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Rising Stars of Wedding Photography

The Official Magazine of PHOTO © DYLAN & SARA

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100 Million Is Only the Beginning. After 75 years of passion, dedication and innovation, Canon is proud to celebrate the creation of the 100 millionth EF lens*. From our humble beginnings many decades ago, it has always been our goal to provide you with the tools you need to capture still and moving images worthy of your creativity and imagination. And even after all these years, we are still honored and inspired every time we see what you capture and create with our lenses. Thank you, and here’s to another 75 years of your incredible images.

* Refers to EF Lenses, EF-S Lenses and Cinema Lenses produced worldwide from 1987 to First Half of 2014. Š2014 Canon U.S.A., Inc. All rights reserved. Canon, EOS and EF Lens are registered trademarks of Canon Inc. in the United States.

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contents NOVEMBER 2014 VOL. 63 / N°11

[ 57 ] 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography The honorees of our annual competition finally revealed. By RF Staff

Features 42 P hotographer 

You Should Know

Patrick James Miller’s environmental and celebrity portraits. By Libby Peterson

 Little Gifting... 92 A

10 photo gift ideas to surprise clients with this holiday season. By Theano Nikitas

98 T ake Your Best Shot 

Contest Winners’ Gallery

Photo © Taylor Lord, one of this year’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography





THAT SHOT Matthew Jordan Smith uses the Profoto Magnum Reflector to Light the Future Presidents of America.



LOOK AT THE DIRECTION OF THE LIGHT FROM YOUR SUBJECT'S PERSPECTIVE. I often see photographers try to set up the light from the camera's point-of-view, but you need to view (and read) the light from the same direction your subject is in.


Photo © Matthew Jordan Smith

3 4 LAST OCTOBER, I FINISHED photographing children from 100 families in every state in America for my "Future American President" project. The Kickstarter-funded book, Future Presidents, will be available this November. The concept for this book was brought about from a desire to inspire my stepson, Jayden. It is my dream that this book will empower children all over America—and throughout the world—to believe they have the ability to do anything, and become anyone they desire. Before I started shooting this project, I thought long and hard about how I wanted everything to look visually. The images were taken in different conditions, and keeping a consistent look was important. Profoto is a trusted

brand used by the best photographers, and I decided to use the Profoto Magnum reflector on each shoot; I knew no matter how intense the sun was, I could overpower it using the Magnum. I always shot one stop over the sunlight reading to give me rich colors and help my subjects stand out from the environment. In this image, my subject, Hazelynne, was shy as first, but once I started talking to her and boosting her confidence, she started to shine. I loved creating this image because of the impact it had on this little girl's life. She was dealing with being bullied at school, but after the photo shoot, her mother contacted me and told me that her daughter was inspired and discovered what she wants to do in life. She is very excited for the book to come out, and I am excited for the world to hear her voice.

ALWAYS DO SEVERAL LIGHT METER READINGS. Don't become lazy and stay behind the camera.

METER YOUR DAYLIGHT BEFORE USING A STROBE LIGHT. Remember, meters don't think, they only react.

EXPERIMENT WITH DIFFERENT LIGHT-SHAPING TOOLS. When I want to show texture when shooting fashion, I use the Magnum Reflector because it gives a harder light than say, a soft box. It gives a crisp look and feel to the images as well.





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contents NOVEMBER 2014 VOL. 63 / N°11

Columns 30

Light Reading On taming Photoshop. By Jim Cornfield

36 From the Cubicle

The promise of new talent. By Jason Groupp

40 After the Capture 50

Fully Lit Practical lighting in fashion. By Jessica Gordon


Digital Guru Cutting the cords of photo gear. By John Rettie


First Exposure Still and video software updates. By Stan Sholik


 SLR Video D Reviewing the Zacuto Enforcer. By Ibarionex Perello


Compositing seamlessly. By Damian Battinelli


120 Photo Finish


 From the Editor By Jacqueline Tobin

12 From the WPPI Director By Jason Groupp

14 Editor’s Pick: Thierry Joubert By Jacqueline Tobin

18 Focus

By Libby Peterson



Ad Index




DECEMBER IN PRINT: From multiple-day wedding coverage to long exposures, see what’s trending in techniques, marketing and client requests. Plus: Our favorite images of the year!




Ken Shung’s blues legends. By David J. Carol


ONLINE NOW: Check out the latest parabolics, rolling gear cases and more in our weekly Tech report. Plus: All the latest Weddings of the Week!

To request more information see page 119

You find your footing on unstable ground. Peer into a stream of molten lava. Brace for shifting wind. Adjust for composition. And ignore your melting boots. Just to get one shot.

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from the editor


hroughout the year, I receive tons of emails, phone calls and even texts from people inquiring about our 30 Rising Stars competition. Questions like, “How can I submit work?” (you have to be nominated by someone in the industry), “Do I have to be under a certain age?” (no), and, “What if I was shooting in an entirely different genre for ten years but switched over to wedding photography two years ago?” (that’s okay; the only requirement is that you have to have been running a wedding photography business for five years or less). Of course, choosing just 30 honorees proves incredibly difficult year after year because the competition is incredibly stiff. For me, the best part of this process is finding out the tastes and preferences of our esteemed nominators—editors, photographers, wedding planners, consultants, vendors and our very own RF staff; without their nominations there’d be no competition. It takes an industry, and in the end we are thrilled to have discovered another incredibly hardworking, innovative and talented group of individuals. Congratulations to all the winners. Let the gallery-viewing begin (section starts on page 57)!

The Magazine for Wedding and Portrait Photographers

Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline Tobin Senior Editor Jessica Gordon Associate Editor Libby Peterson Rangefinder Magazine 85 Broad Street, 11th Floor New York, NY 10004

Group Production Director Daniel Ryan Production Manager Gennie Kiuchi Contributing Writers Damian Battinelli, David J. Carol, Jim Cornfield, Jason Chief Executive Officer and President David Loechner Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Phil Evans

Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary David Gosling Executive Vice President, Business Development Darrell Denny Senior Vice President,


Photographer: Sara of Dylan & Sara Camera: Canon 5D Mark III Lens: Canon 24mm 1.4 L Exposure: f/2.5 and 1/8000th of a second ISO: 160 Location: McCall, Idaho Comments: “I went into the day wanting to approach the first look differently,” says Sara. “When I saw the T-shaped dock, I instantly envisioned this shot. I had been forcing myself to shoot 24mm more, and it really paid off.”



Contributing Editor John Rettie Creative Director Adana Jiménez

Bill Charles

On the

Senior Technology Editor Greg Scoblete

(646) 668-3700

Chief Information Officer



Operations Lori Jenks Senior Vice President, Digital Teresa Reilly Vice President, Marketing Services Joanne Wheatley Vice President, Human Resources Eileen Deady Vice President, Corporate Operations Denise Basham Rangefinder is a trademark owned exclusively by Emerald Expositions, LLC Copyright © 2014 Emerald Expositions, LLC all rights reserved

Groupp, Theano Nikitas, Ibarionex Perello, John Rettie, Stan Sholik Executive Vice President, Gift & Home, Photo and Jewelry Christopher McCabe Senior Vice President, Photo and Jewelry Groups John McGeary (646) 668-3736 Vice President/Publisher, Photo Group Lauren Wendle (646) 668-3762 Associate Publisher Mark Brown (646) 668-3702 Senior Account Executives Mike Gangel (646) 668-3717 Lori Reale (858) 204-8956 Account Executives Jon McLoughlin (646) 668-3746 Garet Moses (646) 668-3738 Director of Sales, WPPI Melissa Kittson (813) 366-9329 For subscription information and customer service, call: (866) 249-6122 or locally, (847) 763-9546 Rangefinder P.O. Box 2198 Skokie, IL 60076 For list rental information contact: Mike Gangel (646) 668-3717 Operations Manager Neeta Lakhani Marketing Director Michael Zorich

© Brian Marcus

THE PROFOTO B1. NOW WITH TTL FOR NIKON. “Trying to take a studio quality portrait on the busy streets of New York City would be impossible without the B1. Now I can set up, take great pictures, and finish in a New York minute”. - Brian Marcus Watch “In a New York Minute with Brian Marcus” at

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from the wppi director



his issue will mark my second anniversary with WPPI. WHAT?!? I know, it’s been two years already! While I must admit that time has flown by, it’s been an exhausting couple of years. I’m proud of the work we’ve done, and if you see what we have planned for you this year, I think you’ll agree with me. WPPI 2015 will be celebrating it’s 35th year since it’s humble beginnings, and I believe that in the years to come, we will continue to grow the pride and tradition that is WPPI. I’d like to thank everyone who has served and supported us, especially those of you who embark on that rhythmic pilgrimage to Vegas each year. I’d also like to those of you (sorry, there are too many names to list here individually) who have helped me become a better leader—your wisdom and kind guidance has been invaluable—thank you. Now, who’s ready for the best week of your life?! #wppi2015, February 26-March 5!

JASON GROUPP WPPI Director of Education and Membership (646) 668-3722



To request more information see page 119

To request more information see page 119

editor’s pick

Thierry Joubert French wedding photographer Thierry Joubert recently began shooting fashion for Atelier Anonyme, a bespoke brand for women (with their own bridal collection) after the founder saw some of Joubert’s wedding work. “So far I’ve done only two fashion shoots, both for Atelier Anonyme,” he says, “and they gave me complete autonomy and trusted me for the result after seeing some of my wedding pictures. This allowed me to really express myself into a new photographic universe.” It makes sense that the company keeps coming back to him; one cannot help but fall in love with Joubert’s style, composition and sense of mood. And at the end of the day, whether shooting weddings or fashion, it all comes down to the same thing for Joubert: “In my work my only obsession is to tell a matter what I am shooting.” m To see more of Thierry Joubert’s work, go to his website:



all Photos © thierry joubert

By Jacqueline Tobin

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News, Products, Exhibits and More BY LIBBY PETERSON

MILLER AND MALKOVICH MASTER THE MASTERS In collaboration with famed actor (and long-time friend) John Malkovich, prolific advertising shooter Sandro Miller has made a playful ode to the photographs that have inspired him throughout his decades-long career. “John’s genius is unparalleled,” says Miller of his dynamic subject. “I can suggest a mood or an idea, and within moments, he literally morphs into the character right in front of my eyes.” For Miller’s series, “Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters,” the actor transformed himself into the migrant mother by Dorothea Lange, Truman Capote by Irving Penn, Che Guevara by Alberto Korda, and even Diane Arbus’ iconic identical twins image, among many others. The exhibit is currently showing at the Catherine Edelman Gallery through January 31, 2015. WWW.EDELMANGALLERY.COM

Above: Recreating Albert Watson’s 1973 shot of Alfred Hitchcock. Left: Malkovich embodies Philippe Halsman’s Salvador Dali portrait from 1954. BOTH PHOTOS © SANDRO MILLER/COURTESY OF CATHERINE EDELMAN GALLERY CHICAGO



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Move into a New World


GIVING RESCUED ANIMALS THE PORTRAITS THEY DESERVE A professionally shot photo goes a long way in the animal rescue world, as Seth Casteel (the shooter behind the popular “Underwater Dogs” series; see Rangefinder, November 2012) of One Picture Saves a Life has found. His nonprofit sends photographers into animal shelters to take new photos of rescue dogs and cats to replace the amateur “intake” photos that are shot when they’re first brought in, usually “scared, dirty and disoriented,” as the organization’s site says. “An inaccurate headshot can hurt its chances of adoption, but an uplifting, hopeful portrait can save its life.” Photographers interested in taking part in this project can go to the One Picture Saves a Life site to find shelters and a best practices workshop near them. WWW.ONEPICTURESAVES.COM


Below: Rescue cat Chalan and dog Wilma were given a new and improved professional portrait for potential adopters.



Changing offices isn’t always easy, and for The New York Times Magazine director of photography Kathy Ryan, leaving the nostalgic Times building for the more modern, Renzo Piano-designed building was practically heartbreaking—until she noticed “a bolt of light zigzag across the stairs,” she writes in her new book Office Romance’s afterword. She’s been hooked on capturing moments around her office since whipping out her iPhone to snap that zigzag; a mix of portraits, candids and still-life shots that she’s posted to Instagram (“The effect of the ‘like’ button cannot be overestimated,” she writes) fill the pages of the book published by Aperture. “Office life is underappreciated as a subject for photographers,” she writes. “Thanks to the light in this extraordinary building, I can bring some romance to this subject.” PRICE: $29.95 WWW.APERTURE.ORG Top: “7:51 pm, February 7, 2013.” Bottom: “6:49 pm, June 17, 2013.”







MILLERSLAB.COM/SPORTSEVENTS To request more information see page 119


The Latvian camera bag company Pompidoo—with such gear totes as the Palermo, Cologne and the Kimberly for the fashionista photographer—has introduced the Amsterdam, this time for the “modern and masculine” shooter (though the feminine photographer could just as well enjoy this bag, too). Made of soft leather and filled with XRD Extreme Impact Protection foam (which can absorb 90 percent of a bump or fall, according to the company), this bag comes in brown, beige or asphalt, and can hold a DSLR with an attached lens, two extra lenses or flashes, a tablet or laptop, as well as a phone, wallet, memory cards and other small trinkets.

The 2015

Rangefinder Redesign

Photo © tyler Branch/ 2014 rangefinder rising star (Page 88)


A BIG WIN FOR LUKE EDMONSON WPPI speaker and judge Luke Edmonson became the only American to receive an “International Photographer of the Year” award at the 2014 Canon AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards held in Melbourne this past September. “I never would have entered this competition if it weren’t for the relationships we’ve made with the Aussies through WPPI,” Edmonson says. “I know that winning had a great deal to do with what I’ve learned through competing and judging for WPPI. It goes hand in hand.” The award-winning images submitted by the Dallas-based photographer, a veteran WPPI speaker and Print Comp judge, included a mix of wedding, portrait and fashion entries. To see a full list of winners’ names and awards, visit the URL below. PHOTO © LUKE EDMONSON

CUSTOMIZING DOMAIN NAMES WITH .PHOTO It’s become practically essential for photographers to put their portfolios online, but that means that some shooters have to get a little creative in order to find a domain name that hasn’t been taken yet. Uniregistry is thinking beyond the dot-coms that flood the web with customized URL extensions such as .photo. “This is one of the most exciting times in naming since the largescale adoption of .com names,” says Uniregistry managing director Frank Schilling, adding “and it will profoundly change the Internet naming landscape over the next ten years.” More information about how to change domain names can be found on Uniregistry’s website. PRICE: FROM $29.88 WWW.UNIREGISTRY.COM


h f c o t r a it w JanuaRy 2015 The new look of wedding and portrait photography. Ra n g e f i n de r, fou n d ed i n 1 9 52 , reb or n i n 2 0 1 5 .


