With Gina's brand new ebook, Fast FLASH, they don't have to be! Talented and world-renowned photographer, Gina Milicia, has been using flash lighting. Sep 3, REVIEW of education ebook teaching off-camera flash lighting for portrait photography. By Gina Milicia and Digital Photography School (DPS). Order Portraits: Lighting The Shot and you'll be able to instantly download the When we released Gina's Milicia's previous dPS eBook – Portraits: Making the.
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Instant Digital Download; Lifetime Access; Pay by PayPal or Credit Card. Download it . The Woman behind the eBook (and the Viewfinder) Gina Milicia. Gina. Title: Portraits ebook, Author: beyond-words, Name: Portraits ebook, Length: 84 pages, About the Author Gina Milicia is one of Australia's leading photographers, . If you can't download the images as you go, spread your shoot over multiple. This eBook shares techniques the author has used on royalty, rockstars About the author: Gina Milicia has been a professional photographer for more than
In this installment of the photographer interview series we're talking with celebrity photographer Gina Milicia. Gina has been a professional photographer for more than 25 years. She has photographed some of the world's most high-profile people including royalty, billionaires and A-list celebrities. When not traveling the world, Gina also runs photography workshops and private mentoring sessions. There is no magic formula, just hard work.
The meaning of life is to give your gift away. David S. We've done so many shoots together that this lens feels like an extension of my right arm. Your favourite image you've ever taken and why? This is like asking me which of my children is my favorite. I was not able to get any of the cast as a group and shot each member individually as well as shooting on the other 3 sets. It was the most high-pressure shoot I've done to date and there were so many elements and variables to remember in order to pull the entire shoot off.
There were many hours spent prelighting the set and working out props and poses for each actor and I put many long hours into the postproduction to achieve a gritty, gangster, grunge feel. One of Gina's Favorite Photos Your favourite image from another photographer and why? It's very hard to just pick one image! There are so many photographers whose work I love and who inspire me, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Annie Leibovitz ,Herb Ritts, Robert Mapplethorpe and many more but if I had to narrow it down to just one image it would be Robert Doisneau the kiss.
I love this iconic image because of its voyeuristic nature; it is set in Paris, and always reminds me of my favorite sculpture by the same name by Rodin. If you want to become a great portrait photographer then you must take lots of portraits.
Start out with friends and family, and photograph them every day. Try and work in as many different lighting conditions as possible; indoor, outdoors, full sun, backlit, rain, dusk and dawn.
You will be amazed how quickly your photography will improve in as little as 30 days. See what makes professional photographers tick, learn about their favorite images and their greatest failures as well as their greatest successes.
Check out others in this series below:. Darlene is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through her articles here on Digital Photo Mentor, her beginner photography course , and photo travel tours to exotic places like Peru , Thailand, and India.
To help you at whatever level you're at she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course. Or get both, no charge! Yes, you can learn to take better photos! Celebrity Photographer Gina Milicia. Share Gina Milicia. The numbers in red represent 1 stop. I took a photo of my lens cap whilst it was spinning at different shutter speeds to illustrate the difference. But my image is all blurry There are a few reasons why your image may be blurry.
The first thing you should check! In fact, after carrying this big boy around all day I can barely lift it! To avoid camera shake use a tripod or start working out. This is a great example of the beautiful effects you can get in landscapes using a very slow shutter speed.
This is an image I shot in Paris last year. Once you feel more confident with these elements you may want to do some more research. Available light is an incredibly quick and efficient way of working and can give you some great lighting scenarios. But it does have its limitations when it comes to shooting portraits. The trick is in knowing when you do need more light, how much light to introduce and how to shape that light to give you the desired effect.
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started using fill flash was using too much of it, too evenly. My images looked like studio shots that had the background added in post-production. You have to find the right balance. Most cameras take light readings based on three different formulas.
The one you choose depends on what you are photographing. There are basically three different light metering modes in SLR cameras. Each camera brand uses slightly different terminology for their camera metering systems. Because I used a Canon, I use the Canon terms but there are plenty of resources available to help you find out what your camera settings are called.
Hence the name — center weighted. This is a good mode to use for portraits as it reads the area around the center of the frame, right where your portrait subject will be. Centre weighted metering also compensates for brightly lit backgrounds. Spot metering Spot metering takes a single reading from a small area in the center of the frame. This is a good mode if you need to get an accurate light reading from a small area on a brightly lit plane, like a backlit couple walking in the distance.
