Tag Archives: Photography

5 Myths about Creativity a Photographer Should Bust

fire concept portrait copyright Aloha Lavina.

If I’m not a prodigy, it’s too late.

Interests form very early in our lives. Sometimes they form from our preferences, like what happened to Gillian Lynne, one of the legendary choreographers in the dance world. Gillian was a kinesthetic learner, meaning she loved to express herself through movement. Her mother recognized this, and enrolled her in a dance school. Gillian said of this moment in Sir Ken Robinson’s book The Element, “I walked into this room, and it was full of people like me. People who couldn’t sit still. People who had to move to think.”  We can’t all be lucky like Gillian, whose parents helped her make a commitment to her creativity early in life.

But the wonderful thing is, it isn’t until we commit to this interest that we find our means to be creative.

Commitment is something that we can make toward our interest at any point in our lives. So if you picked up a camera at an age beyond childhood, it doesn’t mean you can’t develop creatively in your photography. It’s never too late to learn!

1. Creativity is something that happens in isolation.

Some people think that creativity is something that happens by itself, like to a writer who lives alone in the woods beside a pond. We think that person is creative because of the isolation, without distraction. Maybe the silence of living in the woods beside a still pond is great for processing thoughts, but silence and isolation in itself is not the basis for a creative response.

Many creative triggers people have responded to are made of social situations and connections. I read in this great book about director Enid Zentelis who made a film about people waiting in line because she was waiting in a food line one time, and it triggered a creative response in her. Watson and Crick collaborated on the model for DNA—their different insights connected into a product that was creative because they thought together. Ansel Adams was good friends with Georgia O’Keefe. Although they worked in different media, they shared a common concept—the idea of starkness and simplicity giving a sensuality to a composition.frost concept portrait copyright Aloha Lavina

Isolating ourselves thinking it will only increase our chances of creativity is a myth. Making connections between ideas we see other people having and our own ideas is a source of creativity. Paying attention to connections we could make between our concepts and what’s around us can trigger a pretty creative response.

2. Pressure kills creativity.

By pressure we mean things that might limit what we can use to create. These could be things like having just one lens or going on a photowalk when the light is “bad.”

But contrary to all the excuses, having a limiting factor in a situation where you have to create actually helps you be more creative. Sometimes having very little choice in your focal length is good for you. It forces you to move more; it distills your choices into how to compose rather than how to use equipment that you might have in abundance. This shift in decision making from what to use to how to use what you have is a situation that can trigger your creativity.

If you can respond with a solution to the situation, you have already begun to be creative.

3. Equipment makes you a better photographer.

This is one of those if onlys that photographers torture themselves. If only you had a better lens, if only you had a better camera like that guy with the 6800-dollar body, your photo would be sexier.

If onlys are a waste of time, and they actually kill creativity.

What promotes creativity is using what tools you have to think and see differently.

Part of creativity is inventiveness, a commitment to make something out of what you imagined. You don’t need an upgrade of gear to do this. All the gear you need is in your head.fire concept portrait copyright Aloha Lavina.

4. You need to go somewhere exotic to be creative.

Exotic places are great because they are full of new sights. These new sights might trigger a creative response.

But from a creative standpoint, sometimes you can see new sights with old eyes. That means you might be tempted to take the ‘safe shot,’ the one that has always worked for you in the past. If that happens, the creativity isn’t there because you haven’t invented a new way to express that new thing you saw.

On the other hand, you could be walking at a familiar place, seeing things you’ve seen before, but you put a twist into interpreting those familiar things with an unfamiliar composition.

That’s creativity.

It’s not going someplace you’ve never been. It’s seeing something in a way you’ve never tried. You don’t have to go away to do this. You can start right where you are, right now.ice concept portrait copyright Aloha Lavina

5. You need to have bursts of creativity when everything comes to you effortlessly.

Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon was not a painting he created in a single moment of creativity. The Musée Picasso has the artist’s notes on the creative process for this painting. It shows how he struggled to create the painting plane by plane, sketching and then eliminating one element, re-adding it, then changing again. In the revisions that he made, it is clear that even though Picasso had an idea of what he wanted to say in his painting, he had to go through a revision process to arrive at a final result.

Meaning comes to the artist in layers. Staying committed to an idea while the layers sort themselves out in a problem solving process is part of our growth as creative people.

Be open to the burst of inspiration. But don’t forget that the rest of it is hard work, and patience.

Can you think of other myths about creativity that need busting?

Confessions of a Photoshop User

retouched portrait copyright Aloha Lavina.

I just read this article over at the Fstoppers blog about how the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority banned an ad by Lancome because Julia Robert’s skin in it was Photoshopped too much and represented ‘false advertising.’

The question raised on the blog was, how do retouchers and photographers feel about this ban by the Agency, and “How would it affect the way we do our jobs or how we look at things aesthetically, creatively and socially?”

I use Photoshop. I use it for retouching photos of models for print ads on fashion magazines. But notice how many tutorials are out there for making sure retouching preserves skin texture, detail, and cautioning us against making the skin look like plastic. As of this writing, 49,700 tutorials online talk about how to retouch skin so that it looks like real skin. Like me, a lot of photographers are concerned about not making retouched skin look unreal in photographs.

An unretouched photo can look beautiful. The model’s skin in the photo below was unretouched because I had virtually no Photoshop skills when I took it. But you know what? The model was 18 years old at the time the photo was taken; she had flawless skin, and besides, she had charming freckles.

no retouching portrait copyright Aloha Lavina

Unretouched portrait. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

But the truth of the matter is, if you’re a photographer who wants to get an editorial commission, you use Photoshop. You use Photoshop because the industry standards for beautiful ask you to remove blemishes. You use Photoshop because no one wants to see a zit smack in the middle of a makeup ad. You use Photoshop because flawlessly retouched skin in your look book gets clients to call you and book you.

retouched portrait copyright Aloha Lavina.

The trick is to apply Photoshop without it looking like you did. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

So like every struggling editorial photographer, I study Photoshop. I browse those thousands of tutorials and even made a tutorial of my workflow. I read Scott Kelby’s books. And I use Photoshop because if I use it 10,000 times, each time I get a little bit better at making digitally enhanced skin in photos look like I didn’t retouch it.

If it were your job, wouldn’t you?

