Creating a Portfolio With Your Best Work
The best work you do usually goes into a portfolio. This semester I enrolled in a photography class, Professional Imaging. It was a fun class that really stretched me as a photographer. I was able to learn new techniques in lighting and editing! it was an amazing experience that I will never forget. These photos are some of my favorite photos from this semester.
Aaron and Megan Engagements
I had the privilege of shooting engagement photos for Aaron and Megan. They found me via my Instagram and really enjoyed my photos. They had the idea of shooting in the Ricks Gardens and Greenhouse. The scenery was so nice compared to the gloomy dark rainy day. It was cold and raining outside but in the garden it was amazing. The greenery was so beautiful and made such amazing backgrounds for our session. There were different rocks and different paths that we were able to take photos on. Shooting in a greenhouse can have amazing results!
Personal Styles Make the Photographer
Natalia Demi Photography: Portrait, Food, Product Photography
My name is Natalia Demi Perez. I am a photographer who specializes in portrait, food, and product photography. I have been taking photos for 3 years. My love for photography started as a hobby and has developed into a career.
Portrait: Photographing people is a mastery of not only lighting your subject well but also styling. Choosing different locations or different makeup looks are all that goes into making a portrait photograph amazing.
Food: Anyone can photograph food, but taking it to the next level with different stylized props and different complementary elements are things I have learned that can make your food game go through the roof.
Product: Trying unique angles on familiar products is exactly why I chose to specialize in product photography. I love the way a simple product can be made complex and elegant with the changing of lights and added props.
Taking an amazing photograph isn’t simply pointing and shooting. There are other outside elements needed to make the photo. With my knowledge of these elements, you too can have amazing photos for your business or website. Hiring me is as easy as a click of the camera.
Making Everyone Stand Out in a Group Fashion Shoot
Photographing a styled group fashion shoot can be so much fun! The key thing to have in your shoot is to have a consistent theme for the group. The theme in my case was fashion, but each set up was a specified theme in fashion. The reasoning behind having a set theme is so that all you models look cohesive and everyone blends in. If you have all wearing white and one person wearing black this will ruin the flow of the photo shoot. There are cases where a certain model in a group is wearing a different style of fashion than the rest of the group. The way the fashion world works is always changing and there may be some setups where this will work and look cohesive. Try finding your own style of theme when planning a group fashion shoot! Make sure you choose models who aren’t super tall compared to your other models if this happens to try to style them in a way where the tallest member of the group sits.
These fashion photography portraits were all edited with Lightroom Classic cc.
Highlighting Accessories in a Fashion Photo Shoot
When working on fashion shoots, you will not only want to photograph the clothing the model is wearing. Highlighting the different accessories your models are wearing can be a great way to branch out in your fashion photography. You can photograph a whole outfit and then focus on the accessories the model is wearing in the same shot. You can either style the model to pose the accessories or you can take a far away shot and then crop in to see the accessories. The main thing when shooting fashion photography is to not have the same pose for the same accessories. If you are posing your model in a specific way each time they are modeling an accessory, let’s say a bracelet, you will bore your audience and will seem like you are not putting in any effort into your photo shoot. Try to have maybe 3-5 different poses for the same type of accessories but no more so you don’t distract too greatly from the chosen accessories. Branch out in your styled accessories shoot. I chose to focus on makeup, footwear (boots), wedding bouquet, and jewelry.
These fashion photography portraits were all edited with Lightroom Classic cc.
A big thanks to all the wonderful models!
Shooting Architecture Photography on Vacation
I love traveling! I try to take as many photographs as I can when I am on vacation, especially of the classic tourist spots. Architecture photography is the style of photography focused on buildings and their architectural beauty. In order to up your photography game, you need to look for something different in the ordinary.
To stand out in a sea of architecture photographers, you will want to photograph the same buildings that everyone takes photos of but in an entirely new perspective. When you pick a place to tour, try to wander away from all the other photographers or the very clogged locations. This is a sure sign that this specific spot has had the most photos taken. Instead, try to take a step back and see things in different angles. A building can have amazingly small details on the inside or even outside of the building. Photographing those details can still be the famous location, just in a new perspective. Doing research beforehand is a great way to see what everyone else photographs. A quick google search of the famous venues can show you many photo angles to avoid when you get to the location. Buildings have history and were artistically crafted for all to enjoy. Taking in the beauty of the architectural features like the shape of the building or the windows or even the beams inside are great things to photograph.
How to Make Engaging Food Photography Photos
Taking photos of food is everyone’s favorite hobby! With the introduction of cameras and social media, everyone can take amazing photos and easily share them. To stand out in the sea of food photographers you need to create themes that are engaging for your audience. To branch out and be different, start by picking a theme that compliments your food setups. This can seem like a challenge but try to make things simple by going back to the basics. Appetizer, main course, and dessert are great options for food themes. Photographing these food setups can be fun!