OPAQUE KODAK INKJET FILM FOR LARGE-SCALE STUDIO DISPLAYS For the photographer who wants to show his or her work on a larger scale, Brand Management Group and Kodak have teamed up to release a new inkjet film (suited especially for bigger displays) called the Premium Rapid-Dry White Film. The key here is the film’s opacity, thanks to its back coating; light passing through on the other side won’t reveal hanging devices or detract from the image. This allows for alternative ways of displaying, beyond the typical wall hanging. The water- and scratch-resistant polyester white film is compatible with dye and pigmented inks, won’t smudge or show any fingerprints, and is available in 36-, 42- and 50-inch widths on 100-foot rolls.

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THE EPIC HANDBOOK FOR POSING The new encyclopedia-like book of posing called Study of Pose by photographer Steven Sebring—who filled the 2,032 pages with 1,000 unique posing shots—made waves before it even hit the shelves in late October. Sebring used a walk-in dome rig filled with 100 cameras to shoot the book’s model, Coco Rocha, who wears a simple leotard, from every possible angle. The idea behind this project was conceived almost 20 years ago, but Sebring didn’t make it a reality until he met Rocha (who’s known in the fashion industry as “the Queen of Pose”). The hardcover book—which comes packed in a black case with gilding, a bellyband and two satin bookmarks—includes a foreword from designer Jean Paul Gaultier and introductions from Sebring and Rocha. The full archive of 100,000 images will be presented in a to-be-released app. PRICE: $60 WWW.HARPERCOLLINS.COM

CORRECTIONS FROM THE OCTOBER ISSUE To request more information see page 119



Regretfully, we published two incorrect prices in the October issue: the Interfit Fresnel video light costs $299 (pg. 25), and the BlackRapid Cross SHOT costs $44.95 (pg. 55). We also included an incorrect price for Lenz-a-Hand in the September Special Samsung issue. The correct price is $39.99. Our apologies to all three manufacturers!


Marketing consultant and newborn photographer Mimika Cooney has released a guide for shooters who are interested in venturing into the genre of baby portraiture. In Photographing Newborns (Amherst), she gives tips on shooting babies alone or posed with families, but Cooney (who authored Boutique Baby Photography with Amherst in 2011) also dives into her savvy regarding how to develop what she calls a “Love Brand”—an identity that professional photographers can create that will not only reel in the desired client, but keep them coming back for years. PRICE: $27.95 WWW.AMHERSTMEDIA.COM GH4_halfAd_pdn_7x4.875_FINAL.pdf



12:13 PM









To request more information see page 119


To request more information see page 119

light reading

On Taming Photoshop W

hen asked why he’d suddenly ended his formerly prolific output, a celebrated author once said, “I gave up writing, because there’s already too much truth in the world—an overproduction which apparently cannot be consumed.” That writer, most likely, never knew how neatly his comment could apply to Adobe Photoshop…or more specifically, how it relates to the current mountain of printed and online tutorials that address, in ever-increasing detail, the convoluted wizardry of this universally accepted gold standard for after-capture software. For obvious reasons, such books have proliferated to keep pace with Photoshop’s progressive transformation—from its beginnings as a tool for simple image

editing in the 1990s to a lumbering software monster with multiple functionalities—for not just photographers but also designers, illustrators, architects, animators, filmmakers and practically everyone else on some kind of visual mission. Fortunately, a new title has appeared in this ever-expanding library to guide us through typical after-capture scenarios by navigating around the clutter of tools, options and arrays of creative choices that can make Photoshop a daunting experience. Photoshop CC and Lightroom: A Photographer’s Handbook, from the California-based publishing group Rocky Nook, is a refreshing, no-nonsense primer that helps lift Photoshop literature above the grim accumulation of “truths that cannot be consumed.”

Photo © Stephen Laskevitch

By Jim Cornfield

Photoshop CC and Lightroom: A Photographer’s Handbook By Stephen Laskevitch Rocky Nook Inc. 344 pp. | $44.95

Above: In Photoshop CC and Lightroom, Stephen Laskevitch uses well-paced, coherent graphics to illustrate and compare the capabilities of Adobe tools, such as Lightroom (left), Adobe Bridge (middle) for image editing and organizing, and Photoshop (right) for key imagemanipulation functions, up through outputting to print and web use.



© Laura Rose

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light reading

A FEW STEPS The Handbook’s author, Stephen Laskevitch, is acutely sensitive to the pitfalls that lurk within this imagemanipulation system that nearly all photographers rely on in one way or another. “The Adobe Photoshop products,” he writes, “are some of the most complex programs many of us will ever use… Although we are provided with thousands of complex techniques for editing images, most users (and most images) don’t need all of that complexity. In fact, only a few steps are needed to get the vast majority of images to shine.”

Laskevitch’s book is a refreshing, no-nonsense primer that helps lift Photoshop above the grim accumulation of “truths that cannot be consumed.” Despite the good intentions, of many of the authors who walk the circuitous road of digital post instruction, they have difficulty identifying those “few steps” for their readers. Laskevitch is clearly dedicated to an uncomplicated agenda. “My goal,” he writes, “is to present [Photoshop techniques] in a reasonably accessible way.” As the founder of Luminous Works Training and Consulting in Seattle, Washington, Laskevitch’s teaching credentials are impeccable; he’s an Adobe Certified Instructor and has been teaching for 30 years, designing workflows for hundreds of photographers and companies, and training creative individuals and firms. WORKFLOW WITHOUT PHOTOSHOP MISCHIEF With the two most recent versions of Photoshop CC and Lightroom as his



Also On Our Radar

The Photographer’s Eye: A Graphic Guide

Instantly Understand Composition & Design for Better Digital Photos By Michael Freeman The great thing about this book is that author Michael Freeman backs up every idea with stunning work samples, each of them displayed and deconstructed, using his signature diagrams, outtakes, and acute design sense on every spread. A companion volume to his 2007 bestselling The Photographer’s Eye, the 190-page package makes for a rich master class in composing powerful, arresting images—both in camera and during digital post. As always, Freeman brings his carefully thought-out devices to the party—having human subjects react to off-camera action, for example, to suggest a narrative, or selectively focusing (or defocusing) foreground and background detail, juxtaposing action, in the field or by stitching disparate elements in aftercapture, using prominent curves or rectilinear shapes to define the active part of a frame.


The Art of the Photograph Essential Habits for Stronger Compositions By Art Wolfe and Rob Sheppard Veteran photographer Art Wolfe is best known for the startling graphic power of his imagery. In The Art of the Photograph, he brings together his extraordinary imagery with background anecdotes on every shot, each image bearing its own distinctive lesson in technique and esthetics. Wolfe uses every photographic device in his toolbox—from color and optics to framing, post production techniques and pure instinct—in order to craft an extraordinary one-volume course in creative imaging. Co-authored by former Outdoor Photographer magazine editor Rob Sheppard, the book is a fabulous resource of great technical and creative advice synthesized from two distinguished photographic careers. And, with the possible exception of one memorable chapter, “The 10 Deadly Sins of Composition,” the whole thing is accomplished without a rule in sight.


Image by Geri’s Photography

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light reading

The goal for Laskevitch’s readers is “the creation of good images,” he writes, and, most importantly, his approach to teaching “doesn’t showcase wowfactor Photoshop techniques...” principal framework, Laskevitch takes his readers from the basics of image editing and manipulation through the fundamentals of establishing an efficient workflow using the Adobe family of products. The goal for his readers is “the creation of good images,” and, most importantly, his approach to teaching “doesn’t showcase wow-factor Photoshop techniques…the workflow discussed is complete,” he writes, “but I will not discuss the extreme manipulations often considered Photoshop mischief.” At the same time, Laskevitch does assure us—

despite the early chapters on such raw fundamentals as basic terminology and concepts—that this book is not a thirdgrade version of My First Photoshop. It doesn’t skimp on explicating Photoshop’s key image- manipulation capabilities: “I include all the key techniques necessary for good image editing: using layers and layer blending, color correction, printer pro- files, and more.” Efficient workflow is the backbone of Laskevitch’s approach, and he demonstrates with clear graphics how Photoshop and Lightroom, along with their major

companion softwares Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw, provide sometimes different, and sometimes complementary outcomes in the digital darkroom. If, like many of us, you’re behind on software upgrades, you’ll still be current with the book’s techniques, which, for the most part, work well with previous versions of these Adobe products. No matter where any photographer’s entry point to the digital universe might be, from senior portraits to fine art, we’re all part of the same sprawling grid of data, vastly beyond anyone’s need to scan more than a tiny corner, but eminently capable of giving rise to complicated behemoths like Photoshop. Authors like Laskevitch are more important than ever to help us work with such tools, and, just as importantly, to know when it’s time to stop.

Photo © Ben Sasso

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from the cubicle

The Promise of New Talent BY JASON GROUPP


RISING STAR REFLECTIONS This year, I was fortunate to work again with the RF editorial team to pick this year’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography. Many of you have asked me how winners are chosen; to be honest the judging never stops. The Rangefinder editors (Jacqueline, Jessica, Libby) and I are always on the lookout for new and emerging talent, and what I find interesting is our diverse tastes. Of course, we also rely heavily on our friends to help be our eyes and ears, and we appreciate all the suggestions you’ve given us. Over the course of several weeks, we battled it out in our New York offices, fighting for our individual choices. There’s one common thread among all of our preferences, though: connection to the subject in a real way that can be felt as we view it. What amazed me about many of these photographers is their ability to “see” beyond their years. From a photographer’s perspective, I could tell some of them may still have a ways to go technically, but what excited me was thinking about what they will do years from now.



s I sit watching the planes take off at Toronto’s Pearson airport, I realize I am on the final leg of a long month of travels. I’m glad it’s over, but it’s also been a great journey of teaching and learning, and I’m so thankful for all the people I’ve met along the way. I’m happy to report that we’ve finished up our speaker lineup for WPPI, and by the time you’re reading this, registration should be well under way! With a ton of new speakers, new experiences and great parties, I can honestly say that this will be the best WPPI we’ve put together since I began here.

One of the most exciting emerging artists I encountered was a Chinese photographer named Pooma who I met in Beijing during a conference. While there, I watched several photographers present their work on stage, struggling to understand their message without knowing Chinese. Pooma, however, made me take pause. His beautiful shots in serene locations give his subjects a mysterious and cinematic quality, and he uses light in a way that makes everything feel so soft and warm. I was so excited to find out he was an emerging photographer that I immediately emailed the RF team to nominate him for the Rising 30 competition. I’m including two of my favorite images of Pooma’s in this column, instead of #mypicrfwppi. (I just couldn’t get it together in time for closing—my bad, forgive me!) Ironically,

Above: One of the lush, cinematic images Pooma submitted to this year’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography competition.

one of things that makes him different is the distance his imagery brings; there’s an almost complete disconnect, but in a way, that makes you lean in. A big congrats to all the Rising 30 winners! I’m excited to see your progress, and looking forward to your success as the new leaders in our industry. To the naysayers, I can assure you there is no lack of talent coming up; our industry is alive and well with some very talented emerging shooters. To those photographers who were asked to submit and were not chosen—keep up the great work. The fact that you were asked means people in this industry are seeing something special in you.


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The moment when the streets you walk every day feel new again. This is the moment we work for.


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from the cubicle

[Pooma’s] beautiful shots in serene locations give his subjects a mysterious and cinematic quality, and he uses light in a way that makes everything feel so soft and warm.


—Jason Groupp

Above: Another one of my favorite Pooma images. Far right: Second Half competition.

SECOND HALF SUM-UP With all this focus on the 30 Rising Stars, I must also mention that we just closed WPPI’s Second Half competition. I want to thank all of you who entered and took the time to pour through your work, edit and refine your images. Of course, I thank our judges—Bambi Cantrell, Danny Dong, Luke Edmonson, Jerry Ghionis, Chris Lalonde, Alex Pan



and Jacqueline Tobin—because without their service to WPPI, our competition wouldn’t be where it is today. This year, each of them sifted through more than 2,200 images within a ridiculously tight deadline, and I cannot say thank you enough. As many of you know, we’ve recently added feedback to every entry. This was daunting and a lot to ask of our judges. That said, you asked for it, we gave it to you and—with a big smile on my face as I write this—ironically, many of you hated it! When you were faced with honest feedback about scores lower than 80, you often didn’t like what we said. Many of you asked for more clarification or additional information. I discussed this with the judges and we all agreed the information we delivered in some cases was short, but it was best to leave it to the entrants to digest, think about and reflect on. Isn’t it funny that sometimes what we ask for isn’t really what we want? Deep down I had a feeling this might happen, but don’t worry, I am here to serve you guys, and will continue to do so. Here’s some good news: we’re looking into the ability to add audio feedback for next year. I pose this question to you: Would you be willing to pay more for an audio feedback from one judge? If so, how much? Email me at jason.groupp@ and tell me what you think—I’d love to hear from you! PREPARING FOR PRINT Now that Second Half is over, we’re gearing up for the granddaddy of them all, the annual 16x20 Print, Album and

Filmmaking Competition! Unlike most competitions, this one requires you to submit an actual print. Start thinking about which images you’ll be preparing to have mounted and shipped to us in New York City. Now is also a good time to review the rules as we will be making some small changes and posting them on our Facebook group (called WPPI 16x20 Print, Album and Filmmaking Competition). We’d love for you to join us there, and it’s the best place for upto-the minute news and discussions. It’s also a great place to ask questions!

Before I forget, I want to thank Hillary Becker (our membership maestro) and Jodi Rosenblum (our conference guru) for holding down the fort while I was gone; without them, I’d never be able to make these important trips. They have proven to be such valuable assets to both of our shows, PhotoPlus Expo and WPPI.

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after the capture

Compositing Seamlessly The key to successful photo compositing? Using layer masks.



ompositing can help you create an image you may not have been able to do in camera and it’s a skill I highly recommend mastering. Compositing is all about using layer masks and after learning this method you’ll rarely, if ever, use Photoshop’s Eraser Tool again. MASK TRUMPS ERASE The Eraser Tool is destructive and destroys pixels without being able to save your changes and fix them later. Think of a layer mask, which is nondestructive, as a magical cloak you can come back to and reveal what’s underneath while working on your Photoshop file weeks, months or years later.


