Wednesday
Feb
2015
18

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Justin Wojtczak!

by Brad Moore  |  3 Comments

What’s going on, I am Justin Wojtczak with 375 Photography from Atlanta, Georgia. We are commercial photographers who do 40 weddings a year, have been voted Best of Weddings for the past three years and I’m an instructor at KelbyOne.com.

As a commercial wedding photographer, light can be your best friend or worst enemy. We have been doing this for almost 10 years now and I have found that what has helped stand out is the ability to light and get the shot that the bride and everyone at the wedding will remember and talk about. At the beginning we relied on speed lights. They were great and easy. But there were so many times where we went out to light a shot and the speed lights did not fire. They became to us an unreliable light source.

So in 2012, we got introduced to Profoto by Lee Morris and Patrick Hall of Fstoppers. Ever since then, we rely on the D1 Air light kit. With these lights we can light any situation that we encounter during the timeline of a wedding day.

Let’s get right down to the good stuff and break down three shots.

The Moment
At 375, we get to know each client on an emotional level throughout the wedding day reading their body language and how they react to certain people.  With this shot, I knew in advanced that she and her dad had a great relationship. Knowing your subjects allows you to anticipate these moment so you’re ready when they happen.

The Breakdown:
This was a two-light shot.  We had one behind the bride and dad set to 4.0. Then we had our key light behind the camera with a shoot through umbrella pointed at ceiling.  TIP: Use the ceilings to help bounce the light to light your couple. This will make a big difference in your shot.

Last Light
This is actually two shots. With this wedding, it was all after dark. We did not get to the wedding location till 5:30pm, which was 15 minutes after sunset. I knew beforehand that catching any sort of sky would be critical to making the pictures beforehand memorable. After rushing down the stairs to the front of the house and getting the bride in place, we started to shoot. When trying to capture the sky, I wanted to draw in as much ambient (natural) light as possible.

Tip: Your shutter speed controls the ambient light in a shot when using flash. We had one Profoto with a shoot through umbrella at 7.0. as high as we could go, angled down. Look at the difference between the next shot as the umbrella being high and just facing the bride:


Umbrella facing the bride


Umbrella above and angled down toward the bride

The simple change of the angle of the umbrella made all the different in the feel of the image.

Settings:
5D MkIII at 1/20 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200
Key light: D1 Air at 7.0 with shoot through umbrella
Lens: Sigma 35mm f/1.4

Dusk
Having been to amazing venues all over the southeast, I’ve learned that it is critical to build trust with your bride and groom so when you see a shot that takes a little bit of time to get to, they know that you are asking for the best shot possible. This was up a ridge at her parents’ 1,000 acre farm. We had to take a truck to the parents’ house, then run down the fence line to the gate, then sprint to the edge of the ridge. It was well worth it!

The breakdown:
What made this shot was the height and angle of the umbrella. I wanted the umbrella just out of frame, right above their heads angled down so it illuminates the bride and groom but then to get a little spill onto the grass. I love the how the bride and groom and the grass give you a feel of the location and for the background.

Settings:
5D MkIII at 1/20 sec, f/3.2 ISO 200
Key Light: D1 Air at 4.5 with shoot through umbrella
Lens: Sigma 85mm f/1.4

Conclusion
Shooting weddings every weekend and being in sometimes remote places, it is critical that our ability to light any moment is not hindered by our light source not working for a mysterious reason. Since shooting with the Profoto D1 Airs, we have not missed a moment. They are reliable, consistent and add value to our final product. Using the D1 Air has advanced our understanding of light and has enabled us to capture moments every time where in the past it was a frustrating hit or miss moment. Capturing these moments in the way that 375 does helps to add to the bride and groom’s experience which goes well beyond the wedding day.

Thanks to Brad Moore, Pete Collins, Justin McGough and Grant Norwood for the help of this video, and to Scott Kelby for giving us this platform to share with each other!

You can see more of Justin’s work at 375Photography.com, and follow him on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Vimeo.

Monday
Feb
2015
16

It’s Monday. Here’s What’s Up Photoshop and Lightroom Folks (the short and sweet version)

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

Hi Gang: Happy Monday. It’s President’s Day here in the US, which is a holiday we love because a lot of folks have the day off and that’s pretty much all we know about this holiday (but don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, right?). Anyway, here’s what’s up:

> I’m back, baby!
My wife and I snuck off Thursday for a Valentine’s Weekend Getaway to Portland, Oregon with our friends Moose and Sharon Peterson. Had a total blast, and even had some pretty good weather the whole time (the shot above is from this weekend, but I shot the same lighthouse 5-years ago but on a really gray overcast day). Lots more about this trip later, but I’ve gotta hit the sack, so hit me up on social for more photos and stories.

