September 2015

How to be a lazy photographer

When Jan (not her real name) at the passport office took my new passport photo, I wasn’t expecting anything high end. I knew the minute she pulled out the point and shoot with the tiny flash and mumbled something about standing on a line that this wasn’t going to be good. Jan was a no nonsense kind of girl and wasn’t going to waste time on pleasantries like “hello” or “how are you?” If it was up to me, my new passport photo would have been lit with seven big soft lights much like Oprah has, and my focal length of choice would have been 200mm. In my head I was hoping for Vogue, the reality was more like vague or vagrant. Great timing Jan had impeccable timing. She managed to take the image at the exact moment I’d scrunched my face in confusion at her mumbled instructions. I believe...

Ep 41: Character building: How to take great character portraits

Capturing a great “character portrait” takes skill, timing and connection. It also needs the right mix of smart composition, meaningful props and a knack for storytelling. In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss the three “recipes” that will help you take an awesome character portrait every time. In Gina’s unique style, she explains how to determine what KIND of portrait you can achieve, how to embellish or simplify the image, and how to choose an environment that will really make your character portrait shine. Also remember to join the free community on Facebook. Just search for “So you want to be a photographer podcast community”. This week’s #ginachallenge is #character 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 Parents Troll Daughter And Boyfriend By Recreating...

Bling! How to photograph starbursts

In this image, I used the model’s shoulder to partially block the sun. This helps create great starbursts using the sun. This night shot of the QV building in Sydney was a 20 second exposure at F16. The shot was taken at midnight. I love a bit of bling in my images, in fact I’m going through my starburst phase. I’m a bit obsessed now. They are really easy to achieve and I think they look awesome. So if you want to add some bling to your next shoot just follow these guidelines: 1. Shoot with a narrow or small aperture. Experiment between f16 to f 22. Each lens will give a different result. 2. Sunbursts work best when the sun is partially blocked by something. I use the edge of buildings or part of my model. 3. I also get much better results when I shoot with a wide...


The TIFF file is like a slow cooked bolognese, the JPEG is a stir fry. JPEG is a compressed file. It’s best used when you want to keep file size to a minimum such as web use. TIFF is the file format that is the highest quality and industry standard for professional and commercial printers. JPEG is recognised by browsers and most software, TIFF isn’t. This is why JPEG is known as a “web format” and TIFF is known as a “print format” for commercial printing. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. – Jimmy Johnson I love cooking homemade bolognese sauce for my family every Sunday. It’s a recipe I learned from my Sicilian mother and it’s been in our family for generations. The secret to this sauce is time and love. The time is not so much in the preparation, but in the slow cooking....

Ep 40: Midlife Crisis: How to take really flattering portraits of older models

When you’re photographing people of a certain age, this can sometimes be challenging. Not every person wants a “character” shot, lines and all. And certain types of lighting can be very unflattering. Plus not everyone looks like a supermodel! So how do you take really flattering shots of older people? Apart from the technical aspects, people over a certain age sometimes also have insecurities about their looks or particular parts of their body. In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss what you need to do to take kickass shots of older models. 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 Is there a wrong way to hold a camera? Photo Critique Rob Morris Check out the critique in this week’s episode. Midlife Crisis: How to...

“I feel the need for speed”. Thunderbolt vs USB transfer rates compared

The type of connector you use to connect external devices (like card readers and hard drives) to your computer will have a dramatic effect on how long it takes to transfer files. That will become important if you are working on location or shooting events. As a general rule, the faster the transfer rate, the more money you’ll need to spend. If you’re not in a hurry and don’t need to backup huge amounts of data, then slower connectors are just fine.     The four main types of connectors you will find for memory card readers and external hard drives are USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, Firewire 800 and Thunderbolt®. USB 2.0 is the slowest of the four. USB 3.0 and Firewire 800 are about the same speed and Thunderbolt® is roughly twice as fast as USB 3.0.

Ep 39: Want free stuff? How to get free models, makeup artists, stylists, locations, and more!

We all love a bargain. In this episode, Gina and Valerie reveal how you can get free stuff to help with your photography. That means models, makeup artists, and stylists who will work for free. Together, you can create some amazing shots. You’ll also learn about getting free locations. And where you get also find awesome free resources and tools to help you learn more about photography (apart from this cool podcast of course!). 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 Interesting links Surf Photographer Clark Little on Staring Down Shorebreak to Get the Perfect Shot – The Inertia See Clark’s portfolio of beautiful shore break images The Inertia: Surfing’s Definitive Community Listener question from Yuliya Brown How do I get the expression I...

How to boost your creativity and inspiration by sweeping the floor, doing the dishes and going for a walk.

Lost your creativity? Check under the coffee table. It had been a huge week: long 12-14 hour shoot days backed up by long hours of editing. I was wiped. My brain felt fried, my body ached and all I wanted to do was curl up in bed with a fresh jar of Nutella and binge watch America’s Next Top Model. Unfortunately my date with sugar, fat, and Tyra was going to have to wait. I had a creative pitch to prepare for a client that I’d promised to deliver by first thing Monday morning. I poured myself a coffee, fired up my computer and stared at a blank screen for the next 15 minutes… poured myself another coffee, checked Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Gmail… and then went back to staring at the screen again. I was waiting for something to happen. I was waiting for inspiration and creativity to turn...

Ep 38: What Would MacGyver do? The Best DIY Photography Hacks

If Gina was ever reincarnated, she would come back as MacGuyver. That’s because she’s been on so many photography jobs where she’s needed to improvise and get out of tight spots – often because of factors outside her control. So she’s developed a knack for MacGuyvering everything from temporary boom and light stands, lens holders, all kinds of diffusers, and much more. Often, she’s had to use everyday items that you can find in the house or your car. In this episode, Gina explains to Valerie her top MacGuyver hacks. It’s well worth a listen because you may just need to improvise on your next shoot. This week’s theme for #ginachallenge is #MacGuyver 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 Forget selfies! The latest...

Forget something? The Portrait Photography Checklist

Have you ever taken a portrait and thought you nailed light, location, and exposure only to realise you’d forgotten one tiny detail that ends up ruining your shot? Here is my checklist of the main offenders: ( I’ve done all of them. Some are repeat offences) Check the background to make sure nothing appears to be growing out of the back of people’s heads. Ensure the hands are relaxed. When models are nervous they tend to clench their fists or place their hands in awkward positions. Are the eyes in focus? It’s really easy to get so caught up in the moment that you accidentally focus on the nose or part of the background instead of the eyes. Button it up, tuck it in, smooth it out. Double check for wardrobe malfunctions as these can be a nightmare to retouch and potentially ruin a shot. Also watch out for lipstick...


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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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