THE SETUP My composites, which involve people, are done by photographing the subject separately from the background—usually in a studio setting, but not necessarily so. The key is making sure the light on the subject is similar to the intended background, so that both look like they belong in the same environment. After opening the image in Photoshop, I remove the subject by using the Quick Selection Tool and adding a layer mask. With this technique, I can remove the subject with precision and accuracy using my Wacom tablet. I can easily clean up the edges of the subject, making it seem like they were in the shot to begin with.

all photos © damian battinelli

By Damian Battinelli

CUT, COPY Take note that you can’t add a layer mask to your initial background layer and have it work properly unless you make a copy. Make a copy of your background layer by selecting it and pressing COMMAND+J. This new layer is the one you’ll be using. Next, create a new layer, fill it with a neon green color, and place it in between the background layer and your background copy (fig. 1). This will help you see what you’re doing and will make more sense as you continue. Use the Quick Selection Tool (fig. 2) to select the subject by clicking and dragging within and along the edges of the subject. Make sure not to select too much of


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Think of a layer mask as a magical cloak you can come back to and reveal what’s underneath at any time while working on your Photoshop file.



the background, and keep your brush size small (fig. 3). To deselect an area, hold down ALT/OPTION, and you’ll notice the tool now shows a negative symbol, now you can drag it over the unwanted area. fig.4

MAKE YOUR MASK While your selection is made, click on the icon at the bottom of your layers panel that looks like a square with a white circle in it (fig. 4). When you add a layer mask you’ll notice a black rectangle with a white silhouette appears next to the layer thumbnail in your layers panel (fig. 5). A layer mask is used by brushing either white or black over the mask using the Brush Tool. You must select the layer mask, or you’ll be brushing on your image and not the mask! Keep your brush to a size and hardness that matches the edge you’re trying to follow, and start cleaning up your edges. Black hides and white reveals, so you’ll always be able to go back and forth—it’s all still there. In other words, it may seem like you’re erasing, but in fact you’re only hiding.



DRAG AND DROP As you’re working you’ll see the green layer becoming visible (fig. 6)—this is how you’ll be able to see what you’re doing. Now that you have your subject “removed” from the background, you can drag and drop it onto the new background (fig. 7). You’ll also be able to save your image, which contains your mask, and revert back to it at a later time when you’re satisfied and flatten your image. Keep playing around with this technique; as you become more familiar with it, you’ll be able to get elaborate, adding in other elements like skies. It’s also a lot of fun!




photographer you should know

Master of His Environment Painter-turned-photographer Patrick James Miller finds his place shooting celebrity and environmental portraits for big-time New York magazines. BY LIBBY PETERSON


hen asked what he likes best about shooting portraits for magazines such as Esquire, Men’s Health and GQ, Patrick James Miller gives a simple answer: It’s fun. Actually, he says, “it’s really, really fun,” mostly because it gives him an excuse to meet interesting people who are doing really cool things. “I always used to say that I was so afraid of working one job forever and not meeting new people,” Miller says. “What I love about shooting environmental portraits is that it’s always different; one day, it might be a celebrity whom you’re really fond of, and the next day it might be a more story-based assignment about a scientist who invented something.” It’s no mystery to Miller why he wound up with a career that fits him perfectly: he’s carefully curated a portfolio comprising bright, crisp studio and environmental portraits to show clients and photo directors, separating this from his personal, filmstill-life, landscape and documentary work. “I wanted to really push my portraits, because I felt that I was getting hired for them, and most importantly, I really enjoy shooting them,” Miller says. “I wanted a photo director or art buyer to get a sense of who I am and what I want to shoot.”


LOVING THE IDEA Miller didn’t necessarily follow a straight road to his photography business, which is based in Brooklyn. With an interest in the arts from a young age, the SoCal native actually began his career as a painter, having studied at UC Santa Barbara before briskly changing course after taking a photo class just for fun. “When I was painting in my studio for hours a day, it was just me by myself,” Miller says, “but with photography, I really loved the idea of getting assignments, meeting new people and not really knowing what’s going to happen next.” He went from loving the idea of being a photographer to considering it as a full-blown career after an alumnus, Brad Swonetz (for whom Miller assisted in L.A. for six years), showed Miller his travel photography book. Following suit, he began building a portfolio of travel photography, taken with his first camera, a Pentax 35mm point-and-shoot. He stuck with film (his Mamiya RZ67 and Fujifilm GA645 were his favorites) and medium format for awhile, but today he shoots with a Canon 5D Mark II and III and a variety of Profoto packs.


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This page: The Good Wife’s Julianna Margulies, photographed for an article in Variety.

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photographer you should know

“With photography, I really loved the idea of getting assignments, meeting new people and not really knowing what’s going to happen next.” GETTING THERE After assisting with various shooters on the West Coast and building a workable portfolio of portraits from the smaller music publications he was shooting for, Miller decided to make the full-time solo plunge in 2010 and move to New York. For the last few years, he’s been in the habit of toting his book of work to show anyone who would look at it. “With the environmental portraits I do, everything kind of comes through New York first,” he says, “and I really wanted to be apart of that.” Miller, who isn’t currently represented, drummed up as many meetings as he could. He relies on his online portfolio as a promotional tool and has found the perfect promo recipe: he mails them to editors and clients twice a year, and emails them new work about once a month. “I try to be respectful of people’s schedules, and I know they’re very busy with email blasts, but at the same time, being at the right place at the right time is really important,” he Top left: Allison Williams of HBO’s hit series Girls. Bottom: Bradley Cooper (left) and Robert De Niro, both photographed at The SIlver Linings Playbook premiere in New York City.

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photographer you should know

says. “You want to bug them politely.” LEARNING TO ADAPT This method seems to work for Miller, who’s a regular shooter for magazines like Fortune and commercial clients such as Apple and American Express. When it comes to doing a successful gig, he’s learned that preparation is key—as much as possible, anyway; he gets a week’s notice for shoots at most, but more often than not, he only has a couple of days to come up with a concept and gather his gear. His clients probably also like how at ease his subjects seem in front of his lens, and for Miller, there’s no cookie-cutter trick to this. “I just try to be myself and be as nice and friendly as possible,” he says. “It depends on each character and personality. Sometimes I talk about myself and tell them my story, or talk about what we’re trying to do. That way, especially for actors, they feel involved and know what to do to be helpful.” Miller estimates that about 60 percent of his work is environmental, or “storybased” shoots, with 40 percent being the celebrity portraits. Shooting stars, he says, is pretty similar to just getting another assignment—the only difference being that most celebrities usually have tighter schedules—it’s all just part of the job, depending on what comes up. “I never really set out to be a celebrity photographer, per se,” Miller says. But it was an inevitable next step, considering the publications for which he was shooting. “And once you get one celebrity in your Above: John Krasinski (left) and Matt Damon, photographed for entertainment website, The Wrap.



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photographer you should know

“You gain a little trust [from celebrities] by connecting with them a little more.” book, it kind of opens up the door for more.”

THE BEST ADVICE PATRICK JAMES MILLER HAS EVER GOTTEN… Shoot as much as possible of the things you love and want to shoot, and show it to photo editors, agents, colleagues and any other relevant pairs of eyes for a critique. “Getting your work in front of people when you’re at that beginning process, when your work isn’t quite there yet, is big.” he says. “You can cut out the stuff that doesn’t work, show fresher work, and actually grow from it.”

ACTING NATURAL That being said, Miller admits his first celebrity shoot was “pretty nerve-wracking.” He remembers it well: with just a handful of hours’ notice, he was assigned to photograph Robert De Niro. Miller tries to talk to the celebrities “like normal people, about normal things—not necessarily about their movies or work—just to be on a human level,” he says. “They do so much press and they’re asked the same questions over and over. You gain a little trust Top: Survivor host Jeff Probst from them by connecting in the Ed Sullivan theater. with them a little more.” Bottom: Girls’ Lena Dunham for So in a tiny room at the Emmy Wrap magazine. premiere of Silver Linings Playbook, Miller got just a quick 30 frames in before they had to wrap things up—but not before a friend of the actor asked Miller for a quick iPhone snap of the two of them. He shot the photo and, handing back the phone, said, “Don’t worry about it—it’s on the house.” In what would become one of Miller’s proudest moments, De Niro—who’s known for his hard-edged, steely roles in Martin Scorsese films such as Goodfellas and Taxi Driver—actually laughed. And then it was, as Miller says, “over as quickly as it started.” LOOKING FORWARD Miller answers the age-old “what’s your favorite shot” question in one of the most optimistic ways possible: “The next shoot, the one I’m looking forward to, is always my favorite. I know that sounds a little cheesy, but what I love about this job is that you don’t know when your next job is coming and you don’t know what it’s going to be, but you get that call or that email, and it can be a life-changing or career-changing experience. The fun of it is always having the next one on the horizon.”



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Break of Day






ashion shooter Andrew Day, who also specializes in accessories and luxury interiors, photographs both on-location and in-studio, shaping his shots with light. “The thing that’s best helped me understand artificial light is to have control over it,” says the Manhattan-based photographer. “You can power it up, power it down, point it from different directions and modify it to go into a certain area or spread it out. It’s easiest to look at it practically.”


Shooting a Chris Gelinas fashion presentation at The Standard Hotel in New York, this scenario had a few challenges: in-place artificial stage lighting, a reflective wood-panel backdrop, limited foreground, and only 30 minutes to get shots of four models in different looks. “Stage lighting doesn’t favor the clothing and models as much,” Day says. Shooting hand-held from below, he placed a high-powered, 19-inch Octabank softbox 3 feet above the camera coming from the left (see diagram below). “The wood paneling is reflective—in some ways it’s cool in the center of the image, but you don’t want it to distract from the fashion. Also, you have to work with the light to see how it will reflect off the silver and plastic materials in the clothing, and open up some areas for the dark pants,” Day says. “I had the light source at a high power, and that softbox helps spread it out far enough. I like how it falls off under the sofa—it keeps it kind of dark.”

GEAR & SETTINGS: Canon 5D Mark II 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM ISO 640 f/8

1/80 sec 19-inch Octabank softbox Ambient stage lighting



GEAR & SETTINGS: Canon 5D Mark II 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM ISO 200 f/11 1/160 sec A bare bulb to the back left of the subject, three- quarters of the way to the wall Large Octa at the foot of the pool


Last year, Day shot the 2014 Swimmer Calendar, a fundraising project to help swimmers get to the Olympic trials and promote the sport. “I swam in college and trained with a few of these guys,” says Day. “I knew all of them well before I photographed them in the series.” For this image (which became “December” in the calendar), Day was inspired by the slogan, “What’s your .01 moment?” (an homage to Michael Phelps’ 100-meter butterfly win by .01 seconds at the 2008 Olympics). Here, swimmer Bryan Lundquist simulates a win in an indoor pool. There were two lights set up next to the indoor pool: a max-powered bare bulb behind the swimmer’s shoulders against “a horrible brick wall in this dungeon of a pool” and a large Octabank softbox left on the ground at half power. “We did no more than 12 takes of him coming in and splashing some water around,” Day says.



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Shot in West Hollywood on spec for a teen fashion magazine, the goal was to create full natural light. Day started the shoot at high noon, but when the sun started to go down, shadows took over. “It would have been great if [the models] were standing up,” Day says, but because he wanted an aerial view, he had to get creative. “I popped up on a trampoline and stopped everything down on my camera and cranked up a Profoto 2400watt pack,” he says. “Typically I use the 7a or 7b, and one of my favorite reflectors is a P50; I’ll black it out and blast it. It’s a nice, hard sunlight, depending how you position it.” Day says maintaining skin tones that aren’t blown out or unnatural is the most difficult part about using hard light. His solution? “I just boomed it overhead a little and fired away.”


GEAR & SETTINGS: Canon 5D Mark II 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM ISO 100 1/200 sec

f/13 A blacked-out P50 reflector to the left of camera, almost overhead subjects


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Photo © Amanda Tipton, Kokoro Photography

Build your Wedding Business with Finao By Theano Nikitas


edding albums are as meaningful as the stories they tell—and it’s the printed album that not only shows the depth and beauty of your images, but also provides the bride and groom with a tangible object that will last beyond their wedding day. Ontario-based photographer Bryan Caporicci says it best: “As a professional photographer, I am hired as a storyteller. Finao allows me to truly ‘finish’ my work with an album so my clients can enjoy the stories I tell for the rest of their lives.” Personalizing the album design is equally as important as the content. Amanda Picone shares her enthusiasm about the Long Island, New York-based album company: “I love, love, love the album part of weddings. With Finao and all the options, I can customize every album for each individual bride. My clients go crazy when they see all the choices!” If you’re just starting out or haven’t been utilizing album sales as the profit generators they can be, it’s okay to start small. But, as Christine Perry-burke reminds us, “start somewhere.” You want to charge a fair price, but, at the same time, says Perry-burke, “the customer has to feel they received something concrete for the money they’ve spent.” A Finao playBOOK, for example, delivers an excellent client experience while keeping the price very affordable. However, it’s equally as important for photographers—regardless of their current level of success—to grow their businesses by showing higher end products, such as the Finao ONE. You may be surprised at how quickly clients will gravitate towards the more expensive album. From there, it’s only a matter of time before you start attracting clients who want—and are willing to pay for—the top-of-the-line products and services, an experience that proved true for

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photographer and workshop provider Tony Hoffer: “Every photographer wants to shoot less and charge more. We now show the Finao nextONE as our top-of-the-line because we know it will attract a higher level of client.” Up-selling is an integral part of Australian photographer Melanie Silva’s business. Silva says, “This is the first year I’ve been confident enough to do album up-sales, and it’s proving to be very profitable!” She’s even presenting clients with a proprietary Finao artONE album featuring the finest pigment-based giclée printing on Hahnemühle German etching paper. Regardless of what your needs are, it’s important to remember that your album company is not just a supplier, but a business partner as well. And Finao takes that relationship very seriously. “We’re an online business,” says Perry-burke, “but we do everything we can to form a bond with our customers whether they’re in Brazil, Dubai or here, on Long Island. Not only is it possible to form personal relationships virtually, but it’s essential to our brand.”