I opted to do breakfast for my main course and focused on a traditional breakfast of waffles. The cups and silverware can be great props to add depth to your food setup. Photos can be bland if you don’t just take photos of your plate of breakfast food.
For this food set up, I had a simple plate of salsa. To up this photo I added different complimentary props to make to food much more appetizing. Choosing different angles can make your photo stand out even more! I chose this piece of bread as the main focus with my cheese and appetizer platter in the background.
Placing fruit on dessert is everything! The drizzle of strawberry or the placing of several pieces of the same dessert makes the slice you are photographing much more enticing.
You can also make a food photograph amazing with hands or people. Adding a human element to food photography doesn’t detract from the fact that it is all about the food! Make your food photography human inclusive and opt to have friends or family showcase your food setups!
For more inspiration check out my friend Meghan’s post on capturing food photography!
Also, visit Adorama’s post on choosing food photography props!
Capturing the Best Photos of your Venue
This requires a lot of planning and making sure your lighting is just right. Venue photography can be a great way to receive greater clientele. Photographing a venue can seem daunting, but the main thing is to be familiar with lighting in the venue space and your camera settings. These are the best ways to get the best photos of your venue. The possibility of over or underexposing your photo will be greater if you do not get accustomed to the venue you are shooting in. Take a walk around and see where the lighting changes from room to room and find something to feature in the photo. This is the best way to get a feel for your lighting. Your next key thing is to decide on the mood of the venue. Is it a moody setting or is it a bit more cheerful? Looking at lighting will help you decide on just what type of light to accentuate in your venue. Venue photography can be made easy with these small steps!
A big thanks to the Venue in Rigby Idaho for letting me photograph their gorgeous venue!
Shooting Men’s Fashion Photography
Men’s fashion photography is a great way to build your portfolio and showcase your amazing clothing and men’s fashion line. Each photo was taken on the same day but in entirely different setups. The photos were all taken at the Venue in Rigby, Idaho. Their space was large enough for my friends and me to set up different light style stations. The men in these photos had not modeled professionally before, which was no challenge for me to photograph. To get the best photos you will want to be sure to direct your models in ways that not only accentuate the clothing line but make the men seem sleek or fashionable. If you search on google fashion photography may see all the poses to be extravagant. These poses are great ways to showcase different articles of clothing in the same fashion line. Each pose can show off a different item the men are showcasing. Knowing these poses can be helpful when you are wanting to emphasize in your photography on a different fashion item.
These fashion photography portraits were all edited with Lightroom Classic cc.
A big thanks to all the wonderful models! Click on their name to check out their Instagram!
Shooting Women’s Fashion Photography
Fashion photography is a great way to build your portfolio and showcase your amazing clothing and fashion line. Learning how to direct your models is a big part of fashion photography. The idea of telling someone how to pose and how to sit can seem stressful and daunting but with the right mindset and prep work, you can elevate your fashion photography with ease. Prepping can be in choosing your lens and choosing what clothing or fashion piece to photograph.
Choosing a lens all depends on the emphasis of clothing items you are photographing and the amount of space in your studio. These photos were all taken on a Canon t6i with a 50 mm prime lens. This type of lens is great for full length or waist level portraits. In my shoot, I emphasized on photographing women’s fashion and chose to photograph mostly their top halves because of the small space I was in and the background floor not being as engaging. There were several different lighting setups that were used to get a variety of looks and setups. Fashion is all about variety and being able to showcase different clothing items. High fashion would include a bigger setup and greater emphasis on the brand through external props. I chose to be simplistic in how my fashion photography portraits were photographed.
These fashion photography portraits were all edited with Lightroom Classic cc.
A big thanks to all the wonderful models! Click on their name to check out their Instagram!
Product Photography in Creative Ways
Product photography doesn’t need to be confined to just pointing and shooting at the product. You can use external elements to elevate your product’s appearance. For these photos, I included elements that make the photo interesting and engaging but also easy to acquire. Product photography is all about selling your product and the best way to do this is to get creative in how you photograph your products. This can involve a spray bottle, color changing, or even blurring and freezing motion.
Splashing Water on Product
The photo of the snowboarding goggles is a great example of the spray bottle effect. This was all done in camera with an external light facing in the same direction as the water spray. If you want the water droplets to show up on a dark background like mine, you will need to do this setup! The water droplets move pretty fast so the best way to get them all in focus is to up your shutter speed. I had to take several shots until I was able to capture all of the droplets in an awesome way.
