commercial photography lesson

Nikon D750 Real Estate Photography Lesson in Tampa Florida with Debbi

Debbi with her brand new Nikon D750 during our 1-on-1 commercial real estate photography lesson in Tampa FloridaI often get asked by photography students, what photography gear should I buy next?  My first question back to them is, what is your budget?  When Debbi called me she said she needed everything starting with the camera and she wanted to be able to make shots of her listings for her real estate business.  I asked what the budget was first as I always do, except this time the reply was a little bit different as she said basically any budget is ok!  Well, this meant I could recommend Nikon's newest full frame DSLR, the Nikon D750 along with its tried and true Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G lens and my preferred Induro brand carbon fiber tripod.  Now that is a camera bag full of gear one can grow into!

This was my first time to gets hands on with the Nikon D750 and I was totally impressed.  It was hard for me to hand it back to Debbi, I wanted it to be mine!  After showing Debbi how to use my 5-step process for getting a well exposed and sharp shot in any shooting conditions, without taking the time to setup her new tripod, I just tried some very high ISO handheld shots of the rooms in the listing of hers we were in.  I was blown away by the shots I could make at ISO 3200 and higher of the rooms of the house with the Nikon D750 and the Nikkor 14-24mm lens just hand holding it.  Like really blown away.  Even shooting at the largest aperture of f/2.8 and ISO 3200 the results were startingly good in terms of lack of noise and depth of field.  For the next lesson we will actually put the D750 on a tripod and I cannot wait to see ISO 100 results!

1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in commercial studio in St Petersburg Florida with Marquita

Marquita as the model during her commercial photography lesson in her own photography studio!I met Marquita for a second 1-on-1 commercial photography lesson yesterday, this time at her photography studio in the artisitc Grand Central district of St. Petersburg.  She had been practicing since we first met a few weeks ago in Curtis Hixon Park and was having some white balance issues shooting on a white background using her studio light setup.  Even though she was shooting in RAW using auto white balance, the images coming out of the camera were looking warm, and thus skin tones did not look natural, etc.  To solve this problem I showed her how to set a custom white balance on her Canon T2i which was thankfully not too difficult to figure out just by looking in the menus.  Sure enough, once she used the new custom white balance, her photographs came out looking true to color straight from the camera, not post-processing white balance adjustments needed.  

She also wanted her white background to look more white, such that it was invisible.  I put one of her studio lights directly on the background to essentially blow it out, and that combined with the custom white balance made the subject appear to be on a pure white background, again no post-processing editing needed to fix.  

We concluded the lesson by seeing what just one speedlight off camera with a reflector can do (see the above portrait of Marquita).  Marquita will be investing in a better speedlight for her event photography work, which she can also use in her studio too.  

For the next lesson we will tackle Photoshop and how to add any color background to a subject shot on her white studio background!

For party planning services, visit Marquita's website.

Nikon D3300 Commercial Jewelry Photography Lesson in Seminole Florida with Mark

Mark sets up jewelry at his office to be photographed with his new Nikon D3300 in Seminole Florida

I traveled to Seminole to meet Mark in his office where he runs a jewelry business.  He wanted to learn how to make his own products shots, so this was a commercial photography lesson, different than the usual hobbyist/enthusiast photography lessons I teach.  However, we began the same as most other lessons with me detailing my 5-step process for making a well exposed and sharp shot in any shooting conditions.  In the past Mark did work with film cameras, but found things to be a bit different with digital cameras.  

I also gave Mark some buying advice and clarity on the lenses and gear he could use to make the best product shots possible.  He told me he had bought a 50mm macro lens to go with his Nikon D3300, which I was unaware of Nikon making.  It turns out it was just the usual 50mm f/1.8G lens Nikon sells.  He was told by the salesperson at Best Buy it was.  Let that be a warning to everyone shopping for proper photography equipment at Best Buy, do not rely on the staff there to know about photography!  

Still, using the photography equipment he had, we were able to practice a product shot on a very small pendant all the way through the digital editing process on his desktop.  With that practice and experience during our 2-hour 1-on-1 commercial photography lesson, Mark can now better decide if and what he would like to invest in for making better product photographs.