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Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Diverse and international as it has been since we began this recognition section three years ago, the 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography issue is without a doubt our editors’ favorite. In the more than 200 submissions we judged this year, we saw tremendous work and a few trends of note. Among them: shots of brides endearingly stuffing their faces, animal head masks (adding a new level of quirkiness to the wedding day) and hard-flash party pics reminiscent of the New York Post’s infamous Page Six but better. We thank everyone who submitted and congratulate the 30 winners below. To see the winners’ gallery, turn the page to our special 30-page section.



\ Aidan Dockery / Alan Law \ Andy Gaines / Bayly & Moore \ Brian Van Wyk / Brittany Staddon \ Claire Penn / Dallas and Sabrina \ Dylan & Sara / Emily Delamater \ Erick Reyes / Erum Rizvi \ Geoff Duncan / Hannah Millard \ James Frost

\ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \

Jennifer Moher Lauren Belknap Len Leslee Mitchell Lev Kuperman Nelson Murray Nessa Kessinger Pooma Salvatore Dimino Sidney Bensimon Still55 Photography Tara Welch Taylor Lord Tyler Branch Weddings Vintage







Who’s Who

Our esteemed judging panel is composed of Rangefinder editors Jacqueline Tobin, Jessica Gordon and Libby Peterson, and WPPI director Jason Groupp. Months of hard work go into the process of nominating photographers (many of whose names were sent to us by the people listed below) and gathering images, all culminating with a week behind closed doors where we hash it out and fight for our favorites!


Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Jacqueline Tobin

Jessica Gordon

Libby Peterson

Jason Groupp

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m Because senior

m This is Libby

m After 25 years

geous wedding photography never gets old for the editor-in-chief of Rangefinder. Having worked in the photo industry for almost three decades, Jacqueline Tobin is thrilled to witness the evolution of the genre over time. She only wishes she could choose everyone who submits— because in her eyes, they’re all stars!

editor Jessica Gordon is so fond of judging as a general pasttime, this competition proves to be one of her favorite parts of working at Rangefinder. In all seriousness, she loves to see how wedding photographers use inspiration from editorial, fine art and photojournalism to do truly amazing work on the fly.

Peterson’s first time judging the 30 Rising Stars, and she’s thrilled to have taken part. A Minneapolis native, she joined Rangefinder as its associate editor in January after having graduated from Indiana University’s School of Journalism, moving to New York and interning at the magazine last summer.

of making his own schedule and living by his own rules, Jason Groupp traded his living room couch for an uncomfortable office and ungodly hours. Now, two years into his tenure with WPPI, he keeps himself entertained by pretending he’s out and about on the town but really taking selfies in his office.

Our Nominators To the industry leaders who took time out to send us the names of photographers who are on their radar, we extend our deepest gratitude. Kayce Baker • Kim and Adam Bamberg • Jared Bauman • Marcus Bell • Vané Broussard • Lara Casey • Kirra Cheers • Ben Chrisman • Rebecca Crumley • Blair deLaubenfels • Kristi Drago-Price • Raquel Duarte • Sophia Fox • Andrew “Fundy” Funderburg • Fer Juaristi • Eric Kelley • Mary Lee • Ken Liu • Erica Mellow • Elizabeth Messina • Lisa Olson • Nik Pekridis • Christine Perry-Burke • Paola Ponchielli • J Sandifer • Shira Savada • Susan Stripling • Emily Thomas • Marsha Thomas • Justine Ungaro • Jose Villa • Christy Weber • Harrison Winter • Amy Wolff • Kris Young



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10/9/14 5:16 PM

ad ve rtise me nt


Why Rising Star Tara Welch Chooses ShootProof for Her Client Galleries By Amanda Baltazar eautiful wedding pictures tell a couple’s love story, but photographer Tara Welch has learned that the way she presents images to her clients plays a huge role in how they feel about them. Welch moved into wedding photography about five years ago after being blown away by gorgeous photos taken at a friend’s wedding. “It inspired me to do weddings,” says the Austin, Texas-based shooter. “I’d always known I wanted to take photos but I didn’t know it could be done like that.” Welch has certainly achieved her goal of producing beautiful wedding photography; she was named one of Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars this year. With around 30 weddings and 30 engagements on the books per year, Welch needed a modern interface that would make online proofing and purchasing simple for her and her clients. She was delighted when she heard about ShootProof—a service designed specifically with wedding and portrait photographers in mind. Welch uses ShootProof to display her clients’ photos in online galleries, and she loves the way they showcase her work. “They are really beautiful,” says Welch,

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comparing the galleries to Pinterest’s modern look and feel. Since ShootProof is integrated with Adobe Lightroom, once she’s edited a batch of photos, Welch can easily upload them to her client galleries with one click. She offers her clients the ability to download full-resolution files, and then ShootProof delivers them. “It means I no longer have to send flash drives to my clients,” Welch explains, which saves her time in her workflow. Because there are several professional labs partnered with the company, her clients can easily place print orders through their galleries and then Welch can send the orders directly to ProDPI through ShootProof after she’s approved them. Welch explains that because she can email a gallery link to the bride and groom, the family members, and the wedding guests all at once without copying and pasting or handcrafting several hundred emails, she saves countless hours of work. Plus, she’s able to view who’s accessed the gallery, see what photos they’ve favorited, and can send them follow-up emails right through the interface, reminding them about deadlines or extending special offers.

ABOVE: Welch’s wedding photos displayed on the ShootProof interface.

The company also offers its photographers the ability to create mobile apps for their clients. “I’m just experimenting with the apps,” she says, but loves that her clients have their photos on their phones and don’t even need the Internet to view them. “It’s so much more personalized,” Welch says. What particularly impressed Welch, though, is that the apps are customized to her brand, so her business and her work are spread through word-of-mouth referrals from her current clients. While Welch uses ShootProof’s largest monthly plan to support her quickly growing business, she loves that there are no commission fees taken from her sales and is happy that photographers can access all ShootProof has to offer regardless of what plan they’re in. “It’s saved me a lot of money,“ she says, ”and it’s saved me a lot of time, too.” For wedding photographers like Welch, ShootProof takes sharing and selling their images to an entirely new level.

10/13/14 11:05 AM

302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Aidan Dockery

• Age: 42 • Resides: Bangkok, Thailand • Years in Business: 5 m

Based in Southeast Asia for the past 11 years, Aidan Dockery says he realized quite late in life that he wanted to be a photographer, so he took himself back to university in the U.K. to learn as much as possible as quickly as he could. He admits it was a lot of hard work, but getting established was also a case of being in the right place at the right time. “Within two years of being a wedding photographer, I was honored to be photographing the wedding of the Prime Minister of Vietnam’s daughter,” he says. Today, Dockery’s wedding clients seek out the rich culture and vibrant colors of Southeast Asia as reflected in his images, along with his love for travel, people and celebrations. —JT Photos © Aidan Dockery | Headshot © Kerry Manning

Alan Law

• Age: 33 • Resides: Cornwall, U.K. • Years in Business: 3 m

“I don’t come into any wedding with preconceived notions or a shot list,” explains Alan Law of his photographic approach. Every moment he captures needs to be, as he terms it, “wall-hangable”—not just shots of the couple but “all the myriad of moments that happen throughout the day.” Named Best Reportage Wedding Photographer in Cornwall and Devon for the past two years, the digital shooter feels that each frame should be strong enough to display on its own merit. “That’s the goal, always; that’s what I love to do.” —JT Photos and headshot © Alan Law

302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Andy Gaines

• Age: 34 • Resides: York, England • Years in Business: 3 m

Ask Andy Gaines what sets him apart from other wedding photographers and he is quick to expound on the love of his craft: “I am completely obsessed with finding interesting compositions and viewpoints. Great wedding photography, for me, is about more than just the day itself; it’s about the people and the relationships between them—the couple, their friends and family, and everyone else who is there to celebrate that special day together.” The U.K. and international destination shooter is also quite taken with his “quaint town of York, fantastic wife, adorable two kids and the family’s two cats.” —JT Photos © Andy Gaines | Headshot © Abigail Gaines



Bayly & Moore

• Ages: 33 (Sophie Bayly) and 40 (Simon Moore) • Reside: Auckland, New Zealand • Years in Business: 5 m

The wedding duo Sophie Bayly and Simon Moore have been splitting time between the hemispheres: southern summers are in Australia and New Zealand, and northern summers are spent around the U.S. and southern Europe. The stop-motion-videomaking pair (see Rangefinder’s May issue, pg. 58) considers the look of Kodak Portra—the “wonderful range of earthiness and rich depth,” Moore says—their true North. Shooting on film intermittently, with a Rolleiflex TLR and a Canon EOS-1V, brings out something “from both sides of the camera in commitment and passion,” Moore explains. “The real magic is that you’re not just creating a file, you’re doing something with permanence.” —LP Photos and headshot © Bayly & Moore


302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Brian Van Wyk

• Age: 22 • Resides: Victoria, Canada • Years in Business: 3 m

“I seek to create compelling and well-exposed images in camera, relying less on postproduction,” says Brian Van Wyk. The self-taught digital photographer, who recently started experimenting with film cameras, says combining key moments with great composition and the appropriate light is his primary goal. “I seek something genuine as I move from frame to frame, even where it is very subtle and easy to miss. At the end of the day, I hope to put all of that together and create a moving story and overall portrait of what each couple and their family is all about.” —JT Photos © Brian Van Wyk | Headshot © Taylor Roades



Brittany Staddon

• Age: 25 • Resides: Alberta, Canada • Years in Business: 4 m

After completing a biomedical sciences degree at the University of Calgary, Brittany Staddon spent two months road-tripping around the U.S. to determine which of her passions she wanted to follow: research or photography. By the time she arrived back home in Canada, it was clear photography was her greater love. With her approach being to capture weddings honestly and unobtrusively, Staddon says, “In my images, I strive to document the subtle human details and emotions.” Greatly inspired by black-and-white photojournalism, Staddon shoots digitally with Canon 5D Mark II and IIIs. —JG Photos and headshot © Brittany Staddon


302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Claire Penn

• Age: 41 • Resides: Chester, England • Years in Business: 3 m

With a former day job in marketing, Claire Penn came to full-time photography later in the game, but that has only made her more appreciative of her busy schedule. After selling her wedding dress to buy her first DSLR, she started slowly with children’s portraiture in 2010, and has steadily built up her weddings—with 40 booked in 2014. Shooting digitally with a Canon 5D Mark III and various prime lenses, Penn says: “I am so thankful to be doing something I love and working with wonderful like-minded couples who want a fun, relaxed approach to their day. For me, it’s the best job in the world.” —JG Photos and headshot © Claire Penn



Dallas and Sabrina

• Ages: 29 (Dallas Kolotylo) and 26 (Sabrina Kolotylo) • Reside: Vancouver, Canada • Years in Business: 3 m

Dallas and Sabrina Kolotylo make one thing certain: the moments they’re capturing during their full-day coverage are genuine, candid, real-time shots; with a photojournalistic style, they nix the posed “pretend-to-do-this” approach. “We try not to interfere as much as possible, and that adds to our clients’ experience because their day just happens naturally,” the duo says. “It’s real.” They edit photos individually based on the couple’s style, too, all the while maintaining their own signature look: faded shadows, darker midtones with some warmth and high contrast. —LP Photos and headshot © Dallas Kolotylo Photography

302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Dylan & Sara

• Ages: 27 (Dylan Howell) and 28 (Sara Byrne) • Reside: Portland, OR • Years in Business: 3 m

Husband and wife duo Dylan Howell and Sara Byrne got into wedding photography because of their love for art, creation, and humanism—“it’s what keeps us going every day,” they explain. These Portland residents work in both film and digital, and like to spend their sessions exploring the wilderness with every client. They place a high importance on connecting with people and making sure they aren’t taken too seriously, as they write on their website: “Dylan will challenge you to a bike race and then sit down and drink the hoppiest beer he can find; and Sara wakes up early to watch speckled light on the walls and then puts on her drapiest dress to go find treasures at thrift stores.” —JT Photos © Dylan & Sara | Headshot © Sean Flanigan



Emily Delamater

• Age: 30 • Resides: Portland, ME • Years in Business: 5 m

“I used to borrow my mom’s camera and make my sisters wear vintage dresses and stand precariously in fields— not a far cry from what I still do, actually,” says Emily Delamater. She began shooting weddings digitally for the versatility and quickness after having only shot on film in school. Venues she finds to “have character and a story all their own” (family homes or old farm houses, for instance) bring the best out of her, in her opinion; they drive her to shoot wide open, which she prefers for the “softness and quiet it creates in an image.” —LP Photos © Emily Delamater | Headshot © Amber Vickery


302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Erick Reyes

• Age: 36 • Resides: Monterrey, Mexico • Years in Business: 5 m

Erick Reyes is the go-to photographer for couples tying the knot in Mexico; he shoots all over the country in what he describes as “all kinds of magical places.” A graduate of Universidad de Montemorelos, Reyes studied visual communications but worked as a graphic designer before devoting himself full time to photography. Shooting digitally and using Red Leaf Studios’ presets in post, Reyes’ approach is quite simple: “Wedding photography gives me the opportunity to keep couple’s memories, so I work very hard to find the essence, connection and simplicity in an image.” —JG Photos and headshot © Erick Reyes



Erum Rizvi

• Age: 34 • Resides: Washington, D.C. • Years in Business: 4 m

Moving from Manchester, U.K., to the States eight years ago affected Erum Rizvi in more ways than one; a few years later, she would become one of the most prominent photographers of South-Asian weddings in the area. “Being a lover of light and color, it was inevitable,” says Rizvi, who credits her “vibrant Pakistani roots” in helping her “seamlessly blend into [the] crowd and capture the spontaneity of the ceremony.” Her images—which were given Junebug Weddings’ World’s Best of the Best award this year—are rich with color, bold in composition and edited lightly (she ditches actions and presets, sticking to Lightroom). —LP Photos © Erum Rizvi | Headshot © Elliott O’Donovan


302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Geoff Duncan

• Age: 27 • Resides: Austin, TX • Years in Business: 4 m

Geoff Duncan came into the wedding industry differently than most shooters, but the born and raised Texan’s past work and the industries that inspire him have helped hone his vision; with experience shooting live music (being a musician himself), he’s confident in unpredictable lighting conditions, he studies fashion magazines to expand his posing ideas, and much of his overall esthetic is actually inspired by the big screen—especially the muted color palettes and symmetrical compositions in Wes Anderson’s indie films. But Duncan relies on something within to connect with his clients, he says: “When shooting, I do my best to make my subjects feel comfortable so that they can relax and be themselves.” —LP Photos © Geoff Duncan | Headshot © Bradford Martens



