I was always one of those people who would count down the minutes until it turned 5:30pm, but now I watch the clock counting down the minutes until my next photography assignment.
I enjoy the uncertainty of the job, as it could be anywhere in the world, photographing any subject and may have some unusual requirements thrown in for good measure. What is certain however, is that I will get to meet and create art with some interesting characters. Continue reading “Take A Different View: Fashion Photography Re-imagined”
The latest featured photographer in our X-Thusiast program is Tafa Ali. Tafa was born in Indonesia, and lives in Sydney. Keen on fashion photography, Tafa shoots at runways and enjoys attending photo exhibits at art galleries.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where you are from?
My name is Tafa Ali. I was born in Indonesia and I am currently living in Sydney, Australia. I’m a freelance photographer and I work at Spectrum Camera House.
I was focused on music and drawing when suddenly photography had a massive impact on me after I picked up a film camera in high school. It has now been six years that I have been shooting and have exhibited my work overseas and in Australia.
“Blue and Gold” X-Pro2 + XF56mmF1.2 R APD
How did you develop an interest in photography using Fujifilm equipment?
I was a Canon shooter before, but with the new mirrorless technology and the amount of gigs I was going to be doing, Fujifilm was a better choice for me. When first picking up a X100S from a mate, I loved how sharp my photos were and how easy it was to change the settings in manual mode using the dials. It reminded me of when I was shooting film. This simplicity made me want to purchase only Fujifilm cameras going forward.
How would you describe your photography style and strategy?
My photography style is focused on fashion, portrait and event photography. Mostly I shoot with natural light or a direct flash for my portrait and fashion shots. Keep it simple and clean, unless the client wants a different setup.
“Oscar de la Renta Backstage” X100T
What inspires your photography?
People – everyone has their own unique characters. I love capturing their personality.
Where are your favourite places to take photos and do you prefer a certain type of light to photograph in?
I don’t have any favourite places to shoot because I mostly shoot indoor. When I shoot outdoor, I like to shoot on random streets in the city or Newtown and mainly beaches, too. I like shooting in the shade because the light is very soft and diffused, which really helps to bring out nice skin tones.
“Botanic Garden” X-Pro2 +XF56mmF1.2 R APD
What is your favourite memory from a photography session?
When I was shooting one of my favourite musicians, Steve Vai!
Can you tell us what is your favourite Fujifilm camera and why?
I used to have X-T1, but mostly I use the X100T because of the hybrid viewfinder. Now I prefer to use the X-Pro2 as my favourite camera to use. It has a much better autofocus – especially after the firmware update. And it’s super amazing in low light! I was photographing fireworks on New Year’s Eve at ISO 8000 and I barely saw any noise. Also, I can use all my vintage lenses from my film cameras on X-Pro2 with my adapters.
Which Fujinon lens or lenses do you prefer to use with your Fujifilm camera and why?
I shoot 99% portrait and fashion, so the Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 R APD is my favourite. It’s a super sharp lens at F1.2 and I just love the colours and the really nice soft bokeh!
“Sunday Morning in Bronte” X100T
What sort of workflow do you use in your photography? Do you shoot in RAW or Jpeg?
Mostly I edit my photos using Lightroom and Photoshop. I shoot RAW and Jpeg on each individual SD card. For mobile editing, I can transfer and edit straight on my phone, for this I use snapseed and VSCO.
Do you have any technical tips you’d like to share? Perhaps suggestions on the best lighting, shutter speed, white balance, aperture, ISO, etc.? Other preferences?
Before I start shooting, I need to have a concept first. Planning ahead saves so much time on location later. I always set my ISO first, and then aperture; the last thing is shutter speed. If I need to change the exposure I just change the shutter speed dial. I always use auto white balance except when I shoot fashion runways. This is when you have to adjust your own white balance (saves a lot of editing time) because the lighting keeps changing every second.
“Newtown Chill” X100T
Do you have advice for new photographers or the next potential X-Thusiast?
Watch a lot of tutorials online but don’t spend too much time in front of your computer. Go outside and shoot, hang out and make friends with people who love photography too.
