Official Publication of the Texas Professional Photographers Association, Inc.
VOLUME 53- #2 Feb/Mar 2018
Bill Hedrick, M.Photog.Cr. 1506 E. Leach St. Kilgore, TX 75662 903-985-1080 Editor@ThePhotographerOnline.com
Steve Kozak, M.Photog.Cr 5323 Fig Tree Lane Grand Prairie, TX 77052 972-601-9070 Steve@tppa.org
Complete Printing & Publishing 1501 W. Panola Carthage, TX 75633 800-964-9521 www.CompletePrinting.com
ON THE COVER “Dancing Daydreams” was created by Steve Morrow of Abilene, Texas, during a themed client shoot. The young lady had been selected to dance the part of Clara in The Nutcracker Ballet. The image was taken at one of Abilene’s historical hotel’s ballroom using window light and a reflector fill. Steve and Renee Morrow own and operate Morrow Photography and are the principle photographers for Ballet Abilene and Abilene Ballet Theatre. They primarily photograph families, high school seniors, and children.
Have a Plan for 2018?
Portraits of the Homeless
Natural Light vs. Off-Camera Flash
Standing Out from the Crowd
2018 “Texas 10” Workshops
Creative Problem Solving
Texas School ‘18
Location Lighting & Letting Go
Spotlight: Doc List
Follow Your Bliss
A Message from TPPA President, Tammy Graham
The Story of Dennis Kelly by Bill Hedrick
When Traveling Abroad by Rob Hull
The Truth About It by Carl Caylor
Success Corresponds to Experience by Dustin Meyer
See If One Is Near You! by Steve Kozak
Using Gel Filters by Bry Cox
A Few Classes Left But Hurry!
Coping with Murphy’s Law by Dave Montizambert
A Journey of Discovery & Creativity by Suzette Allen
40 THE PHOTOGRAPHER is the official publication of the Texas Professional Photographers Association, Inc. Acceptance of advertising or publishing of press releases does not imply endorsement of any product or service by this association, publisher, or editor. Permission is granted to similar publications of the photographic industry to reprint contents of this publication, provided that the author and this publication are credited as the source. Articles, with or without photographs, are welcomed for review for inclusion. However, the editor reserves the right to refuse publication, or if accepted, the right to edit as necessary. For more information, visit www.ThePhotographerOnline.com. Send all communications, articles, or advertising to: THE PHOTOGRAPHER, 1506 E. Leach St., Kilgore, TX 75662. Phone (903) 985-1080, or Editor@ThePhotographerOnline.com.
2018 TPPA Executive Council President Tammy Graham l
3300 Joyce Drive, Ft. Worth, TX 76116 (817) 300-0780
Vice-President Ross Benton l
What Is Your Plan for 2018?
1876 Nacogdoches Rd., San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 804-1188
Treasurer Marla Horn l
10716 Camelot Dr., Frisco, TX 75035 (972) 567-8613
Secretary Jenny Rhea Eisenhauer l
12218 Old Stage Trail, Austin, TX 78750 (512) 626-3309
Councilman-at-Large Doc List l
6001 W. Parmer Ln., Austin, TX 78727 (512) 924-9248
Councilman-at-Large Cris Duncan l
2402 Slide Rd., Lubbock, TX 79407 (806) 781-2747
Chairman of the Board Trey Homan
rom what I have heard, it looks like many of you had a great finish to 2017. Congratulations! I know I was especially busy with many more sessions and better than expected sales. This got me thinking, “Why do some finish strong while others do not?” I think the answer is “planning.” Successful photographers plan to be successful. I believe the key begins with creating a year-round marketing calendar. A few hours of your time spent examining the marketing and promotions that follow seasonal changes can pay big dividends. Many photographers began their planning for 2018 back in the fall of 2017, but it is not too late to get started if you start right now. The year-round calendar allows you to have a clear understanding of the cycle of sales that takes place during the year. For example, spring is filled with sessions that take place outdoors. From bluebonnets to azaleas, from amazing spring colors to Easter pastels, there are a lot of ways to get clients excited about portraits. Have you already started encouraging spring sessions?
17222 Classen Rd., San Antonio, TX 78247 (210) 497-3809
Executive Director Steve Kozak l
5323 Fig Tree Ln., Grand Prairie, TX 77052 (972) 601-9070
Texas School Director Don Dickson l
1501 West 5th, Plainview, TX 79072 (806) 296-2276
Magazine Editor Bill Hedrick
Summer is filled with excited kids who have finally reached their “Senior” year. They are motivated and looking for a great senior portrait experience. Have you planned how you will get their attention? The fall brings so many opportunities for amazing outdoor color and the early appearance of Santa. Many photographers cash in on this important time of year, but you can’t wait until September to get your clients ready. That process begins in July when you should be creating marketing materials and creating your promotions. The year-round calendar is your guide to success. I hope that you will spend at least a couple of hours this week working on yours. Speaking of planning, TPPA members have a lot to look forward to in 2018. The Texas 10 Workshops start up in late February and run through March. These are small workshops hosted by TPPA members who volunteer their time to share their talents and skills to help you become a better photographer. Classes range from getting started with Lightroom to business and marketing and everything in between. Learn more at tppa.org/texas10.
1506 E. Leach St., Kilgore, TX 75662 (903) 985-1080
PPA Councilors Gabriel Alonso (Ft. Worth), Brad Barton (Grand Prairie), Don Dickson (Plainview), Elizabeth Homan (San Antonio), Trey Homan (San Antonio), Stephanie Ludlow (Round Rock), Fonzie Munoz (Corpus Christi), Randy Pollard (Victoria), Cliff Ranson (McAllen). To contact any of your PPA Councilors, you may obtain their phone numbers from the TPPA Membership Directory or visit the TPPA website at www.tppa.org Complete financial information on Texas Professional Photographers Association is available to any TPPA member by contacting Steve Kozak, Executive Director, 5323 Fig Tree Ln., Grand Prairie, TX 77052 Steve@tppa.org
There is still time to register for Texas School. Even though some of the classes have sold out, there are still plenty of outstanding classes. Texas School is an immersion in photographic education with just the right amount of fun. The trade show is always a hit as many of the vendors provide the best prices of the year on equipment and services at Texas School. All the evening meals and entertainment are provided with your Texas School registration. There is no better value in photographic education. Learn more at texasschool.org. I have found that I accomplish more when I have a plan. I hope that you have taken some time to plan an outstanding 2018.
