Wednesday
Mar
2014
26

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Christian Brecheis!

by Brad Moore  |  4 Comments

It’s funny with photography, it’s pressing a button. However until you get to actually ‘do it’ it can be so effortless or so incredibly complicated. There’s definitely a good range of possible roadblocks between you and the photos you want to achieve. In the end it comes down to who you are as a photographer and what you would like to shoot. One thing is easy for sure, it’s to think, “I could have shot that,” but you simply haven’t until you have. One of Scott Kelby’s favorite quotes of Joe McNally has to be, “If you want more interesting pictures, you gotta stand in front of more interesting stuff.” I’d like to use this guest post to show you my process of shooting new work for my portfolio, maybe it will help some people to go and make the work they want as well.

You can scale your shoots from simple and cost free to a high end production. This is just my approach. My goal was to work on my lifestyle book and shoot new work. I had the chance to go to Cape Town which has basically everything you need: the weather, locations, models, stylists and so forth. Sounds like a game plan, but the trip was miles outside my comfort zone. These shoots came out of my own pocket and I needed to bring together a lot of people to make it happen. As just mentioned this would be: models, stylists, make-up, etc. All willing to work for free or cheap and in return for new photos. Testing is a common term for shooting for your portfolio when working in a production environment. Everyone involved likes to use new images to promote themselves with new work in their field or to show a new direction.

Before making the trip to Cape Town I started to reach out to all kinds of contacts in order to get a team together. The majority of hair/makeup artists and stylists work with representation. This makes it easier to localize and finding the right people for the test. I found a stylist that was into the idea of shooting a road trip like story. There was also one scenario where styling wasn‘t as key and the model could bring his own clothing, which made me a bit more independent scheduling. For models I planned on finding talent either local or on-stay. You can approach model agencies and ask for new faces that need to build their book. Established models also do tests, you just need to be more convincing.

Finding locations can work either way too. For the road story shoot, locations were lonely roads or places by the coast and not a big deal to shoot at. For another test I wanted to use a pool and therefore worked with a location scout to find one. In that process I also came across an apartment that I liked where the owner was fine with a half day rate, which made it affordable to rent it. Again, no big budgets so tweaking it on all ends was necessary to make it happen which also meant cutting my shot list to what suits a half day.

With all the when and where in place, I was able to start casting. I used some of my personal contacts and also reached out to model agencies. Usually when shooting with people I know or my friends, I‘ll tend go into a direction where I make them feel comfortable and they can do well in the shoot. Meaning not necessarily chasing a vision first. Whereas having a set idea and finding models to match that, is the same procedure as on a job, which I find is good practice. Another plus of test shoots. It’s a good idea to have a Plan B in place when it comes to casting. Out of 7 models I shot with, 5 models cancelled last-minute because a paid job came along or they needed to go on a casting. Understandable, paid jobs come first.

Finally I was done with pre-production and it was time to shoot photos. This is the fun part. It‘s a test, this is the time to try things, learn and improve. At the same time you have your team and the model that would like to have results they can work with. I like to find the balance – achieve results, not re-invent the wheel but also have room to play, allow error, learn something new.

I hope this serves as a bit of inspiration for you to go out and shoot the photos you want, even if what you want is to hang your shot of the Eiffel Tower over your couch. Then your only chance is to make a trip to Paris to photograph it. The one in Las Vegas is a joke and does not count. ;-)

You can see more of Christian’s work at ChristianBrecheis.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram

Tuesday
Mar
2014
25

The people have spoken — it’s time to cut ‘em!

by Scott Kelby  |  5 Comments

Thanks so much for your help everybody — your votes are in and I’m cutting the three images you see above, which will get me back down to my 24-image limit.

I have to say I was very surprised at how close the voting was, with only 84 votes separating first and last place. The yellow Ferrari rear detail shot (A) was the first choice by pretty decent margin.

