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Introducing the Next Assignment Series: Panache

May 5th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

As a lead up to our Portraits with Panache workshop happening on May 17, we are themeing our next assignment series “Panache”. (More details on the workshop are here: http://shootstyle.com/mingle/announcing-the-portraits-with-panache-workshop-in-old-orchard-beach-me.html)

Your assignment is to show us images that have Panache, whatever that means to you! This might be a photojournalistic exercise or an artistic construction. We leave it up to you to define the phrase and how you will interpret it.

You are more than welcome to comb through your files for a photo that illustrates the term, but we would absolutely love it if you shot something for the assignment, special!!

Our assignment series is open to everyone. We’re hoping you’ll wanna play along! The most creative entry wins!

We will post all of the entries on our Facebook page, and post a few of our favorites on our blog, complete with a link back to your blog or website.

How to enter :

Images should be sized to 590 pixels on the long side. (If you need help figuring that out, ask your favorite Shootstyler.) And by all means, slap that logo on there if you have one! You can enter up to one photo a day for the duration of the assignment. Email your entry to:

assignment@shootstyle.com

We have an album on our Facebook fan page. When the entries start coming in, we’ll post them there first. Check in with us at Facebook if you are looking for some inspiration.

www.facebook.com/ShootStyle

The deadline is May 17! Let’s have fun doing this together!!  Assignment series: “Panache”

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Quick, Easy, (and cheap) High Key Fashion Lighting for Fun & Profit

April 27th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

This post is a little different from my normal wedding posts, but this is the time of year I’m not shooting very many weddings.  It’s the off season, those golden months of leisure, where I get to sit around and never touch a camera…right?  Well that works, for a couple of weeks, but then I get bored, and want to take some pictures.  So every year about this time, I challenge myself to try something new.  This year I wanted to try classic pinup photos.  But as a personal project, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money.  So in this post, I’m going to show you how I was able to create classic high key fashion lighting for less than $100.

Alright, so in order to spend less than $100, you have to make sure you have three small flashes, and a way to trigger them from your camera.  Plus light-stands and at least one umbrella bracket for your light stand.  I already had all of the above, so my $100 was spent on a 60″ parabolic shoot through umbrella (for my key light), and a 9 foot roll of white seamless paper.   For my flashes, I used Canon’s new 600ex-RT’s triggered by a Canon ST-E3-RT Wireless Transmitter, but could have used any three small flashes.

Setup is super easy, I set up two of the three flashes (Flash A & Flash B) approximately 3 feet from the backdrop, aimed at the backdrop to light the white paper.  My goal was to blow it completely out.  I placed the third flash (Flash C) on the umbrella bracket aimed into the umbrella.  My goal with this flash was to light the model.  The parabolic umbrella, gave a wonderful, soft, wrap around light.  I lowered the wide angle diffusers on all three flashes to maximize the spread of light.

And that’s it!  I adjusted my flash output to balance output and recycle time.  With my newer Canon bodies, I have no problem using ISO3200.  That meant I could keep my flash power very low and still achieve an aperture of f8, giving me plenty of depth of field.  And with the flash power that low, my recycle time was very good.  Shooting at moderate speed, I didn’t have to wait for the flashes to recycle.

Straight out of camera the images look great.  And with a little love in photoshop I can make them look even better.

So there you have it – using flashes you already own, a $30 umbrella, and a roll of white paper, it’s easy to create high key fashion lighting for fun and profit.

Here’s the umbrella: http://www.adorama.com/LTU60T.html

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Announcing the Portraits with Panache Workshop in Old Orchard Beach, ME!

April 19th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Mingle

While wedding days are filled with exciting candid moments that are fun to capture, sometimes the portraits can be more of a challenge. In this workshop, Michelle Turner and Jamison Wexler will take you through their favorite methods for creating great portraits. With a strong emphasis on composition and posing, workshop attendees will benefit from clear classroom instruction with specific examples and techniques that are proven in the real world.
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Facebook Cover Photo Assignment Series!

April 1st, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Mingle, Play

The new Timeline for FB pages is live. Love it? Hate it? We’re on the fence. But what we do know is that we need a Cover Photo!! Who’s up for the challenge? Submit your favorite spring themed photo and have it featured as our Cover Photo for the whole season! Props!!