Color Changing Products
The photograph of the smoke bomb was done outside with all natural light. The color of this particular product was actually green but with the selective color slider in Lightroom, I was able to manipulate the photo and create an amazing product shot with blue rather than green. This can be great when you have a product that isn’t colored correctly. The slider allows you to change anything that is the same color and make it saturated, desaturated, or even a different color. I think it’s great for product photography to make yourlabels or logos much more colored or epic.
Blurring or Freezing Products
The photograph with the hot cocoa required 3 different lights and a slow shutter speed. To create a blurred motion you will need to do this all on a tripod to get the product nice and sharp while having one of the other products moving. I used hot cocoa powder as my moving product and had the mug and container of the hot cocoa as my static (unmoving) aspect of my photography. This creates for some tantalizing shots when using powdery products. You can also throw the powder up and use a fast shutter to get some epic freeze motion shots.
Check out the products with the following links!!
Making Food Photography into Fine Art Prints
Taking an amazing shot worthy of your wall involves lots of prep work and post work. Food photography is an art that involves setups and can be done in a variety of different ways. Food photography can range from dessert to fully cooked meals. I chose to focus on what makes food amazing, spices. The set up was on a wooden floor that had lots of texture and grit. The lighting was all natural from in the middle of the day. I chose not to use any flash or any other external light because the spices looked great without any added light. If I were to choose to photograph with the light it would’ve been blown out and had lots of flashback from the metal spoons. If I were to use the photography method of studio lighting, the food would have to be in a completely different setup. Food photography is completely up to you and your own artistic abilities and vision. The outcome will be whatever you want to put into it. This photo that I set up took about 15 mins to get it just right. Then the actual taking of the photo, making sure every single spice spoon was in focus and enough light was getting on everything, took quite a bit of time. The final photo I have is what I had envisioned and exactly what goes into food photography. Dive in and make your vision come true!
To get further detailed in food photography visit Food By Maria’s post on how to get the best photo from your food!
How to Make Levitation Photos with Post Production Work
How to create amazing levitation photos with post-production work. Editing your photos in photoshop with overlays and mask layers helps to create an amazing photo. Your imagination can run wild and help you create some amazing photos. These photos in this post are all done with the mask overlay tool. I included a diagram which shows where you can find the mask layer tool. This will create a layer where you can draw out or draw in on your background image.
Mask Layer Tool
The photo above is the original photo taken without any edits or post-production work. To create a levitation photo you need to take a photo with your model on a bench or chair to support them off of the ground. You will then take a photo without the model or the chair, just the background. In Photoshop you will open up both photos and have the image without the model on the bottom and the photo with the model on top. You will then select the brush tool and brush over any unwanted things in your image (say the chair or bench your model is sitting on). This will then give the illusion that they are floating. Levitation is a great way to tune into your creative side.
These two photos are different editing styles on the same levitation photo. As you can see in the first photo I made the grass very bright and saturated to give it a dreamy unrealistic look. Adding the stars in the background made it that much more dreamy. Levitation is all about dreamy unrealistic vibes. People don’t normally levitate so this is an artistic approach to a style of photography.
The photo above is with two different images. I used a photo of the moon and covered the mountain to still maintain the space vibe of the levitation photo. I then added a separate photo with a galaxy on my model to further her floating into space. Levitation is an easy manipulation that can be done in photoshop. I recommend doing levitaion photography in post production if you want to change an ordinary photo and make it unordinary. This can be so unique and so different in your own artistic vision. Don’t limit yourself to the laws of gravity. Try to make yourself levitate and think outside the box!
The photos I used were from the Nasa Image Gallary. You can download some amazing high-quality images that are free use for your next overlay project. Also, check out Peta Pixel’s post on how to get even more creative with levitation photography.
How to Use Overlays in Post-Production
A photo can look amazing straight out of the camera, but you can take it one step further and make it amazing with overlays and some post-production work. These can be added with the mask tool. This allows you to add texture or different images on top of the original photo. Manipulating photos can stretch your Photoshop editing skills and can make for some dreamy unrealistic photos. There is nothing wrong with creating dreamscapes or scenes that seem fake or ‘photoshopped’. This is an artistic choice that can be done and even has it’s own genre of photography style. Overlays and post-production can help you if you want to create amazing unreal photos. You can even create photos that fit a vintage or old school theme. Take this first photo that I edited below. This used an overlay. Read more to see how.
