photography

Artistic Ability - Are We Born With It OR Can One Practice and Learn It?

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I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, this topic kept popping into my head.  I would see it pop up from time to time on social media, so I figured I would write a post about it. I would love to know what people think on this topic as it’s been so prevalent in my mind over the past while.

Are people just born with artistic ability or is it something you can learn, practice and hone and eventually become artistic? I have asked a few people this question and most seem to be on the side that think people are born with artistic ability. Some are of the other camp as well but the majority seem to think we are born with it. Now even if we are born with it, I think you still have to work at it, hone it and perfect it.

Albeit some people are just born with an innate ability to play an instrument or paint or draw but for the most part I am of the mind it has to be worked at. Now maybe some people are born with some artistic ability in them but I really do believe you can learn how to paint or draw or take a picture if you keep at it and practice and are taught properly. Perhaps not to the skill level of Picasso or Ansel Adams, I think artists like that, of that skill level are far and few between, but I think most anyone can be taught and learn and become an artist to a certain degree.

Let’s start a conversation on this topic, I really and truly would love to know what people think!

What do YOU think?

The Baby Birds Have Flown.... We Are Left With an Empty Nest

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Well, this blog post has nothing to do with business OR photography for that matter. This one is more of a personal post.

I have done a lot of thinking and contemplating over the last few months as the day drew nearer.

Now I have heard the words thrown around countless times by various people and have heard many talk about it but until it comes your time as a parent, the words “Empty Nester” don’t really register in your mind or thought process. Well, on August 31st that day arrived for my wife and I. Let me tell you, it’s one of the weirdest feelings ever. Especially when you are so used to having 2 kids around, playing, fighting, arguing and just general noise makers. Both of our girls have now flown the next, the oldest one about a year ago and our youngest just last month.

One lives 2 hours west of us and the other lives 3 hours east of us. Could they be any further apart? Of course they had to go in opposite directions, lol As parents I think we all have moments of excitement as our children get into their mid- to late teens and we think about finally having the house to ourselves. But as that day begins to draw near, reality and dread kind of sets in and your realize….wait a minute, these little humans you have spent your life, teaching, nurturing and raising aren’t going to be here anymore. They aren’t going to “need” or depend on you anymore or at least not as much.

Now I know they never stop being your kids, no matter how old they get but it’s not the same, you cannot protect them in the same you could, when they were living under your roof. I guess at some point you just have to let go and let them move onto that next chapter of “their” lives and venture out into that big world, just as we did at their age. It’s a very very odd feeling to not have them here in the house when you come home from your day or to see them come in through the door after an evening out with their friends or after their shift from work, whatever the case might be.

It certainly is going to take some getting used to that’s for sure! They never stop being your children. They are just a bigger/older version of that. I guess we have to look at as not only a new chapter in their lives but also a new chapter in our lives. Now is our time. With more available time my wife and I can finally focus on the things we have always wanted to do and experience together.

Time to start enjoying each other and living more grand!!!!

Boudoir Advocates

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I was having a conversation with another photographer and friend of mine awhile bakc and we got to discussing boudoir photography, which by the way we both shoot full time.

What started our conversation was the fact that a certain photo contest does NOT allow boudoir photography.  This infuriated both of us because firstly, why the hell not and secondly it allowed maternity boudoir!?  My friend then proceeds to tell me that when checking out some of the images, she noticed a photo of a dead baby at 12 weeks gestation that was competing. I said: “Wait, what?? Are you kidding me? So that type of image is allowed to be entered into a photo contest?  Maternity boudoir is allowed to be entered but NOT straight up boudoir? How is that even right? Who decided this and WHY?”

We then proceeded to talk more about how boudoir photography isn’t properly recognized as an art form like other genres of photography.   Unfortunately, it is still viewed as sexualizing women, dirty or slutty photography which couldn’t be further from the truth. This viewpoint was also demonstrated by an online conversation between my friend and other members of the group/company/page that was running the photo contest. This is an incredibly narrow minded and sad viewpoint on OUR genre of photography.

It angers me that boudoir photography still isn’t even represented in the proper and deserving way it should be at all the BIG photography conferences that happen around the world. It is so frustrating to think that what we do as photographers isn’t respected or doesn’t garner the same respect as other genres of photography.

