PHOTO [ FOR THE LOVE OF PHOTOGRAPHY ]
live INTERVIEWS: Scott Bourne Nick Ghionis Alfredo Benincasa Chris Marquardt Jim Harmer Mike Rollerson + more!
PORTRAITURE STREET TRAVEL BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY Lightroom PODCASTS
[ ISSUE ONE 2017 ] Cover shot by Sarah Fairbanks
EVERYBODY STREET CLASSIC CAMERAS ... MORE
INSIDE Featuring: Scott Bourne Nick Ghionis Jim Harmer Mike Rollerson Alfredo Benincasa Sarah Fairbanks Ayhan Ton Dean Preston Tony Buckingham Chris Marquardt Nathan Dalton Victoria Bampton Podcasts and more...
The Polaroid EE100 was a second gen packfilm camera. It came out around 1989 according to Camera Wiki. It had a fixed non-focusing viewfinder You can pick one up on Amazone for around $70... Polaroid was an America company founded in 1937. In 2001 Polaroid declared bunkruptcy. The brand lived on, being sold off, but again declared bankruptcy in 2008. Today, Polaroid is owned by Impossible Project.
Photo : Max Jenkins
welcome to PHOTO live Over to your left, you’ll see a picture of a Polaroid camera. Polaroid was founded in 1937. Coincidently that is the same year Popular Photography launched. Today both brands no longer exist, not in their original form. So too with many other great photographic iconic brands. Too many to list hear, but sad that these once great brands no longer exist. So too with photographers. So many great artists have come and gone and I think that’s one of the reasons I wanted to create Photo Live. I wanted to share the art of people that inspire me to be a photographer. I wanted to share the stories of people both seasoned and some that are new to their art. But with social media being flooded with so much “noise” I decided that simply sharing a post is no longer enough. Welcome to Photo Live, an online magazine for photographers about photography. A big thank you to Giselle Capabianco and Catrian Macri our designers. Thanks to the amazing people who jumped at the invite to be in our first issue. We hope you like our very first issue of Photo Live. Rob Jenkins Publisher and Editor
Eurasian Eagle Owl : Scott Bourne
bio When planning out our first issue, we wrote down the names of people we really wanted in our first issue. Scott Bourne was someone we really wanted, his amazing photography, particularly his bird photography is breathtaking. Plus being avid podcast listeners, we regularly tuned in to Scott from those early days on TWIP which he co-founded with Alex Lindsey and Ron Brinkman to more recently with Marco Larousse at photopodcasts.com. Before we interview Scott we wanted to share his bio... Scott Bourne is an Olympus Visionary (for North America,) a professional photographer, author and lecturer. He’s been involved with photography for more than four decades and is an internationally-recognized thought leader and artist. His work has appeared in more than 200 publications and he’s received hundreds of industry awards for his photography. Scott’s led workshops and seminars, taught for or spoken at conferences or events sponsored by Palm Beach Photographic Center, Cooperative Communicators of America, The National Association of Photoshop Professionals, CreativeLive.com, Lynda.com, the National Association of Broadcasters, North American Music Merchants, MacWorld, Washington Professional Photographers Association, WPPI, PartnerCon, PPA, Seattle Art
Center, Marketing Essentials International, The Consumer Electronics Show and Olympic Mountain School of Photography. Scott was one of the first photographers ever to receive the designation Apple Certified Professional Trainer (T3) for Apple’s Aperture. He’s also previously held the designation Certified Adobe Photoshop Instructor. He was one of the first photographers in the country to receive the Professional Photographers of America’s Certified Professional Photographer designation and also holds the Master Photographer designation awarded by the Washington Professional Photographers Association. Huffington Post recently named Scott to the top 30 most socially influential photographers on the web. Website Magazine named Scott one of the 100 most influential people in the history of the World Wide Web. Scott’s business acumen and marketing skills have landed him on the boards of directors or advisors for dozens of media companies and Internet startups, as well as several large photographic-related businesses. Scott is also a past Dean of Marketing at Skip Cohen University. He is the co-founder of TWIP and founder of Photofocus, two of the longest-running photography related sites on the Web. His newest venture is the Photo Podcast Network (www. photopodcasts.com) which hosts free monthly podcasts. Scott was named one of the most influential photographers on the Web by Huffington Post. Scott is the author of nine photography books and has spoken or taught at every major photography related trade show or conference in the United States. 7
Happy Fisherman : Scott Bourne
Scott let’s start with the big news for you and that is you’ve been made an Olympus Visionary, what is an Olympus Visionary – is it similar to Canon Explorer of Light or Nikon Ambassador? Olympus Visionary is similar (but not necessarily identical) to other camera brand ambassador programs. The Olympus Visionary Program’s mission is to define the state of digital imaging for the professional and advanced consumer audiences, and to grow support of digital photography, video and multimedia creation. When someone talks about Scott Bourne, the first thing you notice is you’re an amazing bird photographer. How did you get started as a photographer, and what led you into birds? My time in photography actually started in motor sports. I grew up in Indianapolis and was given a chance to photograph the Indy 500. I did motor sports until I realized it didn’t pay well and switched to weddings and portraits. When my knees gave out I switched to nature and wildlife and eventually settled on birds because frankly I wanted a challenge - I decided there could be nothing more difficult than photographing small creatures who want to avoid you and who can fly. I’ve also been fascinated with anything that can fly (especially birds) since I was a little kid. The only possession I have from my childhood is a wooden bird call my grandfather left me. You write in your Artistic Statement about the vision that drives you to create or perhaps capture an image, tell us about that process. My approach to photography is to see the photo in my mind’s eye be-
fore I snap the shutter. Occasionally this leads to long quests such as was the case with my photo “Cranes in the Fire Mist.” I spent 13 years looking for that image and finally found it. My entire process is backwards for some people. For instance, when I am photographing birds I first search for a background and then I patiently wait for a bird to come to me. I now consider myself an ornithologist first and a photographer second, so I know to always start in an environment that is bird friendly but it takes an amazing amount of patience to wait on the birds – unfortunately, patience is something most people simply can’t find. All of my photos come this way unless I just get lucky and when it comes to things like photographing eagles, luck rarely enters into it.
path. I thought this might be more helpful than rattling on about myself.
Which photos have you taken as a result of that vision?
Looking through your portfolio, your eagle shots are quite different to hummingbirds, for those of us who don’t know much about bird photography can you explain how you approach two very different types of birds?
Almost all of them. Each shoot takes a lot of research, planning, preparation, travel, and of course MORE patience. Then I find the best situation I can and wait. I see the canvas as my background, imagine the bird there, and wait. I know it’s counter-intuitive to most people, but it’s the best way for me personally to get predictably good results. I don’t know of many photographers with a vision statement, why did you feel the need to include that? Most photographers write an ABOUT ME page and I’ve personally decided that it isn’t ABOUT ME - it’s about the birds. It takes real passion to want to do this work. You really have to love birds. You can’t fake that. Since I am telling THEIR stories (the birds’ that is) I decided to write an Artists’s Statement that expressed that idea and what it’s like to go down the
What are the most challenging birds to photograph and tell us why. For me, hummingbirds are the hardest because they are small, fast, flighty and they are very territorial. There is also a lot of gear required to photograph them. You need to set up perches, flashes (usually four to eight) and a background. Then you need to wait for them to come to a feeder and once they do they begin to defend it against other hummingbirds which leaves you with lots and lots of images of the same bird. That requires you to move a mile or so and start all over. It’s time consuming, takes a lot of money and again a lot of patience.
Eagles are actually much easier to photograph as long as you know where to go and when to go there. For one thing they are larger and of course they don’t fly backwards. (In case you didn’t know, humminbirds are the only birds in the world that can fly backwards – which makes them that much harder.) In fact, most of my successful bird photography (including eagle photography) can be narrowed down to five things know where to go - when to go - patience and finding the right light and background. Back to being made an Olympus Visionary, do you have Olympus specific projects or workshops you’ll be pursuing?
Since today is my first day on the job as a Visionary for Olympus (North America) I am not sure of everything that they have planned for me, but I will be speaking at several large photo conferences here in the USA on their behalf and we are discussing other possibilities. Will you use Olympus equipment for bird photography and perhaps tell us the difference between your DSLR setup as against a mirrorless set up. Absolutely yes and to best understand my migration to Olympus, please read this post. I actually wrote it before being named to the North American Visionary team... http://www.photopodcasts.com/ more-gear/what-ive-learned-aftersix-months-of-shooting-almost-exclusively-with-olympus-micro-fourthirds-cameras Tell us about your famous photo “Cranes in the Fire Mist” Thank you for mentioning it. But as far as Cranes in the Fire Mist goes - I can’t say anymore about it than I have in this post I link to below - if you really want background on that image read the post and I am sure you’ll have more than you need. p h o to fo c u s . c o m / 2 0 1 0 / 1 1 / 1 0 / cranes-in-the-fire-mist-revisited/ And you put up a post on Photofocus on how photographers can try to get their own shot similar to yours... you generously share tips and advice, do you think that more and more pros are open to sharing to perhaps 20 years ago or am I wrong and pro photographers have always been open to sharing? When it comes to pros sharing secrets I can’t speak for anyone but me and I don’t mind sharing everything. 10
I have always been that way and tend to associate with other pros who are like-minded in that regard. My entire approach to photography is that it is something that has no scarcity. Someone else shooting birds for a living doesn’t diminish me. If they get a great shot that moves people and makes them money - that’s good for the birds and for the industry. Talk to us about your podcasting projects, you were one of the pioneers behind This Week in Photo and Photofocus, do you have new podcast plans? I did co-found TWIP with Alex Lindsey and Ron Brinkmann - then I started Photofocus. I sold that a few years ago to my business partner Rich Harrington. I still make guest appearances on both networks which hopefully shows that all my old podcasting pals and I still get along just fine. I also regularly appeared on hundreds of episodes on the This Week In Tech TWIT network owned by my friend Leo Laporte - I used to do shows there related to Mac computers with a slight emphasis on how they fit into a photographer’s workflow. My new shows all reside at www.photopodcasts.com. I have been working with Marco Larousse on podcasts for more than two years and he’s a great podcaster and photographer. We have three shows now (4th coming soon) on the network every month. One show deals with gear only, one show deals with mirrorless cameras and the other deals with inspiration - the new show will be Q&A. Finally Scott, where can our readers go to discover more about your amazing photography? Thanks for the kind words. My basic portfolio is at www.scottbourne.com - I post on Instagram at bourne.scott - my Twitter account is @scottbourne - my Facebook is www.facebook.com/scottbourne and my LinkedIn page is www.linkedin.com/in/scottbourne
Acorn Woodpecker : Scott Bourne
Cranes In The Fire Mist : Scott Bourne
Diving Duo Of Eagle : Scott Bourne
â€œIn fact, most of my
successful bird photography (including eagle photography) can be narrowed down to five things: - know where to go - when to go - patience and finding the right light and background.â€?
Mexican Jay : Scott Bourne
Peregrine Foot: Scott Bourne
Golden Eagle : Scott Bourne
Milk Eagle Owl : Scott Bourne
www.scottbourne.com www.facebook.com/scottbourne www.linkedin.com/in/scottbourne 19
ROLLERSON Mike, you’ve been a long time favourite of us here at Live Magazine and Cosplay Live, but cosplay is not your only photography passion, what else are you doing? It’s always great to be a part of Live Magazine and Cosplay Live so I’m really excited to be involved with this new venture! Cosplay is what originally got me into photography but I’ve been starting to mix it up a bit lately and trying out new areas. I’ve been doing a lot more with effects makeup (everything from horror to blacklight/ neon to bright colors, paint and glitters), experimenting a lot with new lighting effects and incorporating a lot of the tricks I’ve learned over the years. It’s been really refreshing and a nice change from shooting almost exclusively cosplay photography! I’ve already gotten quite a few styles that I loved and trying new things makes it a constant learning experience which is incredibly rewarding. Is photography your full time job?
Not at all. My full-time job is in Quality Assurance and quite a difference from photography. This works out as it makes photography much more enjoyable and more of a hobby. A lot of the photography-related jobs are focused towards areas that don’t interest me as much (wedding photography, for instance). While I’ve shot weddings, live events and portraits in the past, I’ve always felt that when it’s a job you’re being hired for that it’s much more difficult to deliver the same quality results that you create when it’s something you’re truly passionate about. While I do take on different photography related jobs throughout the year, I make sure to limit it to those that actually interest me rather than taking on all of them. It keeps it enjoyable and keeps me shooting any free chance I get! You’ve been working on a Polaroid project for a while, tell us about that. Next month will be the 1-year anniversary since starting my Instax (instant film) project. It originally began as a way to get a few fun behind-
the-scenes shots while at shoots. I’ve always been a big fan of printed photos and this seemed like a great way to get an instant take-away from every shoot. A one-of-a-kind shot to keep alongside the digital files. I quickly grew to love the format and over the last year picked up close to a dozen different Instax Cameras, each with a different look and feel to it. I’ve shot a bit over 3,000 frames in the last year at live events, conventions and photoshoots. It’s definitely become a regular addition to all of my shoots and gives a fun little takeaway. I post many of the photos online after each shoot and have just started creating large-scale albums to keep around the studio. How do you find using the Instax? Instax was definitely a learning experience for me. I grew up shooting mostly digital, so moving to a filmbased format with limited control over the shot was difficult. You begin to think like the camera, determining how it sees lighting around you since anything from a small light source to an overcast day will have a much different impact on the photo than you would get with a digital camera. Many of the higher-end Instax cameras offer multiple exposure, bulb mode and macro modes which are all fun to experiment with but incredibly difficult to master. A handful of the larger cameras allow for a flash-connection, letting you trigger the same studio strobes you use with your digital camera but having it transferred to an Instax photo. Watching the film develop over the course of a few minutes and getting a really cool one-off shot is very re-
warding and keeps me going with it and everyone loves to see the shots at the end of shoot since they give a unique look that you just don’t get with digital. With that said, I won’t be abandoning my DSLR’s anytime soon! A lot of your photography is horror based, why and how did that happen? I’ve always been a big fan of the horror genre and loved the unique designs you see showcased in movies and games but I never had much exposure to it outside of the movies. It’s not often you come across a horror-movie set or group of zombies in real life! My first experience was at a “Zombie Walk” during comic con. I loved that everyone did their own take on the horror genre with their makeup and acting. There were no rules on how it had to be done, so everyone did their own thing and just had a great time. I loved the shots I got out of it, and one group I worked with turned out to be the managers at a local Haunted House. They invited me back out during Halloween to take some photos inside and I fell in love with it. Since then, I’ve been shooting for several haunted houses each Halloween season but also working with many of the actors off-season to create unique horror-inspired looks. It was all by chance that I ran across that group but it’s made a huge impact on what I shoot! Talk to us about cosplay photography... is it a passion, does it work out that you can have an income from this genre or is it something you simply love doing? 22
It’s a mix of all of the above for me. It started out as a passion. Similar to horror, there weren’t any real rules. With weddings you needed to shoot specific shots of people composed in a specific way, lit a specific way and edited in a specific way. With cosplay, that all goes out the door as you get to put your own creative touch on it by incorporating interesting lighting techniques (gelled lights, smoke machines, projection or neon lights), lenses (fisheye, macro, ultra-wide) and editing (composites, over-the-top edits or something true to the videogame or cartoon it originated from). I loved the freedom it provided and that it was so much different from a typical portrait session or live-event. Over the years it has turned into somewhat of an income, shooting different cosplay work for promotions/advertisement, but it’s something that I love to do to this day. Some of the effects are brilliant. Those Silent Hill inspired photos are plain creepy. How did you go about creating them? Thank you! I try to incorporate practical effects and real-locations any chance I get. I made all of the costumes myself by putting my own twist on the look of them, most of the effects are actual practical makeup application and the photos are shot on-location with smoke machines and rain effects wherever possible. I’ll add any non-practical effects in post processing as well as do final color styling and adjustments, but generally the before and after shots
don’t vary as much as many of the other cosplay work that I shoot. We took a look at your special effects room on Instagram... it’s part brilliant part nightmare as in, I’d hate to walk in there at night... do you apply the effects and make up yourself or work with an artist on this? When I first started doing horror-photography, I hired makeup artists. I quickly realized it was an expensive addition to the hobby and began to work with several artists over the course of a couple years in order to pick up new techniques. I couldn’t tell you the difference between any beauty makeup effects but I can list off the differences from a dozen types of fake bloods and dirts! One of the things that really got me interested were that I found many of the widely available products weren’t the greatest quality and really limited the impact of the photos. Once you get past the widely available products, you start seeing the studio-grade (and studio-priced!) products which provide a much more realistic effect and greatly add to the overall photo. I’m always up for bringing other artists in for shoots but tend to do most of the effects makeups myself nowadays. Ok, let’s talk a bit about your models, your cosplayers... how do you find each other and collaborate? A lot of the people I work with are friends I’ve met at conventions, live
events or the haunted houses. We all share similar interests and putting together shoots outside of these events gives a lot more creative control to bring some fun ideas to life. I’ve met some amazing people over the years and it’s much easier to get quality results from someone who shares a similar passion towards a genre/style than a fresh model with no interest in horror or cosplay. I’ve met several models online (who either reached out to me or I reached out to them after showing similar interests) but most of the people I work with are those I’ve previously worked with over the years. How long does a project take from start to finish? What steps do you take when planning a shoot? This one can vary quite a bit. Sometimes projects can be very time-consuming (planning a look/ shot list/location and model, creating set-pieces, costumes and makeup applications, shooting and editing) while others have been a spur of the moment idea that you can pull off hours after the initial thought. A lot of it comes from previous experience but I also like to try new things out. Add some extra lights, try new lighting modifiers, use an odd lens or shutter settings and you’ll get some wildly different looks. Lighting a subject from the front versus a side-light, backlight or overhead light will give a much different effect and create some truly unique shots. Sometimes I’ll shoot the same look 2 or 3 different times, using different styles, and end up with some very different shots each time.