Vintage Overlays in Post-Production
For this first photo, I took his portrait in daylight. I took it into photoshop and did some post-production tweaking. The photo was originally taken with color in broad daylight. To get the right vintage look I made took it into photoshop and made it black and white. To do this I lowered the saturation and contrast to get rid of the color and made the highlights higher and the shadows darker to add some contrast in the black and white image. Adding contrast can make a huge difference when working with black and white photos. If it doesn’t have enough contrast the photo will be flat (bland). The next thing I did was add a grungy vintage overlay. I wanted something worn out and scratched so I searched ‘vintage grungy overlay’ on google. Below is the overlay that I used for this photo. I lowered the opacity and brushed it in with the mask overlay tool.
I lowered the opacity and used a mask layer tool to create add it on top of the image. I played around with the different levels of opacity to get the right look. I included the overlay I used on my photo in this blog. The photo below is the final product. The attire is very western vintage and I felt that this grungy scratched up overlay fit the vibe best on this photo.
Selection Tool Edits
The photo below was done with the selection tool and mask layer tool. The first/original photo looks way different color wise. It is dark and over saturated. I did some tweaking and used a LUT preset in photoshop 2019. These are great to help with quick edit colors. I used a dark high contrast edit and was able to tweak the saturation a bit. This helped make my model’s skin look a lot less overly colored and saturated. This is also another way to improve your post-production work flow.
For the first photo below, I used the polygonal lasso tool in photoshop. There was no overlay used persay but still good in post-production work. With this tool you can create any shape you want to select your subject. I focused on the eyes and created a rectangle shape around this area of my model’s face. I then make a copied layer of this selection, which allowed me to move the selection over. On the right side of my model’s face there was a bubble that was distracting so I used the clone stamp tool to get rid of it completly. This is a quick run through on how to do a face slicing edit on a photo of your choice. You can do this in any way or part of the body you choose to add a variety of character to your photo. This is another skill that can be added to your tool belt in your post-production work flow.
There is no right or wrong way to create an amazing edit. Post-production is all about what you want to create. Using provided overlays from the internet can be another way to up your game but completely up to your creative choice. You can always look up inspiration for manipulated self-portraits and create one of your own styles or recreate a post-production photo you saw on the internet! Check out Laughing Squid’s post on different styles of post-production work in manipulated self-portraits or photorealism photography. Also, visit my friend Jessie Hazel’s post on overlays and post-production magic!
Western Themed Portraits
This post is showcasing the models of Bannack. Every few months they so willingly agree to be photographed by students of Brigham Young University-Idaho. I was lucky enough to be included in this trip. I had the opportunity to meet the people that keep a small part of Bannack alive. These are those photos.
Outdoor Portrait Photography
Taking photos in nature is an amazing opportunity to try something new. You have amazing lighting and amazing venues! An element to take your photos to the next level is to include a human element. I chose three different locations with three different models to give each location a humanized side to the chosen natural location. I had each model choose a theme that was an outdoor activity that they enjoyed doing. I had a hiker, a rock climber, and a fisherman. Outdoor portraits are amazing when you can take photos of the scenery with your model.
Check out my friend and model Kory Burrows’s website!
For this shot, I used all natural lighting. I was on the shore of the lake so there was no way to get a light to him anyways. I used an ND Filter to help me get the best possible light of my subject and my background.
For this shot, I used a gold reflector and natural light. The key to getting the perfect shot is to focus light not only on the subject but also on the background. You will need to get your settings low enough to get the background well lit. You would then adjust your reflector to get some of the sunlight on the face. This location was against a barn so it was dark on her face. With patience and many shots you too will get an amazing outdoor portrait.
This photo was taken with a great location in the background. This was all natural lighting like the first photo. The key was to position my model in a great spot with lots of light on the model’s face. I also used the ND filter to get the best lowlight in my camera. This allowed me to get the background not overexposed and the model was well light.
Getting the Best Portrait in Harsh Light
To get the best portrait in outdoor lighting you will need external lights and a reflector. I’ll show you how easy it is in this post with a few photo examples. When taking outdoor portrait photography you will want not only your subject well lit, but also your background. The photos I have included are either overexposed or underexposed. This shows what will happen if you try to correct your lighting in camera without any external lights. You will either see just your background or just your subject well lit.
Settings: Aperture F/5.6, Shutter Speed 1/100, ISO 100 Lens: 50mm
This first photo shows what happens when you overexpose your photo. As you can see the subject is lit properly but because of this, you lose the background. The lighting this day was very bright and sunny. So I adjusted my settings to correctly light my subject. Because of this, my background was overexposed. When shooting in outdoor light you will often times find yourself choosing one or the other. The lighting of both the subject AND the background is possible in post, but with extra work can be done in camera.
Camera Settings: Aperture F/16, Shutter Speed 1/200, ISO 100
This photo shows the subject is underexposed but shows the background clearly now. The settings didn’t change much except for the aperture settings. The amount of light is quite large and because I didn’t want as much coming in on the camera I made the aperture hole smaller. As you can see in the diagram the larger the aperture number is, the smaller the opening will be. The smaller the number, the larger the opening will be. This is vital to know when shooting in outdoor lighting.
