February 2022



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Our national billboard campaign will go live across the country in support of Professional Photography throughout 2022.

Eleonora Barna of Eleonora Barna Portrait is one of ten elite Photographers selected to represent our industry.

Let’s move forward together.

Learn More:



1 2 Tips & Tricks To Shooting Editorial Commercial Photography with Adam Freedman


How To Get Started With Pet Photography with Adam Goldberg


Adding Headshots To Your Photography Business with Barbara MacFerrin


Lighting On Location - An Afternoon With a Terminator with Ian Spanier


Choosing a Lens That Fits You with Joel Grimes


Expanding Your Photography Business with Jermaine Horton


How To Get Started In Boudoir Photography with Jasmin Jade


4 Easy Social Media Marketing Tips To Help You Grow Your Photography Business with Vanessa Joy

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Inspirations from Our Readers

Lightroom Tips and Tricks - 3 Ways To Get Better Color In Lightroom Classic with Dustin Lucas


Final Inspiration with Alissa Cincotta

















MISSION STATEMENT Shutter Magazine ’s focus is on photography education. Our goal is to provide current, insightful and in-depth educational content for today’s professional wedding and portrait photographer. Shutter uses the latest technologies to deliver information in a way that is relevant to our audience. Our experienced contributors help us create a sense of community, and have established the magazine as one of the leading photography publications in the world.

Shutter Magazine : By photographers, for photographers.

PUBLISHER Sal Cincotta

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Alissa Cincotta

COPY EDITOR Allison Brubaker


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Adam Freedman, Adam Goldberg, Barbara MacFerrin, Dustin Lucas, Ian Spanier, Joel Grimes, Jermaine Horton, Jasmin Jade, Vanessa Joy


PHOTOGRAPHER: Anatoly Karpov | karpov-art.com CAMERA: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV LENS: Canon EF 85 mm f1.2L II USM EXPOSURE: f11, 1/160s, ISO 100 LIGHTING: Profoto D2 500 AirTTL, Profoto Softbox RFi 150 см /5’ octa, white reflectors x2 ABOUT THE IMAGE: This photo is one from my Redhead Dolls Project. I am fascinated with the color combinations, volume opportunities and lighting challenges provided by the redhead models. It is like an ongoing celebration of joy, emotions and passion. Starting with this series I tried my new approach of editing, which is still very painterly but also has some fairy tale fragrance. The world of Magicians, Alice in Wonderland, or perhaps just dreams — there is a bit of all this mixture in this work. MODEL: Valeria Smirnova


Curious how Sal got this shot? Click to here to watch the BTS video.

It’s Vegas Baby! Glitz and glamour is everywhere you look. As creatives, our job is to capture the beauty around us. Check out this Vegas shoot and how we got the shot.

message from sal cincotta publisher

Tips & Tricks To Shooting Editorial Commercial Photography | Adam Freedman

with Adam Freedman

Tips & Tricks To Shooting Editorial Commercial Photography | Adam Freedman

Shooting commercial advertising fashion and lifestyle is exciting. I’m a high-energy and creative person, so it enables me to express what I see in each image and create something unique for each client. Even when I’m shooting something less interesting, I try to put something unique in the images and present everything in its most positive light. I tend to cross over in a lot of my work. We use terms like editorial, lifestyle, fashion and commercial as different, and they are, but you can have some of the elements of each in a photo. Shoot to the look the client needs, even if you are your own client. I like emotion in photos and it’s probably why I shoot a lot of lifestyle. For this article, I was able to work with a couple of my favorite companies, Bikini Crush Swimwear and the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside. The photos are a mix of what I shoot for a swimwear client and images for the hotel, and just for my portfolio or the model’s portfolio. For the last year or so I have been shooting a lot of swim content. Understanding the client is critical. Bikini Crush is a luxury brand. Instead of a day at the beach look, I needed a more upscale location.

The model for this shoot is Devon Christenson from Elite Modeling Agency Miami. I chose Devon because her look fit the vision for the shoot. Looking at her portfolio she has amazing expressions needed for this. I usually work with agency models. Many of my clients require that the models come through agencies. This simplifies the billing and usage. It’s all resolved well before the day of the shoot. Working with experienced models in the long run saves the client time and money. The initial cost can be higher, but the productions move quickly, and we can get a lot more done.

