Category Archives Guest Blogger

A Community You Should Get to Know

Hey everyone! I’m Cidgy Bossuet- a visual artist/ photographer from Boston, Ma. During my spare time I run an Etsy shop called ARTLÔR. My inner love for interior design, homeware/ decor and functional art has led me to create unique handmade pieces to elevate homes, spaces and belongings. 


In celebration of Black History Month, I wanted to take the time to highlight an amazing growing community that I’m a part of. Some of you may have already heard about Black Women Photographers – a global community and online database of Black women and non-binary photographers, founded by Polly Irungu. Black Women Photographers aims to disrupt the notion that it is difficult to discover and commission Black creatives. Dedicated to providing a resource for the industry’s gatekeepers.

I specifically wanted to share that the Black Women Photographers community is currently having a print sale, which I’m also participating in. There are so many beautiful prints to choose from (50+).

Check out some of the photographers/ images from the BWP community below. These prints are available for the month of February via blackwomenphotographers.darkroom.tech!


NTUTU by Taesirat Yusuf

The Photo-project Ntutu is about celebrating the vintage hairstyles of different tribes in Nigeria and showcasing them to the world.

Havanna Fisher, Dancer by Maria J Hackett

2017 portrait of dancer, Havanna Fisher.

Smile Beautiful by Daija Guy

Self portrait of Daija.

Red Promise by J. Pamela Stills

Vow to Stand Tall, Shine Bright, Be Seen

Hair by Daniella Almona

This image is from a larger series ‘Hair’, that highlights the different hair types, colors, and textures of women around Daniella.

Bright Travels by Shameika Ejiasi

Snapped right across the street from the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia, at a little pub that offered just the right amount of light.

Mirage by Ayesha Kazim

December 2019: Stephanie stands for an experimental, in-studio portrait at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. During Ayesha’s third year of university, her focus and passion for photography shifted towards portraiture as she began to realize that her love for the art form materialized through the relationships she was able to build with her subjects and worlds she was able to create through set design.

Vector by Aisha Bada

Represents strength, courage, power.

Nappturality by Cidgy Bossuet

These images are from a photo series Nappturality, which explores the complex history of African American hair and its legacy for current expressions of identity.

I hope you find a print to add to your print collection, or if you haven’t already started, now is your chance with the BWP community :)


Cidgy Bossuet is a visual artist/ photographer currently based out of Boston, MA. She holds a BFA in photography from Massachusetts College of Arts & Design. Her work evolves from a journey of self-discovery and self-expression. In the process, she often draws her inspiration from life experiences, people, and observations/ the world around her. With her work, she experiments with different modes of photography and digital imaging.

Cidgy’s work has been shown at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, PULSE Contemporary Art Fair (Miami), The Roman Susan Gallery (Chicago), Anacostia Arts Center (Washington D.C.), Upstream Gallery (New York) and the YoungArts Gallery in Miami. Her work has also been published in The Washington Post Magazine, New York Post (Alexa Magazine), seen on Photo Vogue Italia’s “Best Of”, GirlGaze Project, Miami Rail, BostonVoyager Mag: Boston’s Most Inspiring Stories, The H Hub’s “36 of the Best Photographers in Boston” and Art Hive Magazine.

You can see more of Cidgy’s work at CidgyBossuet.com, and keep up with her on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Photographing My First Super Bowl

When I started freelancing full time in 2013 I had certain goals I wanted to accomplish – certain clients I desperately wanted to work for and events I was hungry to cover – the Super Bowl was one of those, and this year I was able to cover my first one.

Jumping back to 2019, I got a call from the Director of Photography with the NFL asking if I’d be interested in joining their photo team and help cover Texas and a few of the surrounding states for the 2019-2020 NFL season. I quickly said I’d love to and over the next two seasons I covered around 60 games across the country for the league. A few months ago I flew back to Dallas from a game in Philadelphia, and when I landed I had a missed call from my boss and an email with some Super Bowl paperwork. I freaked out on the plane for a minute, texted my wife then responded to the email to make sure my boss didn’t send it to me by mistake.

Fast forward through the end of the season, several zoom calls and Covid-19 tests… on Friday, February 5th, I flew out to Tampa to join our team for the Super Bowl. We had a team meeting on Saturday to go over logistics, shooting positions, important storylines for the game and some general plans for how we were going to attack our coverage.

This season was obviously different than previous years – the NFL instituted an Operational Zone for a limited number of working photographers and videographers which was the front row of the stands in every stadium around the league. No photographer or videographer outside of those working with the teams were allowed on the field the entire season and that was the case for the Super Bowl, aside from my good friend and boss, Ben Liebenberg, who was on the field for the NFL.