Something has to change.  There needs to be a shift in thinking in our industry as well as outside the industry. We need to start educating people on boudoir photography and ALL the benefits of it. We need to start talking about it more, share the benefits of boudoir photography. There are FB Groups out there like AIBP that focus solely on boudoir photography and those are all amazing but MORE needs to be done in order to bring awareness to this beautiful genre of photography.

We boudoir photographers need to UNITE and start being ONE VOICE for boudoir photography and begin spreading the word further and wider. My friend and I decided to start a new page/group called Boudoir Advocates United in order to help spread the positive message about boudoir photography and help educate people. We want women, men, past clients AND other boudoir photographers to join the group and help in this mission.

This is a very important cause/mission to me and I would love YOUR help with spreading the word. Voices get louder and are heard more in numbers so please if you are interested in learning more about the group or joining the group click the link below and join the group.

Let’s spread the word about this incredibly amazing genre of photography and help to make it more mainstream and NOT frowned upon or looked down upon.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/boudoiradvocatesunited/

https://www.instagram.com/boudoiradvocatesunited

Better Gear DOES NOT Make You A Better Photographer

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…never have truer words been spoken. This has been a constant debate and topic of discussion among photographers in forums and the like for years upon years. It’s a pointless argument/discussion because it’s neither the camera nor the lens that make the picture, it’s the photographer!

Over the years, I have often heard from many people: “oh I need to buy this expensive camera”, “that expensive lens” or “I can’t create the images I want to because I only have this shitty camera or this crappy lens”.  STOP with the excuses!  Nothing could be further from the truth. You absolutely DO NOT need expensive gear to create amazing images.

I wish I had the money to buy all the gear I wanted but I don’t and I don’t feel that is truly going to help me create better work. I suggest you start out with a relatively inexpensive camera and the kit lens that comes with it. Get to know the ins and outs of your camera.  Practice, practice and more practice with what you have. Master your camera.  Learn it inside out.

You can worry about better gear and spending more money later on once you have worked on and honed your craft.  Learn the basic principles of photography and master the camera you have.  So many people get caught up in spending a ton of money on gear when they are just starting out it and it really isn’t going to make you a better photographer nor is it necessary.

Only YOU have the ability to make YOU a better photographer. So get out there practice, learn and talk to other photographers who have been at this awhile. Take courses, get a mentor but MOST importantly get out there and shoot!

The Big Announcement Part II

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The last week has been a whirlwind of excitement and hard work and I am very excited with the announcement about what’s been going on with Visuphoria Photography.   

So in keeping with the theme and excitement of all the changes as of late I have decided it’s a good idea to celebrate the new look and feel of Visuphoria Photography.

How you may ask.... well I am glad you asked that question!!

We would like to extend a special introductory offer to all the beautiful ladies that love us. We are offering a $149 session fee price for the first 5 ladies that book with us!

This special price includes Hair and MU, a pre-shoot consult via telephone, posing and coaching help from me and an in person photo reveal and an in person image reveal session within 2 weeks of your photo session.

If you would like to book now, please click here

Don't Burn Bridges - You May Just Need To Walk Across Them One More Time

Growing up as a kid, my dad bestowed a lot of wisdom unto me with his little one-liners and pithy anecdotes. Now, there were quite a few of them but one in particular really stood out for me: “Don’t ever burn your bridges”

For the past month or so, I have been on an emotional rollercoaster; a veritable whirlwind all rolled up into one for me. I quit my full time corporate job after 12 ½ years with the same company to pursue my passion, my love of photography. Scary as hell but I have a great support system in place in my family, my friends and my former colleagues, which to be honest I didn’t fully expect but it has been an incredibly pleasant surprise.

It wasn’t that I expected people to be pissed off with me or not be happy for me but I didn’t expect them to be as supportive as they have been, and it has been amazing to say the least.  When I handed in my resignation, my boss said he knew this was coming and he was one of the most supportive people out of everybody. He was totally 100% happy for me, unhappy to see me go but in my corner and wanted to help in any way he could.  He helped in more ways than one and I am incredibly appreciative for his help.

It’s a little embarrassing to admit but I was a little taken aback by the offers of help from the different people at work. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it ALL, more than words could ever express!  It was just a little unexpected. The outpouring of support from people was incredibly supportive and kind. It made me a little emotional reading some of them to be honest but moreover it made me feel especially good and supported.

