Recently I’ve been missing the precision and vintage feel that film brings to each of my images so I purchased some Kodak Portra 400 film and scheduled a shoot. After having to develop all of my own rolls, not understanding the manual setting on my film camera and constantly smelling like developer had I drifted away from shooting with film my Sophomore year of high school. However, I wasn’t completely confident in my film abilities because I haven’t shot with film in over two years so I brought along my digital camera. I wanted my digital images to also have a vintage quality so I diy-ed a lens filter.
I placed a piece of clear saran wrap on my camera lens and attached it with a rubber band. Next, I added a thin layer of vaseline around the outside of my lens creating a frame around the lens opening and slowly building up to my desired opaqueness. With much trial and error, I created the perfect amount of haze and began shooting.
I was inspired to do this shoot because one of my friends sent me the image below and I was inspired to buy not one bouquet but 10 bouquets of flowers. I strove to just continuously shoot but to rather focus on specific poses I have been wanting to get all year. I hope you enjoy my floral water portraits.
I created this photoshoot beginning with the concept from a mood board that I created and progressing from there. I sketched poses, diy-ed a tulle veil and scouted for a model to get the best images as possible. I’ve recently become fascinated by the concept of portraits with water, I think it can add an element of beauty, darkness, innocence or even mystery to an image. I told my model my ideas for my photoshoot and got shooting. Enjoy.
Inspiration in photography is often hard to find because there are so many photographers hoping to make a name for themselves. I’ve discovered some truly amazing photographers throughout the years who I believe everyone should follow for photographic insight and creative inspiration. Here is a list of my favorite photographers, in order of who I think is absolutely phenomenal to who I think is still pretty amazing, along with some honorable mentions.
*disclaimer: all opinions are my own I think each of these photographers is amazing and they’ve all helped me grow in separate ways, take these ratings with a grain of salt. These are also only my favorite photographers from this era, this does not include the greats I’ve made multiple blog posts on them in previous years.*
Peter Lik is one of the most amazing photographers ever to exist. His image Phantom sold for a record-breaking $6.5 million and for good reason, because his work is absolutely phenomenal. Lik creates landscapes that make you feel as though you are standing right there in front of whatever he photographs. His images are reminiscent of Ansel Adams in terms of skill level. I was lucky enough to visit one of his galleries in Houston and I was blown away by his work I had to keep telling myself that everything was real because it was so astounding.
BEST overall PHOTOGRAPHER
Joey Lawrence, in my opinion, is the best photographer of 2018. Lawrence’s photographs are stunning, each one is crafted with an artistic touch and each photograph tells a different story than the others. He has been featured in many magazines for his extraordinary work as well as being a photographer in Jessica Kobeissi’s 4 photographers shoot the same model series.
@joeyldotcom on Instagram
BEST millennial PHOTOGRAPHER
Longnecker is an outdoor/landscape photographer who focuses on creating emotion and telling a story simply through landscapes. His landscape work is amazing, with gorgeous colors, beautiful use of composition and the ability to draw an almost abstract quality into all of his images.
@ryanlongnecker on Instagram
BEST current LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER
Platon is a British photographer often known for his ability to capture emotion simply through the eyes of his subject. Many of you may already know Platon from his Netflix episode on the show “Abstract”. Platon primarily photographs world leaders, celebrities, and politicians showing a different side of them than the public eye might see.
@platon on Instagram
BEST current PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER
Daniel Inskeep + Rachel Gulotta
Daniel Inskeep and Rachel Gulotta are a photographic duo often referred to as Mango Street on Youtube. Their images are thought-provoking, often using odd poses, clothing or makeup to evoke a unique tone in all of their images. They often are referred to as “VSCO photographers” because many believe their images are very Instagram ready and coincide with a theme similar to one that might be seen on the app VSCO. Mango Street has inspired me a lot as a photographer in the way I edit and their tutorials quick and informative so they won’t waste your time.
@rachelgulotta, @danielinskeep & @mangostreetlab on Instagram
Petra Collins is a young and vibrant photographer based out of Canada. Collins photographs portraits of women to emphasize their femininity and power. Collins is known for photographing shocking images that some might find innapropriatte. She looks for emotion and beauty no matter what body part that might come from. I love that she is not afraid to break barriers in her work and motivate women in the process. Her style is very hazy and dreamlike which creates a nice juxtaposition between her subjects. She is well noted in the creative community as she has shot for Selena Gomez, Zendaya and Yara Shahadi.