Hannah Millard

• Age: 26 • Resides: Derby, England • Years in Business: 4 m

Hannah Millard is used to being told by her second shooters that she’s the most laid-back photographer they’ve ever worked with. “It’s not that I don’t get nervous,” she explains, “…underneath my chest is a Rock ‘n’ Roll drummer all day, but I am confident and I want to make sure my couples enjoy their experience as much as possible so that they’re not wary of me taking candids (and boy, do I take a lot of candids).” She also likes to shoot a little extra video, at the couple’s request, set to music. —JT Photos and headshot © Hannah Millard


302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

James Frost

• Age: 29 • Resides: Sydney, Australia • Years in Business: 3 m

Capturing spontaneous, raw and real moments is what James Frost is all about. His passion for authenticity is perhaps only perpetuated by his occasional use of film—shooting with a Hasselblad 503CX camera filled with Kodak Portra or Fujifilm Pro film for some portraits—though most of his clients prefer to stick to digital. He takes a photojournalistic approach with a fine-art eye on pleasing light, leading lines and careful composition. Editing lightly in Lightroom 5 and with his own VSCO preset, Frost says he tries to keep his photos “as true as possible.” —LP Photos and headshot © James Frost



Jennifer Moher

• Age: 30 • Resides: Ontario, Canada • Years in Business: 4.5 m

With a “quiet and sensitive” approach, Jennifer Moher says she tries to blend into the crowd like a guest to get her shots, but she’s learned that there’s no place for timidity in her work. “I thought that I had to quietly hide and tip-toe around so no one would notice me,” she says. “What I later realized is that by actually speaking to guests and forming relationships, I was gaining their trust and documenting more authentic moments.” And for some extra variety, she likes to whip out her Polaroid SX-70 every once and a while. —LP Photos © Jennifer Moher | Headshot © Ed Peers


302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Lauren Belknap

• Age: 24 • Resides: Los Angeles, CA • Years in Business: 3 m

Lauren Belknap saw the light three years ago when she began shooting as an associate for Brian and Allison Callaway of L.A.-based Callaway Gable, and she’s been looking for it ever since. “The way light can help shape a mood or emotion, depending on how you use it, can be considered a mild obsession of mine,” Belknap says, explaining that she also has an eye on composing layers that unfold a scene. “How can I frame in the subject?” she asks herself while shooting. “If I step back, is there something in the frame that can help tell their story?” —LP Photos © Lauren Belknap | Headshot © Brian Callaway




• Age: 31 • Resides: Sydney, Australia • Years in Business: 4 m

Len, the self-described “onewoman band” behind wedding studio I Love Wednesdays, tries not to focus too much on the photos she “needs” to get (“those will always just come by virtue of being there,” she says) but rather “the little details, light and shadow, and even hands as they are such an expressive part of how we communicate,” she explains, “and those little moments can let you in to the bigger picture of the day.” To capture the spirit and mood, Len’s goal is “for outside observers to be able to look at the photos and feel like they know the people in them, and for the couples to feel like they and their friends’ personalities are captured.” —LP Photos and headshot © Len

302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Leslee Mitchell

• Age: 38 • Resides: Nashville, TN • Years in Business: 5 m

In a previous life, Leslee Mitchell was a practicing lawyer, but after buying a camera a few years ago, she says photography “stole her heart.” With much of her work superbly encapsulating the mood and décor of classic weddings of the South, her images have been featured in notable print publications including Southern Weddings, INSIDE Weddings and Martha Stewart Weddings. Mitchell shoots both digital and film (with a Contax 645), citing as her philosophy, “Life is too beautiful for bad photography.” —JG Photos and headshot © Leslee Mitchell



Lev Kuperman

• Age: 31 • Resides: Maplewood, NJ • Years in Business: 3 m

The road from music to photography isn’t exactly linear, but after graduating from Berklee College of Music, Lev Kuperman’s path went from managing bands to touring with them, to bringing along his Holga to photograph them, which led to being published in music magazines. Eventually friends were requesting his documentary skills at their nuptials, and the response was so positive that a new business was formed. A digital shooter, Kuperman’s approach to photography is simple: “I aim to document honest moments and beautiful light in order to tell a story,” he says. “I find that the best way to do that is to blend into the background a bit and let the moments come naturally.” —JG Photos © Lev Kuperman | Headshot © Rachelle Kuperman


302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Nelson Murray

• Age: 22 • Resides: British Columbia, Canada • Years in Business: 2 m

After a childhood spent leafing through countless issues of National Geographic, it’s no wonder Nelson Murray found his way to photography. His lush images pay special tribute to their natural environment, be it in his native British Columbia or beyond. “Images have always captivated me, with their ability to evoke emotion and wonder, to tell a story and seize moments in time,” says Murray, who’s half of the team of N+D Photography. A digital shooter, Murray relies on candids, but he will direct to get the look he wants. “I am constantly trying new things,” he says, “mainly focusing on creating images that I enjoy personally in order to develop my own unique style.” —JG Photos and headshot © Nelson Murray

Nessa Kessinger

• Age: 28 • Resides: Washington, D.C. • Years in Business: 5 m

Nessa Kessinger started shooting weddings after graduating from Shepherd University with a degree in fine art. She often finds herself teaching clients about the nuances of natural light—even convincing them that they won’t regret a sunrise photo shoot. “It takes some serious trust to get up at 4 a.m. for photos!” she says. “A huge selling point is that the streets are always empty, parks are abandoned and fog hangs low on the ground for added layers of texture in the background.” While Kessinger doesn’t shy away from dramatic shadows, her mark may be best seen in the natural glows of color. —LP Photos and headshot © Nessa Kessinger

302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography


• Age: 36 • Resides: Beijing, China • Years in Business: 5 m

“Lush,” “moody” and “cinematic” are all words that instantly spring to mind when describing the very original compositions of Pooma. It makes sense, he says, that after working for ten years as a graphic designer and browsing through so many beautiful images that he decided to quit his job and open a photography studio in Beijing. “Five years have passed since then, and I’ve taken thousands of pictures for new couples and new couplesto-be,” he says. “I don’t have a single regret in changing careers. I love the passion and heat in my job.” —JT Photos and headshot © Pooma

Salvatore Dimino • Age: 34 • Resides: Sicily, Italy • Years in Business: 4 m

What clients and photo editors alike seem to love about Salvatore Dimino’s images is that they are full of atmosphere as he captures the beauty of the details and the spontaneity of the moment. But beyond the personal techniques he’s acquired through study and inspiration, the real secret in his work, he says, is his ability to establish a rapport with the bride and groom and put them at ease. “I like having fun while I work, and I try to bring out the best in everyone,” he explains. “Let yourself be carried away by emotions, show it and trust yourself, but above all don’t ever stop having the desire to improve.” —JT Photos and headshot © Salvatore Dimino


302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Sidney Bensimon

• Age: 32 • Resides: Brooklyn, NY • Years in Business: 4 m

Armed with both digital and film cameras (including a Yashica Mat), a degree from Atlanta’s Portfolio Center and a French accent (she was born in Paris), Sidney Bensimon has found her home in Brooklyn, but usually isn’t there for long. “I travel to shoot constantly and I am excited and ready to travel anywhere a job wants to take me,” she says. “I take pride in my travels!” Shooting weddings and lifestyle, Bensimon’s client list is as enviable as her clean and current esthetic. Her approach to weddings? “I want to capture moments in life that are nothing short of miracles, and love is a miracle.” —JG Photos and headshot © Sidney Bensimon



Still55 Photography • Ages: 30 (Joseph Mills) and 28 (Christina Mills) • Reside: St. Augustine, FL • Years in Business: 2 m

“When it comes to wedding photography, no two couples are the same,” says Joseph Mills who, with his wife and business partner Christina, own Still55 Photography. “Therefore, it’s impossible for us to have one look that caters to all. Our style and esthetic is tailored to our couples’ unique personalities and their stories.” First intrigued with photography while attending Elon University in North Carolina, they both found passion in creating artwork. As their work has evolved, they now aim to capture authentic emotion in a refined fashion. With the ever-changing industry of photography, the couple is excited to see what shape their work will take in the years to come. —JT Photos and headshot © Still55 Photography

302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Tara Welch

• Age: 34 • Resides: Austin, TX • Years in Business: 5 m

Tara Welch’s images look like a party you want to attend. “I am always, always, always striving for a photo that has a laugh or tenderness to it,” she says—and it shows. “I enjoy smaller, more humbling moments of the day: a bride eating a simple turkey sandwich her mom made, the first gin and tonic after the ceremony…” Lately the digital photographer—who graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in printmaking—has been experimenting with double exposure, but it’s the quirk and fun that make her images distinct. —JG Photos © Tara Welch | Headshot © Alecia Hoyt



Taylor Lord

• Age: 27 • Resides: Dallas, TX • Years in Business: 4 m

Describing herself as a natural light, editorial wedding photographer, Taylor Lord’s first love is film. “It’s the only type of photography I have worked with that has been able to achieve the look I strive for,” says Lord, who studied art history at Baylor University but was spurred into photography via a black-and-white film class her senior year. Shooting with a Contax 645 medium format, Lord cites director Terrence Malick as a heavy influence on her work. “He has this amazing way of turning the most mundane things in the world into something beautiful,” she says, “and that is definitely what drives me in wedding photography.” —JG Photos and headshot © Taylor Lord

302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography

Tyler Branch

• Age: 28 • Resides: Orange County, CA • Years in Business: 4 m

A quintessential SoCal shooter whose images are bathed in gorgeous natural sunlight, Tyler Branch is always looking for “that human element at weddings. Wedding photography is all about people,” he says, “where the realness comes out and you can see the heart of people. It’s really amazing when you’re able to capture that, and it’s something that drives me at every wedding.” A self-taught photographer who uses VSCO film actions mixed with Alien Skin Exposure to “give an organic look that isn’t overdone and complements the image really well,” Branch shoots digitally with Canon bodies and lenses. —JG Photos and headshot © Tyler Branch



department slug

Weddings Vintage

• Ages: 30 (Harriet Gill) and 35 (Hayley Leaf) • Reside: Manchester, England • Years in Business: 2 m

Weddings Vintage began when couple Harriet Gill (filmmaker/photographer) and Hayley Leaf (graphic designer) decided it was time to merge their creative talents and start their own business, targeted specifically at couples who, just like them, see themselves as anything but “traditional.” Says Gill: “I love observing people, working out their characters and anticipating reactions. I think it is important that the photos hold the viewers interest—that they are a true documentary of the day with emotion that is visceral and not contrived, making you want to come back to look at them again and again—hopefully in many years to come! I get excited by anything unusual or out of the ordinary and try my best not to shoot the same thing twice.” —JT Photos © Weddings Vintage | Headshot © Oyshi Mori


302014 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography





m The editors of Rangefinder extend their gratitude to the sponsors of the magazine’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography Competition—Richard Photo Lab, Finao and ShootProof—as well as to ALL of the hardworking photographers who submitted work, and to our dedicated nominators.



10/9/14 4:02 PM

a dvert i sem en t

Sure, you’re a creative genius with a penchant for capturing amazing images, but becoming a superstar photographer is so much more than that. Besides your skills behind the camera, building a fruitful company requires business smarts. You’ll be wearing many hats as you climb the ladder to success—from branding and marketing to business planning, financial management and beyond. Here are three ways you can take your business to the next level.

Pre-shoot and post-shoot work should always have a finite number of hours, and these hours should be accounted for in the initial price you give your client.” That means keeping track of the time you spend in planning (such as concept development, plotting a lighting setup and sketching storyboards) to post-production and the final delivery of the images you’ve captured.

Prep for Success

Team Up

The foundation for any business is being organized; this goes far beyond an uncluttered desk or cataloging image files. It’s critical to create a strategy around your business goals, build a specific plan-of-action based on this strategy, and then execute the plan to reach these goals. This will help create structure around all aspects of your business, such as tracking expenses, updating marketing materials, getting new customers and maintaining client relationships—ensuring a smooth overall workflow. Furthermore, when you’re on a shoot, preparing your photography tool kit is key to staying efficient. This means knowing how to use your equipment intuitively and how it functions in different conditions (it’s not the time to try out a new camera or other critical gear; you want to hit the ground running!). Bill Pyne, general manager at Richard Photo Lab with over 20 years under his belt in the photo industry, says, “Knowing every variable of the tools you’re working with will benefit you threefold: you’ll be able to capture any moment on a job quickly (no matter the conditions), you’ll save time correcting the image in post, and you’ll get more reliable output, from film scans to prints, because you’ve made calculated choices and can anticipate the appearance of the final image.” Remember: establish a clear goal, strategically craft an executable game plan and create structure around your activities.

Learning from experience may feel organic, and as the sole proprietor you may feel the urge to take on every single element of the business, alone. All good intentions aside, though, taking on tasks that are not your core competencies divert you from doing what you do best—shooting! So consider sourcing respective experts for these types of tasks, and focus the time you would’ve spent on them toward, say, booking more jobs and generating more revenue. Collaborating with your strategic partners as much as possible adds a new level of efficiency to your workflow. For instance, working with a professional lab can save you time in communicating what you want through the entire process, from scanning film to digital post work to print, and helps to ensure brand consistency from start to finish. Richard Photo Lab is the godfather of the Color PAC (Personal Account Consultation), which provides film, digital and hybrid photographers with one-on-one business consulting on everything from finances to branding to long-term business growth, as well as an in-depth custom color profile for all of their images. “Two of the biggest things that affected our decision to invest in the Color PAC were: 1) consistency, and 2) less time in post, more time shooting,” say Michael and Carina Bethea, of Michael and Carina Photography. “With the Richard Color PAC, we’ve achieved exactly that. Never has our work been so consistent… We are shooting more than ever.” Photographer Clark Brewer says, “A lab like Richard, with so much diverse industry experience, can offer so much more than just beautiful scans. It wasn’t until I started the Color PAC process that I realized this. Not only did it start me on the road to defining my look, but it also kicked off a relationship with Brian and Bill, who have already become major assets in running a successful photography business!” Let’s face it—you can’t do everything on your own, so identify your non-core competencies, and partner with respective experts that complement your business plan and your brand expectations.

