When it comes to crafting killer quality of light, it’s all about modifiers. These light-shaping tools come in a variety of shapes, sizes and interior finishes. When attached to the front of strobes, modifiers help control the quality, shape, direction, spread, and amount of contrast, as well as how quickly the light falls off. While some have more versatility than others, there is no one-size-fits-all modifier. Each has its own unique characteristics, and each produces a different set of results.
As a photographer, ask yourself this question: how often do you break down a session into those key elements? Our creative path is usually inspired by other images we see, images that evoke the desired adjective of “beautiful” and also conjure the phrase, “I want to shoot something like this too!” You get all the necessary components together and start photographing. But are you replicating what you saw as your inspiration, or are you returning to the basics of beauty—the definition of the word?
About a year into my boudoir photography business, I was being asked to teach from all over, to host workshops, to speak at events, and so I went with it. I taught my first boudoir workshop in Atlanta, GA in 2015. Here we are almost five years later, and I’ve traveled across the country to speak, teach and inspire. But how did I get here? I’ll tell you one thing—it wasn’t easy. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
For wedding photographers using Lightroom, it is no secret that Adobe likes to launch new versions in the middle of our busiest season. What are we supposed to do—drop everything we’re working on and upgrade? Well, it’s not so simple for most users to jump to the next version, because things change. Upgrading can set back your post-production workflow, adding pain to your already-busy schedule of editing and meeting client delivery deadlines.
So, you would like to branch out into the boudoir market and are wondering how to get started? Here are some tips and observations from what I have learned over the years that might help you achieve your goal. In many ways, I had to unlearn some things in order to shoot intimate images that clients enjoyed, and I wanted to share a few of those with you here.
I’m not going to give you 10 poses to memorize, or give you different posing ideas for different body types. While these kinds of tips are certainly helpful in expanding your posing repertoire, they don’t help you understand how to flatter the female body. Instead, I’m going to give you my favorite posing tweaks to help you learn to think critically about ways to make any body look longer, curvier, and more feminine.
Shooting beauty photography shouldn’t be inherently tricky. Still, every day, I see photographers struggle to nail what I would consider a traditional beauty image—something worthy of a beauty campaign that you’d see in stores like Sephora or Mac. Whether you’re a photographer interested in beauty and fashion photography or just want to learn new creative skills to take your portraiture from boring to “wow,” below, you’ll find five secrets to help you create picture-perfect beauty images.
Your team, as well as your model, make up 80 percent of your shoot’s success. When you know your assignment and your goals, you have to start thinking of the creative components. Knowing the type of story you want to tell, you need to be very precise with your choice of model, hair and makeup people, wardrobe stylist, and prop stylist in some cases. Every creative person has their own style, things they are into, things they are good at, and also limitations.
There is a recipe in everything we do as human beings, one that incites some type of emotional response no matter where we are and what we are doing. It involves the senses—whether a single one or multiple at the same time. In the artistic realm, part of the goal is to generate a response based on a recipe that engages sight. This requires a process that will make your vision come to life—from formulation to actualization in creating images that inspire and elicit joy when viewed.
2020 is upon us, and every year you should investigate ways in which you can improve your craft. As we move more and more into booking Gen Z clients, we have noticed that quality is something that is becoming more and more important to our clients. Quality can come in many forms: business, client experience, etc. What I want to focus on today is artistry, and what you can look to do to up your photography game for your clients starting this January. Let’s look at some of the significant skillsets and go over the trends that we are noticing in our business today.
This is your business. Your company. Your future. You must be confident in your vision. You cannot build your company on someone else’s vision. Think about it. As a photographer, when clients come to me with their Pinterest vision boards, I typically hand them back. Why? Not because I am trying to be obnoxious, but because that was not my idea. I can’t execute on someone else’s vision any more than another photographer can execute on mine.
That was the point when I decided to plan at least one or two creative shoots a month for myself and my soul. When I did that, something changed. I felt more excited. I wanted to run into my studio every morning and just create. After that, I was giving even more to my clients in their sessions and as a whole. I had re-lit that fire I had for photography and creativity. It’s easy to lose ourselves in client work and tell ourselves we don’t have the time or energy to shoot anything for ourselves. I’m here to tell you: shoot for yourself. Collaborate, get weird, or just do something outside of your comfort zone.
Free Photography Education
Sign up for a free account and get photography training, tips and special offers from our partners delivered straight to your inbox.
Over the years that I’ve spent in the wedding photography business, I’ve found that one of the biggest obstacles we photographers come up against is time—or rather, the lack of it. Sometimes it’s hard to get the bride, groom, and wedding party on the same page in the little amount of time we have for each specific stage of the shoot.
One thing really helps me to work around this issue: I make use of a workflow that allows me to quickly position the bride and groom in various poses and get the shots I need in just a few minutes. I can get a ton of great pictures, and at the same time catch up if I’m running behind for any reason, or if I just have a really tight time frame to work with.
I love my strip boxes. My go-to’s are the Profoto D2 line and the Profoto 1×6 RFI strip boxes with grids. I use these light modifiers for my maternity, fitness and boudoir clients, because of the control and impact they have when shaping light. You can use them to create gorgeous directional light that focuses on drama. And who doesn’t enjoy an excellent dramatic photograph?
High-volume photography is one aspect of the industry that seems both intriguing and daunting to a lot of photographers. I will go over why I want to photograph it, the basics of setting up team and individual images, and how to organize your day and files as you jump headfirst into one of the most profitable dollar-to-hour segments of photography out there.
As a business owner, there’s nothing more tantalizing than a wedding show: hundreds of qualified clientele looking for the services you’re offering. Here’s the thing: shows are for marketing. And marketing doesn’t mean just showing up, it also means following up.
What is behind the shutter?
Behind the Shutter is a free online photography training and educational resource created to help both professional and amateur photographers run successful photography businesses – covering lighting, posing, social media, marketing, post-production, pricing, sales and more.
Sal Cincotta created Behind the Shutter to give back to the world of photography. As an up and coming photographer, Sal was struggling to find answers to basic questions. Most of the magazines out there were filled with fluff. Sal needed and wanted to create something that would challenge photographers, something that would educate them.
Sal, an active wedding and portrait photographer in the St Louis metro area, wanted to bring a sense of real world understanding to the magazine and photography education.
Our mission is to create and elevate the photography community by providing relevant and timely education. At Behind the Shutter, we believe that an educated photography community will raise the bar for all photographers around the world.
Photography training and education for the modern photographer
In today’s competitive landscape, quality online photography training and education is priceless to your growth. Unfortunately, most publications contain a ton of fluff. No real meat to their content. Not at Shutter Magazine. We are committed to the photography community and improving professional photography by providing current, insightful, and in-depth educational content.
Training topics include photography lighting techniques, photography off-camera flash tips, photography posing guides, photography business concepts and marketing strategies, Facebook for photographers, boudoir and glamour photography training, high-school senior photography concepts, IPS (In-Person Sales) strategies, family photography, lightroom tutorials, photoshop how-tos, and much, much more.