As a pro photographer it's my job to pose the client in the best light possible. I used to always use a flash with a softbox but honestly I like good old fashion sunlight the best. Nothing looks more organic to me than God's light. I love finding a location that has swooping sunlight at the right time of the day. I'll arrive at the location we discussed days before to check out where the light falls across certain areas before I have my client in front of me. Every aspect of your actions will determine the outcome of your session and your professionalism. Nothing feels better then taking your bride's hand and leading her to a spot you found hours or days before and creating something beautiful because you "Found The Light!"
The following image is impressive how the sun is perfectly painting the scene from left to right. Directing my bride to fall into the sunlight gives the viewer's eye a painterly scene to appreciate.
If you are a budding photographer or a seasoned pro, I hope I encouraged you to stop and find the light. Finding your control with your photography will help your inner artist shine! -GK
I am so in LOVE with my city when it comes to variety of backgrounds for my photography! I am starting an Etsy.com page for my New Orleans imagery printed on fine art paper. All of the above images were captured on Kodak Portra 400 film and a Mamiya medium format camera. Big shout out to Millers Lab for the wonderful scans. All of the images are straight out of the camera...no Photoshop required.
With so many unique colors in the Quarter I can find just about any background that will work with an outfit. How cool is the above image of Jessica against the door which is " just about matching colors of her dress"???
I recently attended a workshop hosted by "A Bryan Photo" in Birmingham Alabama. This was a workshop for fellow creative's who are in business and striving for more simplicity in their life. This workshop was also based on all things film related, so bring out the Leica and Rollei cameras. The owners Bryan and Ashley Johnson, were wonderful hosts and mentors.
I attended this class for the sole purpose of redefining who I am as a photographic artist. Capturing imagery with film makes you slowdown and process your thoughts more clearly. Digital has made the "right here right now" syndrome an epidemic for all photographers. I thought I would never shoot film again but lo and behold I am still in love with the process and the end results. It is kind of funny that so many Photoshop actions for making digital files look like film are available. Workflow wise I cannot stand living in the computer when the outside world is happening without me being there to capture it. There is just something to be said about exposing of all the film and sending it to your lab. The anticipation is intense and every time you or photographing with film you understand the importance of each image in the quality from which camera model in film type you choose to use.
I learned a few things that were life changing for me as an artist. It's obvious to me the style of photography that fits me the best can be summed up into one word...movement!
Life moving around me is a story waiting to be captured. On a wedding I am constantly seeing people interacting allowing me to find the right angles to better tell the story of the image I wish to capture. All of your surroundings play an active role in telling the story within an image. I love seeing the entire scene before me then carefully selecting how and where to create the best photograph. Whenever I find myself having to pose people I always direct them with creating movement that provides me the moment I'm looking for. If a wedding couple is just looking at the camera they tend to be more stiff and plastic looking. I would rather get them in the position I want them in, then tell them to talk to each other or move together which always provides me a real moment worth capturing. The following image was literally a one shot click and get back out of the street before the cars came.
Nothing about the above image was posed. I was watching this scene take place in front of me with the car headlights along with the rain, so when the moment was right I said, "Quick run out in the street and kiss your girl!" The below image is what was happening right before my image was taken.
I realized creating from my soul was capturing the movement around me. The static poses just aren't me! I can pose all day long if needed but my heart thrives on movement. With this new found love for my inner artist I plan to showcase only the imagery that best represents my true style of photography. I'm excited to use my film cameras and help keep the nostalgic imagery alive. This workshop helped me realize Timeless imagery is my true love and Movement is the style which keeps me inspired to create, capture and share!
One of the things I have learned over the years is just because you are a business doesn't mean you are doing anything to "Be in Business". How many extra things are you doing for your business to grow, advertise or simply get better? If you are in the luxury cloud of "I'm so busy I don't have the time for anything else", then you will feel the speed bump in the near future. Every business must learn how to adapt and grow. These are way different times than they used to be. Even Google changes how their little bugs works across the internet for placing you in a search, so don't ever get comfortable.
Let me name a few things Elizabeth and I do for our business:
Web Site, blog, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, email promotions, magazines, belly to belly, vendor images, Periscope, Youtube, writing contracts, fundraiser and charity submissions, phone call returns,etc.
