PHOTOGRAPHERS. ANSWERING THE QUESTION – WHY YOUR PHOTOS SUCK?

We’ve all seen the photographs of photographers who lack skill. They post blah photos of girls that are distorted, out of focus, have flat lighting and mediocre poses. Most of these models have an expression that says they would rather be anywhere else.

There is a very good reason for that. The photographer didn’t have a plan. Piss poor planning leads to piss poor performance. Want to shoot better? Here’s how.

1. Train your artistic eye to recognize what is working.
a. Learn to read the light – direction, intensity
b. Learn to read the pose – does it work and is it flattering to the subject
c. You can’t fix shitty lighting in Photoshop
2. Refrain from trying to make the model look sexy
a. Ass shots are crass shots
b. No crotch shots
c. Models squatting look like they are taking a dump
d. Duck face – I’m not sure who thought that was sexy, but no
3. Learn how to use your frigging camera.
a. ISO, fstop, Camera speed all go together to make the shot
b. Learn about exposure
4. Look at the whole scene, not just the hot girl
a. Check for tree limbs and other junk coming out of her head in the shot.
b. Is the composition correct?
c. If her chest is in focus, but her face is blurry, then get your head out of the gutter.
d. look for bright spots in the background that will pull your eye away from the subject.

Other things to look at
Wardrobe – does it look stupid or demeaning
Hair & makeup – these can make or break a photo shoot
Environment – Don’t let it distract from the subject

I spend hours doing a dry run for a photo shoot on paper. I collect photos of poses to show the model or give direction. I look at the lighting in photos and figure out what I like and don’t like.

I loved working with her. Mostly, her eyes are extremely expressive and really showed her inner beauty in these shots. She was a lot of fun to work with. She wasn’t very experienced, but she was a natural model able to move around and change poses without direction. We’ve worked with her a few times, and she always brought her A-Game.

When I work in the studio, I shoot full manual mode, My lights are Alien Bees. I’ve never seen the need to use more expensive lights. As far as I’m concerned, light is light. It doesn’t matter if it comes from a $1000 strobe or a $30 strobe. It just matters how you control the light. Where are the highlights and where are the shadows?

THE MOST FUN YOU WILL EVER HAVE WITH YOUR CLOTHES ON.


Do you remember the first time you played dress-up? When you wore your mother’s shoes and her big girl clothes. There was a hat involved. It was probably the first time you wore makeup. Lipstick all over your lips to make you look glamorous and earrings to top it all off. You probably walked across the living room floor swaying your hips in a fashion show and it was your time to be the big girl.

One year for Halloween, you had that perfect costume. You were Cinderella or Snow White. Your smile was as big as the moon and you couldn’t wait for everyone to see you all dressed up.
Later, you put your dolls away and the world got a little more serious. Now, when you wake up each morning, you put on your life like a comfortable pair of shoes. Maybe your own daughter plays dress-up and her life is your stage. You can see the magic in her eyes, but what about your magic.

Follow me down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass to a world where the fairy princess still lives in the forest. In my world, you can be a ballerina and dance to Swan Lake or dress up in clothing from yesteryear. Step out of those comfortable shoes and capture that one fleeting moment of clarity.

My one goal is to make life fun again and to help you forget your daily life for a few hours. Let your fantasy to come alive through my lens and capture the moment forever.

You are welcome to bring an escort. Bring a friend and make it a girls day out.

Tell me your story.

Working with this model had some challenges. She was having so much fun in front of the camera that every shot she had this huge grin on her face. I really had to work to get a more neutral expression. In other shots, I used a fan to move her hair, but she had so much wind blowing on her that she kept breaking out into laughter. Like it tickled.

I guess if you work with models, it isn’t all bad if you can make them laugh and have fun.

Camera: Olympus E-510
F-stop: F8.3
Exposure time: 1/25 sec
ISO-speed: ISO 100

One Thing you may notice about these 2 shots of this model are the off-center composition. I sometimes like to try using “negative space” to improve a so so composition. This type forces the viewer to focus on the subject and really changes the feeling of the photo.

Camera: Olympus E-510
F-stop: F8.3
Exposure time: 1/25 sec
ISO-speed: ISO 100

Shot at Belle Facce Studio. I shot this from a ladder above the model while she was laying on the floor. A Special shout out to my team who helped arrange this shoot.

I have a total hands off policy when it comes to working with models. My Makeup artist, hair stylist or even my wife assist when making clothing and hair adjustments to the model.

IMHO: Models don’t need to have guys getting all handsy. I love them all and I treat them as if they are my own daughter or niece.

Camera: Olympus E-30
F-stop: F8.3
Exposure time: 1/320 sec
ISO-speed: ISO 100

Shot on location at the Oakwood Cemetery. Model: Nafeesa Jenkins. Taken during a group shoot with Fashion 315. She was great to work with. She takes direction well and we have worked with her several times.

Camera: Olympus E-30
F-stop: f/3.7
Exposure time: 1/160 sec
ISO-speed: ISO 400

In this edit the model is lying on the floor and I’m shooting down at her from a ladder. It was a fun shoot in our studio. The floor was added in post to make it look like she is floating.

Camera: Olympus E-30
F-stop: F8.3
Exposure time: 1/320 sec
ISO-speed: ISO 100