I usually shoot tethered to my iPad. I can show an experienced model the general idea of what we are looking for using the iPad and they take it from there. Models with less experience require you to spend more time getting the looks you need and again the iPad is a huge help. It also lets me review the images as we shoot, moving the production along much faster. I prepare a board of sample images and I use it on every shoot as an inspiration board along with a posing guide. This will help you a lot with communicating with your model. I am high energy and talk a lot and do not have any trouble communicating. I have coached several photographers who are more reserved. A sample posing guide on set will make your life much easier. I use Pinterest for this. The Grand Beach Hotel Surfside is amazing. It is one of the most stunning properties in South Florida along with the other properties they own. They photograph so well. There is so much available light, which makes it easier to plan shots and reduces the need for gear. Familiarize yourself with your location before the shoot day if possible. If you cannot go there, look up images online and hire a scout on large productions. I use an app called Sun Seeker that tells me where the sun will be. It’s a great tool to use to plan your locations around a property all day. Always try to match the location for a set to the light. If you cannot, then you need to have a plan of what you need to create the lighting environment. Not everything goes as planned on a production. Be always positive, be a leader. If a situation arises, resolve it. Do not panic. I wanted to use different lighting situations in these images so you can see what the difference is. Some of the images are available light, some the available light was mixed with artificial light. Usually on shoots like this I am using scrims and reflectors. I have sizes of each from 4x6’ to 10x10’ and sizes in between. Most are the Manfrotto Pro Scrims. I love these, they assemble in seconds and pack up for easy transport. My lighting gear is mostly Elinchrom ELB 1200 packs and heads. These are game changers. I can overpower the sun and they can sync at up to 1/8000 of a second. I use a mix of Elinchrom, Westcott and Chimera light modifiers. For this shoot I used a 24” Chimera collapsible beauty dish when I did use flash. Easy to pack up and comes with a grid and diffuser. There are so many brands and all of them are good. The 24” beauty dish is a must for my kit. Before I get into my camera gear, let’s talk about practice. Yes, practice. Musicians run scales regularly and they practice regularly. Photographers do not and they need to. The way I learned what looks I can get from each modifier is to test them all. I use a mannequin and I spent and continue to spend hours working out what I can do with my gear. This allows me to be able to come up with a plan for each production and when a situation occurs on shoot day, I have the knowledge of how to overcome it. If you don’t know what your gear does, how can you expect to get the look you want? I like gear and I am a bit of a geek when it comes to new gear. I shoot with Sony for the most part and my go-to cameras for stills are the A1 and A7RIVA. For video I use the A7SIII and the A1. My lenses are a mix of Sony FE lenses and Sigma FE mount lenses. For this shoot I went with zooms. I have a great set of primes and love them, but I am in Florida and with the humidity I don’t like changing lenses when I am going to be outside. Zooms have come a long way and with the new offerings from most manufacturers I do not think you lose anything noticeable as far as image quality when compared to primes. Most of my images are viewed as they are meant to be in print or online as the entire image and not as part of an image. Don’t pixel peep, you will make yourself crazy. I do not believe you need this kind of equipment to take great photos. I use what I use because I want to. There are no bad cameras or lenses. Today’s offerings from all companies are great.

Tips & Tricks To Shooting Editorial Commercial Photography | Adam Freedman


The first set of images were shot in the hotel room and balcony. Devon’s expressions are what make these images. They were all shot using a 24-70 to make you feel more involved as the viewer. The wider-angle lens gives the viewer a feeling of being there. I often use a 24-70 and even a 16-35 when shooting lifestyle. These are all shot available light. We had a cloudy day, no scrims needed. For the most part these were shot at ISO 800-1000, 1/125 shutter and f3.5. Yes, you read that correctly, ISO 800-1000. New cameras can shoot at higher ISO without a problem. If there is noise, it’s fine noise, and if you really want to take the noise out, Photoshop can do it easily now. The noise makes skin look better. I add noise back into photos in post. Using the tools of today has made my kit so much smaller and I use far less lighting gear than I used to. With older cameras I would have bounced light to create this same look to stay at ISO 100. It would have taken much longer and a lot more gear. I love technology and use it to my advantage. You should too.

Tips & Tricks To Shooting Editorial Commercial Photography | Adam Freedman


The second set of images I shot two ways to show what looks can be done with and without artificial light. The ones with only available light have a more lifestyle or natural feel and the ones with strobe added have a sexier glamour and editorial feel. One is not better than the other, just different. Some of my clients like one look and some like the other. These were first shot with only available light. Settings for most are ISO 1250. F-stop was between 2.8 and 3.5 for most and shutter speed 1/125-1/160. I used the Sony 70-200 FE 2.8 GM for most of these images. I had more working room and wanted the compression of the longer lens. Work with your model to hold poses when you slow your shutter speed. Even at 1/125 you can get motion blur if the model is moving too fast. Some blur is OK if you want to show movement. The second part was shot adding in the Elinchrom ELB 1200 and a 24” collapsible beauty dish by Chimera with the diffuser. I dropped the ISO to 200 and the aperture and shutter speed range stayed the same initially. I played with the shutter speed to let in more ambient light.

In all these images, I made the poses a little sexier. The outfit is sexy and I wanted the posing to match the outfit and location. I always shoot with both the model looking into the camera and looking off. I also shoot in thirds. I do not mean the rule of thirds, but the same photo with the camera at three different heights. Your camera height can really affect the look and feel of an image. I never want to get done and wish I had shot from a different height or angle. I always say, “See 360, shoot 360.” What I mean is be aware of your surroundings. Sometimes the hero shot is behind you. Memory cards are the cheapest piece of kit we have, so taking extra shots only helps. I do not worry about shot count. I never say I shot too much. This is a topic that seems to create a lot of debate. Don’t spray and pray. Shoot with purpose. But don’t limit yourself. Shoot from varying angles and camera heights. Another reason I shoot a lot of images is to understand what clients need today. We are not shooting just an 8-page ad or a look book. Clients need features and fillers—features or hero shots and fillers to feed the social media beast. I did a shoot for Mela Swimwear over the summer and we had 35 feature photos and 1,500 fillers. Those fillers have been posted regularly on social media. I see them daily. The client pays for those. Always look for ways to add value to what you offer. There is value in every image you shoot.

