workshop

Model Portraits from Teaching at ‘Texas School’ Photographic Workshop – Part 1

Once a year I speak at this big event for photographers called Texas School. It’s where photographers from all over the US and abroad fly in to Texas to train and learn for an entire week. It’s always one of my favorite events, and part of my teaching style is to give photographers personal challenges using custom lighting while shooting models to see how they do.

And while I’m teaching and demoing or showing various methods and procedures, I often need to photograph the models myself for a few minutes. Here are some of those images, starting with a portable studio setup and this gal in her red dress. I really like these three images individually, but also think that together they would make a great trio design too. The deep blue background really makes her eyes and dress pop.

This next young lady was a twin, and I did some images of both sisters individually and some together. But here are two of her alone, shooting with a high school senior style.

And here are these two twin sisters together, showing how much they look alike.

We had some fun with this next model, including doing some creative artwork on the backgrounds.

This next lady with the pretty eyes is a professional dancer as you may be able to tell from her natural posing. And she is also the sister of a model I photographed the year before. I thought her dress and colors were very pretty and turned out really nice on this deep blue background.

 

And finally for this model, we walked around the hotel to find locations and backdrops that would be interesting, lighting her with mobile equipment. Putting her against this green vegetation really made her red hair and dress stand out.

And we closed with some of her sitting on the hotel bar, mixing artificial light with room light to both make her stand out while also getting these bar lights to glow.

There’s a lot more I could show from this event, especially images that I shot on the run on location with some cool vehicles. I’ll pull some favorites and post some of them soon. But in the meantime, if you’re a photographer and would like to get more training on lighting and photography, check out my training site where I not only have online training videos, but a schedule where you can come to a live workshop. My training site is BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com.

And until next time, America.

Creativity and Fashion Shoots in Texas (Part 2)

Here’s some more images I shot while teaching creativity and fashion for a week in Texas at the biggest photography event of it’s kind. I specifically teach photographers how to connect with people to pull out genuine emotion, while at the same time nailing lighting and everything else technical. That way when you start adding complexity (like movement under studio lights), you create some uniquely magical photographs.

And this cute model with the red hair was terrific to demo these principles because she followed directions and moved instinctively well. And her personality worked well under the studio lights so I was able to push the creative bounds and shoot a lot of movement with her. I love all of these with her hair in motion.

And she really jumped well in high heels. At first I wanted her to jump barefooted because I worried about her landing and getting hurt. But she insisted that she could jump in high heels and they make these photographs even better. She had great positioning in the air, and photographers should note that even when jumping, the lighting is still perfect on her face and waist.

My shoot with her was very quick because I wanted other photographers to try what I was teaching. I’d do a quick demo with her then allow everyone else to shoot. But even in our short demo shoots, we created a huge variety of photographs. This set of mid-lengths on blue really show personality and make her eyes pop.

If you’re a high school senior, a model, or otherwise need some creative images that grab attention, give me a call at 801-728-3317. And if you’re a photographer wanting more training in lighting, creativity, or technique, visit my training site at BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com. I have live seminars around the country and lots of online courses as well.

And until next time, America.

Creativity and Fashion Shoots in Texas (Part 1)

I’m excited to share these photographs that I created while teaching my big week-long intensive photographic workshop in Texas. It’s the biggest and best event of its kind where 1000+ photographers from around the world come in to learn in small groups for an entire week with one instructor. As one of those instructors, my class is specifically on creativity, fashion, and adding emotion to an image – while at the same time nailing everything in camera. That means everything is measured and angled perfectly so exposure and color temperature are perfect, and skin, eyes, and body shapes look great before any retouching.

This first set of images in this post is not a Photoshop effect, but rather one exposure with a series of extremely quick flash bursts. This model was wonderful and moved like a dancer so I was able to describe how I wanted her to move during the shot, and she was able to hit her mark over and over. So each photograph is a series of multiple exposures all in one shot.

I love the blending of images showing movement, and how her red hair pops against this beautiful blue background. All my equipment was provided by my friend Melanie and her family at Arlington Camera. They were able to set me up with exactly the equipment I needed to create a full studio at the hotel. And I broke that gear into multiple studio bays to let photographers try the techniques I was showing.

