Photographer Sheds Light on Homelessness with Incredible Portrait Series


As photographer Aaron Draper believes, photography of homeless individuals is quickly become a cliché.  “Far too often, photographers who are searching for urban wildlife stalk the homeless. Unfortunately, this does nothing to increase our understanding of their lives or situations; it just shows how we are elevated and photographing them from a place of privilege.”

His artistic response was to photograph the homeless with the same attention and dignity that he would any traditional client, trading in the typical black-and-white for color, and bringing a mobile lighting setup with him.  His goal isn’t to share an image that makes us feel bad for a moment and whisper a half-hearted prayer before going on with our privileged lives.  His goal is to share lives.

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Available Light Photographer Scared by Darkness: a short story


An excerpt from a new short story I’m working on:

They say it’s impossible to feel the Earth’s rotation, but standing in the meadow, the last rays of the setting sun warming my face, I feel it. I glance at my clients, sitting on the orange couch (because Victorian red velvet is so yesterday) and I wonder if they feel it, too.

The Earth is turning toward darkness and there is nothing I can do about it.

And maybe I don’t feel it as much as I hear it: an almost imperceptible ticking, like a time bomb counting down. I feel the darkness closing in, creeping ever closer.

I have mere minutes before I lose my light source and we aren’t close to being finished. This family of 8 will not be together again for years. They are counting on me. ME! I have no idea what to do. And really, nobody would. That thought gives me comfort.

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Approach or Steal?


I would like to bring up an issue of principle which is connected to photographing people and portraits. One that each photographer has a different opinion and personal way about doing: Do I, as a documentary photographer, need to approach and ask the permission of my subject of photography to take their photograph, or do I “steal” the desired image without them knowing about me doing so?

The biggest advantage when we take a photo without our subject knowing about it is – Authenticity. When a person doesn’t know he’s being photographed, he acts naturally, doesn’t react upon us as photographers and doesn’t feel the need to impress. He acts exactly how he would if we didn’t notice him at all. In this article, I use the verb “steal” for a reason.

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‘Portraits of Shame’ – Ivaylo Petrov shares the story and passion behind his emotive portrait series

Gold medalist Tsvetelina Tsvetanova seen standing in a hotel room at her training facility in Vidin, Bulgaria.

Gold medalist Tsvetelina Tsvetanova seen standing in a hotel room at her training facility in Vidin, Bulgaria.

When I first saw the evocative work of Bulgarian photographer Ivaylo Petrov in his series “Portraits of Shame,” I was immediately captivated.  The series is a collection of images depicting Bulgarian athletes inside their training center in Vidin.  The most startling aspect of the project, as I came to learn, is that these are not creative images in some nostalgic urban decay environment – these are photographs inside an active training ground that’s still in use today.

I wanted to know more about the project and Ivaylo’s passion behind it, so I decided to ask him some questions.

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Photo Booth Photos Help Shelter Dogs Find Homes


Guinnevere Shuster is a professional photographer and the social media coordinator at the Humane Society of Utah. Using her photography and media skills she helps otherwise often overlooked dogs find forever homes.

The photos depict each dog’s individual personality and show the dogs as they are outside of their kennels and metal bars at the shelter. Doing so gives potential adopters a glimpse at what they’ll be getting rather than what can be seen at the shelter itself.

The project seems to be going very well so far and the center reports high adoption rates among photographed dogs.

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I Am Beautiful: Photographers From Around The World Offer Free Photoshoots To Bullied Youth


Though Tiffany Moon is a relative newcomer to the world of photography, the now professional photographer from South Carolina is making headlines around the world after spearheading a project aimed to help children that are victims of bullies. Her project, “I Am Beautiful“, stems from the trials of her own childhood, when Moon says she was an easy target for bullies. Now an adult and mother of four, Moon told a local news station her own experiences as a bullied youth inspired her to reach out to children in her own community.

Once a month, Moon will give away a portrait session to a bullied youth and provide them with a CD of 10 edited images. The project was born after meeting Abby Voorhees, a 12 year old who has been dealing with bullies since 1st grade. The two visited a nearby park, defying the cold temperatures, to capture some portraits of the brave young girl. At first, Abby was nervous, lacking confidence that had, no doubt, been bullied out of her. Once Moon showed her the first photograph, the girl’s whole demeanor changed. “She became this little model,” Moon noted. “I wanted her to see that it wasn’t the makeup that made her beautiful. It wasn’t my pictures that made her pretty. It’s HER.[Read more…]

Use These Quick Tips From Tamara Lackey To Improve Your Portrait Photography


As you know, taking a compelling portrait is more difficult than just aiming your camera at someone and asking them to smile. There a lot of tiny details that are easy to overlook unless you are purposely keeping tabs on them. That being said, if you’re looking to get into portrait photography or just improve your craft a little more, award winning photographer Tamara Lackey delivers a handful of good tips you can use to do just that.

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How to Find Good Light for Portraits Even at Midday


You’ve probably heard you need to have good light for portraits. Okay great, but what does that mean exactly, and how do you find that elusive good light? In this article you’ll get some tips on how to recognize different kinds of light, and make choices based on the look you want for the final portrait. You’ll also learn about open shade, quality of light, direction of light and how to bring it all together so that you can work faster, smarter, and with less gear. Let’s begin!

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How To Get The Perfect Corporate Photo

Getting a good corporate photos has a lot to do with lighting. What should not come as a surprise if the fact that it also has a lot to with human interaction.

J.P. Morgan and the slanted lens crew walk through the ropes of a recent corporate shoot they did, and while they do talk about lighting (as always) I love the fact that they are investing a bit more time on this video about prep-work and talent direction.

The big take for me was not the lighting setup. It was the how to make sure the talent looks good and feels good, which definitely shows on the final image. (Yes, you will need to bring a steamer).

[One Light Corporate Image | The Slanted Lens]