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New Tutorial

Here’s the boring tutorial I promised everyone. Hope you like it.. and again check out the other one two on my veoh page!

Watch Photoshop Tutorial – Heather in Educational & How-To  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

First off.. Matt and Heather congratulations obviously.. great looking couple and an awesome wedding. This may be by far my favorite wedding I have ever shot. Decided to step away from black and white this year and go with something new.. hope you guys enjoy these!

In other news.. I have replaced my whole arsenal for 2010 and years to come. D300 has been replaced with a D700. My 17-55 2.8 is replaced with a 14 – 24 2.8 along with a 70 – 200 2.8 VRI.
All of these photos were taken with my D300 so I am really excited to use the new guy!

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guys22

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When I shoot portraits I like to do a different lighting scheme everytime. Before I shoot a client I already have an idea for what I want in my head(for the most part -_-). First, playing with shadows in lighting make a portrait so much more dramatic and interesting. I see many photographers just flood people with light(two umbrellas 45 deg. or whatever), this is a recipe for flat lighting. BUT.. this situation does WORK a lot of the time for the client so I am not knocking on those who use it. From a photographer to photographer stand point though.. if this is your setup 80 – 100% of the time(since the beginning) your lighting technique will not improve.. Reason being because you don’t really need to know how to control/direct your light when shooting with this kind of set up which will bite you in the ass one day.. believe me I learned the hard way -_-

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not claiming to be a good photographer because I am FARRRR from it.. I am just trying to help others learn from the mistakes I have made in the past to get me where I am today. This post is about helping beginner photographers get past this phase in their photography. For the beginner “strobist” many share the common goal of “no shadows.” I am GUILTY of this when I first started using lighting. I used to always be about FILL LIGHT all the time, and that I must never have a shadow anywhere.

Some steps to help get away from this flood light setup:
1. Use something other than umbrellas. (obviously it depends on the location/situation.. not saying never use these again, but try a modifier with more control.. umbrellas just spill too much light!)
2. Take your initial test shots with one light.. then work the rest in. One thing I learned was when one of my strobes would misfire during the test shots I like the results better due to the shadows that were created.
3. Practice.. one reason you are stuck using this setup is because you don’t practice. The only time you touch your strobes is when you are actually shooting for a client. This will get you nowhere fast. At least take chances when shooting a new client! ( I know many of you reading this are guilty! Cause I was!)
4. Numbers.. Many photographers think that the more lights they use during a shoot the better. NEGATIVE. Unless you have a good amount of experience with lighting you will soon learn that you will just get confused and some of your lights will have no effect on the shot at all.. this equals a waste of your effort AND the clients time. So for those just starting.. keep it to a minimum
5. Get over yourself.. if you think you are awesome already you will not get better.. popularity will not make you better.. cooler clients will not make you better either.. YOU will make you better.

Here are some examples of incorporating shadows in my portraits.

Sean Young
Sean Young v2

Brett Helke
Brett

Mikealis
ydhs x mikealis

2009

Before I start to use this blog more frequently I thought it would be a good idea to look back on 2009. 2009 was more of a learning experience for me rather than a “book as many clients as you can” year. You always see people nowadays competing on who can book the most shoots rather than develop their skill as a photographer.. really? Although I did book shoots regularly I was more focused on growing as a photographer and developing a style that best represented me. I have met and learned from countless people throughout 2009 resulting in my work being more polished and thought out. I CANNOT thank all of you enough.. At any rate, 2010 is already starting to look very bright for me as I am surprised to see a significant amount of interest in my services.. but.. who knows what will happen..

That being said I’d like to share my favorite 10 images of 2009 (in no particular order) of my personal portfolio.
Please feel free to share your thoughts (good/bad)…

1.
candace

2.
Liz Harlow

3.
Raquel Reed

4.
Brett

5.
Candace

6.
NO BIRDIE COME BACK!

7.
Cake Injection

8.
Cake Injection

9.
atilla

10.
Rachel