Category Archives Guest Blogger

…automotive photographer Stephan Cooper!  Stephan gives an fascinating look into two contrasting sides of automotive photography – advertising and racing. One can be a slow and tedious process, while the other is a fast-moving and in the moment event.

So if you like cars and photography, make sure you stop by tomorrow and check it out :)


sandy puc044sm

Hello Everyone,

A big thanks to Scott and Brad for asking me to be a guest blogger.  It is really exciting to be here and I look forward to sharing a bit about my crazy world.  I will be honest, I checked out samples of previous guest bloggers and I am humbled to say the least. I questioned myself why Scott would choose a baby shooter when clearly he works with some of the most amazing photographers in the industry. As I perused his blog I was overwhelmed at the beauty of the work and I found myself dreading pulling sample images.  With great apprehension, I finally pulled up my 2009 favorite images. As I started to review my work, hundreds of images of mothers anticipating their new arrivals, precious babies, children, seniors and loving families appeared on my screen. Soon I was carried away remembering the moments I spent with each client. Each image was a part of someone’s history and captured a time that would not be forgotten.

Although I am still intimidated by the great artists found here, it is with pride that I share a small part of my world. Yes, I am a baby shooter, but I also have the privilege of capturing a lifetime of memories for families who trust me to do so. So, with only a bit of hesitation here I go….


Our studio is located in Littleton Colorado.  Over my years of growth, I have been surrounded by the most amazing and talented people in the world. With over 28 full time employees, there is always great energy running through the building. Every day is an adventure and we literally have a ball doing our jobs. We laugh, work and sometimes cry together. We do run a very busy studio and it can get stressful, but we thrive on chaos and love every challenge. I am so grateful for their passion and for all of the inspiration they bring to me each and every day.

I started my photography business when I was 17. Photography is the only real career I have ever known. The first 13 years I worked out of my home. From a small apartment kitchen, a basement in a triplex and even my master bedroom, I found a way to do what I loved regardless of the difficult surroundings.

About 10 years ago, my business outgrew my home.  In addition to a busy in-home studio, we were foster parents to six teenage boys and I was pregnant with my fourth biological child. Having 10 kids in the house was certainly reason to move the business out!

I opened my first commercial studio in a small 2,000 sq foot space. I also hired my first employee.  It was at that point we started to really grow. In just three years there were eight employees so we expanded to a total of 5000 sq feet.  We continued to grow and last year we purchased a building.  The building is just over 10,000 square feet and now we have a staff of about 28 full time people. It is sometimes hard to believe that just 10 years ago I was shooting in my master bedroom and I handled everything on my own.





Our studio is known for our maternity and baby work, but we also provide family, senior, boudoir and a few select weddings as well.   We are very passionate about what we do and we strive to create new and interesting images every day. Working with children is wonderful because it is exciting, entertaining and always a challenge. We love tough sessions because we know that when we do capture that moment, the parents will be even more excited to invest. We truly love our clients and their families and we have been blessed to be a part of their lives.

It is interesting to note that when my own children were little I specialized in children’s work.  As I have aged, my passion has as well. Currently we are very busy with boudoir work. Our goal is to capture the beauty that a loving relationship can bring. Although it is always fun to photograph a gorgeous 20+-year-old woman, our target client is actually 30+, in a loving relationship. We want to work with someone that just wants to give an intimate gift to a special  person that she loves. Helping a woman feel beautiful about her self is an incredible experience. From the first shy and uncomfortable moments as we test lights and begin the session, to seeing her truly feel and exude beauty as we capture these intimate images, it is truly amazing to see her inner beauty shine through. Knowing that we will create an amazing album that she will proudly share makes it even better.

Although charity work has always been a huge part of our studio core, in 2005 I had the honor of capturing the final moments of Maddux Haggard as his loving family said goodbye to their beautiful son. It was from that session, his mother Cheryl and I founded Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. This non-profit was created to ensure that families whose babies will never leave the hospital would have a chance to have professional portraits taken. Our members provide this service and all of the retouched images at no charge. These priceless images become the only link to those brief moments. It has been an honor to see this organization grow from the original four members to now over 7,000 members in 25 countries. We have been blessed to have NAPP members join us to provide retouching services to photographers that need additional help with difficult images. Although this is some of the most difficult work you could ever do, our members know that these images become the most priceless possession these families will ever have.

