So you think your last shoot was challenging? Well, try shooting on top of a snowy alpine summit in -20°C with screaming winds, occasional fog and clouds with snowfall. That’s what Michael Mueller did.
“The client wanted images in the same style as car ads,” says Michael Mueller – fearless photographer and dauntless adventurer in equal measures. “They wanted clean, super perfect images with blue skies and white mountain tops. Being a brand for serious athletes, it was also important that the images showed a real challenge. We couldn’t make it easy for ourselves. We had to climb high and shoot real athletes doing real things.”
Despite being only 24 years old and mostly self-taught, Chan Kit has made quite a name for himself in the wedding and fashion communities in his hometown Hong-Kong. Operating under the brand CTKKIT Photography, Kit has a well-earned reputation for capturing candid moments in a beautiful light.
“The greatest thing about being a wedding photographer is that you get to capture some of the most valuable moments in peoples’ lives,” says Kit. “It’s both an honor and a challenge. There are no second chances.”
Kit uses available light when possible and adds flashes when necessary. In terms of Light Shaping Tools, he prefers tools that create a hard light with lots of contrast and distinct shadows.
“My favorites are the standard Zoom Reflector and the Umbrella Deep Silver M,” says Kit. “Both create a beautiful hard light, and both are compact and easy to bring with you to an on-location shoot.”
Wedding and commercial photographer Simeon Quarrie is based in London, UK, but has the whole world as office. Simeon, who lives a life of travel, values gear that is lightweight and fits into a suitcase. “The lighter you can travel, the better it is”, he says.
This particular shoot required Simeon and his small crew of three to fly to Cancun, Mexico. He brought his shining new Profoto Off-Camera Flash system with him. “It’s wicked to be able to fit camera, lenses, a B2 battery pack, two B2 Heads and modifiers in a single bag,” says Simeon. “I remember Kornel, my assistant, looking at the B2 and saying: ‘Well, guess I’m out of a job then!’”
In Cancun, Simeon and his team met up with the young couple for what is known as the pre-wedding session. This is basically a more relaxed and casual version of the main wedding shoot. In addition to often resulting in heart-warming, fun images, Simeon claims that the pre-wedding shoot is also a great way to get to know the couple better and help them relax in front of the camera.
Scouting locations with a client recently, I came to realise how unimpressed the untrained eye is with open shade. A non-photographer will look at open shade, then look at the pretty sunlit trees and buildings across the street and think, “why is this photographer so impressed with this bland, shady side of the street?” But the client is only seeing what is there, not what is possible.
Finding open shade is the habit of natural light photographers all around the globe. In open shade you find cover from the harsh light of the sun and beautiful soft directional light from the sky; but many photographers only go as far as to find the open shade and begin shooting with the existing ambient light. This is a simple and fast way to work and yields some good images, but there is more beautiful light to be had in open shade if you have the imagination to see it and a few lights to make it happen.
When I see open shade, I see an opportunity to build and shape light. Read More
The series consists of 20 videos. Each video reveals the story and the lighting setup behind a certain image. In the sixteenth episode, Justin & Mary talk about how they capture the cutting of the wedding cake.
“At this point in the reception we try to remain unobtrusive so we keep our lighting off to the side”, says Justin. “Things tend to happen really quickly during the cake cutting, so it’s always great to have a second angle.”