Are the horror themed shots studio or location or both and what gear would you take to shoot with? The horror themed shots are a mix of studio and location. I love both for different reasons (locations are always great as the models can interact with the surroundings and you give you a lot of variety in a short amount of time. Studio is great for setting up a consistent look, fine-tuning it and shooting at all times of the day without having to worry about ambient lighting and traveling with gear to locations My go-to gear would definitely be a beauty dish with honeycomb grid and a pair of stripboxes with eggcrate grids. These give a really narrow beam of light that lets you focus on your subject without spilling light onto your surrounds. Many of my horror shots are done with these and I just havenâ€™t found any other modifiers comparable to them! Mike I think readers need to see more - where can they go online? Iâ€™m most active on Instagram: Instagram.com/MikeRollerson - This is where I post many of my finished shots, behind-the-scenes photos & videos and Instax shots. I also post the finished shots in higher-res at www.MikeRollerson.com
www.instagram.com/MikeRollerson www.MikeRollerson.com 35
T he Wedding Master... Q - Tell us about that fateful day in Fiji where it all started. Like many who travel overseas, Duty Free is an attractive proposition to buy and save. Possibly not so much these days with the internet, but back in 1985 the savings were considerable. So I decided to buy my first camera, which was a Pentax MG. I never really photographed before then, and I never owned a camera. It was when I processed the images, that I fell in love with Photography. I saw these sunsets that I had photographed and crystal blue waters with palm trees that looked like postcards. I thought to myself WOW, I did these great photos, and I didn’t even know what an aperture or ISO was. Imagine if I knew how to use a camera, what the possibilities would be. I was never a good student at school and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. So began the journey, where at 21 years of age I absolutely devoured every photography magazine and books I can get my hands on. The Pentax didn’t have the ability to shoot manual and I had realized shortly thereafter that if I needed to be serious about photography, I needed to buy a new camera. 36
Buying an Olympus OM1, and after working 5 jobs to save money, I eventually bought my first medium format camera Hasselblad 500CM. Assisting and working for free, just so that I can learn and get some experience, I did this for just over 2 years. By 1989, I had accumulated some more equipment by way of flashes and lenses and built my third Darkroom along the way. Q - Why weddings, what got you inspired to shoot what some consider is the biggest day of someone’s life? I didn’t actually set out to be a wedding and portrait photographer. When I first started photographing, I would go on trips and shoot landscapes and street photography. I even secured a job as a security guard at a Melbourne newspaper in the hope that I can get an in with the photography department. I realized that a cadetship with the newspaper meant that I would be on minimum wage, and at that time I had a mortgage and wasn’t in a position to take a drop in salary. I had a friend who’s father was a wedding photographer and who needed photographers, my uncle too, was a wedding photographer. It was an avenue that enabled me to make money from a hobby that depleted ALL my savings.
I mentioned earlier that I would have 5 jobs at any given time, and most of them was in the hospitality business. My family are also in hospitality, which meant that my people skills was pretty good. An asset when photographing people of all walks of life. To this day, I would only hire photographers who have an outstanding record with people. You can train someone to take a photograph, but you can’t train a personality.
T he Wedding Master... 42
Q - What was the very first wedding you photographed like? My first wedding was in 1989, and I can remember it like it was yesterday. By this time, I had a couple of grooms coverages and reception coverages under my belt as a freelance photographer. I had a friend who was getting married that insisted I do her wedding. I refused, as I didn’t want to ruin her wedding. Nothing was said until 3 weeks out from her wedding day, when she asked me, where will we be going for photos. I freaked, as I thought I had made myself clear that I wasn’t going to photograph her wedding. It was too late to find another photographer. I had asked my uncle to shadow me and shoot on 35mm film while I photograph on my Hasselblad. I was a smoker back then, and I think I had smoked at least two packets that day, and remember coming home, exhausted and vomiting from stress. Back in those days, labs would charge you extra for a quick turnaround for your proofs, which was still a week. It was one of the longest weeks I could remember. I picked up the bag from the lab drove to my uncles place, as I didn’t want to open the proofs on my own. We took everything off the kitchen table, made sure that it was clean and then ceremoniously began to unravel the proofs. They were 5in x 5in proofs in sheets of 12, one by one we would look at them and the relief was euphoric. Pictures were great and my uncle would be punching my shoulder out of sheer delight. Needless to say the Bride and Groom were very happy and I made a display album out of it, which I had for many years.
Q - You’re wedding photos are a mix of capturing moments that are timeless and also high fashion art… and yet your albums flow cohesively. I guess what I’m saying is that some photographers either do “moments” and some try for the fashion look, you do both and it works. How do you make that mix work so well? How do you choose the “signature” photo? I love this question. Too many photographers choose one over the other, and invariably market themselves accordingly. When someone says to me that I am a photographer who just shoots moments and dare I say natural photographs, to me it usually implies that I lack the skill to pose or direct effectively, or just don’t care. There are many elements to a wedding day or even a portrait. After a while you get to know the pivotal moments and you position yourself to capture them. A good photojournalist seems to be consistent in capturing moments, and often people would say, how lucky was that. You make your own luck when it comes to capturing moments and the more experience you have the more moments you capture. Getting to know your client before is also an important part of not only capturing moments, but also understanding what type of photos that would most resonate with them. Then of course there is the high fashion art that you described, where skills of lighting, posing and direction come to play. Couples usually have locations in mind when it comes to their wedding day, and as a collaboration between the couple and I , we narrow it down to a few. So for example we might turn up to Parliament House as one of the locations, if I said I was a moment ( natural photographer ) only, do I say to them just walk around naturally and be yourself ? What does that look like? Couples 99.9% of the time turn to me and ask direction, what do
you want me to do? This is when I would try and bring all the elements at hand, my tools of lighting, posing, technique and expression to create an art piece, that the couple would frame or put in their album. Choosing the “signature” shot has more to do with the couple, than with the photographer. Earlier on in my career, I would execute a photograph that would reap praise among my photographer friends, and accolades of how wonderful a photograph is. When I would show the same photograph to the couple, occasionally they didn’t have the same response. To them, it wasn’t a true reflection of either their personality or just wasn’t their cup of tea. I learned earlier on that a great signature shot is one that the client loves, not what I think is great. Q- You’re a Master Photographer, can you tell us what that means… I am a member of the AIPP ( Australian Institute of Professional Photography ) and WPPI ( Wedding Portrait Photographers International ) And they both have milestones by way of competitions that you can achieve points towards being a Master. In both associations I have achieved the milestone of Master Photographer twice with AIPP and three times with WPPI.
Q - And you’ve won a bunch of awards, what’s been an important moment in your photography life that you can share? From the moment you pick up a camera, there are many firsts, that come to mind. Whether it’s the first award you receive or the first image that is published. It’s easy to pin point one of these moments as being an important moment in one’s photography life.
I think if you had asked me this question 5, 10 or even 20 years ago, you would get a different answer every time. Today however, an important moment for me came at a wedding I was photographing. I had taken a photograph of a father of the bride who had Motor Neuron Disease, and had only weeks to live. ( I have included the image- see page 48 ) The daughter organized a slideshow of photos of her and her dad and various family photos that had been taken throughout the years. Instead of the usual father daughter dance, she organized the whole reception to come to the dance floor and watch it. There were laughs and there were tears. This moment has been engraved in my psyche, it took me many months to be able to recall this without being visibly moved. It gave me the realization that what we do as photographers in capturing and photographing families and portraits, we are privy to someone most precious moments. 46
A responsibility that has been taken for granted by so many. It was this AHA moment that made me feel proud of all the photos I have taken over the years, and how I have made a difference to peopleâ€™s lives, even if they themselves donâ€™t know it yet. My biggest awards are my clients.
Q - Many people know of your wedding photography, tell us a bit about portrait workâ€Ś are you doing many of them and what does a client experience? Weddings are, in essence a series of portraits put together to tell the story of ones most memorable day, their wedding. I love portraits, and I usually tackle them in the same way I would a wedding. Getting to know your subject and delivering a fine quality product is just the beginning. I am not particularly good at taking newborns, but anything from 3months and above I love. When it comes to children, I become a child and literally on my hands and knees trying to get expressions. My skills as a wedding photographer certainly help
I think all these artists are just as relevant today as they are when I first started. Has it changed today? We are blessed these days to be saturated with imagery from around the world with Instagram, Pinterest etc. Whilst over the years I have many of my colleagues that have inspired me at different intervals throughout my career ( too many to mention without offending someone I might have forgotten ) Today I look for inspiration everywhere. It might be something that I saw in a dance routine or a scene in a movie. Maybe some ones story. Or the passion in a student who I am mentoring. Seeing the joy in someone face, when they see an image for the first time. What I am trying to say is that, if you open your eyes and your heart, inspiration is everywhere.
when it comes to photographing portraits of all walks of life, gender and age. I also love it when my couples come back for the next chapter in their lives. From maternity to new born to the family portrait. My approach is that of their family photographer. I recently photographed a bride whose portrait I had taken when she was 2 years old, and now I have photographed her 2 year old daughter. Besides making feel old, its this that truly makes me happy. Q - Who inspired you when you started out and has that changed today? When I first started, I followed all the masters Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier Bresson , Brandt, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon etc. I also love Cindy Shermon, Robert Mapplethorp, Annie Liebovitz, Herb Ritts
inspiration is everywhere
Jewellery designer: Tin Carena -- Torino - New York Model : Alice Veglio ( Location my studio )
Alfredo is another photographer we’ve been following for some time on social media. His mix of fashion photography, black and white style and video always jumps off our news feed. He’s based in Turin Italy and also works in New York... Alfredo tell us about your model photography, are you primarily shooting models for an agency, personal work or for editorials? It’s me to thank you for your kind request of being part of your first issue. I’m a professional photographer and I’m a fashion, glamour, portrait, commercial, event photographer and I’m freelance. I collaborate with models / actors and all my works in the last years are paid fashion works or free test to promote the people I collaborate with to find new works via the images of the portfolio we build ( No personal works as far as now but I hope to have time in the future for more photo experiments ) . You also create a lot of excellent videos for models, are these for their portfolios? The videos are paid works or they are tests business oriented to get new paid gigs and increase value and visibility of models. You also cover fashion events, is this for magazine or online sites? I also cover fashion events only if it’s a paid work . It can happen to be published in magazines or online sites. You shoot quite a bit of black and white video, are these wanted by models/agencies?
Black and white videos help in my opinion to focus more on the subject and is welcome by model agencies and brands . Have you “discovered” any model talent? What I mean is you hear of photographers or magazine publishers often bumping into someone during a regular day, handing over a business card and next thing he or she is getting regular modelling work.. I’ve discovered many model talent and now some of them are important actor / actresses ( TV and movies more than just modelling for important brands ) both in Italy and USA .I’m a photographer, filmmaker and a model scout so it’s part of my role and work . Describe a typical shoot for us, like the one you did with the model, Alice Veglio, what goes into a shoot like that? Do you collaborate with a make up artist, stylist etc or is it just you two working on an idea? I try to find online new talents and we collaborate . I guide the model to express herself better and in my opinion a good photographer is the one who interacts with the subject and try to make him / her act in front of the camera and feel comfortable and self confident and “ tell a story “ rather than using a lot of post production ( I’m a model trainer too ) . Make up artist are welcome and important as well as stylists etc.. . The goal is to create a portfolio to find new works together. The Tin Carena Jewellery shoot featuring Elena Rotari is like a short story, same with the Angelique - Fashion short film, tell us about these short films and do you combine stills with
these projects or are they separate? Tin Carena, Maevanika , Stefania P. etc.. are new brands, great brands to be promoted both with stills and videos and some of the short films are selected by Berlin Fashion Film Festival too. What’s your favourite place to shoot? What location? Outdoor and indoor locations are good . There is Beauty everywhere. I love my city Torino ( close to Milan ) as well as New York where I’ve important collaborations with producers and photographers and filmmakers also involved in New York fashion week Do you have 3 tips you can share for those photographers who’d like to do get into fashion? Try to experiment but ask to be paid . Don’t believe to people that say that they can live just with fashion photography ( Just a few worldwide can be just fashion photographers and make enough money ) . Combine fashion photography with glamour photography, street, events, commercial , senior / corporate portrait photography etc.. and you can have a good result to live just with photography works . Finally where can readers go to find out more about your photography? In a few months www.benincasaproductions.com will be my official website as far as now “Alfredo Benincasa photography” and “benincasa productions” Facebook pages. thank You!
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Fashion Designer : Stefania P. High fashion Torino Milan - Florence - Jewellery Designer : Tin Carena - Torino New York Model : Elma Bayliss Makeup artist : Bobby Miller Hair Stylist : Angie Aragon in collaboration with the fashion social network NYC - Project Italian fashion in New York by Benincasa productions Torino - New York 55
Fashion Designer : Maevanika Torino - Amsterdam . Model : Daria - Make up : Rose Vrionides Boubaris Hair : Revital Simmons ( fantastic photographer too ) Stylist : Siobhan Fenton Thanks to Tyler Simmons as light assistant in collaboration with the fashion social network NYC - CEO David Berman and Kennette productions NY & NJ - Project Italian fashion in New York by Benincasa productions Torino - New York
Jewellery designer : Tin Carena -- Torino - New York Model : Alice Veglio ( Location my studio )
One of the positives of social media is that sometimes you happen upon people, who’s creativity grabs you. You follow them and start to really appreciate their art. Sarah Fairbanks is someone we found on Instagram, her street photography, use of light and shapes got us wanting to find out more... Sarah, welcome to the first issue of Photo Live...
strong supporting arm of her son gave meaning to the photo for me.