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. –Sir Winston Churchill

My other passion is teaching photography. Each year we conduct a 60-city tour that includes the USA, Canada and Europe.  Our goal is to take a new topic each year and cover in detail all aspects of the subject matter. In 2008 we launched our first tour, Bellies & Babies. We covered everything maternity through the first year. In 2009 was Tots to Teens the follow up program that covered 18 months through 17 years.

Currently we are on the 2010 Family tour. We have completed 25 cities and are excited to complete the rest of the USA through May first and in the fall we will complete the show in  Canada and Europe.

Teaching is important to me because I strongly believe that we will only sustain the health of the photographic industry by teaching new artists how to be successful. We must teach them not only the skills needed to shoot, but all aspects of business including marketing and management as well.  In 2011 we will be covering Wedding and Boudoir photography. We are really excited to present this show and we have a special guest that will be featured as well.  These programs are not only created to teach all of the essentials to manage and run a portrait business, but we hope to ignite passion and inspire people to truly live their dream.

At the beginning of the 2010 tour, I made a commitment to help 1,000 photographers become professionally certified through the PPA certification program. Not only will we create a study group together, but we will share ideas, challenge each other and by taking the test, we help make this industry stronger as well. I have even committed to taking the test again just to make sure I still know my stuff!

On a personal note, I love taking risks and enjoy crazy adventures like sky diving, flying in helicopters and watching any sport as long as it is live.  I have studied martial arts for 7 years and I am currently training to fight in the Worlds this fall. I love sparing because it is fun to take out all of my extra energy in a good clean fight.

In addition to martial arts, I have set a goal to compete in the 2011 Iron Man.  I will be running several races this year to get ready. I am not a natural athlete and we train three hours a day (six days a week) to prepare. The truth is, when it comes to triathlons, I love to bike, I am an ok swimmer and I am not a huge fan of running on the road. Regardless of my skill level I love pushing my own limits and once I set a goal, I never give up without a fight. I am excited about this challenge and I look forward to the events.



Travel is a big part of my life. On average, I am on the road teaching five months out of the year. Although I love traveling for work, each year I take the first weekend of December, select a country, and travel to shoot just for myself. I have only one rule for myself and that is that I can only be in the country for 24 hours. Last year I selected Turkey (my birthday was Thanksgiving day and it seemed appropriate). I flew into Istanbul and the challenge began. As I traveled all over the city, I try to capture the beauty and culture as I soaked it all in. Working on virtually no sleep, everything seems intensely more beautiful as the combination of exhaustion and the adrenaline kicks in.  My goal, of course, is to capture something amazing, but being limited on time and the weather being whatever it is, sometimes the strongest images are the ones I capture in my mind.

One of my favorites travel stories is when I went to London for my 24-hour trip. It was my first time there and I eagerly ran around the city looking for that perfect shot. It was dreary and freezing cold and after hours of shooting, I had hardly anything to show for my efforts. I finally hopped on an open tour bus because I knew that the sun would soon be gone. As we zipped around the city, I could barely capture any thing and was almost ready to give up. At one point we quickly crossed the Tower Bridge and I missed the first shot so in frustration I flipped my camera over my shoulder and snapped and image without even looking. I was laughing so hard when I downloaded the image and it was upside down. It actually became one of my all time favorite images because it was proof to me that even in impossible condition there is beauty all around.






Although I have a lot on my plate, laughter gets me through everything I set out to do.  I find humor in every little thing and I love to make people smile. Part of my foundation is that I believe that my success is due to a rapid series of mistakes. The key is that I learn from them and I use them as a springboard to get to the next level. I do not mind embarrassing myself and I am the first one to laugh at my own silly mistakes.  The nicest part of being ridiculous is that everyone that I work with gets my crazy sense of humor. Sometimes we start laughing about something and the rest of the day we can barely look at each other without a smile breaking out.

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” –e.e. cummings

Having started my career 22 years ago, I have been through the full digital revolution. Although I still miss the smell when you open a roll of 220, I see that digital has created two unique situations. On one hand, it has made the industry easier to get into, bringing an influx of new shooters, it is easier to cheat at the creation of a fine image and it has created a void in skill and technique.

One the positive side, I have seen images created now that 10 years ago could only be dreamed about. Artists have taken what was once the standard best and pushed to levels that were unheard of in the industry. I am a firm believer in change and I see artists evolving into a new level of skill. We are now redefining what we are, what we produce and how the final images will be delivered. It is really exciting to be a part of this revolution.

