The Museum at FIT and Leslie Lohman, I had a chance to work with Icon Fitness and Elisabeth Hasselbeck (she’s really sweet, smart and nice in person). Daphne Guinness is my hands down favorite subject and model, she was a joy to work with and I’m very excited to have been included in her Yale University book. I’ve worked with a variety of fashion designers and look forward to growing in that realm. I’m never satisfied with my work and always want to get better.  I also love getting published on La Daily Musto – Michael is a lot of fun to hang out with, I love going out with him and taking pictures of club kids. Daily Intel hired me because they saw my work on his blog.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:
I started applying my knowledge of fashion photography to food; I really loved the concept of manipulating and styling. So I just started making work and wanted to experiment with process and light. Finally it came together as a show, I’m trying to place it now and starting to build relationships with galleries that have a base.

I don’t know if it’s a unique technique per say, I think it’s obvious that it’s on a light table. It’s two lights above, two below. What does make it unique is my obsession with styling and creating the work. It took me two hours to find the perfect lettuce, take it home, and style it just right. Add water droplets in all the right places and redo it a few times. Eighty frames were shot. I finally chose one and spent two hours retouching and refining the printing process. All told each photo in the series took an average of eight to twelve hours to make.

Photography simply takes time, we become more efficient with it, but good pictures take time and patience and there’s nothing we can do about it. Everyone wants everything to happen quickly because of the just in time Internet culture. But to get something truly extraordinary – it’s simply, time, patience and planning and there’s simply no short cut.

FREE SHOUT OUT:
Check out my blog Making a Picture and check out my Online Portfolio.

 

To check out ALL of Alex’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today at: hello@iheartmrktg.com 

 

 

How’d You Get That Shot with Shane Kislack

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography! 

 

NAME:
Shane Kislack
Portfolios
WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:
My specialty is people for editorial and advertising.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:
I got an undergraduate degree in film production with the intention of directing movies.  During that time, Dallas had opened a studio and looked to be a “third coast”.  Robert Rodriguez had shown us
how to do Independent Films and a lot of ‘creativity over cost’ energy was in the air.  Unfortunately, about the time I graduated, the creative film industry dried up here.  On top of that, I learned that I didn’t want to move to L.A. or N.Y. to be a P.A.  So I stayed at the corporate job, that was my college job, for another 5 years.  Eventually that place drove me to medication and I knew I didn’t want to live my life in that environment.  So I quit and made a feature length independent film.  It was during the making of that film that my lighting guy noticed I was taking a lot of production stills and suggested I do “commercial photography”… a term I’d never even heard before.  After he explained the industry to me, I looked up some commercial photographers, found the ones I liked, and cold called them explaining that I’d like to learn from them.  One of them explained that I was looking to be a “photo assistant” and he hired me for a job the very next day.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:
A camera.  I say that simply because I really don’t care about what camera I’m shooting with.  It’s the experience of shooting and the emotion I get from the subject that really drives me.  I like some of my hipstimatic prints more than shots I’ve done with Hassalblads.  I never stepped foot in a dark room, so I don’t have the ‘film purist’ background…although I do appreciate the change of pace that film requires.  As far as lights, I much prefer the ‘let’s create something with what we DO have’ rather than the ‘let’s take every piece of equipment the rental house has, just in case’ style of shooting.  So, if I have to pick a specific thing, I’d say a funny assistant with a good personality.  Is that a tool?

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
I’m not the kind of photographer that carries a camera with them every where except for my iPhone.  The camera I WOULD carry with me would be like a digital Roliflex.  Something that has limited controls (so you use creativity to find images rather than focal lengths and shutter speeds) and that allows you to shoot as waist level.  However, I think the Canon 5D Mark II and III is the most versatile camera I’ve used.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?
I love the fact that everyone has a camera.  Everyone has a toaster but that doesn’t make them a great chef.  I feel that if my output doesn’t separate me from the general masses, then maybe I need to re-evaluate my career.  What’s more troubling is the  
attitude of ‘it’s good enough’ that encourages image buyers to hire incompetent photographers for cheap prices.  I wish there were enough jobs for everyone with a camera to make a nice living.
WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013:
Expectations?  Always amazed, never surprised is how I’d describe the industry…so I can’t rely on expectations.   I’d love to see people start getting paid for their hard work, especially in the DSLR video arena.   I’d also like to see some great stories being told rather than a few vignettes with narrow  focus.  
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:
I’ve done work for many magazines including O Magazine and Entrepreneur.  I’ve also created a few album covers where I’ve had total control over the idea from creation to execution to post processing.  Anyone that needs creative problem solving would benefit from the way I like to approach jobs.
TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:
I‘m choosing this photo of a little girl in a lone boat in a small pond (that’s not the name of it, I don’t like naming photographs).  Jess is an amateur model in my area and her mom had contacted me to photograph her for a test.  I wanted to, BUT…she had done a lot of other work for other local photographers, professional and amateur, and while they were always excellent…I just couldn’t come up with an idea to shoot.  So I kinda dropped the ball.  However, her mom Facebook friended me and I kept up with her.  One day her mom posted about some wolf dogs they raised and I immediately had the idea of doing a Little Red Riding Hood series.  I asked her if they had ever done a LRRH shot, they hadn’t, so we jumped on it.  Check out the series on my website. Thanks, Social Media!  

