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Real Estate Photographer | Interior, Exterior and Aerial photography | Stuart, Palm City, Jensen, Sewalls Point, Jupiter and surrounding areasRead More
What can I say...I'll take my little cheap speed lights over mono lights any day. Not that I'd want to do this with either one but...which would you want to drag out to this type of location, knock over and have it fall off that cliff? the heavy mono light that cost $500-3000 and weighs a ton carrying it across that sand with a big stand and battery pack....or 2 little $75 speed lights and a couple lightweight stands. Ok the question is kind of rhetorical...the thing is however, we as photographers have been convinced that power is king and that we can only get those impactful, powerful images with an expensive moonlight. Well, I left my mono light in the car for this one...went back to what I do best. Here you have 2 Yonguo 560 III speed lights -bare, no modifiers...simple, cheap and effective.
Took the Mettle 600w mono light and the Phottix 27.5" beauty dish out for a fashion shoot at night...here are some samples. The lights in the background are 560 III speed lights on low and bare...the main light here is the Mettle on about 1/8 into a socked Phottix beauty dish.
testing the mettle 600w/s mono light and a photo luna 27" collapsible beauty dish...also comparing to a yongnuo speed light and beauty dishRead More
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Fashion editorial shoot from the other night....simple gear: Canon 6D, Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L and believe it or not, some shot with a T2i and an 18-55mm! Most were done in natural light but those that are clearly done with a speed light were done with a single bare yongnuo speed light. Shot for Josh at Grande Yachts International in Palm Beach Gardens. Kaunis Hetki Photographer.
Recently picked up the Yongnuo 622c and having a 6D that has a sync speed limit of 180 before getting those 'black bars', I was looking forward to testing it out. The goal really for me was to be able to shoot with a pretty wide open aperture like F/2.8 to get a nice DOF while still using off camera lighting in the daylight. You can also get this effect with a ND filter but I wanted to go with speed lights. Below are a few examples from some recent shoots..all shot at least an hour before sunset so the light was actually still pretty bright out (and all shot with the sun behind the model)
How to do a simple editorial with no team and basic gear
One model, one photographer, one hour shoot...no MUA, no stylist...no team. Strobist info: done with a single bare 430ex (no modifier). All 20 edits from this session done and back to client in 12 hours.
Shoots don't have to be complicated or have a whole team working on them to be great. I would MUCH rather work alone with a model and with simple gear....that said, there are some things that really are required. First, the right model for the shoot...and also one who knows how to come prepared with her makeup, hair and nails done. She also has to have access to the right wardrobe...in this case, it was a Sue Wong dress, Versace scarf, Tory Burch handbag and Louboutin shoes
I was reflecting lately on some of the lessons learned (sometimes the hard way) during this journey as a photographer. Some of these are also the things you may not find in 'tips and tricks', 'how to's' etc. so I thought I'd share...
1. Most people start out trying to be everything to everyone...I know I did. I didn't want to miss out on a client no matter what they wanted me to shoot and whether I liked to shoot that subject or if I was any good at shooting that subject...newborns, seniors, weddings, cars. I'd shoot it all. Today I am in a position where I refer out lots of sessions...parties/events, newborns, toddlers...even sessions that just don't interest or inspire me. Let someone else who likes doing those sessions take that piece of the business. I'm grateful to be in such a position and it took a long time to get here. It's important to find out as early as you can what you are good at when it comes to photography, what you love spending your time shooting AND editing and then focus all your energy on those clients/shoots. You'll be glad you did as you will get much better faster to become the go-to person for those types of shoots.
2. Just go out and get a full frame camera and a 70-200mm F/2.8L ;-) (or whatever the best lens is for your type of work). Not sure if I had the money to buy that in the beginning but it really seems everyone ends up at the same or similar place so might as well just get it as soon as you can instead of buying a bunch of lenses and cameras over the years you think will get you close to that. I have some great prime lenses and some nice tele lenses but since I bought my 70-200mm L , it really hasn't left my camera. Sure I made many really nice images with a T2i and my primes but doing it over, I would have just splurged in the beginning instead of having a shelf full of gear I never use anymore.
3. You will get stood up and you will get burned. Unfortunately, both happen and more than any of us would like. It's part of the business I guess. I think getting stood up speaks for itself. Yes, clients will just not call or write on the day you agreed to put on your calendar and some you'll get a lame excuse later about having to go into work -when you saw them post photos on FB with pics from the beach that afternoon. :-) The other thing is getting burned when it comes to payment. I don't bother with deposits (which is a whole other blog since there are issues with that I wouldn't want to deal with...so I picked the lesser of the two issues and don't). There have only been 3 times I've not been paid and the ironic thing about it is that all 3 were very well off clients.
4. Unless you're just about the dollar...don't pay too much attention to the local 'competition'. Which is really hard to do...especially when it's in your face all over social media every day. Even through 6 degrees of separation we see photos from other photographers or posts about some special they are offering. If you're comparing your work to the other locals, than that is the level your work will be. Personally, it's not my goal to be the best in my area...I just want to be the best. What's the saying, if you reach for the moon you might get above the tree but if you reach for the stars...well, it's something like that. I am always looking for the best in my field and then at my work and trying to figure out what it is about theirs that stands out...or what separates mine from looking like that. If you are the absolute best, your work will speak for itself, word will spread and the money will follow.