With Ben on the field, we had 5 photographers in the Operational Zone, one in each corner and one roaming the sideline, plus a 6th photographer working from an elevated position. We all had ethernet drops at our positions so we could tether our cameras in and send photos directly to our editors in Los Angeles as well as a handful of runners and photo editors onsite in Tampa.

I may be a little biased, but I feel like we produced the most comprehensive coverage of the game out of any newspaper, wire agency or magazine there and am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be a part of it.

Gear for the big game:

  • Sony a9ii w/ 600mm f4.0 w/ 1.4x teleconverter for an 840mm f5.6 lens
  • Sony a9ii w/ 400mm f2.8
  • Sony a9 w/ 70-200mm f2.8
  • Sony a9 w/ 16-35mm f2.8

You can see more from Cooper at CooperNeill.com, and keep up with him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Keeping Creative During COVID

As photographers how do we stay motivated to keep taking pictures when we’re living under lockdowns and restrictions because of COVID-19?

In this video I’ll show you how I, as a Portrait Photographer, am doing everything I can (except take portraits) to help keep me ‘in the creative zone’… I hope in some way this helps.

Keep well,
Glyn


You can see more from Glyn at GlynDewis.com, and keep up with him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Photographing Dude Perfect

Back in November 2019, I had the opportunity to photograph Dude Perfect at their headquarters in Frisco, Texas for their merch website. If you’re not familiar with Dude Perfect, they’re a group of five guys who do crazy sports videos that get hundreds of millions of views.

My goal was to photograph them on a white background with the typical edge lighting used in a lot of athletic portraiture, but also light from the front well so the merchandise was accurately portrayed. This meant a six light setup:

  • Two Profoto B1Xs with umbrellas to light the background
  • Two Profoto B1Xs with strip banks for the edge lighting
  • One Profoto B1X with a beauty dish for the face and upper body
  • One Profoto B1X with a 5′ octabank further back, but powered up, for a more even frontal fill

My trusty assistant, Graham Dodd, stood in for some tests while we got everything dialed in.

Just the edge lights
Just the background lights
Just the beauty dish
Just the 5′ octa
All lights combined

I worked tethered into Lightroom (with my trusty TetherTools cable) with a live gallery updating to the merch company back in Tampa, so they could share feedback with me during the production. I did not do final edits on anything, so I just dialed in exposures and made basic develop module adjustments that applied as photos downloaded to Lightroom.

Here are some of the resulting images:

Here’s how some of the final images look on the website, once the retoucher and designer worked on them:

And some production photos, courtesy of Graham Dodd:

I hope that’s an insightful look into a commercial photo production!


And, I would be remiss if I didn’t share some images of my newest favorite subject… My daughter, Eliza! I may be biased, but I think she’s pretty cute ;-)

Photo by Hannah Leigh

You can see more from Brad at BMOOREVISUALS.COM, and keep up with him on Instagram and Twitter.

The Secret Strength of Imposter Syndrome

I know Scott Kelby and Brad Moore from the bygone days of journalism school, when I would attend photojournalism conferences as a college newspaper editor and wannabe photographer. Digital photography and smart phones were really becoming mainstream at the time and it felt like everyone wanted to be a photographer, especially in my circle of coffeehouse junkies and art nerds.

Here I am working that light in a kitchen designed by Mary Welch Fox in the summer of 2020.

In those days, I was an okay photographer with no specific niche or direction, and there were a lot of kids who were a lot better than me. I took as many photojournalism classes as I could get my hands on, but kept my focus on my journalism major and working my way up the newspaper ranks, where I felt more confident and a lot less competition. I never even considered a career in photography, not because I didn’t love it, but because it felt a lot less safe, and I was pretty deeply insecure. I was creative, sure, but I had only ever had one art class, in 5th grade. I felt like an imposter.

The old college newspaper staff at Union University proud to be named Best in the South at Southeastern Journalism Conference.

Ah, The Post Grad Days Of Juggling Jobs And Trying To Find Your Footing

After graduation, I got hired on as a freelancer for the local paper who, because of dwindling profit margins and much to my benefit, was happy to hire someone who could write and take the pictures, too! A great deal for us both. To pay the bills, I also got some very glamorous jobs as a school portrait photographer and sales gal at Pier 1 Imports. If you’re not juggling three jobs and eating a diet of exclusively BLTs, are you even in your 20s?

