July 2015

Ep 33: 7 deadly posing sins – and how to avoid them

If you’re photographing portraits, there is a HUGE difference between and good shot and a great shot. Even if you are technically brilliant, the “magic” only comes when you can really connect with your subject and ensure they are posing in a way that’s natural – but that looks amazing. As photographers we can’t blame our subjects if they feel awkward or nervous. It’s our job to direct them to achieve the best possible shot. It’s also about choosing the right environment to suit. In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss the 7 deadly posing sins – and how to avoid them. You’ll discover what to do with awkward hands, how to choose the right backgrounds, how to get the right expression in a subject’s eyes, and much more. This week’s theme for #ginachallenge is “deadly sins”! Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If...

May I take your picture? How to photograph strangers.

May I take your picture? Have you ever walked past a complete stranger and thought: “Wow I’d love to photograph that person, they look incredible”? How many times have you acted on that impulse? Asking a stranger to do something for us isn’t easy, even for the most confident person. We’re all afraid of being rejected or looking silly. What will other people think about us? “You don’t ask, you don’t get.” This was my dad’s favourite saying and the secret of getting what you want is A. Asking B. How you ask. At a recent workshop I was running, I asked two of my students to approach a complete stranger and ask to take their portrait. One of the students came back with an amazing shot. The other with nothing. Why? The difference was all in the asking. Here’s what they each said to the stranger: Student A said:...

Fake it until you make it

“It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than think your way into a new way of acting.”

Ep 32: Work it! How to find and develop your own photographic style

It’s vital that you develop your own photographic style. When you’re an emerging photographer, you can spend a lot of time trying to create the “look” that your client wants (and that’s ok!). But you also need to devote time to creating and nurturing your own style. In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss the steps you need to take in order to discover the signature style that you can call your own, whether that’s glamour, grit – or anything in between. Photographers like Herb Ritts, Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon and even Anne Geddes all have an iconic style that can be recognised anywhere. That can happen to you too. Have a listen to find out how! This week’s theme for #ginachallenge is “style”! Interpret that however you like. Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed...

Cool retro camera straps

Check out these awesome retro camera straps. The straps on both my cameras are holding on for dear life with my “I never went to girl guides” style nanna knots that I’ve tied. They make me really nervous so I decided it was time to upgrade. I was going to stick with a generic brand one but then decided I really wanted something more unique. That’s when I spotted these retro vintage camera straps on an instagram feed. You can buy them from local artists on Etsy or check out some of the ones online below. Just make sure they are really secure and will hold the weight of your precious SLR (better than my nanna knots). Tapestry Hippy (Hippie) Retro Camera Strap – You Choose the Design! Red and White Racing Stripe Camera Strap- Vegan, Upcycled The Spring Break Camera Strap

Checking position of the sun

Hold glasses parallel to the ground to see the reflection of the sun. Try this cool little trick next time you want to check the position of the sun in the sky. Your eyes will love you for it. Have you ever been photographing someone on one of those sunny days with passing clouds that give you bright sunshine followed by cloud cover? These situations make it really difficult to shoot consistently, particularly if you are trying to shoot with cloud cover or specifically need sunshine for your shot. The most obvious way to check where the position of the sun is to look directly into the sky. The downside of this is you are temporarily blinded and doing this can cause permanent damage. This is a cool little trick I picked up from a cinematographer years ago. Instead of looking at the sun he took off his sunglasses and...

Ep 31: Blinded by the light: How to photograph amazing sunsets

You see the most perfect sunset and want to capture it on your camera. But the end result looks nothing like the spectacular explosion of colour you see in real life. What are you doing wrong? Maybe it’s washed out, maybe it lacks definition, maybe you just can’t get the balance right. In this episode, Gina and Valerie talk about what you need to do in order to ensure you capture magical sunsets that look like the real thing – and sometimes better than the real thing! Without photoshop. We also talk about the types of shot that are ideal to take at sunset, how to get gorgeous starbursts and what to capture in those magical minutes when the sun has just gone down. This week’s theme for #ginachallenge is “sunsets”! Interpret that however you like. Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you...

Are you sitting me? My Ikea treadmill desk hack

“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” Friedrich Nietzsche My new Ikea treadmill standing desk When I heard that sitting was the new smoking I got really annoyed. I quit smoking 4 years ago and it was really difficult. How the hell am I going to quit sitting? I’ve been worried about the effect of all those long hours of retouching files is having on my body. I also felt really tired and sore after a session and decided to do something about it. This newsletter is currently being written from my treadmill desk. I’ve been researching this for the past couple of months and thanks to a few geniuses on the interwebs and Ikea (where dreams come true) I’ve managed to McGyver something together that I’m pretty happy with, in fact I fricken love it! Typing and walking is something I’ve already mastered thanks to my iPhone and...

This nifty little gadget helps me see straight for under $10

I’ve got a real blind spot when it comes to verticals and horizontals. It’s kind of like vertical dyslexia. I can never get my images completely square. This is can be a problem particularly when I’m shooting portraits of people in a room or anywhere with vertical or horizontal features such as light poles doorways etc. I get so involved with capturing facial expressions that I fail to see the image is completely on an angle. The one way I’ve learnt to overcome this habit is to work with a tripod, which is great, but I still couldn’t get my shots completely square until now with the discovery of this nifty $5 device. It’s a cool little spirit level that fits in the hot shoe of my camera and tells me exactly when my camera is level so my shots will always be square.

Ep 30: Sharp shooter: How to get tack sharp images

Sometimes, you might have what seems like the perfect shot: great location, awesome lighting, fantastic models, everything is just right. But when you look closely at your shots, they’re just not sharp. Or the crucial bits aren’t in focus. You’ve tried auto-focus, you’ve tried manual focus, you’ve worked hard to get the right sharpness – but something doesn’t quite work out. And you’re not sure what’s going wrong. In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss exactly what you need to do to get tack sharp images. They cover different scenarios where your focus could be at risk and share great hacks to ensure that you’re that you’ll never go soft when it really matters. Your pictures, of course. This week’s theme for #ginachallenge is – you guessed it – “sharp”! Interpret that however you like. Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t...
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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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