Photographer Round Robin

Over the weekend a number of us put together a studio event what we dubbed the "Photographer Round Robin". The idea behind the event was to bring a number of talented individuals together and collaborate to get everyone involved a variety of quality head shots which they could use for their profile picture in regards to their hobby or business. We all need to put a face to the name, especially when the product were providing is us.

The set up was fairly simple. Each photographer came in with an idea or theme and had every other person there be in front of the camera for s number of shots, we then switched to another photographer and their setup and repeated the process for each individual. By the end of the night we all had a variety of different looks and themes and many shots of ourselves within those. Best of all, we got to draw upon each other's talents and refine the rough edges we all have as well as experience a variety of methods and approaches to the whole idea.

It was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon and everyone who came out of it benefited greatly. Becoming involved in the community around you can introduce you to many great individuals and influence your craft in ways you wouldn't think otherwise. Make friends, help people, do good. It comes back in the end.

Rewarding Experiences

None of us really get into photography for the initial sake of helping people, we may get those intentions over time but it's not often those are the reasons we pick up a camera. It often is though the by product of doing what we love. Some where down the line as photographers we realize that what we do can have some real influence in the world as well as the people around us.

It's a rewarding feeling when you can express yourself artistically, capture a moment in time, a moment that can last a persons life time and still have that bring a lot of positive aspects to a persons life. A simple portrait may help someone bring confidence into their life. A candid shot can preserve a memory for future generations. A product shot can help drive a business in sales. Looking in the mirror each night knowing that you are responsible for that sort of creation, no matter how small or intangible it may seem at the time, is a good feeling. We don't think about it often but it's nice outlook that can help drive us further. We are lucky, we get to create instead of destroy, and it's quite simply a beautiful thing.

Evening around the University of Alberta

5:07 PM Posted by Hikari Studio 0 comments

I got a chance on Thursday of last week to shoot with a person I've wanted to shoot with for a while now. It ended up being in the middle of a very hectic and upside down week for me but nonetheless I didn't want to move it to another date, certainly not with how short the days are becoming now and how cold it's getting. There are not many opportunities left to still get a autumn feeling from a photo as it's supposed to start snowing this upcoming week.

On that note I'm really beginning to warm up to using the different locations around the U of A for shoots. There is a lot of rustic elements to play with, a variety of open and accessible spaces within reach of each other and no shortage of interesting architecture. I want to explore this more in the coming months, certainly not out of fear of finding new locales but because there's still a lot of opportunities there.

For a change I will also push myself to do more outside photography this winter. Given our ranging temperatures it's not always the most enjoyable of experiences but there's a lot to explore, creatively, out there.

Portrait Session - Jade

Monday, November 8, 2010 9:48 PM Posted by Hikari Studio 0 comments

I had a chance to do a quick portrait session with a good friend and make up artist who's helped me on shoot before. She always makes for a beautiful subject and today was no exception.

I made a silly mistake early one, one that I had not made in quite some time. I was in a rush and didn't check all my gear. When I got to the location and began to set up my OCF not only did I forget to grab the proper mount for the makeshift speed ring I had rigged up for my flash but I had also forgot to bring along the proper sync cord.  I guess I needed a good reminder to always no matter what check that I have what I need in my camera bag.

We made the best of it and just shot with natural light, no reflector or scrims as I didn't have an assistant with me and it was originally set up for the sake of practicing a few elements which weren't related to lighting, not that it's an excuse not to do a good job but you can get some amazing results if you stop and "see the light".  It was also a good experience with going with the flow.

Preview - Sunday Sunday Sunday!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 9:15 PM Posted by Hikari Studio 0 comments

A few weeks back a number of us got together and put forward a shoot, jumping on an opportunity provided to us by a fellow photographer and friend.  He had at his disposal 3 vehicles destined for the scrap yard, a bobcat with which to flip them, a handful of devious ideas in one hand and a camera in the other.

Giving us an opportunity to be a part of he destruction, and photo creation, the 3 of us came up with our own concepts as to how we wanted to shoot a model in our own way involving the vehicular carnage.

One week later we were at it, flipping cars, setting up strobes and freezing models in the out of season October weather. Everyone came away with it with a strong experience, some new knowledge and ideas and some wickedly unique shots. These two are my take on it.

I have been converted

9:06 PM Posted by Hikari Studio 2 comments
Over the weekend I had an interview with a local modeling agency in regards to potentially doing work with them for model shots a weekend or two per month. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts I found out about the interview a day and a half before and was already ha ing a pretty swamped week.

I needed to put together a portfolio of some of my work to showcase my abilities but had very little time to do it.  I have done prints in the past and would definitely do that still but the limited amount of time didn't give me much of an option. In the end after spending whatever time I could I ended up deciding I would get an iPad to use as a portfolio. Mind you I had spent time before the date considering this option but I was between a rock and a hard place and now more then ever the choice was pretty clear.

After the weekend, having used it for a number of things I can confidently say that although I had been a little skeptical in the past and rather cold on the idea I now see the iPad as an incredibly handy tool in a photographers bag.

First and foremost is the portfolio function. The iPad is the size of a notepad you'd keep in your school bag. Through this it becomes incredibly accessible to keeping it on hand almost anywhere you go. It fits comfortably in my camera bag or if I'm using a shoulder bag wherever I may go.

Being able to easily sync photos every time I plug it in makes it care free and simple. I plug it in to my computer and it syncs the photos in a particular folder without me having to press a button. This saves me a lot of time and frustration.

The touch screen for me makes a difference, it adds an element of interaction you wouldn't normally get from a laptop or computer. People like using it, it's that simple. You get a physical response from the interaction and from what I have experienced it's always been a positive one. I can't do that with a laptop. The whole process is generally bogged down by start up processes, cables, folders and so on. The interactions a user has with one using a mouse generally feel cold and distant. On the iPad the interaction is overall much more physical to the user, in the end giving a much stronger impression and sense of ownership. So let's face it, as a photographer showcasing your portfolio you want the user to come out of the situation with as many positive impressions as you can. This helps a lot.

Even over the weekend I had it with me for a friend's birthday party as the hair stylist I normally do work with was going to be there and I wanted to show some shots and run by some ideas. After a few minutes it got passed around the entire place as people took a look at my wedding and lifestyle portfolios on it. People enjoy the interaction and given the entry fee and the potential it has to bring clients to you I'd say it's a small price to pay, especially when most photographers have cameras that cost five to six times as much.

The battery life I've found to be excellent as well, not having to charge it often and it being able to sit around for long periods of time gives it another edge in being hassle free. It's nice knowing you can spend a day or two with it and not have to worry about the charge.

Beyond that there's also a lot of potential for other interactions and uses. If you do video you've now got a nice portable screen for your work.  The apps store at this point is a no brainer as well. I've personally have found that I can bring this anywhere with me and use it for notes. Heck I'm typing this up at work over lunch. Sure you can do it with a laptop but this just feels much more comfortable.

In the end Its not going to completely replace prints. As with any other photographer I love the different looks and feels you can get from prints, whether it be to showcase your work or otherwise. You don't however always have that option, nor do you carry those around everywhere. It's a alternative option and in all honesty a very comfortable one I wish I had made sooner.

With that I would like to say that I'm not here to proclaim the iPad is great. It does have limitations and as it stands now the market does not yet have many other options in the tablet department. For those not interested in an iPad you can always hold out and check the competition over the next few months.  A tablet in itself is a great option though.