Attend photographic exhibitions, go to art galleries and join photo walks. I might see you there at the next People with Cameras by Fujifilm. Looking forward to the next one. 🙂
Victoria Wright joins the league of Fujifilm X-Photographers. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Victoria specializes in authentic storytelling with X Series gear.
Victoria Wright moved to Seattle from eastern Washington in 2007 to finish her degree and finally be in the city she loved. Inspired by her grandfather’s ability to create and share a beautiful moment with brushes on canvas, Victoria took an interest in photography early in life; however, she did not pursue it seriously until moving to Seattle and did not transition this passion into a profession until 2013, when social media began opening doors which allowed her to share with a larger audience.
When Instagram came to Android in 2012, Victoria experimented with mobile photography and began to connect with other users around the world. Her recognition on social media quickly grew and she helped build the Instagrammers Seattle community as a manager, organizing photo walks, charity events, exhibits, and more in the larger Pacific Northwest (PNW) region. She also began to have her mobile work shown in major exhibitions such as 100-50-1 in San Francisco as well as events and galleries in Seattle.Specializing in portrait, lifestyle and travel photography, Victoria’s goal has always been to create photographs that possess a thoughtful approachability, bringing the viewer into the moment rather than leaving them on the outside. She has worked with global brands including GAP, AMEX, Coach, and Airbnb, capturing people, places, and moments in time that others might overlook. In search of the next story worth telling, Victoria has traveled to and photographed many locations around the United States (including remote regions of Alaska), the mythical countrysides of Scotland (fairies and all), the endless landscapes of Iceland, and elsewhere, all while on assignment.This fall, she will be hitting the road and the skies again as she travels through New Mexico, Utah, Texas, and then back to California to finally visit Yosemite National Park for the first time. Next summer, she is planning to reconnect with her European roots on a trip to Lithuania — her first trip back since moving to Washington when she was only two — with her father, a man whose model of unquestioning generosity and inspiring drive to work hard have helped her find her own path.Victoria will of course be traveling with her Fujifilm camera in tow. After purchasing her first X Series camera — the X-T1 — Victoria knew she had found the perfect match. The ease, flexibility and photo quality of the X Series quickly won her over and she recently moved to the X-T2, though her T1 remains close by.Living in the PNW, Victoria never shies away from bad weather, especially while on the road, and the X Series allows her to brave the elements without worrying about her gear. The cameras are compact for easy travel, the lenses are sharp and fast, and the Wi-Fi capability makes remote uploading and shooting incredibly easy, including the ability to adjust exposure, aperture, ISO and other settings right from her phone.More than anything, Victoria admires how well Fujifilm listens to its photographers. Through both software and hardware updates, she has found that the X Series continues to improve in ways that truly benefit photographers. The X-T2, with updated 4K video capabilities, impressive Autofocus functions, and a Vertical Power Booster Grip that allows for brilliantly fast continuous shooting, is no exception. It is safe to say that Victoria is excited to see what lies ahead for Fujifilm and she can hardly wait to get her hands on the GFX 50S. The new G Format sensor is definitely going to shake up the world of medium format photography.
The guys at Fujifilm asked me to put something together for fashion week, in the past I have shot for a few different designers & the principal sponsor of the event when it was held at the Natural History Museam & the opulent ‘Somerset House’.
This year it all moved into the heart of the West End, where the streets are the real stage!
“Fashion may come and go, But Soho’s always got Style”
I love shooting fashion portraits, easy to plan, far less work than an editorial or commercial job! Give me a good model, quite often no team, just me, the model and an idea of what we want to create and almost without fail we’ll come away with some great shots that look uncontrived and natural. These are my tips for approaching this kind of portraiture…! !
#1 Put together a mood board beforehand that gives the general idea of what you’re aiming for, this doesn’t have to be an exact guide of the result you’d like but more of an overview so that everyone is on the same page. If you’ve not yet got a clearcut style then it’s good to find an image that’s close to what you want to create.!
#2 Pick the right model for the style you’re shooting, it sounds obvious but casting a very commercial girl next door type model when you want an editorial style with attitude is generally not going to work.!
#3 Remember models are people too, take the time to chat with them, get to know them a
little. Fashion portraits and people photography in general is as much about your personality as it is a model’s, create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere and it will show in your results!!
