Wednesday
Nov
2013
20

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Peter Hurley!

by Brad Moore  |  23 Comments

In February of 2012 I did my first post for Scott’s guest blog called It’s All About The Jaw! I’m not particularly keen on writing, so I decided to do it as a video blog on the very first direction I give everyone who steps foot in front of my camera. It ended up being a huge hit and was his most popular guest post of 2012.

Having outdone myself the first time, I found myself pushing off a second attempt in fear of not being able to live up to the hype. Well, I finally got the courage to create my second effort and you can judge for yourself whether it makes the cut or not.

It’s the second in this little series I’m doing and it’s called It’s All About The Squinch! I know what you are thinking… What the heck is squinching? Truth is I made it up. You’ll have to watch the video to get a sense of it, but I believe it is the single reason behind me being able to talk to you right now.

13 years ago I picked up a camera and started shooting models and actors in New York. I had no formal training, and only a camera in my hand and my desire to become a successful portrait photographer. Being a former model, I knew that whenever a camera was pointed at me I had to do something; create a look, make a move, fire out an expression, whatever. Anything but sit there looking blank and lifeless.

As a fledgling photographer I began looking at other’s work, specifically the headshot industry here in New York. I saw one thing that was repeated over and over again. Blank lifeless images with absolutely no juice coming towards the camera. Why didn’t I see the same thing when I looked at celebrities in magazines? Was it the photographer or the celebrity that made the difference in those shots? I believe now that it’s a bit of both, but it was then and there that I decided it was my mission to create interesting expressions for my clients.

That’s right, I had to create it for them. I couldn’t leave it up to my clients to do it on their own. It was my work and I was going to infuse it with life if it was the last thing I did. It became my responsibly, so no matter how stiff or uncomfortable anyone was, they weren’t leaving my studio without what I considered a Peter Hurley headshot. No way, no how. This was my domain and my biggest weapon became the squinch.

My biggest fear was that other photographers would find out about the squinch. Well, over the past few years I’ve been teaching squinching up the wazoo in my Headshot Intensive, my Kelby Training class, Mastering The Headshot, as well as on my DVD, The Art Behind The Headshot. I’ve been drilling the point home the best I can that to me all my success is simply based on making each person squinch in front of my camera. No other way around it, this is a biggie and the fact that I’m here to tell you proves that for me. So enjoy the video and next time someone’s in front of your camera why don’t you try having them fire in a little squnch!

I’ll be throwing out more of my signature stuff down the road, so be on the lookout. Scott and I are working on a book and I’ll be speaking at Photoshop World in Atlanta. If you want to see my current teaching schedule then check out my coaching site for headshot photographers worldwide at PH2Pro.com.

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

Tuesday
Nov
2013
19

Shots from the Broncos/Chiefs Game Sunday Night

by Scott Kelby  |  52 Comments

Hi Gang: Sorry I’ve missed the last couple of days of blogging (it’s been crazy around here, and my travel schedule is…well…crazy! I was in Denver Sunday, Miami Monday (still down here, shooting an online class with Jeremy Cowart today), and then I’m back in Tampa tonight. Whew!

Anyway, it was an amazing game to cover, and the weather held up and it really wasn’t too cold. In fact, it was great weather for a game. Brisk, but not windy. I came away with 60 overall keepers from the game and 62 image for the assignment I was on (which was to cover four specific players, but mostly Peyton Manning, and I have a ton of shots of him).

Down goes the photographer
A lot of you saw me get knocked over late in the 4th quarter, on a play that was reviewed (so they showed the replay numerous times). The players never got near me — it was more of a domino effect of other photographers and video guys getting out of the way, and I just lost my balance and went over. I was cracking up, and saying “Man down, man down!” to Dave Black who was shooting right beside me). Didn’t hurt even one tiny bit.

Anyway, here’s a few of my favorites, including my epic-fail on a remote shot for the player intros:

Above: Just out of reach. I really wished he had caught it for the sake of the photo (though I was rooting for the Broncos). 

Above: There are three shots in this series, and in this one Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe catches the pass for the touchdown (he’s in the end zone). I’m on this with my 2nd body, and a 70-200mm f/2.8. 

Above: Even though it’s not a peak action shot, I actually like this one better — I love touchdown shots where you can see the ref signaling the touchdown. 

Above: The last frame, he starts celebrating his touchdown and I am right directly in front of him firing away and it looks right into my lens. Sweet!

Above: For one quarter I switched my 2nd body to a 16-35mm f/2.8 lens and that’s what I used to get this touchdown. I like that you get the scope of the stadium, but my style is to shoot tight, so I’m not super loving’ it. 

Above: After the score he dives up and into the crowd. I run over with the 16-35mm to get this close-up shot. There were a bunch of photographers doing the same thing, and this was one of the only clean ones without a bunch of cameras in the frame. 

Above: Wish you could see his eyes, but I liked any shot with the player in mid-air. I’m a sucker for those.

