This is my third interview with Chris Marquardt on the topic of People Photography. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed discussing a broad range of topics with Chris.In this video I speak about a few of my images and the story behind each one. I also elaborate on the powerful role that patience and persistence play in capturing the best images. Plus, I share my secret to selecting my best images by calling on the opinion of close friends. Finally, Chris and I discuss the power of lighting and I hint at my exploration with new lighting techniques — if you are interested in learning more about my exciting experience with lighting, you can check out my lighting journey blog series.
Lighting Journal Entry #3 – One year ago…
Our journey started off with a bang. Ryan and I were in complete agreement that Profoto was the only lights we wanted to use. Since the company is internationally recognized as the best, neither of us thought otherwise.
We walked up to the Profoto booth at WPPI holding hands and excited to embark on this experience that would surely bring us closer. Unfortunately, our bliss was cut short when Ryan, with his film industry background, exclaimed that we were looking for the second biggest generator Profoto makes and happens to be incredibly heavy. Plus, this generator he was looking for is one their most expensive pieces of gear (we’re talking double digits here).
Ok, I admit it… as a chick, I like compressed, cute stuff. Easy to move, easy to store, and well, cute to look at. We discovered our differences on the Profoto Booth floor and had a bit of a tiff. Needless to say the two sales reps eagerly helping us slowly backed away and disengaged — awkward!! I felt like we had all been part of a domestic dispute. Good thing I made a lasting impression on my sponsor… and hopefully entertained a few people passing by.
We laughed over our argument later and turned it into a point of discussion, finally coming to a synonymous decision on what was best for Catherine Hall Studios. I’m looking forward to sharing my choice soon!
Photograph by Gene Higa Lighting Journal entry # 2 – one year ago…
Every girl loves to shop. And as a total tech geek it doesn’t get much better than this. I can’t wait to get to work with the great equipment I’ve chosen, all from industry leaders in the world of lighting technology. Here’s what I’m getting to launch my lighting learning:
Strobe – I was immediately drawn to Profoto because of their incredible reputation as a leader in the industry. Their products are consistent (with both color balance and burst power), durable and reliable. Most important for me: Profoto is known for shaping and creating absolutely gorgeous light.
Reflectors – My first exposure to California Sunbounce was at a Greg Gorman workshop in Mendocino – btw – his workshops are AWESOME. I have always admired Greg more than any other living photographer for his ability to manipulate and capture extraordinary light. At the workshop I saw that Greg really utilizes California Sunbounce to create his dramatic portraits. So, I decided to learn from the best and work with their products too. Plus, California Sunbounce offers tons of great options and is known for helping many leading photographers emphasize light to create the right effect in an image.
Lighting Supports – I choose these from Manfrotto for several reasons. Since I am constantly moving around quickly during shoots, I need stands that are reliable, durable, and easy to manipulate (I don’t want to lose my awesome, brand new equipment because of tripping over a stand!). Since these Manfrotto supports are incredibly well designed I know that they will be practical and easy to use during shoots.
Photography Support – I have owned a Gitzo since age 16 and have never looked back or even considered anything else. I have always depended on their cutting edge products and finally decided it was time to upgrade from the durable tripod I purchased in college ten years ago (am I dating myself?).
Continuous Light – I noticed that many professionals are using Lite Panels for both video and still photography. I have heard a lot of impressive things about their products and am really excited to take work with this fairly new technology. The Lite Panels products very well made, light weight (very important for me) and eco-friendly making them a perfect piece of equipment. Plus, they are also cable free, reducing the number of possible things to trip over at a shoot!
All of these products are made by great brands and I’m very excited to get started working with all this high quality equipment.
I guess it started a while ago when I realized that for most wedding photographers, myself included, “I exclusively work with natural light” translates into “I am afraid of strobe.” For many years, I lived by this mantra understanding and celebrating pure, natural light. However, despite the ability to manipulate this light, I have to admit that my photography was ultimately being restricted by the oh so glorious Sun.
As an album judge for WPPI over the years, I watched the albums go through and noticed a trend – flat light. As technology advances with higher ISOs and cheap digital cameras, people appear to be skipping over lighting theory. In reality, wedding photographers are probably the guiltiest of this in the photography genre.
While I have my reservations, I realized I had become quite comfortable and skilled working with natural light. I also understood that to be the best possible photographer for my clients and myself I needed take advantage of all the lighting tools available. This of course, included manipulation of artificial light and thus facing my apprehension head on. It was scary but also exciting.
After all, one of the greatest attributes of being an artist and a photographer is the ability to always be challenged and the never-ending opportunity to learn and grow. Last year, I choose to push myself out of my comfort zone of natural lighting and now I would like to share my journey into the world of enhanced lighting with a blog series, “Lighting Journey.” I hope you enjoy the ride.