One of my favorite new tools is the Canon Mark II 5D. When I saw the potential for video capture to be included in a traditional portrait session I got very excited. Here was the opportunity to take an already emotional connection to the subject and add the element of sound and motion. This allowed us the opportunity to capture a real moment in real time. Right away we started adding video clips within our clients’ slide presentations. The reaction was tremendous. Our clients were already moved by the musical slide presentations that we produce for the viewing session, but the element of video took the reaction to a new level. This tool has opened new opportunities for product sales and creative ideas.



Although, I am very proud of the work we do and I am grateful for the opportunities that life has presented, truly my greatest joys are my children. They are the reason for every breath I take. I am so honored to be a part of their journey and I have enjoyed every step of the way. This fall my oldest daughter will go to collage. It is hard to believe that time went by so fast.  As a family we decided to do something to celebrate this new horizon. This summer we will take six weeks and backpack through Europe. I am so excited to have this time with my children to show them the many wonders of this amazing world. They are very excited for this journey. I can’t wait to document all of the adventures and fun. It will be wonderful to shoot just for the fun of it and to capture the moments as they see new things. The truth is, my work, my life and my passion revolved around the families I serve and my own special family.  I truly believe that the images we create will be a testament to the lives we touch both now and far into the future.

“The opportunity to capture a family’s memory is a privilege.  We should not take this privilege lightly but treat each session like it could never be captured again, because it can’t. Long after our work here is done, someone will gaze into our images and see a reflection of their life, their history and of loved ones long gone.  In each portrait we create there is a story. A moment stopped, captured and documented in the press of a shutter.  Although only a single moment in time, within the image there is a lifetime of love, HOPE and joy.”  — Sandy Puc’

You can view more videos from Sandy on her YouTube channel.

…child and family portrait photographer Sandy “Sam” Puc’!  Sandy is currently on the road for her 2010 Family Tour where she teaches marketing for family portrait photographers, but she’s taken the time to put together a great guest post for us.  Make sure you stop by tomorrow to see some behind the scenes videos of her on portrait shoots with kids, and see how she interacts with them to get wonderful shots.

You may also be familiar with Sandy’s Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization which “introduces remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with the gift of professional portraiture.”  If you’re not, consider taking a few minutes to look at their website and become familiar with this very important part of many families’ lives.

Photo by Karen Lenz

My New York adventure started over four years ago while I was working as Studio Manager for the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. I was with the workshops for three seasons, and during that time I was fortunate enough to work closely with an incredibly diverse group of photographers, from Norman Jean Roy to Joe McNally to Platon. My first winter season in Santa Fe was also the first workshop for Platon, and I ended up hitting it off with both him and his first assistant (Andreas Konrath). Immediately after that season’s end I traveled to New York, checked into the Vanderbilt YMCA (which is a MUST if you want the true New York experience) and began my first of three internships at his studio.

Internships are an integral part of the hiring process in the New York photo industry. It is not the only way to get your foot in the door, but it is the most common. Out of the six full-time staffers who have been through Platon’s studio since he moved to the states, four of us started out as interns. Interning is not a glamorous life by any means. In my case I started scanning contact sheets, walking the dog (and picking up poop), filing, organizing, cleaning and doing general errands. But if you are eager to learn, have a good work ethic, are easy to get along with, don’t have a sense of entitlement and don’t mind doing ANY job that’s asked, then this is a good way to get to know the people in the studio, and for them to get to know you. After two shorter internships, I was asked to come out and do one three-month trial period, which ended up turning into a full-time position.

I worked as Studio Manager and 1st Assistant for the better part of two years, and during this time I worked harder than I ever had in my life. The weekly average came out to somewhere between 60 and 80 hours at the studio, and the pay was barely enough to survive (especially in New York), but the life and work experiences that I had were utterly priceless.

Out of all my experiences with Platon, I would have to say that a few of the most memorable would be: being in Chicago for the Obama election and D.C. for the inauguration, photographing Michelle Obama in the White House, photographing Annie Leibovitz for the London Sunday Times, and the Portraits of Power series of world leaders taken in the hallway behind the General Assembly at the United Nations.

Platon photographing Tony Blair at the UN During the World Leaders portfolio 9/09.
Published in The New Yorker Online 10/09
© Nick Rapaz

As many of you may already know, Platon is not into complicated lighting techniques. Instead, he has chosen one primary setup that works well for him. When he walks on set, everything from lights to cameras are always in the exact same place. This allows him to focus on the interaction with the subject and making a good picture, instead of spending all his time figuring out the best lighting setup for the situation. As an assistant, the challenge comes in figuring out how to give him the exact same setup regardless of whether you are shooting at Milk studios in Manhattan, the belly of a Navel war ship, or in a 9’x3’ corner of the UN hallway surrounded with secret service agents and SWAT. The key to doing this is staying calm and focused, being resourceful and able to jerry-rig almost anything out of gaffers tape and a Swiss Army Knife.