Each of these listed items have their own workflow and research. If you are not doing several of these items than you are most likely missing for demographic in each area of your business. Large companies have several departments for areas just like this. They have an HR department (human resources), a social media department, customer service department, etc. We small businesses are doing all of these things with 5 or less employees including the owners! Yes we are constantly overwhelmed and tired but at the same time we love our jobs and we understand the importance of the new workflow.
So back to my original question, what are you doing to "Be in Business"? If I named a few things you are NOT doing but know you should be, let us know in the comments. I'm sure many people are like you and are willing to share! I share what I can because we human beings thrive on love and support. -GK
WOW! Now this is a cool way to serve a Root Beer Float!
The Marriott downtown New Orleans has been a client of mine for the last 10 years. I am always impressed with the level of culinary excellence they bring to the table. "no pun intended" :)
This image has no Photoshop to it and was taken on location inside the hotel. I would be so impressed if this was how my Root Beer Float was served to my table. Stay Focused -GK
I have taught all around the country and the best way to learn is hands on! I am a visual learner/teacher who loves small groups. I have over 2 decades of knowledge that is ready for the tapping. If you are ready for something unique, invigorating, artistic with the business savvy end of it all...I'm your guy.
Here is the deal. I am not sponsored by any products, labs or album companies. I am truly here to pull the inner artist out of you and present it to the world! I could do the whole PPA speaking tour thing but it just isn't who I am. Everyone deserves the opportunity to be the best. Competition is the key to any businesses success. They won't admit it but it's true. The bar is never raised until you are challenged!
Whether you have been in business like me over 20 years or you are just starting to learn this business...I am here.
Seminars for "Focused" are limited to 20 people per group event so the best experience is possible for each attendee. I have been to a ton of lectures and conventions with speakers that didn't teach me squat! Money out the door! Every once in a while I get a speaker who actually isn't out for himself/herself and I get the most production possible out of the event. Well that is my class. I'm here for you.
Extended Mentor sessions are possible for "Focused Premium" members. For 6 months premium members will have personal projects, Skype or Face time with me, critiques of their work so improvement is evident and most importantly you get access to me! I have over 20 years in the photography business so my knowledge is your answer to creative freedom.
Email me if you are interested in joining the "Focused" experience to firstname.lastname@example.org
"Love what you do and never work a day in your life!" -GK
Happy #TBT everyone! Back in 2010 I was teaching at an event called After Dark with owner Dave Junion. My specialty was teaching other photographers how to expose for long exposure including models. I was so excited to be in Miami and take in the sites. If you have ever been to Miami and the beach you'll see a bunch of HOT high end sports cars driving around. At the introductory 1st night event for the attendees, I asked the crowd if anyone could get me a Lamborghini to photograph? "Kidding around" Someone after the event came to me and said how about a Lotus??? I was like....heck yeah! These images posted are the Lotus and some models we had on staff for the event. The above image believe it or not was completely exposed by one flash in hand! Store text everybody loves the way five take pictures
The camera was on a tripod exposing for 30 seconds for the background and I ran around the car exposing with flash in hand. It's a pretty cool trick I still use to this day. Who said you need several lights??? Just use the knowledge you know about light and apply your talent to the scene. :)
The above image looks so good it almost looks fake! The light used was a Parabolic reflector set to expose for the contrast of the total scene. I would use this image in a magazine all day long! FYI...I believe the model was like 15 at the time. She was crazy talented to work with.
If you are interested in attending one of my classes please send me an email so I can add you to the "Focused" list.
Silvia and Drew are the perfect example of a cute couple! I had so much fun walking around downtown New Orleans with them. I have certain sections of the quarter I love to walk through and find backgrounds that work with my couple's outfits. New Orleans is the absolute best place to find multiple background opportunities within walking distance. My photographer buddies up north always ask me if I ever get used to what New Orleans has to offer? I say hell NO! I have been all around the country teaching and shooting and I'm very aware of how lucky I am to live in my hometown New Orleans. Many people move here after falling in love with our city but I'm born and raised. I was born in Baptist Baby! (Locals know I mean)
This image was taken way at the end of our session. The end of the day light was so amazing I could have shot until the sun was gone. This image is completely naturally lit with no assistance from me. The light was just amazing to say the least! Check out the next image below!
