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10 Questions: Bob Sala

Meet Bob Sala. You might have come across his work - cinematic 60s-70s ambient stills that remind you of your mother’s childhood (or for some, your own). His (portrait) images go beyond making a fashion statement on a particular era; they tell a story of society and culture.

10 Questions: Vittore Buzzi

Milan based photojournalist Vittore Buzzi's photography is fuelled by the search to understand and accept reality - which translates into an exceptional eye for capturing moments and stories.

10 Questions: Meg Umberger

When you view Salem based Meg Umberger’s work, you can’t help but to feel the warmth, and the tingling feeling of her passion for creativity.

10 Questions: Alex James

Alex James' work brings drama and cinematic atmosphere into life - making ordinary moments and landscapes extraordinary.

10 Questions: Twyla Jones

Twyla Jones' work is both honest and surreal to me; it evokes emotions that hit you deep down and leave an imprint.

10 Questions: Darina Stoda

Darina Stoda was born in Estonia - a place of forests and rivers straight out of folklore, and has since lived for many years in Norfolk (UK) surrounded by large wild spaces and ocean. Even though I’ve never been to Norfolk or most parts of the UK, when I see Darina’s work, I can almost smell and feel the crisp air - her dreamy approach to incorporating nature in her story telling is inviting.


10 Questions: Jakub Fabijański

What is very inspiring is Jakub Fabijanski’s work, which brings a kind of dreamy cinematic take to photojournalism that you can’t help but to fall in love, along with the people in his photographs.

10 Questions: Don & Helen Bringas

Based in Spain, Don & Helen document weddings all over the world. Don & Helen’s work speaks humour, spontaneity and most importantly, the emotional connection to a moment captured in their frame forever.

10 Questions: Jesus Caballero

Portugal based photographer Jesus Caballero, traded in a career as a biologist for photography. Trained professionally in photojournalism (even mentored by a Magnum photographer), Jesus skillfully combines lifestyle with photojournalism to give wedding a fine art visual voice.

10 Questions: Susann and Yannic

Berlin based photographers Susann and Yannic created a food blog “KrautKopf” 2 years ago to share their love on making good food during the off Wedding season (Winter months) and have not looked back since.

10 Questions: Danelle Bohane

Auckland based New Zealand photographer, Danelle Bohane, started photography when her grandfather bought her a camera when she was still young. From there it has been a journey of discovery inspired by her love of people, art and connections.

10 Questions: Jessica Tremp

Australian photographer Jessica Tremp shoots Weddings to pay her bills whilst also being an accomplished fine art photographer. With no formal training in photography, Haunting, poetic and mesmerising - with a strong narration and fluid energy - Jessica’s work draws you in, hungry for clues; wanting more.

10 Questions: Thierry Joubert

French photographer Thierry Jourbert blends childlike openness, and philosophical ideas of trace and sign, with a skill for telling other people’s stories. Unafraid of dreaming big - Thierry’s work showcases his mastery of light and the depth of human emotions.

10 Questions: Junebug

For those in the wedding industry, Junebug Weddings is a familiar name. Based in SeattleJunebug was formed in 2006 and is now one of the leading international wedding blogs. In this special interview with Junebug Weddings, we reveal what it takes to be the world’s leading wedding resource, and where Junebug predicts the Wedding industry will be in 10 years’ time.

10 Questions: The Eagle Hunters with Sasha Leahovcenco

Sasha Leahovcenco’s passion for documentary photography is evident through his personal work. Sasha’s Eagle Hunter work provides a striking sense of what it must be like living in those amazing landscapes and harsh conditions, and you feel their pride in keeping with their long standing traditions. Come read our special 10+4 Questions interview.

10 Questions: Yoris Couegnoux

Yoris Couegnoux's work showcases great skill in capturing light, combined with sensitive narration. His work transports you to a cinema set, as if you were watching a modern interpretation of a classic film.

10 Questions: Lilli Waters

Melbourne based photographer Lilli Waters' photos are widely exhibited and published. Her practice draws inspiration from nature; there’s a rawness and openness centred around female themes, and strong narration that leaves you wanting more.

10 Questions: Sam Hurd

Sam Hurd is well known in the photographic industry for his ‘prisming’ and ‘lens chimping’ techniques - and epic portraits series (of celebrities). Sam is not afraid to experiment. His works reflects a sense of experience, skills and maturity beyond his years yet it still has that freshness in it that is charismatically attractive.

10 Questions: Niki Boon

Niki Boon’s work marries fine art and photojournalism so delicately that the energy and spontaneity captured in her work transports you as if you had lived it yourself, viewing it now almost nostalgically. It’s a testament to what life should be when growing up.