I had partners at the firm approaching me and calling me to wish me luck in my future endeavours, asking for my contact info and offering their help. I even had one partner from the firm tell me to USE the network I have built there, ask for help. More often than not, people are willing to help out, you just have to ask!

I spent a lot of years at my job, met and worked with a lot of amazing people.  I made a lot of friends and forged some great relationships. So the “old man” was on to something.  You should never ever burn your bridges.  It’s always good to keep your relationships in good standing because you never know when you might need help from someone. Thanks for the words of advice Dad, they certainly came in handy!

Testimonial by Miss M - "Before working with Brad, I didn't know what to expect... Now I recommend it to all my girlfriends and to every woman I know!

Before working with Brad, I didn't know what to expect from our session. I had never done a boudoir shoot before and I was nervous. Brad quickly put my worries to rest! He was extremely professional as a photographer, but also very encouraging and attuned to what would make me feel the most comfortable during our shoot. Not only was this one of the MOST empowering things I've ever done, but Brad also made me look GORGEOUS in every shot, AND I have the AMAZING pictures to prove it (which have now turned in to a book as an anniversary gift to my husband). I recommend a shoot with Brad to ALL my girlfriends and to every woman I know!

Testimonial by Miss F - "I felt surprisingly comfortable for my first time doing a boudoir shoot"

I recently had the opportunity to work with Brad on a boudoir shoot for his portfolio. Having never done any kind of boudoir photography, I definitely had my hesitations (and excitement) going in, but Brad has a comfort and confidence that really put me at ease. You can tell just by his excitement for setting up his equipment that he loves what he does. During the shoot he gives positive and helpful direction and encouragement. My hesitations slipped away and I became very comfortable in the space and with Brad. The shots he took are all beautiful. He always asked what I wanted in the shots and included what he needed based on my comfort. Being lucky enough to work with Brad, I can say that you will have someone listen to what you want and deliver what you are looking for.

There Is NEVER A Perfect Time For Your Session - Celebrate Who YOU Are Now

This past weekend I had the pleasure of exhibiting at a women’s expo for the first time as a Boudoir Photographer and I must say it was quite an experience. Being one of the very few men in a room full of women was an amazing thing. The event was called Girls Day Out and was held in Vaughan Ontario and that’s exactly what it was, just an afternoon out for the ladies.

It was a relatively small event, perhaps 20 vendors and a couple of women speakers.  One of which was my business partner and author of the book Brave Ecstatic Woman, Merav Richter. There was also a fashion show and then of course time to mill around the room and peruse the products vendors were selling. I would say there were about 75 – 100 people there, many of whom were parents of the children and teens that were participating in the fashion show but all in all considering the venue and the publicity surrounding the event it was a fairly well attended event.

Among the good number of women that came by my booth, I noticed a common thread among some of them:  that they needed to lose weight before booking a session with me. Now to me, that is just horribly sad to think that way. ALL women are beautiful and come in ALL shapes and sizes. I honestly at the moment didn’t have a proper response to that except for telling the women that is NOT necessary at all, you look wonderful the way you are. Upon some reflection and speaking with a couple of women, I managed to craft an appropriate response albeit a little too late for that event but I know now what to say the next time I hear those words from a woman who is contemplating a boudoir session with me.  I can just tell them, you are perfect just the way you are now. If you wait to do things until “YOU” feel you are the "perfect" weight etc., you will never do them. Women are very hard on themselves. You should celebrate who YOU are right now.

I think we as boudoir photographers have an amazing opportunity to help change that mindset but not just within the photography industry. I think, we owe it to one another to flip that way of thinking upside down.  In fact, we need to eradicate it completely.   There is no need for women or men to feel they need to lose some weight before they can do a photoshoot or anything else for that matter. Embrace who you are and how you look NOW and celebrate it.

Beauty fits ANY body!

Just For Mom

There is still something to be said for physically holding in your hands a moment captured in time that was printed on photo paper. When you see a photo hanging on a wall, framed and in print...you just can’t beat the feeling it gives you. To be able to stand back and admire that gives you an indescribable feeling.

