Chad shares great-looking photos in the Exposure Users group on Facebook quite often. As the monthly winner, he gets a bunch of great stuff, including a little promotion on the blog. Here’s a little more about him.
How did you get into photography?
I started in photography five years ago after my mother gave me a camera to help her with a project. I knew nothing at the time so I turned to Google and Youtube for help. I read everything possible until I developed a style of my own.
Tell us about some of your favorite recent work?
I have been spending time at home with my two boys over the last few weeks. So I have been taking the time to photograph them. It’s been such a great experience for me. I wanted to push past forced happy, fake expressions and take photos that connect with their real feelings. It wasn’t easy, but it was completely rewarding. I’ve been sharing them on Instagram.
What do you look for in an assistant?
I only work with assistants when I’m on a high-pressure job like a wedding or if I have to shoot in poor light situation and scrims and reflectors are necessary. Choosing the right assistant is very important, because they represent you and your business. The last thing you want is someone who doesn’t understand when it is time to stop talking, if they’re constantly checking their phone, or if they’re just rude and impolite.
I look for an assistant who pays attention even when nothing is happening, one who isn’t afraid to ask if they don’t understand, and most importantly someone who will make sure all my gear goes back in my bag. I personally have a talent at leaving it scattered all over a field during a shoot.
What things do you say or do to make you clients at ease in front of the camera?
Getting subjects to relax is one of the most important parts of a session. It doesn’t matter how perfect the light is or how amazing your post-production skills are. If your subject looks like a deer in headlights then they aren’t going to purchase your work. I remember hearing from a client early in my career saying, “It’s a lovely photo, but there is just something off about the way I look.” I lost that sale, but it taught me to work extra hard to make sure my subjects are relaxed.
The best way to get someone relaxed starts before they even show up for their session. You need to educate your clients before the session on what they should expect from you and what you expect from them. Talk through what happens during and session and prove to them that they can trust you can get the job done. When someone trusts you, they will already be relaxed.
Also, when working with children I tell the parents not to tell their children that they are going to have their photo taken and that they must smile, which is a quick way to make a children not want to smile. I tell them to talk about the adventure of being photographed rather than mention smiling, especially during a session.
How has Alien Skin’s software changed how you process your photos?
Exposure has given me an abundance of editing options to choose from in post. It’s easy to control effects such as grain, light overlays, and lovely bokeh effects. With Exposure, it’s much easier for me to make these effects behave the way I want them. And with the new Exposure X2 coming out, I’m excited about doing away with Lightroom altogether!
Thanks, Chad! To learn more about him, visit his Facebook, Instagram, and website.
Photo of the Month award winners receive a few swanky items from Alien Skin Software. They get one of our super soft tri-blend t-shirts, a laser-engraved 16GB thumb drive loaded with all of our photography software, and best of all, they are featured here on the blog. What more could one want?
The monthly photo-sharing theme for August is square. If you’d like to enter, get your best choice shot for the topic posted before the 1st of September. Stay connected with all of the happenings in the Exposure and Snap Art Users groups over on Facebook. The announcement posts are pinned at the top of the groups on the first of each month.
There were a bunch of great-looking photos shared last month, some of them are listed below. Congratulations to everyone who submitted. These are fantastic!