Lighting tutorial: How and why to use front, side, and back lighting

December 2017 issue Tech

© Alison CarlinoNo matter what genre of photography you work in, you have to control the direction, color, quantity, and quality of the light falling on your subject. There are three directions I use to create my images— front (or top-down), side, and back. Here’s how and why I use each.FRONT LIGHTINGConsider front-on full sun, where the light is shining straight into the subject’s face or coming in from the top down, such as noontime sun. This type of light is harsh. Clients may... Continue Reading >

Senior portraiture: the experience is everything

August 2017 issue Profiles

Taking high school senior photography beyond the portrait helps Maria Moore stand outThe senior portrait clients of Maria Moore, M.Photog., CPP, have been known to take a hike. Makeup flawlessly applied, hair perfectly coiffed, they might don rain boots, hitch up the skirts of their lovely formal dresses, and tromp through the woods surrounding Huntsville, Alabama, until they reach a creek that’s become one of Moore’s favorite sets. Once there, they glide into the water, sometimes soaking... Continue Reading >

It’s not wedding photojournalism, but it looks like it

June 2017 issue Profiles

Allison and Brian Callaway Polish RealityBefore they stepped behind the camera, both Allison and Brian Callaway made their living in front of it. Brian worked for years as an actor and Allison as a model. Despite living in someone else’s lens, the L.A. couple say neither ever felt comfortable being photographed.Years ago, when Allison and Brian transitioned their Los Angeles-based Callaway Gable Studios to professional wedding photography, they channeled that discomfort. Their experience... Continue Reading >

Lighting how-to: Light wands with two subjects

May 2017 issue Tech

To review the BrightSaber Travel Portable Light Wand by Polaroid ($69.99), I took a break from my typical three-light portrait practices to use continuous lights. I had the Travel BrightSaber and the LightSaber Pro ($170) to experiment with.The Travel Portable Light Wand comes with four color filters and has 10 power settings. Both the Pro and the Travel versions are comfortable to hold and easy to mount on light stands.I wanted the camera-to-subject distance to be far enough away to use a... Continue Reading >

Wall art with heart: A portrait approach that emphasizes prints

March 2017 issue Profiles

Crisp and clean in style yet snug and sweet in spirit, Meghan Doll’s baby and family portraiture isn’t fine art, she says. It’s “heart art.”People get hung up on what constitutes art and what’s appropriate for their walls, she explains. But ultimately what most parents want is something that makes them smile, that swells their hearts, and that reflects the love they feel for their children. “It’s different from fine art,” she says. “It has a different place in your life.... Continue Reading >

Photo how-to: A vivid portrayal of beauty

November 2016 issue News

Take a brief look at how Megan Anderson, M.Photog., CPP, made the Loan Collection photo that landed on our November cover.  Continue Reading >

Natural light is not enough

November 2016 issue Profiles

SCOTT DETWEILER ON THE BENEFITS OF ADDITIVE LIGHTINGMany a photographer has built a business on making images with little more than their camera and sunshine. But is natural light photography enough?“I would argue that even if you’re shooting entirely outdoors, the ability to augment the light is critical,” says Scott Detweiler. “It’s so important to be able to create different looks in different lighting conditions and be able to re-light things to achieve the appropriate... Continue Reading >

To be a better photographer, get to know light

November 2016 issue Tech

Crafting light from the shadowsOne of my first recollections of appreciating the beauty of light was on a family road trip when I excitedly pointed out the play of light and shadow on a grassy ridge to a less-than-impressed audience. I am still on that lifelong quest to replicate the beauty of light that comes out of the shadows—to not just see the light but know the light.My goal in lighting most portraits, especially sports portraits, is not a 3:1 lighting ratio with detail in the... Continue Reading >

Light painting: The art, science, and business

9.26.2016 Business

Sweeping illuminationIn my 42 years as a professional photographer, nothing has excited me more about image making than the technique of painting with light. Though it originated with film, digital light painting provides a level of control over the image not possible with any other method, taking a number of long exposures of a subject in a darkened area using continuous light and then blending those exposures in Photoshop.© John HartmanBecause they're composed of many separate... Continue Reading >