With Mother's Day just on the horizon, are you looking for something special for Mom this year?  Why not make Mom’s special day memorable by booking a shoot just for her and the children? This will be something that she will have to cherish and look back on with great fondness for years to come.  

Visuphoria Photography is running its inaugural Just for Mom Mother’s Day photo shoot promotion.  We currently have two dates open with multiple time slots for you to choose from. Allow me to capture and share in some of those precious moments with you and your children by booking your Just For Mom Mother’s Day photo shoot today! Follow the link and sign up now. Limited spaces available! http://www.visuphoria.ca/sessions/

 

The Boudoir Experience

The Experience

“A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman’s body”

boudoir (/ˈbuːd.wɑːr/; French: [bu.dwaʁ]) is defined as a woman's private sitting room or salon in a furnished accommodation usually between the dining room and the bedroom, but can also refer to a woman's private bedroom. The word itself, by its very definition says this is all about a woman, all about YOU!  

Today boudoir photography is one of the fastest growing genres of photography and this is NOT just a photo shoot.  It’s an experience and one like no other.  Yes, it may take you out of your comfort zone but you will feel like a queen for a couple of hours while in front of my camera. 

I am a professional and provide a professional service for you! I will never share or publish ANY of your images without your written permission.  As a male photographer, I also feel like I can provide a different perspective.  I love shooting boudoir photography and I feel it really comes through in my work.  

Not only am I a male photographer but I am also a husband, a father and a friend to many women and I hear the same things all too often:  “I’m not that good looking”, “I’m ugly”, “I’m too fat for boudoir” and so on.  But I want to be able to show you what I see!  I love the female form, hey let’s face it I am a man!!!  More importantly, I want you to see what I see because ALL women are beautiful.  No matter the shape or size, ALL women are beautiful and I want you to see what I see!  I will take the most beautiful photographs you have ever seen of yourself!  There is nothing more rewarding for me than seeing the excitement in your eyes and the joy in your expression when you see the finished product

Let me give you a little bit of a rundown on how I like to run one of my shoots.

There are 4 steps to my process.  First we start out with a pre-shoot consult.  This is where we have a little introductory session so we can discuss what kind of shoot you want.  We talk about your ideas/thoughts and desires for your shoot.  Do you feel comfortable with a sexy lingerie look? A casual sexy look?  Whatever your heart desires.  Basically, I want your input too!  This is about you after all, I am merely there to help you realize it! Your session will be unique and tailored to you so there is no worry about it looking the same as someone else’s. Just like a woman’s beauty is unique, your shoot will be as well.

Second, we book a date that works for you.  I want to work with you, to find the best time for you in your schedule so you are relaxed and ready to be gorgeous!

Third, the actual boudoir shoot!  When you arrive for your session, you will be greeted by me and handed a beverage. You will then be whisked off to “the chair” where you will be pampered by our hair and makeup artist.  You just sit and enjoy as we chat and you get beautified. You will get 2-3 outfit changes during your session.  I will guide and coach you throughout the entirety of your shoot.  Your job is to be beautiful!

And the fourth and final step is the moment of truth: the photo shoot reveal!  We will set some time aside to meet so we can look at your photos together!

I believe that a boudoir shoot is something every woman should experience at the very least, once in their lifetime.  This experience is all about YOU.   A boudoir shoot isn’t specific to a “type” of woman, it IS for EVERY woman!  I am hoping this experience will “transform” you.

We will celebrate your confidence, your femininity, your elegance, your sensuality and most importantly you will be empowered!  This is all about a body positive experience.

“The most beautiful thing a woman can wear is confidence”

Negativity and Ignorance About the Boudoir Photography Genre

The other day I had posted a boudoir photography promotion in a group on Facebook and not 10 minutes later I was banned from the group. I was given no reason or forewarning about it just removed from the group.  Because of this excommunication of sorts, I decided to do some digging to find out who removed me and more importantly, why?  

Armed with the name of the perpetrator, I reached out to find out their reasoning behind it. The first reason I got was because I placed my ad with no accompanying text which was complete and utter bullshit because my ads ALWAYS have accompanying text.  Through further conversation I got to the root or “real reason” behind the ban which apparently was and I quote: “your models are in underwear and it leads people to have negative associations with your offer”.  They also added that:  “a post with half naked women offering a boudoir shoot causes people to make assumptions”.

