Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Glamour, Beauty, Portraits and my class: Before and After

A lot of people think if you can point a camera at someone and expose it decently that you will create an awesome image and that may be the case some of the time but not in Beauty, Fashion and Portrait photography (in my humble little opinion). To me, shooting is half the equation and the post processing of the image is the second half. 

Some photographers believe you should do most of the work in camera so the image that comes straight out after your shoot should be almost sellable. I agree and I disagree. I do agree you should do all you can to expose properly, light properly and pose properly to most flatter your subject, but I do think to take your photography to the next level you have to be able to post process and retouch at the same high level as your shooting. To me, if you are a great shooter but you do not have the ability to fix a blemish, do a head swap, color correct, fix teeth, or alter some physicality of the image (that would be slimming my expanded waist line if I ever let anyone shoot me, which won't happen), you are only fighting with one hand tied behind your back and in todays market one hand is not enough hands to fight!

If you throw a rock in any direction these days and you will hit a "Professional" photographer. With so many "Pros" how do you separate yourself from the masses? To me the way to separate from the many is to be able to shoot and post process your clients images in a way that they are blown away! One of the many goals I have in this business is to be as well rounded as I can possible and to be as proficient in all aspects of photography as possible. I really feel that it is our obligation as "Professional Photographers" to do all we can to provide our clients with the highest level of images and part of that to me is educating ourselves and continued learning. With all that in mind this week I took a retouching class to be able to enhance my post processing abilities. I took the class from Julia Kuzmenko from Omaha Image Productions. It was awesome. I've been looking for a class for awhile now to help me get my editing to what I consider to be another level and I really feel Julia did that for me! So, Thanks Julia!!!

Here are some before and after images. 

Here is Julia's Facebook to see her awesome work!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Stuck in 1988!!!!

One of the things I never get used to as a High School Senior photographer is shooting a Senior kid and realizing I went to High School with their parents! In all honesty it shocks me cause I always think when I find out, "How can ______ have a kid that old, they are my age!" Then I remember just how old I really am and sobering reality that I'm getting closer and closer to being half a century old hits me like a ton of bricks. I have to say that moment really is one of the only times I ever feel my age! One of the cool things about being extremely immature and having the worst case of Peter Pan syndrome in the world is that you really do live in a place that has long since gone away. For me, the place I live and where my reality resides is somewhere between 1983 to 1991.

The late 80's and early 90's take a beating sometimes for the fashion and the music of the times. To me the 80's rocked for music and fashion. The 80's gave us Van Halen, The Cure, W.A.S.P., Depeche Mode, AC/DC, Ice-T, NWA, White Snake, Public Enemy, Michael Jackson, Pat Benatar, Rush, Judas Priest, Run DMC, Metallica and Prince name just a few! In all honesty, when Purple Rain the movie came out I thought Prince was the coolest Mother F'er on the planet! Cool motor bike, sweet jackets with giant built-in shoulder pads, cool man heel boots, he was the lead singer in a bad ass band and the best part, he got Appollona as a girlfriend! Prince you were the man!! I digress.....

So, for today's post I am posting some images of some High School kids who parents were just High School kids themselves, at least in my mind, just the other day!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fashion with Becca

Last week Becca came over to the studio from Logan Utah to help me with my fashion lighting. I wanted to work on lighting with a single light on a white surface to create very clean images. A few cool things about Becca. She is a huge outdoors person and told me last year she hunted and got her first mountain lion and this year she is going to give bow hunting a try! Sad but true, it seems that Becca is more manly than me! If anyone is looking for a great blonde and very very very tall model I would highly recommend Becca as she is very easy going and cool to work with. Here are some of the images from our shoot. Thanks again Becca for making the trip over! 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Teaching My First Lighting Class!