> I posted #9 of “What I’d Tell a New Lightroom User”
If you’ve been following my series, I posted the latest one over at LightroomKillerTips.comhere’s the link if you have a sec.

> Thanks for the feedback on “The Lightroom Show”
Just a shout out to everybody who posted such kind comments here on Friday after the debut of our new weekly show. Thanks so much for all the  support and kind words. The next episode comes out this Friday. If you missed the premiere episode last week, here’s the link.

> Sacramento, here I come!
The final tour stop of my “Shoot Like a Pro” seminar is coming up next month (Monday, March 9th) in Sacarmento (come join me for the day — here’s the link).

Then in April I’m launching a totally new from the ground up full-day seminar called “Shoot Like a Pro: Reloaded” and I’ll have tour dates shortly, but my first two stops are Salt Lake City and Los Angeles (both in April).

> Rick Sammon and my “Guitar Wall”
Last week Rick and his wife Susan stopped by our new offices, and Susan got this shot of me and Rick posing in front of the left wall of my office, which is a bunch of guitars (I’m holding a Parker Maxx Fly in the photo you see here, but I just got in a Paul Reed Smith SE Custom 24 right before I left for Portland. Hardly even had a time to play it. Anyway, thought I’d share this shot to wrap up this quick look at what’s going on this sunny warm Monday here in Florida.

Hope you all have a great day. We’ll catch you here tomorrow. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. In case you missed it, the incredible Joel Grimes is launching a new full-day seminar tour with us, called “The Photographers Creative Revolution” tour. His first stop is Indianapolis on Feb 23rd, then he’s on to Washington DC on March 25th. Here’s the link with details. 

Friday
Feb
2015
13

It’s Here! Welcome to The Premiere of “The Lightroom Show!”

by Scott Kelby  |  25 Comments

Hey gang — it’s here: the first episode of “The Lightroom Show” hosted by RC Concepcion and yours truly, and we covered a lot of ground in a short time, with lots of Lightroom tips and tutorials (this new weekly show airs every Friday).

We pull our ideas for the show from comments our viewers post over at LightroomKillerTips.com (where RC, Pete and I post Lightroom tips daily).

Hope you enjoy the first episode and that it helps you along on your Lightroom Journey. :)

Have a great weekend everybody and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

Best,

-Scott

Thursday
Feb
2015
12

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  17 Comments

It’s Fashion Photography Month at KelbyOne!
This month at KelbyOne, we’re sharing our passion for fashion! We just launched Lindsay Adler’s brand new class, Shooting Fashion on a Budget, and we also have classes from Lou Freeman and Joel Grimes.

And this month only, if you sign up for KelbyOne, not only do you get a one-year membership for just $199, but you also get Frank Doorhof’s book, Mastering The Model Shoot for FREE!

You can find out about all of this right here, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free copy of Mastering The Model Shoot.

Moose Peterson Is Heading To England!
If you’re in London, or just want a reason to visit, Moose Peterson will be there in April doing a presentation, workshop, photo walk and more! If you’re interested, you can get more details right here. He also just posted more details about the Warbird Photography Workshop, for which you can now register.

Last Week’s Winner
KelbyOne Live Ticket
-Michelle Walker

If that’s you, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Feb
2015
11

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Shaun King!

by Brad Moore  |  4 Comments

To grow our photography businesses, we make images that serve specific, narrow functions. For example, our wedding photography needs to attract and satisfy a specific demographic with a certain look in order to allow us to charge a particular price and create a consistent brand. Our commercial photography needs to assist clients in generating specific feedback from their customers that are in line with business goals. Even though my photography offered me creative expression, it was being undermined by a mechanistic approach that treated photography as a utility. I realized my photography needed to participate in something.  My photography lacked a community and I needed to have an outlet where my photography could give and serve.

I thought this personal crisis was more widely shared among photographers, so I was a little surprised to find out that so few professional photographers have volunteered their time to serve their local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club. I cannot speak broadly about philanthropic photography, but my goal here is to highlight why the Boys and Girls Club is one of the best organizations for your consideration.