Tammy Graham TPPA President
If you are not a member of Texas PPA, this is my personal invitation to you to join! Email Steve Kozak, TPPA Executive Director, at Steve@tppa.org or call 972-601-9070.
From that moment on, Dennis’s attitude about people on the streets continued to change with more and more observation and interaction. His aspiration to hear the life stories of the homeless grew into his street portrait project called, “Starving for Pennies.” The purpose was to evoke emotion by telling a photographic story of the impoverished, some by choice, some not by choice, and sharing the hurt, pain, and brokenness of others through the lens of a camera. But the project also became a personal healing process for Dennis as well. Photographing “on the streets” is not for everyone and it takes a certain measure of talent and experience to make it work. It also requires a different way of thinking and those who are introverts will find this kind of photography especially challenging. “You have to force yourself to engage with people and be completely in the moment,” explains Dennis. “You must empathize with the subject to build trust and then listen carefully to what they have to say. They are not objects, so you need to treat them as emotional beings. Along the way, a lot of them will say ‘no’ but you must continue your journey. It is also important to put yourself in the subject’s position and ask how you might respond when being asked permission by a photographer. But remember, when you start showing your own vulnerabilities, the stranger will start to show their’s.” Safety is another very important consideration. When Dennis hits the streets, he takes safety seriously and stresses that it is the most important aspect of street portraiture when interacting with strangers. He always takes an assistant along, not only to help with gear, but as an extra set of
eyes while he is focused on his subject. Even so, Dennis will only approach individuals who are alone or in small groups and uses “gentle assertiveness” when approaching strangers. “I don’t just look for ‘any’ homeless person,” he explains. “I look for the ‘veteran’ homeless subject which will add impact to the storytelling.” Being honest and building rapport with the subject is an essential first step and Dennis will always introduce himself and explain why he wants to photograph the subject. He will also notice and study interesting characteristics of the subjects such as their eyes, facial hair, eyeglasses, etc. Then, he tells the individual what the images will be used for and always obtains a signed model release. A typical session will last from five to ten minutes. Lighting is another important aspect of street photography and most of Dennis’s street portraits are created with the use of one or two reflectors, using silver panels for specular highlights accentuating facial wrinkles and creating specular reflections in the eyes. Depending on the lighting conditions, Dennis may also use a scrim or flag in controlling light. “I love to expose every wrinkle, scar, accumulated dirt, and every other element of an individual’s face in my efforts to tell their stories.” The image “Unsheltered” is of a gentleman named Larry who was 61 years old and has always lived in San Antonio. Larry was living with his mother and their house burned. Without any insurance, they lost everything. A month after the fire, his mother passed away and, today, Larry lives near the Greyhound Bus Station in downtown San Antonio. The title was selected because Larry has no roof over his head and is homeless.
lot has been written over the centuries about human compassion. In its broadest terms, compassion is the ability to understand the emotional state of others as well as oneself. But it has the added element of having a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another person. Even so, it is sometimes easy to simply ignore the plight of others rather than to become involved with things we fear or abhor.
Dennis Kelley’s previous career in law enforcement required him to be very focused and serious, but dealing with “street people,” many of whom are destitute and mentally ill, was a part of his job that he hated the most. At that time, he believed that all homeless individuals were homeless as a result of poor life choices. Like many other cops, Dennis felt as if dealing with these dirty and smelly people was far from rewarding. Little did he realize at the time how this experience would play a significant role in his new career as a professional photographer. After 25 years in law enforcement, Dennis retired in January 2016. Unfortunately, he carried many of his attitudes about the homeless into retirement. But as time passed, he realized something that had happened to him throughout his career. He had become very detached and isolated from society; insensitive and apathetic with people and had allowed his career to take over his personal life. Then, about six months into retirement, something changed. While walking to one of his favorite Mexican restaurants in downtown San Antonio, Dennis noticed a homeless man sitting on a street corner. The man’s weathered face was an eye-opener for Dennis and, for the first time in his life, he saw pain in the face of the homeless. Dennis walked over and began talking with this stranger and, during the conversation, he noticed that the homeless man never begged or asked for anything. He explained that he was simply “trying to survive” life on the street and had nothing except the clothes on his back.
“Another Day” is a portrait of Johnny who is 63 years old and originally from Peoria, Illinois. Johnny has called the streets on the east side of San Antonio his home for many years. He went through a divorce, got in trouble with the law, and hitchhiked to San Antonio looking for work. Without the ability to keep a job, Johnny takes it day by day on the streets without any family or place to live. The title of the image was selected as Johnny’s response to how each day is just “Another Day.” Other stories convey just a glimmer of hope in desperate times as with “I Still Have a Dream.” Mike was 60 years old and from Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1998, he divorced and took a bus to San Antonio for a “fresh start.” Since that time, he has been unable to hold a steady job and admits he has commitment issues but remains positive about life. Mike has found his home to be under a bridge of a major interstate just east of downtown San Antonio. The title of the image was chosen because of Mike’s positive outlook on life despite the hardships of being homeless. Some titles are selected from direct quotes. James was a 64 year old homeless man living near the Scottish Rite Cathedral in downtown San Antonio. While Dennis was photographing him, James stated, “Really? I’m Not Crazy!” After talking with James for a few minutes, he explained to Dennis that he suffers from mental illness which has contributed to him becoming involved in many fist fights on the streets. “James had the knuckles to back up his story,” says Dennis. Post-production of these images can sometimes take several hours to culminate in Dennis’s own style. Most of them are black and white. Using Adobe Photoshop, he often spends hours just “burning” the subject’s wrinkles and even fingernails, as well as making adjustments to any distracting elements commonly found on hats and shirts. Cropping is also critical and can enhance the storytelling by eliminating any dead space that can kill a photo. “Always make sure shadows are not blocked up and that highlights are not blown out,” he adds. However, Dennis always strives to capture images in-camera with proper exposure and composition. But spending time in post-production represents his own style and helps portray a powerful story. But even with all the experience and skill in the world, it is sometimes difficult to decide what story to tell. His advice is to choose something that you are deeply connected to and very passionate about. “We must ask ourselves why the story is relevant to others and how we will humanize it,” he explains. “However, we need to remember the Twelve Elements of Print Competition as well and use them as a guide when capturing portraits on the street.” Dennis has come a long way since January of 2016, not only as a photographer but as a compassionate human being with a growing awareness of the world around him. With camera in hand, he continues to do his part to call attention to the less fortunate among us. Like other professionals over the years, Dennis Kelley has discovered that photography is a lot more than just taking pictures.
