Wednesday, August 11, 2010


There are some models that you work with, which brings out some of your best work. Anna for me is one of those models. She not only has a beautiful face, but knows her body and how to work angels in front of the camera. Anna also has a great personality. She bring a great energy to a shoot, its focused, but light and fun at the same time.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What a Day

Us frustrated/struggling photographers hope and pray to get experiences like this one described by Stefano.

Congratulations to him for getting the opportunity and making the most of it.

"Few days ago I get in contact with the owner of an international model agency in Shenzhen that has seen one of my pics and she asked me send her some of my most significant photos and a small profile of me to be evaluated. After she received them, she invited me to visit the agency and told me to bring my camera; a couple of days ago I went there thinking we would have a chat and probably few shoots as they wanted to test me.
Ok, when I arrived there I was just impressed: big modern and stylish open space with 4 or 5 guys working on editing photos, a nice a full equipped photo studio (six lights, any kind of light modifier and reflector, electric drop down background, make up area with a big and well furnished wardrobe, etc.) and few closed offices. I was welcomed from the owner and a couple of her assistants in such a professional way, they treated me like I was Steven Meisel just arrived to China! I was told I was going to pass a little test, she wanted to see how professional I was (hey madam, I’m not a pro) and she put at my disposal the entire staff, a model and a MUA and asked me to do a photo shoot with three different changes of clothes, I had to decide everything, make up, clothes, lighting set ups………. PANIC! This entire team of professional people just expecting me to tell them what to do! Then, after the initial panic, something clicked in my mind: “Come on Stefano, they’re giving you everything you always dreamt about, use it!”, I felt like I really was Steven Meisel.
So, I did it. We had almost 4 hours work in between making ready the set (I had a very simple three light set-up easy to modify at each moment), preparing the model and the clothes, shooting and then showing them how I go through my basic editing in Photoshop. Wow, it was just great!!
The greatest thing out of it is that they were impressed about my “professionalism” and I was proposed to start collaborating with them to initially shoot for an underwear catalog, some brochures for a new line of clothes and later on passing to something more important. I was also asked to collaborate with them in editing few pictures for other photographers for some big advertising posters. Oh, and want to pay me!
It was just an amazing day!

This shot is a test shot but I like showing the set up. No editing on it, just a slight tone adjustment and sharpening in Lr."

Exposure 1/100s
Aperture f/6.3
Focal Length 18 mm (Nikkor 18-200mm)
ISO Speed 100
Strobist: two studio lights 800 (can't recall the name) at 10 and 2 hrs at 3/4 power shot into softbox, one studio light 800 at 4 hrs well above model at 1/2 power shot through big octagonal softbox, triggered with radio trigger, one big silver reflector in front of subject below camera.

Uploaded by deste64 on 5 Aug 10, 9.37AM EDT.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Worth of a Photographer

I really think people don't value a photographer's worth. Good photography takes a tremendous amount of skill, effort, and investment. A good photographer has invested a lot of time in studying the craft, investing in equipment, etc... However, when people ask for a photographer's service, they tend to not want to pay or pay very little for high quality work.

I got a message from a model/TV personality the other day, asking to do a shoot for free. Her statement to me was that I would get exposure, free advertising, etc...

"Ms. X from TV's "XXXXX" is looking for a photographer who would be interested in a TFCD (non-compensatory service). If you are interested please leave a message in the inbox and we can discuss concepts/themes. We are looking for specific images. Your work will be seen on her autograph cards which will give your images credit. This is a great chance to advertise your photography. Also if you are chosen she will have your business card out to display as well as a picture advertising your business. "

I wonder what her reaction would be if the producers of her TV show told her to work for free and it would be great exposure and free advertising. She would probably walk her out of the room. So, if you going to use my photography for a business, why would you not pay for it. Again, people don't value a photographer's worth.

Photographers are not innocent in this matter. A photographer friend of mine put it quiet well:

"it seems to me, it is that willingness among so many photogs to task on work without compensation that is driving the demand for TF (non-compensatory service). Its a vicious cycle. The result is a cheapening of the profession among clients. The Craigslist "no pay" ads are the norm, instead of the exceptions. We photographers (pros, amateurs and hobbyists alike) love to shoot so much that we are willing to be exploited for the opportunity to create work that we are proud of -- whether we get paid for it or not, more than we should. We all have done it. But we all need to be aware of the negative impact it has. All of this know. And you're right, one has to be creative just to make the work at least pay for itself. I still haven't gotten to that point. Oh well. :-)"