Tips & Tricks To Shooting Editorial Commercial Photography | Adam Freedman


The third set are outdoor photos. We had a cloudy day for the most part with the sun peeking out on occasion. Usually I am using scrims and reflectors, but they were not needed this day. These images are more for the swimwear company. These were shot with both the 24-70 and the 70-200. ISO was between 160-800 with most being 800. These were later in the day, and we were running out of light. Understanding posing and angles is critical. You need to show off the swimwear and still deliver a great photo of the subject and environment. When you have a beautiful model in a bikini and the photos are sexy, you need to make sure they fit the client’s look and add the appropriate amount of sizzle. I have some clients who want a more sexy or provocative look in images and some who want a more conservative look. Spend time getting to know what your client wants. Remember it is their shoot.

Tips & Tricks To Shooting Editorial Commercial Photography | Adam Freedman

These are more typical swimwear photos for clients that were shot with the 70-200. These have life because of the models’ expressions and mixing in a lifestyle feel on an otherwise basic lookbook photo. Devon’s expressions set the images apart.

My advice is to push yourself creatively. Stay calm and never panic. Practice and always be learning.

Adam Freedman is an award-winning commercial fashion and lifestyle photographer. He was rated #1 in 2019 One Eyeland Awards Best of the Best Photographers. He has always been a little rebellious when it comes to rules. Adam uses his imaginative outside-the-box thinking to create iconic imagery for his clients. Along with his talent he has assembled a team that consists of industry leading individuals, all of which contribute highly refined skills to full production from concept to project completion. His work has been featured by numerous brands, fashion designers, resorts, major corporations and magazines. website: aefreedman.com instagram: instagram.com/adamfreedmanphotos/

How To Get Started with Pet Photography | Adam Goldberg

with Adam Goldberg

How To Get Started with Pet Photography | Adam Goldberg

People LOVE their pets! I have been photographing pets since 2013 when it was just a hobby, and it became my full-time job in 2017.

I own and run AGoldPhoto Pet Photography Studio in Tampa, Florida with my wife, Mary.

Pet portraits are popular with pet owners because pets don’t live as long as we want them to and pet parents want a way to remember their pets, even after they’re gone. Pets are often challenging to photograph for their owners because they won’t sit still or “they always look away” when their owner pulls out their phone.

How To Get Started with Pet Photography | Adam Goldberg

I started my pet photography career by working at an animal shelter. My background is in marketing and I was originally hired to manage the website and social media. Once the website redesign was finished, my supervisor asked me to take over the photography program too. At that time, I knew nothing about photography or how to work with animals. It was a struggle at first, but after watching countless videos online and practicing on the shelter animals, I got really good at it. Most weeks, I spent 4-5 hours a day taking photos of scared and nervous shelter animals. After so many hours of practice, I learned what worked and what didn’t. The animal shelter was in South Florida and taking adoption photos outside was challenging. The lighting was never consistent and it was VERY hot out, especially in the middle of the day. Midday is an awful time of day to take photos outdoors without any lighting equipment. The pets were also distracted by the other smells, which made it harder outside too. After lots of trial and error outside, I decided to use a small room with a window inside the shelter to take the adoption photos, but eventually switched to a basic lighting kit. I was at an animal shelter conference where I met someone from a large pet food brand that partnered with Westcott to give shelters a free lighting kit. I continue to use Westcott lighting to this day and I am proud to be a Westcott Top Pro. Once it was time to leave my job at the animal shelter, I took a corporate marketing job at a software company in Tampa and realized quickly that it wasn’t for me. I missed working with animals, so I went to the local animal shelter in Tampa to start volunteering and taking photos of pets again. It has been quite the journey with lots of trial and error to get where I am today, so if you’re looking to add pet portraits to your offering, here are a few tips to help you get started.

How To Get Started with Pet Photography | Adam Goldberg


If you’re looking to sharpen your pet photography skills, head to your local dog park to take photos of the dogs romping around. I would bring my dog with me and start by taking photos of him, but would also focus on the other dogs. I would show the owners the back of my camera and tell them that I would post them on my Instagram (@agoldphoto) and it was a great way to build my audience, but also to get practice with various camera settings like the auto-focus modes and shutter speed to get a sharp photo.


Almost everyone I know has a dog and friends with dogs were a low barrier to entry to practice on. It’s important to practice on all kinds of dogs, in addition to your own, because each one has a different behavior, level of training and even fur color. Practice on as many dogs as you can.


Once you run out of friends with pets, you can join neighborhood Facebook groups and offer free photos for pet owners if they let you practice on their pets. As you take more photos, you will start to build your portfolio and you will get better and better.