Dennis Kelley, is an award-winning photographer from San Antonio, Texas, recognized nationally for his street portrait work. While serving in law enforcement, did photography as a hobby. After a 25 year career, he decided to retire and pursue photography as a professional. His work has been accepted into the prestigious PPA Loan Collection and he has been awarded PPA Gold Photographer of the Year. He currently serves as Vice-President of the Professional Photographers of San Antonio and will be one of the “Texas 10” speakers, hosting the event on March 25 in San Antonio. Feb/Mar 2018
In Greece, when you’re not just chillin’ by the sea with a Mythos beer, you’ll find the two-pronged European style plugs in use.
s you plan for your international trip, you need to consider the electrical service which may be quite different than that used in the United States. Unlike North America, most of the world’s electrical service is 220-240 volts at 50Hz. In the US, electricity is usually delivered at 120 volts and 60Hz. Also, you’ll find that the outlets may look quite different from what you see in your own home. So, when you look at electrical considerations for your trip, you need to think about both voltage and plug configuration. China delivers power at 220 Volts 50Hz but a common Chinese multiple socket can handle the same plug as the United States which can really present a hazard if you try to plug in a 110 Volt device. Voltage/Frequency - The electricity that is delivered into your home - or hotel room, for that matter - is called Mains Electricity. The two basic elements of this electrical power are the voltage and the frequency. Most of the world’s main electricity is 230 Volts at a frequency of 50 Hz (Hertz). Of course, in the United States, we must be different. Our power is usually 120 Volts at 60 Hz. Power adapters are quite small and simply allow you to plug a device with a US plug into a receptacle in another country. Power adapters DO NOT convert the power or frequency, so your device must be rated to work with that country’s power. The problem is that I can’t take a device that is designed to work at 120 Volts / 60 Hz and plug it into a socket delivering 230 Volts / 50 HZ. Believe me, bad things will happen. To use a 120 Volt device in a 230 Volt world, I would need to have a power converter that will alter the power before it gets to the device. The other consideration is the plug configuration. International standards define the general
China (above) delivers power at 220 Volts 50Hz but a common Chinese multiple socket can handle the same plug as the United States which can really present a hazard if you try to plug in a 110 Volt device. After you explore the sights in northern France (right) and return to your hotel, you’ll find that the European Type E plug is used. The power delivered to each outlet is 230 volts at 50 Hz. So, not only is the voltage different, but the frequency differs also. Even if you use a power converter, you would need one that changes both voltage and frequency and they are harder to find.
requirements for a plug but do not specify any plug or socket configuration - that’s up to each country. As you travel the world, you’ll find plugs and sockets in a wide variety of styles. So, what do you need? Before we continue, you should consider what you are taking and to what country. Devices that use electricity are divided into two groups: electrical and electronic devices. Electrical Devices - These are devices that have heating elements or mechanical motors. The most common are: • Hair Dryer • Electric Shaver or Toothbrush • Irons • Coffee Maker or Water Heater For these products, check if they are single or dual voltage. You can find some that will have a voltage switch on them. But, they should also be able to handle 50 Hz or 60 Hz. You can find hair dryers that are dual voltage but only work at 60 Hz. This is a common Chinese Multi Socket plug and receptacle found in China. My recommendation is to leave all electrical devices at home. You’ll usually find a hair dryer in every hotel room or cabin on a ship. If you really want to bring an electrical device, you’ll need to figure out the voltage requirements. If it is a dual voltage device, then all you need is a plug adapter. If not - like most hair dryers, curling irons, etc. then you would need a voltage converter in addition to the adapter plug. Just know, I’ve seen hair dryers that were plugged into pretty decent voltage converters and still burned up. Electronic Devices - These items use circuit boards and chips. The most common are: • A laptop computer, tablet, e-reader, etc. • Smartphone or MP3 player • Camera • Battery chargers For all your electronic devices, you’ll find that most of them will work at any voltage and all you need is an adapter plug. Adapters are inexpensive and are often sold in kits. You don’t need a kit with a transformer and every adapter for international travel. These tend to be an expensive waste of money.
For most of Europe, you’ll use a Euro style adapter that is simply two round prongs. If you’re going to the UK or Northern Ireland, you’ll want to have a Great Britain style three-prong adapter. In Greece, when you’re not just chillin’ by the sea with a Mythos beer, you’ll find the two-pronged European style plugs in use.
Rob Hull, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, started Great Photography over 20 years ago in Coppell, Texas. In that time, he has offered commercial, portrait, and freelance services to thousands of clients. This year he teams up with Tony Corbell with “Between Light & Shadow” at the 2018 Texas School of Professional Photography. Feb/Mar 2018
Let’s begin with a good natural light portrait area. Just as with strobe lights, the main light on a subject should be at about a 45° angle to the side and 45° up from the subject. This is a good place to start. We can’t have more light coming from straight above than where the main light is coming from. For this reason, we look for locations with an overhang to block the light from above. Some good advice: if you’re not sure the area will produce good natural portrait lighting, go sit where you plan to place your subject. As you sit, look around you. Do you see an area of open sky at a 45° angle? If you don’t see a light source, either go find a new location or add off-camera flash. In addition to the correct direction of light, in a natural light situation, the background must confine itself to a continuous tone of light. In other words, there can’t be direct sun in the background burning out areas in comparison to the subject. If the light reflecting on the subject’s face is the brightest part of the scene, it is what will draw attention of those who look at the portrait. If there are distractions and technical problems with the background, even the nicest light on the face will be for nothing. I look for open shade throughout my backgrounds. Then if the subject sits where the open sky is forced in the direction stated, your image will have the potential for power. I say “potential” because there are many more things to consider (color harmony, posing, expression, clothing, story-telling, composition, etc.).