This photo is great if you want the background to be bright, but remember that we need BOTH the subject AND the background to be well lit.
Camera Settings: Aperture F/16, Shutter Speed 1/200, ISO 100
To get both the subject and the background lit correctly I used three speedlights. Two of them were directly in front of him and the other was right by my camera where I was shooting. The sun was on our left and light his face well while the right side of his face was dark. I had a friend hold up a reflector to help get light on his face on the right side. With the use of these speedlights and the reflector, we get this image. Everything is well lit and with balanced lighting. Outdoor portrait photography lighting can be done all straight out of camera.
All these photos are unedited. They were all taken with a Canon t6i with a 50mm lens. The lighting you see is all directly from manipulating my camera settings. For more creative outdoor portrait photography check out my friend Caryn Esplin’s website.
Capturing Golden Hour Silhouettes at the Sand Dunes
Golden hour is that time of day either just right after sunrise or right before sunset. The sun gives off red and golden light rather than the harsh bright daytime rays. In photography, this is the best time to take photos of people because the light is flattering and soft. The photos will have warm colors throughout so if you are a fan, take your photos at this time. Just taking selfies during golden hour isn’t enough to boost your photography game. You can get creative and take photos of just your subject’s silhouettes during golden hour. This creates some amazing photos. To get even more creative shots you can take photos landscape as well as people. Capturing photos during golden hour of your subject’s silhouette is easy with these simple steps.
Make sure when taking your photos you are at a low aperture. This sounds counterintuitive but the aperture works in the opposite way you would think. The amount of light that is coming from the sunset is surprisingly bright. I found that during golden hour, you would need to photograph your photos at a low aperture. The smaller the opening is, the less light will come in. This is great when you are wanting to create a silhouette. The photograph will appear darker and richer which is exactly what you would want when getting the right silhouette.
Long Distance: Aperture F/11, Shutter Speed 1/320, ISO 100
Holding Hands: Aperture F/16.0, Shutter Speed 1/30, ISO 100
Visit Golden Hour Photos for more golden hour photography inspiration!
Capturing Sun Flares in Landscape and Portrait Photography
Sunflares to some are a pesky issue but when done right, you can use it as part of your photo. The best way to accomplish this is to use a small aperture. As you can see in the diagram, the smaller the aperture the more of a star shows up on the shutter. This is great at not only at getting the star shape in your flare but also helps to not make your image overexposed. The photos in this post were taken at about f/8-f/11 to get the best flare. This also depends on what time of day you are shooting are. For a day time shot go for a bigger aperture so you don’t lose the light in your photo.
Sunset or Sunrises for Sun Flares
A creative way to get sun flare in your landscape photography is to use the sunset or sunrise to your advantage. I took this photo at Grand Teton National Park at sunrise. The flare was created using three differently exposed images called braketing. This allowed me to expose all parts of my image and not blow out the sunflare.
Faces for Sun Flares
For an artistic approach you can capture a sunflare where your subject’s face is. This will create a whole new look but not showcase the features of your subject’s face. This is not best for portraits but can make your photos creative and unique. To do so you will need to have the subject face away from the sun, so their back is towards the sun. You will then have to shuffle around and position yourself until you get the best position of your sun flare. I used a prime lens and a larger aperture.
Daylight Sun Flares
It is definitely possible to capture a good sunflare in the middle of the day. This was possible with an ND filter. I was able to open the aperture up a bit without having an over exposed image. The filter makes it possible for less light to come in. I would reccomend a lens filter for daytime sun flares so you are able to get the color of your subject or sky and not have the light blowout your image. You can always work with a darker image rather than a lighter image.
Peeking Out Sun Flares
Another creative way to showcase a sun flare is to have it peeking out from behind an object. This creates a nice emphasis on the subject while not drawing away too much from the image. This was again taken as a bracketed image to best capture the color of the car and not overexpose the car. The peeking method is a great way to change up directly facing your sun flare.
Teton National Park Landscape Photography
These photos were taken at the Grand Teton National Park. The ideal way to shoot any landscape photography requires you to have several different items in your tool belt. You will need an ND Filter, a wide frame lens, and a tripod for the best shots! I will explain why you will need these steps to create a beautiful landscape photo.
