Month: July 2014

CREATE new Muscle Memory and become a better photographer

July 23, 2014

I can honestly say that i repeat myself when i teach. I do. I have some core fundamentals and philosophies to live/shoot by that get repeated time and time again, with each new crop of participants in my classes and workshops. It wasn’t until a few months ago i caught myself saying the same things i say over and over again about “muscle memory” as it pertains to learning the camera and being comfortable with it. I think i stuttered, when saying this for the 1,000th time, i realized that i was stuck.

I had to re Learn how to photograph in a new way

Like a needle stuck on the same song (the same great song!) i had been repeating my shooting style and calling up old knowledge with just a new crop of clients. I had become good at what i do, and i was luckily being hired for it. I really didn’t notice i was stuck in creative rut until those words “muscle memory” came out of my mouth for the 1,000th time like it was destiny to hear my own words and reflect.

I need to create NEW muscle memory. I need to dive in deeper the Waters of New. This will take some breaking down, some reluctant rehashing of why i need to change and adapt and pay attention to the world out there – it’s easy to put the blinders on and work.

Ignorance IS bliss….but there is much you miss

I have been watching a bunch of videos on Creativelive.com about stuff i already know…and realize that hearing about a photography topic from someone else teaching it can be life changing. I have always taken pride in myself to have learned from some of the most talented photographers, and one in particular, Herman Leonard, is with me on every shoot i do. i have branched out recently on my editing choices for certain clients to make things a little more unique to them, while keeping one foot in my traditional editing choices. I have always edited my photos to look like they weren’t edited…i just made sure my natural light + artificial mix was even, and took out items that didnt’ belong. You almost don’t notice anything….i try to get it right in the camera.

But now i am noticing things when i am dissecting a scene and gathering my intention for the final image, that i see things i can do in post, that i never saw before. I realizing i am composing my capture w/ the added intention of a post treatment in Ps, while staying true to me and my clients vision. It’s a new added trait, a new muscle i am currently working out…

And now for something completely different…

SUPER MOON – July, 2014 – zack smith photography

Summertime Rolls - New Ventures and Repeat Clients..do mix well.

July 2, 2014


December 2nd 2014
“Studio on the Geaux” made it’s debut at NOLA Fashion Week, 2014, and it went so well i had to do it again. The premise for SOG is this:

In the fast paced world of editorial and fashion photography, the working photographer needs to be skilled in both the studio and in the field. More times than none, they are working long days while trying to achieve different looks, as well as maintain a high level of control and sustained creativity. A popular method of achieving these goals is to work with lightweight, powerful, speed lights and remote units, that are easy to manage in the studio but also portable for lugging around in any environment, with or without an assistant.
Zack Smith’s “Studio on the Geaux” will highlight the many lighting setups you can do in the studio using speed lights and a myriad of light modifiers such as reflectors, umbrellas, and more. We will use live models in the studio, and then take this knowledge to the streets to work in the natural environment and available light. Zack will also highlight his philosophy for “Shooting for the Wall” as it entails creating the highest quality image for any scene. We will also highlight the methods of creating more depth in your images from manipulating aperture, focal length, rules of composition and creative lighting schemes.

photo: Eric Nunez

I think the last time i saw the Blog it was May. “One Foot in the Swamp” (offbeat article on the show!) was entering it’s 3rd month at The Scott Edwards Gallery, and my “Studio on the Geaux” workshop was about to happen – well the workshop was a amazing success – so many great images were made of our models Annika and Kate, as our participants found so many great spots in the courtyard and balconies behind the gallery.

I will be offering my “New Orleans at Night: French Quarter, From Golden to Magic”, a
photography workshop that teaches the intricacies of photographing the
Historic French Quarter in all types of low light and night. Stay tuned here and to my workshop page for that one.

At The New Orleans Academy of Fine Art I saw 3 full Digital 101 classes move on to Intermediate Digital during June, and they were producing some great work. I am starting my Intermediates next week…and there is still room in the 1-4p class! – go to www.noafa.com to sign up!

The 2nd week of June had me in Jacksonville, FL photographing the 1st Annual Florida Country Superfest for FPI, the same folks that do Jazz Fest. It was a good experience, and hard long days. I was really impressed with the Jaguars stadium though…clean. I guess you can’t have it all…

Towards the end of June i was reunited with my old pal Anne Cassidy of C-Major NOLA. She has some amazing new clothes and needed them photographed – so we utilized my new studio for the clothing detail shots, and went out to Los Islenos to do the look book work. I’ll post some images as soon as i can.

July 1 started off w/a bang – photographing old buds Flowtribe in the Elms Mansion for their press photography that’s going to be used to promote their new album. I always have a fun time w/ these guys – they are some of the most down to earth cats, w/ a keen sense of the music business on many levels.

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