have seen many posts on social media and magazine articles about how much better Off-Camera Flash (OCF) is than natural light. Most examples I’ve seen have just been bad examples of the use of natural light. Natural light portraiture is not just creating a correct exposure outdoors anywhere. The use of light, whether natural or artificial, has a specific and artistic placement that will create the look that the artist desires. The truth is that natural light can be pleasing, but the artist is limited to locations and specific times that will allow a powerful, printable result. On the other hand, off-camera flash can be used to create any chosen form of light in any given area at most any time. Of course, there’s a great deal of technical and artistic thought that should go into either process. 14
Now… the Truth about OCF. With flash, we can work in more locations with more background possibilities. As I stated before, sit where you plan on having your subject. If the light is not right for your image while still seeing the background for the composition you desire, you can simply move your light. In today’s world, lights are very portable and have great battery life. They are able to nearly over-power the sun at times and (more important to the way I work) they can be turned way down to allow work in low light areas. The Truth… you can produce work in more locations. That being said… just because we can doesn’t mean we should. Not all situations are going to work for either OCF or Natural light portraits. We still need to think about what is physically possible and still artistically pleasing. Remember, the light from the strobe only goes so far. If there are objects in your scene beyond the range THE PHOTOGRAPHER
The image on the left shows dark eyes. The background is great but the light is too powerful from above. The image on the right of it shows how Off-Camera Flash can create the direction of light needed to produce a pleasing portrait. With the dog (above), a good background and the use of Off-Camera Flash gave direction and, in this case, fur reflection.
of the strobe and there is no way to balance the background with shutter speed, you may want to move on to a new location. Example…. A client has a wooded yard on a lake. They want to see the water and the trees and, of course, them in a portrait. Even with strobe, you will need to find the right time of day to balance everything. Whether you are using OCF or going all Natural, you still need to make sure the light is being directed to the right place on your subject. There are forms of light to study. Learn them and the best uses of each. In the end, we as artists, are responsible for creating work for our clients that are appealing to them and their families. Whether natural or artificial, practice your skills and be able to make good decisions in any situation. Come join my class at Texas School! You will learn more about these skills in a “Hands-On” environment. You can build your portfolio with my assistance. More important… you WILL be able to do it on your own when you get back home.
Even in a “sweet-light” atmosphere there are times when a little pop of an OCF can help. I like that my Molight can be turned way down. This way I get a more natural feel to my location portrait work. I use the Molight AD600BM as a main light. I use one or two AD200s for accent lights or even main or fill in different situations. I also like the Molight Octa Box. I use the 32 inch version without the baffle inside. Carl Caylor began his career as a photo journalist and darkroom specialist. A beginning that would prove very beneficial to the new age of digital portraits in a Natural environment for both his guests and his students. He has shared his passion with photographers coast to coast in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Korea. He is one of the most sought after instructors in the country because of his “Hands-On” coaching approach. Learn more at: www.photoimagesbycarl.net Feb/Mar 2018
t’s something we hear all the time. We know it’s essential to our brand. But how exactly do we go about it? The easiest way for me to explain how I learned to stand out is to tell you my own life story. But don’t worry, I’ll give you the condensed version. I started out as a singer at age 8 and was in several boy choirs. We performed at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., for the President and sang for the Queen of England. This involved a lot of pressure and discipline from a young boy, especially for me. Over time, I moved up in the ranks to All-State Choir in high school. Afterwards, I received a scholarship from Southern Methodist University for their Opera Performance degree program. To me, it seemed that my path was clearly laid out for me. All of that changed one day... 18
My stage experience had taught me about lighting and how to place people in a visual environment. Imagining how my subjects would appear on stage, it taught me how to pose them to create the best look from the audience’s perspective (or, in this case, the viewer’s perspective). My past skills had also influenced how I worked with people and helped me to bring out emotions to help them feel “in the moment” and “be themselves.” As you’ve probably guessed, I can talk a horse into thinking it is a giraffe and have been known to talk so much during a session that I lose my voice from time to time (ironic, right?). However, by talking to my clients, I’m making them feel comfortable in front of my camera instead of feeling like they’re under a microscope. My loud voice also comes in handy when working with large groups. Finally, both halves of my world had come together. No longer did I regret my past or my future for that matter. It gave me the confidence to realize I was truly unique and that I could “stand out from the crowd.” I had what I called a “young life crisis” and asked myself if I was doing what I wanted or what was expected of me. It was time to make a change. Several years later, I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Photocommunications degree from St. Edward’s University. My grades had improved and I was finally doing what I loved. So, for the next 15 years, I photographed weddings, portraits, commercial and editorial photography. All this time, I wondered if I had made the wrong decision to become a photographer and that I may have thrown away my opportunity with music. But someone told me something that would make me feel like I could stand out from the crowd. Something that would change my life. Several years ago, I was teaching a wedding photography workshop and, at some point, had mentioned being a singer in a past life but apparently gave the impression to my class that both my previous life and my current career were completely separate. After class, a student asked me why I never mentioned my music background to my clients and why it wasn’t on my website. I had no answer for him. That student explained to me that my opera and performance background made me different from other photographers he had met. He explained how that, instead of being ashamed of changing career paths, I should appreciate how it helped me to become the photographer I am today. I was dumbstruck. His observation stuck with me for weeks as I tried to think about my life decisions, my past, and my suppressed talents from a life before photography. I began reviewing my photos and started to notice a pattern. My lighting techniques, posing suggestions, composition, interaction with clients... all were influenced by my past. Suddenly I was no longer ashamed and felt as though I had “found myself” again.