As your portfolio grows, post your photos as much as you can on your personal social media and create business social media pages for your pet photography. On your personal page, you want as many friends as possible to know that you offer pet photography. Your friends will start to reach out to you for your services and will tell more friends, and that’s how it snowballs into more pet photo shoots for you.


After each photo shoot, create a blog post on your website with photos from the photo shoot and some information about the pets you are photographing. Make sure to include a link or two to the services page on your website. The links to your services will help others find you, especially if the pet owner shares the blog post on their social media. Blog posts also serve as content for local search. Whatever city you are in, include that in the blog post so that you show up in local searches. For example, “Pet Photography in Tampa.”

How To Get Started with Pet Photography | Adam Goldberg


When starting my photography business, my plan was to offer as many services as possible to diversify my offering. As time went on, I learned that having one specific focus worked better for me because I became the go- to person for pet portraits. Having pets be my focus allowed me to perfect my style and hone in on that, which set me apart from other photographers who were offering pets, but only on the side.


Photography services in general are not a necessity, so you have to create a reason for a pet owner to book with you. Oftentimes, a reason is that their pet is sick and nearing the end of their life. End of life is not the reason I want someone to book with us. These shoots are often depressing, the pet is no longer acting and looking like themselves and their owner may have large medical bills to pay for. Instead of relying on the pet owner to come up with a reason to use your services, create your own. An example of this is to create a mini session event where there are limited spots and a portion of sales are donated to an animal charity. These events are how we used to run our business prior to the pandemic and we traveled all over the country. We were in each city for a limited number of days, so pet owners had to schedule their session while we were there. There was a sense of urgency for our photo shoots and events always sold out months in advance. The pandemic ruined that for us, but it led us to opening our own photo studio in Tampa instead. We opened our studio in August 2020 and we wanted to get away from offering mini sessions, but the sense of urgency went away with that, so we had to come up with something else. Now, our focus is our “Tails of Gratitude” fundraising book. We set out to create a fundraising coffee table book that benefits the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. The first volume of the book raised $8,850 for the shelter and we’re taking applicants for our second volume now.

The book created a reason to book other than the mini session and the end of life session.

How To Get Started with Pet Photography | Adam Goldberg


Any photographer can offer a 15-minute mini session and a digital gallery of photos, but what type of experience is that really, especially if working with animals? Now that we have our own studio, we don’t limit the amount of time a session can last. We want to make sure the pets are comfortable as well as the owners. Give your clients something to talk about other than the quality of the photos. As a luxury photography business, we’re not selling photos at all, we’re creating a unique experience for pet owners to celebrate the love they have for their pets.

We’re not selling our pet photography skills or pieces of photo paper or canvas, we’re selling love.

If you want to see more of our pet photography work, you can follow us on Instagram and Facebook, and check out this ultimate guide to shelter pet photography we made with Westcott.

Adam Goldberg is a pet photographer based in Tampa, Florida. He owns and manages AGoldPhoto Pet Photography with his wife, Mary. Adam’s passion lies with taking photos of shelter animals in hopes of getting them adopted. website: agoldphoto.com instagram: @instagram.com/agoldphoto/

Adding Headshots To your Photography Business | Barbara MacFerrin

with Barbara MacFerrin

Adding Headshots To your Photography Business | Barbara MacFerrin

Today’s marketing and social media has made it nearly impossible to have an online presence without a professional headshot. Your clients (and even YOU) need a headshot that will stand out. Here are some scenarios for headshot needs:

• Corporate headshots • Business branding • Dating • Social Media • Author portrait • Modeling/actor portfolio headshot • Musicians/album releases

If you’re not offering headshots in your business, you are leaving money on the table. Headshots are a nice addition to your portfolio and often are much easier than other types of sessions. Headshots are always in season and they’re a great way to build a relationship with those clients for other types of sessions. If they’re happy with their headshots, they will likely remember you when they’re ready for family photos and will likely return when they need to update their headshots later on. Here are some tips for taking great headshots:


Make sure you have a pre-consultation with your client, whether it’s on the phone or in person. Ask them what they’re looking for and if they have any requirements such as background color, wardrobe colors, etc. Do they want the session taken outdoors, on location or in your studio? Do they want a typical, corporate-style headshot or something more creative or more casual? The more information you have up front, the easier it will be to plan the session and to satisfy your client’s expectations. Ask them for inspiration photos if applicable. The example left is of a recent university graduate who wanted a more casual headshot that he could use for social media.

Adding Headshots To your Photography Business | Barbara MacFerrin


Most clients are not particularly comfortable in front of the camera, so there’s nothing more frustrating for them than when they have no idea what to wear for their session. During the phone or in-person consultation, make sure you discuss wardrobe ideas. Try to get them to bring a few options so that they will have a variety of shots to choose from. The more variety they have, the more likely they will purchase more images. I typically recommend solid colors and advise them to avoid busy patterns so to not distract from their face. Most people (especially women) do not like how their bare arms look in photos. To avoid this, suggest they wear long or 3/4 sleeves for their session (unless they have specific requirements not to, depending on their needs). Also let them know to press their clothes beforehand and make sure they’re free of pet hair. This will save you retouching time in Photoshop!


