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And What If The Gear Was Also What Makes… You a Better Photographer?

Of course, it’s the photographer who takes/makes the photograph. I’ve always said that but in the end, isn’t it a little demagogic. I know I’m not going to make a lot of friends saying this but, I do not completely agree when I hear that the equipment is not the photographer. Of course it is the photographer … at least partially! There are too many ingredients that makes that a photo will touch other people for us to exclude THIS reason. An 85mm f/1.4 is quite superior to a 28-70mm f3.5/5.6. And what if behind this “truth”, were hiding other feelings…

Photography is intimately linked to camera equipment. For a singer for instance, there is really no artifice. But a picture, it is different …

Talent is obviously above the material contingencies but with very good material it is better expressed if not simply expressed themselves. Cartier-Bresson worked with Leica, Vincent Munier, with the latest Nikkor telephoto lenses and Ussain Bolt does not beat his records with my sneakers! (Read our article about the favorite lenses of famous photographers)

Talent is obviously above the material contingencies but with very good material it is even better expressed!

So we all agree that these talented characters would still be very talented with low-end gear. But why be masochistic and work with cheap equipment just because we have talent? And why, if you have no talent – in one’s opinion – shouldn’t we use a wonderful lens? There, I think we will all agree.

What can this old saying be hiding in the back of our heads?

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I am aware that I therefore address a very tricky topic because often visceral. There are so many different ways to take photographs! With very simple equipment or very complex, very expensive or just very affordable, like your smartphone. Very pragmatic or artful, with or without talent …

So what about those who want this specific lens and, conversely, those who say that the material does not make you a better photographer. Here is what I think and here is my feeling about this: Continue reading And What If The Gear Was Also What Makes… You a Better Photographer?

5 Tips for Working with Professional Models

So you’ve owned a fancy pants camera for a while now. You’ve done your landscapes, your travel, and even your street photography. You may even be pretty good at them. But this one’s a little different.

Trees and mountains don’t really move. Flowers and streams can’t talk back to you. You can hide behind your camera and just snap away amidst the chaotic city but when you’re face to face with a beautiful woman in a lit studio, you’ve gotta know what you’re doing.

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Welcome to portrait/fashion photography. To me, this is the most challenging yet most exciting, and certainly the most glamorous, aspect of photography. It’s so organic. It’s as much about them as it is about you. It’s a fifteen foot dance, where your presence guides their expression. It’s distant yet intimate. It’s also hard to get it right. But when you do, it’s more beautiful than a sunset.

Here at iLHP, we’d love to help more photographers get into portrait and fashion photography. It can be a little daunting at first, working with someone rather than something is entirely different. But hopefully with these five short and helpful hints, it will give you some tools to explore this collaborative aspect of the art.

Continue reading 5 Tips for Working with Professional Models

Fashion Shoot Jams – Japanese Nujabes & Hip Hop Mashups

I have a good friend that used to teach English in Japan. When he asked his class to practice English conversation, things were awkward at first. Then he put on some music. The timidness went away, smiles and hand gestures starting flying, and it quickly turned into a party.

Shooting with a model is similar. Silent photo shoots are like getting your passport photos taken. The model doesn’t really have any vibe to emote off of, and it makes for conversation between photog and model very awkward.

In this new series, I’ll highlight some music I use during my fashion shoots. They’re mostly off the beaten path. But at iLHP, we’re always here to give you something different.

#1) FreshGalaxy – “Sky’s the Limit” Notorious B.I.G./Nujabes Mashup [Explicit]

http://youtu.be/8bEj8tcMVDw

FreshGalaxy is the best artist you’ve never heard of. His mashups are so good, they make the original songs sound bad. It’s kinda like when a cover is so much better than the original that it takes on a life of its own. He’s not professional, but he does have an album on iTunes. But his best stuff are free for download through his YouTube links.

Mood: Intimate, urban, and beat heavy against a beautifully repeating lyrical background. This song reminds me of a 3am drive down Avenue of the Americas with my wife’s hair flowing in the breeze from the open sunroof.

Continue reading Fashion Shoot Jams – Japanese Nujabes & Hip Hop Mashups