Here is a short iPhone video showing me in action creating these images. This video was shot by my one of my equipment wranglers and helpers, Lisa Crayford. I took the raw footage and added the photos I shot to the end. Notice how I’m locking my body in to be my own tripod during the long exposure, and looking out over the camera to make sure I shoot and catch exactly what I want.

If you need some creative images that grab attention, give me a call at 801-728-3317. And if you’re a photographer wanting more training, visit my training site at BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com.

And until next time, America.

Teaching Fashion and Creative Photography for a Week in Texas

Every year for one week in the spring, I teach an intense week-long workshop in Texas for photographers who fly in from all over the country, and sometimes other countries as well. I am back from that event and am mostly recovered (as I get little to sometimes no sleep each night), and wanted to share some of the images I created while I was there sharing my entire system, everything from lighting, to digital workflow, to business.

This event is always amazing and inspirational, and this time in particular I have come home to some of the best thank you emails and calls from the photographers that I think I’ve ever had. I really appreciate it. I feel honored and grateful to be a mentor to photographers and help them learn and do better.

So I have specific steps to creating a portrait that I share. The trick is to get exquisite lighting, truly capture someone’s personality, and also nail everything technically as well for perfect skin tones, perfect brightness and contrast, perfect eyes, and fantastic expressions that draw you in as a viewer.

And with perfect images, it means I can spend some time on the computer doing artistic work rather than corrective work, so I have fun creating paintings, collages, and creating other art pieces.

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

Here I shot this model against a studio background using a specific fashion light setup. Nothing has been retouched, no eyes have been brightened and no skin blurred. All I did was convert to black and white and design this awesome collage that shows a lot of personality.

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When an image is real, it has more power. The mind can tell when something is fake, and by lighting exquisitely and capturing emotion in a real way, the image is far more powerful. Then, if I want to do some artwork on it (like this image below), the image can retain it’s powerful draw because any retouching done to eyes and face is so subtle, that it can’t be seen, and all the heavy artistic work is done to the background.

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

Of course I love my paintings, and so I took this same image another direction as well, painting it too.

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

Here are more un-retouched images. For variety, I used the curtains in the conference room, and shot these all with one studio light. Again, none of these have been retouched, I just designed up this cool collage showing a variety of poses and emotions to tell a story.

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I also shot this model in the hotel’s bar using the Einstein bulbs hanging in the back as a background. I had to be strategic to hide people in the background, but created this with a very minimal setup.

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I took three images from that set and designed this trio.

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

And I shot other models both in studio and out.

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

One night in particular, I photograph a slew of models, each for only a few minutes, and each in separate locations around the hotel, inside and out. None of these images are retouched or corrected. These are all straight out of camera. But this also shows one big creative secret, and that is to not shoot the same thing twice – no two images can be the same. To truly be creative, you have to change up each shot making small changes and then big changes, and these thumbnails show that.

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These were shot for the event so I didn’t work up any of them. But if I do, I’ll post them here on my blog.

So a special thanks to my cute models for coming and working with me, to my suppliers and sponsors, and everyone who came out and oversold my class.

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© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

I love speaking and teaching in Texas and love that it’s full of people that pour their whole heart and soul into making it a great event.

And did I mention that I played blues harp in a band there too? Here’s our official band photo shot by the famous John Hartman, shot just before our gig in the hotel’s garage.

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And here we are backstage before going on, shot with my point and shoot camera on a tadpole selfie stick. I’m still hoping to find some video of us playing.

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Well that’s it for now. If you’d like to attend one of my photographic events or get some online training, visit my site for photographer training at BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com.

And until next time, America.

Abby’s Studio Shoot

I recently photographed Abby in my studio for my recent lighting video tutorials for photographers. Abby is a talented architectural and interior designer, and was at my studio because I was working on some interior images for her and designing un updated website for her business. (I think it would be a good idea to post about her business on my blog actually. I will do that!)

So I needed a studio model for my tutorial and talked her into doing a quick shoot when we were done. The shoot went great and the images look beautiful.

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As you can see, Abby is a great model. She’s beautiful and fun to shoot, and did well and showed a lot of personality in front of the camera. All of the images looked great, and it was hard to pick any favorites. I especially liked this series of three images below.