Some clients opt out of professional hair and makeup services to save money, however, you should emphasize to them how important it is to have professional hair and makeup. Not only will they look their best, but it will save you editing time retouching blemishes or hair. An added benefit of having hair and makeup done will allow your client some down time and they’ll feel more relaxed before having their photos taken. A relaxed client will lead to better images. I always give them the option though and more often than not, the ladies will choose to have this service.

Adding Headshots To your Photography Business | Barbara MacFerrin


One of the comments I get most often from my clients is that I helped them feel comfortable during their session. Most people are nervous to get their photos taken, so it’s up to us to help them relax and feel at ease. Engage in conversation when they arrive. Ask them general questions that are in their comfort zone (“How long have you lived in the area?”, “Do you have any pets?”, etc.). Make silly jokes and keep it light and positive. Guide them through the session and talk to them throughout. Tell them where to put their hands, where to look, etc. Don’t just let them try to figure out what they’re supposed to do. Give them positive feedback while you’re taking the photos (“You’re doing great!”). This will keep them comfortable and help reassure them that they’re doing it right. Even if the shots aren’t your favorite, or if the light doesn’t look right, never tell them that it doesn’t look good. That would kill their confidence. Stay positive and keep chatting!


There are different ways to light your subject, but it’s good to establish a consistent look so your clients will know what to expect from their headshots. One of the best compliments a photographer will get is when people recognize your photography. Your clients are coming to you because they trust that you will help them look their best and lighting is an essential part of that equation! I usually have a go-to setup for my client headshots, but depending on the client or the situation, I may switch that up from time to time. I like to use a diffused umbrella for my key light, positioned in front of the client to camera left, and a larger umbrella as a fill light at a lower power than the main light on the opposite side of the key light. For women, I tend to light a bit more evenly to soften their features, so I will either add a white V-flat on the opposite side of the key light, or will add more power to the fill light. For men, sometimes I keep a bit more shadows on one side of the face, so I will omit the V-flat and/or lower the power of the fill light. Some photographers like to add a kicker light to have more separation from the background. Here you can see a BTS and a diagram of one of my headshot lighting setups:

Adding Headshots To your Photography Business | Barbara MacFerrin


Technically, a headshot is from the shoulders up. However, I like to capture a variety of poses such as standing, sitting, leaning, or 3/4 body shot. Remember, the more variety of shots you show your client, the higher your chances are of making a bigger sale. Sometimes one of the hardest things about photography is posing.

The poses are those that feel comfortable and natural to your client. This way, they can focus on being relaxed and having a natural expression. Not every pose will feel comfortable or “right” for your client. Experiment with different ones and make adjustments as you go. Just remember to keep praising your client even if the pose doesn’t look right.

Adding Headshots To your Photography Business | Barbara MacFerrin


What makes a great headshot stand out is the attention to details. Try not to rush through the session. Make sure your client’s clothes aren’t overly wrinkled. Always keep a steamer and lint roller handy in case your client didn’t have time to press their wardrobe or if you’re noticing a lot of pet hair on the clothing. Ask them to make small changes to their expression: a slight head tilt, pull the chin forward, etc. These small details will make all the difference. Here are a couple of unedited images that show how a simple head tilt made this client’s eyes open up. She also looks more relaxed and more approachable in the second image:

Adding Headshots To your Photography Business | Barbara MacFerrin




Subtlety is key when it comes to retouching. You want your client to look polished and at their best, but you don’t want to go overboard. Every photographer has their own unique style; some apply minimum retouching and others take it a bit further. There’s no right or wrong, but your retouching goal should be believable and realistic. I do my own retouching in my “signature style” so that I can maintain that unique quality about my work. Above is an example of an image before and after my signature style retouch.


What I’ve talked about here works well for my headshot photography business. Some photographers offer quick headshot sessions that only provide head and shoulders shots. Others take a more comprehensive approach in offering hair and makeup services and a full branding package with a variety of outfits and poses. Depending on your business model, you can offer different packages and products to fit your clients’ needs. Ultimately, it is your decision on what will work best for you and your business. I hope you have found this article useful in helping you make the leap into adding headshots and/or branding photography to your portfolio if you haven’t already!

Barbara MacFerrin is an award-winning fine art portrait photographer based in Boulder, Colorado whose creative work is inspired by old master paintings of the Baroque period. Barbara is a PPA Master of Photography, 2020 & 2021 PPA Diamond Photographer and an Accredited Master Photographer of the Portrait Masters. Her work has been internationally published and she teaches online and in-person fine art photography workshops to photographers around the world. website: barbaramacferrinphotography.com instagram: instagram.com/barbaramacferrin