First up maybe tell readers about you. Where are you based what you do and how you got into photography.
Are you shooting film? Digital or both?
I live in Adelaide, a beautiful city by the beach where I find my photography is very much influenced by the seasons, the leaves on the trees and the way each month changes the light and feel of my environment. Next tell us about your early photography, what sort of photography were you doing and did you have any goals for the future? What I mean is did you think that you would evolve so much? I first got a camera when I was about 18, and had just started medical school. I was enchanted that suddenly memories could be turned into something concrete, printed onto a beautiful piece of paper. My childhood was heavily influenced by numerous moves all around the country and 14 schools, so I felt that all my memories in a way, of places were fragmented. Photography changed that for me. Suddenly I was spending hours in the darkroom, often until midnight, feverishly printing, but on quest for something, that I am still on. I also took my first street photographs when I was 21, but I was far too shy to risk anyone seeing me, so they tended to be of figures in a distance. My favourite from this time was of an old lady walking with her son. The bow of her legs and the
Did you study photography? I did not study when I was younger, but in the last two years have studied single subjects at CCP (Centre for Creative Photography) which is a wonderful place.
I stayed with film from 1988-2004 then finally switched to digital. I love digital, but I still love film, especially medium format film. I also love my iPhone, and my tiny mirror less camera, all devices have their beauty and strength Tell us about film. The camera. Why and how you found it compared to digital. Film has a colour rendition and at times softness which changes the feel of a photo. If you look at medium format film with photos taken with shallow depth of field they really are very beautiful. I would like to explore that in the future. I also love trying different techniques and possibilities with my iPhone. I use “Snapseed” to edit, and it really is wonderful especially for sophisticated black and white edits—a good start point to lead on to Lightroom on your computer (which I use for all my DSLR shots). I also have tried other apps like textures and slow shutter speed apps that allow you to completely change the feel and mood of a photo on your phone. Do you think travelling overseas changed your photography? Tell us about that. I suppose I spent my whole child-
hood travelling—but at that time I hated it, and longed to set down roots and keep the wonderful friends I kept losing. Then after 4 years in the one city I travelled overseas as a young adult, and my eyes were truly opened. I was fascinated by language, culture, old buildings and old people, by their differences and similarities. I was relatively shy at the time, I longed to take photos like Henri Cartier Bresson and those of his era, photos that seemed to be spontaneous and deeply human. The main thing travelling changed was that it allowed me to feel anonymous, and also times travelling by myself meant that I could quietly observe. When I returned I tried to view my own city and it’s people with a traveller’s eyes. The other great source of inspiration are various galleries on instagram. There are some wonderful street photographers sharing on this medium, from all around the world, particularly talented are some Turkish and Iranian photographers but every city has it’s street photographers capturing some of the essence of their people or their vision. There are some wonderful instagram galleries (hubs) of street photography including @fromstreetswithlove, @lensonstreets, @hartcollective @myspc and @mobiography ( mobile phone images) You did a nice series of street photos in Taipei, lots of colour and I really love the umbrella series... were you aware of changes in how you approached shooting? In Taipei I continued my exploration of street photography which I started in Hong Kong in 2014 then Tokyo in 2015. As always I found myself 59
drawn to people, especially elderly people. Again I felt anonymous there, which gave me the mental freedom to quietly point my small mirror-less camera at people in the street, all the while hoping they would not see me, but smiling if they did. I love both colour and texture, as well as people and emotion. Tell us about photography in Istanbul... any challenges or restrictions? Oh Istanbul. Istanbul is a captivating city, full of so many layers: from shiny metal super modern skyscrapers, to crumbling stones and walls of velvet colours and textures. It arcs around the Bosphorus, the beautiful harbour there, with boats and seagulls, fisherman and the people of every imaginable background from ultra religious to on-the -edge in both dress and outlookâ€”everything and more is there. Once you go there you can see why it is a city that inspired poets, painters, writers and photographers over the centuries. I am very lucky to know another photographer there, which meant I could feel part of the city. It is possible to walk for endless hours through backstreets and suburbs, always a new discovery around each corner. We are hoping to have a collaborative exhibition of street photos sometime in 2018 or 2019. Both of us have had quite a profound influence on each otherâ€™s photography. He opened my eyes to looking up, noticing birds and buildings and modern contrasts, and also to being meticulous in editing any particular photo with both itâ€™s framing and texture/tones. No real challenges there except the same challenges you have with street photography anywhere really. Lots of people have a camera in Istanbul. and like everywhere in the world, even old ladies in long headscarves are taking selfies every61
where, we live in a world where everybody takes images. I love it. Let’s look at your current photography, there’s a whole very unique feel and look plus you are almost poetic in your descriptions. Talk about what you’re doing now. My latest experimental series was using slow shutter in the metro in Moscow. I used my iphone, surprisingly, because I found I could get a dreamy soft feel almost like a Monet painting, but with muted colours, which added to the mood I had there of transience and motion, of people almost lost in a sea of humanity. Sometimes a photo needs no words, and other times a small description adds to the feeling of what I am trying to convey. 63
Hi Ayhan, it’s nice to meet you. You’re living in Turkey, tell us about life in Turkey, what do you do for a job or are you studying? I live in Istanbul. I have a Business Administration degree, after finishing my masters degree in Australia, I completed my PhD on Organizational Behavior. I work as a trainer, professional coach and university instructor. My work is basically about listening, understanding and communicating with people. How did you get started as a photographer? I was always interested in photography and cinema, but did not actively take pictures. The only exception is a short period in my late teens when I had a SLR camera and was interested in taking portrait shots, but that lasted only a few years. So, basically my creativity had a long winter period until 2 years ago, when both of my parents died in the same year. It made me realize that nothing is repeated in life, that moments have a special soul which can only be experienced as they happen. This event had a profound impact on my photography. And how would you describe your photography? I try to see the stories that are hidden in fleeting moments. I try to spot and highlight the poetry in what feels to be mundane at first sight. I’m interested in contrasts, unusual behaviors, hidden links, near misses, accidental encounters because they add to my story telling. My subjects are usually people who are on the move, who are experiencing a moment that will disappear in a few seconds.
I especially care about their emotions, whatever they are at that moment. But my favourite theme is the feeling of freedom, where you feel constantly moving and evolving, knowing no borders or attachments. (or sometimes people who lack that kind of freedom) I quite often use symbols like birds, sea, sky, floating hair, wind etc because they remind me of that sense of freedom. I have to ask, tell us about the birds that often play a role in your photos... Istanbul has a huge bird population. They are literally everywhere, hovering above your head in every street. Birds were a forced choice at first, because they usually photobomb your pictures. But soon I picked up on the qualities that they add to anything they fly past. I love birds because they symbolize almost everything about my photography: freedom, wisdom, motion, emotions, grace. I can’t imagine living in a city without many birds. What areas in Istanbul do you like to photograph in? Why..? I love spending time in Karaköy, Eminönü, Galata, Beyoğlu. Because almost nobody actually lives in those neighborhoods, the people there come from all walks of life for a temporary purpose with the intention to go back home at night, so you see lots of contrast and drama; since its near the sea, there’s excitement or sometimes total indifference in people’s faces, people’s faces talk; the walls are talking too, with many layers of texture and graffiti; it all adds to my themes. A lot of your photos also feature the ocean, is this something that draws you?
We call it Bosphorus, basically it’s a strait, like a giant salt water river going through the heart of the city. It is constantly flowing, moving the waters from one side of the earth to the other. There’s also an undercurrent which pushes the waters back in the opposite direction. The Bosphorus also attracts northerly and southerly winds. When I take a boat ride along the Bosphorus and breathe in the fresh breeze, I imagine the air that fills my lungs came all the way from Scandinavia, it touched he hair of a kid playing on the beach, or went through dark enchanted forests, it helped a seagull soar and now it’s in my lungs. It gives a sense of “borderlessness”, a sense of constant motion and collision. I believe it shapes the character of my people, and it also shaped the character of my photographs. Browsing your Instagram feed, you have a gift for capturing moments. People relating to each other, living life, and your post processing style is very different. Talk us through how you go about taking photos and then what happens at the end of the day when you are finished shooting. I’m interested in people. I can look at a crowded street and immediately spot a person that has potential for a story. Then I get my camera or phone ready and wait for them to do something interesting. And they usually do. When shooting, I set aside all my worries about composition, framing, timing etc. These are all worries of the mind and they can all be fixed later. I only concentrate on seizing the spirit of that moment, which can only be done by seeing from the heart. I trust my gut feelings and give the controls to my fingers rather than my mind. My fingers autono-
mously decide what to shoot, when to shoot. They usually make the best decisions in split seconds. I love editing. I believe it’s where the act of creation starts, because I can reshape the reality according to my idiosyncratic perception of what was happening there. I try to avoid having a specific editing style. Most of my edits are actually unique, I try to improvise rather than follow formulas. When I pick up a picture I first ask, “what is the story here”, “what feelings does it convey”, “how can I make it stand out”? Then I do whatever seems necessary to serve that purpose.
You’re a busy street photographer. How did that begin? I was inspired by a street photographer I know. At the beginning, I was rather interested in birds, She was into people and stories. Once we photographed the city together. I saw her taking the picture of an old lady. I found it a bit odd, because I thought old people are not interesting. But she said “I wonder about her story... What does she do... where does she live... who does she love?” It struck me. I realized that I could empathize with people I don’t know. And things around me took a different meaning as I started to read people’s stories. My photography was elevated to a new level after this experience. That’s why I owe her so much. How is Turkey for street photography? Are there laws or regulations? Street photography is about capturing people in unstaged environments, in moments which can’t be repeated. So, wherever there are people, there’s potential for street photography. You just need to be polite and learn about the life styles and worldviews of the people. Istanbul is a vibrant city with huge paradoxes; tragedy and joy, poverty and abundance living side by side. It is a perfect place for great street photography. On a sunny or snowy day, you can spot dozens of amateur photographers shooting people. Istanbulers are usually very permissive and indifferent to being photographed. I had an experience in rural Anatolia as well though, people can be much more scrutinizing there. You get stopped by some people, asking you why you take pictures, or why
you don’t take other things like old mosques or sunset rather than people. But when I explained the reason and asked how they were doing, they smiled and offered me a glass of tea. This is why I love this country. How often are you out shooting? And what do you take on a typical day of shooting - camera and lens?? I keep seeing pictures everywhere. So I take pictures quite often, sometimes in most unexpected places. Many of my pictures were taken while commuting. Once a month I take photo walks. I can take a dozen decent shots on a good day of photo walk. I don’t own expensive gear. I have a midrange mirrorless camera, and a standard 35mm lens. I like it because its unobtrusive, lightweight, and hassle free . I prefer to use the camera rather than the phone because of its speed. Who inspires your photography? When I think about my library, I see many books about architecture, modern art, classic paintings, cinema, mathematics. I have followed fashion and photography magazines. They probably influenced me. I was also influenced by the dozens of great photographers I met on Instagram. But also, as I just mentioned, by my beloved city, its bosphorus, its people and its birds. Finally where can your readers go to see more of your work? I have an Instagram page with the nickname: @ayhanton. I’m always happy when people visit my page and even leave some comments.
PRESTON Dean welcome to the first issue of Photo Live, maybe to start tell us where you’re based and what sort of photography you love. I’m not really based anywhere these days. Before moving full-time into photography I was based in Sydney but now I’m on the road most of the time. I try and follow the sun so Brisbane is about as close as I get to being in one place for any length of time but I’ve also spent a lot of time in Los Angeles for the last 5 years. I like to shoot outdoors and very rarely shoot in a studio. I’m not a big fan of artificial light and flash so natural light is always my choice when it comes to lighting a model or landscape. With the fashion/runway work, are you shooting for magazines? I generally work freelance so it could be for a magazine or newspaper. It’s getting harder and harder because Getty now have a monopoly. It’s definitely a industry that’s changing rapidly. It’s only a matter of time before phones can take pictures as good as a DSLR.
Your photography is so refreshing, natural and seems to be almost straight from the camera... do you do any post on them?
I would love to say most of my pictures are straight out of the camera. But it’s hard when you’re shooting outdoors without any reflectors or flash so I tend to do a fair bit of processing in Lightroom. I shoot raw so you have a lot of control over the image, especially in the highlights and shadows. I don’t go overboard with the clarity and saturation like some people do and I tend to keep my images fairly natural. Hair is always hit or miss but most of the time you get an image you’re happy with. I like to spend only 5 - 10 minutes editing a photo if possible and Lightroom is perfect for that. Much of your photography is based around models and outdoors, do you have favourite locations around Sydney? Tamarama and Bronte are my favourite beaches to shoot at with Camp Cove and Shark Beach on the harbour side also favourites. Balmoral is also a great place to shoot at and has a European type of feel to it. I like to shoot in the Blue Mountains too and in and around Paddington is great for high fashion. Do the models come to you for portfolio shoots or is it more collaborative work. It’s more a collaborative effort. I’m very selective about who I shoot with and it has to be a joint effort or it generally doesn’t work.
Modelling is an art and a model really needs to know how to pose correctly. I can tell a model I want a particular look or pose but at the end of the day she or he has to make it look effortless and natural and that’s not always easy. Are you doing any studio work? Do you have a studio or do you rent one as needed? Tell us about shooting in a studio, do you enjoy it as much as beach shooting. I hardly ever shoot in the studio. I think in the last 5 years I’ve done 2 shoots in a studio so I’m like a fish out of water. I’m much more comfortable outdoors and enjoying the sunshine and occasional thunderstorm. You’ve photographed some amazing people, tell us about a favourite shoot. I did a shoot in New York a few years ago in the middle of winter with a dancer which was great. I love shooting on Venice Beach at sunset. It’s hard to get a bad shot with the sunset going down in the west behind you. My all time favourite would have to be a shoot I did in Los Angeles with an actress called Marian. We got so many great shots, Marian knew a million poses and we both walked away with big smiles on our faces.
You can’t ask for more than that. What do you take with you on typical beach shoot? Camera wise just the basics with spare batteries. It’s usually just me and the model so no reflectors or a flash. A hat, sunscreen and water. You can get dehydrated easily and burnt so be careful. Baby oil is great if you want that shiny look on a model. Any tips for photographers wanting to get started on shooting friends or models on the beach? Your model or friend needs to know how to pose. It just makes it so much easier and you’ll get some great shots. Just standing there looking bored doesn’t cut it. You don’t want to shoot straight into the sun so find the right angle and make sure the models face has no shadows on it. Exposure and focus are important so get that right and you’re on your way to getting some great shots. Finally where can our readers go to find out a bit more about you. I’m on Instagram @deanprestonphoto and on 500px at Dean Preston Photography. I’m also on Facebook.
Kate - Gold Coast
“ I like I shoot raw so you have a lot of
control over the image,
especially in the highlights and shadows. I don’t go overboard with the clarity and saturation like some people do and I tend to keep my images fairly natural.” Ksenia
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Starting his photographic journey in the dark room, Tony Buckingham tells our correspondent, Charlotte Nicholson about the journey into digital...
phers work and someone from the newly started children’s newspaper asked who had done certain pictures, which were mine and gave me some work.