One of the best perks of the job is meeting hundreds of dogs and, when I’m lucky, getting them to pose for me. Design by Guest House Studio and Sea Island Builders.

None of these jobs felt cool to me. But I didn’t feel like I deserved cool, either. I had imposter syndrome and a hardcore drive to get to something exciting, but I didn’t go into the workforce feeling like I had earned anything yet. I was ready to work hard and climb my way to my dreams.

As an interior photographer, I often find myself stuffed in the corner of a room or, surprisingly often, in bath tubs. Design by JLV Creative.

Inexplicably, the newspaper allowed me to pitch and go after pretty much anything I wanted, and I ended up with several regular series, including a food column that introduced me to the person that got me my next job: as a product photographer for Kirkland’s home decor. I started as a temporary assistant, shooting product on white in a closet in the back of a warehouse in the middle of nowhere, Tennessee. Still not glamorous, but a step in the right direction.

This kitchen shot with JLV Creative in 2019 is still one of my all time favorites.

Taking Risks

I took a risk and quit all three jobs to pursue a temporary gig that had much more interesting possibilities, and decided I was going to work so hard that there was no way they could let me go. And they didn’t. 

They had a larger, much nicer photography studio at their corporate offices in Nashville where they shot styled images in a faux “home” setting, and I made it clear that’s where I wanted to be. Then I worked hard enough to get there. It didn’t happen overnight, but over my three years there I eventually went from being a temporary assistant to just an assistant, and eventually, simply, photographer. We spent all day shooting and styling and set designing and painting and laying floors and hanging art and it was amazing, even if it wasn’t 100% my personal style. 

I loved shooting this maximalist staircase designed by Lindsey Harper for the Traditional Home Showhouse in 2018.

I loved the creativity and teamwork and immersing myself in the world of design. And it reminded me of something: the reason I worked at Pier 1 after college was because I had experience working there in high school, when I thought for a year I might want to be an interior designer. (Feel free to laugh here, because at 17 taking that job in retail felt like relevant job experience to becoming an interior designer. But hey, it funded my shoe addiction and that was enough for me at the time.)

The dominant design trend has been all white everything for the past several years, so I always relish a moody moment like this one designed by Sea Island Builders.

My point is, I remembered something about myself that I had let go of in order to pursue a career that felt more safe and logical. I traded my interest in design to go down the path of journalism, and here fate had brought me back to it.

In 2016, my husband and I decided to move to my hometown of Charleston, SC, where there weren’t any large corporations hiring staff product photographers, and starting my own photography business was pretty much my only option if I wanted to continue down this path. So I did.

Real home or photo studio in Nashville, Tenn.? Looking back on it now it definitely looks staged, but you better believe I put it in my interior portfolio. And hey, it did the trick.
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Hi all! Greetings from the land down under. Thanks to Scott and Brad for inviting me to share some of my work and background info with you. I hope you’re staying safe and well. It’s been terrible to see the devastating financial impact Covid had on areas of our industry. May the sun keep rising and world keep turning – and lets hope brighter days are ahead for not just photography, but the planet as a whole. 


IN THE BEGINNING

My lifelong love of animals began during my formative years in outback Australia where my father was a sheep shearer and wool valuer. As an only child, my constant companions were my dogs, guinea pigs, horses, rabbits and bottle-fed lambs. My family had a great regard for Australian wildlife and I often helped my mother rescue and care for a wide array of injured kangaroo joeys, birds and other creatures until they could be released back into their natural habitat.

At age 11 I moved with my family to the Pilbara, an area in northern Western Australia, and a place that was the ideal environment to grow up in. I spent much of my spare time there exploring the surrounding desert with my Rottweiler, Ally.

Driven by a desire to contribute to society, I joined the Western Australian Police Service at age 19 and served for 14 years as a police officer and crime analyst. In 2005 I was burnt out from the stresses of the job, and I transferred to the Australian Federal Government, where I worked for five years as a Senior Transport Security Inspector, auditing city and regional airports and airlines for their counter-terrorist security measures. I travelled a lot during this time, often doing up to 200 flights a year. And I hate flying, but that’s a whole other story!


THE FOCUS OF MY LENS 

Photography became a serious passion in 2006. On occasion I’d used a point-and-shoot camera and film camera until then, but when a friend showed me the scope of digital photography I was hooked. Never one to do things by halves, I spent every spare moment studying photographic literature, and practicing the craft on my own pets, those of friends and family, as well as farm animals and wildlife. I tried a few other genres such as landscapes and people, but animals enthralled me more than any other subject. Within a short period of time, I knew animals would be the focus of my lens.

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