Again no help from me with the lighting! On the right hand side of the image we have buildings across the street bouncing this beautiful light back into Silvia. I have the light coming in from the left, bouncing back from the right and the soft light wraps for fill. The "Golden Hour" is the perfect time of day for location photography without enhanced flash being added. This image was taken with about another 12 minutes of good light left. When our clients call for scheduling location session the first thing Elizabeth does is check for the sunset time! We then schedule an hour in a half before sunset for the session.
Looking back at the first image you can appreciate all the wonderful things the sun was doing for us! I always say Thank You to the universe for the gift that was given to us in the form of sunshine. :) These kinds of sessions don't always happen the way you would like them to so, when you get the gift of good light remember to say "Thank You!"
s I get a lot of model/actors/business people asking me for professional headshots. A good headshot should be able to represent you in the best light possible. I like my headshots to showcase your facial features and bone structure correctly through proper accent lighting. The way the photographer lights the face will or will not showcase your bone structure correctly. There is a saying in our industry… "Flat light is FAT light!"
This statement is so true when you look at an image of yourself taken with a little camera with the flash in the front blasting your face and flattening your features. The easiest way to get around the fat look is by changing the angle of the camera to the face. If you take a selfie with the camera higher looking down to your face your bone structure is better portrayed then if you were to take selfie straight on. In the studio I have all the control in the world with 4 to 5 lights shaping all the features I wish to accent.
The above image of Matt is a compilation of images so he can showcase multiple personalities for his acting skills. The same lighting techniques or applied to every outfit giving his muscles the opportunity to look round and defined. Understanding how to use shadows and access lighting will give you the control you need in order to create any type of portrait you wish. I learned many years ago that in order to make something look more round, you must know how to use shadow detail. Many beginner photogs wants to learn about how to light something up, but you rarely see someone learning how to sculpt with shadows.
Whether you are photographing an apple or a pregnant woman that shape will always be more defined through proper use of the shadows. Think about it, if there are no shadows then it's just one dimensional, hence "Flat light is Fat light." So select the outfits you wish to be photographed in and give me a call. Together we can create the best version of you possible! -GK
My new hashtag #SimpleBeautyClean sums up all that I believe in as a pro photographer. I love all you can do to a digital image but less is more! Creating multi layered files in Photoshop is graphically cool but there is just something about an image that is equally beautiful with no Photoshop don't to it. It's sad how Photoshop has become a verb in our generation. My question is , "Are you a graphic artist or a photographer?"
In order for an image to be Simply Beautiful it needs to be super clean. What I mean by "Clean" is all the rules must apply, the subject is lit correctly and the background must NOT overwhelm the subject. When all of these aspects are evident the image is simply beautiful! Little things like where do I place the subject in the frame of the viewfinder? Do I see the "Power of Threes" or can I create it? Does the lighting on my model compliment the scene? Is the overall color correct to the mood I'm trying to capture? Is light in the eyes? Is her pose too much or too little? Are the clothes the model is wearing complimenting the scene? Does the pose work as well? Believe it or not, these are the questions that run through my head very quickly when I have a subject in front of me waiting to be photographed.
When Tiger Woods Tees off he makes it look easy! We all know his swing is NOT easy but keeping the fundamentals down to simple and clean, he ends up with a beautiful drive! I can teach anyone how to use the camera. That doesn't mean everyone is a pro photographer. The camera does not make the photographer...the photographer makes the camera create his/her art from the mind to the final image. All the lighting knowledge , posing abilities and directing skills are what makes a photographer good at his/her job.
So if you ever look at an image and can't put your finger on WHY you like it so much but you do...you now know the rules to what makes an image #SimpleBeautifulClean. I'll add images to this post from time to time, so check back for updates. Some of my favorite images photographed are so simple you cannot help but get addicted to looking at the image instantly. :) Stay Focused- GK
"Photography is my life!"
New Orleans Fine Art Prints sold here!