Welcome to Photo Live Tony, please can you tell us about yourself and how you got started in photography?
From there I also began to work for the daily paper doing the ‘standalone’ pictures they rarely have now. Finding an interesting event happening and trying to take a picture that summed it up. From there I began to get commissions.
I am a 55 year old freelance photographer married to artist Gabriella, previously living in London but now based 5 miles from the sea in Norfolk to give our 2 children some fresh air. I studied graphic design with photography in the early 1980s but left the course and saw an advert in the West End of London to work in a darkroom at an advertising art studio. I luckily got the job and worked in a few other darkrooms, before buying a houseboat and moving to London.
I did a fair amount of architectural photography when working freelance later for The Evening Standard, there are always interesting new buildings going up in London. I enjoyed this but newspapers always want to be the first with a new project which often meant the site was mostly still a building site! I always thought it would be great if you had proper access and time to picture the buildings properly.
I went for an interview for a job I saw as an independent black and white printer thinking it meant freelance. It was for The Independent, a national newspaper that was driven by it’s photography , more magazine style than any other newspaper. This was printing news, sport and features photographs in black and white often to very tight deadlines.
A friend who is an architect asked me to photograph a project he had done for a chain restaurant and a lot work came from that initial project.. As often the case it is who you know, networking now is really important.
How did you get into your chosen genre of photography?
Originally all the photographers working at The Independent Newspaper, especially Brian Harris and Norman Lomax. Norman would always take chances , he would rate Kodak tmax at ridiculous speeds and process it in a secret recipe when photographing boxers in the gym and they would have amazing detail and grain. He also bought a 5 by 4 view camera, tried it once then used it ( and 35mm as well) to photograph Kirk Douglas. Of the 4 pictures he took 3 were out of focus and one was perfect and amazing! I think he influenced me into thinking it is always worth trying something extra even if you think it may not work out, it’s only a few 101
Having access to excellent darkroom facilities (as well as Leica enlargers) gave me a new interest in photography and I often took street photographs in my spare time. From working in the darkroom I saw first hand what the photographers did and often what we ‘saved’ in the printing. All pictures then were taken in available light. Myself and other darkroom printers decided to put our pictures up in the darkroom instead of the photogra-
Which photographers influenced you, and did they influence your thinking and career path?
frames of film, not even that now. Also sports photographer David Ashdown who would go to a game at Wimbledon or a cricket match and come back with 3 rolls of film! Now everyone seems to need amazing frame speeds but he could capture the shot with perfect timing. Among your works, which one is your favourite and why? One of my favourites is the picture of socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson. It is full of joy, I see too much of the expressionless, staring in to the distance type photographs ( which I am guilty of too!) which people take on film to make them more ‘serious’. I like having movement or some mystery in a portrait Can you tell us what technology/ software/camera gear you use to keep focused on what you do best, as you photograph? Now I find a wifi card (my old Canon 1DS mark III camera doesn’t have wifi) really useful. Seeing the picture instantly on a larger tablet screen is so much different than through a viewfinder or on the 3 inch screen on the back of the camera. Also I don’t use a tilt/shift lens but use DXO Viewpoint for lens and geometry corrections as they are fairly minor. What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started talking photos? I wish I knew digital and ‘phones would eat away at the business! I also think it is a good idea to specialise when you have found your interest.
â€œ I like having movement or
some mystery in a portrait.â€?
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CHRIS MARQUARDT If you’ve ever listened to a podcast on photography you must have heard about Tips from the Top Floor with Chris Marquardt. He not only produces and hosts the longest running photography podcast, but is an author, photographer and tour leader... let’s head over to Germany and say hello... Chris how did you get into photography, when and who got you started? I’ve always had an interest in various art forms. I was lucky to be able to get musical training for over 20 years and over time I learned to play multiple instruments. Photography also always fascinated, I had access to our school darkroom and got to experiment with light fairly early on. Watching an image appear out of nowhere in front of my eyes
was a really magical experience and photography has been a passion ever since. Like many others, I started out shooting mostly “from the gut” without really understanding what made some pictures work better than others. Over time - and especially thanks to my podcasts - I started digging deeper and gradually learned how perception plays a crucial role in photography and how I could use that knowledge to create better photography. You do so many different things how did you get started as a podcaster? In the early podcast days, around 2005, creating a new show wasn’t as straight-forward as it is today. It all came down to being at the right spot at the right time. Thanks to my
music background, I knew how to produce audio, which helped me record my first podcasts. My interest in photography gave me something to talk about and my business background allowed me to understand internet distribution and also helped me cross the language barrier. I am German, back then, podcasting was so new, there were virtually no podcast listeners in my home country. Podcasting allowed me for the first time to find an international audience. And while I cringe a bit, when listening to my first few episodes, over time and with the weekly training, my English and my production skills improved. I released my first episode in April 2005 and the first months were quite a rollercoaster ride. I saw this whole field more as a playground than anything else, and I had the very naive assumption that I could explain photography in about 10 episodes. That was my initial plan, but after a few episodes, Tips from the Top Floor had 500 listeners. When Apple later that year released iTunes 4.9 with podcast support, that number literally grew ten-fold overnight. And a workshop leader? At the same time as more and more people discovered the show, I began receiving emails from listeners asking me if there would ever be a “live version” of the podcast. Something along the lines of a workshop. So I planned out a first event in my studio here in Germany and a wonderful group of people showed up from all over the world. We had participants from the US, the UK, from Italy and from Germany. That’s when I realized that holding photo workshops had a chance become part of my business. This initial workshop in 2006 was followed by my first US workshop tour in 2007 and 2008. Through podcasting I also met Jon Miller, a film-maker from Colorado who produced “The 109
Rest of Everest” where he documented an Everest climb. We ended up becoming great friends and Jon came up with the idea to do a photo workshop at Mt. Everest base camp in Nepal. We planned it out, opened it to our audiences and it sold out within less than a minute. Truly one of the most surreal moments ever. This is where my international photo tours go back to. Since then I’ve brought photographers to Canada, Nepal, Tibet, Berlin, Ireland, Japan, Ethiopia, Iceland, Greenland, Bhutan, Siberia, Norway, Greenland and Svalbard, just to name a few. And it still feels like this is just getting started. There are so many amazing places on our planet that I haven’t seen yet. With all this under your belt, you wouldn’t have much time left, yet you are also an author. Tell us about your books on film... I’ve written The Film Photography Handbook together with my better half Monika. Actually she deserves most of the credit, as she wrote at least half of it and her writing style is so much better than mine. The book aims to bring film photography into the 21st century. After the mid 90s, film was slowly becoming replaced by digital, to the point where I shelved my analogue cameras and switched. I didn’t touch a film SLR for ten years, but at one point it became clear that film photography wasn’t dead, rather the opposite. It was clearly in a niche now, but not only was there a vivid scene around it, film also offered things that digital couldn’t. Our re-discovery of film went hand in hand with learning to work the larger formats and today we have our own darkroom and shoot everything from 18x24 mm to 4x5” large format. After adding film
photography to my workshop portfolio, we received some interest from a German publisher and that’s how our book project was born. The Film Photography Handbook is available in English and in German (“Absolut analog”) and we’re currently both working on other photo-related book projects. You’ve been leading workshop tours for a while, what’s your favourite places to go and why? It’s really hard for me to choose favorite places, they are all so diverse and each has so much to offer in their own way. From the cultural side as well as in terms of photography. Having said that, I’m a great fan of the colder climates. Photography of ice and snow and their infinite variations really clicked with me. I find the abstract shapes, the people, the serenity and the colors and contrasts really intriguing. This never gets old for me. I went to Iceland several times, I have fond memories of Hokkaido in Japan, Lake Baikal in Siberia was amazing both times I’ve been there, and Greenland and Svalbard in the Arctic have left a lasting impression. To the point that sooner or later I probably will want to re-visit all of these places. But then there’s Asia, the amazing people of Nepal and Tibet, the first flush tea harvest in Darjeeling, the cultures and sights of Ethiopia and the many little unplanned encounters with wonderful people make those tours as memorable as the colder ones. What happens on a tour? Tell us about the experience. One thing we hear from photographers who lead tours is that people like to do them more then once..?
Over the years I’ve had many repeat clients, some travelled with me six or seven times. If the travel bug bites you, sometimes it bites hard and if you travel with someone you know and trust, deciding to come on another tour is easy. Most of my tours include all lodging and meals, so the clients will only have to get to the initial meeting point and we’ll take it from there. While the photo tours often include well-known places and landmarks, I always include ample time to visit places off the beaten track that are much more interesting and much less touristy. On our entire Ethiopia tour we met less than a hand full of other tourists. In India we got a spontaneous invitation to visit a school and were greeted by hundreds of curious pupils. In Moscow we went to a local farmer’s market and made friends with the mall cops and in Bhutan we got invited into a farmer’s house and even got to participate in an archery training session. While it’s great to have seen and photographed the landmarks, these unplanned experiences are the ones that people will talk about and remember for the rest of their lives. How do you fit so much in - travel, teaching and podcasting, do you get much time for personal photography projects? I really love what I’m doing, that makes it much easier to find the time and energy for it. I also don’t think I could do one without the others.
Traveling, teaching and podcasting are all part of a larger picture. The photo tours are a great source of stories, which I love telling on my podcasts. The teaching is an extension of the podcasts and the podcasts help people find my photo tours, books and workshops. It all belongs together and it all works hand in hand. And the different areas transcend into each other, for example my latest podcast “Curiously Polar” where I talk with an Arctic scientist about the polar regions has grown out of my latest photo tour. What do you recommend as a beginners/ first timer travellers’ gear list for going on a tour to say Bhutan? For me the best camera is the one that you know best. Photo gear is almost like a pair of shoes. They take a while to adapt to you and you take a while to adapt to them. Buying a new camera a few days before taking off on a photo tour is probably not such a good idea. I’ve seen too many people not heeding that advice and ending up coming home with sub-par photos because they had to spend too much time fighting the new gear during the tour. Different photo tours have different points of focus, which might influence lens selection. The polar bears in the Arctic are usually at a distance that requires a focal length of at least 600mm, while you might bring a 50mm for New York City street photography or a 24mm for Siberian ice-scapes. Also for wildlife or sports you might want a
camera with a slightly higher frame rate, but nowadays all cameras from micro four-thirds up to full frame can deliver outstanding and professional results. You’ve also created a guide on Lightroom, how did that come about? I’ve used Lightroom since it was in beta and it has quickly become the main hub of all my photography. It’s where I manage my photos, where I edit them and where I print them from. Over the years, Adobe added enough features that the roundtrips to other programs like Photoshop became less and less necessary. The daily work and the in-depth knowledge that camera out of that, allows me to work on my photos at quite a fast pace. Also shooting between 200 and 400 photos on a typical photo tour day made me realize that if I didn’t develop a good workflow, I’d end up with massive amounts of unedited photos over time. Today I work on my photos the same evening I took them and at the end of a tour, I have all my photos sorted, keyworded, rated and edited. With just a couple of mouse clicks I can bring up all 5-star photos of the last eight years of photo tours. At one point I realized that such a workflow could be valuable for others too, so I put that in an ebook titled “1 Hour 1000 Pics” which I’m now giving away at 1hour1000pics.com - this also spawned a series of video workshops on Lightroom that go a bit broader. The latest one is at discoverlightroom.com (it’s being updated to the latest version of Lightroom as we speak). Your partner Monika also an amazing photographer, do you have a hard time choosing which photos go into your books? While both Monika and I are working
on book projects, of the two of us, she has the better photographic eye. Her compositions are often stronger and clearer and she tends to get the shot with much fewer shutter clicks than I do. And we also make a great team when it comes to selecting photos. It’s hard to select pictures that you have taken yourself. You are often simply too close and can’t see them without your memories getting in the way. It’s much easier if you let someone else you trust help with the selection. Monika and I complement each other really well in that respect. Who inspires you and why? I take my inspiration from many places, often outside photography. The sense of spacing and placement shown by Walter Gropius, Architect and founder of Bauhaus, has influenced me at least as much as that of the photography and paintings of Henri Cartier-Bresson or German photographer Jim Rakete. The lighting in the paintings of Jan Vermeer are as wonderful and as important to me as the lighting in the photography of Yousuf Karsh or Arnold Newman. Music has also instilled me with a decent sense of rhythm and melody, which in my eyes both apply to photography too. I think it’s really important to look beyond your own nose. Being curious about many different disciplines is what makes me as a photographer today. Finally Chris, where can readers go to find out more about you? My photo tours are at: discoverthetopfloor.com. You can find everything else, including the podcasts, at chrismarquardt.com. Thanks so much for giving me the chance to be part of the first edition of Photo Live, I really appreciate it.
â€œMusic has also instilled me with a decent sense of rhythm and melody, which in my eyes both apply to photography too. I think itâ€™s really important to look beyond your own nose. Being curious about many different disciplines is
what makes me as a " photographer today.
Raychul the model
Raychul Moore is a friend of the Live group of publications, we’ve been lucky to interview her previously in Cosplay Live, but what many fans may or may not know is Raychul is also a journalist, model and social media veteran. One thing most photographers want to get better at is social media, and if you’re a portrait or model photographer or want to be, you probably want to know how to photograph and approach models. So with that in mind, I decided to reach out to our friend in the U.S … Raychul, welcome to our first issue of Photo Live! Whoa, thank you for such an amazing intro!! And thank you for asking me to be a part of the first issue, this is super exciting!!! You’re a well-established cosplayer and social media personality; tell us about your modelling work. How did you get started? My best friend was getting into photography so I was basically his willing test subject. I had started cosplaying and really wanted to get more comfortable being in front of a camera cause I can be quite shy. So between shooting with him and doing 120
more and more cosplay stuff, it just kinda became a thing I do more fulltime than just a fun hobby. You’re also a very popular cosplayer; do you find the two cross-over? Yes and no. Some people will say cosplay is basically “character modelling”, dressing up in a costume and modelling it. But that’s not what cosplay is to me at all. You don’t need to be a model to cosplay, and a model in a costume doesn’t equal cosplay. In modelling you are hired to help a photographer complete a vision, whether that’s to capture a moment or to show off some sort of fashion. In cosplay, I make my own costumes and I design some of the pieces myself. When I’m being photographed in my cosplays, I’m showing off my own work and the photographer is helping me capture the character I am portraying.
I want to talk a bit more about modelling, how do you get jobs for modelling? Jobs in this industry can come from a bunch of different sources. They can come from friends who are pho-
tographers that you’ve worked with before. Jobs can come from discovery, people who happen across some of your photos and reach out to you because they want work with you. Or sometimes, you can just luck into something that opens a lot of new doors. Can you walk us through a typical model shoot and maybe compare that to a cosplay shoot… A modelling shoot is all about helping the photographer create an image or a moment he has thought of or has been hired to create. So for a modelling shoot you usually already know the theme of the shoot; you get dressed up and made up then you get in front of the camera and follow the photographers direction to help him achieve the goal of the shoot. A cosplay shoot is more about portraying the character you are dressed as. The photographer will help pose you still, but it’s up to you as the cosplayer to really bring out that character’s personality while showcasing the costume you created.
