Here are some behind the scenes photos of the Kharizma Entertainment dancers who performed at Digital Dreams 2014. It was incredible to witness all the work that went into creating these amazing looks. The hair and make-up teams were outstanding in transforming these ladies. The energy in the room was phenomenal and everyone seemed to be having a blast even before getting on stage.
Thanks to Kharizma Entertainment for letting me share in the fun!
It might... if you're a moron.
Recently I shot some images at a Color Me Rad event in Toronto. Once I told people this they freaked and brought to my attention a few blogs that talked about it destroying their brand new gear. Many of these blogs were on lens rental company websites who refused to rent lenses for these events. That's their prerogative of course.
These articles draw your attention the the dust that infiltrated every crevice in the lens which required them to be cleaned from the interior. My first major critique of these articles is they noted that the photographers were not close up in the action. I'm going to have to call objection on that your honour. The photos I saw repeatedly used an 8-16mm lens as an example of gear that got ruined. That is an extremely wide lens so unless someone was going for nothing but sweeping landscape shots they were clearly right in the middle of the action to get good shots from that lens.
The common sense alarms should go off for any photographer when they hear powder being thrown around in the air. As well seeing the images that already exist for previous events you should know what you are getting into. Just prepare appropriately!
So my experience was just fine. I put a cheap rain cover over my camera, used a 70-300mm zoom lens, stood far away and up wind. I was still able to get great shots from far away by using a zoom lens. The other suggestion I would make is not to shoot in the main gathering area/finish line. It can be tempting because you can get a lot of dramatic shots there but that's where you put your gear at risk.
If you plan carefully, take basic precautions and use common sense, you and your gear will be just fine. The best part is you will get some great photos. Everyone is super energetic, they look great, and people gravitate toward photographers with all of their enthusiasm.
Here are some of my shots from the day.
Some selections from Hamilton Fashion Week's Street Fashion Show.
Feel free to use for personal use. Please do not edit, or crop photo and credit Marek Michalek Photography www.photoshootme.ca
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While most photo shoots require planning and forethought there are some that require a little more. You often don’t get insight into the thought process behind a photo but I can assure more often than not there are specific choices made for specific reasons.
Recently I got to shoot with two fantastic musical artists Jason and Charmaine Brown. They were looking for some promotional photos. Great, sign me up! With this came the challenge of branding musicians visually. How do you visually represent an artist?
My specific challenge with Jason and Charmaine was representing them within their musical genre. In their case they have both a mainstream pop as well as Christian music background. Also in addition to being musical partners, they are partners in life as a married couple. I wanted to balance all of those elements within the photography to tell that story. I wanted to hint at some of those elements without punching the viewer in the face with it.
Things I wanted to avoid were white flowy robes with divine lights haloing from their heads. I also wanted to avoid making the photos too “coupley”. While they are a husband and wife team and some shots suggest a certain intimacy, I wanted to show them more as musical partners. I tried to keep more neutral poses for a majority of the shots.
I had technical considerations as well. I went in with the mindset of how the photos would be used. These being promo photos I knew I had to shoot them in a way that they would be useful for creating marketing materials, be used on websites, and have the flexibility to add graphical elements to them.
In the end I was pleased with the results. I think we created images that showcase the personality of the artists. I think the photos revealed their sense of passion, fun, and love. I know that they are dreamers and I think that comes out in their eyes.
I look forward to see where they go in their music careers and I am excited I could be a footnote in their journey.
Even though mother nature likes to remind us mid April is still fair game for snow in Canada, it might be nice to get a glimmer of hope for a real spring. Filled with colours and warmth. In the spirit of that warmth we wanted to put together a creative spring inspired fashion shoot that would be wildly colourful and fun.
The shoot itself was a blast which only resulted in getting terrific images. Here are some behind the scene images as well as some of the finished product.
Hair and Makeup by Aleksandra Stanojevic http://www.aleksandrasartistry.com/
Behind the Scenes
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A couple of weeks ago I got the opportunity to work with an incredible swimwear designer Marina Pascale. She was scouting some local talent for upcoming fashion shows. We had a fantastic day shooting together and all the models that came out were tremendous to work with. What was awesome to see was how one outfit could look so different on a few different models. The swimwear looked amazing and made my job super easy.
For more information on Pascale Swimwear or to purchase visit: https://www.maisonpascale.com/
Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lamaisondepascale
Follow on Instagram: http://instagram.com/pascaleswim
Here's a sample of some of our work from the day.
My social media feeds are usually full of modeling photos, new
camera announcements, and the occasional person looking for attention. This
week it has exploded with news of the Nikon Df. Articles galore condemning or commending
Nikon for their newest camera. F-stoppers had a great comparative article
showcasing the two camps. I found myself strongly leaning toward the ‘this
camera is unnecessary’ side. I thought I would weigh in with my usual brand of wit and sarcasm.
The main argument for the Df is it is a photographer’s camera. No frills, no video, just pure photography goodness. This is not meant to be a camera for weddings or professional studio work. It is purely for the enjoyment of photography. It is for going back to our earliest memories of falling in fall with photography. Nikon is really trying to play on our strong nostalgic emotions of our first ‘simple’ cameras.