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These video tutorials were created because as I’ve taught and spoke around the country, I’ve found that most photographers admit to having personal difficulties when they light either inside or outside. One or the other seems to be harder, so this video series is to help give photographers a specific system that works everywhere. It shows that lighting inside is no different than lighting outside. The system shows that in all instances, you should light people specifically and beautifully, and always control exposure, lighting, and color balance. When done right, images straight out of the camera do not need retouching or correction. So if you want to spend time on the computer, it can be creative work and not corrective work.

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Though I may speak and shoot images all over the US, I’m a Utah based photographer and my studio is about 30 minutes outside of Salt Lake, out in the quiet country. Here I have both indoor and outdoor options. I have a half acre of trees where I can shoot outside, but also a beautiful studio inside. This means I can photograph people in a variety of locations without travel fees.

However, sometimes when people don’t want studio images. This is based on the awful images created in grocery store or mall studios, or even the 1990’s type studio images. But a studio used in the right way means getting some very modern images with some very specific and controlled lighting. It’s not uncommon for clients to come to me for some outdoor portraits but then choose the indoor studio images are their top favorites.

So if you need some awesome images, give me a call. Maybe you need a portrait for your website or business, or you would like some fashion images or some portfolio work, or just some updated family portraits. If so, give me a call. It’s a great time to get in for either an outdoor or indoor session. 801-728-3317.

And until next time, America.

Stephanie’s Studio Shoot

Photographers usually have difficulty in lighting either inside or outside. One tends to be easier and the other is harder. So for my recent lighting video tutorials for photographers, I photographed Stephanie here in the studio, showing that lighting inside is no different than lighting outside. In all instances, you should light people specifically and beautifully, and always control exposure, lighting, and color balance. When done right, images straight out of the camera do not need retouching or correction. So if you want to spend time on the computer, it can be creative work and not corrective work.

With that in mind, here are the images I created during Stephanie’s shoot. I really love this first one, the colors, the textures, the look and expression — everything draws you in. For the creative work, I turned it into one of my signature texture pieces. They are fun to create and no two are ever the same.

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Here is another one of my signature textured pieces, but this one is a different outfit and of her smiling. I think she really glows in this, and I really love the light on her hair, which has a soft flow to it.BCox_LightingDemo_02

And with a change of outfits, this trio below is awesome. I love the different moods and expressions, and the different ways of leaning really helps this entire piece balance well.

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Though I do work all over the US, I’m a Utah based photographer and my studio is about 30 minutes outside of Salt Lake, out in the quiet country. Here I have a half acre of trees where I can shoot outside, but also a beautiful studio inside so people can have options without travel fees.

Sometimes when people hear “studio,” they think of a boring 1990’s type image. But as you can see from these images, my studio portraits are far from boring.

So if you need some awesome images, give me a call. Maybe you need some fashion images or some portfolio work, or just some updated family portraits. Well warm weather is here and it’s a great time to get in and avoid the summer rush. 801-728-3317.

And until next time, America.

McKenzie Fashion Shoot On Location

McKenzie is a joy to photograph, so for my recent lighting video tutorials for photographers, we went out and did a shoot in the hardest of situations — on location, no shade, broad daylight, multiple flashes, and all settings on manual for camera and flashes. The goal was to show photographers how to create amazing images under any circumstances without excuse, and with perfect lighting using any type of gear. The exposure, lighting, and color balance should all be done deliberately and should not have to be adjusted afterwards with software and people’s eyes should pop without any retouching.

We did the shoot cold too, not scouting the locations or picking the angles prior to the shoot. Everything we shot was organic and real, and you see how I do everything. We found the spots by simply driving out to an area with no possibility of shade, then we pulled over and began to shoot. Here are some of my favorite images of beautiful McKenzie.

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Being a Utah based photographer near Salt Lake City, there is a plethora of cool locations to shoot if you know how to use them and make them work dramatically in the image. They don’t have to be the same spots that everyone else uses.

I should mention too that these have almost no retouching or enhancements. In the tutorials I show the before and after of each image. The deep blue sky, the great skin tones, the sculpting shadows — everything is real and done in-camera. McKenzie moves really well too. She’s great and posing naturally and at giving real expressions. Together we make a great team!