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10 Songs You and Your Camera can Hum Together

losing your divinity copyright Aloha Lavina

It’s been a pretty serious week. We witnessed a media empire break open with more sparks than the explosion that demolished the Death Star. Olso suffered from terrorism attacks, and then Amy Winehouse died.

So to cheer up a bit, I decided to put together a playlist of songs this week. The playlist spans a few decades, so if you can recognize some of it, feel free to sing along. There’s nothing like belting out a song to relax those shoulders and get ready for a week of shooting photographs. There’s nothing like a workflow with a fabulous soundtrack to inspire great shots.

 1. Papparazi by Lady Gaga

You can start with that catchy chorus, “I’m your biggest fan I’ll follow you until you love me.” Chase that shot until you’ve got the right one. Dog that light until it gives you magic.

2. Shiny Happy People by REM

Take the camera and “Put it in your hands/Take it take it/There’s no time to cry/Happy happy…” Go to the park, shoot the lovers smiling. Throw a dog a Frisbee and catch it while it smiles with teeth all bright and shiny.

3. 3×5 by John Mayer

Unlike John, take your camera for a walk and you don’t have to lament, “didn’t have a camera by my side this time,” but don’t forget to “see the world through both my eyes.” Open your other eye that’s not peering through the viewfinder, and don’t just tell the story, but experience it.sepia of hb copyright Aloha Lavina

4. Girls on Film by Duran Duran

Cast some models, set up some lights, and catch some “Girls on film (two minutes later), girls on film/Girls on film (got your picture), girls on film….”

5. Pictures of You by The Cure

Get some inspiration from some of your old shots, and count yourself lucky you have so many more photography opportunities to look forward to. Robert Smith darkly recites, “I’ve been living so long with my pictures of you that I almost believe that the pictures are all I can feel…,” but you know deep in your heart that if you were singing that song to your craft, you’d know feeling your photos isn’t a bad thing.

6. Photograph by 10,000 Maniacs

You can do some documentary photography on the street. You can even experiment with your Monochrome camera setting. Maybe you’ll find yourself telling stories like Dorothea Lange, or the Italian cinema masters. 10,000 Maniacs captured a great lyrical image in their song, “I found this photograph/underneath the broken picture glass/tender face of black and white/beautiful, a haunting sight.”

7. Vogue by Madonna

Take some inspiration from Madonna and study some photos of those “Ladies with an attitude” and “Fellas that were in the mood.” Harlow, Dietrich, Garbo. Adopt the drama of yesteryears and try a pinup shoot. C’mon honey, “Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it. Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.”losing your divinity copyright Aloha Lavina

8. Photograph of You by Depeche Mode

“What good is a souvenir of something/you once had when all it ever does is/make me feel bad.” This song is great when you’re editing bad pics out of the bunch. Delete. Sing. Delete.

9. Better Together by Jack Johnson

Get sentimental and try some sepia toning. There’s nothing like that sentimental sepia that will save an image that had to be shot with iffy lighting. Take Jack’s advice and feel that photos are like “Our dreams,” and they are made of real things, like a shoebox of photographs and sepia toned loving.”

10. Kodachrome by Simon and Garfunkel

Try some plugins in your processing and evoke the feel of “Kodachrome, they give us those nice bright colors.” Shoot some landscapes and run the action, “They give us the greens of summers, makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah.” You’ll be crooning like Simon and Garfunkel in no time.

If the past week’s got you down and you need to pick up some inspiration for your photography, why not make your own playlist?

What are your favorite songs when shooting?

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Welcome back and thanks for reading Imagine That! To keep updated with new posts, subscribe to Imagine That! by clicking on the RSS Feed button on the upper right of the Homepage.

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Five Signs of Creative Burnout and Seven Ways to Combat it

dramatic portrait of leah copyright Aloha Lavina

Creativity is like a tap. You can turn it on if you know how, but sometimes, it can run out and trickle down to a drip.

Recently I had conversations with a couple of my students who have very successful photography businesses. They have built a living around photography, and they work some 12-16 hours a day, often more, shooting and preparing images and selling these to clients. Lately though, our conversations have centered on feeling overwhelmed by all the photography they do.  The problem is probably not that they are shooting too much, but that they are shooting too much of the same thing. They’re burned out, and what worries me is that they are talking about quitting and ‘finding something else to do.’

Whenever a photographer I know tells me they’re quitting, I get upset for several reasons. One, every single photographer I know did not start their journey in photography with the goal of making money. They started out with the wonder of arranging the chaos of their surroundings into beautiful harmonies. Two, photography, like everything creative, isn’t a destination to reach but a journey to traverse and savor. Three, I believe that creativity isn’t beyond anyone’s reach, and it is one of the most enjoyable states of being. If you combine the joys of wonder, engagement and learning, you’ve got a heck of a potential for being happy doing what you do.Burmese man at wooden temple Burma copyright Aloha Lavina

So how do you know that you’re experiencing creative burnout? Here are some ways to tell.

1. You start thinking about your couch in the middle of a shoot.

If you are in the middle of something you supposedly love, and you begin to think of less interesting things like sitting on your couch doing nothing, it’s time to step back a bit.

2. Your feet hurt, and a little voice tells you, you shouldn’t have booked this one.

Working too much on the same repetitive tasks brings boredom. Your capacity for creativity ranges from the end where you are not challenged and you get bored, to the end where your skills are challenged beyond what you can handle, and you get frustrated.

3. Dramatic lighting leaves you going, Yeah Yeah.

Light is a turn-on for a photog. If great light leaves you indifferent, it’s definitely a sign that you’re burned out.

4. You don’t feel excited about carrying your camera around.

If you have the chance to carry your camera around and the thought itself makes you tired, you have creative burnout.

5. You scoff when people like me talk about passion.

We tend to push away the things that bore or frustrate us. If you are pushing away things that used to sound good to you, it is a sign that the photographer in you is in danger.dramatic portrait of leah copyright Aloha Lavina

If you experience similar signs as the ones above, all of which involve boredom, frustration, or indifference, there are a few simple things you can do to rekindle your love for photography and combat creative burnout.

1. Leave your camera at home, and go to a place you like.

Seeing the world through a viewfinder sometimes gets in the way of experiencing it. This sounds trite, but sometimes a photographer can get so used to viewing everything through the lens that he or she forgets that the world is so much more than that rectangular space. Freeing yourself from the frame can sometimes reframe your perspective and give you the nudge to try to capture what you find beautiful, again.

