My Personal Style Project

An overview 

Portrait photography is my very favorite style to shoot. So as a personal project, I decided to photograph and compile a print magazine-style book, that shows the FOUR things I always include in my photography.

  • Color 25% 25%
  • Light 25% 25%
  • Angle 25% 25%
  • Pose 25% 25%

This wasn’t very lenght or complicated. I planned on doing four different photoshoots with four different models  and use different lighting, props, have different scenarios and go to different locations. And later create four different blog post for each topic I focused on: Color, Light, Angle and Pose.

This project took me about 25 hours to complete. That includes, planning, purchase of props, travel to location, shooting time, editing and review. I took nearly 150 photos in the process, but used 30 for my project. Here you can see some:

On post production, I made sure to include as much of my style on the photos as I could. When I edit photos I really like to bring out as much color as I can. I usually increase saturation and vibrance enough to make the colors pop-out in a distinguishable way.

 You can check the finished result on my Blog page, or on my posts.

Contact me for a photoshoot.

Portfolio – My Style

Portfolio – My best work

From the moment I started taking photos, I found out that portrait photography is my favorite and it is what I am best at, but that didn’t and won’t stop me from trying and learning new things.

The past couple of months I have been dedicating a lot of time for my photography and to learning new things related to that. I am taking a class called Professional Imaging (Comm 316) with Caryn Esplin, at Brigham Young University- Idaho, and in this class we are learning in depth about commercial, creative, fine art and portrait photography.

So I created a gallery for my personal portfolio with my best work of the past couple of months.  You can check the full version here.

Personal Style Project – Pose

Posing can be weird

Portraits

Portrait photography is my very favorite style to shoot. So as a personal project, I decided to photograph and compile on a print magazine-style book, the FOUR things I always include in my photography.

Yes, indeed! Posing can be super weird for some people (me included). Whenever I do a photoshoot, I try to make the model as comfortable as possible so they can get in the groove of posing. I also try to go along with their movement or their own poses. I like telling them the facial expression I am looking for, and just try it until I get a good pose or just a candid photo.

For posing, something else I love doing, is either saying something funny or something weird/controversial to get them to make a real facial expressial. When someone is genuine with their facial expression, the pictures have potential to come out even better than planned.

Personal Style Project – Angle

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

Portraits

Portrait photography is my very favorite style to shoot. So as a personal project, I decided to photograph and compile a print magazine-style book,  that shows the FOUR things I always include in my photography.

Angles… Obviously a good angle can make or break the photo, at least that is what I believe. That’s why, when I take a great picture, but it sits kind of crooked on the axis, I try my best to align the photo without loosing much details in the process.

Having a good eye for a different perspective it’s not always easy, and it doesn’t necessarily come naturally to most people (myself included), so I try by  very best to always try different angles and positions while taking photos. You will almos always see me squatting or lowering myself or at least my camera to capture different photos. 

But, doing whatever you feel is appropriate or even going a bit crazy sometimes can pay off with some really incredible shots of your subject.

Personal Style Project – Light

Lights, but as props!

PORTRAITS

Portrait photography is my very favorite style to shoot. So as a personal project, I decided to photograph and compile a print magazine-style book, that shows the FOUR things I always include in my photography.

Some posts ago, I talked about lights as a source of light (duh!), but today I’m showing light as props for your photography. Whatever “kind” of light it might be… A red light from a random tattoo parlor entrance I saw in an alley downtown, fairy lights I bought to decorate my room (and later bought a second pack just for photography), game lights from an arcade at the mall or even the sunlight at the right angle, it all works.

However you might want to use, light as props for your photos is a GREAT idea as long as you’re using good angles and great posing (check out my other posts about it).

Choose your light source and your light prop well and have fun!

Here’s a resource that can help you with ideas for lights as props.

Personal Style Project – Color

COLORS, LOTS OF COLORS

PORTRAITS

Portrait photography is my very favorite style to shoot. So as a personal project, I decided to photograph and compile on a print magazine-style book, the FOUR things I always include in my photography.

