Manual Mode, Free Headshots, and Off-Camera Lighting

February 24, 2014  •  Leave a Comment


It's been two weeks since my last post, and I've busy making some decisions about the direction that I want to take with my photography. What types of photography do I want to spend my time shooting? What do I want need to learn more about? What are my weaknesses? And most importantly, how am I going to force myself to get better?

A Return to Manual

I've been a photography enthusiast since my days spent in the darkrooms at Stephen Decatur High School, so I'm fairly well grounded in the basics of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, but let's face it, today's DSLR's make it really easy for us to become dependent on some of the automated settings of taking photographs (and they usually do a damn fine job.) Personally, I've been living in the "A" mode for quite some time now, and while I don't feel that it's been detrimental to my photos, I do feel as though it's a crutch that I fall back on far too often. So, excuse me while I switch over to "M".

Attention ShoppersA red shopping cart waits for a shopper outside of an Ocean City shopping center.



Off-Camera Lighting

Off-camera lighting is the one area where I really want to upgrade my skills. There is so much to learn about off-camera/studio lighting, and it can be quite overwhelming, but in my opinion, a solid understanding of off-camera and studio lighting is what separates the novice photographer from the true professionals. I want to be a professional, so it's time for me to step up to the plate and swing.

My biggest challenge is currently my budget. I've got no choice but to work with a very basic setup; a flash, a light-stand, a shoot-through umbrella, and a background support system with a choice of two different backgrounds (white and thunder gray). An additional flash and light-stand are at the top of my wishlist. Not having enough light means slower shutter speeds and higher ISO's, both of which can quickly diminish the quality of your photographs. With these basic tools, I should be able to produce some quality work.

UPDATE- I just sold all of my comic books today (sniffle), so I've just ordered a new speedlight, light-stand and another umbrella on the way! 

Headshots and Portraits

Headshots are another area where I feel as though I need to get more practice. It's also an area where photographers can potentially make some money.

Headshots aren't just important for actors and models, they also play an important role in helping business professionals market themselves. Your headshot should clearly communicate who you are, set the tone for your business, and reflect you personality. They should be flattering, but not overly edited. We want to see who you are.

Self Portrait with Tiger hatThis is one of my favorite models. He is also the only one who's willing to sit for me whenever I need him.

Getting better at taking headshots, and becoming more comfortable working with people, is so important to me that I've decided to offer a limited number of FREE HEADSHOT SESSIONS over the next few weeks. So, whether you need a new photo for your acting resume, business card, or just want to update the really bad Facebook profile photo, contact me to set up an appointment. Sessions should last about 15-20 minutes, and you'll walk away with a few great new digital photos of yourself. It's a win-win for both of us.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you.




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