A month or so ago I got a call from one of my friends Tiffany Hix who is an amazing child photographer in Boise. She asked me if I would participate in a benefit for one of our other photography friends Jayme Montoya who is an awesome Boudoir photographer from Boise. I said I would love to and what would you like me to do. Tiffany asked if I would help put on a lighting class. My first thought was,"They want me to help with a lighting class? Oh, yeah Craig Lamere/Moz Studios resident bad ass!"  My chest got big, my head started to swell, I could feel the ego rapidly inflating! Oh yeah it was on! Then, about a second after my first thought, my second thought overtook it like a shark eating one of those little seals you see on wild kingdom, "Dummy you have never taught a lighting class, what the hell are you thinking!" Quickly my ego trip was burst by reality; pride turned to fear, confidence turned to fright and then I did what anyone with less brains than a monkey would do and said, "Yes, no problem. What day is it." I talk to Tiffany about the details, hung up the phone and immediately had to poop.

Tomorrow is the big day and I'm really pretty excited and to be very honest I'm mega ultra scarred! I'll let you all know how the event goes; good or bad! No matter what happens the event and it's purpose is awesome. I've been so blessed in my life to have been helped every step of the way by incredible people! Time to do some pay back!  Everyone have a sweet weekend!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fashion Lighting with Leticia

Even though I would defiantly consider myself a portrait photographer I have a mega passion for fashion photography, fashion lighting and editing.  I really enjoy looking and studying the images in Vogue, Elle and Vanity Fair. When I look at an image I'm always trying to figure out how the photographer created it. I'm always thinking, "What modifiers did they use? How did they expose it? What kind of light did they use? How much of the image is post? What was their retouching process?" ect....ect... I have to say I LOVE images that are way better than mine. I get so excited to see an image that is beyond my skill set in either creativity or technical ability or BOTH!  When I see an image that smokes me it makes me want to get to the level of the artist who created that image. There's a scene in the movie Seabiscuit where Toby Maguire brings Seabiscuit along side of this other horse to get a good look at the other horse to make Seabiscuit run harder, that's pretty much the same way I feel when I see incredible work! When I see great work I always think, "You better run harder if you want to catch them!" 

For this shoot I wanted it to be very clean, simple and really focus on Leticia. The goal of the shoot was to create some images you might find on the pages of Elle, Vanity Fair or Vogue. We shot in my white room at the studio. Hope you enjoy the images!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Barn Doors and Grids

I have to say I'm a sucker for a great gadget! They have the spring fair in my town every year and every year I can't resist buying some dumb gadget that is suppose to change my life for the better. I've bought the magic broom, the magic mop, the magic chamois, magic pans, magic chopper, magic never-need-sharpened kitchen knives, magic glass cleaner and so on. Honestly, I think the only thing left for me to buy at the spring fair would be magic beans! Pretty much if someone puts the word magic in the name of their product I have to have it! 

Now being a portrait photographer I'm always looking for ways to light my clients better so I can make their kids portraits, family portraits, senior portraits and any other portraits look awesome! So, the other day I ordered barn doors and some grids from Alien Bee for my studio lights. Basically barn doors attach to the front of your lights and have four moving flaps that enable you to make the light more narrow or wide and directional. Grids basically are inserts that go in your lights that have a honeycomb patten. This honeycomb pattern does not allow the light to spread as far as it normally would and focuses the patten for a more precise beam of light. You use both to help you be more creative and focus the light on your clients so you are able to create different lighting patterns that will flatter them in the best way for their portraits. 

The images below are a glamour session with Katy and is my first test of Alien Bee products, so far big thumbs up!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My first time on "Framed"

Ok, so I'm kinda jumping around on my blog, highlighting some of the things that have happened to me in the past year or so that I feel have been way significant to me and my photography progression. So today I bring you my first "Framed" experience.

The Framed Show is a program for anyone who has an interest in photography. It doesn't matter if you are a wedding photographer, senior photographer, family photographer or even boudoir photographer, there is something on the program for everyone, it's really pretty sweet! So one day I saw a post on their Facebook page that they were looking for Boise photographers to participate in their challenge. Since I was a Pocatello portrait photographer and not a Boise portrait photographer I was not sure I would qualify for the program, but I thought F-it and sent my stuff in anyway.