Lighting On Location - An Afternoon With a Terminator | Ian Spanier

with Ian Spanier

Lighting On Location - An Afternoon With a Terminator | Ian Spanier

It’s all about who you know… at least that’s how the saying goes out here in Hollywood. A few months back, I decided to take full advantage of one connection. It began with an Instagram post by Sandra Jersby (@swedefit), a fitness professional I have worked with many times for various publications since moving to Los Angeles. Sandra is also a trainer for a number of celebrities and professional athletes, and on that day she posted one of her clients’ progress videos, and the face was quite familiar. Any fan of The Terminator movies, like myself, would instantly recognize the Liquid Terminator, Robert Patrick. Robert has also starred in various roles since then, in everything from Sons of Anarchy to Goliath, The Expanse, The Walking Dead, and other movies like Safe House, The Protégé, and even cameos in Wayne’s World 2. Sandra’s post was about Robert’s diligent work on his latest fitness prep for his role in the John Cena/DC Comics series, Peacemaker. Not one to usually ask, I took a step outside my comfort zone and asked if she wouldn’t mind asking him if I could make a portrait. A day later, he and I were direct messaging much to my surprise! We worked out a date and I began my prep. Upon arrival, Robert was AMAZING. Super friendly, and was game for some creative fun. I had planned five setups, ambitiously—I explained that I shoot fast, but I’ll take whatever time he will give me. Something I will say about all celebrity shoots: no matter what, I plan for two minutes. If that’s all I get, I need to nail the first shot. In the ideal scenarios, nailing the first shot leads to more than two minutes. I should mention, I also trained myself to shoot fast, with good reason. I knew Robert was a motorcycle guy and owner of a Harley dealership. It just so happened that I had been working on a personal project all about motorcycle riders and I shared a sample of that with him. He liked it and we started there, just as I planned. Ninety percent of the time, I plan my shoots out in great detail in my notebook. This is something I have been doing since the beginning of my career. I draw a birdseye view of the sets with details about what lights, modifiers and backgrounds I will use, as well as the settings and sample images of the day once complete. This has been an incredibly useful tool for my whole career, not only to be able to reference old shoots, but also to hand over the day’s plan to assistants when I need to deal with talent, my clients or even a computer glich.

Lighting On Location - An Afternoon With a Terminator | Ian Spanier

I began with the same set I’d been using for MoTo, my Motorcycle Rider project. This was an unusual setup for me. I use these personal shoots to really push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things. Usually, I shoot with a depth of field around f7.1, as it just fits my way of seeing. I also usually work minimally, often with just one or two lights. This set, however, was on white seamless paper with two 43” deep silver umbrellas on the paper, a Westcott Rapid Box 24” beauty dish, and finally, a Westcott 7’ shoot-through umbrella tucked all the way back against my front door. I use Westcott FJ400 strobes along with the FJ-X2m transmitter. All this light means more power, more power for a deeper depth of field, with me shooting at ISO 800 at f20. I am a big believer in light meters, and I chastise any photographer who doesn’t rely on one, particularly for strobe photography. I always read my lights from the back forward, same as I always create my set from the back forward. The background lights are at f16, mostly because in my smaller space I am limited with how kickback will affect my subject, so I deal with making the set pure white in post—not ideal, but it gets the job done. I use a pair of V-Flat World flats to block these back lights, and also use the black side as a negative fill, which helps separate my subject for better post work. The Rapid Box is my key, posed high and down at my subject, set to f18 and the 7’ shoot through is two stops (f11) under, acting as a fill. After I read each light individually, I then read with all lights firing. I do this because often the exposure with both front lights will increase when combined, but also because I want each light to act independently. The key being two stops brighter will mean that is the main source, and as you can see in the final, I increase this feel. I believe these settings are very important, but it’s all about the right feel of the light. I will let feel trump settings, even though I am such a believer in light metering as an integral aspect of the understanding of light, so it’s the combination in my opinion. One other note: I always meter for my ideal, then open the camera up. When I am metering for f8, I shoot f7.1 This is so my camera’s histogram is juxtaposed to the right, something that leads to better detail in the shadows, and that is very important for post work.

Lighting On Location - An Afternoon With a Terminator | Ian Spanier

Robert liked the first image that popped up on my iPad (that I shoot JPGs) to thanks to my CamRanger 2 wireless image transmitter. From there, it was on. That little piece I mentioned about planning? Well, this is where it comes in handy. Shot two was planned with Robert beforehand, as I asked him to bring a trench or pea coat. While he went to get it, I quickly put a piece of 8x10 black velvet over the white seamless, turned off all the strobes and switched to my Westcott Solix 2 LED. Set to 3700k for a nice warm light, I changed gears. This continuous light source is a throwback for me. It forces me to work a bit slower, more like the days I used 4x5 film cameras, and this is with intention. The results have yet to let me down. This has become one of my favorite setups. WYSIWYG with continuous light sources, and that’s a fun change from strobe. A refresh on Robert’s coffee and we jumped to set three. Again, I use the outfit change to make my change. Using the same 43’ deep silver umbrella from the MoTo setup, I added a diffusion sleeve and two Westcott X-Drop background kits. These are great portable backgrounds that I use to make my Irving Penn-inspired “corner” portraits. Penn has always been a huge influence on my work, and my little modern homage to him is a staple in my mix. I found a fake floor background from Backdrop Outlet, which completes the look. In real life, it looks odd, but in the finals, it works great. For this set, I go to my usual settings, ISO 200 at f7.1. Personally, I like to make these finals less contrasty and a bit desaturated or B&W. The nice soft light from the diffused umbrella makes for a perfect feel. I either use the 43” deep silver or my 7’ silver with diffusion for this setup, always depending on space available… that 7’ is BIG!