Clock In For photographers, your time is your money—that part is simple. The tricky part is that you give your client a price before you start a project. Brian Greenberg, owner of Richard Photo Lab, has seen this caveat trip up even the best photogs in his 20+ years in the industry. “You make all of your profit choices before you start a job,” Greenberg says. “When you provide a client a price, you’re providing a set amount of hours of shooting, but what about all the hours you spend doing other things?

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10/10/14 2:20 PM

product roundup

A Little Gifting Goes a Long Way Ever wonder if giving gifts to your clients should be part of your business model? Here, we present ten product options and real-life examples of how each item was used to help photographers maintain and grow relationships with both current and potential clients. BY THEANO NIKITAS






Between texting, email and social media, our “snail mail” mailboxes are often void of personal correspondence. But wedding, portrait and lifestyle photographers John and Carli Kiene (of inkedfingers) love to surprise their clients with a hand-written thank-you note. “When Artifact Uprising first started offering postcard packs (of 20 cards), we would print an entire pack with the client’s shoot and gift that,” Carli says, “however we’ve learned that not everyone is a mail-sender, so now we send them a single postcard.” Often, the photographers print two copies of the postcard, sending one as a thank you and putting another in with the client’s DVD and a note saying “sample card.” AU’s postcards are 4.5 x 6.25 inches on 130-pound cover stock of recycled paper. Up to 20 different images (one for each card) can be ordered using one of AU’s designs, or you can create your own.

Wedding and portrait photographer Elizabeth Messina has “always been a gift-giver” in her personal life, so it was only natural, she says, to make it part of her business model. Currently her favorite gifting product for clients (and friends) is Artifact Uprising’s calendar. Messina selects 12 of her favorite images and uploads them to the AU site to order. “These are not only practical gifts,” Messina explains, “but also a personalized piece of art.” The calendars come with a handcrafted clipboard made from reclaimed beetle pine wood, while a magnetic back allows your clients to hang the calendar on the fridge, keeping your work top of mind. You can start the calendar year at any month and use a different image for each month. Image size is 5 x 7 inches and the calendars are printed on 120-pound Mohawk Superfine Eggshell paper. Refill pages are also available for the following year’s calendar.

PRICE: $30





Wedding photographer Tammy Swales loves gifting a mini-accordion album from Miller’s Lab to her wedding clients—“We tell a sweet little wedding story in ten frames,” she says. The purse-sized mini-accordions are small enough for the bride to carry around and share with family and friends (or stick to the fridge with its magnetic back). “Because the album gets carried around daily, our work gets in front of people on an immediate and intimate basis,” says Swales, who believes the mini-accordions are a much better sharing option than scrolling through Facebook images. She finds that the sharing of the mini-accordions brings “lots of immediate feedback from the couple’s circle of family and friends,” and has helped her business grow. Miller’s offers several sizes, paper, cover options and add-ons for the mini-accordions, so check out the site for details.

“Our business depends on customer service and relationships,” explains wedding and portrait photographer Lora Swinson. “In an extremely over-saturated market, we treat each of our clients as if they were our best friends.” As a counter-balance to the trend of photographer-client virtual communication (from consultation to the delivery of images via online download), Swinson tries “very hard to implement personal interaction with clients,” she adds. Swinson and her husband/business partner like to present their top-tier clients with a Custom Wood Box from Miller’s Labs with ten mounted prints as a gift for the holidays. “Most of our clients come to us multiple times each year, so we keep gifts to the end of the year to not impact any normal sessions or sales,” she says. When holiday season rolls around, Swinson delivers those gifts in person, maintaining the personal touch that’s in keeping with their business philosophy. “Giving them a tangible gift that they did not expect, and taking time out of our day to deliver those gifts, shows them how much we value their business.”









Print on demand has changed the world of publishing, bringing custom magazine production (and a new marketing tool) to small businesses. Tammy Swales created Happy Magazine ( as “a vehicle to show my work in a different way; not just through social media and a blog.” Secondly, she adds, “I have amazing clients—and I thought their stories were so interesting that I wanted to share them with more people.” Although Swales admits she had “no idea” of what she was attempting when PHOTO



she started Happy, locally she “had a viral blockbuster,” she says. “The clients who were featured in Happy shared the magazine with their networks and so on.” The first issue had 12,000 digital reads, due mostly to word of mouth rather than social media. With that success under her belt, Swales and her team immediately began preparing for the next issue. Each issue, Swales explains, “has a different subtopic and we design each one to be an evergreen volume—so they have a long shelf life. It’s helped my business tremendously, and we are currently

planning issue three, featuring entrepreneurs in our community. It’s become something that people are looking forward to, and I’m proud of how it’s benefiting my team and my business.” While the magazine is available online, interested readers can purchase hard copies that are printed by—a print-on-demand service using HP Indigo printers. A variety of sizes and designs are available, offering a wide range of options for businesses that want to create a custom publication. PRICE (PRINTING): FROM $0.16 PER PAGE WWW.MAGCLOUD.COM


product roundup


GRADUATION CARDS High school senior photography has become big business for many photographers in recent years. Even if they don’t specialize in senior portraits, photographers are likely to have at least a few soon-to-be-graduated teens in their client roster. Wedding and portrait photographer Laura Endres Hicks likes to give her seniors 25 postcards from Mpix (a division of Miller’s Professonal Imaging) that she’s designed herself. She doesn’t include graduation or open house information on the cards because the senior sessions are finished long before the actual graduation; rather, she wants the cards to focus

on the subjects themselves, and she wanbts to surprise teens and their parents when they come to pick up their order; both love receiving the gift and appreciate the quality of the cards, and Hicks’ custom designs. These photo cards are perfect for seniors to exchange with friends and classmates during their final year in high school. (If you don’t want to design your own, Mpix has a number of predesigned options.) PRICE: $25 (FOR A SET OF 25 4.5 X 5-INCH CARDS) WWW.MPIX.COM


Presenting the bride and groom with an image or images during the wedding makes the occasion even more memorable and speaks volumes about you as a photographer. Justin and Mary Marantz are known for gifting a framed 8 x 10-inch image that they print during the reception to the newlyweds. The duo times it so that the bride and groom open the gift toward the end of the night. Says Mary: “They take off the bow, open the lid, take the frame out of the velvet case, and they freak out when they realize it’s actually a picture of them from that day. They love it!” The Marantzes add that the bride and groom usually place the frame on their gift/guest book table to show it off, snap a photo of it with their smartphone, and post a message on social media with the hashtag Justin & Mary #bestphotographersever. “It makes such a great impression for any of their friends who are getting married,” says Mary, especially “when everyone is dying to see pictures right then and there.” The silver-plated frames the Marantzes use from Restoration Hardware are available in several sizes from 4 x 6 inches to 8 x 10 inches. PRICE: $19-35 WWW.RESTORATIONHARDWARE.COM




SILVER-PLATED PHOTO FRAMES To request more information see page 119


CUSTOM SLIDESHOWS Photodex ProShow Gold slideshows software plays another important role in Laura Endres Hicks’ business. The software offers many options (from transitions, adding music, video clips and more) for creating a lovely but sophisticated video gift. Hicks usually presents the slideshow at the end of an ordering session as a surprise gift for long-time clients. “It doesn’t matter how much they order,” she explains, “it’s a relationship gift; my personal business model is built on

relationships and maintaining them.” Hicks will pick about 20 to 30 of her favorite images (40 to 50 for weddings) and create what she views as “an artistic view of the session—not just a recap.” The slideshow “can be shared among family and friends; it keeps going and going.” Hicks says an hour of her time is a small investment for that kind of exposure, branding and marketing. PRICE: $70 WWW.PHOTODEX.COM


DAY-OF ALBUM Vanessa Joy takes her album creation one step further than most by giving the newlyweds an album of photos during the reception. Joy’s album of choice is the 4 x 6-inch Ventura from Renaissance Albums, since prints of that size are easy to output. Additionally,

the Ventura uses self-adhesive pages, so the albums are easily assembled on site. Joy reports that couples are shocked, surprised and thrilled to receive a mini wedding album that night. She adds, “I get to wow my clients, over-deliver on what I’ve promised them, and then give them a way


BRANDED STICKERS Gifting an album or other photographic product to your clients may be an integral part of your business, but branding should play an equally important role. Clients know you and your work—that’s why they selected you to shoot their wedding or portraits—but you need to put your name in front of their family and friends as well. That’s why Vanessa Joy brands the Renaissance albums (see above) she gifts her clients with her logo using stickers from Black River Imaging. “It’s great for making sure that when my clients show off



the mini album, my logo is there giving good brand recognition as well as advertising,” Joy explains. Black River Imaging’s stickers are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and sets from 20 to 60 stickers. Printed on standard sticker paper with a crack-and-peel backing, the stickers come standard with four-color printing with an upgrade option for six-color printing. Stickers are an easy and affordable way to get recognition and referrals. PRICE: FROM $5.15 WWW.BLACKRIVERIMAGING.COM

to show off my work to all of their friends and family during and immediately after the wedding,” says Joy. “It’s great for marketing as well as bettering my clients’ experiences.” PRICES: FROM $7 (2 X 3 INCHES) TO $25 (4 X 6) WWW.RENAISSANCE ALBUMS.COM

Photo © Nicole Sepulveda

growth . knowledge . prestige

OVER in Cash

HONORS OF EXCELLENCE Photography’s Leading LIVE Print, Album and FIlmmaking Competitions. w w w. w p p i a w a r d s . c o m

Experience live judging at WPPI 2015. All winners will be recognized during the 2015 WPPI Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas. Accolade points, winners’ trophies and press will be granted to top scoring entries. ENTER TODAY ! DEAD L INE : J a n u a r y 2015


JACOBIA DAHM I AM ME, I AM YOU Dahm says, “Small children sometimes seem like very different, otherworldly creatures. Their imagination runs free, and pretending to be someone else is second nature to them.”



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THE ULTIMATE PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION Rangefinder is proud to present the revamped Take Your Best Shot contest, featuring portrait photography in children, family, senior, fashion/commercial/ editorial, boudoir and maternity categories. Congratulations to grand-prize winner Jacobia Dahm, who will receive a $1,500 award and a full-page profile in a 2015 issue of Rangefinder. VISIT WWW.YOURBESTSHOTCOMPETITION.COM TO VIEW THE ONLINE WINNERS’ GALLERY.



BETINA LA PLANTE TESS Taken in Ojai, California.




ALYSSA WALLACE A LOUISIANA SUNSET “During our long hot summers in the deep south, there is a gentle evening grace that falls upon the day,” Wallace says. “And so, we grab a loved one, or two, and allow the soft humid heat to quiet our souls.”


STEPHANIE DEFRANCO 60 YEARS DeFranco photographed her grandparents as the couple from the Pixar film Up for their 60th anniversary. She says they call their years together “the adventure of a lifetime.”

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STEVE CAIN UNTITLED Chasing the dream.

BEAU BAILEY LIKE A GIRL Bailey says, “She has played soccer her whole life ‘like a girl,’ according to her older brothers, and now it’s getting her to college.”

KEITH MACDONALD ALEX MacDonald photographed his brother, Alex, for his high school senior portrait.




CASEY ARAKAWA UNTITLED A portrait session in the high desert in California.

RODRIGO CEBALLOS GILDO MEDINA Gildo Medina, one of Taschen’s “100 Illustrators,” shot for Hotbook magazine.

CHRIS BLACKBURN INTENSITY An ambrotype portrait.



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JB SALLEE TWIN REFLEX Sallee leads the Dallas-based team Sallee Photography.

JASON MACHEN ASHLEY: SILVER LINING Machen photographed model Lady Ash in natural light, with minimal post-processing.





DEE GREEN FIRST TOUCH A maternity shot from Dee Green of 37 Frames Photography.

KALEN SHENG NAOMI Upon her arrival.

BRYAN KURZ THE BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY Eight months pregnant, floating in mid-air.

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THANK YOU to the judges of Take Your Best Shot, and a special thank you to the talented photographers who entered the competition.

LILY FRANCESCA ALT PHOTO DIRECTOR PARENTS MAGAZINE Lily Francesca Alt is the photo director at Parents. She previously worked for Redbook, Town & Country and Real Simple, and resides in Brooklyn, NY.

FLORENCE NASH PHOTO EDITOR PEOPLE Florence Nash has been a photo editor at People for the past eight years. Prior to that, she represented photojournalists and portrait photographers with various agencies. Her work has also appeared in TIME, Newsweek, ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated and others.


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EOS Flash System (USA) 270EX II .....169.99 430EX II .....299.99 320EX ................... 600 EX-RT..549.99 MR-14EX Ringlight......................... 549.99 MT-24EX Twin Flash....................... 829.99 EF-S Lenses for Digital Only (USA) (Not compatible with full frame cameras) 60/2.8 USM Macro (52ø)................ 469.99 10-22/3.5-4.5 USM (77ø) .............. 649.99 15-85/3.5-5.6 IS USM (72ø) .......... 799.99 17-55/2.8 IS USM (67ø)................. 879.99 17-85/4-5.6 IS USM (67ø) ............. 599.99 18-135/3.5-5.6 IS (67ø) ................ 499.99 18-200/3.5-5.6 IS (72ø) ................ 699.99 55-250/4.0-5.6 IS USM (58ø) ........ 249.99 EF Lenses (USA) 20/2.8 USM (72ø) .......................... 539.99 24/2.8 IS USM (58ø) ...................... 599.99 28/2.8 IS USM (58ø) ...................... 549.99 35/2 IS USM (67ø) ......................... 599.99 50/1.8 II (52ø) ............................... 125.99 50/1.4 USM (58ø) .......................... 399.99 50/2.5 Macro (52ø)........................ 299.99 85/1.8 USM (58ø) ............................ 419.99 100/2 USM (58ø) ........................... 499.99 100/2.8 USM Macro (58ø).............. 599.99 28-135/3.5-5.6 IS USM (72ø) ........ 479.99 70-300/4-5.6 IS USM (58ø) ........... 649.99 70-300/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM (58ø) ....... 1399.00 75-300/4.0-5.6 III (58ø) ................. 199.99 75-300/4.0-5.6 III USM (58ø) ......... 234.99

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Call for Available Rebates & Promotions on Select Bodies, Lenses and Flashes! AF Flashes SB-300 ...... 146.95 SB-700 ...... 326.95 SB-910 .......................................... 546.95 R1 Wireless Twin Flash ............................... R1C1 Wireless Twin Flash System ............... DX ED-IF Lenses for Digital Only 10.5/2.8 Fish-Eye ...................................... 35/1.8 G AF-S (52ø) ....................... 196.95 40/2.8 G AF-S Micro (52ø) .............. 276.95 85/3.5 G ED VR Micro (52ø) ............ 526.95 10-24/3.5-4.5 G AF-S (77ø)....................... 12-24/4 G AF-S (77ø) ................................ 16-85/3.5-5.6 G AF-S VR (67ø) .................. 17-55/2.8 G AF-S (77ø) ............................. 18-55/3.5-5.6 G AF-S II (52ø) .................... 18-55/3.5-5.6 G AF-S VR (52ø) ....... 196.95 18-105/3.5-5.6 G AF-S VR (67ø) ..... 396.95 18-200/3.5-5.6 G AF-S VR II (72ø) .. 596.95 18-300/3.5-5.6 G AF-S ED VR (77ø) ....... 996.95 55-200/4-5.6 G AF-S (52ø)........................ 55-200/4-5.6 G AF-S VR (52ø) ........ 246.95 55-300/4.5-5.6 G AF-S VR (58ø) ..... 396.95 D-Type AF Lenses 14/2.8 D ED .......... 24/2.8 D (52ø)....... 16/2.8 D (39ø) with Hood ........................... 24/3.5 D ED PC-E (77ø) ............................. 28/1.8 G AF-S (67ø) ....................... 696.95 28/2.8 D (52ø)....... 35/2.0 D (52ø)....... 45/2.8 D ED PC-E Micro (77ø) ....................

