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28 June - Shopping for Models

So once again, a few months ago, while shopping in the mall with my kid, I scouted a model.
The story goes, while I stood around waiting for my daughter to come off her "Peppa Pig ride", which was situated opposite City Beach,
I notice this tall, beautiful, young girl walking with her friend, she stood out, being so much taller than her friend, that it was hard not to
notice her. I hesistated a bit, being the "Helicopter Mom" that I am, to move too far away from my daughter in a public place
but in a split second I instinctively reacted. Quickly I walked up to her as she entered the City Beach store, briefly introduced myself and
handed her my business card. You just never know what people think when you approach them like that and whether they will get the
nerve to really contact you after, but I prayed she would, as she was breahtaking, with all the makings of a model, the height, the proportion
and the facial symmetry.

Fortunately, for me, Annalise did tell her mother about our encounter and her lovely Mom emailed me a few days later and our exchange
of correspondence felt more like I was speaking to an ole friend I had known for a long time. Over the time of our email exchanges to plan a date for a test
shoot, I got a bit more insight into the kind of teenager Annalise is. So when we did finally all meet, I think we all felt really comfortable.

Annalise blew me away on her test shoot! For someone as young as 14 with supposedly not much life experience that young, Annalise showed great
range of emotional connection to the camera. She could somehow tap into an emotion that I directed and translate it beautifully to camera.
And "Old Soul" perhaps, and later on her Mom even told me a story when she was just a newborn, in which her Grandmother made a similar reference
when she first saw her.



I realise more and more, as I meet people through photography, whether it be the parents of models, creatives etc, how many
beautiful souls there are in this world and by beautiful I don't mean the physical sense. Yes that too, but there is so much more to a
being than just their physical appearance. It reminds me of the old supertitions some cultures held about cameras and photography
"stealing your soul", but I think the camera for me has become more of a tool to seeing inside of someone's soul. It's my aim to connect
with my subject in front of my lens, draw out something from inside of them, that is a bit revealing about who they really are.

So here are some shots we did on a quick test shoot, some taken outdoors in natural light (with some reflecting assistance by Annalise's Mom)
and then some back in my studio with just a softbox.

Annalise is a talented, bright and athletic young woman, who has proven herself on the Netball court and I have no doubt she will do the same
one day on the world stage on an international runway somewhere. Annalise is now represented by Busy Models and one step closer to
achieving that dream. I am excited to watch another "find" grow and evolve in this industry.

 

#modeltest #modelscout #photography #testshoot #busymodels

21 June - Beauty Photography "My Top Three Tips"

It's been about six (6) years since I've been a photographer but maybe only in the last three (3) years I really began to shoot beauty prolifically
and my passion for beauty photography has turned into one of my obsessions. Over that time, I've come to learn what works
for me and what doesn't. Making lots of mistakes along the way, have helped me to hone my eye and skills for beauty photography.

So before I get into my top three tips for beauty photography, which I have learned along the way, I will leave you with this
question ...... what makes a good beauty image? Reflect on that for a while.

1) CASTING THE RIGHT MODEL

My number one rule or tip for any type of photoshoot is CAST THE RIGHT MODEL FOR THE JOB DESCRIPTION/ BRIEF!
This is particularly crucial in shooting close up beauty imagery.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when brainstorming for a beauty shoot and trying to cast a model that fits with the concept/ brief:-

* Does the model have great skin (no blemishes, scars, even skin tone, small pores etc) (If you've worked with her/him before then you'd have an idea)
otherwise ask the agency to send you a current digi (unretouched photo of the model with no makeup in natural light).

*Does the model have great hands, slim long fingers, tidy nails, long or short nails doesn't matter too much as long as the nail beds are neat and tidy.

*Does the model have great bone structure, facial angles and symmetry that lend themselves to close up beauty shots.

* Is the model proportionate? i.e. her head size is proportionate to her shoulder width.

*Does the model have healthy "stylable" hair, that is of the right texture or length to style according to the hairstyles planned for the concept.

* Eyebrows (shape/ colour/ thickness), face shape (oval, heart, square, round etc), hair colour, eye colour, eye shape, eyelid type, shape of eye sockets, distance
from lid to eyebrow, skin tone, lip shape, cheekbones or not, shape and size of nose, pinned back ears or not - all these are specific features you
need to consider in planning the makeup looks as well, to determine whether the makeup will suit the model or not. Does the model have the shape lips or
distance from eye lid to brow or deepset eyes etc that suit the particular style of makeup? As lets face it, not every style of eye makeup can
be done on every shape eye/ eyelid and so on. A good makeup artist is skilled in understanding faces and facial features to determine what suits and/or
how to tailor that particular style of makeup look to the model's features.

Once you've cast the model, who you believe best suits the makeup looks, or concept for the beauty story, then book her! The right model can make
or break the photoshoot. It is as simple as that!

2) KEEP IT SIMPLE!