This conversation infuriated me because of the ignorance and negativity that was expressed. Boudoir photography is very intimate and can be very intimidating for many women.  To me, it’s about showing women the beauty in themselves they may fail or struggle to see. There is beauty in EVERY woman and I believe this should be viewed as a form of therapy for some women.  Helping them find and more importantly, see the beauty within, to recognize it and realize it. So I ask you, why is there such negativity and misconception when it comes to Boudoir photography?

Yes it is photographing women in suggestive, seductive poses, revealing clothing and lingerie but on the flip side of that, people need to understand this is incredibly empowering for these women.  Boudoir is confidence boosting, beautiful and emotive and it isn’t JUST for women.  There are men who participate in boudoir photography sessions as well.  Does it mean it is negative for men also? There are even couples shoots, are there negative connotations with couples shoots?

 I understand that there are some people who use this genre of photography for salacious reasons and personal gain but compared to the legit photographers out there I would have to say they are far and few between. Now this isn’t to say that the negativity is only geared at male photographers in the industry because I believe there is still negative stigma surrounding this entire genre of photography. We as photographers who specialize in this genre need to do our best to educate our clients and people about boudoir.  There is NO reason for an adverse connotation with boudoir photography.

Collectively, if we as boudoir photographers are diligent about educating our clients and people we come in contact with perhaps we will be able to elevate boudoir photography to the level it should be and have it seen as a beautiful art form.  Could we even begin to eliminate the negativity surrounding boudoir photography?  Boudoir photography is a collaboration between a client and a photographer where raw emotion and beauty are evoked and captured in still frames. Boudoir photography NEEDS to be celebrated! We need to promote positive body image!  Shout it from the rooftops!   Let’s eradicate the negativity and ignorance once and for all!

 

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Male Boudoir Photographers - It's NOT a Man's World

Now I am fairly new to boudoir photography and when I say new I mean I have done a handful of shoots.  I know there are lots of guys out there who aren’t photographers at all but think wow that is so cool and what a great gig that would be. Believe me I have even heard that from a few friends. You get to photograph half naked women in lingerie, look at sexy women all day and so on. While yes this is true I photograph women in lingerie this is not what it’s all about for me, not at all!

When I am shooting a session I am not even thinking about how sexy the woman is or anything like that because I am too busy focusing on posing her.  I am making sure the lighting works for the shot and ensuring my camera settings are correct in order to make certain I get the shot as close to perfect “in camera” as possible. I really don’t have time to be concerned about the other stuff especially when I am in the zone shooting, interacting with my subject.

I know that some people would balk at that and say I am bullshitting and it must be at least part of the intrigue and interest but it really isn’t. In all honesty for me it is truly about making the women who get in front of my camera feel comfortable in their own skin.  Feel beautiful, help them build their confidence, help them love their bodies.  Ultimately I want them to be happy with the images/art I create for them and if I can do that for EVERY woman that gets in front of my camera then I know I have done my job as a photographer.  I will have helped another person to realize their self-worth and beauty and that my friends is the icing on the proverbial cake!

Yervant and Anie - The Photography Symposium 2016

“All good things must come to an end” and no better way to sum up the second day of Yervant and Anie’s Photography Symposium. This event rolled through Toronto as one of its many stops on June 15th, 16th and 17th.  I attended the event for 2 days and there was a master class on the third day which I opted out of.

It was an incredible experience and one I won’t soon forget. If you do get the chance to attend this event in your city, I strongly advise you do check it out, you won't be disappointed. Yervant and Anie put together an unbelievable program packed with a wealth of information, knowledge and not to mention an incredible line up of 6 industry professionals all experts in their particular area of photography. It took place at The Berkley Field House, a truly beautiful venue. It was geared at a smaller more intimate group of about 60-100 attendees which I feel was the perfect amount.

The two days were jam packed with information and personal stories and at times, astonishingly emotional and honest moments.  Yervant speaking about wedding photography and making us laugh hysterically.  Joe Buissink sharing his incredibly moving story of his childhood and why he is so passionate about wedding photography.  Sue Bryce sharing her brilliance on posing your subjects.  Michele Neal Celentano and her insistence on existing in your photographs because of her beautifully moving story.