Where it will be featured – The ShootStyle Facebook page
Dimensions – 850px x 315px at 72 dpi with your copyright info/logo/watermark in the lower right.
Deadline – End of the day on Friday April 6th 2012.
Submissions go to – assignment@shootstyle.com
How often can you submit – Once a day.
Prize – Fame! Fortune! Your name in lights!

 

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Make Money Fast!

March 28th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

The long awaited Nikon D4, D800 and Canon 5D Mark III have all started shipping this month and these new cameras hold the promise of helping us do our jobs better, faster, and easier. They also invoke the reality of helping to empty our bank accounts. So for this week’s ShootStyle blog post I’m writing about something that will help you make money to save for a new camera, or if you’re like me, to help you pay off your credit card for the cameras you just bought.  :-)

But I’m not going to give you advice on how to raise your prices, sell wall collages, or market to high end planners. No, I want to help you make money the old fashioned way… by selling your crap on eBay!

 

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Lightroom Export Trick

March 8th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

~by Andree Kehn

I am as scattered as they come. After a couple of years of being in business I realized that I needed to standardize my client folders so that I wouldn’t lose my mind.

I created a client folder template that lives on my hard drive, and eventually built automation into my Lightoom catalog. Every client has the same output, every time.

That way, when the client gets around to ordering their files, or vendors come around looking for sample photos, the images are ready to go. No need to fire up Lightroom again.

I use a new Lightroom catalog for every job. I do this in part because Lightroom has a reputation of bogging down after tons of images are added to the catalog, but mostly because I find it keeps me better organized.

I created a Lightroom catalog template, which lives in my client template folder. It has all of my preferences set up the way I like them. My special development settings I use on import, slideshows specifications, brushes and presets and are all ready to go each and every time I create a new catalog.

Every time I create a new job, I copy the folder template and rename it with the job name. Inside this template is the Lightroom catalog. I rename the catalog, open it and start importing.

But what really keeps me organized is the Export panel.

Here is where Earl Christie saves the day. He helped me create a folder structure on my hard drive for all of the different size images I use.

Then we created Export User Presets for all of those files sizes. I use Client High Res, Client Small Res, Blog and, Facebook. Each User Preset is created with all of the specifications I need to output those files.

When I export, I work my way down the list of export options and all of the images go into their respective folders in my hard drive “00Processing Output” Folder. I don’t need to navigate to the appropriate folder every time I export. I just click one after the other and all of my files are automatically exported. Then I go to bed.

When I come back to work, I simply copy the entire collection over to the client folder. Since I am copying the folders, the folder structure is identical for every client. If I need to pull images for a blog post or for a vendor, I can go right to any client folder and know exactly where to find them in the right dimensions.

Once I’ve copied the files over to the client folder, (and backed up my drives) I trash all of the files in the 00Processing folder, so it is ready to accept the next export from Lightroom.

It’s a super simple solution that is one more step to staying organized.

Let me hear what you do!

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Announcing the Brrrrr! Assignment Series Winners

February 27th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

Thanks to everyone who participated in our winter assignment series Brrrrr! All of the entries really illustrated the theme,and resulted in some of the coldest photos we here at ShootStyle have ever seen. It was a really close vote, and involved copious amounts of hot chocolate, but we finally cam up with our winners.

First place goes to Tennile Sunday’s submission featuring footsteps in the snow.  We liked the strong composition with the footsteps drawing the eye into the person walking away as well as the warm pastel color palate.

In second place (by one vote) is Greg Hinsons entry featuring a frozen house covered with snow.  We loved how stark the scene was with the covering of snow making us all wish we were inside…in front of a warm fire…and the infrared treatment was particularly effective making the sky look dark and menacing.

And our strong runner up is Joe Goldsberry’s image of his street through hanging icicles.  We thought that the icicles framed the street in an interesting way, and the iphone camera was particularly effective in capturing the scene.

Thanks to everyone for sending in your images and sharing the Brrrrr! Stay tuned in a couple of months for our next, warmer, assignment series.

