On human bodies & beauty

A real life editorial for a fashion company

A few months ago I got some dresses from the company I work for and gathered a small team to shoot an editorial about how beautiful human bodies are. I am not talking about models. I am taking about real women and men.

I see beauty in people that surround me. There are intense moments that transmit the essence of living. Confidence, purity, strength, ability, observation, silence, worry. Those moments are beautiful. And we are beautiful when we live through those moments. I wanted to be able to show those through one concise and finite episode of a woman observing men training.

A few weeks before I have seen the work of a San Francisco photographer Ted Glenwright. He did amazing editorial shots of Isaac during his boxing fight. I knew right away that he was the photographer I wanted to work with. Luckily Ted liked the idea.

I asked couple of friends from Marin MMA club to shot en editorial while they train and they agreed. I asked another friend to watch the fight. I asked her to wear the dresses as if those were hers. Nothing was staged. The result came out as real life fashion editorial (if such term exists).

Titles - Ted Glenwright

Titles - Ted Glenwright

Titles - Ted Glenwright

Titles - Ted Glenwright

Titles - Ted Glenwright

Titles - Ted Glenwright

Photographer: Ted Glenwright
Art Director: Masha Kubyshina (IGIGI)
Models: Camille Rose Schmidt, Arnaud Dupuis, Isaac Lappert, Marin Cabac
Dresses: IGIGI, www.igigi.com
Shot at Marin MMA http://www.marinmma.com

Spring, Shadows, Barcelona

Seeing the world in black & white today. When you do not have colors, you see the details. Made me think about business. In any given company absolutely everything valuable should be in black and white: the structure, the information, functioning, navigation. Color should not contain any information within the text, on the website, in the ad, in the store. All information should be in black and white, and color should be added as an emotional layer later on.

I like the world in black and white. Do we dream in color? I think not. I can’t remember colors from my past night’s dream. Maybe we dream in concepts.

Spring Barcelona 6

Spring Barcelona 7

Spring Barcelona 8

Spring Barcelona 9

Just Copy It

Foto de Noelia Hernandez

Recently my friend from Bulgaria asked me to give her a few tips on how to make great pictures of her baby daughter. And she is not the only one. I get asked this question a lot. I sent her a link to my friend’s photography site and told her to just copy what she sees. Of course, it is not that simple, this is why I decided to write a post on this topic.

First of all, you do not need to go to a photography school to create great images. It is all about just making pictures. You learn while you do it. Here are a few tips I want to share with those interested in the subject.

1. Find pictures you like and plainly copy them. Select the background, surroundings, objects similar to the ones that are on the picture you like. Copy the light, the positioning of the person or object, the gestures, the expression. Copy as much as you can.

2. Find the right picture to copy. For example, if you are planning to make a picture of your boyfriend, find a picture of a man. Make sure the man has certain similarities with your boyfriend and that your boyfriend will feel comfortable with the pose, surroundings, light and the overall situation. The same goes for babies and for everything else.

3. Not all the “copies” will turn out great. Some of the shots you will make will look completely different from the original and will not be all that inspiring. And this is ok. Try it again. Change the original picture if needed. Learn to work with what you have. Shoot a lot. You will get it right after a few tries. I promise!

4. Pay attention to the details. For example, if the picture you are copying has a forest in the background and the person appears full length on the shoot, occupying approximately one forth of the image on the righthand side, please copy it all. Pay attention to what the person is holding in her hands. Look at the clothing, at the extras, at the hair. The better you are at noticing and copying the details, the better your pictures will be.

5. Expression is important. Make sure your subject thinks about what you want him to think when making the picture. The right expression makes the shot. We appear different when we think about different things.  Depending on the mood of the image you may ask your subject to think about a delicious meal, to imagine seeing someone he has been long in love with or to fantasize himself relaxing on the beach. Once you see the right expression in his eyes, then shoot. And, yes, make sure the eyes are in focus and given the priority in terms of sharpness.

6. Do not forget the 10.000 hours rule. It says that to be an expert in something you need to have spent 10.000 hours practicing it. Go ahead and shoot. Spend the hours copying the pictures you like and that inspire you. Use your kids, spouse, friends as the main subjects. They will love the experience. You will create some amazing memories for them. And yes, you will become a pro very soon.

7. Copying is creative. Trust me, it is. Just select great pictures to copy. After becoming good at copying you will see new angles that you can shoot from. You will discover new details in the scene. You will play with the focus. You will create art starting from a copy.

8. The last one: just remember it is ok to copy. Do not be afraid of it. It is actually great. This is how all of us learn a new skill. A skill that can later become a talent, a gift. Take any field and you will see that copying is the beginning of learning.

Take camera, select pictures you like and go for it. Copy. Learn. Create.

I would like to give credit to my friend Noelia for the pictures used in this post.

Barcelona, February 25th 2013