Although the lighting was not particularly difficult, the stakes were always unbelievably high, and the time given for a shoot was often measured in seconds rather than minutes. If you had any technical difficulties, you had to be prepared to recover instantly. The time it took to change a modeling lamp would easily be enough to lose the subject and the shoot. This meant that you had to carefully choreograph a solution to almost every possible problem on set, and carry enough equipment to have multiple backups readily available.

Our actions on set were rehearsed and executed like a dance. Working with two to three assistants max, we all knew what to do and (when in sync) moved with the fluidity of an octopus. At no time was this more memorable than the evening of the last presidential election. We were put up in the same hotel as Obama and were there waiting for the first official picture of him as president. We were told that we would have approximately 45 seconds to 1.5 minutes to get the shot, from the time we entered the room. That meant setting up a white background, lights, cameras, and computer all of which had to be brought in on a single rolling cart that could pass through an X-ray machine. We spent a couple of hours in the hallway of the hotel practicing and somehow got the entire setup down to under 15 seconds. We then spent the next fifteen hours in the hotel room, dressed in our best suits, waiting for the call. Every time the phone rang we leaped to the cart with a rush of adrenaline and started out to door, only to find that it was our local contact or photo editor with more updates. At 2am they officially decided that the photo was not going to happen and we were allowed to leave the hotel and walk through downtown Chicago as thousands of people filled the streets in celebration. Although we were never granted that first official photo of President Obama, our accomplishments on that shoot were no less impressive, and the experience and emotions of that day and night will be with me for the rest of my life.

Various test Polaroids on set from 07-09.

I have personally never been very star-stuck. I think that is a big part of what makes a good assistant. As I look back over some of the people that I’ve met in the last few years, it is pretty damned exciting and a bit surreal. But when you are on set and face to face, they are ordinary human beings. Instead of getting caught up with the fame, I’ve always been more interested in seeing what someone is really like. The way a subject treats the assistants on set provides huge insight to how they are as a person. The best example of this is the photo shoot of Michelle Obama in the White House.

It was a nerve-racking process to get there, assemble the gear, and transport it to the White House. Everything had to fit onto two rolling carts in order to make it down the mall (which does not allow vehicle traffic of any kind), and through security. Once at the gate we had to lay out and open all cases, then wait on the other side of the guard house before proceeding into the waiting room. We were given a briefing on etiquette and procedure around the first lady. The buildup was immense, but when Michelle walked in the room, all that formality and tension melted away. She was the warmest and most down to earth woman that I have ever met. She greeted Platon with a kiss on the cheek and then proceeded to walk over to me and the other assistant for introductions. The shoot was amazing, Platon was on his A game as always, and by the end we had 30 or so people packed into the room waiting to get her off to the next appointment. I remember seeing her on the other side of the room being rushed out, and when she made eye contact with me, cut through the crowd of advisers, walked straight up, extended her hand in the most electric handshake I’ve ever experienced, and said, “Nick, it was so nice to meet you, thank you for all of your help today!” She then did the same with the other assistant before leaving the room. Now this is the first lady of the United States. Out of all the things that she had on her mind at that moment, remembering the two of us in the corner and taking the time to thank us by name was beyond anything that I could have expected. She is a woman of true sincerity and class.

A similar situation occurred when we photographed Annie Leibovitz. The idea of one great photographer taking pictures of another is fascinating in and of itself, but this was Annie. After all the horror stories that have been passed down through the assistant grapevine, none of us knew what to expect. She walked on to the set, immediately went up to each assistant, extended her hand and warmly said “Hi, I’m Annie.” My response was a formal, “It’s an honor to meet you.” But inside it was a sheepish, “I know that.” For the next hour the two icons bantered back and forth about life, love, family and career. At the end of the day, she was an amazing and beautiful woman, and showed each one of us tremendous respect. She thanked us all and left each of us with a profound sense of admiration.

