Boudoir Photographer Yolandi Jacobsz Makes the “Moment of Sexy”

All boudoir photography by Yolandi Jacobsz. Used with permission.

To better understand the psychology between a professional and their client, we spoke to boudoir photographer Yolandi Jacobsz. Boudoir photography is an extremely delicate genre. Most of the clients who walk into a photographer’s studio are women. They may bring with them a mixture of emotions and insecurities. A boudoir shoot is an opportunity for the subject to be born into or reinforce confidence. Because it’s so vulnerable, it takes a skilled pro to help a subject truly become themselves.

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Portraiture with the Fujifilm 50mm f1 R WR. A Love Story

The Fujifilm 50mm f1 R WR gives legitimacy to the X series that full-frame photographers have long complained about.

I think we have to admit to ourselves that professional photographers will use a flash or create their own light if they need it. And so, the light-gathering that the Fujifilm 50mm f1 R WR boasts will appeal to the hobbyist. Most photographers these days are hobbyists–and a lens with extra bokeh is like a baited hook. Liken the hobbyist shooter to a dog. When the creature receives a treat, they’ll be happy each and every time. Portrait photographers shooting the Fujifilm 50mm f1 R WR will be similar. In fact, I was shocked.

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In New Jersey, Wedding Photographer Mike Zawadzki Creates Magic

All images by Mike Zawadzki. Used with permission. Please follow him on Instagram.

“Vulnerability comes into play big time with clients,” explains photographer Mike Zawadzki. “I mean who is used to being in front of the camera all of the time, unless you’re a TV/movie star?” A part of Mike’s secret is something that I think is inherently a part of growing up in the Northeast. He says that he strives to build strong relationships with his couples. Traditionally not something that you do, but it surely does work when you consider that we’re all human. Mike has a fascinating story and I’ve personally adored watching him change over the years. Mike is one of the many people who I saw quit alcohol in pursuit of improving their own life. I did it for a year and it really changed me. And to see Mike in a spot where he’s a shining star brings me joy. Most of all, I hope that this interview with Mike puts a smile on your face.

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Op ED: We’re Going to Need Ultra Fast Lenses or AI Developed Bokeh

The next step and evolution of mirrorless camera systems needs to be ultra fast lenses.

“Whoa, that’s some intense bokeh,” one of my best friends said to me the other day in a Discord hangout. He was referring to my using the Canon EOS R with the Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L USM lens. It kept my face in focus the entire time and was quite fast about it too. And if you gauge the trends that people with smartphones do when it comes to artificial bokeh, this is going to need to be the next step. Otherwise, there may be a need to boost the bokeh artificially–unless the manufacturers wish to embrace the idea of the camera being a luxury. But otherwise, it’s very fair to say that due to the incredible efforts of engineers, we’ve pretty much reached peak lens.

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These Cameras Are Probably a Panoramic Photographer’s Dream

All images by Dirk Fletcher. Used with permission.

The idea of a panoramic image is typically involving lots of shooting and stitching in post-production. You could shoot at 16:9, but that’s not always available. Instead, some cameras let you do it in-camera. Photographer Dirk Fletcher recently had some fun tinkering with and refurnishing a few old school Zeiss cameras. These cameras can shoot at 6×12–that’s a panoramic format in medium format. Dirk, who works at Canon, has done fun experiments like this before. And, if anything, his work really makes me wonder why nothing digital has been made like this yet.

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Photographing Portland: The Photojournalist Who Was Shot in the Chest

This is the second installment of our series focusing on the Portland protests.

The on-going tension between the people of Portland and its law enforcement has been a polarizing topic in America. Some feel the aggression from the police is justified, viewing it as a direct response to violence committed by a section of the protesters. On the flipside, many believe this is a total abuse of power by those employed to protect and serve. Naturally, events such as this attract wide media attention. A major part of the coverage is photography, something we, of course, want to focus on. Amidst the Portland Protests, there was a photojournalist who was shot in the chest.

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The Portrait Kitchen Creates Enchanting Photos in Their Home Studio

The Portrait Kitchen creates photography in the comfort of their own home.

When most people open their kitchen to the public, it’s because they want to offer their tasty cuisine. That’s not the case for Jon and Anjee. A married couple based in the UK, this photography duo instead open their kitchen to shoot portrait sessions for their clients. Aptly named The Portrait Kitchen, the work the pair produce in their studio is of an excellent standard. Looking at the work, one would never know it was created amongst rolling pins and Britain’s finest china (we assume). And although the idea wasn’t born out of our current times, for anyone who is still stuck at home, the work made in The Portrait Kitchen will inspire you to be more creative in your own abode.

