Ginger Garza – 35mm Film – Edinburg, Texas

To those who don’t know I give private photography lessons to about 2-3 students and at one of my lessons I decided to also become a student of photography and practice shooting 35mm film with my Canon AE-1. We held our lesson at the beautiful Edinburg City Hall located in the heart of the city.

At the scenarios that I setup our returning volunteer model, Ms. Ginger Garza, I also took a few snaps of what my students were capturing and these were my best shots.

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The importance of Pre-production for a high profile portrait!

A week ago at work (South Texas College) I was assigned to photograph the college president. The school president’s schedule is always very tight. I got lucky that she was already going to be taking photos with The Monitor Newspaper in the morning so I was able to piggy-back on that. She was scheduled to be interviewed and photographed on a Monday so the Friday before I did some location scouting and light testing.

I asked a colleague to sit in and recommend locations since she is the facility manager. I was only going to have about 5-10mins with the president so I had to have a simple setup. The lighting equipment I used was the Canon Speedlite 600EX‑RT Flash, mounted and controlled by PocketWizards FlexTT5 Transceivers and diffused by a Westcott Rapid 26″ Octa Softbox. The camera I used was the Canon 5D MK III with a 70-200mm 2.8 Sigma lens.

Of all the locations we tested out we only used two. When you are photographing high profile subjects you want to make them travel the least possible and make them feel as comfortable as possible. My colleague joined me Monday to assist me with lighting and hair for the president. Make sure to take assistants with you when doing these type of portraits. Of the two locations used only one photo was selected and published. View the shot below.

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If you would like a photography lesson on pre-production please fill out the form below.

 

 

 

Photography Lesson with Edna – McAllen, Texas

Photography Lesson: Composition

A while back I met up with my good friend Edna, who is an amazing photographer, to do a photography lesson on composition. To be honest I don’t know why she does lessons with me because her work is amazing already but I’ll take any moment to teach anyone who’s passionate about photography and getting better with a camera.

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Photograph by Edna

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Photograph One – Edna V.

Photograph One – Edna V. –  BREAKDOWN 

The photo is really well balanced from the top and from the bottom. This is important in when composing a shot because you never know when your client may want to purchase a print. I always teach my photographers to shoot for print and this shot was perfectly shot with that in mind. The pose / body also forms a triangle and that is important to note because the human eye is attracted to simple shapes and if you can create those simple shapes through human poses you have won the eye. I also encouraged her to shoot from an angle so we can get the leading lines formed by the bridge and rails. This helps the viewer follow the lines to your subject.

Photograph Two – Edna V. –  BREAKDOWN

Often you find yourself near a set a stairs and want to pose your subject on the steps, which is what we did here. If it’s a long stairway I always suggest to sit the model 3 to 4 steps up from the bottom to allow some space above the head. In the photo above my student Edna gave enough space to frame the subject in the stairway. This setting was perfect for applying repetition, which is another important tool to use in composition. I was able to help see the shape in the body and the repetition of the stairs for the composition.

Kudos to my student Edna, as mentioned before, she’s already an amazing photographer and sharpening up her composition skills will just make her better. You can view here work her at this link: swankyfoto

If you are interested in photography lessons please fill out the contact form below.

Location Scouting – Sara Yanez – McAllen Convention Center

Here are some outtakes from a location scouting shoot. We had a photo shoot scheduled at the McAllen Convention Center for a quince that evening and I wanted to test the lighting, backdrops and angles so when our client showed up it would be super smooth.

I believe location scouting is an important part of a photographer’s job but sadly a lot of photographer don’t do it. It takes extra time to do but saves you a lot of time in the long run because it will make it a better experience for your client that you’re not having to guess where to to take your client and it will make your editing experience much easier. 04.13.17_PRINT_Sara Yanez_BBS-0000504.13.17_PRINT_Sara Yanez_BBS-0000604.13.17_PRINT_Sara Yanez_BBS-0001604.13.17_PRINT_Sara Yanez_BBS-0002804.13.17_PRINT_Sara Yanez_BBS-00030

If you would like photography lessons please fill out the contact form below.

