Tag Archives: light

What I Learned From A Model

I never would have thought that I would know a fashion photographer. But, as I’m growing in my work, I’m meeting other photographers from various genres. Last year, while taking a Creative Live course in studio lighting, I had the opportunity to befriend Alecia Lindsey. We got together just this past month to practice what we had learned, and she coordinated work with a model, Jessica Marie Cantu.

This was a really fun opportunity and I am so glad I finally worked with a real model and got to see a fashion photographer in action…and I finally am starting to feel confident with my studio lighting work!

Jessica Cantu by Holli Margell

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My passion is to help everybody, no matter what shape or size, look and feel beautiful in photographs. While I do get inspired by images in fashion magazines, my focus is really on captivating portraits. Until last month, I have only photographed what I call “real women” – but the truth is that we are all real women. And, I realized that while I had the opportunity to work with a model. Yes, she was able to move her body in ways many of us cannot, but she is just as kind and real as all the real women I know.

I also realized this while walking through some mud in the green space while talking with another mother as our kids played. She talked about an article where a ballerina defended the wear and tear on her feet (often regarded as ugly and inhumane) as akin to the hands of a wood worker, a craftsmen. The ballerina was proud of her feet. That gave me an “aha!” moment where I thought about how we are all so different and about how art and media tries to celebrate only a fraction of the body of humanity.

This changes the way I see myself as a photographer. I used to use the phrase, “photographing real women” and I want to change that. I need to stop buying into the divisiveness that kind of language reaffirms. We’re all real. Instead, I will say I aim to capture the beauty in everyone.

Learning About Light

Someone once said that photography is all about light.

Today, I am sitting in the student’s seat to learn more about studio light. Photography is one part science and one part art. With my love of nature, I use natural light with ease. But, when indoors, using staged lighting or studio lighting, I get a little nervous.

Most of the time I’m lucky and know how to adjust my camera, but I want to grow my skills and become stronger as a photographer. I have looked for a class to teach me about studio lighting for a couple of years now. Sadly, most classes are about composition or style. So, when I heard about The Lighting Challenge on Creative Live, I jumped at the chance to apply to be a studio student!

The Teachers…

I have been a long-time fan of Sue Bryce‘s work. Her ability to capture women in a way that showcases how captivating they are in a classy, modern way is inspirational. Her work has influenced my portrait work as I strive to capture every person’s beauty.

It was during one of Sue Bryce’s courses with Lara Jade (a fashion photographer), that I first learned about Felix Kunze. He often works with Lara Jade as her lighting expert and assistant as well as a Commercial Photographer. His personal work has a depth and beauty that I admire.

I feel super lucky to be able to attend as a studio student. So, expect to hear more about my learning curve with light – and I can’t wait to expand my portrait business to include studio sittings for all of the most gray Seattle days.