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Zayn Abunnasr Photographs the Aftermath of the Beirut Explosion

All images by Zayn Abunnasr. Used with permission.

On August 4th, 2020, the city of Beirut was struck with disaster. Lebanon’s capital was left in ruins after a large explosion in the city’s port area. Reports suggest around 180 people died in the explosion, with 6,000 people left injured. The people of the city, now in disarray, took to the streets to display their anger at a government they feel is largely to blame for what happened. On the ground, amongst the key-workers and general public, was photographer Zayn Abunnasr. Although primarily there to help clean up and support his city, he also wanted to ensure he was able to document. We spoke to Abunnasr to learn more about the mood on the ground in a city handling yet another crisis.

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The Lens I Regret Purchasing: One Lens Made Me Hate Sony E Mount

Though I’ll praise its innovations, I ultimately ended up regretting the purchase of the Sigma 35mm f1.2 Art DG DN.

What good is purchasing a lens you’re never going to use? Is it worth it to have a lens in your camera bag or on your shelf collecting dust? Don’t get me wrong–if you’re a collector, then that’s a different story. But if you intend to use a lens for work, then there’s no point in holding onto something unnecessarily. And that’s how I feel about the Sigma 35mm f1.2 Art DG DN. I messed up. Tempted by the innovation and a tremendous editorial discount from Sigma, I decided to pull the trigger and get the lens for Sony E Mount. Sure, it delivers beautiful images, and there’s something to be said for a fast 35mm lens. On paper, this is a lens that I’m sure you and I both would be smitten for. But in reality, that’s not the case.

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Live Comp Is Just One Reason Why Olympus Cameras Are So Fun to Use

Olympus cameras pack innovative features that make them unique, and it’s the reason why I stick with them.

Having fun with photography is something we sometimes forget to do, especially those of us who enjoy photography both as a hobby and practice it as our full-time professional jobs. I switched to Olympus cameras in late 2019 after having to sell all my Full Frame gear to pay off medical debts I incurred after almost dying. I will admit, moving to Micro Four Thirds was not my first choice, but I needed a camera so that I could resume my business, and an Olympus E-M1 II fell into my lap. I can honestly say that, since then, I have never looked back, and it’s due to how much fun I have using Olympus cameras. Let’s talk about this after the break.

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Why Street Photography Is Easy for Norah Alamri in Saudi Arabia

All images by Norah Alamri. Used with permission.

“The reality is every country has beauty hidden everywhere,” says Norah Alamri. “But the media always focuses on representing the bad and sometimes inaccurate news about my country.” Speak to most people in the west, and if you mention Saudi Arabia, it will be met with a comment like “it’s dangerous, sexist, and totalitarian.” There’s truth to it, but this truth can also be found in many other countries around the world. And we seldom read or hear about Saudi’s beauty and its positives. That is why the work of Alamri is so important: it helps people see her country in a different light. Let’s take a look.

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The Wonderful Story of Street Photographer Jack Sharp

All images by Jack Sharp. Used with permission from Dylan Scalet.

“I was told he fully embraced anything he ever took interest in,” explains Dylan Scalet to the Phoblographer in an email about his grandfather, Jack Sharp. “That meant when he took up Photography, he did all the research. Understood the mechanics of the camera, the science behind light, and the alchemy of the darkroom.” Mr. Sharp was a British engineer by trade at the famous CERN laboratories in Geneva, Switzerland, but was an avid photographer in his free time between 1950-1970. And by the looks of the archive tMr. Scalet sent us, his grandfather had a serious love of street photography akin to that of Vivian Maier and Pierre Crocquet. This isn’t too far off from what many of us do today–but the gear and how we do it is far different. Jack also came from a time where one really shot for themselves instead of Instagram likes. And that’s evident in the images.

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Entry-Level Cameras Aren’t Cheap and Many People Just Need Their Smartphone

The smartphone camera has played an influential role in getting people into photography.

“Hey, Dan. I wanted to ask your help on buying a camera. I have a budget of around $300.” It’s a question I get asked a lot, and one I struggle to answer, not because I don’t know what I’m talking about, but because how can I recommend a dedicated camera for $300 unless we look at the used and discontinued market? For what you can get for that price, one has to ask themselves if the one in your pocket is all you need anyway? Yes, your smartphone camera is just that good!

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The Joy of the Photo Walk

I haven’t shot a single portrait since the Covid-19 crisis began.

There’s been one upside to this Coronavirus mess: I’ve rediscovered my love of the photo walk. Working from home was turning my legs to jelly, so in June, I committed to walking as much as possible, camera in hand. I’m now up to about 60 miles per week and looking to take it higher.

