Earlier this year I joined a single parents group on Facebook to connect with others who are in similar situations raising children. Recently I got asked by a lady in the group if I would do a Halloween shoot with a group of ladies who are in a single working moms group. I agreed.
This was a super fun photo shoot and I met some very awesome ladies. Before we wrapped up the shoot they suggested I get a photo with all of them. That’s actually something that I’ve been wanting to do with all of my clients but ends up slipping my mind. I’m glad I got this photo with them.
I started photography in 1995 during the film era. Sometime in 2000 my dad handed down his Bronica ETRS camera to me. This was the camera he used for many years shooting weddings and little league baseball team photos. After I graduated photogtaphy school in 2001 I went digital. From that point on I was strictly a digital photographer using many different Canon Cameras. I worked full time and ran a part time photography business until early 2012. I got burned out. I shut down my studio, sold my digital cameras, and sold all of my studio equipment. Several months went by and I started to get the itch to start shooting again but I wanted to do it on my terms, not a clients terms. The only cameras I had were two film cameras. I had my Canon Elan 7e and the Bronica ETRS that my dad had given me. I decided to give a go at film photography again. I figured out the film process (and look) is what I had loved and missed about photography. It was kind of intimidating at first to go back to film, because of course with digital you had the screen on the back of the camera to reference. I remember when I first started taking shots on the film camera I’d look at the back as if an image was going to be there. LOL. it didn’t take long to get back into the swing of things. I had to trust my knowledge of photography, trusted what I had learned, and trusted the camera was going to do what it was supposed to do. Here are a couple of portraits (with off camera flash) that I had made when I first got back into film photography.
Here are a couple of images that I recently made that will be in “Black and White On Both Sides” which is a book I will be publishing later this summer. I have really enjoyed playing with lighting over the last several years. I really like high contrast and low key black and white imagery. I decided to take on a project that consisted of nothing but just that.
The above image was created with a speed light placed directly behind the subject.
The above images was made using a speed light inside of an octabox to camera left.
There are a number of things that have their level of importance in photography. Below I will list and explain each thing.
Your Brain. Knowing what you want to photograph and how you want to photograph it is the first and most import step in the process of making an image. Knowing what kind of light you’ll need, knowing what king of lens you’ll need are all precursors to the end result.
The Light. Light is the single most important tool in photography. The word “Photography” itself means to write with light or to light write. Just as important as light is good light or knowing how to use light. There are many difference sources of light such as the sun, street lights, lamps and interior lights, and flashes and strobes. Knowing how to use each one of these is beneficial to making great photographs. There are also modifiers such as umbrellas, soft boxes, grids, and gobos that help modify and direct the light as the photographer sees fit.
The Lens. There are many many many lenses made by many different lens manufacturers. Some lenses are “better” than others, however, it all depends on what the photographer is looking to do with the lens. There are even cheap plastic lenses used on Holgas, and Diana cameras that can make magical images with the right…… LIGHT (which is why light is number one “tool” on the list).
The camera. The camera is important but definitely not the most important on the list. The camera is more than a sensor. The digital camera is made up of firmware and processors that help create the image we see on the back of the screen or on the computer.
Post Processing Software. This is at the bottom of the list, however, for a lot of inexperienced photographers this seems to be more important than it really is. Software such as Lightroom and Photoshop are tool to help enhance or put the finishing touches to create the final product. Many images made by professional photographers actually need very little done to make the image they client may want. However, this is all dependent upon what the final result will be.
*Many people still shoot film. I would put film at number 4 on the list just as important as the camera. The reason being is because in film photography the type of film used will tremendously dictate the end result.