Photo : Seth Hendrix
Browsing your social media, you’ve a great following across all the social media networks, and I’m wondering if that’s normal - what I mean is sometimes you see a person have a massive Instagram following but perhaps not so big on YouTube, but you’re well established across all the main social media channels. Did you build them together or one by one..? Each social media platform handles it’s content differently and people consume their media differently on each platform; so I’ve always tried to build them up separately. Like stuff you post of Instagram might not always work on Facebook and visa versa. Also, why would someone follow you on all your different social media channels if you post the each same content on each one? I think the best way to build up your social media is to tailor your content to each platform and how people consume their media on each one. Give your subscribers a reason to not just follow you on Twitter, but to also follow your Instagram and Facebook if they want to be involved in all the different content you produce! Do you get any negative and how do you handle any negative on social? Oh yes, negative comments go hand in hand with social media. Can’t have one without the other. Kinda like a necessary evil, I guess. But you really just have to let it go and not dwell on the negative. Focus on the positive and focus on the people who are supporting you in what you do. I see some people who seem get caught up in all the negative and they don’t
see that by giving attention to it, you’re inviting more of it. Positivity will help you grow, negativity won’t.
You’re really busy - I’m reminded of the word prolific… YouTube videos, print shops, calendars, blogging, how do you manage it all? Plus on top of the cosplaying, visiting cons and all the work you do… I’m not one to sit still well. ☺ I like staying busy and honestly, when you love what you’re doing…it doesn’t feel like work! It all started as a passion project, and I’m just lucky that now I can call it my career!
Have you got some advice on how to create blog posts or social media posts that really connect with your followers? Often photographers will have great images to share, but they don’t know what to write. Any tips on making the text of a post engaging? The best part about photos is they usually can speak for themselves, so you really don’t need to write a long intro or post to go along with the pics. I think it’s best to keep it short. Something like, “Had such a great time shooting with /model’s name at an amazing location at / location. More pics soon!” Or if you want to get your viewers involved, try asking them where are some locations they’d like to see you shoot at, recommendations of photoshoot themes or style challenges. Those help followers get engaged in your content and gets them looking forward to more!
What about Instagram, your feed is fun, personal, a bit sexy and always interesting. Do you plan it in advance? Also … you don’t seem to go crazy with hashtags..? Thanks! I don’t plan my postings in advance, I know I probably should, but that’s a little too much pre-planning for me. ☺ But no, I don’t do the hashtag thing. I find a ton of hashtags to be rather excessive. Hashtagging is meant to help people find your content through search, but using a hashtag for every small aspect in a photo or video is a little over the top. I know people want to grow their following but keep it simple and the followers will come! #interview #girl #cosplay #modelling #purpleshirt #browneyes #shortgirl #stillinpajamabottoms #imonmylaptop #dogsleepingbesideme #todayisthurday #tomorrowisfriday #ilikepizza Back to modelling, what’s coming up for you for the rest of this year? Also any cosplay events you can talk to us about. I’m working on a bunch of stuff currently! I have several photoshoots coming up, both cosplay and non-cosplay. And I’ve got about 4 new costumes in the works that I’ll be shooting in/debuting soon!
Raychul Photo : Seth Hendrix
“I think the best way to build up your social media is to
tailor your content to each platform" We’d love to share a few tips with anyone wanting to do some modelling can you give us 3 tips? 1. The thing that has helped and still helps me a lot I practicing in the mirror. It will help you learn your best angles and facial expressions, which will then help build confidence while in front of the camera. Confidence can make all the difference between a great photo or an ok photo. 2. Set your boundaries and don’t make any exceptions. If you feel that doing nudity isn’t your thing, stick by it and don’t let anyone talk you into doing anything you don’t want to do. Don’t ever be ashamed of your boundaries, they are for you, and no one else. 3. Lastly, keep it fun! As long as you’re having fun, then it’s never work. That doesn’t mean it won’t ever get hard, it will…but even the challenges can be fun and help you grow.
Yeah! You can find me on all the social medias and my website: Raychul.com YouTube.com/RaychulMoore Twitter.com/theRaychul Facebook.com/RaychulMoore Instagram.com/theRaychul My print store is where I sell calendars, personal Polaroids and of course, prints! Raychul.storenvy.com And I do have a Patreon.com/Raychul that’s an amazing community of people, we have movie nights and game nights together, a private Discord channel and they vote on my upcoming photoshoot themes and cosplays. It’s a lot of fun and we’re all a bunch of goofballs! Thank you so much for including me in the first issue of Photo Live!!
Raychul, thanks for talking to us again and we’d love to talk again soon, where can readers go to find out more about you? Tell us about your print site and also to finish up, Patreon - is that going well?
Photos : Rick Basaldua
Photos : Rick Basaldua
Photo : Seth Hendrix
www.raychul.com YouTube.com/RaychulMoore Twitter.com/theRaychul Facebook.com/RaychulMoore Instagram.com/theRaychul
some photos supplied are uncredited.
HELLMICH Welcome Andrew to our first issue, you’re a professional photographer and run a successful podcaster, what else are you doing? Thanks Rob, are you suggesting running a full-time photography business and a photography business podcast isn’t enough!? Between these, there’s not much time left most days. My photography business, Impact Images, is primarily focused on weddings and portraits but we’re shooting some sporting teams and commercial work too - mainly headshots for local small businesses here on the Central Coast of NSW... about an hours drive north of Sydney. My wife, Linda runs the business from the financial side of things, coordinating shoots and managing everything. We have a studio assistant, Tenneille, who we couldn’t live without. Tenneille handles sales, album and print design, colour correcting and ordering. In addition, we have three associate shooters, there’s always something happening. I find I’m spending less time shooting as the podcasts grow and the time 132
demands become greater in helping listeners and members grow and improve their businesses. Any spare time I have is spent cycling which is my outlet and a way to stay fit. I love racing my bike and 300km plus per week is standard for me. Other than that, I love holidays and travel. It’s rare for me to not have at least two holidays planned at any time. At the time of writing, I’m onboard Singapore flight SQ232 en route to France to see the Tour de France and ride in the mountains of the Pyrenees and the Alps. Later in the year, I have a photography trip planned to India. I’m looking for a couple of photographers to join me if anyone is interested? Let’s start with your photography, you’re a full time professional, what are you photographing? When asked, I say weddings primarily but really, after being in business for 20 years, the photography work is more varied than that. Portraits make up a big part of the business and is heading toward being the primary income source.
In addition to weddings, portraits and some commercial work, we photograph local sporting clubs through winter when things are a little quieter. Linda and our associate shooters do all the work for these and I find myself focusing more on the podcasts, marketing and getting away on holiday.
How many weddings would you do a year? And how many portrait sessions would you do? Personally, I’m shooting around 1215 weddings per year now and I’ll reduce that number in 2018. I have a plan to travel from one side of the USA to the other, staying with photographers and interviewing them as I go. I’ve put aside three months to do this and another month to do something similar in the UK. Our associate shooters will carry on shooting for the studio and pick up most of the shooting while I’m away - weddings and portraits. Before the podcast, we were photographing a maximum of 72 weddings each year but it was just too much.
We photograph around 100 Portrait sessions per year plus engagement shoots. The portrait sessions are mainly centred around families and kids with some pet shoots.
I realised how much I loved photography, I had a friend who was shooting weddings and I asked if I could carry his bags and learn the ropes to see if this was something I could do and pursue for money.
Tell us a bit more about weddings, what got you started shooting weddings and maybe tell us about your first few...
I was already thinking, could it really be possible to do photography for a living?
I was working full-time and discovered photography through fishing. I was a mad keen fisho and a couple of my mates were getting published in fishing magazines. I wanted a slice of that action to help offset the cost of my fishing gear but to get published, the magazines required photography plus articles. I was all good with writing, but had never taken a photo in my life. I purchased a Nikon F601 film camera in 1996 and started shooting transiency film right away - the magazines only accepted slide film for publication. It was a steep learning curve and one I thrived on. I was like a sponge! I found my way after reading anything and everything I could on photography and was getting published pretty quickly. Shooting slide film made for quick learning with almost no exposure latitude and the ability to see my mistakes without a lab making any corrections as with print film. Shooting slide film was the equivalent of shooting digital but having to wait to see your exposures. Oh... and I had to pay to see. Each roll of Fuji Velvia was around $50 to shoot and process.
Not long after, I was booked to photograph a friend of a friends wedding. The deal was I shoot in exchange for them covering film, developing and printing two sets 5”x7” prints - one set for the couple, one set for my portfolio. This was the start of going pro! This couple were on the larger side. Actually, they were big. And it was their photos that made up my first promotional album, my wedding portfolio. Linda and I went armed with this album plus a few photos from my second shooting days to a local bridal expo and we booked 18 weddings! Brides to be would ask if we had their wedding date free and Linda would make a point of flicking through our empty diary and look up with a big smile with, “you’re in luck, Andrew is free that day!” We still laugh about this expo and our empty diary today. It was interesting that most of the couples who booked us from that expo were large couples. We heard delighted comment after delighted comment that we were the only photographers at the expo featuring a larger couple in their portfolio and they loved it.
I was off and running! Months later, the bookings continued, I went part time at my day job and Linda worked hard from home doing all the admin, accounts, emails, album assembly and ordering. While raising our two baby boys at the time. A couple of years later, I left my then part time job completely and it was full time photography. We haven’t looked back since.
How did you progress to being good enough to be a full time wedding shooter? How did you know you were ready? I didn’t really know I was ready and I was nervous heading out to weddings in those early days but I knew this is what I wanted to do. I still wasn’t a great photographer but I was good at seeing images I liked and replicating them at weddings. I slowly grew my staple of ‘safe shots’, adding new looks or poses I preferred for ones I’d grown tired of. I was developing a look made up of the photographers work I was influenced by and admired at the time. This approach was a fast way to learn but caused me rethink everything further into my career when I realised I never felt worthy of being labelled a photographer. I was making a living as a photographer but struggled with the title. All this head space stuff occurred later. Linda and I had a mortgage, two young children and only my income at the time. There was no quick decision to leave the security of my
job until we knew we had enough bookings and consistent enquiries to make a go of photography. Looking back, some of my work was terrible but I think every photographer would say the same thing looking back at their work. The clients loved what I was doing, loved Linda and trusted us to photograph their weddings. The enquiries kept coming and two years after going part-time with my day job, I was given an ultimatum by my employer - the other worker I was job sharing with had given his notice... I needed to come back full-time or quit. I quit and we made it work. I was a full-time photographer and Linda and I were running a successful and fast growing photography business. In hindsight, quitting was the best thing for growing the business and I should have done it earlier. Quitting meant no safety net and it was time to commit to the business, get serious about marketing and going for it.
Talk us through your process of getting ready to shoot a wedding, what gear do you take, bags? What about lights or reflectors? Maybe fill us in on a typical day. Before a wedding I don’t like to do anything much. I like a no stress, easy morning and I’m already focussed on the day and somewhat absent from everything else going on. One hour before I need to leave, I have a bit of a routine in packing the car, checking gear, showering and changing. After so many interview for PhotoBizX and hearing about split pants and embarrassing moments, I always wear dark underwear and
take spare trousers. Gear wise, this has changed a lot since the beginning and is always evolving. Currently I’m using a Domke shoulder bag which I love for it’s ruggedness and simple utilitarian looks. For shooting, I’m using a Fuji X100f and a Fuji XPro2 with a range of lenses, almost all primes. My go to lenses are the 23mm f1.4 (35mm equivalent) unless I have the X100f with me. Otherwise it’s the 56mm f1.2 (85mm equivalent) or the 90mm f1.4 (135mm equivalent). For the reception coverage, I’ve been using a Nikon D750 and primarily a 24-70mm f2.8 lens and SB900 Speedlight with Yongnuo triggers for any off camera flash work. I’m yet to shoot with the Fuji EFX500 flash which I now have and am hoping this will mean the end of using the Nikon for reception coverage. Until now, the Fuji’s just haven’t delivered the kind of functionality I like when working with flash at a reception. The Nikon and speedlight combination on the other hand, just work flawlessly. In addition to my shoulder bag, I have extra speedlights, a sunbounce reflector, tripod and other gear in the car but honestly, I rarely use any of it on a wedding day. Since discovering and moving to the Fuji system, I love working light, with minimal gear and I’ve only just added the X100f to the kit - until now, my preference has been to work with a single camera body - Fuji or Nikon. I’m making an allowance because of the small size and light weight of the X100f.
And after you’ve finished, what do you do ... back up wise and also post
processing... what do you do there? After any shoot, I drop my card and paperwork with my studio assistant, Tenneille. She downloads and backs up all the files over two separate hard drives. The files on her computer are backed up via time machine and the copy on the external hard drive are also copied to another drive automatically. From here, all our work will be on the one set of files with the knowledge we have three other copies backed up plus the original card. I shoot in JPG and don’t use Lightroom so our workflow probably differs from most pro photographers. Following an edit/cull in Photo Mechanic, files are renamed and numbered. These renamed files are all put through a photoshop action for ‘enhancement’ and they are now client ready. We don’t do anything else with the files at this stage unless a client is purchasing an image. Commercial, wedding and portrait clients will all see these enhanced JPG’s with no other work being done on them. Album designing and sales sessions are also carried out with these enhanced files. Once a print, album or file is purchased, we’ll do some additional retouching in either or both Photoshop or Alien Skin’s Exposure. It’s a simple, streamlined, fast and easy approach for handling image files.
Do you have any moments that stand out as a wedding photographer?
Not any particular moments, none that would be too different from every other photographer in that I feel lucky to be able to do what I do. As a whole, all the small moments amount to what I feel has been and remains a pretty amazing life for Linda, our boys and me. Through photography we have always had a lovely home, great schooling for our boys and plenty of overseas holidays and time to enjoy all of them. To think about everything we’ve achieved through photography amazes me.
Ok, let’s talk about podcasting, you’re running a successful podcast - talk to us about that part of your life. The podcasting has become a real passion of mine, I love it, I love the 140
listeners, the Premium Members, the community. It’s become a special and valued part of my life. I know I can affect clients with my photography, but the podcast has a similar affect... on steroids! The emails and messages I receive from photographers all over the world leaving their day job to pursue photography full time because of what they hear on the podcast is like a drug I can’t get enough of. I didn’t realise the impact the podcast would have when starting it. Sure, I hoped and dreamt but wow, it’s incredible now it’s happening. The podcast started off as a one day per week thing but it’s almost a full-time gig now. Between the two podcasts - Photo Biz Xposed and The Photography Xperiment Podcast, the interviews, editing, show notes, emailing, managing the active Facebook group and two virtual as-
sistants, it’s grown a lot in 240+ episodes over 4 years. Both shows are interview based and focused on photography for photographers all over the English speaking world. PhotoBizX revolves 100% around the business side of photography. My goal in every interview is to get something valuable the listener can implement into their own business - that could be related to marketing SEO, advertising, branding, networking, pricing, products, sales, time management, workflow, etc. What continues to amaze me is just how much guests are willing to share about their own businesses. From turn over figures, exact prices, advertising copy, marketing strategies - nothing is off limits. The success listeners are finding
with the information being shared has been astounding and is the driving force behind the show. I received an email from Mike Seaman in the UK last week to say he’s just gone full time with his photography after only recently discovering the podcast. His email message is not out of the ordinary. That kind of thing continues to blow me away. The Photography Xperiment Podcast is a little different. The focus here is to get inside the head of the photographer and learn what makes them tick. Why they do what they do, how they approach their photography, how they achieve what they do. There’s a bigger focus on the creativity behind the photography and a lot less about the money making side. One listener described the two podcasts beautifully, he said; PhotoBizX is like an intensive business workshop each week where you go to learn, improve and grow as a business operator. The Photography Xperiment Podcast is more like sitting around with your photographer mates over a beer or two after class and talking photography.
