Posts By Brad Moore

Behind the Shoot with Chandler Moore

When I started getting into photographing concerts and artists, it wasn’t long after that when everything shut down due to the pandemic. I ended up going to Arkansas and staying with family for a while. I had no idea what life was going look like after coming back to Nashville. Everyone of course was wondering about the unknowns. I just did what I could with in each day.

One morning, I received a DM on Instagram and it was Chandler Moore’s manager. She told me she and Chandler were looking to do an album photoshoot in Nashville and wanted to know if I would be available. Just to give you some background: Chandler is part of the Maverick City Music family based in Atlanta. He’s done many collaborations with talented singer-songwriters within the worship realm. This year he performed on Justin Bieber’s Easter EP ‘Freedom.’

I didn’t know who Chandler was, I had never heard his name. I just quickly said ‘yes!’ Sydne, his manager, shared specific examples of what they had in mind and as I was looking through them, I thought “Okay, we could totally do this in my house.” After they agreed to this idea, I thought to myself “Why on earth did I suggest that we shoot in my home? Okay, I can do this.” I turned my house into a studio space and planned where we could start from room to room just using certain spots as references points based from their ideas. I didn’t have any special equipment setup; I just depended on the natural light and shadows.

On the day of our shoot, they arrived at my place and they of course were cordial and just really down to earth. We talked for a bit and then we went straight to work. In one of their photo examples, the model was sitting where the sunlight came through these window blinds and the shadows from the blinds were cast across the model’s face. I wanted to emulate this setting.

So, we began in one bedroom where I knew the lighting was going to be great for the first few shots and hopped around from one point to the other. I photographed several angles and poses and in between shots I would show Chandler what I was seeing and he was happy. We were going for really mood affects.  Thankfully, I felt a steady momentum as we were working. Honestly, it was probably from the 2 1/2 cups of coffee I had prior to meeting them. It was a fun dynamic.

At one point, I had Chandler stand in front of this wall and as I was adjusting my camera settings, he started singing; just being himself and just chilling. It was a great time! I felt comfortable and I didn’t feel awkward or shy posing him. 

When we made it into the last room which was my bedroom, I had him sit in a chair and then on my bed and I grabbed some final shots. As we were wrapping things up, I had one last idea come over me. I asked him to relax and place his hands over his face. This had nothing to do with their original vision. I was a little nervous but I just went for it anyway. It was one click and then we were done. I didn’t know what photo Chandler was going to use for his cover. I just remember sending their edits to them and then I moved on.

A few months later, on the album release day, I saw that he ended up using the very last photo I took of him hiding his face in his hands.  Of course my heart expanded so big when I saw this. 

This shoot will always live with me, because we were total strangers. We were in a pandemic. And we created something in my house. More importantly, this experience reinforced something that we as creatives ultimately encounter and that is to always listen to that quiet nudge in your gut. Yes, obviously keep in mind what the client wants but when the opportunity presents itself, grab a hold of that “aha moment” when it strikes. In my experience it always occurs at the end! The feeling is really indescribable when it happens. Sometimes it’s hard to remember this in our artistry and process, but allowing yourself to push through your own doubt should be embraced. Make some room for your own canvas. Because someone sees the art in you. 


You can see more of Meg’s work at MegLensPhoto.com, and keep up with her on Instagram and Facebook.

Blind Photo Critiques with Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna | The Grid Ep. 478

Is that thunder? Is it hoof beats? No, it’s another round of Blind Critiques on The Grid! Join Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna as they dissect viewers’ photos and give their feedback to help them take things to the next level.

New KelbyOne Course – Travel Photography: A Photographers Guide To San Francisco

Join Jefferson Graham for this photographic exploration of San Francisco. Visit iconic locations around the city as Jefferson offers his advice on when and where to set up in order to get the best shots. He also shares some gear recommendations and suggestions on great places to eat.

PERSONAL PROJECTS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF STAYING CREATIVE

Hi, Kersten here. You may not know me (yet), unless you’re one of the tens of people who listen to my podcast, the Camera Shake Podcast, in which case – well done! Nice to meet you!

Now, I mention this not to callously promote my ‘cast but because it’s strangely relevant to today’s topic: Personal Projects and the Importance of Staying Creative.

In this blog, I’ll be telling you about two of my own projects which have both changed my creative thinking, broadened my horizons as a photographer and helped me overcome one of the most challenging times of my life.

HEADS UP

Ok, let me explain. I live in the UK and the past 18 months have been, shall we say, challenging. As if you didn’t know already, there’s been a global pandemic and our government decided to shut down the country completely. 

But let’s roll back a few months. In late 2019, when life still seemed normal and the idea of a global virus pandemic was largely part of science fiction lore, I was in the process of updating my website and as such needed a new headshot for the ‘About’ page. I wanted to create a casual, yet stylish self portrait, that showed that I was serious but didn’t take myself too seriously. Thinking up a number of different scenarios I decided on a particular style of image and went to work.

What was needed was some kind of table top, beauty lighting and a neutral black backdrop. My table didn’t make the grade, looking dull and uninspiring. However, some time earlier I had come across a wooden oak board with an interesting grain and just the right amount of gritty ruggedness around the edges. I had previously used it as a backdrop for a range of different images, from flat lays to YouTube thumbnails and it had always delivered the goods. This, I gathered, was going to be perfect as a table top. Add a few props to illustrate what I’m all about (like a camera because no-one, absolutely no-one could guess that I’m a photographer, right?) and Bob’s your uncle.

