Short vacation

10 03 2010

I’m out of town until March 18th.  I have a shoot as soon as I get back so I hope to update this blog with shots from those.

After shooting the Candy Rock Couture fashion show, I assisted a photo shoot with Trey Songz!  It was my first celebrity shoot and first time assisting.  Also, I’ve never hauled as much equipment as I did for this shoot.  It was a great learning experience and I was able to network with some people in the industry.  

Here are a couple from my Chicago visit so far:

Gear update – I’ve moved from a Canon 450D to the 5D MK II!  Sold my beloved Canon 17-55 IS and bought a new Sigma 24-70 HSM to replace it with (since the 17-55 can’t be used on a full-frame camera like the 5D).  Traded my 85L 1.2 II for the 70-200 2.8 IS (for the fashion show) but I’m going to sell the 70-200 and get the 135L and the Sigma 50 1.4.  I will be sending in my Sigma 24-70 in for calibration while it’s still under warranty.

That’s all for now!  I will update with more photos from Chicago.


Late night updates

18 02 2010

I’m not gonna lie – I’m a little overwhelmed.  I’m trying to plan several shoots, running family errands, interviewing and trying to get my name out there by doing fashion shows.  I don’t know if it just takes getting used to or if I’m spreading myself too thin.  Anyway, I won’t say too much about those shoots, yet.  It’s really great, though.  “From concept to completion.”  I have to think of every photo shoot in that way.  I have to take a holistic approach instead of just focusing on very specific things.  With that said, I’m ready for Spring and Summer.  Also, I read from another photographer that when you’re not doing a photo shoot or processing pictures, you should be marketing.  I’ve been marketing and reading.

I have to mail out a CD containing all the images from the fashion shoot tomorrow.  I’ve waited to mail it out so I can include a few business cards that I hastily designed.  I’m not completely satisfied with them but it’s better than nothing for now.  It has my flickr website on it.  I gave a few to my hair stylist at Shape NYC.  I’m excited to work with her and her salon.  I ordered 250 business cards so hopefully I give most of them away by Summer time because I’m planning on having my own domain name by then (Summer or early Fall).  We’ll see.

I’ve got my eye on the Canon 5D Mk II.  It’s a beast of a camera and has been my dream camera for a while.  I’m trying to plan out how I’m going to finance this purchase…haha.  I’m planning to sell my current Camera which, by the way, has an exact shutter count of 7777.  How crazy is that?  There’s a program that counts how many times the camera’s shutter has clicked.  Used camera buyers usually ask for this number.  It’s like the camera’s mileage.  I bought mine when it had about 3500-4000 clicks.  Since February 2009, I’ve only shot about 3500 photos.  That’s pretty low for an entire year, I think.

More equipment talk…

16 02 2010

As you know from my previous post, I’ve gotten rid of my ultra-wide angle lens – Tokina 11-16mm 2.8.  I’ve also sold my Canon 85mm 1.8 lens to fund my purchase of the Canon 85mm 1.2 L II lens!  I have a 450D and not the camera shown but it shows the size of the lens relative to the camera body.  It’s a lot heavier and bulkier (that’s what she said) than the regular non-L version that I’ve sold.  You’re probably wondering what’s the difference between the size and weight so I’ll try to explain a little.  The fact that I’ve gone from a 1.8 to a 1.2 aperture lens means it’s ‘faster.’  It can open up more to allow more light in so it has better low light capability than my old one.  The image quality is slightly better.  The construction build is much better and is weather sealed.  One of the advantage my other lens had was a faster autofocus.

I’ve also bought my first studio light – Alien Bees B800!  The one I have is actually black – not orange.  This is definitely much stronger than my speedlites but obviously not as portable.  If I want to use this outdoors I’d have to buy a portable power solution like their Vagabond II’s.  I still have to buy 1-2 more of these…when I get the funds.

I’m still planning out future photo shoots and if you’d like to schedule one, let me know!

Selling one of my lenses – Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 $570

10 02 2010


I’ve decided to ditch my ultra wide angle lens because it was barely used.  I’d like to use that money towards a 135L 2.0 or the 35L 1.4.  I have already posted a sale post on craigslist but thought I’d post it up here too.

Here are some pictures of the lens (click for bigger version):

Here are some test shots with it (like I said, I barely used it; click for a bigger version):

Selling it for $570 locally.


9 02 2010

Just to update –

I’ve been really busy processing pictures from the fashion shoot last week.  It’s been a crazy learning experience not just with the actual photo session but with post processing, as well.  I’ve been researching better methods to post process (PP).  I met a professional photographer during the shoot and we’ve been working together on processing nearly 100 images (which I think is a LOT for a TFCD session).  He’s been shooting for 17 years!  He introduced me to a software that helps make PP a bit easier.  When I got home I searched for reviews on the software and I stumbled upon another PP software.  It works like a charm and makes the whole process a bit easier.  This probably shaves off about 3-5 minutes per photo.

The fashion designer I worked with interned for Vera Wang.  He also knows the chief editor of Vogue magazine who happens to be best friends with Vera.  He showed the two photos I sent him to see if that is the type of processing he wanted for the photos.  The model agency that he is discussing the photos with liked the pictures and asked who the photographer was.  Obviously he said I took them but he suggested I make business cards – even cheap ones to start from Kinko’s since a mention of a name and website can easily be forgotten.  Since then I have been looking into business cards – what I should avoid doing, layout, pictures, font, everything.  I even read about a photographer who suggested that I read a book on color theory.  It talks about what colors work together and why (in regards to colors to choose for my business card).

Another thing I’ve been looking into is a website.  I found some reasonably priced customizable websites but I think I need to shoot more so I have better photos to place on the website.  Hopefully by this Summer!  So I wasn’t lying when I said it’s been hectic.  Post processing gets tedious pretty quick but when I need a break I find myself reading about the other aspects that I should know for the future.  I also read about photographer portfolios – how it should be laid out, it should tell a story, pictures should be grouped into categories and then transition into the next seamlessly.  It’s intense how much there is to learn about photography, as with anything else out there.

Side note, I ordered my first Alien Bees light!  If you’re not a photographer you are probably wondering what the hell an alien bee is, haha (feel free to click the link to see what it looks like).  It’s the company name.  They make flash units, light modifiers, etc.  They are quite cheap and a lot of people swear by them and their unparalled customer service.  It should be arriving tomorrow, after the snow storm.

Some updates

6 02 2010

Recently, I took advantage of a great opportunity to work with a full team of artists!  The fashion designer coordinated the photo session.  He had the clothes, secured an agency model, hired a make-up artist who also was a hairstylist.  I didn’t know what to expect and was a bit nervous at first but the people were great and friendly.  The model was very friendly and easy to talk to and everyone else was very supportive throughout the entire shoot.  I’ve processed some pictures but she didn’t sign a model release form since it has to go through her agency.  I will probably post only one picture in the future.

Anyway, I have had some people ask me to take their pictures lately.  Which is great and probably should start planning for them soon.  Sorry for the lack of updates – it’s been a little hectic lately!

Meet Sabrina

3 02 2010

I processed/reprocessed some photos of Sabrina from December 2009.  Now I have an excuse to write one of these blog posts again 🙂  I used the Photek Softlighter II 60″ umbrella for these pictures.  They were lit up with a Canon 580EX II and a 420EX bungee corded to the umbrella.  In the future I will take pictures of my setup so that it will make sense to non-photogs.

One of the main challenges was the limited space.  The room wasn’t too cramped – the umbrella was just insanely big (for me).  Fortunately, she has modeling experience which helped me out a lot!  She had a ton of poses and it made the shoot run a lot smoother.

On to the pictures…