Filters Are Gold
As you can see above, this first image is clear and has vibrant colors! This is possible because of the moose’s filter. The function of this filter is to allow your camera to have a small aperture to maintain the depth of the colors. This photo was taken at the following settings: aperture f/8.0, shutter speed 1/1600, iso 1600. The settings may not be the same for you because of the moose’s filter. The filter is dark and helps so less light comes into the camera. Think of it this way. Imagine you are out walking on a bright sunny day. The light is to harsh to look with your eyes open completely so you squint. If you were to put on sunglasses you are able to see clearer and see colors a bit better. The filter works the same way. If you go out and plan on shooting lots of landscape I would recommend this filter to get the best colors for your landscape photography.
Wide Lenses are Skinny Legends
Crevice Settings: Aperture f/8.0, Shutter Speed 1/640, ISO 200
Taking a photo of the landscape doesn’t always require you to step really far back to get the best shot. The key to getting everything in the frame is the use of a wide angle lens. The photos in this post were all taken with the Tokina wide angle lens. This allowed me to take some of my best landscape photography. I recommend looking into different options for your budget. The Tokina isn’t the only best available option when it comes to wide angle lenses. Why buy a wide angle lens? Landscape photography is all about large objects in nature. If you are not able to be super far away from it you will end up cropping some of your images. As you can see in this image the image is cropping out a lot of what is in the whole space. For a better landscape image, I would recommend a wide angle lens so you can get all of that epic mountain or a gorgeous sunset.
Tripods are Chill to Make Things Still
The image above is a bracketed image. This is when you take three different photos at different exposures, light regular and dark. When you go and edit your photo, you can merge the files together to create one evenly light photo. The program you can use would either be Lightroom Classic or Camera Raw. You will select all three images and then select merge HDR. THen you can go and edit the photo with the best possible light without blowing out or underexposing parts of the images. The tripod comes in handy because the way to get the best bracket is to keep the camera as still as possible. If your image is quite a bit off the programs will do their best to correct this but you may end up with a blurry looking image. Check out Expert Photographer for more tips and tricks on shooting landscape photography!
Moody Mountain: Aperture f/18.0, Shutter Speed 1/20, ISO 800
Outhouse Settings: Aperture f/3.5, Shutter Speed 1/500, ISO 800
Mountain&Valley Settings: Aperture f/18.0, Shutter Speed 1/20, ISO 800
Use Flashlights For Lit Outdoor Shots
Night photography is all about long exposure. Since there is no light, light can be added in to get really cool effects! The best way to get amazing photos is to make sure you create some sort of movement or depth in your photo. Think creatively and outside of the box and you too can get some epic shots. The photos in this post were taken with a Canon t6i in manual mode. Different Lights were also used to create different effects. For the first two photos, I used colored fiber optic lights and brushed the behind my models. Keep reading to see how you can create these awesome shots!
What are the Settings?
To get these shots, I used a tripod and a 2-second timer. These two elements help so you don’t have camera shake (blurry image). You can also use a trigger if you have one if not a timer is the second best route. These photos were taken in complete darkness. In order to see some light, you will need to try these settings to start out. You will want a long shutter speed of about 15-30 seconds. This gives more time for you to move your light source around and get a well exposed light trail. Depending on what your subject is will all depend on what aperture you setting you use. For these shots, I was in the F/5.6-F/9 range.
Masking in the Ambience
These next three photos are long exposure shots as well. The first shot is straight out of the camera at an ISO of 100, an aperture of F/5.6, and a shutter speed of 5 seconds. This was taken outdoors with a wheel that had lights attached to it. The next few images are the same shot but at a different angle and with an added overlay. I used an image from the official NASA website. There, you can find some nice high-quality photos that are free to use. I edited the photo in Photoshop using the layer mask tool. I then brushed in the starry image with a low opacity and a soft brush.
Now it’s your turn to get creative. Get out there and start shooting. Don’t be afraid of taking photos in the dark anymore. With your trusty flashlight, anything is possible. For more inspiration check out JotForm Photography for some great long exposure photos!
Create Unique Photos with a Simple Flashlight
Editing in streaks of light with Photoshop is a thing of the past! You can actually have light in your photos in a pitch black environment using a simple flashlight. All these photos were done indoors in complete darkness! The light was not added with a flash but a flashlight. The method of creating these shots is called ‘Light Painting’. This is when you use a flashlight like a paintbrush and paint light on the different part of your subject/subjects.
I shoot with a Canon t6i in manual mode because this allows me to have more control over my settings. You will want this when working with light painting. All the photos in this post were taken in one shot. This means I did not layer any images or add any extra light in Photoshop. The above photo was taken in one shot with a flashlight that changed colors. Light painting is all about trying to get the best shot straight from your camera. This can be changing your white balance, changing the strength of your chosen flashlight, or the direction in which you paint with light on your subjects. Keep reading to see what you need to do to recreate your own amazing light painting shot. Your settings should be as follows.
What are the Settings?