If you need some awesome images for any reason, give me a call. Maybe you need some fashion images or some portfolio work, or just some updated images of your children. Warm weather is here and it’s a great time to get in and avoid the summer rush. 801-728-3317.

And until next time, America.

Photographic Workshop in Tacoma, Washington

I just got back from speaking in Tacoma Washington, and judging at the state’s convention for professional photographers. It was a great event and very inspirational.

I spoke on lighting women specifically, and on just how to get everything right in the camera so that there is no need for retouching, color correcting, or even having to make adjustments later using software. Everything should be manual, including your flash, and angles and poses are specific. When everything is done right, images should look amazing right out of the camera.

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That was the first half of the day, then after lunch I was going to demonstrate my fast digital workflow using some images I already had on my hard drive. But during lunch I was getting a lot of questions about lighting and exactly how to do what I was teaching. So at the end of lunch, I asked an attendee named Lexi to be a quick model for me outside the hotel. It gave me a chance to demonstrate what I was teaching, and also game me some demo images to use during the second half of the day, that everyone knew were not prepared earlier for the event.

A photographer friend I’ve gotten to know over the years who was at the convention, Rich Breshears, took this image of me and Lexi outside in the parking lot. It shows me shooting with my light pole that I have built so that I can really control light even better as a model moves. I like to hold the light so that I can move it as I need to, putting the highlights and shadows exactly where I want them, not leaving them to chance. The parking lot had this big bush which I used as a background because it complimented Lexi’s red hair and also gave me a dark, low-key background that was mostly solid with a little texture, that way there was interest without distractions.

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After getting a few images, we went back inside and started up again. I spoke on my fast workflow system, which is made even faster by not having to correct any images. I also showed that with images already looking great out of your camera, your computer time should be fun and creative, coming up with some cool ideas for the client rather than correcting problems. Here I added one of my new custom edges I’ve made.

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And then I used that same image to create an abstract painting in front of the group.Cox_LSharpe-S-107-painting2-crop

I also used three images to create this trio, showing everyone how to create their own trios and composites. I love seeing images in threes, and having a trio design already made makes designing later even easier.

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It was a great event and very inspirational. When I speak, it means that I study and go through all of my material to determine what to spend my time on with the group. I find myself being uplifted as well as everyone else when I share and give. I really appreciate the opportunity to speak in Tacoma for the Professional Photographers of Washington, and want to thank Lexi for being a model for me at the last minute.

If you need some updated portraits, give me a call. Spring is here and it’s a great time to get in. And if you’re a photographer and want to improve your skills and attend one of my photographic workshops, please visit my upcoming schedule on my workshop site at BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com. Until next time, America.

Scouting Scenic Locations for Adobe Event

Sometime soon I’d like to do a workshop for people who want to photograph scenics in Utah. In thinking about this, I thought I’d post some images I created while exploring and scouting locations for Adobe’s event that I posted about  previously. While exploring, I shot some really fun scenics and wanted to post them here. They really get me excited for warmer weather and for doing a workshop sometime soon here in the beautiful state of Utah.

Cox_Heber_121_Pano Cox_Heber-139-panoWhile I was driving, the time of day was perfect, the sun was setting and these meadows and aspens really glowed with the low angled light. Plus it was fire season, so there was a lot of smoke in the air which added to the dramatic look of the setting sun.

Cox_Heber-150-pano Cox_Heber-152 Cox_Heber-157This black and white was particularly fun and probably one of my favorites from the day. I’d really like to make this up large and have it in my home.

Cox_Heber-160-4And this last image shows a real teepee off in the distance, used by a rancher. The warm smokey air in this image really makes it for me.

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It’s amazing the kind of scenery we have here in Utah and it was a fun adventure looking for routes and places to visit. Again, I hope to workshop here in Utah sometime soon, specifically on travel photography and scenics. If you’re interested in coming, let me know.

And until next time, America.

Bry Cox, Featured Article in Texas Professional Photographer Magazine, Oct-Nov 2012

Are you a professional photographer in Texas? Check your current copy of Texas Professional Photographer Magazine for an article I wrote, called “Preparedness & Optimism – Dealing with Uncertain Times Ahead.”

