Month: July 2018

Using Community To Grow As A Photographer - A 20 Year Tale

July 17, 2018

For me, creativity begins with experimentation and overcoming fear.

There was a time when I was first starting out as a photographer where nothing made sense. The apertures, shutter speeds and ISO’s where lost on me as well as the dollars spent experimenting with countless rolls of film.

As a 5th year senior at LSU I was eager to finish my degree in Journalism so I could hit the road and let the camera be my guide. In the meantime I had to learn this device, so I converted my bathroom into a darkroom and began experimenting with Rodinal, Kodak Developer, and any black and white chemicals I could get my hands on. In the beginning, it was all about making mistakes and learning. 

Especially when I was just learning how to develop  my styles as a portrait photographer, I still had to mess up, experiment, and learn. In my early days I photographed my friends, strangers, and those around me. Funny how 20 years go by and that has not changed at all…

Even though the stakes are higher as professional, I can’t lose sight of the need to make mistakes, push my boundaries and learn.

Just because I have a studio now, know my gear, and enjoy all types of clients, it doesn’t mean I can rest on my laurels. I have to continually be learning, experimenting and growing as a photographer. So just like before, I still have to learn and grow from the community around me.

 Debbie Davis photographed at my studio on Magazine Street in New Orleans, 2018

Debbie Davis photographed at my studio on Magazine Street in New Orleans, 2018

My friend Debbie Davis can sing. Damn she’s got pipes like I’ve never heard and she commands a stage like no one else. Debbie came by the studio a few weeks ago for some portraits and allowed me to experiment with light and backgrounds and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have a friend that trusts in my vision.

.As an artist at any stage we need our friends and collaborators to help push us to new levels. When I was first starting out learning the ropes as a photographer I needed those friends daily in order to get comfortable with my craft. 20 years after picking up a camera, I still need that support to learn. Thank you Debbie and countless others who have allows me to stumble, capture and learn right in front of you. 

Environment, fashion, and style in New Orleans. Can you believe the riches?

July 3, 2018
 Tyla and David on the streets of New Orleans where environment, style, and fashion meet.

Tyla and David on the streets of New Orleans where environment, style, and fashion meet.

Surrounded by the riches of scene and comforted by the periphery of environment we are spoiled photographers in New Orleans. Walk anywhere with a shallow depth of field mind and keen eye for focus and you will find an abundance of your best photographs yet to be taken. Bring a pen or bring a pad, you’re gonna be jotting down intersections, street names, and GPS coordinates until you run out of room or time. There are so many. Too many. 

I have a few images to share from a recent fashion branding shoot with Canal Place in New Orleans where I got to work with some top tier talent in front and behind the camera. Over an 8 hour period we shuffled our crew to 5 locations and created some of my favorite location portraits yet. I brought with me my trusty Paul C. Buff Alien Bees mostly for their light weight and ease of “run and gun” mode. I was using a single softbox and reflector on most images and balancing the sun with my Variable Neutral Density Filter set. As you can see I am not a big fan of “LOOK AT MY STROBES” when I shoot portraits. I think using a subtle lighting approach to environmental portraits for branding is the key to make the clients product shine and the city do it’s thing. Here are a few I can share, but first the credits:

Client: Canal Place

Design Agency: Deep Fried Advertising 

Talent Agency: FiftyTwo45 / Talent: Tyla, David, and Megan

Talent Agency: ATA / Talent: Caleb

Sylist: Andi Eaton / Hair: Emily Cambre / MUA: Artistry By Camille

Assistants: Sarrah Danziger, Bruce France, Matthew Seymour

See how the client uses the images on it’s website…canalplacestyle.com

Do you want to learn portrait photography in New Orleans? CLICK HERE 

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