Sometimes we will have a guest who will blog an article, if you have suggestions let me know.

Guestblog : John Stuart

Today in our guestblog series : John Stuart, about something that’s incredibly important….

 

How to Help Clients Pose Less Awkwardly

Helping subjects feel more comfortable and less awkward in front of the camera is not always easy. Whether they are models or non-models, everyone gets camera-shy every now and then. This can easily spoil the pictures as the tense and stiff posture of the subject comes across as unnatural and awkward. Fortunately, there are ways to help people relax when you are taking their photo. From making a few jokes, to suggesting a few poses and offering advice on what they should do with their hands, as a photographer you can lighten up the mood and make your subjects look super natural so you can achieve candid shots.

 

1. Talk to Your Models

There’s nothing more awkward than a silent shoot where all you can hear is the sound of your shutter. You should communicate with your model both before and during the photo session. Take the time before shooting to establish what you want to achieve. For example, if you’re preparing for an engagement photo session, talking to the couple is essential. Finding out what they like and dislike will not only give you an idea about what they expect from you, it will also help them become more comfortable in front of you.

 

Communicating with your subjects is essential but you should never put them in uncomfortable situations. While it’s recommended to offer advice and tell models how to stand or where to look, you should never force anything. An uncomfortable pose will end up looking cringey, strained and false. Neither you nor your client will be happy. So, instead, offer advice, but let the model bring their own contribution and adapt the pose as they see fit. This will look more natural and the pictures will be candid.

 

2. Keep Your Model Moving

Making your subject stand still while you keep snapping photos might make them even more uncomfortable. You can easily avoid this by making the model move around. Direct them to take a few steps towards you, run their fingers through their hair or play with a lock of hair. This will help them loosen up and be less tense. They will act naturally and the photos will reflect their mood. Only by asking your models to move will you be able to take unique photos of them that reflect their personality or the persona you are trying to convey.

 

Remember that you don’t have to stage but rather direct. Your models should meet you half-way and help you bring a character to life. Try to incorporate objects into your photo and let the model experiment with the poses. This will also help them feel less awkward and more comfortable in front of the lens. If you’re unsure about how to interact with models, especially when these are clients you’ve only just met, join a professional photography workshop. This will not only help hone your skills, it will also give you pointers on how to talk to models according to each situation.

 

3. Create Scenarios and Give Encouragement

Don’t use technical terms with your clients, otherwise you risk making them even more uncomfortable. Keep your directions simple and clear. One thing that really helps non-models pose less awkwardly is giving them scenarios. Depending on the setting where you are shooting, create a short story to inspire the model and make them pose more comfortably.

 

For example, if you’re taking photos of a couple in a park, ask them to talk to each other about a funny or goofy memory. They should easily lighten up and become less tense. If you are taking photos of a girl at the beach, tell her to imagine she’s on holiday, away from her stressful job and worries. By using simple, relatable stories, you can make your clients be less camera-shy and act naturally while you are snapping candid shots of them.

 

4. Pay Attention to Their Body Language

Subjects who are feeling uncomfortable are bound to be stiff and tense. They don’t feel at ease so their gestures are unnatural, their smiles are fake and they don’t know what to do with their hands. This is where you come in, with expert knowledge about what looks good and what doesn’t. The first tip to remember is to ask your clients to slightly pull their chin forward. This eliminates the double chin effect and makes your subject appear thinner.

 

You should also pay attention to the model’s shoulders. Ask her to pull the shoulders back and down slightly, which elongates the silhouette and makes her look taller. When posing women, tell them to bent the front knee and put their whole weight on the back leg. To thin the physique even more, ask the model to slightly rotate the hips to the left, bringing the right leg a bit forward.

Guest blog : George Minton

What To Consider Before Posting A Video On Youtube

Today a guest blog about YouTube by George Minton.
I’m sure you will get some tips from this one.

 

Search engine optimization is now one of the most critical activities on the internet. There are numerous articles on pagerank and linking et al. There are several different types of media that require SEO but this one specifically gives Tips on Video Search Engine Optimisation VSEO.

So you have video content that needs to go out to the wide world web and its pretty portent stuff even if you do say so yourself! That is the right place to be. Make sure that the content that you have is interesting or useful or hilarious but be sure that it will get viewership first! The following are some of the real considerations to success that will help you in creating a more successful YouTube strategy:

What To Consider Before Posting A Video On Youtube

Utilize SEO in Your Title and Description

When you are giving your videos a title and writing their description, you must use keywords that will help your videos to be found by your target market. In this sense, it is no different than any other marketing strategy. However, you do want to be careful not to overstuff your videos with too many keywords. Using
just one or two is going to be sufficient to provide you with positive results.

Making changes via the video manager

One of the easiest things to get wrong is the proper format for your video. To avoid inadvertently locking any potential viewers out make sure that your video is available in many different formats. This way platform m compatibility and or connectivity speeds do not become a limiting factor to increasing your ranking.

