June 2015

Finding great light without losing your marbles!

This is a combination of two techniques you can use to find good light if my model isn’t available and I don’t have a stand in. I simply hold a marble in my fist and hold it at eye level in the spot I’m thinking of photographing my model. The catch lights will be reflected in the marble and I can see the quality of light on my skin tone. Great portrait lighting is soft and fills in all the wrinkles of my fist with nice catch lights visible. Caca light is dull and there are no catch lights visible

Ep 28: Bok bok bokeh: How to get beautiful blurry backgrounds

It’s an art to create images that have beautiful blurry backgrounds. Whether you are shooting portraits, still life, lifestyle, corporate images or events, it pays to know how to get just the right blurry background … or bokeh. That’s the technical term. Gina and Valerie discuss exactly what you need to do to achieve beautiful blurry backgrounds regardless of what kind of camera or lens you are using. (And yes, you can even achieve this on your smartphone!). This week’s theme for #ginachallenge is “bokeh” or “blurry backgrounds” Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio. Show notes Useful links 2015 Winning Photographers Tyra Banks, 41, dares to bare her early morning face on Instagram without a lick of make-up or any ‘freakin’ filters’ Photo critique Rany Tan – Photo...

Ditch the photo face and hold the cheese to create the perfect headshot.

Photo face – When the model looks like a stunned mullet or rabbit in the spotlight. The eyes are dead and lack any emotion and the smile is fake and often forced by saying the word “cheese” Asking your model to say any word starting with ‘ch’ and ending in ‘y’ or ‘e’ when you photograph them will show both top and bottom teeth. This is a great idea in theory, but always ends up looking fake on models. The reason for this is that nobody really smiles with his or her top and bottom teeth showing. Go have a look in the mirror now and smile. If you can see both top and bottom teeth you are probably a Miss Universe contestant, a game show host, or a horse. A real smile that is warm and genuine will show in your models eyes. There will be a light or sparkle...

Think differently about fear

Stepping out of your comfort zone and taking the first steps towards something new can be a really scary experience. Here are a few of my favorite quotes to help you think differently about fear. Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. ~Marie Curie Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop. ~Usman B. Asif Fear is faith that it won’t work out. ~Sister Mary Tricky Fear is the father of courage and the mother of safety. ~Henry H. Tweedy Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is small. ~Ruth Gendler To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. ~Bertrand Russell Fear cannot take what you do not give it. ~Christopher Coan The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. ~Joseph Campbell Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. ~Author Unknown

Ep 27: Great Glass: the best portrait lenses for beginners, enthusiasts and pros.

So you’ve been using the lens that came with your camera. But if you want to take your photography to the next level, it might be time to invest in some new lenses. With so many options to choose from, how do you know which lens is best for you? Gina and Valerie discuss what’s the best “next lens” for you. They outline a typical “glass journey” for photographers, what kind of lenses suits what purposes, and they give you the lowdown on how to choose lenses – and what you can expect to pay. This week’s theme for #ginachallenge is “wide or long” Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio. Show notes Useful links 1950s Hong Kong Captured In Street Photography By Fan Ho – Critically acclaimed...

Funny business: the serious art of the comedy portrait

I’ve just spent an inspiring and exciting couple of months photographing some of Australia’s Comedy Royalty and rising stars for the launch of a new show for The Comedy Channel. The photo-shoots included several cover shoots of the comedians both in character and as themselves. The Comedy portrait is fast becoming one of my favorite genres because comedians can bring so much life to a portrait. They take it to another level and I never really know what’s going to happen. This was not always the case. I can remember when I was starting out, I really struggled to photograph comedians because I was really rigid in my approach. I had this “one size fits all’ approach to my portraits and tried to make the portraits funny by asking the comedians to be whacky or zany for the camera. Do you want to know what the worst thing you can say...

Ep 26: Tying the knot: a beginner’s guide to wedding photography

It’s only a matter of time before one of your friends asks you to be their wedding photographer. Or maybe this is an area you’re actually interested in getting into as a career. Well, weddings are a world unto themselves! And if you want to take great shots at a wedding, you need a clear system and a profound understanding of what’s actually going make the day run smoothly. Unlike any other event, this day is often the culmination of someone’s dream. So it’s vital that you get it right. In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss what you need to know if you’re a newbie at weddings, essential checklists so that you have everything covered, and tips on how to survive and thrive on the big day. This week’s theme for #ginachallenge is “love” Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t...

How many photographers does it take to change a lightbulb?

Question: How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: 126 1 to change the bulb 9 to say it would have looked better in black and white 40 to say it should have been edited in Lightroom 40 to say it should have been edited in Photoshop 15 to say it needs more contrast 15 to say it needs less contrast 5 to say it’s soft 1 to say they could have done it on Instagram

The $10 item every Portrait photographer must have in his or her kit

What’s the one thing in my location kit that I’m most grateful for day in day out? 85mm lens? Tripod? Pocket wizards? Light meter? Nutella (don’t judge me, it’s fat free ok?). While all these items are amazing, the one thing I’m most grateful for is kneepads. Yep, that’s right, knee pads. I bought mine from hardware superstore, Bunnings (where dreams come true). I shoot about 50% of my portraits from a low angle and kneeling on roads and wet grass all day long is a drag. These fit in the top of my camera bag and make long shoots so much easier and I’m not wearing out my jeans as fast!

Ep 25: Strut your stuff: How to become more confident as a photographer

No matter how experienced we are as photographers, there are times when we can all do with a big shot of confidence. In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss proven techniques (some will surprise you!) that will boost your confidence and, in turn, help you take awesome photos. Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio. Show notes World’s First ‘Phodographer’ Dog Uses Heart Rate Monitor That Snaps Pics When He Gets Excited Shout out to Sharon Ouliaris in Melbourne who is recovering from surgery and has been listening to the podcast from bed. 1. Confidence. What is it and why is it so important Confidence vs Arrogance Confident “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” – CS Lewis 1. Home truths about photography...
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How to direct and pose like a pro

About Gina

About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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