2. Watch a movie without analyzing lighting and camera angles.

Someone who picks up a camera, sometime in the beginning of their journey, has seen something beautiful and wanted to take that beauty with them. Movies are made the same way. Watching a movie just because it’s a great story can help you find a similar simple feeling, and this might be the spark that lights your fire for photography all over again.sunrise over forest floor in Cambodia copyright Aloha Lavina

3. Engage your imagination instead of your eyes.

The imagination is a powerful source of creative drive. Activating it by asking it to turn on by reading is a great way to open the mind. Opening your mind will help you to free associate, or float from one idea to another in a relaxed way. This free association is often the source of those insights that move you to produce something creative.

 4. Socialize with non-photographers who are creative.

Not just photographers, but musicians, painters, and others have to find their wellspring of inspiration in order to stay creative. Hanging out with creative people gives you a support system for your own creativity, and it also helps you tap into the enthusiasm and love that creative people have for their art. This support system is not essential, but it helps you keep fresh. Hanging out with artists not only is fun, but being in a creative atmosphere can spark imagination.

5. Watch a TED video.

I’ve been a great fan of TED for a long time, and what attracts me to the videos is the unconventional ways that the speakers think. TED videos open up connections between things that we may never have thought about, and are enjoyable to watch simply because the ideas that are discussed in them are interesting.

6. Get pampered.

Taking time to step back and slow down is something difficult to do these days. You’re always connected to a huge community who want to talk to you and have you talk back. There’s wi-fi everywhere now pretty much, so it seems you have the obligation to always stay on the grid. But the thing is, attention takes energy, and if you are constantly paying attention, all that concentration is going to wear you down. There is no reason why you can’t rest. A little rest goes a long way to rejuvenate your spirit. Going for a foot massage or a facial is something I sometimes do, just to stay still and have someone take care of me. Similarly, if you’re not in Asia where those things are very affordable, you can go out for a good meal or sit on a bench in the park and just breathe. There are endless possibilities for simple things you can do to feel pampered, and you can give your concentration abilities a rest for a while.

7. Experience life through your other senses.

With the rise of visual media it’s hard not to use our sense of vision all the time, to engage with our world. But as visual authors, we tend to overuse and overwhelm our sense of vision, creating an imbalance. Balancing out our senses, and experiencing life through taste, touch, smells, and sounds might just be the trick to triggering a creative period. Go out for a great meal (or make one), go paragliding or swimming, play with your dog or take your kids out to the zoo, and find your balance through the sensory adventures that you experience.

Creative burnout is something that you might not be able to avoid when you are passionate and driven about photography. But there are signs to let you know when your drive has driven you to burnout. Knowing when to step back, give yourself a chance to rest and refresh your perspective can go a long way to combating creative burnout. Taking care of your creative self helps you to keep the sense of wonder and engagement you found through your photography, where you may find a lifetime of joy and beauty.

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Welcome back and thanks for reading Imagine That! To keep updated with new posts, subscribe to Imagine That! by clicking on the RSS Feed button on the upper right of the Homepage. You might also like:
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Shoot for Yourself

 

 

Three Things to Love about the Canon 60D

low angle desert bloom copyright Aloha Lavina

That the 5DMkII’s mirror came loose is a blessing.

The 60D this week proved to me that it is a great tool for travel photography. I had traveled with the 60D before, to Bhutan in the wintertime, and I noticed that it suffered a bit from condensation that happened when it was very cold outside—the viewfinder fogged up, and the photos came out with their very own involuntary blurring, which made focusing a challenge. The camera also feels very light in the hands. For someone used to the hefty Nikon D3 combined with the weight of a 24-70mm f/2.8 Nano lens, I didn’t feel that the 60D was a solid machine in my hands.

But for the past two weeks in California, I’ve been using the 60D every day, and it has proven to be a great camera. Three things I have come to love about the 60D are its weight (yes!), the vari-angle LCD screen, and its compatibility with Canon’s EF lenses.

Since this assignment requires me to bring three lenses, I’ve come to appreciate the lighter weight of the 60D. Roaming the countryside from sunup to sundown, the camera sits well in my favorite Crumpler 6 Billion Dollar Home with the 50mm f/1.2, the 16-35mm f/2.8, and the 70-200mm f/2.8. Also always in my bag are an Epson P-7000, extra camera batteries, a notebook, passport, iPod, a polarizing filter in its case, a screw-on ND filter in its case. Usually, the bag would bulge because with the rest of the inventory, I had to pack in the D3, and the bulk of its grip would hit into my hip constantly; the weight of course made my shoulder ache. With the 60D, the bag felt slim, kept its shape, and didn’t have the bulging it usually experienced. I’ve been walking with this sling bag every day for at least 12 hours, I rarely put it down even when making long exposure sunset shots, and my shoulders are fine. The weight of the 60D is definitely a plus for an itinerant photographer.

slow shutter in June Lakes California copyright Aloha Lavina

June Lake area, California. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

The vari-angle LCD screen is something I dismissed the first time I used the 60D, but it has become the best part of the camera for me. You can flip the LCD screen so that the LCD is tucked into the camera back to protect it when traveling. When you need to use it to compose, it swivels out and flips 180 degrees. It really makes those low, low angles possible to compose in without putting out your back! I enjoyed this feature a lot since I didn’t have to lie down on the cold ground in Yosemite to make low angle shots.

low angle desert bloom copyright Aloha Lavina

Low angle shots will always be fun with the 60D. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

I also found the screen useful for an efficient composition workflow. I composed with the screen and looked at it while adjusting the tripod head, angle, and making decisions about orientation in the image. A great feature is the horizon helper—the horizon bar on the screen shows up green when it’s straight, so you don’t have to guess, especially if you’ve got horizon tilt bias, which I seem to have. After the adjustments, I just switch the camera back to the ‘info’ mode which displays all my settings on one screen, focus through the viewfinder, and then trigger the camera with the remote.