Lighting On Location - An Afternoon With a Terminator | Ian Spanier

To be honest, we really could have stopped at set two. I knew I had the image I wanted of Robert for myself, and he was super happy with the first shot! Nonetheless, I asked if he would mind one more. He had brought a great hat, so I didn’t want to leave anything behind. My final setup is an idea I had developed when I first got my hands on Westcott’s umbrellas and realized how great these low-priced and easy to pack in and out modifiers are. Originally, I had taken the 7’ silver with diffusion and stacked it with a 43” deep silver umbrella with diffusion onto one stand, using a Mafer (aka superclamp) with a 3” pin to put two lights onto one stand. Soon after, I had a shoot with limited ceiling height, so I did the same with two 43” Deep Silver umbrellas. Both work great and create a beautiful window-like quality of light. Again, this is all about metering. I make my key (the light on top) two stops brighter than the lower light on the stack, or as my photographer friend Andrew French calls it, “The Spanier Stack,” combining for f7.1. For today, 7’ and 43” it would be, and again, turning to my influence from Penn, I directed Robert to sit with his hands on my table, and from there—well, just be Robert.

Ian Spanier began taking photographs at six years old when his parents gave him his first point and shoot camera. After majoring in photography in college, Spanier worked in publishing as an editor, but making pictures never left him. Having only known 35mm, he taught himself medium and large format as well as lighting. The original “Masters of Photography” have always inspired Spanier as they shot what they saw. For him, there is no “one” subject that he photographs; he also chooses to shoot what he sees. website: ianspanier.com instagram: www.instagram.com/ianspanier/

Choosing A Lens That Fits You | Joel Grimes

with Joel Grimes

Choosing A Lens That Fits You | Joel Grimes

Lens: TS-E90mm f2.8 Macro Settings: f/7.1 1/200 ISO 320

I hate to admit this, but I have this love affair with lenses. When it comes to the creative process, what lens I choose is a key ingredient to the final outcome of my images. As an artist/photographer, understanding the basic fundamental laws of optics is well served in getting to my end result. There is this saying among seasoned photographers: “Camera bodies will come and go, so build your system around the lenses that best suit you.” If we look at the history of lenses, we are living in a time where the quality of optics has never been better. Part of that is a result of computer design, advancements in new types of glass, and precision quality control during manufacturing. Another factor is the introduction of digital mirrorless cameras. In speaking directly to the Canon Optical Engineers, they have stated they are elated over the opportunity to develop new RF lenses for the EOS R mirrorless camera system. The main reason is now they don’t have to account for the mirror in the SLR cameras, and the size of the lens mount in conjunction with the flange distance to the sensor has opened the door to new design possibilities. We can already see this in some of the latest lenses being introduced into the market.

Lens: EF 70-200mm F/2.8L USM Settings: f/8.0 1/125 ISO 100

Choosing A Lens That Fits You | Joel Grimes

The new modern lenses have made advancements in three primary areas. First and most importantly is the correction and minimization of aberration. Aberration is most noticeable when you set your lens aperture at its widest setting, resulting in loss of sharpness primarily in the corners of your frame. Stopping down two to three stops from wide open, to what we call the “sweet spot of the lens,” will minimize aberration. However, shooting wide open can also give you an amazing shallow depth of field look, resulting in that sought- after crushed bokeh. Today with the current modern designed lenses, shooting wide open is a dream come true, and something that I am personally experimenting with more and more each day.

Lens: EF 35mm f1.4L II USM Settings: f/1.4 1/8000 ISO 160

Second, overall sharpness has increased to the point that the resolution of modern designed lenses is astonishing and seems to be keeping up with the increase of ultra-megapixel sensors. As someone who started out shooting in the late ’70s, it has been a long haul to get to where we are today. It wasn’t that long ago where zoom lenses noticeably underperformed prime or fixed lenses. But today, many premium zoom lenses perform as good or very close to prime lenses.

Lens: TS-E17mm f/4L Settings: f/8.0 1/8 ISO 100

Choosing A Lens That Fits You | Joel Grimes

Third is the advancement in lens coating that helps minimize lens flare and optimal color rendition. Most of us don’t think much about this, but with older lenses, if you were to shoot into the sun or a small bright source of light, the amount of overall image degradation was disconcerting. As a commercial advertising photographer, I would go to great lengths to flag off the sun or my lights to minimize flare into my camera. But today, with these new lenses, that is not as much of a concern.