You’ve interviewed a real mix of people from photographers to marketing and social media experts, if a reader was wanting to get serious
about wedding photography, what would you advise them to get in place first... what I mean is do they ensure they have the right gear, the right training or understanding of photography and what about the business and marketing side? The mix of guests on the PhotoBizX podcast has been super varied and funnily enough, it’s not always the big name photographers who share the best content to help the listener get ahead with their business. Often it’s the lesser known photographer, scrapping away in the trenches fighting to be profitable that share the real gems. In regard to getting started as a pro, my feeling is you need to know how to shoot first. A photographer should be able to create great photos no matter the conditions they face. Sure, some of this will come with experience and you can’t learn everything before you give business a try BUT, a photographer has to be confident in delivering something worth paying for, from every shoot. Once here, it’s all about the business. And by business, I’m talking about pricing, marketing, branding, advertising, networking and being able to get the phone ringing and people booking. Without bookings and sales, you won’t have a business for long and you’re certainly not
a professional wedding or portrait photographer. The biggest hurdle I see for new photographers is building that consistency of bookings, shoots and sales. That doesn’t happen by owning flash camera gear or even being the best photographer. Anyone trying to profit from photography must work on their business, there’s no way around that unless you work for another photographer. One thing to add... being a pro photographer isn’t for everyone. Some of the happiest, best photographers I see have a full time job and shoot for fun. To a lot of pro photographers, that looks and sounds pretty attractive. Running a business can be tough and takes a lot of work. In saying that. I wouldn’t swap!
Are you teaching too or plan to? My teaching is limited to writing books and courses based on the interview content and helping PhotoBizX members succeed with their businesses. My most recent course on Facebook Ads has been a great success but it was all knowledge learnt from an interview guest (Bernie Griffiths) that members, listeners and I have
workshopped into a strategy to get bookings and sales fast. I enjoyed putting that course together and the phenomenal feedback has me thinking about future projects. So, in regards to teaching... maybe.
What about future plans, what’s in the pipeline? More interviews, more success for listeners, more travel, cycling and more shooting. I’m enjoying shooting as much as ever, maybe more so. And this crazy idea to travel across the USA interviewing and staying with photographers along the way is the nuttiest idea I’ve had in a long time. I’d love to see it come to fruition and I’m sure that will lead to plenty of other opportunities, plans and ideas.
Back to your photography, who inspires you? Mostly it’s my interview guests for the podcasts. Once someone’s work catches my eye, I follow them on Instagram and reach out for an interview when the time is right. Some recent names whose work I admire.... Joao de Medeiros, Ian Weldon, Paul Rogers, Edwina Robertson, Neale James, Donato DeCamillo, Kaylee Greer, Fer Juaristi, Kirsten Lewis.. there are so many more!
... And what keeps you going, what drives you?
I don’t know if there’s any one thing that drives me. I love what I do and I feel like I’ve shaped my life to always be able to do what I love. That alone is pretty special so yeah, I don’t have one thing I’m reaching to achieve each day I wake up. I guess the plan is to always be a little better at each of the things I’m working on, that’s enough drive for me. I’ve just returned to this question and I think what drives me is something internal. I don’t feel it would matter what I was doing for an income, it feels like I was born with a drive to find something I love to do and learn how to do it well. Looking back, it’s been the same with everything I’ve taken on - from school, to sport, to photography, to work. I just want to be good at what I’m doing. I’m not sure if there’s some deep issue where I need to be proving something to myself or someone but it just feels like it’s part of my make up... maybe its an eldest child thing (I’m the eldest of four boys) and being fiercely shaped by my parents when younger?
Thanks Andrew, where can our readers go to find out more and perhaps subscribe to your podcasts? The best place http://photobizx.com to check out the podcasts. If readers would like to hear the full interviews from each guest and get a taste for the Premium Membership, there’s a $1 30 day trial at http://photobizx. com/try. For my photography work, you can find me at http://impact-images. com.au and I use Instagram purely for fun and to find photographer guests at http://instagram.com/andrew_hellmich.
Nathan Dalton his Personal Project
"The homeless and the homeless"
veryone has a story, and this is always first and foremost in my mind. Having come from a back ground with not much money (born in Africa) and having grown up in a home where my parents often reached out to the homeless with the little that we did have, it birthed something of a compassion towards people less fortunate than ourselves. Growing up I realised sadly a lot of these people are in these positions due to poor decision making, however when you actually take the time to hear their stories one can’t but help be moved by the humanity aspect that we are in the end all human, we the same. Be it Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney - whenever I go on a business trip I always make sure I have my camera with me. Usually after a day’s work and evening dinner with work colleagues I head out into the streets to capture whatever I may find in the city night life. For many years my canon 550D and 50mm 1.8 was my faithful companion on these adventures. Recently I have moved to Fujifilm Xpro2 with the 23mm 1.4 lens. The build of the Fujifilm set up certainly comes across less intrusive as a camera set up. Earlier this year I started I personal photography series called “The homeless and the homeless”. The inspiration behind this was driven by a compassion for people on the streets and to give ear to their stories and then with their permissions grab some photographs of their raw reality environments. Homeless and homeless to me meant that most often it is not only their physical bodies that were homeless and living on the streets, but their dignity and identity as human beings and sense of belonging was also homeless. We all have a story and we all know the sense of warmth it brings to feel accepted and heard. My humble efforts
were to be something of this to these men and woman on the streets. Like most often in life, you can start out with good intentions and learn that their are dangers along the way. Someone who is coming off a high or having had a hit of ice can pose genuine safety issues. It would be advisable to pursue such photography with a friend by your side. I have been cursed, had things thrown at me and even chased on my adventures in night street photography with the homeless. One gentleman sleeping on the floor inside a Westpac ATM foyer was delighted when a small group of us gave him a hamper of food and clothes in a kit bag. I asked If I could take a few photos to which he nodded with a smile in what I interpreted as approval (as did those around me). I was taking a few shots and decided to get really low and lie down on the ground and get a lower more creative angle looking up. I would have been about 4 meters away from this gentleman so I was not in his private space by any means. The next thing like a African Nile crocodile launching out of the water to grab a zebra, this gentleman shot up with screaming fits of rage and headed straight towards me. Fortunately my reflexes were sharp (like the lucky zebra that got away) and managed to escape a swinging leg intended to kick me. Once I was on my feet this gentleman proceeded to chase me. At this point his obvious intoxication gave me the clear advantage to get away as I sprinted down the side street. Moral of the story - always be alert and aware. But then there are the awesome connections one has that are more moving than watching Slumdog Millionaire with a hot box of popcorn. One gentleman had lost his entire business, factory, and family and was now on the streets with nothing. Yes there were a series of unhelpful decisions that led to this point, but in that moment, being in the pres-
ent with this gentleman and seeing his tears, hearing the remorse in his tone I could not help but have a heart that bleed in compassion towards him. On occasion I’ll buy a pie, coke and some treats as a small something of giving to these men and woman. It’s not payment for the photos but rather a small token of love to go hand in hand with hearing their stories. Usually at this point I’ll take a few photos, shake their hand and wish them all the best for a brighter and more hopeful future. My growing efforts in this type of photography is to capture creative angles and expressions that capture something of their story. Every line and scar tells a story. After mentioning that I will start taking photos I usually carry on talking and asking questions. Depending on the emotions I wish to capture I carefully select my questions (whilst respecting their dignity of coarse). The manual toggles and dials on the Xpro2 certainly make the textile experience in those environments enjoyable. Some aspects of shooting a homeless person makes the photography easier when it comes to expectations as they not a model that requires you to take a glamours shot. Having said that though the challenging part is you don’t have two hours with a homeless person and posing them in multiple different clothing sets
getting the perfect shot. Often you only have a few shots you can take before they get a little agitated because you taking to many shots. Fast thinking, assessing the lighting, composition all keep you on your toes to get the best shot possible in the few shots you do take. From the photography aspect I love street photography because it teaches me you can’t always wait for perfect conditions before getting out the camera. It gets you shooting and gets you out.
"From the photography aspect
I love street photography because it teaches me you can't always wait for perfect conditions before getting out the camera. It gets you shooting and gets you out."
"My growing efforts in this type of photography is to capture creative angles and expressions that capture something of their story.
Every line and scar tells a story. â€?
ONLINE: ONLINE: www.facebook.com/?????? ????????????
Bampton “The Lightroom queen” The team at Photo Live were sitting around sharing a drink and discussing pre digital photography versus today’s photography. One topic we talked about for a while is how much post processing did photographers do in the dark room. Talking to our friend Sarah (see her interview earlier in this issue) she said that people like Ansel Adams were masters of the darkroom. Dodging and burning, according to Ansel Adams were required in his famous photo, Moonrise, so that the sky looked darker. Doing some Google snooping around we found many examples of processing pre digital. Master printer, Pablo Inirio use to make test prints and then make notations on what he felt an image needed for the final print. Today things are easier, there’s no need to get a master printer to do the hard work (although having a good retoucher is a bonus for many photographers), you can do quite a bit of adjusting in Adobe Photoshop
Lightroom. With that in mind we asked the Lightroom Queen herself, Victoria Bampton about post processing of images both in the past and in today’s digital world. Victoria welcome to Photo Live, can you start with telling us about yourself. Thanks for the invitation. I’m a Lightroom author based in England, where I live with a cheeky West Highland White Terrier called Charlie. My father has been a professional photographer since the 1970’s, so I grew up in the family business. I worked with him for a few years, then started a raw processing company, offering editing services for wedding photographers. When the Lightroom beta became available in 2006, I knew it was going to revolutionize photography workflows, so I jumped in with both feet. How did you become the Lightroom Queen?
Immediately following Lightroom 1’s release, I was spending a lot of time answering questions on the forums, and other forum members kept suggesting I compile them into an ebook. Imagining a 10 page document, I decided to give it a try... and it grew from there! Thanks to the support of my loyal readers, I now get to spend all my time writing and supporting Lightroom users. Back to the opening paragraph, do you know much about pre digital processing of photos as in dodge and burn and other techniques used? I understand the basic idea, but that’s before my time! The same principles still apply today though, whether you’re using a digital darkroom or a chemical one. The aim has always been to draw the eye to certain areas of the photo, and away from distractions. It’s fascinating to see how they used to mark up the photos in “the old days”
and we can do essentially the same thing today with our digital tools. On to Lightroom, is working in the post processing area your full time job? What’s involved in your typical work week? These days, my business partner runs Photoshop Services, our raw processing company. Since 2012, Lightroom has been my full time job. My normal week includes writing regular tutorial blog posts, replying to emails from my readers and supporting users on numerous Lightroom forums including my forum (https://www.lightroomforums.net) and the official bug report/feature request forum (https://feedback. photoshop.com/photoshop_family/). I spend a lot of time testing Adobe software, and I’m currently working on 2 new books, with 1 more book and 2 video series in the works after that. I never get bored! Are you shooting much yourself and what’s your favourite genre of photography? I don’t get to shoot as much as I’d like to, so vacations are my time to escape the office, travel and shoot. Landscapes and seascapes are my favorites, because it’s peaceful and calm. I enjoy photographing animals too, as I can get lost in the moment, waiting to see what they’ll do next. Photography has to be one of the best ways to relax!
Can we get a few tips? For example, you’ve gone out and taken some landscape photos in colour, what’s the first few things you do in Lightroom? When I get back from a shoot, the first job has to be culling the bad photos and picking my favorites. Most of us tend to get a bit snap-happy and editing all those photos can be overwhelming. Sorting through them first, allows us to focus our time and efforts on the best photos. Before you start editing, it’s important to stop and analyze the photo. Where does your eye go, are there any distractions, and then technically, is it too light, too dark, not enough shadow or highlight detail, does it have a color cast, is there noise, and so forth. The results of that analysis affect what I do next, but most of the time, I start with Exposure, getting it in the right ball park, followed by Highlights and Shadows, and then Contrast, because Highlights and Shadows will have flattened the midtones. Once that’s about right, it’s easier to go back and fine tune the white balance. Then I move on to clarity and local adjustments, and finish up with sharpening and noise reduction. I find a lot of photographers struggle with setting the white balance, especially on landscapes. In a lovely landscape, there’s often nothing neutral to use for a click white balance. Over time, you can learn to adjust it by eye, but if you struggle, shooting a
light neutral card such as a WhiBal makes it really easy to get the “correct” white balance, which you can then tweak to taste. What about Black and White - same question... A great Black & White starts with a great color photo. The white balance can be used creatively for B&W, but as a general rule, I’d try to at least get the overall Exposure and White Balance right before switching to B&W. Next I’d tweak the B&W mix, perhaps darkening blue skies and lightening pale greens to add to the contrast. I love a contrasty B&W image, but you have to be careful not to lose the shadow and highlight detail. The Clarity control can give the image a nice gritty feel without losing the detail. You started out talking about Ansel Adams, and dodging and burning using the Adjustment Brush can make or break a B&W image. It allows you to draw the eye of the viewer to specific areas of the photo, and away from distractions. And for portraits - what is the first few things you do? I treat portraits in exactly the same way, first analyzing the photo before I start making adjustments. For closeups, I’m more likely to do a little teeth whitening and spot removal, but I don’t like to go overboard. There’s nothing worse than a portrait that looks like it’s been photoshopped!
Let’s talk presets - love them or not? Why? Like any tool, presets can help or hinder, depending on the way they’re used. I see a lot of people trying to use presets for absolutely everything, but they’d get a better result if they learned to use the sliders. Presets also tend to come and go with fashion, making photos look really dated, whereas good photo editing is timeless. On the other hand, presets can be a great way of getting some inspiration when you’re stuck, or learning which sliders to combine to get a particular kind of look, or just ensuring consistency over a set of images. Adobe’s subscription plan has proven popular as it makes a lot of their software more immediately affordable, but does this give opportunity for different companies like Capture One or even Apple’s Photos opportunity to break into the market in a bigger way? The Photography Plan is a fantastic deal, because it means everyone can have access to industry-standard tools at a very low cost. There has been a sudden influx of new editing tools, and some of them show great promise. That’s really exciting. There hasn’t been a lot of choice for users over the last few years, and competition is a really good thing, as it pushes these companies to continue to grow and innovate.
You’ve got a bunch of great books on Lightroom, even a free one, tell us about your books, how long does it take you to put one together and are you asked by publishers or even Adobe to write them or are they your own product? How long it takes depends on the size of the book, but I like to spend the time to think it through properly. A free eBook might take 3-4 weeks to perfect, but on the other end of the scale, I spent 2 years completely rewriting my main LRCC/6 book. I’ve been offered book deals by big publishers, but I’ve turned them down. I want to be able to write the books that readers want to read, not the books that the publishers want to publish. Self-publishing gives me control over the whole process, so I’m not limited by page or word counts, or someone else’s vision of how the book should look, but instead, I can take feedback directly from my readers. They’ve given me some great suggestions over the years, and I’m constantly tweaking and improving the books based on their comments.
Finally if someone wants to learn about Lightroom where should they start? I mean do they get your free download book and go from there? Yes, my free Lightroom Quick Start eBook: www.lightroomqueen.com/quickstart
would be a great place to start. It’s designed, not only to guide new users through the basics, but also helps them avoid the most frequent problems I see, such as thinking their photos are “in” Lightroom and then deleting the originals. Many readers then move onto the Fast Track that weaves its way through my main Missing FAQ book, taking their learning one stage further, and then they can dip in and out of the rest of book when a particular topic takes their interest. Adobe also has some excellent Getting Started videos: helpx.adobe.com/support/Lightroom.html , which are an ideal companion to my Quick Start book.