Above: I laid down at the back of the End Zone to get this low angle shot with my 70-200mm. I was hoping they’d get closer, but they wound up kicking a field goal instead. 

Above: You know I love detail shots (in fact, I just added a Game Detail gallery to my sports portfolio — here’s the link) and this one was before the team took for the field for warm-ups. Note the “honor the military” gloves. Some players also had cammo-themed towels to show their support for our armed services. 

Above: Cool motion shot, right? Actually, total accident. At some point I hit the dial on my camera and accidentally changed my f/stop to f/14 which lowered my shutter speed from 1/1000 of a second down to just 1/125 of a second, which creates that blur. Luckily, Peyton was just handing off the ball, so he’s not moving very fast, so he wound up in focus. 

Above: Before the game I contact Broncos Team Photographer Eric Bakke (great guy, great photographer), about setting up a remote camera for the player intros, and I took an iPhone shot of the set-up so you could see it’s position.

 Above: Here’s the set-up: a Canon 1Dx on a Manfrotto bullhead mounted to a metal floor stand from fplate.net, and triggered with a Pocket Wizard Plus-X wireless trigger on top. The security guy I was working with put a goal marker there so the Cheerleaders would clearly see it through the smoke and steer clear of it, and they totally did. Made me want to bring one of my own from here on out. LOL!

Above: You need LOTS of clearance to get approval to do an on-field remote camera like this, including approval from the Pyrotechnics guys, on-field security, team security, and well, pretty much everybody, or you have another security guy (or NFL official) coming out (seen above) asking, “What is this doing here!?” and Eric was a great help with that and lots of folks were in the loop hours before kick-off. 

Above: They have a pretty cool opening, with a horse and rider running out, then the Broncos cheerleaders, then in this case, members of the military with flags as part of the NFL honoring the military (seen above), and so far the remote is working pretty well. The placement seems OK, and it’s looking good so far. 

Above: The Offense runs out as a group, then you have the individual player intros and that’s where my epic fail began. First, as you can see, I set the camera (with a 16-35mm lens at 16mm) too far away from the players, and it’s probably aimed too high. I didn’t have another photographer to stand there to let me lock in my focus, so I had to eye it, and sure enough if it’s tack sharp. Worst yet, this was the first player introduced, and the last shot the remote fired. Thats right — it stopped after this shot, even though I was firing the remote trigger. I have no idea why. Did the cable come loose? Was there radio interference? Who knows, but I only got this one lame shot. #fail. It happens. 

Above: I love celebration shots and this is one of my favorites from the night — it’s Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno leaping up and over Broncos tight end Julius Thomas (the guy who actually scored the touchdown), and you know I like it because the ref is signaling touchdown in the background.

Well, that’s a look at some of my favorites, and the story of my remote fail, and how I survived getting knocked over by the sideline domino effect and lived to tell about it (how’s that for adding drama). ;-)

Hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday and stay out of the way of fast-moving objects, and may all your remotes fire each and every time! :)

Thursday
Nov
2013
14

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  21 Comments

The Art of Photography: Peter Read Miller’s 30 Years with Sports Illustrated
Join Mia McCormick and world-renowned sports photographer, Peter Read Miller, as they sit down to discuss Peter’s vast experience covering events for Sports Illustrated. During the course of their conversation Peter shares the story of how he got started shooting sports, the importance of networking across the industry, why capturing the peak of action is critical to creating a successful image, how to stay on your game over the long haul, and so much more!

You can check out this and all of Peter’s classes right here, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free rental of this class!

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNallyMatt Kloskowski, or RC Concepcion? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Nov 14 – New York, NY (today!)
Dec 3 – San Diego, CA
Dec 9 – Toronto, ON

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
Nov 18 – San Francisco, CA

Lightroom 5 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Nov 15 – Sacramento, CA
Dec 6 – Seattle, WA
Dec 13 – Jacksonville, FL

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Dec 11 – Calgary, AB

Don’t forget, if you register for a seminar at least 14 days in advance, you can save $10 by using the code KTL10 at the checkout. And leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

LensProToGo Gear Sale
LensProToGo just launched their seasonal used gear sale yesterday, but there are still a few items up for grabs! Check out what’s left right here and see what kind of deals you can get.

Last Week’s Winners
Bill Fortney’s Olympic Park Rental
- Holger

Kelby Training Live Ticket
- Dianne A

If you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ll be in touch soon. And if you’re at today’s NYC seminar, be sure to come up and say hi! Have a great Thursday everyone.

Wednesday
Nov
2013
13

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Blair Bunting!

by Brad Moore  |  6 Comments

Life On Set
One of the most common topics that I get questions surrounding is what happens on set for a large production. All too often it is a personal aspect of a photographer and kept secret from those that are just making their way into the industry. While I do believe that learning through trial and error strengthens our overall knowledge base, I do not like the idea of keeping my approach secret when I could help others from experiencing some of the snags that I have hit along the way.