@petrafcollins on Instagram
Jessica Kobeissi is another photographer who is mostly found on Youtube and is well known for her “4 Photographers Shoot the Same Model” series that has drawn a great audience with some videos accumulating up to 4 million views. Kobeissi is predominately a fashion photographer who’s style of portraiture is easily recognized. I personally enjoy Kobeissi’s multiple challenge videos that help me to draw creativity when I’m in a rut.
@jessicakobeissi on Instagram
MOST HELPFUL YOUTUBER
After her series entitled “Bikini in the Snow” went viral, Sorelle Amore quickly rose to become one of the most notable photographers in the creative community due to what she calls her Advanced Selfies. Sorelle is strictly a self-portrait photographer who photographs her travels across the world in different dynamic poses. She is also a Youtuber but she is mostly known for her beautiful Instagram portfolio filled with her jaw-dropping self-portraits. I love Sorelle’s editing style and her innovative take on self-portraiture, she is definitely a photographer to watch out for.
@sorelleamore on Instagram
Derrick Freske is an up and coming fashion photographer who in the past year has had work featured in many magazines and editorial pieces. Freske has a very distinct style where he often incorporates brightly colored lights in his images to light his models along with dynamic poses that catch the eye of all viewers. Freske has grown to become one of my favorite photographers of this year.
@dfreske on Instagram
Jessica Whitaker is one of the most knowledgeable photographers currently in the photography community. She is a photographer based out of Seattle, New York and Paris who shoots primarily lifestyle photos. Whitaker has a Facebook group called Build + Bloom that is extremely helpful for growing photographers such as myself. She is also a YouTuber who makes video content from behind the scenes videos to tips on how to grow your brand.
@jessicawhitaker on Instagram
MOST INFORMATIVE YOUTUBER
Erika Astrid is a fashion and editorial photographer based out of Portland and Los Angeles. Astrid has been featured in many magazines from Factice to Blanc and for good reason. Astrid uses models that would seem unusual to many, models who have gaps in their teeth or have an overall different look to them and creates beautiful images because of her odd style.
@erikaastrid on Instagram
BEST EMOTION & ANGLES
Jerry Maestas is a fashion photographer who shoots with a retro style and incorporates it into his editing process. One look at Maesta’s Instagram or portfolio will display his distinctive style. Many of his images are very warm toned with a hazy edit to them to create a film like quality to his portfolio of work.
@jerrymaestas on Instagram
MOST NOTABLE STYLE
Rudnyk, along with many photographers from this list is also a Youtuber who photographs mostly editorial and fashion images. Rudnyk stands out because of her distinct style of portraiture. She has a fascination with beauty, fantasy, and feminity and she shows that in each and every one of her portraits. Her images all look as though they are out of a fairytale as they each have this surrealistic allure to them that stands out an image of hers.
@irenerudyk on Instagram
MOST BEAUTIFUL PORTRAITS
Ron Dadon has two portfolio’s of work, I personally prefer her second book of work that is all black and white. The contrast and story in each of the images are breathtaking and reminds one of a portrait from many years ago. Each of her black and white has a timeless, film-like quality that won’t ever go out of style. Ron is also a singer/songwriter!
I recently went on vacation to Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico. I enjoyed the gorgeous overlooks of Honduras, the beautiful jungles of Belize and the sandy white beaches of Mexico. Sadly I was unable to capture much of Belize due to the activities I chose to partake in such as ATV riding and cave tubing that did not allow the use of any phone or DSLR. However, I was able to get some landscape images in Honduras and Mexico and a few portraits in Honduras and Belize. I hope you enjoy my travel images from these three gorgeous cities.
I recently photographed one of my good friends during golden hour. Her unique style paired with this new “golden” preset that I developed creates a very retro and hipster chic feel to these images. This is the first time that I’ve taken a more fashion-driven approach to my photography and I’m loving how these images turned out, it is one of my favorite shoots to date! I hope you enjoy these images as much as I do.
If you want to learn more about tones, color schemes and color psychology click here to read my post on how to improve your images with simple color scheme techniques.