Left: Original image Left Bottom: Straight black and white Right Bottom: Brushed black and white
www.lightroomqueen.com www.facebook.com/lightroomqueen 169
podc No matter what you’re sort of photography you’re into, there’s a podcast for you. From podcasts dealing with gear and news like Petapixel, to the brilliant Candid Frame where host Ibarionex Perello interviews photographers and digs into their stories. Scott Bourne (one of our interviewees) is a long time podcast host as is Chris Marquardt with Tips from the Top Floor. The great thing about podcasts is you can listen anytime. For me it’s driving to work. My journey each day is around 50 minutes so plenty of time to listen to 1 or 2 per day... sometimes more. Friends they tell me they listen whilst visiting the gym, going for a walk, or riding the bus. I plug my iPhone into the USB plug (or via Bluetooth) and select a podcast and while driving, I’m either catching up with the latest in the world of photography, listening to someone tell their story or hear about tips and techniques. Over the next few pages are some of our favourites ...
The Digital Story Hosted by Derek Story, this is a very community focused podcast with Derek talking through news in the world of photography, tech topics, tips and tools and often including regular blog posts on the show. The Digital Story is informative and fun, and Derek has one of those warm deep voices that you like listening too - like Ibarionex. www.thedigitalstory.com
Tips From The Top Floor Or as Chris Marquardt often shortens the title to TFTTF, is a podcast that’s been around longer then any other. TFTTF is a weekly show as Chris describes it “... about all things photography since 2005. Reaches a global audience and features a strong community...” Listening to the show is like listening to a friend talk about photography. Chris answers listener questions, chats about the occasional new gear release and gets into detail on how things work, doing so in such a way that the listener finds fascinating. Educational, fun and often inspirational. TFTTF also has a great community using Slack. www.tipsfromthetopfloor.com
The Candid Frame
It’s a mix of gear, news and specific genres on the Improve Photography podcast feed, topics include travel, portraits, post processing and photo news. The on air talent are friendly and knowledgeable and well worth a listen!
Host Ibarionex interviews photographers from around the planet and from very different genres about how they got into photography and who they are, who or what they shoot and gets into the “whys” not about the gear, but about the passion of photography. Listening to The Candid Frame is like listening into a conversation between friends who love photography. Great voice to listen to also, I could listen to Ibarionex read a bunch of audio books!
PPN: Photo Podcast Network
Hosted by Scott Bourne with cohost Marco Larousse, this is Scott’s new portal for all their photography podcasts. The network is for people who love photography and as the site says, is not affiliated with any camera manufacturer. Scott has an informed approach to any podcast and is one smart guy who doesn’t take in all the PR “BS” and tells it like it is. Marco too is up front on any issues from camera brands. The show is a mix of news and tips and opinions on all things photography. A great chemistry exists between these two guys and you need to add this to your podcast feed!
Hosted by Australian pro photographer, Andrew Hellmich this is one for the photographer wanting to grow their photography business. Andrew interviews other photographers who are full time and some part time but all working as photographers as part of their job. Sometimes Andrew will interview marketing experts, design experts and social media pros... all with the view of helping the amateur and pro who want to turn their passion into the career. Andrew’s also a fun guy to go street shooting with we had a fun competition one time in Sydney... but that’s a story for another issue.
Other’s we love include TWIP - This Week in Photo which is hiatus at the moment so I’ve not mentioned it in the main list. Hosted by Fredrick Van Johnston, the TWIP show was probably one of the most listened to shows on air. Originally it featured Scott Bourne, Alex Lindsay, Ron Brinkman and the always smiling Steve Simon. To me those were the golden years of TWIP - fun and informative, but to his credit, Fredrick Van Johnson has taken over the network and had moulded TWIP into his show. What happens next while the show is being re-tooled ..? Well, we’ll wait and see. Also check out Martin Bailey’s podcast, Lensworks, Photofocus, Petapixel and highly recommended as is LensWork and The Grid by Scott Kelby. This is only a short list - there’s dozens, maybe hundreds more to keep you entertained and educated every week, so go exploring on your podcast app whichever that may be, and feed your photography passion.
Corey Hayes Around a year ago I came across Corey Hayes’ photos through a project he did called, “Alter Ego.” That project got quite a bit of media as it showed a bunch of regular people who love dressing up in cosplay. It was almost like finding our your neighbour was a super hero... looking deeper into Corey’s photography you find out he’s passionate about photographing people. Whether it’s actors, musicians... it’s all about people. Corey’s based in New York City and has had his work appear in The New York Times, Vogue UK, GQ and many other magazines and has published a book, Nightshift NYC with Russell Leigh Sharman and Cheryl Harris Sharman. Corey welcome to the first edition of Photo Live...
I’d love to know what it’s like to be a working photographer in New York City, sitting thousands of miles away in Australia, we have this preconceived conception of New York being a thriving, gritty in places city, with people everywhere and always something happening. That is usually people’s perception of it, and there’s quite a bit of truth to it. For me New York has always been a very neighborhood scene.
I live on the Upper West Side and for the most part stay pretty close. I know my laundry person, the people at my local teashop, and recognize folks at all of my usual haunts, so for me it is not unlike some of what I experienced growing up in a small town. Being a working photographer is tough! I think I can best sum it up with a story. The first time I dropped off my portfolio was at Blue Note Records. When the person at the front desk took it she placed it in a pile of other portfolios and one in particular I recognized as one of my favorite photographers. I immediately realized that I needed to constantly be working on improving my work as the people I was competing with were some of the best photographers in the world.
Tell us about your photography, what sort of work are you doing most often? After spending about 5 years in NYC assisting other photographers and another 8 doing work as a freelance photographer, this past year I’ve made a big shift in my work and have started working with a non-profit called New York City relief that helps the homeless here in NYC. Most of my day to day work these days is photographing the poor and home-
less folks we serve, and trying to help them recapture some dignity in their lives.
What about personal work - do you have much time for projects? I do still take on clients from time to time, and try to make time for personal work as well. I find that now that I’m trying to make these two areas converge. I’m a bit more discerning when it comes to which jobs I take. After working with the homeless for the past year, it’s hard to go back to a place of wanting to see a lot of fancy hair and makeup in my images. Right now I want to see more of the beauty that resides in each person without anything added. Photographing people right when they walk into the studio, that is what I’m exploring right now.
You do quite a lot of actors headshots, what’s your process? I mean what do try to capture on a shoot? Wow, these are really good questions! My process always begins with a meeting. I always try to grab coffee with the actor I’m planning to shoot beforehand. If I do anything right in my work it starts with getting to know someone first before put-
ting a camera in between us. Then I ask a few key questions like; “What characters appeal to you?”, “Who are you usually cast as?”, and “If you could have any actor’s career, who’s would it be?”. This helps me to figure out what they want an image of them to portray. I don’t believe in a generic headshot. If you are an actor, I think that your headshot should aim directly towards the roles you want to play. When I did Dane DeHaan’s first head shots out of acting school, I was really impressed that he had such a clear grasp on what made his image and how that affected the roles he wanted to be cast for. The photography is the photography, but the forethought of “What do I bring to this craft?” can really help create a headshot that defines you.
What about your musician photography, do you approach it differently to something like the actors? Yes! End of the day, all musicians want is a photo to make them look cool. I don’t mean that in a bad way or conceited way. Actors want something specific, and usually want it to play into their image. Musicians are usually much more open to something artistic, and creative, as long as it fits with where they are creatively. With musicians, I want to listen to their latest songs and that alone is usually enough to give me a starting point. I can start thinking about visuals after listening to and reading the lyrics. They are also
usually a bit more interested in collaboration which usually elevates the places that the photos can go. Sometimes not. But I’ve been pretty lucky to work with some really creative people.
Your Chrysta Bell photos are stunning, they seem to really capture her personality, as many of your photos do, how do you bring that out? Thank you! Chrysta was still living in Austin and I had just moved to NYC when that shoot came together. Capturing someone’s personality depends on two parts for me. The first is creating a safe space for someone to be themselves. The second is what is that person willing to bring to the shoot? I believe that I’m pretty good and creating a space where people can not be judged and have a sense of freedom to be part of a creative process, but part two I don’t have much control over. It reminds me of how people feel when they look in a mirror. We all see a reflection that is distorted through how we feel about ourselves, but some people are comfortable with that view, and others just are not.
The Jenny Owen Youngs photos are very film like, beautiful grain, what’s the story behind them? Jenny and I became friends through other musicians I had photographed. We had talked about collaborating
and though a few conversations we had talked about how she is a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. She is also an introspective, funny, multi-layered person and not that comfortable being photographed. We went a diner in New Jersey that Jenny loved and shot for about and hour and a half. I feel like those photos are actually more fitting now than when we shot them a few years ago because Jenny and her partner recently started a Buffy podcast that you can find here: https://bufferingthevampireslayer.com/
You’ve got lots of beautiful black and white, talk about that and perhaps share how you create a black and white. Black and white photography in some ways has been a return to where I started in photography when I worked in the darkroom. I don’t want to bore people with the HOW of making a black and white, especially because I’m not a tech head when it comes to photography. What interests me to constantly try to get rid of the the non-essentials in my images. I’m pretty much a minimalist in both my work and my life, so I like seeing how much of the non-essential information I can get rid of. This is why I’m so drawn to black and white. It’s making a portrait of the bare essentials of that person. Currently I’m especially drawn to find beauty in the rawness or unrefined parts of people.
Ok, what about something funny that’s happened during a shoot, care to share something with our readers? There have been lot’s of funny moments and maybe even more when I was assisting other photographers in NYC. I think one that was both funny and interesting is while I was photographing cosplayers for my “Alter-Ego” project. One of the cosplayers named Ruby Rinekso brought his Man-Bat costume which took him a solid hour to fully put on. Ruby is usually a really sweet, funny, rock-and-roll kind of guy, but once the costume was on, his persona completely changed. My photo assistant Claire was so creeped out by it that she was really shook up for the rest of the day. I found that to be one of the most interesting parts of the entire cosplay project; seeing people’s personalities change once they became the character they were cosplaying.
Let’s say a fairly new photographer you meet asks for a few tips on portrait photos - what 4 or 5 tips would you give them? 1. Shoot what you love. If you love something, then it matters to you. If it matters to you, it will never be boring and you’ll always want to return to it and discover more about it. One of the most impactful things I’ve ever done is to revisit a subject over and over. 2. Photography is something you get good at fairly quickly, and then takes a really long time to master. (I’m nowhere close to mastering it!!)
4. Find your style. This is really tough, but it comes through finding out about yourself. There’s a million photographers out there, but none have your accumulated experience or point of view. Once you find your point of view, and what you want to say, there will only be one photographer that shoots like you. 5. Respect your subject. Anything I get that is personal from my subjects begins with respecting them first. This takes time and there are no shortcuts. I don’t believe that any subject/person is just for you to get your needs met.
What gear do you take on your on location shots or on-the-street musician photography I’ve admitted I’m no gear-head when it comes to photography, so I travel light. I’ve been much more interested in shooting with natural light over the past 3 years which makes it even easier to travel unencumbered. My camera is a Canon 5D mark III, and 24-75mm lens and a fixed 85mm. I love fixed lenses! They make me move more to get the framing I want. Aside from that, usually a reflector, or scrim, some blotting papers and chewing gum. (The gum is only for me! I don’t let people chew gum when they are being photographed!)
Finally Corey, where can readers go to see more of your photography?? My website of course, and there is a photoblog there that I post to pretty frequently. (www.coreyhayesphoto.com) Instagram: @coreyhayesphotos
3. Know when to pick up the camera and when to put it down. It is too easy to live vicariously through photographing something, and not actually being part of it. 179
i s s a l c fi l m
E M A C Itâ€™s a cold winters day here in Australia and so what better thing to do then head into your favourite camera store and talk to the pros about some old classic film cameras. We met Tom Taylor from Camera House on Grenfell Street in Adelaide and got to play with these beauties.
First up is the Pentax K1000, we asked Tom all about it...
with the exception of a button cell battery for the built in light meter.
The Pentax K1000 model was Made by the Asahi Optical co in Japan. A 35mm full manual controlled slr body, Completely mechanical not reliant on batteries to run any part of the camera
Utilizing the K-mount pentax fit lens bayonet , Pentax manufactured some of the best lenses to support their cameras. Made from 1976-1997 It was
almost bullet proof and most Schools were supplied this model not only for there build quality but also a very easy camera to operate. This camera when new would have sold for about a third of the price of the Nikon equivalent and yet equally as good.
S A R E
"A great deal of Leica M3 bodies used to cover t h Next up we saw this old Zeiss sitting on the shelf, Tom what can you tell us about it?
manufactured, Zeiss Tessar 80mm 2.8 LENS IN A Compur rapid shutter.
This is the Zeiss super Ikonta 533/16 - this one being the early model made in 1937-52 Manufactured in the Zeiss factory in Germany .
Considering the age of this camera it would still produce outstanding image quality and highly valued by camera collectors. One of the best built and compact medium made.
Uncoupled exposure meter, 12 exposures 6cmx6cm on 120 roll film, This is a most awesome compact medium format camera with the sharpest lens on the planet,
Then I saw that classic red dot calling me.. the Leica M6, ok Tom talk to us about the Leica cameras here...
Over engineered being German
The Leica M6 is now a classic
35mm rangefinder camera that comes from a long line of M series bodies which started from 1954 onwards and now M8 M9 Didital bodies. Made in the Ernst Leitz wetzlar factory in the early days. M6 accepts all m mount Leica bayonet lenses and leica screw mount with adaptor, These are the best optic available for 35mm cameras. This one is a chrome body and at $1750.00 great value. These seems to go up in value each year and are really popu;ar with press/ photo journalist and street photographers ,One word sums it all up. Amazing optical performanc e of their lenses, Compact beautifully manufactured equipment and cost a fortune when new. A new M9 or 240 body now $9500.00 aud. Pus A standard Summilux or summicrom lens another $2500/3500 Australian. A great deal of Leica M3 bodies used to cover the Vietnam war and other uprising around the world. Some of the top press photographers are still pounding their old leica gear and still winning top press photo awards. French master and pioneer of street photography Henri Cartier-Bresson used a Leica M3 for most of his photography, One of many famous artist who chose the Leica system.
he Vietnam war and ot her uprising around t he world.
Now The Vintage Leica 111F with collapsible Elmar 5cm f3.5 Lens, Again same factory in Germany 1950-56 This model accepts the Leica screw mount lenses not the M bayonet type, Very useable but the most desirable models to camera collectors and historians. Some of the early models can easily sell for massive figures at auction. In 2012 in Vienna Austria a Leica O series prototype one of only 6 made in 1923 was auctioned and sold for a world record of $2.79 Million dollars US. So please check your Grandparents house and sheds, Who knows what may turn up.
All the 35mm leica cameras are popular for a great number of reasons, German engineering, precise optics and compact easy to use models that travel well and super reliable, The bonus is like the old vintage car they get more valuable with age if looked after. Most shooter will use black and white film but colour can be used. Rolls Royce of the camera business, Not unlike classic BMW Mercedse benz and Audi etc We hung around for a while longer, talking about old cameras, I took a liking to a few range finders and played around with them. Out-
side it began to rain and I thought about those iconic street shooters wandering Paris or New York with their rangefinders in hand. Capturing life on the streets no matter what the weather. Eventually we had to leave and get back to the real world of work, digital everything and a life where the web is the centre of your day. I can only imagine the peace of wandering those streets without needing or wanting to check Facebook or email. Where there were no smart phones that interrupted the simple joy of being alive and taking photos.