This is a good all rounder to choose and I use matrix metering as a starting point for my daylight shoots. The good news is that you can override the way your camera takes light readings. Understanding a hand-held meter 1. Set your ISO that you want to shoot at on the light meter 2. Set light meter to ambient 4.
Press button to take reading 6. Readings will display:. I explain that in more detail in the next section, so stay tuned! This example shows how to use a Minolta hand-held meter. There are plenty of different brands on the market and they all generally follow a very similar formula. Step 1. Take a light reading and then take a test frame using only the ambient light. Step 2. Ask yourself if the fill flash will add anything of value to the shot, or will it detract from it? The next section shares my tips on creating a beautiful, even skin tone.
More often than not, everything you need is there and you simply need to adjust the position of your sitter or your equipment. Choose your location wisely When choosing a spot to shoot you should always look for the best light possible. How to add more light You add light in a number of ways.
Shooting with flash off camera After taking the ambient reading, if you do decide to add some flash your light meter lets you take a reading of the flash hitting your sitter. Using a hand-held light meter with added flash 1. There is more information about beautiful skin tones in the next section Beauty is only one stop away.
Shaping your flash This image just uses the flash without any light shapers. The additional flash really brings her eyes out but you can see the hard shadows created. When you add a light shaper you create a softer light. You still get the beautiful catch lights. On the downside, umbrellas will overlight your shot, spilling light onto the background. You can see every blemish, pore and imperfection. Thank you so much! I believe that skin tone is possibly the most important element of a portrait but not everyone you photograph is going to have perfect skin tone.
So you need to know how to compensate. This is a personal preference that will become part of your signature style. To over-expose your image, start by selecting your ISO and aperture settings before you adjust your shutter speed to be at 0 Steps 1, 2 and 3 of the Three Amigos.
You can also over- or under- expose your image using your aperture setting. For example, if your camera meter reading is F5. The general idea is to keep your skin tone as bright as possible without losing the detail in the rest of the shot. Say for example you were photographing a blonde haired girl wearing a white t-shirt who was backlit. If I over-expose her skin tone by 1 F-stop it means her t-shirt and the parts of her hair lit by sun will be over-exposed.
You will not see any detail in whites or highlights such as texture in fabric or detail in hair. The only way to compensate for this lighting imbalance is to shoot for the highlights and introduce fill flash to brighten up her skin tone.
If you over-expose your shot by more than 2 F-stops, there are no postproduction tricks to save the shot. This is particularly applicable if you are shooting in JPEG. Another very good reason to shoot RAW! The Lights Beautiful skin is only 1 stop away. The camera has given an average reading of all the areas in the shot. This shot is perfectly fine with nice detail in the eyes; detail in the highlights of her hair and a nice even skin tone.
The shot has a much brighter appearance without compromising the crucial factors such as tone in the highlight areas and detail in skin tones. You can do this by: The next three images show the effects on eyes, skin tones and highlights when the image is over-exposed by 2 F-stops, then under-exposed by -1 F-stops and -2 F-stops. Ambient light reading showing exposure Highlights are no longer visible.
Highlights are blown out and there is no sense of texture. There is still a nice amount of detail in the eyes but the blacks are starting to look grey and her skin tone is too bright leaving her looking washed out. Highlights are dull. Her skin tone looks very dull without much contrast at all and there is almost no detail visible in her eyes.
Shooting close up Daylight, through a window, is great for up close headshots. If the light is too bright you will have a lot of contrast, which can cause harsh shadows on the face. You can soften the light by sticking tracing paper to the window or hanging light, white fabric. When you have more than one sitter, unless you can direct them to keep their eyes on the same focal plane, I recommend you create a longer depth of field by choosing a slower shutter speed and higher aperture.
Shooting in daylight The closer to midday you shoot 11am — 2pm , the harder the light becomes giving you more contrast in your shadows. Squinting is a common challenge when shooting in bright sunlight. You can help your sitter by letting them keep their eyes closed until you shoot and only shooting a frame or two at a time, or getting them to look at something dark just before you take the shot. If you can, position your sitter undercover as close as possible to the edge of the covered area.