Ok, I get really excited with this one, because I love colors and adding different colors in my photography. If you’ve seen the other posts on my blog you noticed that my style of editing usually brings out the vibrancy of colors in the subject or the photo itself. But, there are so many more way to add color to your photography…

My new favorite things to use now, are smoke bombs. Granted I am still mastering how to use them and not to get burned in the process (yes, that happened), but it is SO MUCH FUN when the photo comes out looking super colorful.

Anothe thing I love using are gels to add color to your photo DURING the process, and colorful lights (read my post about lights), to add a whole different mood to the photos.

Grand Tetons National Park

Landscape with an awesome view

One day in Yellowstone, the other at the Grand Teton National Park. But I can tell you for sure this is the prettiest roadtrip I have ever taken in my whole entire life. 

The drive through the pass and this landscape, this nature, the sunrise, the trees. Everything! All definitelly stop and appreciating. Capturing in a thousand different photos.

Enjoy the photos!

Yellowstone National Park

Island Park and Yellowstone

A couple of weeks ago, when the weather was still somewhat nice, I took a trip to Yellowstone and made a quick stop at Island park and took some really cool nature photography. If I’m being really honest, landscape, wild life and nature photography are not my very favorites to shoot, but oh the great time I had with these. Besides the fact that I almost froze to death when taking them.

MENTAL NOTE

Never underestimate the weater and always bring good and warm jackets.

This photo right here I took almost as soon as I got to this little spot, sun had just barely come up and you could (can) still see some of the purple and blue colors as well as the morning fog from the water by the trees. This here is one of my favorites.

It was indeed a great day at Yellostone. Almost as soon as I entered the park, we saw traffic. Whenever you see traffic in Yellowstone, means there’s either a pretty view, geisers or wildlife. In this case, there was a whole family of elks just chilling by the river.

I pulled out my long lens (which is almost as heavy as a newborn baby) and took this shot. I was probably standing 4-5 yards away from them, but still got some really cool details.

Fashion Shoot Series – Accessories

Buildings and things

As a part of this photoshoot, I included some accessories and buildings to the shots. It is always cool to include some details on the photoshoots you take, that way you always have extra things to show  on your posts or examples, and if you need a photo of a watch to demonstrate something, you don’t need to go out and shoot it again.

Shooting objects and buildings is honestly not one of my favorites, but I am always looking at some inspiration and tips of what to do before I shoot. So if you’re not inspired at all, you can find some ideas here.

Fashion Shoot Series – Group

TOGHETHER AND MIXED!

By far, my favorite part of the whole Fashion Shoot series were these (perfect) sky shots. I mentioned in my other post that I went with the “pink mood” for some photos after the sun was already setting and there wasn’t much natural light. But I would never imagine it would work so well and look so good together. 

PRO TIP

POSES. There’s always a point in your photoshoot that you run out of ideas, energy, patience and a lot of other things. My tip and what I do when I get to this point is let the models or whoever is with me at the time just give me ideas or arrange themselves in poses that would look good or could work… Then, when I get to the post production part, these are the photos I like the most. 

As I learn my photography style, I understand that candids and spontaneous shots are the ones I most enjoy taking and editing.

But, if you need inspiration, you can always find them on Pinterest.

Fashion Shoot Series – Men

Models, lights, POSE!

PINK! Yes!!!

Ok, real quick, I love me some gels and colorful LED lights to create a mood like in this photo. Pink is my personal favorite, as you might’ve guessed. By now, the sun was already setting and there wasn’t a lot of natural light, so I decided to create a whole mood and go with it. 

For this part, to make it more interesting, I used brands the both of the boys were wearing and added the logo on the photo.

Fashion Shoot Series – Women

Lights, camera, ACTION!

Instructions for a fashion shoot: get a lot of models together, get the correct lights depending on the time of the day you are shooting, get all kinds of gear to help you with lighting (reflector, flash, etc), and go to a really cool location, and BAM, start shooting.

Some time ago, I did this exact thing, and invited some friends to be models for this kind of experience… And man, what a blast! 

And look, I even had a dog model for me!

One important thing to always remember is to try different angles and different poses and perspectives, to make it fun for you and your model. And when you get to the post production part, you will be grateful you tried new things!