Bodie, California copyright Aloha Lavina

Low angle shot in Bodie, California. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

The third advantage of using a 60D is its compatibility with the lenses I use with the 5DMkII. The EF lenses I brought on this trip were bought because of their exemplary quality. These lenses are superb products, and if used well, focus accurately and produce sharp images with vibrant color. They are versatile and fast, useful for small-aperture landscapes as well as low-light portraiture. I don’t own a lot of Canon lenses, and these lenses do a wide range of work. So for the lenses to fit the 60D is definitely a plus for the camera.

Honestly, I think the 60D is going to be a mainstay in my bag. And it won’t just be a backup camera. It will be a valued tool that will not only help me make images, but help me travel well.

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Welcome back and thanks for reading Imagine That! To keep updated with new posts, subscribe to Imagine That! by clicking on the RSS Feed button on the upper right of the Homepage.

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Summon Your Inner Gaga

don't forget to zip my face and neck copyright Aloha Lavina

Play is one of the best gifts we receive as children. Being able to play activates a lot of good things. The freedom of composing narrative at the point of utterance, making stories without rehearsal. Spontaneity. Making connections. Flow, and creativity.

Watch young children at play and you’ll notice they concentrate so fully that they’re oblivious to the confines of time and space.

samurai in a bikini copyright Aloha Lavina

Copyright Aloha Lavina.

This is what we can learn from Lady Gaga. She takes her work seriously, but she does it in the manner of play. Gaga’s songs are like nursery rhymes, they have simple phrasing so are easy to remember, like those chants we used as kids when we jumped rope.

And seriously, appearing in a dress made of meat?

Critics might say Gaga’s simplification of the issues and ideas she wears (the meat, the egg palanquin) might be, well, childish.

Childish is a term Adora Svitak reflected on in her TED talk, where she mentions what happens when children are asked to create. Kids were asked to draw designs in a program called Kids Design Glass at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. One of the designs was Bacon Boy, who has meat vision.

Kids have the audacity, when they play, to make ideas that are uninhibitedly creative.

Imagine what you could do if you approached your photography like a kid would, like Gaga would, in the manner of play.

don't forget to zip my face and neck copyright Aloha Lavina

Copyright Aloha Lavina.

You’d be free.

You’d be focused.

You’d be fearless.

And you’d have loads of fun.

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Welcome back and thanks for reading Imagine That! To keep updated with new posts, subscribe to Imagine That! by clicking on the RSS Feed button on the upper right of the Homepage.

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Inspire Your Photos with Poetry

Balinese festival parade copyright Aloha Lavina.

Poetry sometimes takes inspiration from the mundane. Billy Collins’ poem “Fishing on the Susquehanna in July” takes its inspiration from the feeling you get when you are being creative. Billy says, “I have never been fishing on the Susquehanna or any river for that matter/to be perfectly honest.” He says he is “more likely to be found in a quiet room like this one…trying to manufacture the sensation of fishing on the Susquehanna.”

Burmese boy with buffaloes copyright Aloha Lavina.

Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Although poetry is sometimes something you might dislike or are indifferent to, you can take some inspiration from poetry just like the poet can take inspiration from a photograph. “Manufacturing the sensation” is something a photographer does: you create an imagined harmony from something as mundane as a boy with grazing buffalos beside a clear stream; you tell a story with an image. But this descriptiveness of photographs and poetry is just the surface of artistry. There are other poetic devices you can borrow from poetry to inspire your photography.

Poetry has an economy.

Because poems are shorter than say novels or short stories, poets have to pay attention to every word in a poem. Similarly, the economy of a photograph is to include what is essential in the frame, to tell the story. Extraneous stuff that is not essential is discarded, left out.

Poetry is not just sound, it’s also silence.

When poets craft a poem, they pay attention to the space around the words—the silence. The silence, where the lines break and the poem pauses, have just as much meaning as the sounds of the words. A photograph has the same quality—there is the subject, and then there is the space you choose to put around your subject. Like a poet, make that space just as meaningful as the focal point.

portrait with negative space copyright Aloha Lavina

Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Poetry uses symbols.

The imagery in poetry is crafted to be symbolic. Sometimes you find an image out of sheer luck, like a vulture hovering over prayer flags for the dead in a Bhutanese hillside. Other times, you have to manufacture the symbol, set up a shot. Crafting your shots so there is a deeper level of meaning in the imagery takes your photography from simple narrative to inspirational insight.

vulture flies beside prayer flags for the dead in Bhutan copyright Aloha Lavina

Copyright Aloha Lavina.

A poem uses repetition to create impact.

Repetition in poetry is never accidental. Poets use repetition to bring emphasis to a point they are trying to make. Photographs can use this same technique to create impact, too. Finding a subject that repeats itself has its own message, especially if the repetition is the message itself. A row of Burmese nuns speaks of the selflessness of their lives—all going in one direction, all looking the same, an absence of individuality.

Burmese nuns in a row copyright Aloha Lavina.

Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Poetry has theme and variation.

Poems begin with imagery, but the imagery soon turns into a theme, a message or story. Around you are these same themes—beauty, joy, hope. Whether it is in the combination of elements you are fortunate to be able to capture with your camera or the ways you fill your frame, the themes you photograph have the unique stamp of your vision. They say that there is no new story under the sun, that we have the same stories told in different words. It may be the same with our photographs. It’s the same theme, but you put a variation in it that’s borne from your own personal vision.

Balinese festival parade copyright Aloha Lavina.

Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Translating an image in your mind’s eye into an image for the eye is what you do as a photographer. Like the poet, you “balanced a little egg of time” in front of people and places and other sources of beauty, and you capture it within a frame, timeless and ready to hatch into someone else’s inspiration.

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Welcome back and thanks for reading Imagine That! To keep updated with new posts, subscribe to Imagine That! by clicking on the RSS Feed button on the upper right of the Homepage.

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10 Cliches a Photographer Can Believe
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Concept is Everything
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Light is the Thing

good light copyright Aloha Lavina

Make sizzling portraits tip # 4: Make a portrait in good light.

Portraits resonate more with a photography audience because people seem to prefer looking at photos of people, and also because most people alive these days are visual learners. That means we prefer to see things to make sense of them.

A long time ago, when radio was the most common mode of entertainment, most people preferred to learn by listening. Now with more than half a century of television, the advent of the internet and our ability to produce multimedia, we’ve reached an age of visual references. But with this new profile of the average audience member, photographers also have a new challenge. With the countless choices to look at or watch online, the photograph has to really stand out for it to be noticed.

We could start with content, by making a portrait that has interesting elements.

