Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Enjoy the Holidays

With the holidays upon us, I am taking a break to spend time with family and friends. I hope you can do the same. I’ll be back in January with some new and interesting topics.

Happy Holidays

Orcatek Photography - Phoenix

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The quest for the perfect camera to make you great

Every few months a new camera hits the market. The Canon fans are all going on about how the new super duper camera is the best thing. Then Nikon comes out with their new camera and “one ups” Canon. Back and forth it goes. The wonders of the digital age create new “must have” cameras constantly.

More pixels, gotta have more pixels, at least 50 megapixels. No you fool, the only thing that counts in sensor size. Must be full frame. Are you kidding, noise is what counts. You have to have no visible noise at ISO 53200. Wrong again, its dynamic range that counts, you have to have 24-bits. You know your eyes can’t see that well, but it helps it post processing.

Hey wait, let us do video too. Video at full resolution, not this crappy HD stuff they are pushing now. You must have 30fps at full resolution and you will have the ultimate sports camera. You will never miss a shot and leave your competition in the dust.

The cure for bad photographer is a better camera. The reason you don’t get those great shots is your camera. It must be the problem. If you had a better camera you could have got that shot, but your camera just couldn’t cut it. Next year you will get a new camera and your photographs will get so good.

But what about those other photographers using their 4+ year old camera bodies that keep winning awards. How do they do it? I’ve even seen award winning photographs taken with a camera phone. It must all be Photoshop. They are using all kinds of expensive plug-ins and fancy techniques that take thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to create those photographs. You know, you’ve seen them in magazines. They do magic.

So do you really need a new camera to be a better photographer? Is that the solution? Nikon, Canon, Sony and the rest want you to think so. After all, that’s how they make their money. How do you make yours? I make mine taking photographs.

Orcatek Photography - Phoenix

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Secrets from Glamour Photography

I am going to let you in on a little secret about glamour photography. The women you see in these magazines don’t really look like that. In fact if you saw a lot of them walking down the street you might not even realize it was them. Most are not the perfect example of the human form their photographs show them to be.

They have imperfect skin with blemishes, pock marks, scars and stretch marks. And yes they even have the bane of so many women, cellulite. Their chests may be lopsided, their tummies a bit too big, their rear ends not quite the right shape. Yet in their photographs they look perfect.

This is achieved thru many different techniques. Some are addressed through photographic make-up. This is make-up is typically more than a person would wear on a typically evening out. This make-up is put on to cover problems and enhance features. But it goes beyond your typical application, as the photographer wants the end result to be flawless. Techniques such as airbrushing are used which are well beyond what your average women does.

Next comes lighting of the person. Lights can be used to create or hide curves. It can be used to fill in line on the face and reduce bags under the eyes. A favorite light is called the beauty dish. It is used to fill the face with light and as a result hides so many imperfections. Shadows can be created to enhance a curve here and there or shadows can be filled with light to reduce the a curve.

Posing is also critical. A twist here, an odd angle there and viola, her body looks amazing. Often these are positions that are not comfortable or even one a person would consider in day to day life. Yet these poses make the best look better and hide those little imperfections that we all seem to have. Sometimes we just need to get rid of the little extra under the chin, or maybe our rear is a bit flatter than we like. A skilled photographer will be able to pose you to achieve the look you want.

And lastly the magazines resort to Photoshop to change anything that was not addressed by the above techniques. Your photographer will use know what will be done in Photoshop before he takes the picture. Photoshop is a time consuming way to change photographs, so professionals will work on getting the shot as close to perfect in camera first. Then and only then will they rely on Photoshop to handle what could not be done on set.

The key to getting the photographs you want is to be honest and tell the photographer what you would like to see in your final photographs. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so what you want and what the photographer thinks are often very different. I have had many a client want to reduce or enlarge areas that I would have never considered, but since we discussed it prior to the shoot the client got the results that they loved.

Orcatek Boudoir and Glamour Photography - Phoenix

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Giving Back - Portraits for those in need

It is the time of year when so many enjoy so much, but there are those who struggle to even put food on the table. For those families a professional photograph is something they can never even consider. So I am reaching out to photographers to find charities and services in your area that help the needy.

Work with them to set-up a free portrait session for these families and give them a gift that will be able to treasure. I’ve done this in the past and the families are so very happy to get the photographs. A print package can be created that will not be too expensive for you to create.

In the past I have approached local labs and have gotten them to help with the actual printing costs for some of these charities.

Another option is to give discounts to your clients for bringing in donations for a local food bank. Your clients will tend to be very generous. With the need be even higher than usual this year, every little bit that people can do will help.

There are plenty of other ways you can use your photography business to help others. Be creative and find a way to do something extra this year for someone who needs a little extra.

We are all very lucky to have this amazing career as photographers. In today’s economy more and more people are facing very grim futures. So be sure to find a way to give to others through any way you can.

Orcatek Portrait Photography - Phoenix