photography

FAQ: Photography, Finding Models, and More!

Hi, it's me again.

Today, I'm going to answer some questions I get frequently on my Instagram and Facebook. Let's just get into it!

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Q: What gear do you use?

A: I use a Nikon D750 for my camera body and I switch between a 50mm f/1.8 lens and a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. I use the 50mm for my portrait shots and the 70-200mm for most of my music shots. In addition to these, I always carry a couple prisms and an extra battery pack with me!

Q: What do you use to edit?

A: I use Lightroom primarily for software and a mixture of VSCO and RNI Films presets. I just got an iPad Pro so I'm looking to expand my software library with Adobe Creative Cloud. Hopefully, it makes my work flow easier! I don't really use Photoshop for my fashion/music work, but I did use it a lot for my abstract work in college.

Q: Where do you shoot? Where do you find locations?

A: I live in-between Providence, RI and Boston, MA, so I try to find locations around those two areas. I find locations by driving around and exploring. I also look on Instagram to see where people are shooting and where secret spots are!

Q: What are your rates?

A: It really depends on the shoot and client, the difficulty of the shoot, the travel situation, and the length of the shoot. For portrait sessions like the ones you'd see on my Instagram, I charge $100-$150 for an hour/an hour and a half shoot. This does include the editing. Anything else has a rate depending on the situation! Most of the time, I personally reach out to models and ask them to shoot for my portfolio, which is free. If you ask a model to shoot, don't expect them to pay.

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Q: How do you find models to work with?

A: When I first started out, I asked friends and people I followed on Instagram. I got rejected... a lot. I didn't have money to pay models for sessions, but occasionally, people would agree! After I started picking up the amount of portrait shoots I was doing, I reached out to a modeling agency in the area and asked to shoot their new faces so they could have images for their portfolio starting out. Now I source models from both Instagram and a modeling agency. Really, everything is about networking and shooting your shot. Don't be afraid to reach out. The worst that can happen is they say no.

Q: How do you get photo passes for concerts?

A: When I went to MassArt, some of my friends volunteered at local music magazines and shot low-key shows around the city. I reached out to the Allston Pudding and they put me on as a volunteer photographer. From there, I reached out to Vanyaland and was put on their photography team as a paid photographer. Basically, to start out in music photography, find a music blog in your area and ask to work with them. Press for musicians will focus on you more if you have credentials from somewhere. The bigger the publication, the bigger the shows you can shoot. If you don't have a local magazine you can work for, make your own and get your friends to contribute or find one out of state that will allow you to cover shows remotely.

Q: When will you draw again? Will you draw me a tattoo?!

A: I specifically bought my iPad Pro for drawing because I haven't drawn anything since I went to MassArt!! I'm excited to start again because I've really missed it. But no, I won't be making tattoos again for a while, not until I get the hang of this thing or unless Deane gets an itch for a new tattoo again.

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These next ones aren't frequently asked, but I thought I'd throw them in here!

Q: What has been your favorite concert you've shot so far?

The best one that I've been to has to be, hands down, Unknown Mortal Orchestra. I'm a huge fan and they did not disappoint at ALL. I was having such a good time, I wasn't as focused on getting good photos, which is something I need to work on. But, it was a crazy good experience. As for my favorite photo-wise, it would have to be either Flatbush Zombies or Tyler the Creator (the first time). I don't often have the opportunity to shoot rap shows, but they have proven to me that they make the best photos. 

Q: What is the part of photography that you hate the most?

Scheduling. I hate having to go through the process of scheduling because I never know when I have time off and it's hard to be in sync with people and their own schedules. I also just want to shoot all the time so if I didn't have to plan and I could just shoot, I'd be so happy. Another annoying thing is being told how to take photos at a show. At a Tiny Moving Parts show, a drunk guy kept following me around the venue, trying to tell me how to get the best shot and what angles I should get and it got to the point that he was interrupting my shots. I was getting paid to shoot this show so I was not happy. Fun fact: I was shooting Brockhampton at Boston Calling and a guy did the same thing to me. I turned around and IT WAS THE SAME GUY. Maybe that guy just sucks.

Q: What are your goals for photography?

Get published. Get paid to travel to gigs. Go on tour. Collaborate with a major brand. Take photos at a Bon Iver show.

Any other questions? Don't be afraid to send them to me through DM/email or comment below!

Shooting Starr

(Sorry, couldn't help myself with the punny title.)

Happy New Year! It's officially 2018. Looking back at last year, it had a lot of downs but way more ups when it came to my photography! The growth in my work has been ridiculous and I'm so happy to share more of my journey in 2018 with you guys. Thanks for sticking around and checking out my shoots every week!

My first shoot of 2018 was with Starr and we tried to stay indoors as much as possible. Massachusetts has been one big icicle for about a week now. As I'm typing this, there's about a foot of snow on the way and more coming down. Obviously, these conditions aren't the best to shoot in. So, we met up in Boston and took advantage of some public (and private) spaces to shoot. Here's the end result:

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See you next week! 

Winter Mini-Meet with Girl Magic Meets

Welcome to another weekly blog post! This week was Christmas, hooray! Did you get everything you wanted? I got some new prisms and optical tools for my photography, so stay tuned, I'm sure you'll see them in use soon.