5. The camera is only a small part of the final image. That said, there's a whole lot to learn that has nothing to do with the camera or settings. You can take an amazing image with an iPhone or polaroid camera. Great example...a pose can make or break a photo. I see it all the time, very talented photographer with great gear, model and location and then there's that dumb pose that just ruins the entire image. And then those photographers wonder why Ford aren't calling them to shoot their models. It can be as slight as the placement of the hand, the bend of a wrist etc. So remember to study everything else about making up an image as much as you do about the settings.
6. Be super clear...and then reiterate. Just as an example, it never fails customers will ask for all the unedited originals if you don't specify that you don't give those or they will ask for more edits if you don't tell them how many you provide.
7. Don't work harder than you have to or overextend yourself for the same amount of money. Two things that come to mind...why send out photos on a USB or almost laughable, a CD in 2014 when you can just upload to dropbox or google drive? It's SO much quicker, easier and saves money. I don't have the time or want to deal with a USB drive, getting their address, packaging, postage etc. etc. Also, in reference of time...if a session is more than 30 minutes away...I add another $100 for the extra hour roundtrip and gas -remember, ALL your time is worth the same.
8. Free, tests, TF etc. - this may work for some people but I've found that I've had many more referrals from my paid sessions than from my free ones. I'm sure it's been helpful in regards to practice and improving my skills working so much and it's gotten my name out and work seen by others who may not have seen it. But at the end of the day, hardly any of those have brought me new business. Again, this might be different for others but it was not my experience. The other unexpected result was that all their friends wanted free shoots -ugh.
9. Don't be shady and outdated. I'm thinking of those photographers who offer super low costs sessions and then gouge their clients with overpriced prints...or the who 'senior rep' scam. And yes, I said 'scam' because they give the senior a free session but when they make them pay for those overpriced prints, I just think it's shady. There was a time where photographer's had to print the photos or could provide access to better quality....but it's 2014, amazing quality printing is super cheap and accessible by everyone. The customers know this and are starting to see this as being 'taken' when it comes to prints. The younger and 'hipper' photographers are charging one price for the session and so many edits and they are changing the business. I've had clients go to another company, pay for the session and when they find out how much the prints are and are shocked, they come to me for the whole session and edits (chalking up their previous session with the other as a loss) and still come out less overall than if they had to pay for those overpriced prints. And guess who gets a bad name...yup. Be current and don't be shady.
10. work isn't work unless you'd rather be doing something else.
Just an example how when it comes to photography it really is all about the light. I only shoot during the last hour or so of the day when the light is just gorgeous for sessions like these. This session was no exception.
South Florida Photographer (engagement, fashion, senior photography etc.) serving Stuart Florida, Palm City Florida, Jupiter, Florida and Palm Beach...also available for travel outside South Florida.
Shooting real estate interiors and exteriors on a regular basis, I thought I'd post some work demonstrating natural light vs. strobes. For interior work, I always use strobes...and can't think of an exception where I haven't. Strobes or speed lights just give it that extra pop that draws your attention to the room. I usually only use a single YN 560 III wireless speed light to light up an area. The exception would be in the case of the photo displayed of a very large room where I used 3 (actually just one moved around 3 times) since this is a composite image made up of 4 images. The speed light was in the upstairs and then 3 spots in the downstairs...the 4th image was an underexposed shot just for the window. I merged all 4 images in photoshop to produce this final result.
As for the outside image....100% natural light with some shadows and highlights managed in LR. Had I done this one at night, I would have again done a composite image and moved my single speed light around the pool area to light up every little plant and detail.
stuart florida photography | stuart florida senior session | stuart florida senior photography | jensen beach senior photography | south fork senior photography | jupiter florida senior photography | palm beach photographerRead More
I had meeting at Next Models in Miami in the morning and since it's a little bit of a drive, I decided I'd make the most of the day and book a couple models who lived in the area. It was around 1 when we started down on Lincoln Rd. and any good photographer knows this isn't the most ideal time to shoot...in fact, it's horrible. The 3 of us met up and walked around Lincoln Rd for awhile before one of the models suggested a spot along the water in an industrial area. Since I wasn't happy with what I had been getting to that point, I decided that we might as well try...very glad we did. The area wasn't much to write home about...pretty abandoned except for some city workers and construction going on about 200 yards away. The gate was open to this area so we parked and started shooting with the bright sun still high in the sky. Suppose just an example of making the most of the conditions you have to work with in the light that is available. You can find the rest of the edits from this session on my FB page at www.facebook.com/kaunishetki
The other night I had to shoot a band to get them some updated shots for their new tour and decided I'd try to squeeze in a short fashion shoot with a model I had been meaning to work with for a couple weeks. Turns out we only had a little time...in fact, when I looked back at the time stamp on the photos, it was 18 minutes from first to last. I called her just an hour before so there was no planning at all....we didn't discuss makeup, outfits and neither of us had even been to the exact location before...we never even met before. Gia showed up and within 5 min after a quick hello and a pick of which dress we should use that she brought we were shooting. We started with a few natural light ones as the sun hit the horizon over the city across the water and then moved to a banyan tree for a one light set up (Yongnuo 560 III bare to camera right).
That's it...super quick and super simple. Hopefully we got some shots for her portfolio her agent will love to add.
For this post I thought I'd share a little before and after shots and some behind the scene how to regarding real estate twilight lighting
Equipment used: Canon 6D, Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8, a single bare Yongnuo 560 III wireless speed light and the EOS remote app.
With the camera set on the tripod, I waited until just before the sunset and then started going around the pool area being sure to set off the flash/camera on all the different areas to make sure everything was lit (probably around 1/4 power). I brought all those shots into photoshop and completed the image by blending all 40 shots together into one image.