Thanks again to everyone who participated — it helped a bunch. :)

Tuesday
Mar
2014
25

I Need Your Help Trimming My Online Portfolio

by Scott Kelby  |  194 Comments

Hi Gang: Can I get your help with something? I’m over my self-imposed limit on the number of images I have in my online automobile portfolio gallery (called “Personal Work” in my Sports portfolio — it’s a long story), and I was hoping you might help me trim things down. I did some of the leg work, by narrowing these down to these six images which are “on the bubble.”

Here’s how to vote
I can only keep THREE of the following images so I was hoping you’d choose your THREE favorites from these, let me know your choices, and then I’ll tally the votes and cut the other three remaining images. If you could vote in the comment section below — just give your picks by letter “A, B & C” or “C, D and E” etc., (the letters appear in the bottom right corner of each image).

Remember, only choose the THREE keepers by letter (and many thanks in advance). Here we go:

Many thanks for helping me out here. I’ll post which ones made the cut here once I count the votes.

Thanks again (and have an awesome Tuesday!). :)

-Scott

 

Monday
Mar
2014
24

Retouching Cars in Photoshop

by Scott Kelby  |  11 Comments

I had some folks ask me about how I retouch the cars I shoot so I thought I’d share some of the techniques by taking you quickly (quickly is the key word  here — it normally takes me about 45 minutes for a full retouch) but at least in this video I could show pretty much what I do during a standard automotive retouch, without making you watch me remove every little spot, spec and reflection (which is sadly, what I normally have to do, and that’s why it often takes so long).

So, basically this is just retouching 101 stuff — if you really want to learn the “art” of retouching automobiles, you should watch Tim Wallace’s “Post Processing for Automotive Photography” online class. He’s very humble about it, but when it comes to retouching cars, Tim is “the man” so it’s totally worth learning his techniques.

Anyway, in the meantime I hope you find the short video I did above somewhat helpful.

Here’s wishing you an awesome Monday (well, as awesome as a Monday can be anyway). :)

 

Friday
Mar
2014
21

Travel Photography Tips with Serge Ramelli

by Scott Kelby  |  7 Comments

Our buddy, French photographer and Photoshop guru Serge Ramelli was our in-studio guest this week on “The Grid” (our weekly photography talk show) and he shared seem really helpful tips — here’s the episode (above) if you’re into travel (plus, he shared some tips on the business side in response to some of our viewers live questions — definitely worth checking out).

Hope you all have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Monday. :)

Best,

-Scott

Thursday
Mar
2014
20

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  20 Comments

International Day Of Happiness with Coca Cola
Today is the International Day of Happiness, which the UN created last year to encourage countries to “better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being.” Scott teamed up with Coca Cola to create a portrait series of people who get their happiness from making other people happy. The series shows each person holding an iPad with a picture representing what they do to make others happy. You can check it out right here, and take a minute today to try and bring happiness to someone else!

The Business Side of Frank Salas
Join Master Photographer Frank Salas and KelbyOne’s own Mia McCormick as they discuss what it takes to succeed as a wedding photographer in the latest addition to KelbyOne, The Business Side of Frank Salas. With over 30 years experience in the wedding industry, Frank Salas has seen trends come and go, but the key to success is the building and nurturing of relationships. Over the course of an hour, Frank shares his thoughts and experiences on everything from getting started in the business to deciding why and when to expand your services, and so much more!

KelbyOne Live
Want to spend a day with Scott KelbyMatt Kloskowski, RC Concepcion, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Mar 28 – Minneapolis, MN
Apr 14 – Salt Lake City, UT
May 13 – Portland, OR

Lightroom 5 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Mar 31 – Indianapolis, IN
Apr 2 – Columbus, OH

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Mar 26 – Arlington, TX
Apr 11 – Washington, DC
May 20 – Hartford, CT

Photoshop Creativity with Ben Willmore
Apr 16 – Chicago, IL
May 7 – Philadelphia, PA
May 9 – South San Francisco, CA
May 28 – Sacramento, CA

You can check out the full schedule for seminars through March! And leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Last Week’s Winners
Photoshop Guys Book Set
- Marland Grove

KelbyOne Class
- Holger

KelbyOne Live Ticket
- R J F

If you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great International Day of Happiness!

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