'Five Photography Tips' Category

Five Photography Tips: Sean Klingelhoefer

Automotive photographer Sean Klingelhoefer is a former mechanic. His deep regard for all things automotive has helped shape his craft, new career, and photographic subject matter. He was kind enough to take the time to participate in our ongoing Five Photography Tips series. Here is his advice on the art and practice.

©Sean Klingelhoefer

1. Invest wisely.
One mistake many photographers make is buying copious amounts of cheap gear. While this can be necessary at times, most of you will learn you really do get what you pay for. If you invest in solid gear now, you’ll be using it for the rest of your career. It might seem like a lot of money up front, but by the time you replace your broken knock-off gear three times, the good stuff would have already paid for itself. An added bonus is the good stuff, like PocketWizard radios, work every time and often offer substantial freedom (added range, for example) over lesser products.


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Five Photography Tips: Jason Lykins

Cincinnati-area photographer Jason Lykins is mostly known as a portrait artist, but provides many types of photography to a variety of clients. He recently was kind enough to share some of his insights with readers of the PocketWizard blog. Be sure to check out his links at the end of his installment in our on-going series, Five Photography Tips.

1. Move! Moving is the most important thing you can do in photography. Forget settings, f/stops, aperture, and ISO, etc. Forget about all of that. When you change your position. When you crouch down to shoot lower, or when you climb up to shoot from above, you are creating drama. You are creating a view the person looking at your image isn’t used to seeing. This will make your image more compelling. This applies to every type of photography, but since I specialize in portrait photography I find it especially pertains to people. Often times when I shoot portraits I start by shooting standing up at eye level with the subject. This gets them comfortable with me, and allows me to build a rapport with them. I then switch to a lower shooting angle. Usually I am on one knee or sometimes even as low as shooting from my stomach. Shooting from a lower position does multiple things. On women it can elongate their legs making them appear to be taller than they really are. On Men, shooting from lower often times gives the sense of power. For both men and women shooting from a lower angle gives a feeling of dominance in the photograph. Of course there are many, many more advantages from shooting from down low, so try it out and I guarantee your images will become more interesting. On the flip side, positioning yourself above your subject will thin them down. If your subject is larger, shooting from above will make then appear to be skinnier. When they lift their chin to look at the camera it stretches the neck and eliminates double chins. Again there are many, many more advantages to shooting from above, so give it a shot to see what it does for your perspective.


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Five Photography Tips: Chris Garrison

We first profiled Chris Garrison and his amazing photography in November. Since then, he’s continued his amazing photography of athletes in snow and water, or rather, typically flying above snow and water, while pushing the limits of PocketWizard Hypersync technology.

Chris offered to participate in our Five Photography Tips ongoing feature. Here’s the points he felt are important enough to share with other shooters.

©Chris Garrison


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Five Photography Tips: Troy Freund

When we first published “Troy Freund’s Green Cause,” we were interested in both his shooting and his environmental concerns, which he applied directly to his photography business. I recently asked Freund about his top five photography tips, and what follows are the points he wanted to share with our readers.

  1. When I’m working with people, I try to remember I’m working with their time, not mine. That means I need to be efficient, friendly, effective, and quick. Know your equipment inside-and-out so you can use it more proficiently. For instance, my Profoto and PocketWizard gear is simple to use. I know all aspects of their operation.
  2. Think about what interests you, and see how that could possibly lead to photo-work. I’m interested in sustainability and green-business issues, so I’m looking into that market for work-leads. If you expect to find work, you need to have a “target” to aim at. “Being a photographer” is not enough. I am “a photographer interested in serving the locally-owned businesses of SE-Wisconsin and the green/sustainable businesses of the Midwest.” What do you want to be? Who do you want to serve?
  3. I always start my power packs at the lowest setting possible, and raise the power only as needed. Lower power output means less likelihood of popping a breaker, a quicker recycle time, a shorter flash duration, and a lower f-stop setting (more shallow depth-of-field). These are all good things in my book. I really appreciate the flexibility in output from my Acutes.
  4. Preparedness is crucial. I have to anticipate any problems that can occur and be ready for them. A client will not be pleased if a shoot gets cancelled because I forgot to bring some spare AA batteries, replacement PocketWizard cords or a back-up camera body.
  5. In the end, commercial photography is about customer service. If my client isn’t pleased, I’m not going to get more work. Keeping the channels of communication open and expectations understood are imperative to a successful shoot.
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