Lens: RF 24-70 F2.8 L IS USM Settings: f/7.1 1/160 ISO 200

Lens: RF 24-70 F2.8 L IS USM Settings: f/8.0 1/200 ISO 200

Choosing A Lens That Fits You | Joel Grimes

Lens: RF 24-70 F2.8 L IS USM Settings: f/8.0 1/200 ISO 400

So where does this leave us? Well, personally, as stated before, I feel like we are in good times and couldn’t be happier. But with all these advancements in technology, how does this affect the overall outcome as applied to the creative process? We have to agree that there is more to the photographic process than ultra-sharp images. Since I started photography, there has been this ongoing balancing act between two worlds, the technical and the artistic or creative side of things. In the early days, I defiantly gravitated towards the technical side of the pendulum and have spent a lifetime pushing myself towards the creative side of things. It seems that many of us tend to fall into that category. Whenever I am setting up to create an image, I always have to ask myself, “What is the end result I am trying to achieve?” Am I doing something that forces me down a path that represents my uniqueness as an artist? Jokingly, I often say, “Who sets out to create an average or boring image?” I want something more, something that I can hang on my wall and will last the test of time. If you are a student of history, as I hope you are, you will notice that with every step forward in the advancement of progress there is always a group that takes a step backward in time, countering that advancement. Music is a great arena to use as an analogy to observe this trend or phenomenon. Back in the ‘80s and into the ‘90s there was this huge advancement with electronic musical instruments such as synthesizers, drum machines, guitar sound effects, etc. All good, except there came a point when it was overused and started to overpower the music. I was in a rock band in the ‘80s, back when I had plenty of hair, and know that sound very well. Eventually, listeners longed for the simplicity of clean, raw music. Thus came the unplugged era and a counter to the overproduced techno era. In 1992, Eric Clapton’s “Unplugged” album was a live-recorded stripped-down approach and became a phenomenal success, eventually winning three Grammys. That counter to technology created all sorts of new bands that wanted a more raw back-to-basics sound. I think we see this today happening again with the overproduced auto-tune vocals. There is now a push for a step backward.

Lens: SMC Pentax 35mm F3.5 Settings: f/18 1/80 ISO 100

Choosing A Lens That Fits You | Joel Grimes

Art or photography is no different. My boys grew up with the digital revolution but now are also into shooting the old film cameras. You see this whole group of photographers that are mounting 100-plus-year-old barrel lenses onto their digital cameras. They are welcoming all the things like image softness, aberration and flare that modern lens technology has corrected. It is a push to counter the current modern state of perfection. There is something refreshing and honest about revealing life with all its flaws. They have done studies in advertising photography and especially in shooting food. If you introduce a flaw of say, a french fry out of place or a drip of ketchup onto the plate, it is much more believable and appetizing. When I started creating my early composting images, I kept this concept in mind as I looked to sell the fake of combining multiple images into one. I purposely found ways to add a flaw into my work to help the illusion of winning over my viewers.

Lens: Pentax-D FA645 55mm F2 Settings: f/10 1/125 ISO 200

Lens: EF 85mm f1.4L IS USM Settings: f/7.1 1/160 ISO 200

Choosing A Lens That Fits You | Joel Grimes

Lens: EF16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM Settings: f/9.0 1/400 ISO 100

What lens is right for you is a personal choice and should reflect your creative vision as an artist. I happen to love shooting portraits using a 24mm lens on a full-frame camera. It has been somewhat of a signature in my work. For reasons that I find hard to explain, I am drawn to that close-up wide-angle environmental portrait. There is a risk of lens distortion on my subject, which I wholeheartedly welcome. For me it gives the viewer a glimpse into a world they don’t see every day. A photograph is not reality and never will be, so I use that to my advantage. I also use tilt-shift lenses and the use of panorama rigs to shoot multiple images and stitch them together to create an angle-of-view and perspective that cannot be done using a one-lens capture. I often get asked why I would go to all that trouble to use such a technique. I like the idea of doing something that adds more work to the process because few are willing to go to that much trouble and it tends to separate me from the masses. So, follow your vision and uniqueness as an artist. Find the right lens or system that gives you the look you love. If it is a 100-year-old lens with all sorts of flaws, or an ultra-sharp modern lens, then so be it. Don’t be swayed by the critiques or the naysayers. Do your own thing, but beat it into the ground until you have produced more images on that look than any other photographer on the planet. Every photographer or artist you admire has gone through that same process and paid their dues in building a body of work. The bottom line is don’t sit around waiting for something to fall into your lap. Get out and explore the unknown and the world will take notice.

Joel graduated fromtheUniversityofArizona in 1984withaBFA inPhotographyandsoonestablished a commercial studio in Denver, Colorado. He has been selected as one of Canon’s exclusive Explorer of Light photographers and a Westcott Top Pro Elite photographer. He has also been selected by Adobe as one of their Photoshop Feature Artists. For over 35 years, Joel has worked for many of the top advertising agencies and corporations across the globe and his assignments have taken him to every state across the U.S. and to over 50 countries. In 1990, Joel produced his first coffee table book, “Navajo, Portrait of a Nation,” which received a number of photographic and design awards and produced an 18-month solo exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Joel is also an ambassador for the creative process by teaching workshops and lectures across the country. “I feel that by being an open book with my process I have an opportunity to inspire others to follow their dreams and passions to create.” website: joelgrimes.com instagram: @instagram.com/joelgrimesworkshops/

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