Since that time, my philosophy of taking pictures of people is, “Whatever your client is feeling when you photograph them is exactly how they will feel when they look at their pictures.” If they enjoy the experience of the photo session, they will feel the same when they see their images. However, a nerve-wracking photo session will do just the opposite and they will remember that feeling when they view their images. Although this sounds like more of a journal entry than an article, the point is to never feel like you don’t bring anything to the table today just because you were something else in a previous life. Never feel as if you are unqualified to take photos just because you didn’t own a camera at age 5. It is your unique past and your wide variety of life experiences that make you stand out, and your ongoing story that influences who you are today. The longer I live, the more the phrase “never have regrets” makes sense to me. Sure, I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but I’ve also made some wonderful successes and success directly corresponds with life experiences... those ups and downs, everything you’ve been and everything you will become.. that make you stand out from the crowd. So, search your past, search your mind, and search your heart. What you will find is that you already stand out from the crowd and you always have. Dustin Meyer is an internationally recognized professional photographer based in Austin, Texas. An active Nikon Fellowship Instructor with a passion for educating photographers across the country, Dustin has taught at WPPI, ImagingUSA, and PhotoGenesis. His work has been promoted by Kodak in Times Square NYC, featured in USA Today, and awarded the titles of both People’s Choice Award and Judge’s Choice Award in 2016 by Adobe. Dustin will be teaching “Shooting Weddings and Making a Profit” at the 2018 Texas School of Professional Photography. For more information, go to: www.DustinMeyer.com or TexasSchool.org.
A Full Day for just $89
($99 for Non-TPPA Members)
u Register Online at www.TPPA.org/texas10 while space is available u
oin Phyllis for a day that will prepare you for the world of volume photography. It will be full of helpful information and tips to empower you for success in the volume photo market. Learn how to effectively light, design and pose preschool students, as well as cropping images and batch processing them using ACR to export proofs. See how she uses WHCC’s PicA-Pack to place orders and to streamline the process. There will be a live demonstration using preschool students as well.
o you photograph weddings, babies, landscapes? Have you ever thought about branching out into the high school senior market but were nervous about getting started? Help is here! In this workshop, Jennifer McGraw will take you through all steps involved in a senior portrait session, from the initial contact, pre-consultation, to the actual photo shoot and in-person sale. She will share what HAS and HAS NOT worked for her in the past, saving you from making the same mistakes. Don’t miss out on this fun day!
rint competition is one of the best ways to improve your work. Find out what to expect in competition, what makes a merit photograph, and group critique of images. You will discuss the 12 Elements of a Merit Image, the importance of titles, the selection of subjects, and how to choose images for competition. You will study Merit and Loan images and find out why others failed. You are encouraged (but not required) to submit some of their own work for discussion in a safe, encouraging environment.
his fun, hands-on workshop encourages attendee participation. It will inspire you to see your food differently and move you to photograph food professionally! You will cover: Lighting, Equipment, Propping, Angles, Food Styling, and How to Choose the “Hero.” Whether you are a casual cook, a food blogger or just a photographic foodie, this workshop will get you off to a great start! You will be able to set up your own food vignettes and photograph them while Julien is there to assist!
re you busier than you want to be but your bank says your spending spree should be at the Dollar Tree? Are you losing your passion for photography and stuck in the mire of marketing, retouching, and delivering orders? Delve into where you are in your business and where you want to be in 10 years. Find out where you are spending your time and money. Learn key sales factors that encourage clients to spend more. Bring a notebook, ideas, hopes and dreams. Buckle up. This might cause just a little bit of excitement.
f you love wildlife photography, join Dennis for an African Safari, Texas Style, to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. Dennis will provide tips and techniques to take your wildlife photography to the next level. The $22 admission will allow you to travel throughout the 450 acre refuge and witness over 500 animals. You will even be able to get close-ups of gibbons, peacocks, kangaroos, and giraffes in the Walk-ABout area. Bring your gear and your laptop. Topics include: lens choice, lens extenders, filters, timing, focus presets, and more. Feb/Mar 2018
his workshop is all about understanding what Lightroom can do for you so you can do more. Learn what makes up a productive workspace and build time saving presets to help your workflow. Discover the key components that can improve each image and identify shortcuts that increase your efficiency. Before it is over, you’ll not only know the answers to your original questions – you’ll have a day-today workflow that works for you. Come with an open mind and leave with knowledge that will change your life!
oin Mark Sykes as he shares his expert stepby-step process of transforming RAW images into stunning professional portraits. Whether you are a novice or a daily user of Lightroom, you will learn how to take Lightroom’s powerful editing engine to push your images from good to great. If you are looking for a workflow that will help you get the most out of Lightroom and Photoshop, or you are just looking for a way to professionally retouch your portraits in 3 minutes, then you will not want to miss this program. THE PHOTOGRAPHER
ain confidence with hands-on, while you learn the advantages of each. You will review Natural Light, Speedlight, Constant Light and Studio Flash modifiers, and learn when and why to choose the right method. This workshop provides a complete hands-on experience as you learn to work with: Diffusers/ Reflectors, Umbrellas, Strip Softboxes, Square Softboxes, Octobox and Parabolics. Afterwards, you’ll make better buying decisions, and understand common setups to make your client look their best!
elling a photograph is more than just selling a product. You are selling yourself, your expertise, your quality and, most of all, your experience. In this workshop, you will look at the client experience from start to finish, from inquiry to delivery, and focus on your current level of service and how you can improve your services to get some WOWS! This workshop is not about pricing or photography technique. It is about you and the truly unique quality you can bring to your customers.
reativity is problem solving. We often think of creativity as thinking outside the box – but I flip that, describing it as thinking inside the box. This simple mental game will help you be more creative at your next tough shoot.