The ISO should be kept low to keep your noise levels low (like at 200-400 which again is all dependent on your environment). The next step is to change up your shutter speed. You will want to set it to roughly 10-15 seconds at a time. This will allow your camera to let in lots of light (since it is pitch black we want this). The next step is your aperture settings. You should start at F/5.6 and see how your photos turn out. Again this all depends on what type of lens and what type of camera you have but these settings are all good starting points in your light painting.
Ready for Action
After your settings are in order you will want to start creating your shot. The best method is to use a trigger or a 2-second timer when you take your photo so that you don’t have any camera shake. When your camera clicks you will quickly paint over your subject with your flashlight on your subject/subjects of emphasis. Try to see which angle gives the most dramatic shadows. This will create the most interesting and creative shot when shooting a stylized shoot. Check my friends Mayra Lopez’s website to find inspiration for your next shoot!
Product Photography Tips for Outdoor Lighting
Shooting product photography can be done in any location. There different methods to ensure you get the best shot of your product. The biggest key is to make sure your product is well light and not in a shaded area. If you are in a shaded area make sure to use different lighst such as a speedlight or a softbox. The product needs to be well light to ensure it looks intriguing enough to purchase.
Bracketing Is Key to Backgrounds
This shot was done with a method known as bracketing. This is when the camera takes 3 photos in one take with different exposures; regular, high, and low. This is used when you want to adequately capture the background while ensuring your subject is well light. The images are separate but you can merge them together with the programs Camera Raw or Lightroom. I used Camera Raw and was able to get this merged raw file. The background showed up darker and looked way better. This is what can make your product stand out from other products on the web. You would use this method when you want to showcase both the product and a natural background without having to mask in something for the background.
How to Make Your Products Stand Out
If you want a successful business then you need to showcase your products in a way so that people will want to buy them. Product photography is that way to help further your sales. Knowing how to stylize, light, and edit your products will set you apart from other companies and businesses.
Stylizing Products is Key
When you are taking photos of your products, you need to stylize them. The different props and backdrop you use should be reflective of what the brand or product sells. As you can see for my shaving cream photo I used a razor as a prop and used some of the shaving cream on the actual can.
Lighting is so Vital for a Product’s Success with Consumers.
As you can see, my above photo is flat. It has no depth and almost washes out the colors of the product. This lighting setup was fantastic but I had my settings shooting a bit too dark. The setup was a classic softbox with a four light setup. To correctly light your product, you have to think about several things beforehand. You have to think of what mood/tone your product is going to exude and what the theme of the brand is. Nike does a great job with this method. They choose a specific theme and set up their products It all matches not only the theme of the campaign but also the theme of the brand. Adam Guzman does a fantastic job of this for Nike.
A favorite photographer of mine is Peter Belanger. Check out his website for more inspiration on lighting and how to stylize a product photography shoot.
The Still Beauty of a Montana Ghost Town
This collection of photos were taken at Bannack Ghost town in Montana. I was able to explore this state park and enjoy in the history each building contained and relish in the authentic nature each building and or item contained.
‘Forgotten’. For this photo, I chose a chair in a building. This chair evoked emotion and depth. I took a bracketed image and was able to merge these photos and create a really nice shot. I burned the cracks on the wall and the shadows of the baseboards to create depth.
‘Hot Seat’. This photo was taken at the top of the school building. This chair and the line of other chairs was interesting to me so I decided to snap them. I cropped the photo and created a different perspective. I was able to burn the shadows and create a bigger depth and feel to the photo.
‘Reach for the Sky’. This photo was taken very quickly. I had no idea how it was going to turn out. I managed to add some extra burn to the shadows to evoke a seriousness to the photo. I then added the burn to the holster. I added a radius tool to the gun to make the light pop off it.
‘Caged Home’. This photo was taken in a sort of chicken coop. I intentionally took it with the house in the background in mind. I added burn to the shadows, raised the contrast, and added saturation to the house
“Schooled”. I snapped this one of the school houses. I cropped it in a bit because the sealing and the left window were both too prominent in the photo. It was highly distracting to me. I then added burn on all the sides of the desks. I added a Lightroom preset of the black and white to give it more depth and emotion.
The Edge of a Degree
Do you have a favorite movie? Do you wish you could’ve starred in that movie? Well, guess what, you can! With a little bit of photoshop and some photography skills, you too can be in that movie. I love the movie Edge of Seventeen because of the portrayal of the teenage years. The movie itself was a funny and creative take on an average high school experience. I chose to recreate that poster because of the simplistic nature of the design. I also loved how the movie poster demonstrated the mood of the whole film.