So I set up the lights, installed the backdrop and got into position. Taking elaborate selfies using anything other than a cell phone turned out to be more complicated than it needed to be. Firstly, the shutter had to be controlled remotely with several seconds of delay so I could drop the thing and act natural. Next, some immediate feedback was required, which made tethering essential. But once the Gremlins had been eliminated, I was ready to get started. I tried out a range of different poses and all was going well. All I had to do was hit the remote, drop the thing like a hot bun, get into position and 2 seconds later – flash bang wallop. Shooting tethered and being able to see the images coming through on a laptop screen really helped dialling in the posing. It all seemed to go well until I pressed the remote, got distracted by something and the camera fired, catching me by surprise in mid move, hands flailing with a not-so-flattering deer in the headlights expression on my face. 

This, I thought, wasn’t going to make it as my profile picture. But on closer inspection, the shot had something. Not the serious, Clint Eastwood-esque cool of the professional I wanted to convey of course, but rather the depiction of a bumbling idiot, too dense to take his own passport photo and utterly bewildered by his own reflection in the water. 

Loved it. 

My wife, always happy to critique my latest creations, agreed that this outtake represented my personality much better than any serious portrait ever could. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still managed to create an image for the ‘About’ page – but I kept thinking about this absurd and comical, yet slightly bemusing mishap of a photograph. It was engaging and immediately made me want to see more. How much fun would it be to photograph other people like this? And who would willingly subject themselves to complete and utter photographic ridicule? Well, all of you who have kids will know what happened next.

And thus, the idea for a personal project was born. Several beverages later I had come to the conclusion that what needed to be done was to create a triptych, or series, of three images in which the subject interacts with personal objects of their own choice. We all own things that are dear to us, maybe for some sentimental reason or another or just because it exemplifies our character, personality or career choice. Also, this would give me plenty of ammunition for conversation and a chance to get to know the subject a little better, essential when pushing the envelope toward the farcical, especially when you’re photographing people who are not used to having a massive lens stuck in their face. 

I called it ‘Three Heads in a Row’ and seeing that Instagram’s grid allows for three posts in a single row, it made for the perfect platform to display the images. Something I loved and still love about this project was the connection you’re able to establish between photographer and model. 

This was fast becoming my number one personal project for 2019/2020. Little did I know.

And then…Covid happened. 

(more…)

Why Photographers Should Protect Work w/Jack Reznicki & Ed Greenberg | The Grid Ep. 477

Join the Copyright Kings, Jack Reznicki and Ed Greenberg, as they discuss why (and how) photographers should protect their work with Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna! This is the stuff that a lot of photographers don’t think about until it’s either too late or becomes an emergency, so you DEFINITELY want to hear everything these guys have to say!

New KelbyOne Course: Lighting for Food Photography

Join Aaron Van, a commercial food and beverage photographer, as he teaches you the fundamental skills to capture amazing looking food in the studio. Aaron loves telling stories with food, and starting with the basics in camera gear, lighting, and settings, he’ll take you step-by-step through his process of creating stunning food shots from a variety of angles. Each lesson builds on the concepts of the previous lessons as he changes out subjects, lighting, modifiers, and camera angles to give you the foundational skills to make informed decisions in your own shoots. You’ll even learn how to stop motion with flash! Be sure to eat before watching this class, as it will leave you hungry for more.

My blog today is to talk a little bit about things I wish I knew about photography when I began, and how weird and wonderful it can be. It’ll be a bit messy but hopefully you can get some insight from me and hang on til the end!

I started photography back when I was 15, a teacher gave me a bridge camera to take home over the weekend and told me to take photos of whatever caught my attention. The pictures I took were horrific and I edited them very very badly on Picnik… RIP. Unfortunately I can’t show the photographs because I deleted them as soon as I became embarrassed by them being online!

As you can see below I over edited all of my images, angles didn’t exist and shooting in any direction was my thing, I also enjoyed the use of colour selection and I absolutely did not know how to colour balance!

As a photographer or any type of creative person, you should just allow yourself to evolve! I know it’s hard but try to stop stressing out about how many likes you’re getting on social media and just create work that YOU enjoy. I understand that if you’re working for a client then you may have to stick to a specific brief, however if you are working for yourself and creating content that you enjoy by messing around with new techniques, things that interest you or making work by trial and error then I guarantee that you will enjoy more of what you create.

Over the last 10 years I’ve developed my skills in different aspects of photography and tried not to just stick to one niche like a lot of photographers do. Sometimes I think it would have been easier to throw myself into a specific aspect of photography but I’m glad I didn’t because I don’t want to trap myself and become stagnant.

It can be a overwhelming place to be in when you can’t creatively express yourself, I’ve found that trying to stick to a specific theme or style can be tiring, I trialed this for a month on my instagram and the likes don’t change, nor do the comments or shares! It’s all subjective and if you become obsessive with social media then it can really stunt your creative flow and your courage you have to post things. This happens to me in waves, I will be going out all the time to shoot for a while and suddenly it’s been a month and I haven’t picked up my camera or posted anything online. Yeah that grid below looks pretty, but oh my was it boring..

(more…)

New KelbyOne Course – From Concept to Creation: Making Impactful Fashion and Beauty Portraits with Lenworth Johnson

Join Lenworth Johnson, a beauty and fashion photographer, as he takes you through his process for creating fashion portraits with impact. In this class you’ll learn how to develop your concept into a visual message, the importance of building a team to support your creative efforts, how to convey your ideas to your team, the tools you need, how to get your light right, how to work with models on set, and many more tips to help you elevate your craft! You’ll get to see it all come together in three separate shoots as Lenworth transitions his concept from the basics to extravagant.

Close