#4 Try not to over direct, I always find a good professional fashion model allowed to pose free will usually create magic you never thought of yourself, that pretty much goes for fashion portraits as well as editorials.!
#5 Don’t ever put your camera down while the model is in front of you, you may just miss a candid shot that is a killer! I’ve done it and you will kick yourself.!
#6 Don’t get hung up on having a full team, some of my favourite shoots have been with no make up, hair or styling aside from what the model brings with her or him. I’ve shot models in an old pair of my jeans and that’s it.!
#7 Keep things simple, good lighting doesn’t need multiple light sources and expensive
modifiers, one light or daylight works best for a fashion portrait.!
#8 Play with angles, shoot from the floor, move around the model and experiment.!
#9 Keep make up natural or even shoot without any at all, a blank canvas and unstyled hair bring a realism to the shoot.!
#10 I generally keep styling basic for this kind or shoot, denim, t-shirts, vest tops, basics underwear, again give your model some ideas in advance or get something in yourself if you don’t have a stylist.! !
Brian Rolfe is a professional photographer based just outside of London with a clean and classic style specialising in beauty, hair, fashion and portraiture.
Inspired by the classic photography of the sixties and the supermodel era of the eighties and nineties, he takes a simplistic approach, preferring to work with one or two lights and keep retouching to a minimum in order to enhance rather than overpower an image.
Alex Lambrechts is offering the chance for two lucky photographers to win a free place at Alex’s newest ‘Fashion X street’ workshop (usually £115 per person). It will be based in Soho, London for a Street Fashion shoot with a twist.
Who is it for?
Suitable for all levels of photographers, because you’ll be receiving personal hands-on tuition, tailored to your experience level. This course is especially exciting for those still on the fence about switching to the X-Series from traditional DSLR, rangefinders and/or other formats, and a must for those wanting to pick up loads of new and unique tips and tricks.
Note: it is not essential to bring or use Fujifilm cameras, the majority of principles taught are indeed universal, and you will have the opportunity to use Alex’s cameras and lenses if you wish.
What will you learn?
This hands-on Fashion X Street workshop will focus on the various techniques and ideas Alex frequently uses when shooting an ‘On-Street’ Fashion, Press or Portrait job, shooting with both daylight and flash for varied environmental and lighting effects. During this 5 hour course, you and up to 14 others will be learning/testing loads of tips, tricks and secrets. Prepare to be taken out of your comfort zone, no matter how experienced you are!
We’ll be shooting a professional international Fashion Model, you’ll will be taken right the way through the process, from the pre-shoot, makeup, styling and planning set up, to directing your model for maximum results, learning the following along the way:
In-depth manual control and familiarisation of the various features unique to the X-Series, as well as basic manual photography. (again, it is not essential to bring or use Fujifilm cameras, the majority of principles taught are indeed universal)
Accurately & confidently selecting and using various focal lengths, in both Auto & Manual focus modes, with a variety of focusing techniques for different lighting and environmental situations.
Knowing how and when to switch between the various view options of the Hybrid viewfinder and LCD to get the most out of these great tools in every situation.
Looking for, identifying and creating dynamic compositions on the go, for that ‘reportage look’ whilst avoiding the typically boring/posed images.
How to shoot in the ‘real world’ and ‘on the fly’ with varying lighting conditions and moving subjects on location.
How to effectively break the ‘Professional Photographer Mindset’ and rules to achieve more visceral and striking imagery, and find your own unique style.
How to use your flash in various ways, for either fill or creative lighting, as well as incorporating existing or external light sources, to enhance your creations.
The final part of this day will then be spent reviewing and editing your new images, (catching up in the warmth) as well as going over any aspects you might want to revisit or discuss again.
Note: I also follow up with an hour Web cast live group chat session where all participants can discuss their shots and I will go over how I process my images again in even more detail…
The workshop will run on Saturday 28th February, starting at 12:30pm till 5:30pm. Address:B-SOHO, 21 Poland Street, Soho, London. UK. W1F 8QG
How to enter
For a chance to win, simply post your best street fashion image into the comments section of our #FujiFashion Facebook competition post by the 18th February 2015 at 10am. Alex will then choose the two lucky individuals by Thursday the 19th February.