But content will only go so far; after all, there are sites online which trap attention by titillating their audience. What the photographer needs is great content and fantastic light.

great light copyright Aloha Lavina

Good light helps your photo create impact. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Light is still the thing when it comes to photography. Without dramatic lighting, a photograph doesn’t achieve as much impact.

Here are five tips for achieving great lighting in a photograph without it costing too much.

1. Shoot at the right time.

Sunlight remains the most beautiful lighting a photographer can get, and it’s free! Scheduling a shoot in the early morning or the late afternoon can do wonders for your portraits.

good light copyright Aloha Lavina

Shoot at the right time to get good lighting. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

2. Use a reflector to fill in shadows.

I’ve talked about how side-lighting makes a portrait dynamic. But at the times of day when the light is best, it also has intensity in one direction, and positioning the subject so he or she is lit from one side produces strong shadows on the other side. Placing a reflector in the shadow side can fill in these shadows and bring out detail.

3. Control the light indoors using a window.

Indoor portraits are great because you can do these any time during the day. Even though the sunlight has become harsh in the later part of the morning, during midday or the early afternoon, you can control window light by positioning your model at the right spot near a window. If you really feel that the light is still too contrasty and the shadows are too deep, you can diffuse the light simply by covering the window with a white sheet. This in effect makes the window into a huge softbox, softening the light and the shadows on your subject.

portrait at sunset copyright Aloha Lavina

A window can help you control light. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

4. Control the light outdoors using a shelter overhead.

When shooting outdoors, especially when the soft light of early morning has been replaced by the harsh light of midday, you can still shoot some amazing portraits. Looking for something that you can use to shelter the model—a roof, a tree or awning. You can even use a hoodie or a hat. As long as the model’s face is in the shade and you are in the light, what you will get is a shooting situation where you can control the light on your subject. (You can even act as a reflector by wearing white to the shoot.)

5. Learn how direction and intensity affect your images.

With a lot of practice, you too can spot good lighting for a portrait by paying attention to direction and intensity, and how these affect your photos. Starting with the basic lighting situations, you can then move on to experimenting with tough lighting, such as high-contrast lighting and backlighting.

Light still reigns as the most important ingredient in a portrait. Without good lighting, a portrait is just a photograph of a person. Using the right lighting, you can make a beautiful photograph that stands out.

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Welcome back and thanks for reading Imagine That! To keep updated with new posts, subscribe to Imagine That! by clicking on the RSS Feed button on the upper right of the Homepage.

You might also like:
10 Cliches a Photographer Can Believe
Making Expressive Portraits
Concept is Everything
Using Location to Make Your Portraits Sizzle

10 Things a Photog Can Learn from Golfers
Be a Photographer, Not a Lens Changer

Take Risks and Improve Your Photography

product photography rings jewelry lighting

Someone once said that disequilibrium is a sign of learning.

Defined as an unbalance, disequilibrium hits a photographer when there are new skills demanded by a shoot. Often, it’s scary to face something that you have never photographed before, and you scroll through your head looking for something familiar, but those familiar things you find only serve to produce shots you’ve done before.

How do you make images that are new?

The answer might rest in deliberately putting yourself in a new situation, shooting something you have never before tried.

product photography watch lighting

I learned how to use homemade diffusers like white A4 paper. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

As an autodidact, a self taught person, I have found that the best times to learn something new is when a shoot stretches me. I purposefully, when time permits, try to set up a shoot that has a skill set different from what I normally shoot. Making images with new challenges brings new scaffolding that you have to scale, pushing you to the limits of your old knowledge and giving you opportunities to gain new knowledge.

I learned how to light portraits. I’m most comfortable lighting people. When I hang out in coffee shops, I even automatically start looking for good light for people’s faces, and I’m constantly on the lookout for good portrait lighting in natural settings.

But sticking to one kind of photography, especially when it becomes second nature, is setting yourself up for being stagnant and not growing. If you want to improve by learning new skills, you’ve got to take a risk and stretch yourself.

product photography orange juice glass black background

I used a black poster board as a background. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

So I tried to light and photograph small things. Granted, there is something ‘old’ in the challenge: I already know the basics of how to light something for a photograph. But there is a fundamental difference in the way you think when you’re lighting a person versus lighting a small object. The ratio of subject size to light source is different. When you’re lighting stuff, the small things, the light source is much bigger than the subjects. So you’re going to have to learn new ways of controlling the light to make some good images.

When I made these images, I learned some fundamental things about how to use light shapers. I used white A4 paper to diffuse the light from the flash units. I relearned how distance affects the intensity of the light on the objects. And one of the most interesting things I learned is how the angle of the light can create unwanted hotspots in the objects.

product photography rings jewelry lighting

I learned about angles of light. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

The images don’t really excite me. I mean, there must be a lot of people out there who can light jewelry and watches better than I can. But that isn’t really the point. The point of the whole exercise was the process of learning. By taking a risk and shooting something I had never shot before, I learned a lot about lighting.

David duChemin talked about taking risks, and apart from how it applies to how we approach life, I think it also applies simply to how we get better at something. Without taking an extra step toward what we don’t know, we may never know. And being able to know might be a risk worth taking.

What about you? What risk will you take with your camera this week?

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Welcome back and thanks for reading Imagine That! To keep updated with new posts, subscribe to Imagine That! by clicking on the RSS Feed button on the upper right of the Homepage.

You might also like:
See How Easily Your Photos Can Create Impact
Making Expressive Portraits
Five Variations on a Theme: Shooting Silhouettes
10 Things a Photog Can Learn from Golfers
Be a Photographer, Not a Lens Changer
Cut the CRAP–Just Take Pictures

 

 

See How Easily Your Photos Can Create Impact

high key portrait beauty a beautiful overexposed photo

A peculiar vocabulary exists that photographers use to describe photos. “Moody,” “bright and happy,” “cheerful,” and once, I even saw “brooding.”

That the vocabulary exists means that there’s a certain feeling we get from an image. Looking at some of the words we use to talk about imagery we look at suggests that maybe there is something we can do while we’re making images that creates the emotional effect in our audience. If we can do this, we achieve what we always want every time we click that shutter: to create a memorable, impactful image.

Creating an impact with your image begins with the concept you’re after. Rules aside, what do you want your image to make us feel? Often, the conceptualization is where you can distinguish your images from someone else’s.