This will let the bright sunlight bounce into their eyes, creating beautiful catch light, without having the challenges of direct sunlight. I photographed model Tegan Steel on location using a styrofoam board held in place by two light stands. Shooting on a cloudy or rainy day Overcast or rainy days used to cancel my shoots.
My original intention was to only photograph the Madonna mural but I think the man with the umbrella really makes the shot. When I look at this image I want to know all about them. Who are they? Where are they going? Are they sisters? Or friends? You could do the same with a plastic bag. Cloudy days give you flat, even lighting to shoot in so you can capture details in your highlights and details in your shadows. The best way to tell if you have flat light is by looking for shadows.
Hard light produces a lot of well-defined shadows whereas flat light gives you no shadow at all. Flat light can be great because it gives you detail in shadows and detail in highlights, but it can look a little dull.
Shooting on location Every location has some ugly corners so it pays to get on location before your shoot and find out where you need to be to capture the best view. The light will bounce in while you are covered and dry. The Lights Quick tips. When I get a brief from a client, I love to spend some time thinking about what kind of mood I can create to show them off in the best possible way. The Moves Inspiration. This was a promotional shoot for the Underbelly television series, also loosely based on last supper theme.
Because the filming schedule was so tight, I had just 15 minutes to get this shot. They all came through the doors in character and it was just fantastic to shoot.
Image courtesy Nine Network Australia. It had to be quick so I drew on one of my favorite go-to poses. This works for almost any group shot. I am inspired by other photographers Some of my favorites are: A visual diary lets you collate your ideas, designs, thoughts and inspiration. It could be a book or a journal, it could be a directory on your computer or it could be a wall in your home or studio. Online sites like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Flickr give you the perfect forum to be inspired but they also let you inspire others by sharing your own work.
Whenever you see a theme, lighting or pose that you like, add it to your visual diary. Study the work of other photographers; look through magazines and newspapers and watch movies, always keeping your mind open to inspiration.
Whenever I stumble across a location I think would be great to shoot, I take a shot and store the details for later reference. When you comment on the work of other photographers you open the door to expanding your professional network. Get offline and meet people. Sharing the love is good for everyone and the more you share, the more people will share with you. Shoot other stuff… just because In the last few years I started taking my camera on holidays.
I have always been loath to do this because a camera usually meant I was working. On a trip to Italy I shot from the heart, just for the love of it. I was not catering to any clients and had no agenda. I shot every single day but only when I felt like it. When the pressure is off and you have the time to be creative, you can experiment with different styles and locations. The images I took on that trip are incredibly special to me.
This bike image I took in Milan, Italy was the start of my obsession with photographing vintage bikes. Right now, you may not know what your own style is. Be patient and just keep shooting things that inspire you. Eventually all the quirky little things that are unique to you will start influencing your images. Trust me. Your pre-shoot is the time to experiment testing different apertures, shutter speeds, and camera angles.
Try to meet your sitter a week or so before the shoot. This gives you a great opportunity to break the ice and develop a rapport. Find out what they want to get out of the shoot, how they will be using the images and what inspires them.
This is where a visual diary comes in handy because you can easily and quickly get their thoughts on poses and styles you are thinking of using in your shoot. You can also walk them through how the shoot will progress to get them familiar with the process.
Get to know your location If you are shooting on location, make time to visit the location at the same time of day. Take a friend to test your settings on or try using a styrofoam head on a light stand. When your sitter arrives on set, they will already be feeling nervous and vulnerable. Subjecting them to 15 minutes of testing is a bad idea for two reasons: You might make small adjustments but the lighting and settings should be good to use.
Celebrity make-up artist Fotini Hatzis and I on location planning a photo shoot. The Moves Preparation. Allow mins at the end of the shoot to have a play. This is my styrofoam mannequin, Wayne. I put him on a light stand to test exposure and background. Here is the final image that Wayne was my stand in for.
Yet so many of us struggle to take portraits with the ‘WOW Factor’.
This image of Daniel Macpherson was taken using daylight from a large bank of frosted glass windows that were directly behind me. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. Whenever people give me directions about how to get from one place to another I listen very carefully.
I give them my full attention right up until they actually start speaking at which point my mind switches off. If, on the other hand, you were to show me a map and describe visual markers along the way I would not only understand, I would remember. Practice posing to learn which positions will flatter a body and which shapes look good from different angles.
