Creating and Lighting Underwater Portraits


All images by Tim Davis. Used with permission.

“My biggest fear is that I will become stagnant and stale so staying near the edge if not hanging over it is where I want to be most days.” says Photographer Tim Davis about his work. Perhaps this is why he got so into underwater portraits–because so few people do them. Tim was born and raised in Wichita, KS and has owned/operated Tim Davis Photography there for 13 years. He tells us that he has 4 beautiful 12 year olds, Joey, Aiden, Sam and Brenna who have helped him become the man and artist he is today.

Well..that and slosely watching photographers like Annie Leibovitz, Joe McNally, Sal Cincotta, etc.

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The Psychology of Creative Wedding Photography

Kownslar Wedding-244

Photo Essays is a series on the Phoblographer where photographers get to candidly speak their mind about a specific subject or project of theirs. Want to submit? Send [email protected]

All images by Travis and Nina Tank. Used with permission. Be sure to also follow them on Instagram.

Something that I have spent the last few years trying to perfect in wedding photography is creating moments. Raw, real emotion is actually very difficult to achieve when you have a semi-stranger in your face expecting you to model. I have found there to be a significant difference in what sets photographers apart… there are ones who create moments and some that simply capture them. While yes we are all technically “capturing” moments, photojournalism in its purest form doesn’t tend to lend itself to the creative imagery that couples want or hire us for.

Those laughs that you see, the smiles and the people who look like they are having a good time are actually having a good time and laughing with us. This is the reason why few photographers seem to have more stiff imagery in their portfolio than authentic emotions. The good news? It only takes a simple switch in your mindset to completely change the way you view yourself as a photographer and how you capture any subject on the other side of your camera.

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Liquid: a Series of Creative Polaroid Photos (NSFW)


All images by James Wigger. Used with permission.

Some of the coolest and most creative things in the photo world are often done with analog cameras and film– and some of the work of photographer James Wigger is a big testament to that statement. He was born in Farmington, Missouri in 1957 and has had work exhibited in Scotland, France and the Netherlands along with a number of galleries in the US while also having been featured in numerous magazines and books. James lives and works in Brooklyn, New York–which I guess you can say makes him one of the cool kids.

James has a very interesting method for what he calls his Liquid series. He would shoot an instant film photo, cut it open, spray liquid inside while it was developing, and look at the really cool and almost painteresque results.

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The Creative Mentality Behind Intimate Portraiture (NSFW)


All images by Jason Bach. Used with permission.

“We live in a world where media & film censorship favors violence over the beauty of the naked form.” says photographer Jason Bach about how he got into intimate portraiture. “To me, its an appalling concept and should be reversed – we should be embracing and teaching younger generations that sexuality and nudity is natural and a much more positive representation of humanity than what violence offers.” You see, Jason isn’t one of those guys on the social interwebs using nudity to become Instafamous–he creates genuinely intimate, sensual and beautiful work.

Jason Bach is a wedding and commercial photographer who owns his studio The Photogenic Lab based in Denver, CO. He labels his distinctive style as “playful, innovative images that wrap stories into single moments.” Indeed, it makes a lot of sense. And when it comes to creating intimate scenes, he says that it’s all about the serious nature behind the work.

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Jordan Stead’s Telling Portraits of Seattle PI’s K-9 Units

Buddies and K-9 coworkers Ziva, right, and Dennis, left, have long shared a bond, frequently making public appearances together. Photographed Monday, May 11, 2015, in Seattle, Washington. (Jordan Stead,

All images by Jordan Stead. Used with permission.

Photographer Jordan Stead cites that the art of the pitch helped him to do a portrait project on the Seattle PI’s police dogs. It’s an art that many professionals and semi-professionals understand–and one that is backed by a creative vision. Luckily, Jordan loves giving back to the visual community through eduation.

He started out in video; but later on stills went on to pay the bills after becoming obsessed with photography. He’s a photojournalist and has witnessed life, death, Super Bowls & nudist culture through his career. He’s worked with clients such as Microsoft, Amazon, The New York Times, Chevron & CreativeLive.

When you look at it like that, photographing police dogs may seem like a piece of cake.

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Review: Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN Contemporary (Sony E)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC mirrorless product images (1 of 6)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 4.0

Sigma has been putting out loads of awesome lenses over the past years–even their Contemporary glass seems to be right up there with their Art and Sports lenses. So when the company announced their 30mm f1.4 DC DN, I was really curious as to why it wasn’t under the Art series.

With an f1.4 aperture, nine aperture blades and fast focusing motors inside, it surely seems like it would be. But maybe Sigma is making their contemporary lenses render a bit less saturation vs the Art series–at least that’s what the 30mm makes me believe.

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Portraiture, Skin Tones, and Clothing: Making the Editing Process Easier

Model: Megan Gaber

If you’re a portrait photographer and you’ve learned how to work with the color channels in Lightroom, then you’re probably aware of some of the potential problems that can occur when editing the channels and how they affect a scene. In some situations, editing skin can be simple enough. But unless you’re using a Color Checker of some sort then you know that it can become very complicated.

Before you go on, I strongly recommend not really taking this post in unless you’ve worked with the color channels and have advanced experience in portraiture. It will probably be very tough to process otherwise. Why? It’s cumulative. However, it’s only briefly touching on this as it can become very complicated.

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