I’ve written before about creating impact with decisions about color, or by design and composition, or using shadows and light. I’ve also mentioned what I call subjective exposure—an exposure that is made because that’s how I feel rather than following a technical process for getting a correct exposure.

Subjective exposures can be creative, and they involve the heart rather than the head.

If I want to give you a sense of winter in a shot, I’ll use Auto white balance since it produces images that are less warm than say, Cloudy white balance. Then, I might overexpose a lot using exposure compensation in Aperture mode. This is a simple way of creating a high key image, an image that is overexposed but artfully so.

high key portrait beauty a beautiful overexposed photo

Overexposure can work in a photo. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Some people will say this is bad because you lose a lot of detail in the shot. But what if that was the effect you wanted? What if you wanted beauty to float in a cloud of nothingness?

Similarly, you could underexpose the heck out of an image for effect.

The Balinese make offerings to spirits daily. For those of us who are not Balinese nor scholars of their culture, seeing the intimate act of communing with spirits that live amongst the trees and flowers of Bali feels like a sort of intrusion. But the Balinese make their offerings because they believe it is part of the balance of life. They really don’t mind the photographer with the telephoto lens, especially if you are far away.

undexposed photo of woman in Bali making offering

Mood is created with exposure in this image. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

I underexposed the photo to give it the mystery I felt while documenting the offering this woman was making to the spirits. The underexposure cut out the distracting background, and it also accentuated the light that fell on her face as she prayed.

Sometimes, when you let go of the rules that tell you what a good exposure is, you discover something about making images that create impact. You might make photos that don’t look like everyone else’s.

Now, wouldn’t that be something.

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Welcome back and thanks for reading Imagine That! To keep updated with new posts, subscribe to Imagine That! by clicking on the RSS Feed button on the upper right of the Homepage.

You might also like:
Making Expressive Portraits
Five Variations on a Theme: Shooting Silhouettes
10 Things a Photog Can Learn from Golfers
Be a Photographer, Not a Lens Changer
Cut the CRAP–Just Take Pictures

Five Variations on a Theme: Shooting Silhouettes

Mandalay Burma temple silhouettes against a frame.

One of the favorite themes of shooters is the silhouette. Silhouettes are the result of exposing for bright light behind a subject. The camera underexposes anything that is in front of the bright light, resulting in a photo that features a darkened shape—the silhouette.

Silhouettes are one of the creative ways to interpret a scene. With some basic techniques, you can create stunning silhouettes.

1. Look for familiar shapes against a brilliant sky.

 

U Bein Bridge Burma Myanmar sunset

1/350s @ f/6.3 17mm, ISO 125. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

This photo is of one of the most recognizable bridges in Burma, the U Bein Bridge. It is a long bridge made of teak wood, and in the evenings, you can see locals cross it, walking their bikes. The sunset was brilliant on this day, so I decided to include a lot of the amazing sky by using a very wide lens. It’s important to wait until the people in your frame are separate shapes, not ‘stuck together’ because they are passing each other, like in the right side of the image where there is a crowd of people watching the sun set. If they are parts of the same shadow, you will get some unrecognizable lumps in your image which are, needless to say, confusing for the audience.

2. Shoot silhouettes in naturally occurring frames.

 

Mandalay Burma temple silhouettes against a frame.

1/1600s @ f/2.8 55mm ISO 400. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

If you are indoors, you can use doorways and windows to provide back light for your silhouettes, adding a geometric frame to your image. This image in Burma was taken at a temple, and the man and woman who were passing one another looked dynamic framed within the graceful arches of the temple entrance.

3. Stack elements in the image.

 

Inle Lake Burma lightray and temple sillhouette at sunset

1/2000s @ f/11, 200mm ISO 400. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

If you are faced with a landscape of hills overlapping with some structures in front, like in this sunset photo of a temple on Inle Lake in Burma, you can create an image that has scale. I also waited for some light rays to show up when clouds obscured part of the streams of strong light coming from the setting sun, giving the image added drama. Stacking elements in the image works only if there is a gradation in the silhouetted shapes, or that some shapes are lighter than others, and some are darker. With the different intensities of shadows in the silhouette, the image becomes more dramatic because the gradation adds depth to the photo.

4. Partial silhouettes work, too.

 

Bhutanese archer against a brilliant sky

1/1600s @ f/ 8, 55mm ISO 400. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

This partial silhouette of an archer against a brilliant sunset sky in Bhutan is dramatic because even though his identity is obscured by shadow, we see the color of the ribbons of winning archery shots he’s made that day, and the ends of his arrows.

Also notice that I had a low viewpoint. I actually noticed the sky, and then immediately crouched with my camera almost resting on the ground, tilting it at an angle so it would catch the archer and the beautiful sky behind him. Getting a shot from a low angle gives you more brilliant light behind your subject, and makes it easier to create a silhouette.

5. Same principle, opposite effect. Or, breaking the rule.

Most silhouettes are dark shapes against bright light. What if we reversed the exposure and underexposed on the background? The result is that the exposure on the sliver of light on a person can outline them against a very dark background—sort of a reverse silhouette. This is called ‘rim light’ because it traces the rim of a subject.

 

Balinese man smoking black and white rim light

1/5000s @2.8f 170mm, ISO 200. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

In this photo, I decided to create a ‘reverse silhouette’ because the rim light and smoke made for an interesting graphic composition. It’s a ridiculously underexposed image, but I like it.

So there you are, four basic techniques for making silhouettes, and one rule breaker. If you’re looking for an outdoor project that you can do for a couple hours after work but will get your creative juices flowing, why not try a silhouette or two this week?

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Welcome back and thanks for reading Imagine That! To keep updated with new posts, subscribe to Imagine That! by clicking on the RSS Feed button on the upper right of the Homepage.

You might also like:
10 Things a Photog Can Learn from Golfers
Be a Photographer, Not a Lens Changer
Cut the CRAP–Just Take Pictures
Let the Shadows Speak
Going to Burma

Shoot Themes When You Travel

Balinese women balancing eggs. Bali Indonesia

Spice up your travel photography tip # 5: Use themes to shoot your travel stories!