Legal considerations

When it comes to making your own YouTube videos with your own digital camera, you will want to make sure that the videos are actually yours. It is common to find videos on YouTube that have similar ideas or concepts; that is okay. What is not okay is actually using someone else’s work. This is actually illegal, as many videos, television shows, movies, and music videos are protected by copyright laws. Copyright laws
aim to protect those who legally own a piece of work, like a television show, movie, or music video. Since someone else’s work is often protected by law, you could suffer serious consequences for using someone else’s work, especially if you try and claim it as your own.

Try Something Unique

A lot of businesses that are new to YouTube marketing spend too much time trying to do what every other business has done. This is putting your business at risk. Instead, you need to try something completely unique. Unique videos are the videos that tend to go viral. Instead of perusing through the YouTube videos to see what is possible for you to do, look at it with another angle. Try viewing other YouTube videos to see what hasn’t been done before. This is what is going to put you at the top and drive traffic to your website.

Be Concise –

Keep it short and sweet. Getting straight to the heart of the matter in your videos will help audiences take your message seriously and also retain their attention. Lengthy, complicated clips tend to turn some people off or cause them to not be able to concentrate, tuning important parts of the video out.

Connect with a Diverse Audience –

As you’re creating a solid online presence, you should deliberately try to make sure your videos appeals to people from various cultures, age groups, genders, and educational backgrounds. Catching the attention of different kinds of viewers usually confirms the strength and uniqueness of your marketing efforts. Having a campaign that transcends the characteristics that normally link people together is a dynamic that’s difficult, yet gratifying, to pull off.

Guestblog Martin Poole

In todays guestblog photographer Martin Poole.
Remember that our guestbloggers take time to write something for the blog and for you guys to get an inside in what they use as techniques and gear, please show them the love 😀
Get those questions ready for Martin.

Martin, the blog is yours (well for this time)
You can find Martin online at :
 www.speedlite.com.au  and Insta @speedlitephoto

 

Working Solo in the real world of fashion.
With over two decades of experience working as a professional photographer, it’s not unusual to find myself still having to plan and expedite a whole fashion shoot on my own with little or no help.  In today’s highly demanding world of fashion there are countless up and coming designers, models and business’s whose budgets will never match that of the big names and as a sole trader I am only too willing to have a win-win situation with new talent.  We also all need to keep our portfolios fresh and in helping each other we both hopefully end up with the images we need and want.

After working in London in the theatre industry I relocated to the land down under in 2007.  I now live and work in Sydney, Australia which has an abundance of up and coming raw talent in the fashion industry and I consider myself lucky that I have an abundance of recognisable locations to shoot street or beach fashion all within a 25 Km radius of the Sydney, CBD district.

 

I was recently contacted by a UK based Travel blogger who needed street & Park images for a New Fashion blog and Instagram account and wanted the images before returning to the UK.  She also had items that she wanted to be included in the shoot which had been provided by sponsors of her up and coming fashion blog.  We agreed a flat rate budget for a day’s shoot and I then set about planning a location.

 

To do this I use my Pinterest account and ask the client to join the Pinterest board that I create and share ideas on and within minutes I can see the type of clothing and mood that the client wants.  All this can be done by email and on the phone without spending precious time away from the studio.  We finally agreed a theme and discussed looks for the day, the number of looks is dependent on how much the client can haul around during the shoot and I suggest they keep it to a minimum especially if they’re doing their own makeup and hair.

 

What’s in the bag?
I must keep my equipment to a minimum as Sydney council require permits to shoot in the CBD and if I go over my allotted amount you’re looking at big money.  So, I only carry a Canon 5D MKIII, 4 x SanDisk 32g fast cards, 24-70 F2.8 L & 70-200 F2.8L MkII, ND filters, several batteries, a Canon 600 EX RT Flash with battery pack and a tripod.  There’s no room for bounce boards or laptops as these are not allowed on the normal shooting permit.

 

Making the most out of your Location and equipment
For this shoot, we chose Sydney, CBD and decided to meet early morning at a mutually agreeable location, so Hyde Park on Elizabeth street was finalised. I always like to meet and have coffee with the client before the shoot so we can finalise ideas or talk about any changes to the shoot.  Hyde Park is brilliantly situated as you can always find shade and its city backdrops of high buildings and busy pathways create great atmosphere and movement.

So, with the restrictions of permits and budget I’m going to be reliant on natural light and this is where your experience of working with very little equipment or assistance will come in handy. I always shoot Manual in RAW Monochrome with the highlights flashing to give me a good idea on the back of the screen what’s getting blown out.  A trick I learned from Peter Coulson when shooting skin tones, is use spot metering and always meter for the darkest shadow on the skin tone and go a third of a stop over and you won’t be far out.

