Friday
May
2015
29

Some Images (and behind-the-scenes shots) from my Fashion Shoot at the Howey Mansion

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

One of the great things about always working on another book or another online class is — you get to shoot a lot for these projects, and I just wrapped up a location fashion shoot a few weeks ago at an incredible location — the Howey Mansion in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida (about 2-hours from the KelbyOne Headquarters). I learned about the location from RC, and our friend Kathy Porupski had a contact there and so we put an all-day shoot together with a very ambitious schedule.

First, some of the final images:

 

Planning Stages
Once we got close to locking down the location, I asked my wife Kalebra to do all the art direction on the shoot — everything from picking our models (Adriana and Sara) to the styling (we brought the dresses in from Lindsay Adler’s awesome Dream Shoot Rentals, which is the coolest resource to get access to New York dresses, outfits, and accessories without actually have to be in New York, and at a fraction of the price if you were). She also picked and worked with our awesome Hair and Makeup Team ( Kalebra (art direction & styling); Hendrickje Makeup FX (makeup) and Lauren Edwards (hair).

We had three assistants working with us on the set, Brad, Rob Foldy, and we brought so much Lighting Gear and grip equipment that it wouldn’t all fit in Brad’s SUV so we had to pull a U-haul trailer behind it. As it turned out, we didn’t actually even use any lighting to the very last shoot of the day, which was pretty much a disaster (as you’ll see at the end of this post).

Behind The Scenes Shots
All the shots you saw above were all taken in natural light, with either a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 or a Canon 16-35mm super wide angle. Here (below) are some behind-the-scenes shot (bts photos by Brad Moore).

 

(Above: Here’s the behind-the-scene shot for the first one, with me set-up wwwwwwaaaaayyyyy back!). That’s a mini boombox on the apple crate in front of me. Having music on the set is an absolute must! Also, this is a natural light shoot, but we softened the light coming in the window by putting a frosted shower curtain liner over the window, a tip I learned from Joe McNally years ago). 

 

(Above: I’m shooting down low with a Canon 16-35mm, shooting tethered into Lightroom. So, how did we get her dress up in the air like that? See the next shot.).

(Above: On the count of three, either Rob or Lynn would toss the dress in the air and then duck out of the scene, as seen here. Click for a larger view).

 

(Above: Look how far back I’m shooting here. I’m not even in the same room — I’m out in the foyer shooting into the room. Again, all natural light). 

(Above: I’m down low, shooting on a tripod with a Canon 16-35mm super wide-angle lens; shooting tethered in Lightroom. All natural light). 

(Above: outside on the balcony, natural light on a rainy overcast day. I shot tight-in shots with a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, and the wide shot you see above this one once again with the Canon 16-35mm). 

(Above: Hey, Scott – this is the behind-the-scenes shot. Where’s the final shot? There is no final shoot. I had this idea that we’d put a little bit of smoke up into the top of an umbrella but as soon as we connected the smoke machine, we realized there’s no such thing as a ‘little bit of smoke’ and we spent most of the time just standing there in a huge cloud of smoke just laughing. Nice time — no smoke machine. Dry ice instead). 

Thanks for letting me share this shoot (the good and the…ahem…bad), and I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Hey, next Friday I’m in Hartford with my full-day seminar. Hope you can come out and join me for the day. Tickets here. 

Thursday
May
2015
28

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  12 Comments

Photographing Your Sense of Humor with Joe McNally
Do you file away fun photo shoot ideas in your head? Join Joe McNally on location at Weeki Wachee Springs where he gets to finally realize a fantastic photo shoot idea he’s had in mind for a long time. In true Joe McNally fashion he pulls out all the stops to ensure he has the lighting, the crew, and the location to pull off his vision. From preparations the day before to the early morning arrival time, and through the end of the shoot, Joe talks through his concept, the setup, and all of the problems that need to be solved to pull off the one frame he’s trying to create. Putting everything underwater leaves no room for error and lot’s of obstacles to overcome, and you get a front row seat.

Mastering The Family Outing with Annie Cahill
Get ready for your next outing as the family photographer! Typical family outings occur in places with busy backgrounds, challenging lighting, uncooperative children, and lots of motion from place to place. Join Annie Cahill at the Miami Metro Zoo as she walks you through everything you need to know to capture those great moments during your next family adventure. Annie spends the day with a family, and their two small children, as they experience the zoo, and along the way teaches you everything from how to capture kids in motion to what camera settings will give you the best image quality, and from how to pay attention to backgrounds in group photos to how to get into some of the photos yourself. By the end of the class you’ll know what gear you need, how to prepare for the day, and how to come away with some great photos that will serve as mementos for years to come.

KelbyOne Live
Want to learn from Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, or Ben Willmore live in person? Check out these seminar tour dates to see if they’re coming to a city near you!

Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded with Scott Kelby
June 5 – Hartford, CT
July 14 – London, UK

The Moment It Clicks with Joe McNally
June 15 – Lansing, MI
June 17 – Nashville, TN
July 13 – Ottawa, ON
July 15 – Calgary, AB
July 17 – Toronto, ON

Lightroom & Photoshop Creative Integration Tour with Ben Willmore
May 29 – South San Francisco, CA
June 19 – Seattle, WA

These are just some of the upcoming dates for these seminar tours. You can find the full calendar of events right here, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of these events!

Last Week’s Winners
Lightroom CC for Photographers Spiral-Bound Book
- Francisco Manzanares
- Denise Beverly
- Cris Da Rocha

KelbyOne Live Ticket
- Ken Choate

If any of these is you, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
May
2015
27

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Kaylee Greer!

by Brad Moore  |  81 Comments


Photo by Sam Haddix

Hi! I’m Kaylee. And I’m going to tell you something that will knock your socks right off. Ready?

I love dogs.

And oh my gosh, I wish I could say this in a sort of casual, non-chalant, “Yeah I think dogs are pretty cool, no big deal,” sort of way. But you guys… I mean it. I mean like, in a totally and completely bonafide ‘crazy dog lady’ kind of way.

So, it’s kind of embarrassing when I walk down the street and audibly and uncontrollably squeal with delight over every little wiggling, passing pup I see. My friends actually try and deter me from the path of an oncoming dog as we walk down the sidewalk – for fear that we’ll get stuck in a 25 minute interaction that includes me excessively ogling, squishing and kissing a strange dog with a sometimes slightly terrified owner looking on.

The truth is, I find more beauty, purity and joy inside the iris of a happy dog than I do anywhere else in the world. When all else seems to fail me – I find solace in the smile of a dog. Dogs have this perfect ability to live simply – to live in the moment. And that just fascinates me.

Luckily for me, I was blessed enough to be able to turn my copious amounts of ‘dog crazy’ into passion – and that passion into a profession.

Yup, you heard it here folks – I am a professional dog photographer.

I know, I know. ‘A WHAT?’ (accompanied by a cocked head, big eyes and sometimes a giggle at my expense; this is the typical response I get when people first discover my job title.) A professional dog photographer. And booked almost one full year ahead with both private and commercial shoots, I’m wildly humbled and grateful to say that I’ve turned that passion into a very busy reality. Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I wake up every day and smile. I smile because life is so silly and full of wonder. I smile because I can feel magic all around me. I smile because I’m living my real live dream.

If you told my five-year-old self what my profession would one day turn out to be – I think her head would have actually popped off with joy. If you hang on just a sec, I think I can hear her squeals of delight from all the way back in 1990. Holy banana sandwiches.

So, after being invited to write this guest post on Scott’s blog (but not before I finished the elaborate robot dance of joy that I executed quite fabulously all alone in my studio with my dog looking on judging me harshly), I thought how wonderful it would be to share some of my best tips and tricks. The little golden nuggets of wisdom that I’ve felt blessed to have learned over the past 5 years of my dog photography adventures. While getting great photos of your client’s or your own pets sometimes feels impossible — I can assure you with the utmost conviction – it’s not.

I’ve got some stuff up my sleeve that you just might find helpful – especially when you’ve got Rufus set up for the most perfect shot, arranged meticulously in the gorgeous, golden afternoon light— and he suddenly runs off in the direction of that squirrel for the 45th time. (Let me tell you now, as much as you try to reason with them, dogs just don’t appreciate the nuances of really good light.)

So, let’s dive into some content that will help you get amazing shots of your pets, that will create the illusion that you’re working with a perfectly trained dog every time.

As we all know, your average dog is anything but stagnant. No, he moves. And when I say ‘he moves,’ I mean like, 65mph moves. Like with more quickness and speed than the fastest, angriest ostrich on the savannah.

And not only does he move – but he drools. He barks. He chases his tail in endless circles. He has the attention span of a gnat.

But most significantly, he speaks an entirely different language than you and I. I know what you’re thinking. Not the easiest subject for a photograph, right? Precisely.

Some of the first things that people ask me when they see my images are:

‘How do you get all these dogs to pose so perfectly for you like that?’ ‘Do these dogs just sit there, hold exactly still and smile for you?!’ ‘Are these magic dogs from a magical land?’

The answer to that last question is an enthusiastic ‘no.’ While I’ve had a few dreams about this (these elusive, magical, still dogs), I photograph regular dogs. Real dogs. The dogs you see walking down the street every day. The dogs that fly through the dog park at about a gazillion miles an hour. The naughty dogs that dig holes in their owner’s tulip gardens and bury bones in their backyards. Dogs that sniff other dogs’ butts. Dogs that lie on their family’s couches and fart.

You know, those kinds of dogs.

In addition to working with lots of regular family dogs— I also volunteer my time to busy, overburdened animal shelters – photographing homeless and abandoned animals who are waiting for a new family to adopt them. Some of these shelter dogs can be rife with a whole different set of behavioral and emotional issues due to the transitionary states of their lives – fearfulness, abandonment, aggression, loneliness, confusion. Even with these sweet, sweet lost souls who lack the stability of a home and family to call their own – with enough knowledge, kindness of heart and patience — you can get a winning image.

