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.
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.
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.