D-Type AF Lenses 50/1.8 D (52ø)....... 50/1.4 D (52ø)....... 50/1.8 G AF-S (58ø) ....................... 216.95 50/1.4 G AF-S (58ø) .................................. 60/2.8 D Micro (62ø) (1:1) ......................... 60/2.8 G AF-S ED Micro (62ø) .................... 85/1.8 G AF-S (67ø) ....................... 496.95 85/1.4 D IF (77ø) ....................................... 85/1.4 G AF-S (77ø) .................................. 105/2.8 G AF-S ED-IF VR Micro (62ø) ......... 105/2.0 DC D with Hood (72ø) ................... 180/2.8 D ED-IF (72ø)................................ 200/4 D ED-IF Micro w/Case (62ø) ............. 200/2 G AF-S ED-IF VR II (52ø) ................... 300/4.0 D AF-S ED-IF (77ø) ....................... 14-24/2.8 G AF-S ED-IF................ 1996.95 16-35/4.0 G AF-S ED VR (77ø) ...... 1256.95 17-35/2.8 D AF-S ED-IF (77ø) .................... 18-35/3.5-4.5 G ED (77ø)............... 746.95 24-70/2.8 G AF-S ED-IF (77ø) ....... 1886.95 24-85/2.8-4.0 D IF (72ø) ........................... 24-120/4.0 G AF-S ED VR (77ø) .......... 1296.95 28-300/3.5-5.6 G AF-S ED VR (77ø) ..... 1046.95 70-200/2.8 G AF-S ED-IF VR II (77ø)....... 2396.95 70-300/4.5-5.6 G-AFS VR (67ø)...... 586.95 80-200/2.8 D with Collar (77ø)................... 80-400/4.5-5.6 D VR (77ø) ........................ 200-400/4 G AF-S ED VR II (52ø)................ TC-14E II (1.4x) Teleconverter ..................... TC-17E II (1.7x) ..... TC-20E III (2x)........

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10-22/3.5-4.5 EF-S USM Digital Lens

600 EX-RT Shoe Mount Flash

18-200/3.5-5.6 DX G AF-S ED-IF VR II Digital Lens

SB-910 Speedlight i-TTL Shoe Mount Flash

• Exclusively designed for Digital SLRs • 35mm equiv. 16-35mm • 3 aspherical lens elements • 3.5-27 f/Stop Range • Minimum focus 9.5" • 77mm filter diameter • Weight 13.6 oz

• Dust and water resistance • Guide No. 197' • Wireless Radio Multiple Flash System • Bounce and Swivel Head • Zoom Head (20-200mm) • 18 Custom Functions • Weight: 15 oz

• Exclusively designed for Digital SLRs • 35mm equiv. 27-300mm • VR II Vibration Reduction • SWM (Silent Wave Motor) • 3.5-22 f/Stop Range • Focus 1.6' to Infinity • Weight 19.8 oz

• Tungsten & Fluorescent Filters Included • Guide No. 111.5' • Simplified Graphic User Interface (GUI) • Bounce, Swivel & Zoom Head (17-200mm) • Wireless Controller • Weight 14.8 oz

Prices, specifications, and images are subject to change without notice. Manufacturer rebates are subject to the terms and conditions (including expiration dates) printed on the manufacturers’ rebate forms. Not responsible for typographical or illustrative errors. © 2000-2014 B & H Foto & Electronics Corp.

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digital guru

Cutting the Cord A look at options for a photo world without cables and wires.

All Photos © John Rettie

By John Rettie


lthough wireless products have become ubiquitous in everyday life, they are not as pervasive in the photography world. Curious to see whether photographers could truly “cut the cord” and liberate themselves from cables and wires, we gave a few wireless photography solutions a try. The results, as you’ll see, were decidedly mixed. Remotely Firing Flashguns Both Canon and Nikon offer integrated wireless flash systems that allow a photographer to use multiple heads controlled by a transmitter on the camera. That transmitter can be a separate control unit or incorporated into some flashguns. Canon (aside from the newest Speedlite 600EX-RT) and Nikon flashes rely on light



pulses to control off-camera flashguns. The problem with both systems is that the flashes need a clear line-of-sight between the master controller and the off-camera flashguns to operate reliably. In a studio or small room it is not such a problem as there is often enough reflection to allow the systems to work. Outdoors, things can get trickier. Phottix Mitros+ and Odin Transceiver Third-party flashguns are nothing new, and I’m sure older photographers will fondly remember the Vivitar 283 and 285 HV flashguns that were workhorses for many photojournalists. However, it’s only recently that aftermarket flashes have become compatible with the modern TTL metering systems incorporated in today’s flashguns.

Phottix ( is a company that has begun to make a name for itself as a maker of quality photo gear. I recently tried the Mitros+ flashgun along with the Odin flash control system to accompany my Nikon camera and SB-800 flash. The Mitros+ is a hotshoe flash that sells for $400 and incorporates a radio to control other Phottix flashes. It’s compatible with several different flash triggering systems sold by Phottix. The Odin TTL Flash Trigger/Receiver kit ($350) is the best of the systems, and I used it to trigger a Nikon SB-800. I was then able to use the Odin commander on the camera to control the Mitros+ and the SB-800 attached to the Odin receiver. The menu for setting up the flashes is slightly simpler than that on the Nikon, but still a little convoluted; I had to refer to the manual to figure out how to adjust settings. Once I got everything set up, though, the system worked like a charm. The commander fired the flash and I could even stand behind a wall and have a remote flash fire every time in another room over 25 feet away. Phottix claims the radio signal Top left: The combination of a Phottix Odin controller (on the Nikon) and an Odin receiver for attaching to a Nikon Speedlight along with the Phottix Mitros+ flash provides a robust, cost-effective flash lighting system. Below: Several Nikon cameras, such as the D600/610, can be connected by Wi-Fi through the WU1b device plugged into the camera’s USB port.

will reach over 300 feet. It certainly works well outdoors at 100 feet. This could be an ideal setup for use in a church or wedding reception when direct line-of-sight would probably defeat a Canon or Nikon system. Wi-Fi and Cameras Anyone who uses a smartphone knows only too well the frustrations of trying to emulate its capabilities on a DSLR. I’m someone who wishes I could seamlessly upload images from my DSLR to Facebook or email them to a client without any hassles. Sadly, that’s not the case when it comes to DSLRs. Instead, we have to live without the convenience or wait until we are at a computer to transfer the images. Or we can try and utilize the add-on Wi-Fi capabilities slowly being offered for DSLR users. A few years ago, Eye-Fi began offering an SD card that incorporated Wi-Fi. At first glance, it’s a simple and cost-effective way to download images when needed­—that’s if you can get it to work effectively all the time (much as I like to think I’m tech savvy, I have had problems with getting reliable connections). While Canon and Nikon have begun to include Wi-Fi capabilities in their DSLRs, they are still not nearly as user-friendly as one would hope. For example, I recently purchased a Canon EOS 6D which has built-in Wi-Fi, but setting it up was trying. While the instructions are not very clear, once it’s working, users seem to be enamored with the fairly limited features that come with the EOS Remote app. If you own a pro-level Nikon camera, you have to rely on an external Wi-Fi adaptor for all but the new D750. I have a D600 and a $50 WU-1b adaptor. It proved to be fairly easy to set up and works well for transferring images to my iPhone with the free Wireless Mobile Utility app. It can also remotely fire the camera, but won’t change any settings other than focus. When I tested it at dusk, the images showed up okay on the iPhone, but the saved images were all too dark—a reminder of the limitations of the app.

Above: The CamRanger device connected to a PT Hub and a motorized tripod head is a great way to have complete control over a remotely situated camera. Left: The CamRanger app, seen here on an iPad, provides a good number of functions to control a camera connected to the CamRanger Wi-Fi router.

CamRanger Remote Control The ability to remotely control a camera from a distance has always been an important part of professional photography, especially for filmmakers and commercial photographers. If you’re a wedding photographer working in the confines of a church or reception hall, it’s not so practical to use wires to connect a camera for remote control. The CamRanger ($300, www.camranger. com) is a third-party product that does a far better job than the wireless solutions from Canon and Nikon. The combination of the CamRanger and an accompanying motorized tripod head lets a photographer alter the position of the camera as well as adjust settings remotely. I had the opportunity to try out this combo and was very pleased with how easy it was to set up and get working quickly. The CamRanger is a small Wi-Fi transmitter that pairs with a smartphone and plugs into the USB port on a DSLR. Just about all the camera’s functions (except zoom) can be controlled by the CamRanger using an app for an iPhone, iPad, Android or a Mac or Windows laptop. It also provides timed exposures, HDR, focus stacking and intervalometer, and can record video. All in all, it proved to be extremely versatile. Even greater versatility comes when you add the PT Hub and MP-360 motorized tripod head ($230). The app can then rotate the camera through 360 degrees and moved it up or down up to 15 degrees. The combination works well and lets a photographer

place a camera where it might be impossible to get to in person. I could see this working really well for a wedding photographer wanting to capture images from behind the minister at a church wedding. Faster, Please Although far too slowly, camera manufacturers are catching up with smartphone makers when it comes to offering wireless capabilities in cameras. Until they get their act together, take a look at after market products, which seem to be far better and less costly at this stage. The bottom line is that whatever solution you opt for, definitely pre-run a shoot where you intend to rely on wireless work with your DSLR. Lighting is not so much of a problem, but control of a camera and downloading of images can still be hit or miss. Make sure your camera does not go to sleep, and that there are no obstructions affecting the wireless signal—be it line-of-sight or a radio signal. On critical shoots such as weddings, you should probably not fully rely on wireless communications. Instead, use a remotecontrol system like CamRanger to obtain hard-to-get images that can help you wow your client (since you’ll have a shot nobody else can get). Heck, your clients might not even know it was taken if you hide the camera behind flowers or a lectern. One truism of wireless photography is that batteries drain much faster when using Wi-Fi. Just remember to turn Wi-Fi off when not in use or you could end up with a dead battery after a few hours. Of course, you could use an external power supply to power the unit, but then you’d have a wire connecting it to a power plug and then you would not be working wirelessly!


first exposure

Still and Video Editing Software Updates Manufacturers respond to user input with new features and improvements.




hase One’s Capture software, Adobe’s Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements have all been updated recently, while Nikon has replaced Capture NX and Capture NX 2 with its new NX-D software. While each update builds on an already-mature and feature-laden program, there are new elements and generally improved performance overall that can help further improve your workflow. According to the manufacturers, improvements and new features are the direct result of them responding to user input.

of choice for serious photographers looking for the ultimate quality when converting their RAW format files to TIFF or JPEG format. Version 8 advances the capabilities of the software in both of these areas, as well as providing a new processing engine, which requires you to re-import sessions created in previous versions, for improved image quality in all areas. During tethered capture, previous versions of Capture One had limited liveview capabilities, but Capture One Pro 8 removes several of these limitations. The one I find most helpful is the ability to

CAPTURE ONE PRO 8 Capture One is the go-to software for tethered capture used by many studio and location photographers. It is also the software

Above: Many of the changes to adjustment tools in Capture One 8 are found in the Local Adjustments tab and extend the program’s capabilities well beyond previous versions.



directly capture the image from the liveview screen. Depending on your camera model, you may also be able to take advantage of other new live-view features such as a depth-of-field preview, a focus meter, and the ability to force the orientation of the image (vertical to horizontal, etc.). The tools and tabs in the live-view window are now customizable also. Previous versions of Capture One Pro lagged behind competitors in the ability to perform local adjustments. This has changed in version 8. In addition to the sharpening, clarity, moiré and color tools found in version 7, you can now apply white balance, exposure, highlight/shadow adjustments, noise reduction, and purple fringing removal locally, on separate layers, by applying (or copying between layers) a mask you paint on. Also available are new Clone and Heal tools as well as the previous Spot and Dust tools—these all work great. The Auto Mask, which automatically finds edges when masking, is slower than I would like on Phase One IQ250 files, but with smaller files it works quickly enough. And it tends to leave a tiny amount of background around subjects. Other than this, and the inability to remove a background to transparency when saving, the new local adjustments are reason enough for me to upgrade to Capture One Pro 8. There are numerous other changes that are documented on the Capture One website, Also included on the site are excellent instructional videos to help get you up to speed on the new version, or on Capture One if you are a new user. Suggested price of a new license for two computers is $299. Upgrades from previous Pro versions are available for $99.

ADOBE ELEMENTS 13 The Adobe Elements package of Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements continues to add features simplified from Photoshop CC and Premiere Pro CC, as well as adding and enhancing features for enthusiasts. A new feature common to both programs is eLive, found in the top menu bar of the Organizer as well as in each Elements program. Elements Live is an online site that includes channels for learning, inspiration and news, along with easy access to help. When used within the programs, eLive defaults to content specific to the open program. Both Elements 13 programs are now fully 64-bit and support High-DPI displays on Windows and Retina displays on Mac systems. For new users, the suggested price is $99 for each program, or $149 for the bundle. Upgrade pricing is $79 for the individual programs or $119 to upgrade from a previous bundle of both.