Travel photography is about telling stories about places through your photos. Usually, a photographer travels somewhere and tells the story of the place they are visiting using some common themes, like landscapes, portraits, documentary, night, and wildlife. The variety of images that you can shoot to show what a place is like is as wide as the range of human activity in any country. But how can you avoid shooting the same scene, over and over, only in a different place?

The answer to this question may rest not in the exotic and most far away place you can afford and access. It may not rest in the type of equipment you own and can lug around when you travel. Maybe the answer rests in how you approach the image making.

The way you think about what you are shooting could be the most important set of decisions you could make to spice up your travel photos.

Going out on different days intending to shoot different themes is a way I’ve spiced up my travel photography. While I am open to opportunity and do not let the day’s theme limit what I capture, I try to keep the theme in mind as I walk about, and attempt to tell the story through the theme, throughout the day.

In Vietnam recently, I spent a day photographing how Vietnamese transport things from one place to another.

Vietnam, Hoi An, travel photographer

Vietnam theme: ways to transport things. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Vietnam Hoi An motorbike travel photographer

Vietnam theme: ways to transport things. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

In Burma, I looked at how the Burmese work.

Burma worker statues Mandalay

Burma theme: work. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Burma temple cleaning worker Myanmar

Burma theme: work. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Burma worker river boat old car

Burma theme: work. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

And in Bali, it was a natural choice to look for the Balinese sense of balance.

Balinese women balancing eggs. Bali Indonesia

Bali theme: a perfect sense of balance. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Panning technique for travel images, travel photographer, Bali, motion

Bali theme: a perfect sense of balance. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Looking for images that follow a theme can be a creative way to look at cultures from a novel perspective. With a bit of forethought, you can spice up your travel photography and maybe even understand a little more about the place and people you’re visiting.

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Welcome back and thanks for reading Imagine That! To keep updated with new posts, subscribe to Imagine That! by clicking on the RSS Feed button on the upper right of the Homepage.

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Eat Lots of Colors!
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Playing with Monochrome Picture Mode

Two women walk down an alley in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Spice up your travel photography tip # 2: Play with Monochrome Picture Mode

Sometimes, I get too serious.

I mean, walking around in a place I haven’t been, enthralled by all the new things I see, I sometimes forget that the best thing to do with my camera is play. That’s right, play: that state of experimental joy that feels good in itself because it’s relaxed and holds no pressure.

Walking around in Hoi An in the middle of the day, it is hot. The shadows are sharp, the light is harsh. The common response is, put the camera away, have a superb Vietnamese coffee, and practice portraits by people watching, take a nap in the air-conditioned hotel room until the light softens and turns a warmer color in the late afternoon.

Or, keep walking with the camera on Monochrome Picture Mode and make some monochrome images.

I decided to play with this feature of the 7D and learned some new things.

Shoot in RAW + JPG

Ducks on a motorbike, Hoi An Vietnam.

Ducks on a motorbike at the market, Hoi An Vietnam. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Most dSLRs now allow you to choose both RAW and JPG as the output files when you shoot. RAW isn’t really a picture file per se; it’s a composite of all the information the camera gets when you take a photo. So if you choose Monochrome Picture Mode and shoot in RAW, you’re still taking all the good stuff from the scene you captured even though the image shows up monochromatic in your LCD display. Shooting the extra JPG file gives you a ‘true’ monochrome image, processed in camera.

Play with Exposure Compensation

Shooting JPGs will allow you to hone your skills in shooting black and whites. The fun part of shooting black and white is getting to use and learn about exposure compensation. This is the ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ calibration line you see on the top display of the camera. Plus on a Canon means you compensate by ‘adding’ more light or overexpose, and minus on a Canon means you compensate by ‘subtracting’ light or underexposing. What do these pluses and minuses do? They actually allow you to make images darker (minus) or brighter (plus). (And you can use exposure compensation even when you shoot in color.)

Make Subjective Exposures

 

Two women walk down an alley in Hoi An, Vietnam.

One of my faves from Hoi An is from playtime with Monochrome Pic Mode. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Black and whites need pronounced blacks and glowing whites, so you can use exposure compensation to make what I call a subjective exposure—an image that looks like what I have in mind. This means you can underexpose or overexpose to taste, and play with the amount of light you let in the camera when you capture the image.

Playing with the Monochrome Picture Mode on your camera while traveling can help you have fun and learn something new about controlling how you make images.

Up next: Spice up your travel photography by shooting motion, right here on Imagine That!

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Welcome back and thanks for reading Imagine That! To keep updated with new posts, subscribe to Imagine That! by clicking on the RSS Feed button on the upper right of the Homepage.

You might also like:
Don’t Put Away Your Camera Away After Sunset
Be a Photographer, Not a Lens Changer
Let the Shadows Speak
All You Need is a Window
Let the Light Inspire You
The Beginner’s Guide to Photography’s Holy Trinity
11 Ways to Build a Better Photo

 

It’s Fun to be an Amateur

Talking to my friend Leah gave me this, one of my faves from 2007. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

The other day I heard someone say about a friend, “Oh, he’s an amateur,” with a little pout accompanying the statement. The term sounded belittling.

But the origins of the word amateur suggest that the term means someone else entirely. From the French for “lover of,” and the Italian “lover,” the original denotation of amateur gives us the picture of someone who so loves the idea of something that he or she pursues it, enamored, obsessed, breathlessly in love.

Sometimes, it’s more fun to be an amateur. In photography, it’s the distinction between making money for taking photographs or doing it for free. For some reason, this is the most commonly understood distinction. But whether or not you are paid to take photographs, there are some qualities of an amateur that it would be to our advantage never to abandon.

Amateurs are in love with their craft.

You know that old saying that when something finally becomes a “job,” it becomes  tedious? An amateur never feels bored. He will shoot every day if he could. I remember back in the day when I assisted for a well-known photographer, when he and I were both working at the same place. We would clock in every day at work and whenever we got the chance to get out of the workplace, we would just shoot. Weekends were special because they were times when there was nothing else except photoshoots to do. Long holidays were even better; they meant days and days of getting up early, shooting all day until the sun went down, and then lingering over dinner talking about images, about camera settings, workflow, anything and everything to do with photography.

Amateurs hold their photography like something precious and turn it this way and that way, admiring the wonderful qualities of it, and making themselves happy as a result.

Yearning for a shoot session sometimes gets to be too much. Like missing a lover, the amateur misses their craft.