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Shoot One Thing That Scares You

February 15th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Style

For those that consider yourselves a Jack of All Trades – this may not apply. Or rather – it should. You know who I’m talking about, the photographers whose list of “I specialize in” stretches from pet photography to sky scrapers to crime scenes. “I specialize in tree photography, boat photography, cat photography, sky diving photography”. Well, I believe that specialize shouldn’t be as broad as a list of more than one, maybe two items. So, if you feel you specialize in moon photography, underwater photography and Quinceañera photography, then you’re probably not going to follow my lead and get out of your comfort zone.

No, this isn’t a post for the Jacks. This is a post for those who really do have a specific focus, with most of us it being weddings and portraits. But that’s still too broad, isn’t it?

Take weddings – you might specialize in available light or shooting for shadows, making brides look like princesses or making couples look like themselves. You might like to skip the getting ready portion and stay through the entire reception, dancing to Stevie Wonder til the wee morn. Or you might love the nerves and raw emotion of the earlier part of the day and peace out right after the first dances. Whatever it is, to be consistent, you are told to have a formula – to have a label. To be a photojournalist, to be a glamorous portrait photographer, to look for emotions, to concentrate on details, to be master of off-camera light and use it all day.

Chances are, you have that formula, that label, because you think it’s pleasing someone. You think it’s what your couples want and that’s why they hired you. You think it’s what the magazines look for, and you want to be published. You think it’s what makes you cool amongst your peers, and you want acclaim. All justifiable reasons, don’t get me wrong. I do think consistency is important to establish a brand and I also think you’ll never grow if you pigeon hole yourself.

So, if you’re really truly specializing in one thing, (be it portrait photography of women in wings with a ring flash, or simply glued to your zoom lenses), I challenge you to take on a little project going into this season and break your mold. Face the fear. Shoot one thing that scares you. You’ll never grow if you don’t try.

With that, I am going to make my own goal. This season – at each wedding (which are all within a 8 miles of each other), I am going to find some place new to shoot. I will not photograph a portrait in the same location, the same way, twice. I’ll report back and I hope you do too!

Since no post should be without a photo – check out this image of me in about 1980. It’s the only one I have of me at this age, laughing. Imagine if the person behind the camera waited until the light was perfect to capture this? No photo for me.

This post was inspired by the Wedrockers talk at Mystic Seminars, or as I like to call them – The Mexican Contingent. They are a small group of wedding photographers in Mexico who talked about never shooting the same thing twice, growing and shooting for yourself at each wedding. I thank them for pushing me to grow.

~Zofia

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Assignment Series: Brrrrrrrr!

February 1st, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Mingle

Our newest assignment for you is “Brrrrrrrr!!”!

Your assignment is to show us your best images interpreting Brrrrrrrr!, whatever that means to you! This might be a photojournalistic exercise or an artistic construction. We leave it up to you to define the phrase and how you will interpret it.

You are more than welcome to comb through your files for a photo that illustrates the term, but we would absolutely love it if you shot something for the assignment, special!!

Our assignment series is open to everyone. We’re hoping you’ll wanna play along! The most creative entry wins!

We will post all of the entries on our Facebook page, and post a few of our favorites on our blog, complete with a link back to your blog or website.

How to enter :

Images should be sized to 590 pixels on the long side. (If you need help figuring that out, ask your favorite Shootstyler.) And by all means, slap that logo on there if you have one! You can enter up to one photo a day for the duration of the assignment. Email your entry to:

assignment@shootstyle.com

We have an album on our Facebook fan page. When the entries start coming in, we’ll post them there first. Check in with us at Facebook if you are looking for some inspiration.

www.facebook.com/ShootStyle

The deadline is February 15! Let’s have fun doing this together!! Assignment series: “Brrrrrrrr!!”

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In Love With Food…(photography, that is…)

January 18th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

Michelle Turner Photography

I have posted a few times about the importance of capturing the details, but today I wanted to write about an oft-forgotten detail– the delicious, beautiful, oh-so-amazing food.  Take it from me, I can’t even remember what I ate at my wedding.  I do know that it was excellent (we hired a fabulous caterer) and that it made up a big part of our budget, but other than that I draw a total blank.  It’s funny, but for something so expensive and that takes up such a large part of the day/night, food is often ignored.  Sure, we photograph the wedding cake and the cute little whoopie pies served at dessert.  But how often do people say “I would love a photograph of my food”?  I get perhaps three couples out of forty that ask for food shots, and yet every single one of my clients who orders an album wants to include the shot of their food as a supporting detail in their album.
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