For instance, showing up to shoot a wedding and seeing problem after problem can be heartbreaking. Arriving in bad weather, realizing the client’s location is sub-par, and it’s the wrong time of day for perfect images can be a setback for the entire shoot as we wish our situation were only better. But these are problems we can’t change. They’re the box from which we need to work. Creativity is thinking inside that box and making those problems work for us. Sometimes I pretend that I’m on a big movie set, and that I’ve paid big money for the bad weather around me. That mental switch in the mind can change a shoot and help me use that bad weather for some awesome images. I tell myself, “I want all my clients to wish they had their shoot in this wonderfully bad weather.” THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Problem solving inside that box helps me come up with creative solutions to rock those issues that would sink so many others. That’s when the true creativity kicks in. I know that no matter what, without excuse, I need to make images that amaze my clients and win me awards. The better we get at problem solving, the easier shoots become. We see an issue and quickly visualize multiple solutions. It makes us positive to work with, and that positivity is infectious with our clients. Here in Utah, we get all four seasons. Not every day can be warm or sunny, and not all shoots can be at the “perfect” time of day. But no matter what, it’s up to us to create perfect images still. Understanding lighting and color and doing things manually, can be a great tool for problem solving and creating wonderful images on a not-so-perfect day. I did this shoot on a freezing, cold winter day. Temperatures were in the low single digits, and the fog was rolling in – not ideal for a model shoot in the city. But despite the stinging, frigid air, the fog was quite gorgeous. I was locked into a box with some obvious problems that would make my shoot harder, but the fog was going to really help add punch if lit just right. I decided that I wanted to show off the cold day and make the ambiance seem even colder. To do that, I wanted to make the foggy background blue rather than its normal whitish-gray color. It also meant telling my model and convincing her to ignore the icy temperatures and to just think warm thoughts and act as though she was warm. She laughed at that idea, but I was serious. I needed her to look less bundled up, coat off or unzipped, and gloves removed. I needed her to look as though she loved this cold day. I needed to engage this model even more to help overcome the freezing looks and instead get expressions that were wonderful. And I also had to work fast so that she didn’t freeze …too much. The shoot was a blast. The images turned out great, and they’ve since been featured in various magazine articles. So how did I get that blue background while keeping her skin tones perfect? I used a technique I’ve written about before. I used colored gels on my flash, overpowered the background, and custom-color balanced my camera to that gelled flash.
Everything set manually, the camera corrects for the gel color by going the opposite direction. Adding a yellow gel means the camera will add blue to the image’s color balance. But because I’m color balanced to that yellow, the model’s skin is perfect but the background goes blue. All of this together meant creating some very moody and creative images that I would not have made had we instead moved the shoot into my warm studio. And without excuse, I’m always taking care to aim my lights at the perfect angle for each shot to sculpt the model’s face and make her skin and eyes pop. I specifically shoot for more variety with fewer images, forcing myself to never shoot the same thing twice. That’s a great habit to be in, especially when you’re in a hurry in the cold. With the technical aspects all set manually, I can focus completely on the model, her personality with full engagement. I’m talking with her, laughing with her, and getting exactly the expressions I want without thinking about the gear. I’m always looking for genuine expressions that draw the viewer in. I have all of these techniques broken down into bite-sized systems that I teach for a full intensive week at Texas School. When you come, you’ll have the chance to practice them yourself and build on your strengths. When you put these systems together like the pieces of a puzzle, you get more creative images, with more variety, with more engaging and real expressions, but in less time, while also looking perfect before retouching. This will not only speed up your workflow, but will help your sales and marketing immensely.
If you want to learn and practice these things and more, come spend time with me at Texas School. It’s a joy spending an entire week with photographers at that event, making friends, and watching everyone grow. It’s something I look forward to every year.
Bry Cox is a Gold Medalist out of 25,000 international photographers. He’s on the Adobe Software Influencer team, is a PPA Master/Craftsman about 10 times over, and is Certified. Bry’s owned a studio in Utah for over 20 years, he’s been teaching workshops throughout the US and Canada for over a decade, and has created many videos, plug-ins, and books for photographers to rave reviews. He will be teaching a class, “High-End Creativity & Speed” at this year’s Texas School. In that class you will learn his secrets of social dynamics so complete strangers can relax on camera while giving you new ways of thinking about posing. Also, you’ll practice engaging people to pull out and capture their true personalities with more powerful and believable expressions. Learn more at TexasSchool.org.
William Branson III
Mike & Suzy Fulton Randy Braun & Stacy Garlington
Cris & Deanna Duncan
Elizabeth & Trey Homan Gregory & Lesa Daniel
Gary & Kathryn Meek
hat do weddings, wars, and sunsets have in common? ...fleeting moments. For photographers, however, these offer some of the most stressful conditions under which to shoot. For example, shooting sunsets is no big deal. But, if that sunset is a key component of a shoot that involves a subject that needs to be professionally lit, it is right up there with weddings and wars. The photographic lesson Iâ€™m about to set down revolves around such an image that went so right after everything went so wrong. I created the above image during an assignment in Hawaii that involved lighting and capturing a series of images of Hollywood actor/writer, Sherri Synder. As the shoot unfolded, it quickly became an exercise in thinking on my feet and letting everything go that could not be changed or controlled, in order that I could concentrate on making a decent image.
To capture the fleeting beauty of a sunset, time is of the essence. So, if you are planning to light a person in front of such a spectacle, you need to arrive well before sunset to setup and work all the bugs out long before the magic moment. This Hawaiian trip consisted of several real photo assignments that would also be captured on HD video for Adobe TV as an educational series on “Location Lighting Using Tethered Shooting with Lightroom.” For the project, we had a small crew consisting of: Rick Miller, Adobe USA; Megan Sinclair, cinematographer; local talent for hair, makeup, and assisting; and myself. Both Rick and Megan organized the locations, accommodation, car rentals, and lighting gear from California before meeting me in Hawaii. They did a great job setting it up. However, no amount of organizing could have prevented delayed flights and a last minute sick makeup artist, both of which put us some five hours behind schedule. After much scrambling, we arrived at the sunset location 15 minutes before sunset. The race was on. We had a ton of lighting gear and no time to transport and set it up a quarter a mile from the parking lot over some rough terrain to the shoot site on a beautiful stretch of beach on Sand Island, near Honolulu. Determined to get something on this first day, we tore through the gear, dumping into my emptied camera bag only what we thought we would need: digital SLR camera, a couple of zoom lenses, a speed-light with radio slave, a roll of duct tape, a flash meter, and a flashlight. All of the real lighting equipment was left behind at the parking lot. Then, with Sherri already made up and costumed, we literally ran to the spot. With the sun already set, Rick, in preparation for creating a mixed light image, assembled a speed-light and radio slave while I composed Sherri against the quickly fading sky. During these frenzied moments, I chose f5.6 as the perfect aperture for depth of field for this image. Next, I took a couple of in-camera meter readings to find an appropriate shutter speed for the f5.6 aperture setting (f5.6, 2 seconds at 100ISO) of the sky background. To dial in a suitable exposure on the speed-light, which Rick (now acting as a human light stand) aimed at Sherri, a flash meter with its incident dome directed toward this main light was brought into position next to Sherri’s face.