I set out with no crew (I like being flexible), just Jess and her mom and dad and a wolf dog.  We rode around their property looking for a place to shoot the LRRH series and we passed by this small pond with a row boat on the shore.  I immediately had them stop the car and we reconfigured  Jess’s LRRH costume to be generic.  I wasn’t sure what the story was going to be, I just knew that it would be interesting and hoped it would raise more questions than it answered.  To get the shot, we put Jess in the boat and her dad held a tied rope and pushed her into the lake.  I used a Prophoto 2400 pack with a 5ft octobox to light Jess from the shore and underexposed the sky.  I shot with a Canon 5D Mark IIIn addition, I used some photoshop to manipulate the mood and tone.  I had no idea if it would be interesting or not when finished and it didn’t really fit into a LRRH scenario…but I knew I wanted to capture the image that was in my head.  So I guess you can say I stopped the job I was doing to the capture this?

Working with kids is always a trying experience.  Their little personalities and quirks don’t always align with what you want to get done, much less on your schedule.  So when working with kids, you have to work fast and flexible because once they are done…THEY ARE DONE!  The whole Little Red Riding Hood series…including the accompanying video…was shot in 2 hours.  And this outtake was done in the middle of that.  You could never do that in a commercial shoot.  You need many more “definites” in a commercial shoot that don’t allow you to be as flexible.  But then again, I might not have gotten this shot on a commercial advertising shoot.  I shot about 12 frames of this scene and then we moved on to the LRRH stuff.

I chose this shot because it emphasizes my preferred method of shooting.  I like having very small crews (just enough to get the job done) because it allows you to be more flexible.  Sometimes I only take an assistant to keep me company and to stand in while I set up a shot.  Their expertise is just icing on the cake.  I worked with many different photographers as an assistant; some would only shoot when conditions were perfect and never stepped away from their specific idea, and others would set up a shot and had the attitude of “let’s see what happens”.  I prefer the latter method when able.  If you are reasonable competent, creative and open to serendipity, you can often find something you didn’t know you were looking for.  Some people have great skills in executing preconceived shots, others at capturing beauty that’s already there.  For me, this photo does both.

When I shoot a portrait, I want the viewer to want to meet that person.  When I shoot an editorial scene, I want the viewer to wonder what happened right before or right after the shot.
To check out ALL of Shane’s work 
please go to his websiteIf you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today at: hello@iheartmrktg.com 
How'd-You-Get-That-Shot-Blog

How’d You Get That Shot: The Technique Of Photographing by Photographers

How’d You Get That Shot?

How'd-You-Get-That-Shot-Blog

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography! 

The digital era helps some of the finest industries expand and witness growth in techniques that can only come from science and the creation of new technology. This series is prepared to take you back to the knowledge, creativity, and personal techniques of real Photographers. By real I mean the people that have a sole purpose of photographing for a living. The Photographers that don’t rely on photoshop for visual remedies. Photographers that know the difference between an image shot on an iPhone and one from a full format camera. Photographers that remember the cost of developing a bad image instead of just deleting it. Photographers that makes the Whopper look like the most delicious sandwich around or the one that drives Moms everywhere to stores for Huggies! The Photographer that can capture the raw emotion of a sorrowful smile and make us feel compassion in one instant. 

Today the creativity and hard work that goes into taking one single image is so easily replaced with “Hey, that’s a great shot!” without the knowledge of where it even comes from. The endless uploaded media we share that really does not do the subject justice hurts the true craft behind what Photographers really do. As Lawyers will argue that they argue the best cases and Doctors will confirm they know the best remedy for your ailment, Photographers are no different… they are the true expert behind the lens! Their job is their passion! They have studied and perfected technique. Some are still studying to stay abreast of todays vastly changing technologies. When a Photographer looks at a group of people they do not see a group of people they see the balance of light, the contrast of colors, the mere depth of perception that alters the image to make it memorable for a lifetime. And that’s what this series is about!

Together lets bring the art of photography back into that special light where it belongs. Let’s get back to what really goes into making a single image! While the world is full of creative people I believe I have gathered some of the finest professional photographers to tell us about their stories. In the next several weeks they will share their visuals, their explanations of techniques, and their depth of what goes on while exposing how they got that shot. I hope you enjoy all of them, I know I will!

If you are a professional photographer or know of one that should be in this series please email us today at: hello@iheartmrktg.com