10 Questions: Gary Lashmar

Gary Lashmar's work, commercial and personal, especially his street photography, is the proof of Gary’s passion in life, his unique point of view and approach to life - a style that he alone defines - and he shoots from his heart.

10 Questions: David Heidrich

David Heirdrich’s work reminds you of fairytale stories - art and emotion evoked by out-of-this world settings in ethereal light that David so perfectly and intricately captures.

10 Questions: Victor Hamke

When you look at Victor Hamke's work, you feel his sensitivity - his storytelling vision marries surrealism with documentary - a style so unique and poetic that it completely mesmerises you.

10 Questions: Clare Barker Wells

Clare Barker Wells' family and newborn work not only captures key moments but also the in-betweens artistically.

10 Questions: Cristina Venedict

Cristina Venedict's fine art captured our eyes - it  not only showcases her skills as a photographer, but her imagination and creativity. Her work is painterly,  poetic and romantic. 

10 Questions: Zalmy Berkowitz

Zalmy Berkowitz's artistic vision describes rhythm and movement amongst the chaos of life’s candid moments. His film work makes you fall in love with analog all over again.


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Artist of the Month - Kate Whyte

Before & After with Ben Sasso

Ben. You. Go!

I'm a photographer and educator living in the mountains near LA. I'm a firm believer in pushing the photo community forward and I have an unmanly love for cats. I recently shared an article on my blog full of before and after images and my friends here at LOOKSLIKEFILM invited me to share it with you all too. I hope you enjoy it!

Now, Process. Tell us about yours.

Ever since the middle of high school, I've been immensely interested in "the process." You know, that middle bit between point A and point B that nobody but the artist ever sees. I've always loved peeking behind the scenes to see where something started and what kind of work and thought went into creating the finished product. To satisfy those of you who are just like me, here's a before/after series which not only shows you my images straight out of camera and the final product, but which uses each image to explain a bit more about what I do in post. If you want to dig in way further, I cover every step of my post processing in my Editing + Consistency class. Enjoy, friends!


5D III + 50L

This shoot with Monique at Leo Carrillo State Beach was a freaking blast. I love the light and colors out there but what I loved most about this shoot is that I was able to test out shooting through different materials (glass, mirrors, plastic, etc). In both of these shots, I shot through a Ziploc bag partially covering my lens. On the left frame, I had hard light hitting the bag which gave it those harsher artifacts while in the right frame I had the bag in soft light for a hazier look. When you hover over these you may notice that the frame on the left was originally much darker than the right one originally was. Since I had hard light hitting the bag, if I exposed it brighter I would have lost detail in the bag and would have ended up with clear white there instead of that golden texture!

In the before/after of these the main thing you'll probably notice is the white balance (which I've talked about in a previous Before/After post but I'm about to again). I always shoot on AWB because I shoot RAW and would rather not fidget with it when I can change it as much as I need to in post without losing any quality on the image. I'm all about simplicity when I'm shooting and shooting AWB allows me to keep things that much simpler on set! A combination of shooting on AWB and shooting in the shade means that my images tent to come out on the cool side. The obvious fix for that is to push the WB pretty dang far in post (which I do because warmth makes me giddy) but if you push it too far, you may notice skin tones going bonkers. In addition to bumping the WB, I also add a bit of warmth into the shadows via Split Toning in LR (If you use PS, look up Color Balance instead). This adds in warmth without taking over the skin. Yay! Another little tip for adding more warmth into an image, lower the highlights! I know, it seems totally unrelated. If you hover over this frame and look at the top right corner, you'll see that it blends right into the white of the website. That part of the frame is overexposed which registers as white. Even if I add all the warmth I can into an image, overexposed will still register as white. This can make frames feel disconnected. To connect the overexposed areas to the rest of the frame, I just lower the highlights by dragging down the top right point in the tone curve. Once you do that, your highlights won't be 100% white anymore which means the warmth will register there too. Win! Lastly, I just reread all of that text and I'm sorry that I'm not a better writer. Here's a ridiculous GIF of me to make this less dry: HECK YEAH!


5D III + 50L

WOWZA. If I had a "Top 5 Couples I've worked With" list, these two would be on it. Sure, they're ridiculously good looking but aside from that, they're both just freaking great people. Nothing can take a shoot from good to great quite like loving the people on the other side of the camera.

Okay, enough gushing Ben. Back to the good stuff. Since I'm able to work with other photographers so often through workshops, conferences, etc I always find it so interesting when I see patterns in what fellow photographers struggle with. On that surprised me the most when I realized it a while back is how many photographers will toss back lit images because the RAW is so washed out and flat that they don't think they'll be able to make anything of it. I've heard the frustration in statements like "No matter what I do, I can't get it to pop like the rest of my work." If that's you, don’t get discouraged! Shooting back lit will give you very flat images straight out of the camera. It’s okay. No need to panic.