Rick had to concentrate on holding the speed-light in place. If his concentration wandered, the flash would point off the mark and our exposure on Sherri would have suffered.
Unfortunately (and I will use that word a lot in this story), after taking the first reading, the read-out on the meter sputtered in and out of existence a couple of times as the poor thing’s life flashed before its eyes and then went blank... “Death by dead battery,” was the prognosis. We did have spare meters and batteries but, unfortunately, they were back at the parking lot with the rest of the gear. Since we were shooting digitally, we could rely on the LCD preview image on the back of the camera. But judging exposure and lighting ratio’s solely by screen previews, without meter readings to back it up, is less than optimum since our eyes are influenced by the surrounding environment brightnesses which effect critical visual judgment of preview screens. Accurate exposure is really critical in an image with high contrast subject matter and subtle shadow detail like the image on the title page. In my opinion, using the histogram to judge exposure in an image like this one, isn’t so hot either. It’s too interpretive and it tells you nothing about lighting ratios. You could argue that exposure could be corrected during processing (which it could) but, if you needed to brighten the exposure, this would surely create banding issues in the shadows since digital cameras do not assign much bit depth to dark tones.
Some time ago, while teaching a group of photo students about strobe/flash lighting, I came up with a metering solution for those who couldn’t afford flash meters. I made a homemade “filter holder” of rolled duct tape with sticky-side-out, wrapped around the front of the lens (see how it looks on next page).
This whole situation seemed like the perfect time to freak out. But, for some reason, I just “let go.” Maybe the laid back vibe of islands got through to my frenzied main-lander brain or, more likely, too many things had gone wrong and my brain said, “Enough!” and it let go. Anyhow, I completely relaxed, cleared my mind, and a few short moments later a solution popped into my mind. Some time ago, while teaching a group of photo students about strobe/ flash lighting, I came up with a metering solution for those who couldn’t afford flash meters. This temporary solution turned your digital SLR into an incident flash meter without using the in-camera meter at all! Acting on this memory, I made a homemade “filter holder” of rolled duct tape with sticky-side-out, wrapped around the front of the lens. With the tape in place, a blank sheet of clean white paper, torn from a notebook which always resides in my camera bag, was stuck to this “filter holder,” completely covering the front of the lens with clean, blank, unwrinkled white paper.
With the camera held next to Sherri and with the white paper end of this impromptu meter pointed at Rick’s speed-light, several exposures were taken. With each exposure, Rick varied the flash output with its manual output settings, creating a series of captures that look like solid grey swatches ranging from brighter to darker. Looking in turn at each image’s histogram on the back of the camera, I chose the image whose histogram spiked in the middle at middle grey. This method works only if the paper is the same density as the grey pigment on a middle-grey card. Upon identifying the best exposure from the histogram, Rick reset the speed-light to the manual power setting that created that exposure, I removed the white paper from the lens and, with the help of a flashlight aimed at Sherri’s silhouetted face, auto-focused and then captured a series of images of Sherri. It is funny how things turn out sometimes. With this shoot, everything seemed to be working against us. A photo shoot is wrought with an infinite number of variables and so you need time to work through them. In the end, I was pretty happy with the results of our efforts, even though it was too dark to get any video footage. I was also amazed at how fast the shoot came together. We managed to pull it off in just 7 minutes from arriving at the spot to final click of the shutter even though, at the time, it seemed like an eternity with the meter problems and with using the accurate-butcumbersome white paper metering method. Also, I was really thankful to work with people like Rick who know their stuff and with Sherri who needed very little direction... simply tell her an emotion to portray and we were off and clicking. A few points to wrap up with: • I love the look of out-of-focus backgrounds and foregrounds because of the depth they lend to an image. Shallow depth-of-field is a strong creative tool for creating the illusion of depth (3D) in flat (2D) reproduction such as a photo. For that reason, we created the perfect exposure on Sherri by changing the speed-light power settings rather than the camera aperture. Keep in mind that the perfect exposure doesn’t have to alter camera aperture. The aperture can stay as is and the exposure can be dialed in by altering the light source power and/ or changing distance of light source and/or, for constant light sources, changing shutter-speed. • Hand holding a light source is fraught with danger. Rick had to concentrate on holding the speed-light in place. If his concentration wandered, the flash would point off the mark and our exposure on, Sherri would have suffered. • What really makes the lighting work in this image is placement of the speed-light. If the flash had been left on-camera, the shadows would have fallen directly away from the camera creating flat lighting. In my mind, lighting should help create the illusion of depth in a photograph, not flatten it out. For this reason I worked with the flash off-camera and to one side. This positioning forced the shadows forward on Sherri. This light direction created a dramatic light pattern over her that portrayed the depth I was after. As for the shadows, some low level fill lighting at about 3 and 1/2 stops below the working camera exposure did occur from the overhead sky.
With the tape in place, a blank sheet of clean white paper, torn from a notebook which always resides in my camera bag, was stuck to this “filter holder,” completely covering the front of the lens with clean, blank, unwrinkled white paper.
What really makes the lighting work in this image is placement of the speedlight. If the flash had been left on-camera, the shadows would have fallen directly away from the camera creating flat lighting. Looking in turn at each image’s histogram on the back of the camera, I chose the image whose histogram spiked in the middle at middle grey.
Dave Montizambert will be teaching at the 2018 Texas School of Professional Photography. He lectures internationally on lighting, digital photography, and Adobe Photoshop. He is also a published author having written two books on lighting and digital photography plus numerous magazine articles on these topics in North America, Europe, Russia and Asia. Learn more at: www.montizambert.com.
“Alley Oop” was created by Doc List of Austin, Texas. The image is of a dance duo who do a combination of acroyoga and dance (“acrodance”). The male dancer, Dmitri Gonzalez, is a well-known parkour acrobat and teacher in Austin, as well as being well-known and respected in the acroyoga community. The female dancer, Holly Go Lightly (yes), is an acroyogi and dancer. When they came to Doc’s studio, they told him they had an idea for a move they had been working on. The challenge for Doc was that his studio has 14 foot ceilings, yet he still had to capture the image. This was an actual launch, not a composite. Holly stood in Dmitri’s hands and he tossed her up and then dropped his arms back. “That is why he looks like he’s worried that she’ll crash to the ground,” says Doc. Lighting was accomplished with a stripbox up almost to the ceiling to the camera left and a rectangular softbox to the camera right. “My goal was to get this on the first try,” explains Doc. “I didn’t get it on the first try but did on the second. It was amazing to see as well as to photograph.” Doc List is one of the current Councilors-At-Large for Texas PPA.