Platon photographing Annie Leibovitz and Annie shooting back.  05/08
Published in The London Sunday Times Magazine 5/08
©Nick Rapaz Photography

I could spin tales all day of the adventures that I had with Platon, but realistically, these are not my stories to tell…they are his. And if any of you have ever heard him speak, you know that he tells the tales better than anyone ever could. My perspective is merely as an assistant.

Last year the economic crisis, combined with the decline of print media, came to a head in the New York photo industry and most studios began to frantically restructure in order to stay alive. This was especially essential for the editorial studios. At this time I, like so many full-time 1st assistants in the industry, suddenly found myself making the transition from full-time to freelance. The nine months since have brought new and monumental challenges (especially in a city with living costs like New York), but they have also broadened my views of assisting, and the photographic industry as a whole.

I have shared some of the highlights of my time as a full-time assistant, but I think it is also important to contrast this with freelance assisting and lay out some simple observations that I think could be beneficial when considering taking this step in the industry.

The first major consideration when looking at assisting is whether you want to pursue a full-time or freelance position. Both have significant benefits and drawbacks. If you choose to work full-time for one person, you are going to be exposed to only one view, and no two photographers do things the same way. The benefit of full-time is that once you learn how a specific photographer works, you are better able to efficiently serve them and be a much better assistant overall. If you work for multiple photographers you can be exposed to a rich variety of lighting and shooting techniques. I have personally found that I have learned more technically in my subsequent time as a freelance assistant, and my personal style has benefited greatly from being around a multitude of styles. One day you are putting up dozens of flags to make sure that no extraneous light reaches the subject, and the next you are on set with Bert Stern letting the background light wrap around your subject and flare out the lens. I personally enjoy the diversity.

One negative side to freelance is that every time you walk on set you have to constantly be tuned in with the other assistants, trying to absorb the etiquette and techniques expected by this photographer. There is a major humility factor knowing that you are always “the new guy” when you walk on a set for the first time.

Another drawback to freelance is that you are seldom a part of the business or production end of a shoot. You get a call-time, show up for the shoot, and walk away when it’s over. I personally don’t enjoy the “business” side of photography. I would rather focus on making the pictures. But there is more to this industry than making art. You need to know how to run a solid business…especially today. As a full-time assistant you are better able to learn the inner workings of a studio.

The last and greatest drawback to freelance is stability, especially today. When I first came to New York it was generally accepted that a freelancer was going to make significantly more than a full-time. Every day that you work you would be earning between $200-$450 a day, plus overtime. Most of the established freelancers were working 60-75% of the time. As a full-time assistant you are generally looking at $100 or less a day. In the last year this has all changed. The people who are busy are still making good money, but the rates are starting around $150-$250, with very few opportunities for overtime. In addition, few photographer are working with the regularity that they were in the past. Most of the freelancers I know are working around 10 days a month, and that is considered pretty good today. There are of course exceptions to this, but overall many assistants have had to supplement their income with work in rental houses, tutoring, retouching etc.


Regardless of whether you are a freelance or full-time assistant, it is still a great way to live in a city like New York, learn the industry from the inside and start your career. You just have to be proactive, resourceful, and most importantly you need to keep your ultimate goal in mind. If you wan to be a shooter, then make sure that you establish a realistic time line for your own work. Spend all of your free time building your own portfolio, and continue to develop as a photographer, as an artist, and as a person.

In closing, I am not sure what the next step will be for me. I am sincerely grateful for the experiences that I have had so far, and hope that they will be equaled by experiences in my own shooting career. I am currently freelancing as much as possible and would consider taking another full-time position if given the opportunity. I am currently focusing as much of my energies as possible on building my own portfolio, and figuring out how to stand on my own two feet as a photographer in this ever changing industry. After all…that’s why I came out here. Either give it everything you’ve got or go home.

Thanks so much to Scott Kelby and Brad Moore for inviting me to participate in this highly informative and influential blog. I hope my contribution offers a slightly different perspective on the life of another photo assistant in New York.

You can view Nick’s work at, and see him helping Joe McNally out alongside Brad in this Kelby Training Online class!

Nick Rapaz! Have you ever wondered what it would be like to help photograph the First Lady, Annie Leibovitz, or world leaders at the UN? Nick gives us a peek into all of those situations from his time as a full-time assistant working with Platon, as well as life as a freelance assistant.  He also shares about one of the things people don’t think about often when it comes to photographing busy people – the choreography of the shoot.  It’s a very interesting look into setting up for what could be a timeless and iconic portrait of someone in a matter of seconds.