There were a couple of common threads that were strung through these two days of presentations and stories. These recurring threads seemed to be:  if you work hard at your craft, you can achieve whatever it is you want for you and your business and you are worth it so charge your clients what you feel you are worth but keep in mind, you must deliver on that promise.

One thing in particular really struck a chord with me, the presenters kept re-iterating was with regards to printing your work.  Then I thought about it and we don’t print our work nearly as often as we should! You MUST print your work.  Preserve those moments in time through print as you never get a second chance to go back and relive those moments.  They are fleeting!

Remember, it’s not a photograph until it’s printed!  This statement really reverberated me and reminded me just how important it is for us photographers to print our work. Not only are you helping yourself but you are also helping to preserve our industry.

The Film Days - Moments Coming To Life

Never in a million years did I think this one class I was going to take would change my life.  Wait, not only my life but change the way I saw things and open my eyes up to a totally different world!

It was grade 10 photography class at Victoria Park High School and I remember it like it was yesterday.    I was bitten by the photography bug and have been addicted ever since. My uncle gave me my first film camera, a Konica Minolta and I loved that thing. Photography for me has always been such an incredibly fun, creative way to communicate MY visions.  Allowing people into my world, to view things through my lens, my eyes.

Walking into that darkroom for the first time, the darkness, the red light and of course that unforgettable smell of developer, stop bath and fixer all mixed in together. Overwhelming at first but you get used to it and learn to like the distinctive smell that fills the darkroom.  One of the toughest parts was fumbling around in the dark, no pun intended.  Then getting the film out of the camera and onto the spool and into the developing tank. Once I got the hang of that, it was smooth sailing and good times all around.

It was a bit of a steep learning curve both with the camera and in the darkroom but I enjoyed every minute of it and I think I am a better photographer for it. Having learned the craft before the digital revolution exploded on the scene has made me a better photographer.  I see things differently, I shoot differently and I actually think about the shot before I take it.

Making test strips to get the right exposure for your image, dodging and burning the real way, not in a digital computer program. Then, the piece de resistance, seeing what you shot in camera literally come to life on that piece of photography paper right before your very eyes.  That my friends is magic! The whole darkroom process is just an incredible experience from start to finish. I am so glad I was able to experience that for a few years in high school.  Sometimes I really do miss and long for those days.

Workshops - Learning, Sharing, Shooting

When considering whether or not to attend a workshop, a lot of factors contribute to the ultimate decision of attending. They are a great way to expand your network as there will undoubtedly be other like-minded people to speak with, to share knowledge with and of course the obvious, to learn! Do I? or Don’t I? Of course the first one is cost followed by content followed by a series of questions: How will it benefit me? How long is the workshop? and who is giving the workshop?
When the Peter Hurley “Illuminating the Face” workshop was announced for Toronto, well that was a no brainer! I knew I had to attend as I had been waiting some time for this one to come to town. It took place back in March and this was an incredible opportunity to learn from the best in the industry. How could I possibly pass that up!? I figured I wasn’t going to get many chances to actually get to interact, to learn from him. I had to take advantage of being up close and personal with the one and only Peter Hurley. I found the cost to be incredibly reasonable. The location was right here in Toronto, so getting there was easy. The time commitment was only an 8 hour day. This was without a doubt something I had to do.
The workshop was put on by Henry’s Camera and they did an incredible job. I would like to say a huge thanks to them for putting this on. The workshop was also sponsored by Profoto and I have to say their gear is absolutely incredible, so easy to use and easy to work with. Their reps were so friendly and helpful.
It was an absolutely incredible day all around. It was a full, jam packed eight hour day where I got to learn from the master of headshots. I got to meet a ton of great people. Perhaps some of the nicest people I have ever met. Peter Hurley was such an incredible teacher. So easy to talk to, down to earth and just an all-around incredibly nice guy. It was such an invaluable experience I will never forget.