 

 

Photography Lesson – Student Jennifer Trevino – Model: Paula Ysasi – Ben Briones Studios

Last Friday I gave an off-camera flash lesson to my student Jennifer. She had recently bought a new studio light and wanted to learn how to use it. My friend Paula was kind enough to volunteer to our model and she got a free photo shoot out of it!

Some of the things we went over during this lesson was learning how to expose to the ambient light and use the studio light for fill learning how to place the light and understanding the power outputs of the light and how to adjust your exposure fore them.

I wanted to show off some of the amazing photos she was able to get!

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER TREVINO! 

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ISO 100 85mm f3.2 1/125

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ISO 100 85mm f4.0 1/125

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ISO 100 85mm f10 1/125

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ISO 100 85mm f9.0 1/125

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ISO 100 85mm f6.3 1/125

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ISO 320 85mm f5.6 1/125

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ISO 100 85mm f3.5 1/125

If you are looking into getting photography lessons please fill out the form below.

Photography Lesson at Balanced Brew Coffee – McAllen, Texas

Last week on Thursday a friend, Audrie Barrera, and I had a private photography lesson at Balanced Brew Coffee in McAllen, Texas. Audrie is a videographer and owns Audrie Barrera Films, where she focuses on commercial videography and special events. She has also been dabbing into photography by request of her clients so we had our own little photo session with some of Balanced Brew Coffee’s menu items just to sharpen her commercial photography skills. Here are our best shots.

Photo Credit: Audrie Barrera, Ben Briones 10.03.18_High Res_Balanced Brew Coffee-00810.03.18_High Res_Balanced Brew Coffee-02310.03.18_High Res_Balanced Brew Coffee-03310.03.18_High Res_Balanced Brew Coffee-04010.03.18_High Res_Balanced Brew Coffee-04110.03.18_High Res_Balanced Brew Coffee-054IMG_6786

If you are looking into getting commercial photography for your business please fill out the contact form below.

 

Photography Lessons with Sara Yanez – McAllen Convention Center

Understanding exposure is important when learning photography. A few weekends ago Sara and I went to the McAllen Convention Center so that she could practice photography. So that the lessons could be as accurate as possible we had the same camera setup; Canon 60D with the Canon EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens. We also used a Sekonic L-308s Lightmeter to try to get realistic exposures.

The lesson was to understand how Shutter Speed, f-Stop and ISO work together to take a picture. We went through how each one works and what it’s used for and then we began practicing in different areas around the Convention Center. On the photos below you can see the settings and a small description of what we were trying to achieve.

I have been giving photography lessons for over 4-years now but don’t really advertise it. I like to think that some of photographer’s I have hired and worked with learned from me but who knows haha. Currently I have 3 students this year who I meet with to give lessons to. Each student is a different level in their photography so I always try to provide unique lessons for what they seek to learn or improve on.

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Canon 60D – 1/160 sec at f/7.1, ISO 640 @ 100mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM) – Cropped Shade Portrait

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Canon 60D – 1/250 sec at f/4.5, ISO 100 @ 33mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM) – Layered Low Angle Portrait

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Canon 60D – 1/250 sec at f/4.5, ISO @ 47mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM) – Low Depth of Filed Reflective Head Shot

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Canon 60D – 1/8 sec at f/4, ISO 100 @ 35mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM)- Slow Shutter Portrait

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Canon 60D – 1/1000 sec at f/3.5, ISO 200 at 28mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM) – Foreground Low Depth of Field Portrait

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Canon 60D – 1/1000 sec at f/3.5, ISO 200 @ 35mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM) – Low Depth of Field Layered Portrait

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Canon 60D – 1/1000 sec at f/3.5, ISO 200 @ 28mm (EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM) – Low Depth of Field Foreground Portrait

If you are interested in photography lessons please fill out the contact form below.