Some of you may recognize Nick from the Light Shaping Tools, Part 2 Kelby Online Training class with Joe McNally.  This was the first time I (Brad) met Nick, and I have to tell you that he is one crazy guy, which is why he got along with Joe and I so well :)

Anyway, make sure you stop by tomorrow and check out Nick’s post!

calvin hollywoodsm

First of all I really want to thank Scott and his team for the great opportunity to write here about myself and my work.

I am Calvin Hollywood, Photoshop Artist located in Heidelberg, Germany. My major focus is to take photographs of people with the emphasis on the digital image editing with Photoshop.

And there we are right in the middle of the topic: I am addicted to Photoshop :-)

By the way, you are addicted too if:
–    you wake up after a wild night in the bed of someone and you think “STRG + Z”
–    you don’t get older, just harder to retouch
–    you order the meat in your favourite restaurant “RAW” to adjust it yourself
–    your apartments walls have 50% gray color

But what can you do in Photoshop if your starting point material is not really good? I try to get as much done when photographing and only if I can’t get further with photography I start with Photoshop.


I started photography and image editing in 2005, and since then I have continuously worked on my skills. When friends went to parties, I partied with Photoshop. And the great thing is: It was a lot of fun! Because I learned everything by myself I relied on the Internet, books and training DVDs. These media have been very effective for me and I consumed nearly everything on the market.

In 2006 I started to work with the Photopartner and “Lightguide” I am still working with today. Together we form a great team allowing me to focus on the picture and the image editing.

The work for hire I do contains a lot of portraits of artists and musicians. I love to take pictures of people who are (as I am) very passionate and live their passion.

scotty 76sm


But if you want to reach known artists, you have to have a great portfolio of your work. In the beginning I created my portfolio based on pictures I took of friends and family. For these pictures you don’t have pressure regarding time and success – they allow a lot of experimenting.




My pictures all have an artificial look. Many people think that my pictures are painted. But I really can’t paint, believe me. I shoot my pictures with the camera and give them “the look” in Photoshop.

Likely this is not what most people mean by „photography“, but it is in fact a big part of my imagination.

The techniques I am using for my work are no secret.
I have published more than 7 video tutorial DVDs on the German market and one on the English market. In these publications I explain my techniques and strategies in detail.
I host more than 50 Seminars each year and I am worldwide on the road for companies like Adobe, Wacom, video2brain, etc.

It would be way to many words for this blog article to explain my entire library of techniques, but I would like to explain some selected ones to you.

If you have and further questions please don’t hesitate to send me an email!

The Double RAW Conversion
Most of the time I am converting my RAW files twice.
For this I am using a very thrilling method which I have explained in this YouTube video.

Rarely I am removing color casts, but many times I am adding color casts to my images.

For this I am using in most cases an adjustment layer „Hue/Saturation“ and the layer blending mode „Soft Light“.
Additionally I activate the check box „colorize“ and then give the image a warm color cast.

color looksm

Freaky Details
In order to get all the fine details out of an image, I am using a very freaky method. I would like to show you a short tutorial for this. It has been created during the production of a video tutorial project.

There are so many easy techniques which have major impact on the picture. I think that it is the many small changes to an image, which create the final picture. In my opinion playing with the pictures it is very important and I really suggest it to everybody.
Combine some filters and blending modes.
Try to understand Photoshop.
Don’t underestimate the basics.

Sometimes I am also editing pictures for other photographers, who love the painted and illustrated look.
Below you can see an example of a retouch I have performed for the photographer Martin Krolop.


My style works especially well if there are a lot of structures and details in the RAW file. That’s why I like to use photos of men a lot :-).

But if I am working on a fashion project, my work-for-hire mainly leads me to female models. But it is also important for me to keep my personal style there.


i willsm

It is important to edit the pictures in the individual way of your own emotions.
There will always be people who don’t like what you did.
Stick to what you like and have fun doing it!

I believe that especially in the beginning it is really fine to copy techniques from role models or industry leaders.
I did that all the time in the past.
Copying style and techniques gave me a goal to reach and helped me keeping me on track for my target.
The personal style will automatically appear over time.

I also think it is laughable and absurd to try to keep personal techniques secret.
Photoshop is a tool and the perfect picture is not created by Photoshop.
The feel for the image and the experience working with the tools is separating the wheat from the chaff.

Thank you very much indeed for your interest, and remember: if you have questions you can always drop me an email.

Warm regards,

You can see more of Calvin’s work on his website. If you’d like to see more of his teaching, be sure to check it out here!