Each update builds upon an already mature and feature-laden program that can further improve your workflow.

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ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 13 Photoshop Elements 13 brings two advanced features into the Expert workspace: a Refine Selection brush and Photomerge Compose. The Refine Selection brush allows you to “push� the marching ants in your original selection made with the Quick Selection tool to better align to boundaries. With the Refine Selection brush, you no longer need to switch between adding and subtracting from the selection to improve a quick selection. Once you have a selection close to what you want, you use Refine Edge, brought over from Photoshop CC, to perfect it.

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Above: The Effects in the Quick edit module of Photoshop Elements 13 are enhanced with five variations to each of the ten effects capabilities well beyond previous versions.

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first exposure

Photomerge Compose is a new feature found in the Elements 13 menu located in the Enhance>Photomerge menu in the top menu bar. You must open the two images you want to compose together before using Photomerge Compose. A panel opens on the right of the screen and guides you through the process. Once you have successfully merged the two images, clicking Auto Match Color Tone automatically analyzes the images and balances the color and density. Manual adjustment is then possible using the sliders. A new Black and White guided edit walks you through the process of creating a monochrome image from a color original. You can also convert part of the image to monochrome while the rest remains in color. Other enhancements in Photoshop Elements 13 are aimed at making it easier to sync photos from your mobile devices, improving the process of creating photo books and scrapbooks, and providing pre-sized photo templates to easily share photos on Facebook and other social media platforms. ADOBE PREMIERE ELEMENTS 13 Premiere Elements 13 is a powerful yet easy-to-use video editor for professional still photographers discovering the video capabilities of their cameras, as well as for enthusiasts. Several new features in the latest version are of particular interest to this crowd. One of these features, Video Story, solves a problem common to all users who want to create a video from a set of related Below: Video Story in Premiere Elements gets you started in creating common types of videos by presenting templates with “chapters.” You drag and drop assets in the appropriate chapters and Premiere Elements automatically creates the video.

Above: Nikon NX-D sports an entirely redesigned contemporary interface as well as including all of the tools Nikon photographers reasonably need to adjust and process their RAW files.

clips: where to start. With themes covering birthday, graduation, travel and wedding, and numerous templates included for each theme, Video Story gets you started importing, arranging and editing clips. When you choose a video story template, Premiere Elements downloads the appropriate template. The birthday party template, for example, is about a 225MB download. It suggests a logical chapter order for the clips, but gives you total control over which chapters to include or delete, and the ability to create your own chapters. Once you drag clips into the appropriate chapter, Premiere Elements 13 automatically analyzes them to select the “good stuff” and trims away the rest. The end result is a finished video. Another new feature, Shake Stabilizer, is brought in from Adobe Premiere Pro, but in a form that is far easier to use. Shake Stabilizer is also found in the Quick and Expert workspace, in the Adjust tools at the top of the right panel. With most videos being captured on cell phones, GoPros and handheld DSLRs, camera shake is a near-universal problem. Shake reduction is handled automatically and does a really good job. You can also make manual adjustments by clicking the Detailed button. The Guided menu walks you through two new edits: Video in Title and Effects Mask. Video in Title guides you through the process of adding a video behind your title. Effects Mask walks you through the process of adding effects to just a part of your video. Also available in the Guided menu are other edits to help those completely new to video editing. NIKON CAPTURE NX-D New from Nikon is Capture NX-D software for processing and adjusting RAW


files (NEF and NRW) from all Nikon digital cameras. The application can also be used to adjust a TIFF or JPEG file from any manufacturer’s camera or from a previously processed RAW file from any source. With the release of Capture NX-D, Nikon will drop support for Capture NX 2. Capture NX-D presents an entirely new user interface. The soft gray background and workspace layout of previous versions are replaced with a dark gray and black interface and white type. The auto-closing tool palettes create a clean, modern, user-adjustable workspace. You can also float the tool palettes and drag them to a separate monitor. There is a full complement of image adjustment tools, including lens corrections, although I was a little surprised that there are no individual corrections for Nikkor lenses. Instead, you can create custom lens corrections for your own lenses and store them as presets. For example, you could create a preset that eliminates vignetting and distortion for the wide-angle end of your zoom lens, and a different correction for the telephoto end, and then apply these as appropriate. Missing, however, are spot- and dust-removal tools, other than Nikon’s dust-off photo application, and healing or clone tools. You still need Nikon ViewNX 2 or other means to import images to your computer, but Capture NX-D includes excellent image-browsing views along with the ability to flag and rate images. There are also several ways to batch-process images. For Nikon DSLR, Nikon 1 and Nikon Coolpix photographers, Nikon NX-D is all the software they need to process RAW, TIFF and JPEG captures. Best of all, it’s a free download from Nikon.


RF_First Exposure.indd 112

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dslr video


The Zacuto Enforcer By Ibarionex Perello


The Enforcer’s solid metal construction is at the heart of its design, providing muchneeded stability. When the gunstock’s comfortable rubber pad is pressed against your chest, it creates a stability that isn’t possible when handholding the camera away from your body. The camera is securely mounted onto a Gorilla Plate V2 using a standard ¼-20 screw. The plate can accommodate the popular Zacuto Z-finder, which provides a clear view of the camera’s LCD by eliminating glare and reflections. When your eye is pressed against the Z-Finder, it provides a valuable third point of contact, which along with the hand and body contact lends incredible stability for run-and-gun shooting. The camera plate is then secured to the main rig by turning a red quick-release ratcheting lever. Just a short turn of the ratcheting lever is enough to provide a secure hold to the rig. But the unique style of the Enforcer lies


in its gunstock pivot joint, which collapses the entire rig into a compact storable configuration. Depressing the silver knob and squeezing the gunstock itself releases it from its collapsed position. It clicks in place and locks into position. The support arm level lets you position the support arm into one of its two positions. The first position is designed to use when the Z-Finder is attached, providing just enough working distance to comfortably press the finder’s rubber eyecup on your eye and hold the camera body in your right hand. If you’re not using the Z-Finder, the second configuration positions the camera further away, providing a good view of the camera’s LCD screen. But now with the Enforcer’s physical contact with the body of the photographer, the resulting footage is smoother and steadier even when walking to keep up with a moving subject.

This was a welcome alternative to traditional shoulder rigs that put pressure and strain on the shoulder. Even rigs with ample padding can become uncomfortable over extended periods of use. My right hand was positioned on the handgrip of the camera, but the angle at which I was holding it sometimes made my wrist hurt. This is where changing the angle of the rubber pad on the gunstock became critical. Though I was never able to completely eliminate it as an issue for me, it was comfortable enough to get me through several shooting sessions. I worked without the Z-Finder on several occasions when I was filming fast-moving and unpredictable action. The isolated view of the finder just didn’t work for me in these situations. However, I was able to quickly remove the finder and extend the length of

Field Use

Though I used the Enforcer in both configurations (with and without the Z-Finder), I preferred its use with the finder. I not only found it more comfortable this way, but it helped to keep unwanted vibration and movement to a minimum as I moved to keep up with my subject. I did need to adjust the angle of the gunstock a couple of times in order to find the ideal fit for my body, but once I found it, there was no need for readjustment. The rubber pad of the gunstock made it very comfortable to press the rig against my body. Right: The Zacuto Enforcer, used in tandem with the Zacuto Zfinder, provides improved stability for run-and-gun videography.

ourtesy of zacuto


hen shooting stills, you can put the camera down and let it hang freely at your hip until you’re ready to make the next shot. But with video, you’re shooting for long periods of time— sometimes hours—which can quickly lead to fatigue and poor camera handling. This is why camera rigs such as the Zacuto Enforcer have become invaluable accessories for videographers. What makes the Enforcer an interesting alternative to the more bulky and complex camera rigs currently available is its amazingly small and collapsible design. While other camera rigs often require their own separate bag or case to accommodate the various components and accessories, the Enforcer fits easily into almost any camera bag, making it ideal for photographers who are working alone or who prefer working with a minimal kit.


RF_DSLR copy 2.indd 114

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the Enforcer in less than a minute, freeing me to capture my footage. All that was needed was a small flat-edge screwdriver to remove the Z-Finder mounting frame, and then, after depressing the quick release lever, I was back in business.


A sibling to the Enforcer is the Marauder, which provides an articulating handgrip. Though I didn’t have the Marauder for this review, I suspect that the presence of the grip would have completely eliminated the issues with my wrist. The Marauder is slightly larger but still as compatible and storable as the Enforcer. There is no follow-focus mechanism that comes with the Enforcer, which is really my only lament about the device. However, an accessory is available that allows you to control focus without having to turn the focusing ring of the lens with the left hand, which would not be ideal.

Top: A rubber pad provides extra comfort. Middle: A support arm lever allows the unit to switch to configurations that accommodate the use or non-use of the Z-finder. Bottom: A small tension lever aids with fast attachment and removal.

While there are dozens of different rigs out there that promise the kind of stability and ease of use that the Enforcer offers, they can’t compete with the ease by which the unit can be collapsed and stored. When I’m done shooting, I can quickly remove the camera, collapse the rig and store it in a pocket in my shoulder bag or rolling case. Other models require several minutes disassembling and packing. This rig is the fastest and easiest unit to pack away as any I have used to date. This is important to me because I am often shooting with a crew of two, or sometimes just by myself. The ability to quickly prepare and pack for a shoot can be critical for me when I am pressed for time, especially when I am moving from one setup to another. The Zacuto Enforcer is available for $475 (without the Zacuto Z-Finder).


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RATES–$2.75 per word. Bold face words: $3.25 per word. Base rate: $30. For further information call: (646) 668-3738.

Adorama.............................................................. 115, 117

Pacific Mount............................................................... 118

American Color Imaging................................................ 13

Panasonic....................................................................... 27

Anthropics...................................................................... 95

Photographer Central..................................................... 49

B&H Photo-Video.................................................106, 107

PictoBooks.................................................................... 118

Bay Photo Lab...................................................28, 29, 118

Pocket Wizard................................................................BC

Black River Imaging........................................ 16, 17, 118

Profoto..................................................................5, 11, 35

Canon ........................................................................... 2, 3

Rangefinder......................................................22, 23, 119

Denny Manufacturing.................................................... 39

Richard Photo Lab.......................................................... 91

Dynalite Inc................................................................... 111


Epson America, Inc...................................................... 8. 9

Schneider Optics............................................................ 24

Expo Imaging.................................................................... 7

Shutterlove................................................................... 113

FJ Westcott.................................................................... 45

Shootproof...................................................................... 59

Finao............................................................................... 56

Sigma.............................................................................. 47

Fundy Software Inc. ...................................................... 55 25

G Technology.................................................................. 25

Tamron......................................................................31, 53

H&H Color Lab............................................................... 33

University Products........................................................ 24

Membership................................................................. 116

WPPI .............................................................................. 34

Miller’s Professional Imaging.............................IFC, 1, 21

WPPI Honors of Excellence Competitions 2015

Moab by Legion Paper................................................... 12

Call for Entries........................................................... 97

Olympus.......................................................................... 19

Zeiss................................................................................ 37

The Index to Advertisers is provided as a courtesy to Rangefinder advertisers. The publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions.

TO REPLY to coded ads, please write to the advertiser, address the envelope to RANGEFINDER, Classified De­partment, 85 Broad Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10004. Indicate the code num­ber on the outside of the envelope. The unopened letter is then forwarded to the advertiser in strict confidence. DEADLINE—20th of second month preceding issue. Count compound words (New York, San Francisco), each initial, abbreviation, figure or group of figures, as one word. No charge for zip or area codes. Send copy with check or credit card information to: RANGEFlNDER Magazine, Classified Department, 85 Broad Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10004.



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Please notify us four weeks in advance for uninterrupted delivery. Furnish both new and old addresses. If possible include mailing label from front of magazine. Name ________________________________________ Firm Name____________________________________ PL New Address___________________________________ PR EAS IN E T City __________________________________________ State ____________________Zip Code_____________ Country_______________________________________


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Photo © ken Shung

photo finish

Where Art Meets Commerce


en Shung, best known for his advertising and editorial work (for clients such as Lancôme, Chanel and Donna Karan), has a personal passion for music that recently led to an unusual, but lucrative coupling. Retailer Paul Stuart combined Shung’s photographic talents and



by David J. Carol

his love for music with an “art meets commerce” idea last summer, showcasing fine-art-edition silver gelatin portraits of blues legends Willie Dixon (above) and Muddy Waters—from the photographer’s series on musicians captured in the dressing rooms of small clubs and concert halls—at the Paul Stuart

stores in Chicago and New York. “This is a new market for selling fine-art images outside of the gallery world,” Shung says, “and positioning your work in new and more creative places.” See more of Ken Shung’s work at

SAMSUNG NX SYSTEM CAMERAS ARE FA S T E R , L I G H T E R A N D S M A R T E R T H A N D S L R . With lightning-fast shutter speeds, ultra-compact designs and smart sharing capabilities, Samsung NX System cameras outperform DSLR in virtually every category.* It’s time to #DITCHtheDSLR.

© 20 2014 14 S Samsu amsu ung Elect lectroni roni o cs Ameri e ca, Inc. eri In Al All rig rights hts rese reserved rved.. S rved Samsun msung g is i a regis egistere tere red d ttradem ademark ar of Samsu ark ams ng am g Elect Elect lectroni ron roni nics cs Co., Co., Ltd. Lt Al All pro product ducts, duct duc s, logos logos and bra brand nd names names ame are re tra radema adema demarks rk or regisstere rks tered d trade trade ad mark markss o mar of th the heir respe respe es ctiv ctive e compan mp ies. Screen Scre en image en imag magess simula mu ted. ted Rep Reprint rin ed from from om www. ww revi www eviewed evi ewed .com,, with with permi permi ermissio ssio sion. n.. © 201 2013, 3, 2014 2014 01 Revi Reviewed ewed .com.. All .com All rights hts res re erv erve ved. d. *Base *Based Base ased on res results ults fro from m models models els in the same pri price ce range range ang : N Nikon D700 D7000, 0, Canon Canon ano EOS EOS-60D -60D -60 , Ca Canon non n EOSE 70D. 0D. 0D To request more information see page 119

Your flash deserves better. Your work deserves better. The PocketWizard ControlTL System lets you get your flash off your camera and frees you up to take your work to the next level while giving you the ease and spontaneity of TTL metering. See how radio triggers can make so much more possible for you at

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Rangefinder November 2014