Thursday, March 29, 2012

Models: Charis Pixie Uppal & Alex Wallace
Make Up: Tamorha Ray
Clothes:  Stephanie Cunningham

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Secret Thursday: How to get work as an Assistant Photographer

I thought it would be a good idea to write a post this thursday on becoming a photographers assistant.  Although this isn't an entirely necessary way to become a photographer and more of a traditional approach it is something I really wanted to do to improve my own knowledge of the industry.  Becoming an assistant  is often harder than you think it's going to be.

While I studied photography I took every opportunity to assist which was fairly easy because photographers often posted on our notice board asking for assistants and most of the time I was assisting for free.  You have to put in a lot of work for free in the beginning, I will still occasionally assist for free if it's for an amazing photographer.  If you don't have access to a student notice board for assisting work people will often tell you it's not what you know it's who you know.  I agree to this to a certain extent however I came to live in Sydney from knowing literally noone and looking for assisting work.

My approach:
Initially I was quite shy and tried emailing photographers, but from my experience note that emailing does not work.  Yes emails are great follow ups but photographers tend to be very busy people and emails just seem to go into a hole of nothingness and get forgotten about.  One of the photographers I assisted said he easily gets about 100 emails a week from wannabe assistants!

So I tried cold calling, I bought a bunch of magazines that I admired because I didn't really know who the fashion photographers were that worked in Sydney.  I went through those magazines and made a list of the photographers I really really liked.  I had a list of about 30 photographers.  One by one I researched the photographer like crazy, and searched the internet high and low for their phone numbers.  This was the scary part, and the first phone call is definitely the worst.  I offered to assist for free for work experience and still I was getting "no's", they were polite and very nicely put "no", usually they had a close team that they liked to work with and weren't looking for anyone else but I kept persisting and eventually a photographer very nicely suggested meeting for coffee.

I also tried calling agencies, this has to be the most successful way I've found of gaining assistant work.  And if you happen to get asked to assist a good photographer you pretty much have to drop everything and go.  The hours are long, you have to put on your 'I'm not tired' face and remain enthusiastic 'til the end and you will still get plenty of knock backs.  But it's pretty exciting seeing the way a shoot is lit, getting to see behind the scenes of high fashion magazine shoots and even more exciting having your name printed as the assistant in the magazine.  In my opinion it's an invaluable experience and worth it all.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Models: Charis Pixie Uppal & Alex Wallace
Make up: Tamorha Ray
Clothes: Stephanie Cunningham

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Secret Thursday: How to create a vintage colour effect on your photos using curves

This photograph I took last weekend for a photography job, I was running around everywhere after this little one to try and get a shot which she thought was a great game but I finally managed to catch her.

Thanks to Sydney L for asking how I use colour in my photographs.  I use curves to play with the colours which you can find in the adjustment layers, here's a tutorial showing how to get a vintage colour look using them but have a play, get familiar with them and enjoy the many variations!

Original and with new curves

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Secret Thursday: How to create a light leak using photoshop

Wow the weeks rock around so quickly - just a note if you try this tutorial make sure you use a soft brush.  also Sydney from sydsense for the colour request tutorial I shall do one soon :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

sneak peak from todays shoot....

Models: Alex Wallace and Charis Pixie Uppal
Designer: Stephanie Cunningham

wish I wasn't working a double tomorrow so I could edited todays shoot

Monday, March 12, 2012

Model: Courtney Palmer
Make up: Heather Davern@ Illamasqua

Thursday, March 8, 2012

You can do anything but not everything

You can do anything but not everything: David Allen


secret thursday: how to use simple photographic lighting in a studio

Studio lighting always seemed quite complicated before I worked as an assistant photographer (and I still am definitely no expert).  The following photographs were taken by Stephen Ward for Russh magazine and he is one of the best photographers I've assisted, you can see the rest of the shoot here.  His lighting in this shoot is quite simple but gives a very beautiful effect and makes the photograph look like a painting:
The circle with the cross is the model and the two square rectangles is a symbol for the camera.  

Grey flat refers to the background and black poly is polystyrene board painted black which will absorb light and so gives the dark shadow from behind.  Actually we moved the flat board and model to an more of an angle rather than directly parallel to the window.  As you can see there are no studio lights in this at all, instead the big window is used as the light source.

This is the (slightly) more complicated setup.  The background is white and quite far back from the model.  Towards the background is a light with a blue gel, which is blue acetate held secured in front of the bulb to colour the light and cast the blue onto the background.  You can see how the photographer chose to let a little of the blue light touch the left side of the models face.

Either side of the model is the polystyrene painted black which creates the black shadow either side of the models face.  

The main light is angled from 45 degrees, it's higher than the model and pointing downwards.

The 'white kick' is a small white reflector angled on the ground upwards at the model to bounce a bit of light back in.

This is a two light set up.

These photographs were NOT taken by me and remain the copyright of photographer Stephen Ward.

Friday, March 2, 2012

secret thursday: how to make someone fatter/thinner in photoshop

oops this is a little late for this secret thursday but it's a really fun tutorial so hope you enjoy.  I've just replayed it and had some random cuttings out in the sound so a few technical difficulties but you get the jist of it.  This tutorial shows you how to make someone looker fatter or slimmer using the liquify tool in photoshop.