The photo was originally taken outside using my canon t6i. I shot with direct sunlight to get the best lighting of my face. I then took the photo into photoshop and used the direct selection tool to highlight my body. I dragged the highlighted outline of my image and put it into an illustrator page. I created an 11x17 illustrator outline and put in a similar black bar like the original poster. The font on the movie poster was one I downloaded from a website called Dafont.com. I searched for a movie poster font and was able to use it on my poster for the fine print on the bottom of my poster.
The project helped me find my design voice and made me realize the thought process it takes to create a movie poster that showcases a movie’s energy. I got some great tips from my good friend Jessie Hazel! Check out her website!
After the Loss of her Fiancé, a Young Woman is Driven Mad with Grief.
Storytelling is a form of photography that may seem overwhelming to capture but in reality, is a skill that can be learned over time. We are lead to believe that storytelling needs to be shown through motion, like video, when in fact storytelling is an art form that can be implemented in still photography. The key to doing this is in the emotion and gestures of the subject.
This photo shoot was a fun way to think outside of the box and figure out how to meld both of those aspects in telling a story through still photography. The set was at a barn outside in the middle of the night. But how were we able to see our models if it’s pitch black? The light was created through a light painting technique. Light painting is when you keep the shutter of your camera open in a pitch black environment and shine a light on your subject via a flashlight or floodlight. As you can see there appears to be two colored lights shining on the subject. This is because of the different types of light. which adds to the emotion of the fiance leaving his espoused.
My second photo as you can see has a blur on her face. This was done with a long exposure time of about 30 seconds. The model was still for the first 20 seconds of the photo then moved to the side for the rest of the time. This shows a creepy sort of twisted emotion while being a still photograph. With the use of amazing models and inspiration, you too can create amazing stories. For inspiration check out Sebastian Jacobitz’s blog on how to create a story via still photography.
To Brand Or Not To Brand
A brand needs to be a consistent flow of similar ideas that demonstrate what your product or company is. When there is uniformity there is a sense of professionalism in your brand. Since I am a photographer, I want clients to trust that I am ready for any caliber of work they expect from me which is why my visible branding is vital to my success. To create a brand, you need to find inspiration. So I did what anyone needing inspiration would do and swiped through Pinterest and several other websites. I then was able to create a mood board to base my whole brand as a photographer off of. This included the style of font, color palette, the logo, etc. The branding of a photography business can help set you apart from any person with a camera. People are more willing to trust your skill if you are an established, well-polished brand. The general branding I have constructed is a very simplistic modern brand. I love the color blue based the rest of my branding from there. A website that has helped me become inspired is Vanessa Godfrey’s website. I would encourage you to seek inspiration from others and find what makes your brand you.
Lights are Everything
Studio quality photos can be taken anywhere! With the use of a speedlight and a whole lot of patience, you can create some amazing shots. SQIBB stands for studio quality invisible black backdrop which is the act of blacking out your background by manipulating your camera settings. The need for a physical backdrop is no longer when you can master your camera setting. With practice, you can create stunning photos with an invisible black backdrop.
As you can see there is a lot of light and different distracting walls in my set up shot. Don’t worry or stress that something in the background will appear in your photo. Instead, focus on what part of your subject you want to have shown in the photograph. Once you have a location and your subject set, you will focus on the camera settings. The aperture of your camera will be small let in little bits of light. This will create the subject to be dark. This is where a speedlight (electronic flash) comes in handy. You will want to position your flash in a way that is The settings recommended for blacking out your background are ISO 100 and shutter speed 1/250. Your F stop is all dependent on where you are located. If you are outside I would recommend using the F/22, if you are indoors either an F/5.6-8.
The above photos were taken with a group of my friends. The photo above has no edits to the background it’s all straight out of the camera. We roamed campus in search of an interesting location. We opted for this dimly lit spot in an art gallery and found great success. Check out what photos they took that day! Jessie Hazel
Alexander Weston Schindler shows that you can take a normal object and make it much more unique with the SQIBB technique. Visit his blog for more inspiration for your next photo shoot!
A Simple Spot Can Become Extraordinary with a New Perspective
The location of a photo is crucial for an amazing shot. But what if you couldn’t travel to an exotic location? What if I told you that you could take an extraordinary photo in your own room. The key to an amazing photo is not the location itself but the angle you choose. The spot you choose can seem ordinary and bland, but with some creative thinking, you can shoot something extraordinary. The photo I took proves that with a new look at the same location you can create something amazing. This method is to be called ‘ordinary spot, extraordinary shot.’ This can take your photography game to the next level. No more traveling to the expensive location, no more stress on how to get good content on your page. Simply take the ordinary and make it extraordinary!
Vlad Balashov has done some amazing shots with this method! Check out his page to see what inspired my photos!