I figured I would take a few moments today to give some of the young photographers an idea of what to expect and what will be expected of them on a production and some ways to be successful.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
I wish I could say that this one goes without saying, however it sadly does not. I hear all too often from assistants that I hire about other photographers that scream at crew and talent alike. It is the ultimate expression of insecurity and there is no place for it in the studio, or life for that matter. If you want to be a photographer that impresses a client on set treat your crew and talent with genuine respect.

At the end of the day there will be an image that gets published with the photographer’s name in the credit line or an award won by said photographer. However, the part that is often unseen is the sacrifice made by his or her crew to make that shot possible.

Know The Crew
This one carries off the idea of respect and takes it to a more personal level. Whenever I am shooting a production, I make it a point to know every person on set, from styling hair, makeup and wardrobe in the dressing rooms. The reason for this is two fold. As the photographer, you are the leader or coach of this team and their success is on your ability to give good instructions. In order to do this you need to learn each person’s limit or workload and stressors. Most importantly, let everyone know that they are doing a good job, build them up and the work you produce will show it.

The second reason for knowing everyone individually I discovered on a shoot this year. I was shooting a very large sports drink campaign and the day before my dog had suddenly passed away. To be honest, my driver picked me up and I cried the whole way to the studio. The idea of putting on a professional face as if nothing had happened was incredibly tough, but it is what the client deserved. While it was very hard for me to talk to people I knew well, I found that I was more comfortable talking with crew that I had not worked with prior. I entrusted my first assistant with overall management and spent much of the time talking with a grip that we hired just a week prior. Conversation was very topical, but it was the help I needed to keep my sanity on set and I all always be grateful for that.

Produce Your Own Shoot
This is not necessarily an option for every campaign, but if you have the opportunity to produce a shoot it can be one of the more valuable lessons you will find. By producing your own shoot, I mean handling everything from payroll to prop sourcing. As your jobs get bigger, you will not be able to do this without sanity walking out the door, but there is no reason that a small shoot (less than 20 people on set) can’t be handled by a photographer. In doing this you will learn where budget will make the most impact on the image and it will allow you to deliver more to your client for their budget than a photographer that takes a hands off approach.

Now with this said, when the bigger shoots come along and you have a 40 person crew, a producer (and usually assistant producer) is a must. I have worked with many and the ability of focus that their behind the scenes work affords me is invaluable. If you have quarter million dollar campaign on the line, there is no other way to handle the sheer undertaking of the numbers as a whole without a producer you trust.

Make The Set Comfortable
For many AD’s and CD’s, the photo shoot is the fun aspect of the campaign for them and therefore making it as close to a vacation as possible is very important. The creativity that is afforded by relaxing is immensely greater than that given under duress. As much as we want to believe that the shoot is only about the images produced, it is often just as much about showing the client and agency a good time. Whether this means hiring a sushi chef for the day to cook for them, or hiring a DJ to keep the environment relaxed, you must deliver. I often look at these expenditures as investments in future campaigns. At a beginning level these aspects may not make sense, but as one progresses to larger clients, more freedom to spend on making it fun will become available. It is all a matter of progression… In the beginning I had Xbox’s on set for the clients to kick back and play in the downtime of a lighting change, now I send the Xbox’s home with the client.

Some may say that this is “buying work” or at least pandering and I don’t disagree. However, at a certain level it is the norm for photographers or artist reps to send art buyers and other creatives lavish gifts such as nice wines, iPads, etc. Heck, I know some that send prospective clients on vacations. At the end of the day, the commercial photography business is just that, a business and letting your client know how important they are is just as important as lighting.

Be Grateful
Perhaps the most important part of this career is to stop, think about what you have, and be grateful. Being an advertising photographer, while sometimes stressful, is fun, is freedom… it is a privilege.

Thank you for reading,
Blair

You can see more of Blair’s work at BlairBunting.com, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+

Tuesday
Nov
2013
12

The Winner of my Worldwide Photo Walk’s “People’s Choice Award” is….

by Scott Kelby  |  5 Comments

…AC Jacobs for his winning entry from the Binghamton, New York Photo Walk.

To see the nine runner’s up, chosen by your votes, visit the official site:

http://worldwidephotowalk.com/peoples-choice-results/

My hearty congratulations to AC, and all this year’s “People’s Choice” Runner’s Up. :)

-Scott

P.S. I hope to have details on the Leader’s Competition later today. 

Monday
Nov
2013
11

A Day To Honor Our Military Veterans

by Scott Kelby  |  6 Comments

Today is Veterans Day here in the US, and I wanted to take a moment to honor and thank the men and women who have served in our country’s military, and who fought to defend the very freedoms we enjoy today.

America owes you a debt of gratitude for your service and sacrifice, and I just wanted to join in with a heartfelt thanks.

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