When starting out with any style or type of photography, the good ole "less is more" is a good rule of thumb. I'm not saying complicated, layered and/or
opulent styling with crazy hair and wild makeup is not possible - it can be done right, but only a few great creative teams know how to successfully pull
off those "full on" looks and set designs. Over time and with a great eye, one can eventually learn how to balance and execute successfully the more
complicated and complex of looks.

Keeping it simple in terms of the makeup looks to be created, the lighting technique applied and the styling that is incorporate can go a long way and is
the fundamental basics for all you need in creating beautiful, dramatic imagery, worthy to be slotted into your portfolio.

So ditch the nine inche nails, long ass feather lashes, fluoro eyeshadow and diamonte lip look shot on a tye dye background with a 6 light set up (4 of which
are coloured gels) for another time and place. Doing all of that at once very rarely produces great results.

As for the photographic side, lighting doesn't have to be complicated at all, one light such as a beauty dish or a softbox goes a long way and I'd say 90%
of my beauty work is achieved using just one light modified either by a beauty dish with a honeycomb grid or a medium soft box.

Styling - in terms of the accessories, clothing, the set design or backdrop and hairstyles to compliment the beauty/makeup looks, should all tie in
harmoniously with the style of lighting and the beauty looks planned.

When planning any type of photoshoot, you need to "get the whole picture", i.e. not just see it from one point of view like the makeup perspective or
just the hairstyle, or the photographic lighting and composition. You've got to envision how it will all look together, how the hair would work with
the frame of lighting, the colour of the background and so on. Every element has got to be perfectly suited and work harmoniously together otherwise
it will be a battlefield, with each element fighting for attention, or clashing with the other and there will be no hero that shines. Your viewer will either
not know what the focus is, what they are looking at or just want to look away as it all hurts their eyes.

As a photographer, when I look through the viewfinder, I look for balance and harmony in the image and if one element looks off, I speak up and say
something, whether you will like it or not. I like to think as photographers, we are less biased when it comes to looking at the individual elements
that go into making the image, like the hair, styling or makeup, as a photographer, our eyes are trained to look at the whole picture a ONE.

3) ATTENTION TO DETAIL

Essentially, you want to be workig with a creative team who all have that attention to detail in the respective jobs that they do. You want the hairstylist
to be fussing to get the hair just perfect, whether its smoothing it out, sweeping back the fly aways in the eyes, and the stylist on the ball in making sure
bracelets, rings etc are all facing the right way to camera on the model.

As for the makeup artist - the pinnacle of a beauty shoot, as after all beauty is all about the skin and makeup unless the hero is the hairstyling. I have
devised my own little Richter Scale of how to measure the really top makeup artists (who have years and years of experience and it blatantly shows)
to the beginners now starting out. The top pro-makeup artist has almost anal attention to detail, to the point that it can sometimes annoy a photographer
who just wants to get in there and shoot, but is interrupted several times by the makeup artist who might notice the lipstick has been smudged or worn off
and wants to dive in and correct it on the spot. HALLELUJAH! I LOVE THOSE KIND OF PEOPLE! I've learned that those type of makeup artists make my
life in Photoshop so much easier and probably saved me an hour off a 2 to 4 hour retouching job. For me, it shows, they care about their work and how
it comes through in camera and they want it to be as good as in camera, with little or no retouch necessary.

Another trait I've noticed with the top pro-makeup artist is their attention to detail to even the extremeties - such as the nails, hands, neck, chest, arms
and legs, the rest of the body basically. They will be the ones combing the lashes to detangle them, brushing and filling in the brows, plucking an
intruding nose hair, moisturising the dry hands of the model, filing down the nail beds, re-applying nail polish if a crack appears, and using concealor or
a tinted moisturiser on the rest of the body where there may be blemished or marks. So often I would see a beauty shoot where the makeup/face looks
dewy and shiny but the rest of the body like the neck, chest, arms etc looks flat matte. And then on the other end of the Ritcher Scale, the less experienced
makeup artists are the ones, not asking but telling you during the shoot "Oh you can fix that in Photoshop". AS IF!!!!!!!

So basically, I'm saying here "GET IT RIGHT IN CAMERA THE FIRST TIME". This saves you tones of time and money later in post production. So take the time
to remove the fly away hairs, separate the clumped lashes and wipe off that lipstick off the teeth, compose the shot with all the elements you want included
and TAKE THE SHOT!

Lately, I've started doing lighting tests in between the model getting makeup done, so both myself and the makeup artist can see how the light works or
doesn't suit the makeup, or how it affects the colours and then we both take the time to adjust either makeup or lighting to get it right before we actually
start shooting the final product. You don't want to be pausing in the middle of the shoot and changing or adjusting the light or camera settings which has
now changed the consistency of the overall "look" or "mood" of the shoot and now there is a disconnect between the photos you took before the change
and those after the change.

So there you are - my top three tips for executing great beauty imagery.