You wouldn’t travel to a foreign country and expect them to speak your language right? The same thing goes for dogs. Don’t enter a dog’s world and expect them to speak your language — you need to speak theirs.

Dogs talk through their eyes. Their ears. Their tails. Their body posture. Dogs talk with sounds – growls, whines, barks – you name it. If you want to understand the language of a dog – you need to immerse yourself in their world. Be quiet and listen. Once you spend enough time with a dog you’ll learn about what most motivates them. You’ll find that canines tend to go totally gaga over one or more of the following things:

  • TREATS (because, you know…yum!)
  • PEANUT BUTTER (this stuff is most dogs’ kryptonite, I’m serious! For dogs that can’t have peanut butter, cream cheese or canned pumpkin will also work just fine.)
  • TOYS (ask me how many Barbie dolls I had when I was 9…I totally get this one.)
  • SOUNDS (things that go squeak! The most successful way to evoke the elusive and highly coveted ‘head tilt.’ And a great way to get the mouth closed and ears pricked up at attention.)
  • PRAISE (dogs LOVE praise. ‘HEY DOG! YOU ARE AWESOME!!’)
  • THEIR OWNERS (oh HELLO my humans! I want to love you forever and ever and ever and ever ::slobbery kisses::)

Continue reading

Tuesday
May
2015
26

It’s “Reprocess Your Old Images” Tuesday

by Scott Kelby  |  30 Comments

Hope you had a really relaxing Memorial Day weekend. I had a lot of fun going back and doing something this weekend I’ve wanted to do for a while, and that is to go back to some of my original files, and reprocess them from scratch to make new versions that:

(a) Reflect what I like today, as my tastes on post-processing have changed
(b) Let me use the latest tools and plug-ins
(c) Let me experiment more than I had the time to do, probably because I was on a tight deadline

…and I’m delighted with the results.

Above: Here’s the one I did back in 2012 — note the HDR look, blue table clothes, overall glow, etc. 

Above: Here’s the reprocess I did this weekend, using Lightroom CC’s built-in HDR feature. No glows. No HDR look. It looks liked the place looked. 

You might like the old version (the top one) better…
…and that’s OK. I’m doing this for how my tastes have changed and how my tools have changed — you may still like the older one, and that’s fine (I just hope you at least like one of them. LOL!).

My Process
Most of what I’ve been doing is going back to images I bracketed in camera, and now I’m reprocessing them in Lightroom CC using the new built-in 16-bit HDR feature, which is awesome for making realistic HDR images. It really has been a lot of fun (especially since I’m in the middle of a major refresh to my portfolio layout and contents — more on that when it’s done), but in that vein I’m officially (?) pronouncing this day:

Reprocess Your Old Images Tuesday

Dig back into your archives and reprocess some of those older images — images you processed at a different time in your life, with less post-processing skills than you have today, and lesser tools to do it with, and I promise you — you’ll be tickled with the results.

Hope you have fun digging up some of your shots and rediscovering them with new processing, today!

All my best,

-Scott

P.S. I wrapped up my series on “What I’d love to see in Lightroom next” over at LightroomKillerTips.com if you get a sec. 

Monday
May
2015
25

A Day To Honor Our Nation’s Fallen Soldiers

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, and our offices are closed as we honor and remember those who gave their lives in service to our country.

This post is dedicated each year to the memory of David Leimbach, (shown above; the brother of our friend and colleague Jeff Leimbach), who died seven years ago in combat in Afghanistan.

Just a humble word of thanks to the dedicated men and women of our armed services and to all those who came before them who laid down their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy each day.

Here’s wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy Memorial Day.

All my best,

-Scott

Friday
May
2015
22

It’s “Five Trailer Friday!”

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

Hi Gang: Today I thought I’d share five trailers for some new classes you might want to check out this Memorial Day weekend over on KelbyOne.com.

If you’re not already a member, you can join for $19.99 and watch the full-length versions of ALL of these classes today, (and while you’re there, you can watch any of the about 500+ more online classes on Lighting, Photoshop, Lightroom, Video Editing, and Photography unlimited for the next 30-days!) Here’s the link (but check out these trailers first!):

1. Peter Hurley shows you how to edit down an entire shoot to get you to that “one” special image

2. Joe McNally takes you underwater for a…um…Mermaid shoot? ( You’ll love it!)

3. Cliff Mautner teaches you how to shoot a wedding, during a real wedding! (live and uncensored)

4. Learn to shoot a Safari, on an actual Safari in Africa with Moose Peterson

5. Jeremy Cowart shows you how to light and shoot awesome portraits just about anywhere!

Lots of fun stuff to learn this weekend – make the most of it, and for those of you who are joining KelbyOne for the first time, welcome aboard — we’re really glad to have you with us. :)

Here’s wishing you and yours a safe, happy, and fun Memorial Day Weekend.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I posted #6 of my series on “What I’d love to see next in Lightroom” over at LightroomKillerTips.com

 

 

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