With over 4,100 club affiliations spread across America, the Boys and Girls Club is likely the most conveniently located nonprofit organization that you could serve. I called my county-level organization for the first time, two years ago, and was met with gratitude and opportunities to photograph almost immediately. When I said I wanted to offer service on a continuing basis, they were justifiably skeptical. Pro photographers are known to serve local nonprofits infrequently and only when they need to create an inflated tax writeoff.

By offering my photography at the county level, I was able to work with the administration team and became involved with multiple Clubs. That is a great strategy. If you volunteer exclusively at an individual Club, they will appreciate your service and your images will be put to good use, but there may not be enough opportunities to sustain your service for multiple occasions.

Most people think that the Boys and Girls Club is just afterschool care: a place where children go to hang out or do homework until for their parents finish their long hours working.

Yes, there is homework, and academic mentoring available, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that the Boys and Girls Club is filled with broad opportunities. This will give your photographs variety and you’ll see yourself as photographing the life of the Club rather than repetitive stock moments.

In fact, many Clubs offer genuine outlets for play: like summer camp and networked computer gaming. And in our case, we’ve created a strong relationship the the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team, where professional athletes frequently mentor and play with our kids.

“The Club” or “teen centers” are Clubs that cater specifically to teenagers. I teach photography at my local teen center, and if teaching photography is your passion, many teen centers will welcome you with open arms.

Jay, for example, is one of my photography students. He doesn’t own a camera, but with a little networking, we got him a media pass to photograph alongside professional photographers at a Duke University Football game.

The Boys and Girls Club has an internal, nationwide photography competition for it’s Club members, sponsored by Sony. And this year, Jay entered and won 1st place in two categories at our local level. We’re hoping he’ll win again at the regional and national level.

Some teenagers like to be expressive and playful in front of the camera, so if you’re interested in practicing your commercial photography techniques with teens you’re mentoring, some of them will be happy to model for you. This is also valuable if you become involved in teaching photography because your teenage photography students will frequently want to photograph other teens.

Since the Boys and Girls Club is a nonprofit, they fundraise and need donations. But that means they need to schedule events for donors and create an atmosphere of celebration for successful contributions. This creates opportunities to provide event coverage photography.

Internal to the Club organization is a structure created to allow youth to overcome a classic leadership phobia at these events: public speaking.

I hope these experiences and photographs I’ve shared have encouraged you to find a nonprofit organization worth serving. The Boys and Girls Club, in particular, is both locally available and historically underserved by the photographic community. If you decide to serve a local nonprofit on a continuing basis, the life of the organization will unfold in front of your lens. You’ll experience a satisfaction that will sustain you through the routine affairs of operating your photography business.

You can see more of Shaun’s work at ShaunKing.com, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Tuesday
Feb
2015
10

What Makes a Great Sports Photo?

by Scott Kelby  |  5 Comments

Today over on the KelbyOne blog, Julio posted a link to a free clip from our class with sports photography legend Peter Read Miller called “What Makes a Great Sports Photo”. Even though I did the class with Peter (I was just the host), I just watched this clip and in it, Peter shares a slideshow of his works, and…well…ya just gotta see it — totally worth it.

Peter’s slideshow is simply amazing, and you’ll recognize a bunch of the images because they were covers of Sports Illustrated magazine. Here’s the link to watch this clip above (you don’t have to be a KelbyOne subscriber to see it — just scroll down a few posts and you’ll see it).

Today we’re taping our first episode of “The Lightroom Show”
In other news: RC and I are taping our first episode of our new weekly podcast called “The Lightroom Show” where we share Lightroom tips, tricks, tutorials, and techniques (all based on reader questions and suggestions over at our site LightroomKillerTips.com). The new show should go online next week and I’ll share the link then (it’ll be part of KelbyTV.com), but in the meantime, thanks to everybody who submitted questions and ideas. We’re psyched!

Yes, that’s Mia on “The Grid”
Last week on “The Grid,” we had our own Mia McCormick as our special pop-in guest on “The Grid” to talk about a cool gadget for the iPhone she picked up at ImagingUSA in Nashville, and Mia kind of stole the show. We did talk a lot about Lightroom, but also took a look at what was new at ImagingUSA and all sorts of stuff. A really fun episode (I’ve embedded it above if you want to check it out).

That’s it from here. Off to tape our first “The Lightroom Show” episode!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Thanks to all the photographers who came to our headquarters yesterday for an in-house “test run” of my brand-new live tour, “Shoot Like a Pro: RELOADED.” Such a great crowd to present to (and the first time we got to use our new in-house theater) and thanks for all your feedback in helping me make the official first tour stop in Salt Lake City totally rock! 

 

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