I was recently inspired by the breathtaking image taken by Sorelle Amore in her latest video and I had the idea to do a full shoot with an angelic or innocent quality in mind. To accomplish this, I styled my model in all white with bold makeup and made the background and surrounding area completely white and airy as well. I also edited them all to have a very light and contrasty feel to them to add both the innocent and light quality but preserving a fine art quality to each image. Here is the full set of dreamy portraits!
Shooting images with an added element of water can present a whole extra set of problems. After a few tries and learning from my mistakes, I wanted to help you learn how to take beautiful portraits with water.
FOCUS: Since water is ever-moving it is best to make sure you’re focused on the correct subject so it may be better to manually focus if you have the experience. Autofocus might focus on the water instead of your model so you want to double and triple check that you are focused correctly.
SHUTTER SPEED: I recommend shooting on a very quick shutter speed instead of a slower speed. Again since water is constantly moving you don’t want the water to appear too soft in your images unless the water is the main focus of the images. Turn up your shutter speed and really make sure the water is as clear as you can make it.
COLOR SCHEME: Have your model wear a more neutral color and avoid patterns as this can distract from the main focus of the image is the water and portrait. In your images, you should always try to only have 3 main subject points. In the water, those subject points should be water, the model and one additional thing such as clouds in the sky or something floating alongside your model.
LIGHTING OUTDOORS: If shooting in an outdoor area such as a pool or the ocean make sure to shoot at a time when the sun is not high in the sky so avoid times from 11-4. I say this because water is a natural reflector and can cause excess lighting on your model’s face that isn’t anticipated. Make sure you’re constantly checking your meter reading because the lighting conditions when shooting in water change quickly and drastically.
LIGHTING INDOORS: If shooting indoors with water such as in a bathtub I recommend using studio lighting of some sort if you have limited natural light due to a small window. I personally have always used studio lighting because I feel as though it brings out colors better and makes your image look a lot crisper than natural light might. Also since bathtubs are so white the studio light can help make sure it’s very bright and not muddy. I have shot natural light before and it’s a little bit harder to control and maintain the ISO I want to not get grain in my image.
LENS TO USE: I recommend using a 24-70mm lens when shooting bathtub portraits or a 35mm lens because you don’t have a lot of space to move around so a longer focal length lens will work best in these scenarios. When shooting outdoors I recommend a 50mm portrait lens so you can get the nice bokeh behind your subject and it creates a sharper feel than a lot of other lenses I’ve shot.
CREATING A MILKY LOOK: Firstly you should fill the bathtub almost all the way with warm water so your model doesn’t freeze! Next, add a gallon of nut or soy milk or as much milk as you need before it becomes a fairly thick consistency. I would say add enough so you can still see your hand if it’s about an inch under but enough so you can’t see it if it’s more than 3 inches into the water.
POSING: Water is ever-moving so evoke that in your model, direct them to move with the water or stay perfectly still to allow for contrast. I personally like to pose women with more graceful and moving poses while I pose men with a more sedentary pose to contrast with the water.
PROPS: In the pool or ocean I don’t recommend using props because I think it distracts from the overall landscape. When shooting in a bathtub I recommend using between 10-15 drops of food coloring, flowers or leaves. Make sure you use real flowers because artificial flowers float to the bottom and don’t allow for the pretty bohemian look. Also when using food coloring make sure your subject isn’t wearing white because although it isn’t likely it will stain there is always the possibility. I also recommend using milk along with the food coloring because I think it makes the colors pop more!
If you would like to see the full set of these images you can click on the three links below! If you end up taking water portraits make sure to tag me @goodallphotos so I can see your interpretation of it!
Golden Hour, it is seen as the epitome of lighting perfection in every photographic community. Many photographers refuse to shoot at any other time of the day other than golden hour because it is so sacred. Golden hour is the hour or so before the sun goes down where the lighting is absolute perfection from almost any angle. I often shoot at golden hour because I love the tones it gives my images but for this shoot, I tried to really focus on the warm tones of my image. Here is the full set of golden hour images.
Stay tuned next week will feature my full set of studio portrait images & a tutorial on how to create a color scheme in your images. If you or your friends want to shoot with me contact me or check out my booking and pricing info!