Post Production – Texture

Learning new things

One of the many beauties of editing photos with Photoshop is that you can add a number of items to your photo, and you can do all kinds of things, from creating a layer mask to blending textures and other photos with the original. This fun part is called post production! 

Post production is where you spend the majority of your time (usually). You go out, take great shots but they 99.99% of the time don’t come out exactly like you want them to. So, you have to edit.

What I tried this time was blending a texture (shown above) to one of the portraits I took a couple of weeks ago. At that time the sky looked insanely  beautiul and I wanted to get that in my shot, as well as my model. Next I will show the original shot from the camera without any edit whatsoever and my version of it (I exagerated a bit, but which photographer doesn’t). 

Then, I used the texture photo I got from Pexels, to blend in with my awesome and bright sky. And this is how it turned out!

I wanted the sky to look like broken glass, that is why I added that mosaic glass arrangement photo on the sky behind. You can still see the colors, as well as the details. 

I really liked doing this bit of the post production process. I will be trying new things and more of this eventually, so keep coming back!

Macro

An attempt to shoot up close

Yes, when I say up close I meant standing really close to the subject of the photo BUT using a macro lens. In my case, I used the Decogear 0.45x high definition macro lens I had handy. 

The set up for this was pretty simple: A flower bouquet I bought at the store (on sale), light source (LED light on a stand), and a vase to set up the flowers together.

Besides struggling to not have the camera in front of the light and create an ugly shadow and stopping my cat from tearing my arrangement down, I am pretty content with these. Since the first time I played around with macro lenses and macro photography, I’ve always had a special place in both my heart and wall for these.

I took several of the pretty flowers I got (I will add them all at the end), but I also did some fun texture and objects macro, or better, attempted to do so. Here they are:

And as promissed, here is the rest of my flower macros <3
I think you will be able to tell how much I like the color red.

Balance The Light – Portraits

Reflector who?

What happens when you’re shooting on manual settings and natural light? Well, if you don’t quite adjust your settings or get the light boucing off of something… This happens (see photos). You either get a blown up sky and more details on your model like the first picture, or you get a picture with the perfect sky but everything else is dark, like the second picture. Plus, you will have a lot of work to make sure your model is visible and well exposed in post editing.

So, how do you fix that? 

BOUNCE LIGHT OFF SOMETHING

When you use something (in this case a silver reflector) to bounce back the light that’s coming from the sun behind the model, you get both the sky with color and details and a good exposure of your model. Like this picture here.

Yes! Shooting with natural light is fun and all, but there is no reason why you can’t use that natural light to your advantage instead of having it working against you.

<< This photo has no editing whatsoever, but it still looks pretty good compared to the two photos above. Keep scrolling to see what it looks after some editing!

ta

DA!

Yep! After just a bit of editing the image looks much more colorful and vibrant. Oh Photoshop, I love you!

Portrait with Lighting

The power of an external light source

When shooting portraits, it is important that you have a light source. Yes, the sun counts as a light source, the light from the room does too, but if you want to make sure the model doesn’t have a lot of shadow on their face, you need to bring an additional light source to fill in the shadows as they pose. Take this picture on the right for example: He was posing, there is natural light coming from the right (that’d be the sunset light), but there is also light on the left side of his face filling in all the shadows that would be there had I not used a strobe light flash. Can you tell which is sun light and with is flash?

For the next example, I am still using a strobe light, but in this case there is no sunlight directly behind the model and we are also standing in the shade. But, because I am using an additional light source, you can see that the background is perfectly visible, and the model is fully visible because of the light used. MAGIC friends! The power of adding light to your natural light photography. Try it, you’ll thank me later.

PRO TIP

Oh, by the way, if you want to learn more in depth about anything I have ever talked about here, you can check this website. Caryn Esplin is the person I have been learning everything from.

Food Photography

A simple food photo

I have been craving doughnuts for a while now, but I have been denying myself to buy some. I was doing great, until I decided to give up and get me some from the store. I love eating them with milk, so I decided to do this food photography project and implement my cravings. 

I say that a lot, but trully I always have fun taking pictures. This experience with photography was no different. My shot was not super fabricated and a lot of elements in it, just what I had already being used plus a light source (flash) and the right camera settings

Outdoor Product Photography

Shooting products outside: a cool task!