The Shots 
Here’s an example of this technique below in a shot from the day using natural light in a shaded are of the park.  Shot 1. I positioned Ashli in a shaded area just on the edge of bright sunlight and used the sandstone from the floor to bounce light back into her face.  We also got the sponsors watch in this image and created the look that Ashli had been talking about from our initial meeting.  I always think it’s a good idea to show models their picture on the shoot as it keeps them involved and interested. When Ashli saw this image in B&W she decided to use it and apart from a slight crop, this is the original image from Camera.  (Canon 5DMKII, 24-70 2.8L) 70mm F/3.5 1/400 Sec ISO 200

 

Shot 2. Positioning Ashli high on a wall and getting below her and using the natural elements of wind breeze naturally through her hair creating movement. Another product capture of the sunglasses. (Canon 5DMKII, 24-70 2.8L) 70mm F/4 1/160 Sec ISO 100.

Shot 3.  This next image I will share with you is of Ashli crossing the main road that separates Hyde Park and the war memorial.  Once again a product shot of shoes and dress and jumping movement. A common move in Fashion and with the right technique comes off a treat. A little help from Photoshop here with shadow (remove manhole cover) and sky. The rest, straight out of Camera. (Canon 5DMKII, 24-70 2.8L) 66mm F/8  1/1000 Sec ISO 500

Shot 4.  Sydney Barracks within 500 meters of shot 1. A brilliant doorway with Arch and a great tall door in a tone that suits the bricks and Ashli’s skin tones and hair.  This is a great example of using your environment to enhance the models black dress and silver belt.

This shoot was all done in one day and with the equipment mentioned above and no hidden props.  No people were harmed or injured and we had a great day.

 

You can find Ashli on Instagram @wanderingwolfchild.

Guestblog : Mike Yeh

Every once in a while we have a so called guestblog.
Someone that follows my blog and also wants to add something, you’re always free to send stuff over for me/our team to read and if it’s interesting we will put it up in this category.
Today the guestblog is by Mike Yeh. So here we go, the blog is yours Mike.

 

How we “Photograph”- part 1

In today’s world, we cannot help but notice that everyone has some type of device built with the function of capturing images with a simple touch or click. These devices serve a fine job in capturing moments in our everyday life and even sharing it with the world. However, this trend has slowly taken us away from the true art of photography. Thankfully, there are still a large number of enthusiastic hobbyists, artists, professional and commercial photographers, who continue on the path of using the traditional camera equipment to capture those breathtaking pictures for us.

By chance if you are reading this article, you are one of us…those who seek to thrive in the “know how” of photography.

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Photography in essence is a way of “capturing” the light we see in our world. The core of image-capturing is actually the etching of light onto a flat surface treated with light sensitive chemicals; wherein a darkened room or enclosure it can react to light when exposed to it. This flat surface is better known as ”film” in photography and the action of capturing light using the film is called the “exposure.” This, as we know it, is how photography started.

To make it simple, taking a picture today has merely something to do with an array of electronic devices, but as we move into the realm of “real photography” it is much more than just pressing the shutter button or touching a screen to complete the action of taking a photo.

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In a true sense, photography really is the creative use of the camera, manipulating exposures and showcasing the images we see and the ideas we want to present, besides the ideas of creativity are the same in either cases- snapshot vs. photography. So what makes true “photography” different from the ordinary snapshot? The answer is… the ability to make extensive adjustments and setups; making photography both an intensive and an extensive subject.

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To master the subject of photography, we must begin with an understanding of what “exposure” is all about; this starts with a streak of light striking a light sensitive medium, like a film or an image sensor in the digital camera*. This exposure process is known as “uncontrolled” exposure. In photography, we rarely accept the idea of uncontrolled exposure because chances are we might not really capture what we see. Therefore, we are seeking ways to control the exposure in order to capture what we see with our own eyes. In practice, true photography starts with how we “control” the image projected onto the film by restricting the light in to a path by using a pinhole or an optical lens. Following that and based on various lighting conditions and color, we may modify the conditions and/or adjust the exposure settings on the camera to our liking. When all these steps are set and done and if what we see is captured correctly then the image is ready to be produced on paper or viewed on a display screen.

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As we review the process above, we can say that successful image-capturing falls into three separate stages: (1) the scene comes into the camera along with its lighting conditions and colors, (2) the path of these light travels through the lenses and (3) the adjustment of camera setting based on the scene condition and creative ideas. All these three stages make up the end result we want to have. Within these three stages, finding something to “capture” is not the hardest part about photography. It is whether we can capture what we see correctly that needs our attention and this at the very elementary stage falls in the adjustment of the exposure settings on the camera.

So, what are the settings or elements that can affect the result of an exposure? Well simply put, it depends on three conditions in the relationship between light and films/sensors. These three conditions are: (1) the length of time light comes in contact with the film/sensor, (2) the amount of light at any given time (how bright) entering the camera, and lastly (3) how sensitive is the film/sensor to light. These three conditions in photography are known as and correspond to (1) the Shutter/Exposure time, (2) lens aperture opening and (3) film or digital camera light sensitivity selections (your ISO).

Well friends for a starter that is all I am going to cover in this article, in my next article, we will go over these three settings and conditions and learn more about their roles in photography and how they come in play with your photography.

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