I'm very excited to share this shoot with you because it was from my first photography meet-up ever. Nancy from Girl Magic Meets reached out to me a couple weeks ago and asked me to attend their mini-meet over at Lars Andersen Park in Boston. I got the chance to meet a bunch of models, make-up artists, and photographers from the area. The whole idea of GMM is to empower women and show how bad-ass we can be in the industry. We were freezing but these ladies are insane and didn't blink an eye about the cold. Below are some of my favorites from the meet. I'll see you next week!

Models:

Monita, Emily, Sareida, Sodany, Kate, Kenli, Liv

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Winter Mini-Shoot with Ashlan

Hello there, pretty people! This week, I have a mini-shoot I did with Ashlan at her apartment complex before I went to a Girl Magic Meets shoot in Boston, which will be up on the blog next week! I've always wanted to shoot with Ashlan. We used to go to high school together and I always thought she was so gorgeous!  It was so cold outside so we bundled up in her apartment for a couple shots. Check them out below!

P.S. I've been using some new presets from RNI Films for a more film-like look. Do we like? Dislike? Let me know!

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App Arsenal: iOS Apps for Photographers

Hey everybody!

Today, I'm going to be listing some of my favorite apps that I use on my iPhone for editing, scheduling posts, and doing anything photo-related. Some of these apps will be paid or require in-app purchases (like most apps these days). But fret not! I will include some freebies in here as well. Let's jump into it!

VSCO

Starting out with the obvious, VSCO is probably the most popular app for photographers that share their photos online. VSCO is an editing application that has a bunch of built-in presets to emulate the look of film. There's also modes for editing such as contrast, cropping, highlights/shadows, and more. They've also recently added "recipes" which let you save your edits in the app and apply them to multiple photos so you can be consistent. VSCO has a community of photographers that share their photos in a blog-like format, much like Instagram. The community is so talented and it's a great place to get some inspiration for future shoots and edits. The app does offer different packs of presets that you can purchase. I've purchased a few, but I usually only use 1-2 different presets to make sure my content looks similar. (If you're a fan of the presets on the mobile app, VSCO offers Lightroom versions of them for $59.) 

Download VSCO

Google Images

Google Images

RNI Films

A great alternative/addition to have to your editing arsenal is an app called RNIFIlms. Much like VSCO, this is an editing app with a crazy amount of film-emulating presets. I've just recently discovered this app and I liked the presets so much that I bought them for Lightroom ($59 for the Lite version, $122 for a Pro version). There's so many to choose from, like Instant Film, B&W, and Slide. RNI also has in-app purchases but they give you so many starters that I haven't found it necessary to buy more. It's also super easy to export right to Instagram from the app.

Download RNIFilms

Google Images

Google Images

Pocket Light Meter

This app saved my life during college. When you go into photography, you start with learning film with manual cameras. Manual cameras, like medium format at 4x5, don't have light meters built in, so most classes require you to buy a light meter. These can range from $100-$300. However, you can avoid this cost by downloading the free Light Meter app. It uses your phone camera to test the white balance and give you the correct settings for your camera. You choose the ISO that your film has set and it does the work for you to calculate the shutter speed and aperture. It does have some bugs, like freezing, and there are ads, but it's much more convenient to spend no money than dish out $100 for something you'll only use for a little while!

Download Pocket Light Meter

Glitché

Glitché is one of my favorite photography apps to make abstract edits in. It gives you a ton of options to make your photo as trippy as you want. There are many different modes, such as Scan, Invert, VHS, and more. The app is $0.99, but you do have to pay additional money in order to use the full functions of the app. You can also make GIFs in this app with different effects and there are a lot of exporting options. This app has become super popular. Artists such as Gorillaz and Run the Jewels have used the app for album artwork, as well as Kim Kardashian for promoting her own app. Overall, it's a fun addition to your phone!

Download Glitche

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Google Images

Dropbox

This doesn't seem photography related, but Dropbox is the primary way I get the photos from my DSLR to my phone. I can use the wi-fi function of my camera to get RAW images over, but sometimes I want to edit them in Lightroom first and then export them to my phone. That's where Dropbox comes in. The app makes it super easy for me to save images on my Desktop and open them onto my phone. I can make all my Lightroom edits and export a smaller file version of the photo so that my phone storage doesn't get bombarded with RAW images. Dropbox gives you 1GB for free to use and I rarely run out of room. If I do, I just get rid of older images that I won't be sharing to social media anymore. It's a life-saver!

Download Dropbox iOS

Fragment

Fragment is another abstract editing app for iOS. However, this one is completely unique. Fragment is a collaging tool that let's you choose different shapes and it mirrors your photo onto itself. It's very hard to explain but the app is so interesting. It does offer in-app purchases, but I haven't used many of them because they give you so much to work with in the beginning. It combines graphic design with photography and I love that about it. Honestly, this one is one that you have to play with for yourself to understand, so I highly recommend downloading it!

Download Fragment

Google Images

Google Images

So there you have it! My favorite iOS photography apps. Do you have any favorites that I didn't list here? Let me know in the comments below and I'll see you all next week!