In my self-discovery with newborn portraits, if you will, I realized I was photographing newborns how I had seen everyone else photograph them. Mistake #1. The one thing I am always encouraging other photographers to do is to find your groove, find your style. I was guilty of not doing this myself. I know... me! Can you believe it?!?! I mean, my rule of thumb is to create what you want… how you envision it, and then you market so the right people can find you for exactly what you do. We don’t shoot like others because we think that’s what our clients want. Because we all already know most of the time clients have no idea what they want. We educate them because we are the professional and we have a style.
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.
The main goal of my monthly lighting tutorials is to teach you how to think about light, show you how to effectively use lighting tools, arm you with knowledge you need to think on your feet, teach you how to solve the lighting problems you’re likely to encounter, and help you learn how to design lighting that can support a range of subject matter.
I’ve probably spent just as much time in front of the camera as I have behind it. I started taking self-portraits when I first picked up a camera. It became the best way for me to learn the technical side of photography. It also let me be an artist and experiment with wardrobe, posing and lighting.
The photo industry is obsessed with the young and the beautiful. That is why there are countless photographers taking photos of babies, flowers, and women in dresses. But that is easy! That’s what “works.” Of course babies are beautiful. The trick is finding beauty in less obvious places. Sujata Setia’s photography does just that. The beauty in her images does not come solely from her subjects, but also from the compelling narratives she conveys.
There are rules in photography, and there are rules in lighting as a part of photography. However, when you're photographing conceptual work or fine art, you are largely expected to make your own rules. Only you know what is in your own head, and you have to bend any rules that stand in the way of making that vision a reality.
Unless you are in a different business than I am, most of your bridal photography clients aren't going to be supermodels. They won't have years of experience giving the camera what it wants. However, every single one of them wants to look like the best version of herself on her wedding day and in all those gorgeous photos you are taking of her.
Great lighting is what separates the good images from the bad, as well as the good from the great. It’s literally and technically what your camera sensors capture every time you press your shutter. As a photographer, our number-one goal should be to chase down great lighting, maybe even learn how to create it if called for, and then place our subjects within that scene to bask in its brilliance.
Every location poses different challenges, but the results can be great when you get outside your comfort zone and work with a purpose. In this article, I will explain my creative thought process and cover the technical details I encounter when creating environmental portraits.