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Flickr Has Been Home to Promiscuous and Pornographic Photos (NSFW)

Tumblr had the hammer brought down on them for NSFW content, but Flickr avoided this somehow.

“Always thought that was more of a 500px thing,” said Phoblographer’s Reviews Editor Paul Ip in our staff Facebook chat. The rest of the staff agreed and never knew about the porn community on Flickr. To Mr. Ip’s point, 500px was always known for its affinity for nudes produced by Russian photographers. Depending on how liberal-minded you are, nudity and pornography aren’t the same things. Most people probably aren’t aware of Flickr’s more wild side. Ask most photographers in your friend circle or network, and you’ll find that most don’t use Flickr anymore. If they do, then they’re probably over the age of 35.

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The Strange Series Looks Like an Infrared Twilight Zone Episode

All images by Roland Kraemer. Used with permission.

“Infrared imagery has something so otherworldly appealing to it that sparked an interest in me on how infrared photography is working,” says photographer Roland Kraemer. “I instantly wanted to know what I need to create such imagery. So I began to research for quite some time before I even started taking the first infrared images.” That’s the start of the Strange Series–a project from Roland that takes infrared photography to a level that so many have been working on for the past few years. Roland tells us that he shot and edited the images to taste. But the final, curated series looks like something almost out of the Twilight Zone. A hobbyist photographer, Roland looked to express himself in this series by showcasing the world as an extraordinary place amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic. So we got into his mind to talk about the series.

Be sure to follow Roland at his website, on Instagram, and on Behance.

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Toy Story: How This Photographer Brings His Toys to Life

This is some of the best toy photography we’ve seen.

“I confess to having an offbeat sense of humor, and that will often come out in my work,” says photographer Mitchel Wu. If you had never met Mitchel but had only seen his work, you would know immediately that he’s a funny man. And the amount of humor in his toy photography is equaled by an insane amount of skill and talent. His client list is strong enough to make the most well-rounded photographer envious. And his job as a whole, although complex, looks like a hell of a lot of fun – we had just as much fun learning all about it!

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5 Astonishing Women Doing Boudoir Photography Tutorials on YouTube

Experience boudoir photography tutorials through the female gaze.

Boudoir photography can be a whole lot of fun, both for the model and the photographer. But those elegant, attractive, and sensual photos are not easy to achieve, especially if you’re working with non-models. You need plenty of knowledge to do it, and even more if you want to do it well. Because most boudoir subjects are female, we wanted to put this piece together from the female photographers’ perspective. Because, after all, who knows about women’s bodies better than women themselves? Check out these women doing boudoir photography tutorials on YouTube.

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No Street Photography for Four Months. My Mental Health Is Struggling

Street photography was my crux for happiness, now it has been completely taken away.

Earlier this year I wrote an article that covered my journey through depression. Street photography played a major (possibly the most significant) role in helping me come out of the darkness. The article was published on March 7th, three days after I arrived in Medellin, Colombia. Two weeks later a four-day quarantine started: four months later and it still hasn’t ended. I’ve not practiced street photography once in all that time, and the impact on my mental health is starting to show.

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Dear Canon and Epson: Make a Full Frame Film Scanner That Tethers

Canon and Epson, who both still make film scanners, should be finding a way to actually improve them with a full frame film scanner. 

While the idea behind this may sound a bit extraneous, I don’t believe that it is. There’s been a trend for many years where photographers scan their film with DSLRs or mirrorless cameras. It’s often easier, and you get more details, dynamic range, etc. So it’s been puzzling to me why no one has made a scanner with a full-frame sensor. Epson and Canon can both do it, but Canon is the one perhaps more inclined to be able to do so. The idea is a pretty simple one, but it should have been made years ago. However, it’s not too late if both Canon and Epson tried to do it.

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How Photography Was My Shield in Battling Loss and Grief

Like many of you, I’ve used photography as a form of therapy.

“Hey, Auntie Joan, isn’t this the day we cremated Grandpa?” That’s how my day started–by looking at memories on Facebook and remembering a time when I first became content with shooting landscapes. This was an incredibly difficult time. I was in my early 20s and already facing an incredibly rough job at the B&H Photo Social Media Dept. But I remember when my sister called me to tell me about how a stroke had destroyed over 40% of my grandfather’s brain. So my sister, mother and I got into our car, left our home in Queens for a few nights and went up to Toronto. You see, this was a complicated death. It’s one that we had been expecting for a long time. But a few things made this one especially difficult for me, and my Canon 5D Mk II was my only shield. As I type that, I remember the day that I threw it down the trash chute in my old Brooklyn apartment. That camera was my shield. And like many of you, photography has been a welcome distraction for holding back tears and completely losing it.

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