And remember it's quality over quantity. You don't need to have 10 great shots of the same beauty /makeup look - that just gets a bit repetitive and boring.
You just need one perfect, most awesome shot I like to call the "money shot" and once you've got that, move onto the next. Nowadays when I compare
myself where I am now to where I was when I started, I definitely learned to NOT overshoot. I rarely ever fill a small memory card and most times I would
have shot at least six (6) different beauty looks in about 100 frames. It's not that I necessarily work faster now, I think it's more I take my time to get things
right first, think things out slowly and carefully, as well as I usually have an idea, a vision, or a picture in my head before I take the actual shot, that I work
towards and aim to achieve that in about 10 frames and then move onto the next.

So pace yourselves, break things down into baby steps, and put lots of love into it and it will all fall into place harmoniously. Now get creating!

#beauty #beautyphotography #beautyphotographer #beautyretouching #makeup #katrienaemmanuel #beautytips

15June - Tap! Tap! - Who's there?

About almost 3 years ago I got to be a part of something exciting and new in the world of health and fitness. Over the last 2 years
I've got to work with the creators of Tapfit, a new fitness workout system devised by 4 Brisbane based sisters -
The Johnson Sisters - Annie, Katherine, Fiona and Rachel. When you meet these young women, they are exactly what you see in the camera.
One way to describe these pioneers is pure joy to be around, they vibrate passion, fun and inner beauty, as you can easily see it comes through their photos

I have to admit, the Johnson Sisters are real inspiration for me, they've taught me that if you are going to do something right, get it right the
first time and although that may take lots of time, investment and research, in the end it is all worth it to see your vision executed exactly
as you imagined. They discovered by accident the positive effects teaching tap dancing to a friend's young daughter, who was diagnosed
with cerebral palsy, and it made them hungry to learn more, what tap dancing can do for the mind and body. So began their journey 3 years ago,
investing in research into the science of tap dancing and how their specific movements effect the body, custom designing never before "tap attachments"
that slip on to your regular sneakers/ runners and devising a complete plan for nutrition and exercise program that you can do at home that is fun cause it
feels like dancing rather than mundane exercise drills.

So if you are curious to know more about their story, do check out their website, which has recently launched www.tapfit.com

 

Here are some screen shots of some of the stills I photographed for their website and merchandise.

 

 

#fitness #fitnessphotography #actionphotography #healthandfitness #tapfit #tapfitofficial #Brisbane #Australia #sports #innovation

 

9June - Random Apps of Kindness

So last week on a shoot at Miami Beach, at low tide as the tides were changing, a freak wave smashed into me as high up my neck,
almost slamming me onto some rocks in front. Luckily, everything I had in my backpack stayed mostly dry, except for my mobile phone
which I had in my hand at the time the wave crashed.

So 48 hours later in a bag of rice and silica gel, my phone survived more or less, with emphasis on the less. Which brought me to having to
replace my phone with a new one and transfer apps all over again onto my new phone. It brought me to the realisation, that I do not have many
apps on my phone nor do I use many of them. So I thought I would write this post to talk about my favourite apps, the ones I use all the time
for my photography work.

Screen shot of the apps I currently have on my new phone.

 

1) - My most used app award goes to WillyWeather. Why ? Because it gives me more than the basic forecast that Sky News Weather provides.
I often use this app not just for weather forecast but to look for more specific information like the Tides, Swell, and Wind predicted for the day or week ahead.
Particularly the Tides are a crucial one to know when planning a shoot on a coastal location, as the entire scape of a beach can change drastically from high tide to low tide.
I know from experience when I have seen a beach in low tide, revealing all the rock pools and exposed rocks and lots more surfaces and less water, that when
I went back to shoot there, it was high tide and unrecognisable and fairly rough as well with the change over in the tides. So that is always something to consider
when planning a beach location shoot. Scout it but also scout it at different tides to see which time of day you prefer.



2) Next on my most used list of apps, is LITE SUN SEEKER - which I often use when I scout far away locations that I am not in close proximity to
or familiar with in terms of the sun's path and direction over it like I would in places I am very familiar with. So often when I would do
such a location scout, I will pull out this app at the time I am there, and screen shot it, so I can recall roughly the direction and path the
sun will move across the location, so I can have a mental picture that when I return to shoot there, I know exactly where to stand the
model, which backgrounds will be in view in line of the direction of the sun and how I will use and manipulate the direction of the sun
at the time. So it's a great little predictor for where your light will be at a particular time of day at that precise location.

 

3) Honourable mention also goes to the following apps:-

Whitegram, so I can fit my rectangular portrait size photos framed squarely in white or any other colour they offer,
but I prefer white or black to frame my images on Instagram posts.

Ambient and Sound Sleeper apps I use for background noises for when shooting newborn babies, which I photograph from time to time
for special clients.

So there you go, the apps I regularly use for my photography. I do not use any apps for editing, I strictly do editing via Adobe Photoshop.
All the other apps are purely for either entertainment and communicating long distance such as Whatsapp and Skype at no cost.

 

#apps #technology #socialmedia #sunseeker #willyweather #katrienaemmanuel

 

 

 

 


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