Here’s what the cover looks like…

…And here is my article.

For more articles and info for photographers, see my workshop site at BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com and come see me speak in Texas for an entire week in April 2013. Details are on my workshop site.

Until next time, America.

Shooting Model & Seniors in Washington (Evergreen Workshop part II)

Usually I only get to post the images I create. At this event, one of the photographers in attendance, Joanne Murray took a number of images of me working and was kind enough to provided them to me. I really appreciate that and am posting them here so that you can see another view of this workshop.

Having so many out-of-town jobs in a row, I was sporting a trip beard.

If you compare these images of me working to the previous post of finished portraits, you can see how I created the images. this one below was one that I featured on the last post. I wanted a unique angle and balanced on the tip of the bench, then held my light out at the right angle with one hand and photographed her with the other hand.

Here we are after dinner, setting up for the night shoot.

Here’s me using a reflector to help control the natural light.

You should see the image I created here too in the previous post. what you can barely see here is that the flash I’m using is off to the side. I don’t like using just pure natural light, as it is never coming in at the correct direction that I need it. I always need to correct it somewhat to get a spectacular image.

And finally, Joanne was kind enough to be my ride and escort from Seattle to Port Townsend. We had a long and lovely drive that included a ferry ride. Here is one of her images of me on the ferry.

If you’re looking to attend one of my photographic workshops, please check out my workshop site, at BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com. There are new events being announced all the time. I hope to see you at one soon.

Until next time, America! 🙂

 

Shooting Model & Seniors in Washington (Evergreen Workshop part I)

I taught a weeklong photographic workshop called ‘Evergreen’ outside of Seattle in a small town called Port Townsend. Here are some of the images from that event.

Usually as I travel and move, I create images — it’s like a part of my brain that doesn’t turn off. I see abstract shapes in everything around me.

For a while now, I’ve created some of these images on my iPhone because it makes it extra fun. You see, the iPhone in its simplicity, doesn’t have any exposure controls, so so I have to think around its limitations. That particular method of thought makes me think differently and I tend to create different images than I normally would.

While teaching, I demonstrate various types of equipment and techniques. All of these image were created in front of the group, from the initial creation, to the workflow and the final retouching.

We also used a minimal amount of equipment, staying as mobile as possible, and used backgrounds and locations right there within walking distance. When I’m shooting at a workshop, I specifically like to focus on teaching three things:

1) Make the most of what you’ve got. For instance, instead of wondering if there’s a better place nearby, instead ask yourself how you can make a particular area work as a cool background?

2) We don’t want just good images, we want to create fantastic images that have punch and emotion.

3) We want all the work to be done in camera so that we don’t have to fix anything later. The images should be perfectly exposed, have the perfect color balance, have a strong emotion and believable expression, and be lit with control from the right angles. That way anything we do to the image later will be for fun instead of to fix it.

Most of these images have very little work done to them, and what work was done was done quickly in front of the class using special techniques and some of my specific products. In fact, using these techniques it seems that it actually takes more time to pick favorites than it does to finish them up.

So these girls told us that a lot of local photographers use the area for senior shoots, so we really wanted to create unique images, find cool nooks, and use the area in new ways.

I think you can tell that the shoot was a lot of fun for everyone.

Hopefully you can see that we really created a lot of variety, and used all sorts of areas to our advantage. We wanted to create a lot of different looks as quickly as possible, and make something wonderful from each spot.

That night after dinner, we invited the girls to come meet us in town for some night shooting. Instead of the normal dark or flat images that are typical at night, instead I showed how to create depth and how to get perfect exposures while working with various off-camera flashes.

The challenge here was to show that no situation is difficult when we really understand light. Below, is a mulit-light setup using a streetlight for interest. I angled her so that the wind was working with her hair, and I really like how these turned out.

And finally we took our model Lane, out on the pier, looking out towards the water. The first image is a photograph, and the second is a painting that I created from another photograph in the series.

If you’re looking to attend one ofmy photographic workshops, please check out my workshop site, at BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com. There are new ones being announced all the time. I hope to see you at one soon.

Until next time, America! 🙂