Just playing with model Shu for her portfolio. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Obsession develops a love affair in the initial stages. There is always a honeymoon stage, when the lover cannot get enough of their beloved. Because there is so much to learn in photography, it’s like what someone said about falling in love with the world: “If we listened to a work of Mozart every day, we would be happy for a hundred years!” An amateur pays attention to details. No detail is small enough to notice. This sort of attentiveness fuels more energy: when you pay attention, you learn more and get better. So the improved results will inspire the amateur to get better and better.

Amateurs are not motivated financially. Being a freelancer and having income coming in from writing, teaching in addition to photography makes it easy for me to have the attitude of an amateur. The best part is not having to take jobs that I don’t like, for instance, weddings, unless it’s in Goa, India or Kathmandu, Nepal, or Langkawi, Malaysia and I can combine it with some travel. I can still do personal projects, ones that do not have any remuneration but are interesting and that stretch me creatively or technically. I think it’s really important to have time for these projects because these are where you truly experiment and learn new things.

I learned a lot about shutter speed doing this shoot with Jack for his portfolio. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Learning new things is exciting to an amateur. With all the workshops that so many people are offering now, it’s hard not to come across one that might teach you something new, that could take your photography into a whole other level. It’s very important not to think that you know it all and that no one else can teach you something new. I constantly learn from everyone I meet–whether on Twitter or someone’s blog, or reading a book, magazine, or watching a Youtube video. One of the best qualities of the amateur in my opinion is the lack of formal training. Sure, it might take you longer to reach technical proficiency on your own. But you also have an enjoyable lifelong challenge of learning so much, and if you paced yourself right, it could become one of the more pleasurable things about your status as an amateur.

Talking to my friend Leah gave me this, one of my faves from 2007. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

One of the best things about amateurs is that you are not in a box, the box of your formal training. Instead of this being a disadvantage (you don’t have a paper that says you are a “certified photographer”), it could be a great advantage. You’re open-minded to what is out there, and you will experiment. Experimentation fuels creativity and inspiration, and in the best-case scenario, you might discover something that makes your work even more dynamic.

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Welcome back and thanks for reading Imagine That! To keep updated with new posts, subscribe to Imagine That! by clicking on the RSS Feed button on the upper right of the Homepage.

You might also like:
Be a Photographer, Not a Lens Changer
Let the Shadows Speak
All You Need is a Window
Let the Light Inspire You
The Beginner’s Guide to Photography’s Holy Trinity
11 Ways to Build a Better Photo

How to Make the Most of Your Photographer

Different face structures require different lighting setups. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Some of photoshoots require more time invested, yet they remain the most memorable and successful.

Investing time, thought and effort into a project pays dividends for the client. You not only get your money’s worth from all the people you’ve hired, but you also build strong relationships that can only enhance your brand. Giving time, thought and energy into a collaborative effort can create win-win situations that serve as fertile ground for growth, be it for the client or the creative team.

Here are some tips from a photographer’s point of view.

1. Communicate ideas as much as possible.

 

Communication is key to collaborative creativity. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

Time spent in planning a photoshoot is time wisely invested. For a photographer, information about the concepts the client has in mind, the colors and shapes and textures of the products she is shooting will help in the creative decisions. For example, light reflecting off a smooth surface behaves differently from light reflecting off a rough surface. If your photographer knows what materials you used to make your product, he or she can decide what sort of lighting suits that product. Similarly, a concept cannot be translated into an image unless the photographer has all the information necessary to ‘form a picture’ of what the client has in mind. Guessing or leaving this thinking process to the last minute can greatly impair the photoshoot’s effectiveness from lack of time to think through the concept and the added pressure of  reconciling a lot of novel elements in the process.

2. Give the photographer a lot of chances to make good decisions.

A lot of considerations go into a photo session. One of the most important ones is lighting, especially when there are models involved in the shoot. Different facial structures require different lighting set ups to either hide or show certain features. Introducing your photographer to your models before the shoot can help the photographer to think of the lighting decisions for each model’s facial structure and build. Allowing for this to happen by investing time in a meeting between the models and photographer can benefit your brand because the photographer is given more chances to succeed in making images that are interesting and propel the ideas behind your brand.

Different face structures require different lighting setups. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

3. Organize the materials for the shoot.

Photographers pack with great care. A lot of photogs clean their equipment, follow long packing lists, and prepare a lot of small items that can make a difference between a good shot and a great shot. A good photog knows that preparation saves a lot of time; knowing where to reach in the bag when needing something is efficient and good practice.

In the same way, organizing the clothing or accessories can help a photoshoot move along smoothly. For example, organizing the clothes into sets and labeling them clearly with models’ names in the order of the shoot can really speed up the work. Because some shoots require a lot of moving and changing of lighting equipment, being ready with the clothing and accessories gives the creative people in your team more time to take so they can create their magic for you.

4. Trust the creativity of your team

You hired the makeup artist whom you thought would interpret the concept well and has great skills to execute it in makeup or hair. You hired the photographer whose vision and images match your brand’s beauty.

You must trust their creativity, skill and vision, right? You hired them, not someone else.

In a moment of creativity, the creative person is drawn into flow, a state of seemingly effortless innovation. Trusting this process, for many, have produced great leaps in executing a vision. Interrupting it will stilt the creativity and ‘burst the bubble’ of concentration, and it is a difficult thing to re-enter at will. If you had planning sessions and every one in the team is conscious of the time you have to make the magic happen, trust that what the creators do, in their own separate domains of skill, are geared toward making beauty for your brand.

5. Respect talent and skill.

If everyone could do what any one else could do, all images would look the same. We would not have any moments when we look at a photo and our breath catches because it is just so what we wanted to say.

Respect a unique vision and the passion that creates it. Copyright Aloha Lavina.

The creative world is wonderful because each photographer, each makeup artist, pushes him or her self to do better, to learn something else. If you took this energy and passion and channeled it into your brand, you would have power indeed—power to distinguish your product from the others of the same kind, and power to make people look at your ad twice, catching their breath.

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Welcome back and thanks for reading Imagine That! To keep updated with new posts, subscribe to Imagine That! by clicking on the RSS Feed button on the upper right of the Homepage.

You might also like:
Develop a Creative Vision
Change the Way You See
Be a Photographer, Not a Lens Changer