The lesson here is that everyone learns differently. Some people listen, some people need to be shown, some people need to do it. You need to know that before you start giving directions to your sitter. Then explain the pose in different ways. Show them what you want. Explain it to them at the same time.
This is not only the quickest and most effective way to get your sitter into the pose, it helps you develop a rapport. I mean my right…. Everyone ends up confused, including you. Using visual markers is much clearer. In the same scenario your directions would then be like this: Now turn your head towards the blue wall and look to the sign in the corner of the room. Ignore the bad and praise the good.
Once you have your sitter posed and you are back behind the camera, use visual cues rather than verbal cues. The Moves Direction. A piece of them in a moment. It seems presumptuous to think you can get more than that. Trying to foist a particular style and attitude onto the shoot is a short cut to your sitter looking and feeling uncomfortable.
I actually notice this in the eyes of women more than men. How do you get your sitter to switch off? Go through a visualization technique, asking them to recount their favorite holiday or the happiest moment in their life. Ask your sitter to look away from the camera, and then back again after each frame.
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This is especially useful on a long shoot as it distracts your sitter long enough to give them fresh, thoughtful eyes for each shot. Make small variations on the pose to make it a little more interesting, such as asking your sitter to make their smile bigger or smaller. Just keep talking Some people are easy and give you the shot really quickly.
Other people are more wound up and need more work to relax. I talk continuously through my shoots. I tell stories and jokes and pile on praise and encouragement. Whatever it takes to keep my sitter relaxed and engaged. It usually happens between shots.
Ask questions and let your sitter tell you their story. You might just learn something about them that proves to be useful for your shoot, for example what music they love.
The poses When I was starting out as a portrait photographer, I began creating my visual diary and mimicking the scenes I loved. Photography is no different. Use the ways that work for you and your sitter.
Fast Flash Tutorial eBook for Perfect Portraits
Once you know them you will be able to look at almost any portrait and see how the sitter is positioned. The contrapposto or S pose This is one of my go-to poses. Contestants on project Runway Australia S1 and 2. Lean on me or working the wall This is a particularly good pose for people who are really awkward. Simply giving your sitter something to do, like leaning against the wall, can be enough to relax them. Reality TV contestant David Graham. Work that chair Posing on and around a chair is tricky to do well because people can look squat and awkward.
Fast Flash Tutorial eBook for Perfect Portraits
Start collecting props like chairs and stools in different styles, shapes, and sizes. Fabric and fake flowers are great for instant backgrounds. I have a growing collection of suitcases, which are an amazing prop, and a few vintage cameras for people to look down into. A car is another great prop. On a bright sunny day, the shade of a car will give you great light and again, your sitter will have something to do to help them relax.
When you flick through a celebrity gossip magazine it becomes clear that more than a few actresses have this as their red carpet go-to pose, repeating it over and over again. I photographed media personality Suzie on location in Melbourne.
A leap of faith As with many of the other poses mentioned, if someone is awkward simply standing, giving them something to do can really bring the photo to life. I photographed this model leaping in designer couture for fashion designer Helen Manuell. Take it lying down You have to be a little careful with the lying down pose. What do you do with hands? If you have someone sitting down, a great way to relax their hands and distract them while you shoot is to get them to pretend to twist a ring on the little finger.
I photographed television personality Sonia Kruger on location in Melbourne. Things you should try to avoid When in the middle of a shoot there are so many things to keep track of.
Here are some things you should always keep in your checklist of things to check as you go. This caught me up on my first editorial shoot for a national magazine. Way too late. I keep a roll in my car for last minute lint emergencies!
Are there any missing limbs? Is there hair across their face? You might have tucked limbs underneath the body and while it seems ok when you look at it, when you take the shot it looks like they are suddenly missing an arm or leg.
Are they resting their head in their hands? Everything from the right gear, to the right aperture, to working with subjects. Each section covers an area of portrait photography with step-by-step instructions, tips, and tricks. Gina Milicia has been a professional photographer for more than 25 years.
In this eBook Gina shares her extensive knowledge and experience in an easy-to-follow way to help you fast-track your journey to capturing beautiful portraits. Still not sure if this is the eBook for You? This eBook has straight forward explanations and tricks for all skill levels. Anyone wanting to take better portraits will get something out of this book.
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