Some time had past and I had not heard anything so I assumed I had not been chosen for the program. Then one saturday night about 11pm I got an e-mail from Framed saying they would like me to participate! I was so excited and then I was so scarred! If you have ever been at a swimming pool with a really high platform and looked at the people jumping off and thought, "that looks cool" and then taken yourself to the top of the platform and looked down and realized the thought of jumping was a lot better at the bottom than it is right now? Well, for me getting the e-mail was like that! Shit! I really got what I wished for!

A week or so later I was in Boise for the challenge with four other photographers, Sara and Dylan from Sara K Byrne Photography and Jerry and Jennifer from 02 photography. We found out our challenge was to do a commercial shoot for a gun manufacturer. The shoot was at a welding place in Boise! The location was cool, the product was cool, my model was cool and the shoot was way cool. I was way happy with how the images and the whole experience turned out!

For me the best part of my Framed experience was the affirmation that I really am doing what I love and what I'm suppose to be doing with my life and my talents. So THANK YOU Framed for giving me an awesome opportunity!

Here are some of the shots from the challenge and if you want to see the challenge the link is at the bottom!

Check out the other awesome photographers who did the challenge with me and check out Framed!

Monday, February 27, 2012

My sweet clip that MTV wants!

I'm sure someone will post it anyway so here it is! If you can't laugh at yourself who can you? Enjoy everyone!

Me on MTV!

So a looooooong time ago I made this little video. It was me caught in an embarrassing moment. My good friend posted it to You Tube and since it has had 655,000 hits! So the other day a get a phone call and an e-mail from the producers of MTV's Ridiculousness and they asked if they could use the video for their show. I said yes, cause everyone I know has seen it already. So I will let everyone know when my cool episode will air! If you are not familiar with the show here is a link to it. 

Here is the clip they want to use!

Ryan - Blackfoot Senior Photography

One cool thing about being a High School Senior photographer is that all the kids are so individual in some aspects and pretty much the same in others. This shoot I was reminded of two things that stay pretty constant in Senior guy shooting. One, the Boys want to be seen as bad-asses and two, mom's don't see their little boys as that at all! 

This Senior shoot was with Ryan Gallegos a High School Senior at Blackfoot High. Ryan is a running back and defensive back for this years Idaho UNDEFEATED 4A State Champion Blackfoot Broncos and is a phenomenal student. I know Ryan pretty well being one of his football coaches, so his shoot was very comfortable and we talked a lot about our season and what we needed to do to reach our goal of winning state (which we did!).

The next day or so Ryan and his mother came back to the studio for their view and order session. Usually for a senior session I shoot around 250 images so the family has a great variety of images to choose from. I alway show a slideshow of all the images that I take that day at the beginning of the session. The show was playing and I was looking at them feeling pretty good with what I had shot when at about the 200 image mark I hear Ryan's mom whisper, "you didn't smile in one picture." 

Sure enough, not one smile in 250 images! Ryan and I had been talking so much about winning football games that I didn't notice he was not smiling at all, but rather getting his Bad-A on! Lucky his mom was mega cool and agreed to let me shoot him one more time and make sure he smiled. I think her comment was, "We paid enough for that smile I want to see it." So the next day we shot again. I wish I could say we didn't talk more football, but that would be a lie. Here are some of the images from Ryan's sessions, including a few of him with his awesome smile. Another Senior photography lesson learned!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fashion Practice with Kylee Hale

Yesterday I was lucky enough to have Kylee Hale in the studio to help me with my fashion lighting. My goal this year is to get hired to shoot some commercial fashion stuff. I have to say my dream job, other than being a pro golfer, celebrity chef or the O coordinator for Boise State would be a legit fashion photographer. Here are some of the image from our shoot.