I found myself in that situation last year and decided to pursue the art that truly inspires and motivates ME. Not my clients; Not my students. I wanted to pursue MY visions of creativity and get back in touch with what I loved, because making others happy (in the creation of art) often leads us to an unfulfilling place. Although, sometimes it’s merely the reality of paying bills and keeping up with life that squeezes out the “fun stuff” ...you know, the art we do for the love of it and deem as a “luxury activity”? The journey back to the Joy of Creating begins with a journey of selfdiscovery, and defining what it is that you love to photograph, whether it be a general topic or a specific subject, format, style or technique. Then the journey includes dreaming up creative projects and learning new skills or techniques. But along the way, sometimes you need to give yourself permission to discover, to change, to experiment and even fail. It also involves making room for your art. What if life and schedules are too full? Then it’s the process of making time. It is a discipline, but taking the time every day to do even a little bit and planting the seeds of creativity, will eventually grow into a huge life-giving tree. We so often want it NOW. We want to stop what we are doing NOW and switch to the fresh approach in a weekend. Here’s the bad news: developing your artistic vision and body of work does not happen that way. There are many things that happen gradually. Daily creativity is far more powerful at changing your life and perspective than a frenzy of creative activity one weekend in June. There are lots of ways to re-discover the passion points- whatever it is you love to create. (That’s a topic that can fill a whole article by itself!) But once you do that, you need to plan a time to start on it, even if it is only to clear a space for your stuff. Or gather a box of elements to shoot when you are ready. Or make sketches of compositions on paper as you brainstorm. The goal is just to make time! Give yourself permission to take the time... especially if you are one of those driven, busy people who feel they need to be productive all the time (like me). Schedule the time and just do short intervals if that’s all you have room for now. And don’t be so bent on completion that you never start because you know you don’t have time to finish. Yes, finishing is important, but
CREATE… SIMPLIFY... DO MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE... DREAM… Decide what you TRULY want to create and then give yourself PERMISSION!
here comes a time when you are ready for a change. You may feel your art is stale and un-focused, or perhaps you are just ready to change direction. Perhaps you have been doing your photography and art for everyone besides yourself! Part of the journey for every artist is reinvention, and refocusing on our passion. What got most of us started on our path as photographers and artists? PASSION! We were passionate about our art and pursued it with fresh creativity and zeal… and we pursued it on a regular (perhaps daily) basis. But sometimes that fades along the way for a variety of reasons and we lose sight of what makes our creativity come alive!
never even a possibility if you never get started! The truth is, daily intervals of creativity (or anything) impacts you more than a big burst of time, so don’t be afraid to just dabble as long as it is a daily routine. Your art will make room for itself, usually by changing your priorities in the process. One of my favorite sayings is: “Only engage, and the mind becomes heated. Begin, and the work will be completed.” -Wolfgang Von Goethe After analyzing my passion points, I realized I loved flowers with a certain insanity, and the creation of beauty, fashion and elegance with women and especially dancers. As a former dancer myself, I truly appreciate this beautiful art form! As I gave myself permission to shoot the things I loved and then create with them (with no assignment expectation) I found the joy of painting began to resurface, and before I knew it, was painting up a storm and trying new things with my photography! Now I am working on a fresh body of work, and a few books and enjoying the creative journey so much again! (as you can see, I love flowers, painting, color and compositing). While many of my fellow photographers will find their “bliss” subject is something far from what I do, we can all can benefit from furthering our own skills to embrace new directions, regardless of our favorite subject matter. Some of the basic building blocks of art (artistic expression, painterly effects, image combinations, and even movement) apply to all genres of images, giving the artist freedom to express as he or she desires. And what about purpose? That’s always a topic of mine-- being focused on the purpose-- but one of the best ways to enhance your life, your creativity and your vision is to create purely for the purpose of self-expression and enjoyment. While that may seem like a selfish (or non-existent) purpose, it may be the primary factor needed to help you reach your goals because of the development of your vision and skills! Learning new techniques and connecting with other creative people creates a synergy of fresh ideas and direction you may have never dreamed of. As a driven, git-‘er-done-kinda-girl, I am making the changes to allow more time for art and expression and reaping so much more than I expected. It’s not all about accomplishment. We need to make time for inspiration, too. As I am carving out time for creativity and embracing my crazy ideas, I keep getting more creative with expression, faster with Photoshop, and have become a much better storyteller. Oh, and did I mention having a lot more fun and energy for life? (even for the other parts of my life too, like yard work). #takingcareofme #giveyourselfpermission I’m teaching a new class at Texas School this year, called Follow your Bliss. Of course, it will be a journey of discovery to help you find YOUR bliss, but a fun class of creative expressions and skill building as well. Yes, we will be creating Art for the Love of it- using painterly tools and mixer brushes, Photoshop, filters and plug-ins, masking, composites and brush-
making, too. Even some simple animation and video techniques for social media/marketing (or purely for the fun of it). I’m hoping you will join us in creating some fresh art!... or at least get inspired from this article and decide to give yourself permission to Create for YOU!
Suzette Allen, Cr.Photog., CPP, API, Lumix Ambassador, and Adobe Influencer, is one of the many fine instructors at the 2018 Texas School of Professional Photography. She is considered one of the top Photoshop instructors in the country and has branched out into other facets of photography as well. For more information on Suzette, check out her website at www.SuzetteAllen. com or learn more about her class at www. TexasSchool.org.
Portraits of the Homeless with Dennis Kelly… Natural Light vs. Off-Camera Flash by Carl Caylor… Standing Out from the Crowd by Dustin Meyer…...
Published on Feb 1, 2018
Portraits of the Homeless with Dennis Kelly… Natural Light vs. Off-Camera Flash by Carl Caylor… Standing Out from the Crowd by Dustin Meyer…...