One argument is that it reminds us of our first cameras. That we can go back to that mind frame of discovery and excitement. My love of photography started differently than many other photographers’ stories I read about. I always hear about photographers getting their dads old Nikon or Olympus and toying around with black and white film yadda yadda yadda falling in love with it. Well I never was able to get an SLR. I knew I loved photography early on but all my parents could afford was a point and shoot camera. I loved it and was really grateful but I remember always being handcuffed creatively by what the camera could do. I knew exactly what kind of image I wanted but I could not replicate it with what I had available. The camera simply wasn’t good enough. Therefore me going back to my roots doesn’t mean I focus on creativity and excitement, I think of limitation and frustration.
So this camera is marketed as back to basics ‘for the love of photography’. The very idea of a pleasure camera is counter intuitive. I understand the desire for a compact camera as a casual creative shooter, but the Df just doesn’t fall into any appropriate category. I have just accepted that on trips and nature walks I am bringing large DSLRs and large heavy lenses. I can’t accept poor quality photos on vacations so I will suck it up and bring my proper gear. I would not bring a Df just because I love taking pictures. I love taking good quality photos where I can create the image exactly like I want. I am aware you can use all of your regular lenses on this camera but the marketing suggests you would just use one simple lens and snap away like you used to as a kid.
I also strongly disagree that the Df is like a Porsche and other DSLRs are like a utilitarian van. To me a Porsche is about styling, speed, the thrill of driving. I understand how that can be related to photography. But the joy of photography is about creating an image. It is a tool for you to accomplish something. The camera itself only enhances your journey by allowing you to create what you envision. Your experience of using the camera should enhance what you are trying to achieve. Can a camera be fun to use? Or is it more about being easy to use to accomplish what you want? Rather than thinking between Porsche or Caravan I think of it more like the Mustang redesign. They took inspirations of the old beloved nostalgic design and wrapped it around modern functionality and engineering. An old Porsche is beautiful and elegant, but it could never drive like a brand new 991. The idea that the Df is a physical reminder of why you picked up a camera is ridiculous. I will always buy the best camera I can afford.
Thus we come to the Apple argument. They sell beautiful things that are overpriced. Yes they do, but they also make user friendly devices that are intuitive and allow you to do what you want to efficiently. Actually when you think about it, is the Df actually beautiful? It’s just old looking? Old looking doesn’t mean better. Apple isn’t making beige boxy computers to remind us of the glory days of computing. Not yet anyways. Which bring me to my main rant about our love…. Vintage.
Why do we love vintage things so much? We are obsessed with our past. We glorify things that did not work as well, were poorly designed, or were incredibly ugly. Fashion constantly looks backward to revitalize our stale present. Older wasn’t always better. I know your grandpa looked stylish in his brown suit and thick framed glasses. But not everything should go backward to “the good ol days” because often the “good ol days” sucked. I fall victim to love of vintage things. My beloved old Star Wars t-shirt, my cassette tape iPhone case, and wayfarers. There is comfort is looking back at our past, but often the reality wasn’t as pleasant as we remembered it. Let’s not let vintage design take over ergonomics and technical evolution.
So who should buy the Df? People with plenty of disposable income (who of course love photography) and like old things for the sake of their design and simplicity. Otherwise spend an extra $200 and get a monster D800 that can do anything just short of time travel. Cameras can be as simple as you want them to be, why limit your growth or ability just for the sake of fashion. To me if you buy this camera you are falling into the group of people who buy rotary phone style handsets to plug into their smartphone.
I had a marketing professor in University who said she predicted in the 80s people would pay for bottled water. Seemed silly at the time, now people are paying for what they get out of the tap for free. Her next prediction is that people will make their own pop (soda if you’re American) with those fancy CO2 machines. So my prediction: 80% of photographers will become videographers. This means they will do corporate, wedding, and creative videos as a large part of their services.
There a couple of reasons for my prediction.
1. Most new DSLRs have a video function built. With the high quality lenses a photographer already has they automatically are stacked with incredible equipment to enter this field.
2. They have the creative mind suited for video/film production. A photographer has trained themselves to create a compelling image in one frame. They can tell a story with just one shot. That skill alone gives them a stepping stone to creating video.
3. The financial reasons. Photography itself is becoming a harder sell as a commodity or service. People are reluctant to pay for the service because so many people can do it for so cheap. People are tackling photography projects themselves because there are few barriers to entry for a simple photo project. For video there is opportunity to create quality productions for people at a reasonable cost, and for a reasonable profit.
4. Content is evolving. The growth of video online has created an entire new market for artistic productions. Online streaming sites such as YouTube and Vimeo have revolutionized film distribution. An individual artist is able to compete on a large scale with minimal resources.
5. A continuation of the last point, content demand is shifting as well. There is an opportunity for artists to create content the general population wants to see. If it is clever, artistic, well executed, funny, it can be shared endlessly. People want short entertaining videos. They are sacrificing production value for quality content. You could create a 5 minute film that has as large of an audience as Transformers 4.
6. It’s a new challenge. Photographers always like to push themselves with new techniques, new types of creations. Video production is the natural evolution of that artistic journey. They don’t have to switch gears entirely; however dabbling in video could satisfy a creative thirst.