Tag Archives: lightroom presets

Why Do We Still Shoot Black & White Portraits?

Why do we still shoot in black and white? Nobody really shoots film anymore. When do we decide to throw away beautiful skin tones, luscious blonde colors, and late afternoon sunlight? Why would we want to go grayscale?

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If you’ve been following my photography, you’ll notice that I rarely shoot black and white portraits, and this is on purpose. Not because I prefer one over the other aesthetically, but I personally feel shooting color is more difficult and challenging, and it is something I constantly strive to practice.

I’m ambivalent about b&w portraits and b&w photography in general. I’m very confident in b&w. Some of my best published works are monochrome. It is striking, it is clean, and it is minimalistic, all qualities in which I love. But a part of me also feels it’s cheating.  Continue reading Why Do We Still Shoot Black & White Portraits?

How to Shoot like Annie Leibovitz – (Part 3: The Results)

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, we explored how Annie Leibovitz created one of the most iconic fashion photography looks of the recent decades and the few pieces of lighting equipment we needed to emulate her style. It has been an enlightening learning process and we would like to share our final results with you.

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Annie Leibovitz shooting Michael Kors for Vanity Fair. Click for behind the scenes video.

Apologies are in order for the belatedness of this Part 3. As multiple readers have questioned and asked, I kept putting off this article because it was hard to sum up what was a difficult project. It was much more involving than my Terry Richardson series. It was also a lot more expensive. My admiration for Ms. Leibovitz has only increased since we took this journey.

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Annie Leibovitz shooting Kate Upton for Vanity Fair’s 100th anniversary cover. Click for video.

To reiterate, the core of Annie’s genius is her vision and her ability to connect with her models. Her style is painterly, timeless, and haute couture. Her style is an inspiration to us at iLHP and though no one can replicate Annie besides Annie herself, we do hope to share our own interpretation.

Continue reading How to Shoot like Annie Leibovitz – (Part 3: The Results)

How to Shoot like Annie Leibovitz – (Part 2: The Setup)

In Part 1, we set out to study one aspect of Annie Leibovitz’s legendary body of work, her Vanity Fair style fashion shoots. Her subjects are statically posed,  bathed in ultra soft moon lighting, and, more of often than not, positioned in front of an expensive canvas background.

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It’d be silly to suggest the following setup guide will work in every situation. Annie’s certainly not a one-trick pony. Especially if the shoot is outdoors where you have to manage the daylight. But think of it as a starting point to Annie’s look, an introduction, to one of the cleanest yet most elegant looks defining our era.

Annie’s Lighting Setup

Behind the scenes video of Annie's Game of Thrones shoot
Behind the scenes video of Annie’s Game of Thrones shoot

Continue reading How to Shoot like Annie Leibovitz – (Part 2: The Setup)

How to Shoot like Annie Leibovitz – (Part 1: The Look)

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Annie Leibovitz is perhaps the most well-known and well-respected living American photographer. Her career spans for more than four decades, starting at Rolling Stone, and then moving on to Vanity Fair, Vogue, and you name it. Her style and subject matter is as expansive as her career, from iconic editorial celebrity shoots the likes of John Lennon and Yoko Ono to her more recent and deeply personal American landscapes in her book “Pilgrimage.”

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To condense her lifetime of work into a handful of articles certainly won’t do her justice. Instead, we will focus on just her fashion photography that’s come to define the look of Vanity Fair. In this month long (probably longer) exposé, we will scratch the surface of Annie’s work, the craft behind her photographs, and how to shoot models in her style.

Continue reading How to Shoot like Annie Leibovitz – (Part 1: The Look)

How to Shoot like Terry Richardson – (Part 2: The Setup)

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Last time in Part 1, we started to explore Terry Richardson’s iconic snapshot style that’s influenced a generation of photographers and created the modern look for fashion photography. Controversies aside, Uncle Terry breaks the traditional “rules” with his use of harsh direct lighting and a shadow that hugs the model. In this part, we will discuss his setup and the gear you can buy to achieve that look.

Terry’s Methodology

Behind the scenes video of his Harper Bazaar shoot with Candice Swanepoel
Behind the scenes video of his Harper Bazaar shoot with Candice Swanepoel (click for the video)

A good way of understanding the magic behind his camera is to check out his behind-the-scene videos and interviews. With music rocking and a team of assistants behind him, his shoots are laid back yet up tempo. It’s fast, dynamic, and interactive. From these stills, you can see he shoots with a Nikon (D3X I think) and a single speed-light.

Continue reading How to Shoot like Terry Richardson – (Part 2: The Setup)