The Importance of Printing Your Work - Preserving Memories

As photographers, printing our work is or at least should be a big part of what we do for ourselves AND of course our clients. In my humble opinion, preserving in print the work we create is a necessity. Photographs are meant to be seen on paper not on a screen. Remember the days of film photography? That is all we had. Shoot your images on film. Take that film into the darkroom and watch your images come to life on a piece of photo paper right in front of your eyes. It was like magic! If you didn’t have access to a dark room, you would just drop your images off at the lab to be processed then headed back in a few days to pick up your images. The excitement you felt when opening up that envelope that contained your images…ohhh the anticipation and excitement! It was a tangible thing. You could touch it, feel it AND look at it. There is something almost romantic about a printed image. You just can’t quite recreate that film look when you are shooting digitally. One could say printing emancipates your photographs!
Nowadays we just take the memory card out of our cameras, slide it into the slot on our computers and start browsing the images in the program of our choice for viewing/editing. You can just edit your images in a program on the computer, export it, attach it to an email and send it off to whomever you want. You can also share your image with hundreds/thousands of others by simply throwing that digital file onto the Internet and instantly have an audience. Digital photography is incredibly convenient for sure but it’s not the same.
There is still something to be said for physically holding in your hands a moment captured in time that was printed on photo paper. To be able to see something you created hanging on a wall framed and in print...you just can’t beat that feeling it gives you. To be able to stand back and admire that gives you an indescribable feeling.

Spreading My Wings - Trying New Things

Anyone who knows my style of photography or about the genre of photography I typically shoot, you know I am an urban exploration shooter. This is my passion and my love. I know photographers can make money at this by selling prints of their work but let’s be honest, how many urbex shooters do you know make a living selling their artwork? By no means am I saying this is impossible to do however let’s say it’s not commonplace.
Over the past year I have been thinking about how I can branch out. Ideas swimming around in my head. Personal projects I want to work on but mainly I wonder, how can I start making some real money at this? I have settled upon doing portraiture and headshots. It seemed very fitting seeing as I am currently the headshot photographer at my full time job. It was a no brainer. I truly enjoy the interaction with the client while shooting. Dealing with people and photographing them. Bringing out the best I can in them.
Recently I have found inspiration in watching some training videos on mastering the perfect headshot as well as other educational videos on different methods and styles of shooting headshots. One in particular by a photographer whose work I really admire, Peter Hurley. He has inspired me! I just love to watch him work and learn from him. He is a master at his craft and seems incredibly down to earth and to be honest, a very cool guy. Seeing as I don’t have a half decent headshot myself it would be a thrill to meet him and have him take my headshot. Seems pretty strange for a photographer not to have a really great headshot, I know.
Watching his videos has inspired me to not only branch out and try a new avenue to generate revenue but to experiment and pursue a new method of lighting to incorporate into my headshots. I gave this method a shot a couple of weeks ago for a friend of mine who is a real estate agent here in the Toronto area and I must say I am quite pleased with how they turned out. I know he is happy with the end results as well. Spreading your wings and branching out and trying new things can be very scary at times but the risk can be well worth the reward. I know I still have to practice and work on my technique but I am excited about this new journey I am embarking on in the photography world and I look forward to learning and developing my style as a headshot photographer.

Beauty and Editing Practices in Photography

In keeping with a similar theme to my last blog post I want to touch on a subject in this one that seems to be garnering a lot of negative attention as of late. There seems to be quite an uproar among photographers and people alike with regards to how images are being edited for publication in beauty magazines and advertising.
There seems to be an abundance of very poorly edited images being published in magazines and ads in order to create the illusion of the “perfect body” or flawless beauty. I have personally seen some incredibly poor editing of images which are actually getting published in all forms of media. It makes me wonder; who is proofing and approving this work before it gets published? Are they fucking blind? These mistakes, for lack of a better word, couldn’t be more blatant when you look at the image(s). It’s a completely inaccurate representation of the model and utterly inappropriate.
I saw an article about an ad for Victoria’s Secret the other day and it was painfully obvious that the image had been touched up. Apparently this seems to be an ongoing issue for the lingerie company with their Photoshop happy editors. This cannot be helping their company image. I know Victoria’s Secret is not the only company where this subject has been the topic of discussion and criticism but this bone of contention is becoming more and more prevalent in the “beauty” industry.
Not only does this reflect poorly upon the photography industry but more importantly these retouched images are causing a whole other host of problems among our female youth. These photos are sending the wrong message to the young girls/women who are consuming the content. The message being, “it’s in to be thin”. This is not a healthy message to be sending to our younger generation but I digress as this is a whole other topic for a completely separate blog post.

 

Image courtesy of community.babycenter.com