Tag Archives: studio

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.

Ready For The Journey

I like to think of life like a surfing metaphor – there are always waves, some are stronger than others, and some will even carry you along when you didn’t want it to but sometimes you can pick which one to ride. The ride can end in a crash or leave you exhilarated and ready for another.  While I haven’t surfed since I was 19, I have experienced the beauty of riding along some big changes in my life.PacificWaves_HolliMargell (1)

Learning and doing non-profit photography is one wave I want to ride. For the Workshops With A Purpose Bolivia trip, it has been postponed until April 2015. It’s like a wave I know I want to ride, but it’s farther out than I expected. Which, after the initial disappointment is actually a good thing. I will have more time to get our family into a routine with the school year, and more time to earn the funds to go.

So, while it might appear like I’m putting this goal on the back burner, I’m actually working on it through my other endeavors. Every portrait session and all of my art photography sold will go toward my Bolivia Trip. I started a Bolivia page here on the site so that you can check out my progress, and I’ll only post an update once a month. That way, this site can get back to business!

Speaking of business, I am happy to share that I now offer studio sessions – we no longer have to schedule around the weather. These are at no additional cost, and are available at your request.

Thank you for reading,

Holli

 

Behind the Scenes Portraits: Studio Lighting

Almost exactly one month after taking The Lighting Challenge: Natural vs. Studio lighting course, I booked several hours at Urban Light Studio to practice what I learned. I was giddy, nervous and excited – like the first day of school or something. Part of my nervousness came from my photography posse: I had a Make Up Artist, a fellow photographer, models and my kids along for the sessions!

Erin at Studio 3 Cubed captured me in action!
©Studio 3 Cubed Erin at Studio 3 Cubed captured me in action!
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Blue eyed beauties!

 

Getting down at baby-level...
©Studio 3 Cubed Getting down at baby-level…
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I love how the black backdrop highlights their gorgeous hair and eyes.
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Such sweet smiles!
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©Studio 3 Cubed Behind the scenes…
Yes, that's my girl helping to make the baby smile!
©Studio 3 Cubed
Yes, that’s my girl helping to make the baby smile!

The experience was so much fun that I want to host a photographer’s playdate there sometime soon. A huge thank you to Erin at Studio 3 Cubed for being such a wonderful assistant and capturing these behind-the scenes photos!

And, I have learned that I need to work on my editing and lighting skills. I really love how these portraits turned out, but I haven’t nailed it since they don’t have the same natural light feel that my other portraits possess. I want to have consistency in my work whether in the studio or at the park.

P.S. You must check out her gorgeous beauty portraiture.

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.