One thing photographers have in common is the desire to progress as artists. For some it might be technical skills, others the creative, more artistic side. And for many of us, it is both sides that we want to grow in. Fortunately some photographers that are further along that pathway are more then happy to share and teach others. Jim Harmer is one of those photographers. He’s got an amazing eye, brilliant technical skills and loves sharing his knowledge. You may have heard of Jim through his online site, Improve Photography or from his podcast or social media. We got together with Jim and asked how it all began... Thanks Jim for talking to us, tell us how a law student decides instead to be a photographer, educator and podcaster..? During law school I taught adult-ed classes at night for retirees. I started the blog as a way to communicate with my little class so I wouldn’t have to repeat the teaching of the basics of photography each time I
got a new class. Pretty soon, hundreds and then thousands of people were visiting ImprovePhotography. com, so I started writing more resources for the world. The site took off from there and now gets a million people a month visiting the site.
Why do you think you’ve managed to be so successful, what I mean is you have a massive following online that is a full time business if I’m right? I think what helped me grow in the early stages were that the photography blogging arena was much less competitive back then. There really weren’t that many photography blogs, so it helped me to get started. Also, I began locally. I was teaching classes and workshops in my own city, so people got to know me per-
sonally and it generated much more interest in my website. It made people comment and share my articles, which made the site look more impressive than it really was back then. You’ve got an amazing portfolio and somehow you have carried over a look or style across all genres, tell us about that. I feel like the look of my photos is constantly changing as I improve and learn knew things. I wouldn’t necessarily even say that it’s super consistent. I try to keep things fresh and not get stuck too much in a rut. What’s your favourite genre to shoot, if you have one of course? Landscape
You’re also a teacher, can you tell us about that journey. Once my blog started getting massive amounts of traffic, I started selling online photography classes. This was before Youtube was huge, so they sold really well at the time. I’ve evolved as things have changed, and now I do most of my photography teaching on ImprovePhotographyPlus.com, which is a subscription site where photographers can get hundreds of hours of photography instruction, Lightroom presets, and tons more for $19/month. What are you offering photography students on your Improve Photography site? Improve Photography publishes free tutorials every single day, has an active youtube channel, releases a podcast twice a week, and maintains a very popular subscription site called ImprovePhotographyPlus. com, where people can subscribe to get video training on all different types of photography. We also offer those same videos as one-off purchases on the Improve Photography store. On to podcasting and content creation, when did that all start? I started back in 2009 and the site has grown incredibly since then. We now have a team of 15 writers who create content each day, and awesome podcasters who produce our show. Tell us about the latest changes in the Improve Photography Podcast network. What I mean is I’ve noticed a few podcast networks (for want of
We’ve decided to streamline our podcasting. Before, we were producing multiple different shows and it became unwieldy to produce that many podcasts each week, and the marketing became jumbled to tell a new user to subscribe to 5 different shows. Now, we’re moving everything to one podcast--the Improve Photography Podcast. Each Monday, users get a new episode of a different genre-specific podcast like Photo Taco, Tripod (landscape photography), Portrait Session, and Latitude (Travel Photography). Then each Friday the listeners get our popular roundtable show where we have the hosts of all the podcasts come on and talk photography. My goal is to create the best quality photography podcast with excellent prep. Something information packed and well-produced. Creating the most number of shows was the wrong goal. Ok - I have to ask, social media, what’s working, what’s not, what’s frustrating you and why? Over the years I’ve amassed a gigantic social media following. I’m really grateful for that, and there was a
time that it was the single thing that helped the site to grow. We now have a million followers on social media, and 650,000 of them are on Facebook. Yet, Facebook only generates less than 2% of the traffic to ImprovePhotography.com now. Facebook has taken a stubbornly anti-small business attitude over the last few years. They publicly stated their goal is to only show posts to 1% of the people you get to like your Facebook page. It now costs me over $3,000 just to boost my Facebook posts so that HALF of the audience I built gets to see the post. Think about how insane that is! Facebook essentially says “Send traffic from your site over to Facebook. Get them to like your page. If you do, we’ll let you pay us $3,000 to let half of them see your post. Otherwise, only 1% of them will see it.” No thanks. I’m done playing their game. My efforts going forward are on Youtube and making my own site the best it can be. I’d rather just encourage people to come right to the site, where they can follow everything we do.
So the best place for readers and fans is the Improve Photography site? Absolutely. We are pouring a crazy amount of resources into making the Improve Photography site the very best it can be. With a large team of writers producing excellent content each day, tons of great videos, podcasts, and more... it’s the place to go. Fun question, what would be a dream destination to visit and shoot and what would you take with you? Right at the top of my list right now is Tasmania. It’s almost never talked about in photography circles, but I’ve spent the last two years working on a new app called Really Good Photo Spots. It’s an app with THOUSANDS of awesome photography locations around the world, that you can easily search and find. It’s perfect when traveling that you can just press the “Spots near me” button and BOOM! Your trip research is done for you. Anyway, while researching locations for the app, I was blown away with the spots in Tasmania. It’s an incredible place, and one that I never hear photographers talking about.
www.ImprovePhotography.com www.photographyidaho.com 193
chris niccolls Chris you’re the host of The Camera Store TV, how did that start out Jordan and I decided to do a store tour really only in an effort to have some sort of audio visual appeal on our website. He had just recently started at TCS and had a background in film making. I taught photography regularly and so was capable of public speaking in front of crowds. So we figured we would give it a try and see what happened. It was not our best production to say the least but there was something there and we worked well together. The rest is history.
Do you think the traditional photography store business model needs to change? What I mean is we’ve seen major retailers in the past close, how do you see the future for your type of store? It’s has changed drastically. If you think of it in terms of a pyramid,
the base and largest group of people were the casual memory makers wanting point and shoots and simple cameras. In the middle you had a smaller group of enthusiasts who took photography in a more serious way buying SLRs and advanced lenses. At the top of course the smallest group are the working professionals. Cell phones largely took away that whole bottom layer and thus a big part of the photo industries business. So the key for us during this downturn is to diversify into drones, and video equipment, sound gear, and even telescopes. Further it is because of our website and across canada sales which is in no small part supported by the YouTube brand we’ve created. Hopefully in the future we can branch out into more international sales and continue to improve our web presence.
On the Youtube channel, you’ve probably tested and played with as many different cameras as
The camera store TV host anyone on air, any cameras stand out for you with the type of photography you like? You bring up a unique problem for sure. At the outset it sounds amazing getting to use the latest photo gear all the time as it arrives. We also do get early access to a lot of new products which is as awesome as it sounds. However it also creates an issue for me as a photographer. Iâ€™m always having to start from square one learning the ins and outs of a new camera. I donâ€™t get to really achieve that level of comfort using a camera for a long time. That intuitive level of proficiency that really makes photography flow. Not complaining though! I do get to play with all the latest gear all the time.
Speaking of your photography what is it you love shooting? For me i started out shooting black and white film on the street.
I love photographing people, the randomness of life, and beautiful light as I find it. I will say though that doing the show has pleasantly forced me into many other fields of photography. For the show i now have to do landscapes, people, architecture, and even a little food once in awhile. It’s helped me grow quite abit.
Tell us what would be the perfect day for you (taking photos) My perfect day taking photos would actually be to put the camera in a bag and go fly fishing or shooting firearms instead. Maybe a nice canoe ride or hike. But if i still take the camera with me that counts right!? I am thankful that the show keeps.me shooting on a regularly basis so that I can pursue other things I want in my freetime.
Back to Youtube and podcasts in general, where do you see this media in say 5 years? That’s tough one to predict. We will obviously always want media at our fingertips from now on. The age of scheduled programming is over and we want it how we want it, when we want it. On demand. My oldest son is twelve and YouTube is such a big part of there age group now. They will grow up to be the producers of content in the future and from what I can tell now, it’s gonna be a video game world.
Some of our favourite shows are yours and also was, Digital Rev that seems to have gone into hiatus since Kai, Lok and Alamby moved on, do you have any thoughts on that? Can they or will they bounce back? That was a big change for sure and I’m surprised they didn’t try to at least keep the engine going more fervently. I’m happy for kai and lok though. They seem way more creative and way happier too now. In the end the show is really it’s people and not it’s brand so I’m happy to see followers joining the ex digital rev crew in their future endeavours.
For readers who’d like to perhaps get into creating a channel or even a podcast what do you and Jordan and the team do to prepare for an episode? Say goodbye to our families and disappear for hours and hours until the children barely recognize us. Im joking, but only slightly. It’s lots of hours and lots of work and Jordan and I easily spend more time together than with anyone else. Kinda scary... for him mostly. Anyone getting started on a channel should be passionate about it and give themselves over to it.
A fun couple of questions, when you and Jordan have a few drinks to do your gear show, who drinks the most and what’s the choice of
beverage? Weve done quite a few now and it varies from pitcher sized old fashions, to straight whisky, to craft beer. He always drinks more because he loses all the drinking challenges. We need to find something he can beat me at to level the playing field. I’m also thinking tequila... Let’s say you can choose one camera and one lens to go on a holiday, what would you take? Let’s say a warmer climate like Asia in spring.. For me personally I use Panasonic and own a GH5. For me it’s the ideal combo of stills and video. Jordan also has one and loves it for that very same reason. It has to be appreciated that the lenses and tripods required are also smaller for micro 4/3rds and this all helps to make them ideal travel cameras.
What bag would you choose for that trip? I’m digging the Manfrotto bags lately. I like their green street series bit overall they are stylish enough and affordable. We’re looking into the peak design gear as well and if I had unlimited finds I’d probably own a few ona bags by now.
What’s your favourite photo you have taken so far?
Oh man. Probably a picture of a young elephant trainer in Thailand with his elephant. It’s black and white and you can find it on my Instagram feed @tcstvchris he had such a genuine expression and I enjoyed the scale and framing the elephant created around him. It’s funny but for me photos are like fish. After I’ve “caught” one I let it go and move on. Maybe I should spend some time looking back a little.
And finally where can readers go to find out more about you and the TCSTV? Definitely please visit the above Instagram channel and keep watching the show in youtube. Jordan and I feel the thing that makes our show unique is how much of our actual sincere personality is in there. No act is put on although we do swear more IRL. Also our live show is now nearly.every saturday mirning at 930mst so we cant even edit our personalities on that one. Watching the show is the best way to get to know us. We also love taking to people on Twitter and Instagram so check out the feeds.
Twitter @tcstvchris @tcstvjordan Instagram @tcstvchris @thecamerastoretv
a film by Cheryl Dunn
Everybody Street is the sort of documentary that we really need more of. It’s an in-depth look at some of the world’s best street photographers who use New York City as their canvas. The film covers 9 decades of street photography and pays tribute to the “spirit of street photography through a cinematic exploration of New York City.” There’s a flow to the film, the pacing is tight so you never get bored or drift off. Featuring
iconic photographers including Bruce Davidson, Mary Ellen Mark, Boogie, Bruce Gilden and many more, it’s a film that shows you different approaches to the street photography genre by very different photographers. From Boogies’ (Vladimir Milivojevich) attraction to the darker side of people he’s captured gang members aiming guns at him, people shooting up and the danger of the street at night. Everybody Street also features the “in-your-face” brilliance of
photographer, Bruce Gilden who captures characters he comes across as he wanders through the city. His style is unique and not often copied, you have to see him in action to understand what I mean. With a sense of humour, Gilden documents the unique among the city’s inhabitants. Then you’ve got the prolific Mary Ellen Mark (19402015) who travelled the planet extensively, documenting subjects such as Mother Teresa, brothels in Bombay, homelessness, the
“A picture is a picture. What’s it matter what tool you use?” - Jill Freedman
demonstrations in opposition to the Vietnam War and transvestite culture to touch the surface of her accomplishments. Also included are Jill Freedman, Rebecca Lepkoff, Jeff Mermelstein, Joel Myerowitz, Martha Cooper, Jame Shabazz, Clayton Patterson, Ricky Powell, Max Kozloff, Luc Sante and Elliot Erwitt. It’s a must see film, not just for those who are interested in street photography, but photography
across all genres. Hearing how these amazing artists approach their photography is an education no matter what you’re into shooting. It’s available on a number of sites including: Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/ everybodystreet/70639661 iTunes : https://itunes.apple.com/au/movie/ everybody-street/id997499593 Buy online: http://www.everybodystreet.bigcartel.com/
Don’t rent BUY this movie! You’ll want to watch this more than once.
INTERVIEW WITH CHERYL DUNN Interview with Cheryl Dunn, Film Maker, Photographer and the director and producer, editor of Everybody Street. Cheryl Dunn is a brilliant film maker. We reviewed her “must see” film, Everybody Street in this issue simply because it’s a great movie about street photography, and also because I’m not sure it’s as well known in the community as it should be. I reached out to Cheryl and asked if she had a few minutes to talk about the movie and what might come next...
time for that short was just 3 months. Some of the people I approached had timing issues but I would say I got most of the photographers I reached out to . Joel Meyerowitz was a family friend of one of my producers and he was my first interview .
I knew Bruce Davidson’s gallerist and went through those channels.. they were both so lovely but you have to remember if you are approaching someone, and asking them to give you their time you shout think about a few things: why should they care, what can i Thanks for talking to us Cheryl, ask them that they haven’t been first up what inspired you to make asked numerous times before . Everybody Street? so i really did my research and because i am a shooter myself, i I was asked by a museum in focused on more insider questions lower manhattan to come up with or the psychology of street a film idea that could play within shooting... I also shot 16mm of all an Alfred Steiglitz exhibition . the photographers. Many of them i wanted to make a film about have made films themselves and photographers who had followed I think they appreciated that.. I in his foot steps and gone out and asked Bruce to go into the subway created substantial bodies of work with me , and he watched me labor about the streets of NYC. after over loading a 100 foot load in showing the short at the museum my beaulieu 16mm camera. He and then being invited to show it at gave me more of his time maybe the Tate modern i went back into because he acknowledged my the project to expand it to feature efforts and was he cool with me .. length because there was so much when I went back into shooting for more to say . the feature I was able to get more people because I had the short How difficult was it to to show and timing was better for book interviews with the some. photographers? Who was the most interesting As I said The film was initially a person to interview? Our guess commission from a museum to would be Bruce Gilden, but we make a short My total production could be wrong..? 200
They are all so different and extreme . some of these photographers have been doing this for over 60 years . I would never really say anyone was more interesting but I did have a funny street experience with bruce gilden. When we were Shooting Bruce Gilden in mid town manhattan he said he never goes on 47th st.. which is the diamond district. Most people milling around the streets here are either carrying, diamonds, guns, or cash , . we stepped on the street and he took one picture of a girl looking at herself in a shop mirror . the flash went off and she immediately turned around and tried to hit him . he blocked her punch and all of a sudden 3 big dudes appeared out of nowhere holding bottles and cans ready to jump him .. That was pretty memorable . he got very wound up afterward, and went on about what he would have done to those people if this were back in the day when he was more wild. Will you do a follow up film or something else with photography as the subject? Possibly . maybe more like a series. Finally if people want to buy or rent Everybody Street, where should they go? They should go to my site http:// everybodystreet.com/ To buy a dvd or watch on vimeo . And you can also see it on Netflix and other streaming services
The photography magazine for photographers. This is the first issue of Photo Live published in July 2017. Featuring interviews with Scott Bo...
Published on Jul 28, 2017
The photography magazine for photographers. This is the first issue of Photo Live published in July 2017. Featuring interviews with Scott Bo...