Sunday, November 29, 2015

Natural Light Adventures 04: Location Scouting.

Location scouting can sometimes can be easy and sometimes very, very difficult. From looking for appealing or decent light and then finding an nice composition. And sometimes with lack of time you may need to accept a less appealing composition and make it work with what you have.

If you've just jumped into this part of the blog series I highly recommend you read the past parts as this part is spoke with the assumption you've read the past parts, as well you've learned the important part of timing which can be figured out with what gear you have and location you're shooting at. Check the index.

Locations vary on your needs of your vision, and how strict you're with your vision. I know for my journey in natural light adventures from May 2015 to today, I was not picky. Every shoot I did was purely casual lifestyle or/and fashion style shoot. No mood boards. Just meet up at a location, me and a model can shoot at during the times I think is best for the shoot, as well help with some wardrobe decisions. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Natural Light Adventures 03: Finding The Light.

This part can be difficult in some cases or it can be easy. Depends how are you with seeing light, and then even when you find great interesting light you'd need to ensure it falls onto the subject(s) properly, as well have an appealing composition. 

If you've just jumped into this part of the blog series I highly recommend you read the past parts as this part is spoke with the assumption you've read the past parts, as well you've learned the important part of timing which can be figured out with what gear you have and location you're shooting at. Check the index.

This post is why I shoot the way I shoot on natural light and recommend anyone in my situation, such as lack funding for assistants, don't have friends/family willing to help consistently on a bunch of natural light portrait shoots, and don't feel comfortable with any lighting equipment/modifiers in the field by themselves while you shoot. I know most others teach to have a fill, reflector, or something but this isn't doable alone (just you and a model/person), especially in a big city where tons of people pass by, or even small cities if you're paranoid like me. So the following will help you in this same situation to still create unique and amazing natural light portrait shots.

Cloudy Shooting

When I say easy, it can be very easy if the sky is very consistent in cloud coverage (large cloud coverage) so you have constant and consistent giant softbox type of light during your time shooting outside. Such as for example on my day shooting outdoors on Halloween 2015.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Natural Light Adventures 02: Gear Talk.

As I've mentioned in the previous post, I'm no gear head (but if I had the cash then hell yea I would lol). But it is important to know your limitations, working with what you have and making the best of it as much as you possibly can. Even if you need to push the boundaries on post processing which will allow your gear limitations to expand. We'll discuss further on post processing in another post, but keep in mind I'm not a magician in post processing.

The following may mention some information based on the assumption you've mastered manual mode on your camera.


My choice of camera is a DSLR, more specifically canon, from T2i, XSi, 20D and a 6D. Now granted I did not expand much on my natural light photography until I had a 6D where it does have very high ISO ranges and great quality ISO up to 6400 and sometimes if really necessary 8000. This isn't a review of the canon 6D but just wanted to share my experience regarding ISO on the 6D.

The choice of camera will control most of your limitations of what you can and cannot do on natural light portrait work, and as mentioned control the size of available natural soft light during golden hours. Such as if your camera does not produce great or 

decent quality ISO higher than 1600, your limitations will be much smaller than a camera like a canon 6D having decent quality ISO at 8000, so your window could be 30-60 minutes possibly. 

Natural Light Adventures Index

Sector 1
Natural Light Portrait Shooting on a Budget. No modifiers, lighting equipment, or assistants.

Natural Light Adventures 01: Timing is Everything.

Weather you're an advanced natural light shooter or beginner, timing is everything while shooting portraiture with only natural light.

As I briefly mentioned on the introduction already the basics are sunrise and sunset for best times in the day shooting outdoor portraits. 

Sunrise and Sunset can give you both harsh shadows or soft, depending on angle you're shooting and how high the sun is in the sky. As well depending which direction your subject(s) are facing, away from the sun or toward the sun.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Natural Light Adventures Series - Introduction

Spring 2015 I had a plan to shoot a lot more personal project shoots outdoors. Taking advantage of the warm weather that was coming in. Well I did get to do this, but as well with the lack of funds and on a very tight budget for shoots I had limitations on what I could do. Such as having assistants holding lights or natural light modifiers were pretty much out of the question due to whatever reasons, but primarily funding. So I had no choice but focus on shooting purely natural light shots in since starting this goal while shooting on-location shooting environmental portraiture. 

I've been shooting in this style more and more, and fell in love with the natural light shots I've been producing. It felt the style that was for me, even though do I wish I could use more lighting and even "perfect" my lighting yes, but this requires more people on set to assist by holding modifiers and/or lighting equipment. I know some will say use light stands, which I can, heavy duty stands at least, the low end budget light stands, no... lol. I tried this but even with weights, the stand still has a hard time keeping still (top end). Plus if you do not have any insurance on the equipment its risky both from stolen or breaking outdoors. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Evolve in Trade Shooting - Agreement/Contract

I've noticed I do get a lot of hits on my TF contract. Now not sure if its inspiring or experienced models or even photographers. But let's assume it is photographers. I am here to help and share my evolution since I did post that years ago. But I will be posting an updated version to that page to show my evolutionized version. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Vital Red Flags on Working with an Agency for a Model

If you're a regular follower and reader you'd know my thoughts on modeling agencies. The vast majority of them are scams, unethical business practices, and heck even doing illegal business practices even in some states. Here are some tips and red flags to know when finding and working with a modeling agency. Granted I'm no model, and I'm a photographer who never experienced this but this is information based on the research I've done on all agencies, and experiences of professional agency fashion models such as YOANNA HOUSE, which some is mentioned on this creativeLIVE course here which I highly recommend watching!

Red Flag: [SCAM] Any upfront costs asked by the agency. Such as some I've seen myself are
  • Audition Fees
  • Application Fees
  • Require in-house Photography only
  • Require in-house modeling classes only
This is the biggest red flags when going to an apparent very questionable "agency". I would steer clear of them as much as possible because their business model is to make money off you paying them which in reality is WRONG! A real agency's business model is to work WITH the model as a tool to work with corporations/businesses to work on advertising campaigns or promotional events and they get a cut of what they pay you. 

Red Flag: [SCAM & SAFETY] Online Presence

A real agency's online presence will be taken seriously. If you see something like a WIX platform website or something very outdated like it was designed in the 90s... RUN! That is the best choice honestly because they may be worse than just a scam it can be very dangerous situation you're putting yourself in if you do meet up or go to their address. Even if they got 1 million likes on facebook or 2 million followers on instagram or twitter, these numbers can be easily faked and bought. A website is what a serious company invests into. Also a similar tip to do is google the company's name. See how many results you get good, bad and the ugly results of that company will show up generally. If you don't get any results that's another RED FLAG.