A couple of cool things this picture:

This picture was taking in a very small waterfall like place in the Yellowstone State Park; And the Sei Bella line is one of my favorite for beauty and care products.

Also taking pictures with moving water like this is very tricky, as you can imagine. The stream was really shallow but I almost lost this bottle of shampoo to the current.

I decided on these products because everything from this line is very natural and nothing has any harsh chemicals. So nature was the perfect setting.

What do you think?

Indoor Product Photography

Taking pictures inside, easy?

Ok, so I did a project where I took pictures outside. More specifically in the Yellowstone National Park, very neat experience. But what happens when you want to take more clean product photos without a very distracting background? You improvise!

Well, in my case there wasn’t much improv, but there was some set up. Not too long ago I bought this box for product photography and it came real handy for this specific project. It a small box with LED lights built in that allow for cool pictures of your favorite products like these:

So here is a cool and simple way to take neat product photos from the comfort of your house or room or living room.

I also went out and bought a single rose that came with some cute small white flowers (like on the first photo), but felt guilty of using the rose petals for this, so I used the leaves instead. – Kept the rose (:

Movie Poster

(recreate) Movie Poster – Unfriended

Never in my life I had thought that recreating a movie poster would be so time-consuming (not to mention hard). No, who am I kidding? Yes I thought about it, but is something completely different when you actually take the time to learn and do something like this.

I chose the movie Unfriended in light of Halloween month, you know, is a scary movie, so why not. And also because I decided to direct and act on my own movie… Remember when I said you always need a willing friend (if you don’t, you should check my other posts). Well, this time I didn’t have anyone readly available to help. But still, it was a lot of fun to do all this facial expressions I saw in some of the original movie posters when I was doing research.

Here is my awesome acting along with the movie poster recreated on my own style.

SQIBB

Studio Quality Invisible Black Background

Yes! Invisible black background because these photos were shot in broad daylight in a well lit room (see set up shot at the end). For the studio quality with the invisible backgroung all you need is the correct settings for your camera, any light (flash, LED strip) and either a helper or a light stand.

If you’ve been on my About Me page, you probably read I am originally from Brazil. So, obviously, in this first shot I had my home country directed at the camera. I had a friend holding both the globe and the light on the side from a high angle. The settings were perfect and I was able to get a completely invisible black background without much effort here.
In this photo Adele (the gorgeous model) was doing some quick poses in the middle of the gallery and we have an LED strip on the left to be able to focus on one side of her face while everything else was dark. Studio quality huh?
This here is the photo you can see me shooting on the set up shot. I was getting some regular boring angles from the other side of the bench, so I decided to change it up a little bit and now you can’t see the backgroung. Invisible Black Background, what a beaut <3

Set Up Shot

As promised earlier, here is my set up shot. Bet you didn’t believe me when I said it was broad daylight in a well lit room huh? Well, there it is. Every other picture in this post was taken in the same room at the same time. Like I mentioned, all you need is the right settings, and a light source. Oh, and I friend to hold the light for you… Or a light stand, is up to you!

OSES

Ordinary Spot, Extraordinary Shot

Ok, now I really am obsessed with some fairy lights. I was wanting to take some cool pictures like that and this project was a great motivator. This is literally my camera on a tripod on a timer, me holding the lights up, and a completely lit room. 
I absolutely love the color burgundy, or maroon, whatever you prefer. So I decided to take a fuzzy blanket I have and use is as a backdrop for my sparkly shoes. Et voilà!

Cinemagraph

The moving picture

Let me tell you, this cinemagraph was the coolest project I have worked on lately.

It looks prety simple, just a phone blowing up with notifications, but it took me four hours to complete everything from start to finish.

Process

It wasn’t a very complicated set up at all. All I had was:

– Camera;
– Phone;
– Fairy Lights (in the background);
– Friend willing to blow up your phone with notifications (as you can see);
– Time;
– Photoshop cs6 extended.

BOOM! Project completed with success.

Your Turn!

There’s a pretty cool tutorial where you can learn step by step how to try it yourself here.