In the image above, you'll see a pretty flat image transform into an image with my usual amount of pop. When shooting backlit, the more sun that is coming into your lens, the more washed out your RAW image will look. This is because light is bouncing around inside your lens and painting light into the areas of the frame that would have been rich shadows. Luckily, this is a pretty easy fix in post although it may take some playing to figure it out. The first step in the fix is contrast. If you bring it up all the way and still feel that you're lacking the richness, this is where the other tips come in. A more general (but less controllable) fix is to try bringing up the Blacks slider. This will give some more richness into the darker areas. In some washed out images, the dark areas are still too light to register as a "Black" which means the Blacks slider won't help at all. In this case, the Tone Curve will help you out! If you don't understand the tone curve yet, I'd suggest reading about it before continuing on. I'll give you a second... If you already know all about the tone curve, here's something to keep you entertained until everyone else comes back... Okay, are you all back? Good! If the Blacks slider didn't work out for you, try dragging down the shadows in your tone curve. If that didn't work, start moving up towards the midtones and dragging those down until you find a spot that works. Once you do, you'll be able to drag down that section of the tone curve until you begin to see that pop come back in. Once you get used to it, the fix takes seconds and can spare you a headache while you save some killer images!


5D III + 35L

This lakeside session in the Norwegian mountains was pretty freaking spectacular. Aside from golden hour, twilight is my favorite light to shoot in. I love that soft, unassuming light that happens right after the sun drops below the horizon and before it's gone for the night. During this shoot, thanks to geography, that soft light that usually only sticks around for about 15 minutes ended up lasting for about 2 hours as the sun moved diagonally under the horizon. I think that the more I shoot clean, bright work, the more I crave a grittier, raw look. I've been trying to introduce that a bit more into my portfolio and with that, comes experimentation to figure out how I can capture that gritty look without it looking too forced. You may have noticed that sometimes trying to create a "film" look in post processing can make a photo look like anything but film. Maybe the fake grain looks too digital, maybe the colors are funky, etc. Well here's a trick I found that I really dig for adding in some texture without things looking to forced. It's easy as heck too! I always underexpose my images just a tad (to avoid losing texture in the skin) but for images I want to be a bit grittier, I underexpose them by a couple of stops instead. When you do this and then bring them back up in post, you'll see a subtle texture get added back into the images. Keep in mind that there's a limit to this and that every camera handles it differently. If you under expose too much, or try this trick when shooting at an extremely high ISO, the texture that gets added in will start to look pretty digital. Test it out and find the limit so you know what you camera can handle and so you can pull out this little trick next time you need something a bit less polished!


5D III + 50L

Rachel literally jumped up and down on her couch when I showed up to shoot her wedding. That's pretty much my ideal client and I don't mean that in a braggy "she thinks I'm awesome" kind of way. If I could always work with couples as excited about photography as I am, I'll have made it. It's not rare that I have someone describe my style as "clean." In fact, if someone says something like "I love how ____ your work is," there's a pretty fat chance that blank is filled with "clean." If you know how much of a sucker for minimalism I am, you already know how happy that makes me. Sure, I could tell you that I achieve that look through careful composition, soft editing, etc but the truth is that I'm able to foster that description by being ridiculously particular about what I leave in an image and what I take out of it. Trash on the ground? The picture doesn't need it, it's gone. Light switch on the wall? It's ugly, gone. Distracting whatever? See ya. In the frame on the right, you'll see some white specks on the ground that I took out and you'll notice that I filled in a hole in the trees behind them. This turns complicated patterned shapes into a clean solid shapes, that your subjects can pop out of instead of getting lost in. You'll also notice on the right side of the right frame that I took out a log in the path that overlapped with Cyril's hip. Bold lines like that that overlap with your subjects detract from the ever-recognizable human silhouette, making them pop less. Remove the log, Cyril gets his pop back! Lastly, in the frame on the left you'll see two tiny light artifacts that I took out of the frame on the left side of him. To me, they stood out because they were a bit harsher than the other round, softer blurs that make up the rest of the background.I know, it's tiny and it doesn't matter in the big scheme of the picture but to be honest, I want to care about the big scheme and the tiny stuff. It takes time but aren't there a million and a half quotes about how nothing worth having comes easy? Thought so. That's all for now, I hope you found it helpful! Feel free to dig in to my other free education in my blog or check out my Self Paced Classes. Until next time, high-fives!

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