Fine Art Photographer Jennifer McClure on a Photographer’s Nightmare

“I had some big issues in my life that I needed to process, and photography was a way for me to do that,” explains fine art photographer Jennifer McClure. “I didn’t set out to work in fine art, but I am happy that I landed here.” Jennifer is based in NYC and has profound advice on getting out of a photographer’s worst nightmare: the creative rut. We’ve all spoken to photographers who hit this obstacle and don’t know where to go. Typically, we treat ourselves harshly and beat ourselves up. But Jennifer used a completely different approach. Her words and teachings are bound to get someone experiencing a rut very interested in her process.

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PSA: Please Don’t Use Images from Workshops in Your Portfolio

You probably didn’t do much work for that shot, and it’s tacky.

The longer I’ve worked in the photo industry, the more I’ve been able to see photos within a photographer’s portfolio and put together a scene. Lots of photographers use images from workshops and tradeshows in their portfolio. The intent is to make them seem better than they really are. But it’s wrong and a smoke and mirrors game. I feel the same way at press junkets. You know, the ones where we, other journalists, and YouTubers photograph the same models. It’s why we at The Phoblographer try very hard to get exclusive images. We wouldn’t encourage you to use a cookie-cutter shot that someone else has. Your portfolio should be specifically about showcasing who you are as a photographer and not your ability to copycat or rip off of someone else’s work.

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Watch and Learn: How Jerry Ghionis Communicates When Posing Models

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of being instructed by Jerry Ghionis on a shoot. And he’s incredible.

One of the biggest things I think every photographer needs to keep in mind is that they always need consent to touch a model or move a subject. Jerry Ghionis is the master of showing how to do this. No photographer should assume there is consent while shooting, no matter how long you and a subject have been working together. There should be a steady flow of communication at all times. When you touch and move someone, you should aim to always be cautious and respectful of another person’s body. This all sounds like old hat, but it isn’t. And I think there isn’t enough being said on consent and shooting with a model.

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Everyone Should Be Able to Take Great Food Photos

In my ideal world, everyone should be taking great food photos but that’s not always the case.

One of the highlights of my brief but intense career as a food photographer has been to teach food photography; I really enjoy the passing of knowledge and experience down to those who want the knowledge.

For a couple of years now, I’ve been running one to one food photography workshops in Brighton and London and most recently, I was offered a lecture on food photography at the CNM College in London. I’m running two courses there: A full day food photography workshop where I teach the basics of photography, the differences of food photography, light and styling and then we set-up different food scenarios to put the theory into practice. The other one is a food photography lecture as part of their Natural Chef course where I teach the fundamentals of plating and manipulating food, the composition of a dish based on the recipe and ingredients and then the basics of food photography and food styling. It’s awesome to put my culinary skills into practice and more when it is for education.

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Luc Kordas Documents the Characters of Coney Island in Black and White

All images by Luc Kordas. Used with permission.

We’ve featured photographer Luc Kordas a number of times on our website, and his latest project features Coney Island. The popular Brooklyn tourist destination is iconic for a number of reasons, and in the past few years it has arguably become a hot spot for street photographers. Those looking to start out will have a much easier time honing both their ethical standpoints and their photography chops. At the same time, veterans will find a number of creative challenges that keep them coming back. For Luc, he’s been all about being an observer.

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Here’s How You Prepare Metal Plates for Wet Plate Photography

Aside from preparing the chemicals, Markus Hofstaetter also has to make his own metal plates for his wet plate photography

Part of what catches the attention of would-be wet plate photographers and fans is the hands-on processes that come with the age-old medium. In a recent video, wedding and wet plate photographer Markus Hofstaetter tells us exactly how hands-on it gets by showing us how he makes his own metal plates for wet plate photography.

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Question: Should You Enter Street Photography Competitions?

After purchasing our three video Street Photography Marketing workshop, photographer Michiel de Lange had further questions to ask like, “Should I enter a street photography competition?” Considering what happened recently with Sal Cincotta and judges at Shutterfest, it’s a very big problem that is in the industry which can mean that sometimes you get completely swindled out of your money.

But that doesn’t mean they’re all bad.

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How to Create More Visually Interesting Street Photography

You’ve got the same fear so many others have had: being way too afraid to take photos of people candidly on the street. I mean, what if they get angry and blow up on you? The good news is that it’s not the end of the world and what you’ll realize is that moment is so small and fleeting it won’t really matter. Nor will it weigh heavily on your mind later on. Once you get over this though, know that you now have to go beyond just pressing the shutter. Weird, right? 😉

Here are a few tips on how you can go about creating more visually interesting street photography.

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How to Make the Most of One Light in a Portrait Studio

Working with a portrait subject in the studio first and foremost requires you to stop thinking about them necessarily as your subject and instead more as your collaborator. Now don’t get me wrong, you’re essentially going to be the conductor of the orchestra most of the time so to speak–but you need to think about people in a different way. You also don’t need the fanciest cameras, lighting, etc to make this work.

In fact, very soon we’ve got a special workshop dedicated to doing just this with Instax Wide film hosted at the Lomography Gallery Store in NYC. But if you’re interested in getting a sneak peak of what’s going to be taught, read on.

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The Simple First Step to Making Your Food Photography Look Better Every Time

This is one of the first steps that we’re going to teach in our Food Photography workshop later this month. It involves lighting your food in a different way and is just the first step involved with making your food photos look great. More importantly though, this is a piece of information that will help you make better lighting decisions every time.

But like everything else in photography: it isn’t always just technical info that makes a great photo.

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In the Studio: Creating Professional Photos With the Instax Wide Film

If you’re one of those people that has always wanted to create a professional looking image with Instant Film, then you’ve come to the right place. Is it difficult? Not really; but it will surely require you to think in a different way.

On January 15th, The Phoblographer’s Chris Gampat will take you into the studio to create Instant Photos that look like they were professionally shot while still retaining that lo-fi charm that everyone loves. You’ll learn about posing for a portrait, idea generation, lighting, light modifiers, and so much more.

You can find out more on our EventBrite page for the event.

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Join us in Brooklyn for a VERY SPECIAL Food Photography Workshop

If you’re like some of us, food is more than just an essential part of life’s sustenance, it’s a sensory experience. In fact, scientific research shows that taking a picture of food before you dig in may actually increase the experience for you.

So let the Phoblographer’s Editor in Chief Chris Gampat show you how to create better food photos right at home using simple items that you’ve probably got laying around.

Hit the jump, or click here to find out more and purchase tickets.

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Tomorrow: Come to Our Portrait Workshop Here in NYC!

Hey folks,

Tomorrow, we’re gathering together to do a special portrait photography workshop at the Lomography Gallery store here in NYC. If you bring a camera with manual exposure and a standard sized hot shoe, I’ll teach you how to create a better portrait no matter what the person may look like. It’s a skill that’s a lot more about using light, communication, and creative vision vs the gear.

Are you up for the challenge? Check out the details on our EventBrite page and sign up. It’s a ridiculously affordable price for what you’re getting.

Also be sure to check out our Kickstarter page.


Saturday: Learn How to Take Better Portraits With Your Current Camera

Hey folks,

This Saturday, we’re gathering together to do a special portrait photography workshop at the Lomography Gallery store here in NYC. If you bring a camera with manual exposure and a standard sized hot shoe, I’ll teach you how to create a better portrait no matter what the person may look like. It’s a skill that’s a lot more about using light, communication, and creative vision vs the gear.

Are you up for the challenge? Check out the details on our EventBrite page and sign up. It’s a ridiculously affordable price for what you’re getting.

Also be sure to check out our Kickstarter page.