One Hour Photo Featuring Sandra Coan


Lesson Info

One Hour Photo - Sandra Coan

Hello, welcome everybody to One Hour Photo. My name is John Greengo, and we have another good episode in store for you today. As always, I'm gonna start off with a few of your questions that you've submitted about cameras, and photographic gear, and photography in general, and see if I can answer those. And then we're gonna have Sandra Coan come on, and she is a portrait photographer who does a lot of newborn work. And we're gonna take a look at some of her photos, and talk to her, how she creates them. She's got a couple of classes here at CreativeLive. And then the two of us are gonna take a look at your photos in our image review section and see what you've submitted, and talk about what we like, what we don't like, or how we would try to make those even better than they already are. So let's go ahead and get started with your questions. Which company makes the best tripod and tripod head that money can buy? Alright, Sanjay. It appears that you have won the lottery and you're willin...

g to spare no expense when it comes to the tripod. It depends a little bit on what you what you wanna do with that tripod, as to what type of tripod you're gonna get, and actually which company is the best tripod. I'll admit, right off the bat, that I don't know a lot about the companies that specialize in video tripods. There are a number of companies that make special video heads and tripods for video equipment. But when it comes to still photographic gear, Bogen, which is now Manfrotto, used to be know as Bogen, but that's kind of how I grew up with the name. But Manfrotto and Gitzo tripods are traditionally two of the top name brands out there. Another company that has been making photographic products for a while is Really Right Stuff. And at first they were just using Gitzo tripods, and then they started making their own tripods. And so when I see somebody that has an unlimited budget, it's quite often they have a Really Right Stuff tripod and head. I prefer the Gitzo ones, I think they're a little bit better value. They may not be better, but I think they're a very good value. They're still very expensive tripods to start with. But as far as the heads that go on the tripods, it depends on what type of head you're doing, whether you want a ball head, or you want a tilt-shift head that's got a three-way pan-tilt access. Really depends on what you're doing. For a lot of the work that I do, I do like the simplicity of a ball head. And Really Right Stuff, as well as Kirk Enterprises, seem to make the best quality heads out there. Having said that, working in a studio, and I'm doing some product photography, I found that they move around too much when you loosen them up, and I need it to be more precise about movements. And so going back to Manfrotto, Manfrotto made a geared head that fit my need very exclusively. And so Manfrotto, Gitzo, Really Right Stuff, and Kirk Enterprises are all different companies that you should check out to see what type of products they make for the type of photography you're most interested in. So thank you for that question. Next up, Mary, another CreativeLive student. I will be shooting portraits, newborns in studio. Can I get started with a Nikon D3000 entry-level DSLR with 10.2 megapixels? My concerns are the 10.2 megapixels and the lens options. Thanks for your time. Thank you, Mary, for your question. The D3000 is not the internet's favorite camera, cause it's not the newest one out there. It is a perfectly fine camera for taking good quality photographs. 10.2 megapixels, by today's standards, is a little bit on the low side. 10.2 megapixels is what I remember figuring out, close to 20 years ago, was the equivalent of film photography. It is a good camera. It's not top of the line, it's not the best. You could get a 24 megapixel for still pretty modest money in the current, I think it's the D3400, that they make. So if you were looking to buy a new one, you can double the megapixels for not too much money. It depends on what you're doing with your photos. If you're gonna be printing them, how big do you wanna print them? If you wanna print an 8x10, which is gonna be sufficient for a lot of people's desires for newborn portrait photos, it's gonna be totally fine for that. If you're wanting to go 24x36, or 16x20, something a much larger size, that's when you gonna wanna start looking for those higher megapixel cameras. But you're definitely fine starting out there. As far as the lens options, I think there's plenty of lens options that you can get. You can get your standard 50 millimeter 1.4 lens, which is gonna make for a very nice portrait lens. There's macro lenses that are gonna work totally fine, because, remember, with the D3000, that's the DX series of crop-frame cameras from Nikon, you can use all their full-frame lenses as well. If you happen to be doing portraits outside, you could use the 85 1.8 or 1.4 millimeter lens. That's gonna get you some very, very shallow depth of field. Is it the shallowest depth of field that you can get, of anything on the market? No. But it's gonna get you good enough. It's not going to be the item that holds you back in any sort of business or artistic ambitions that you might have It is fine starting area. There are areas that you can grow. Alright, next up, from Janet. If you have a zoom lens with a range of apertures, how much control do you actually have in setting the aperture you want with the aperture changing with the zoom? I think you're referring to a lot of the variable aperture zoom lenses that go from say, 3.5 to 5.6, and then they zoom over an 18 to 55, or 100 to 400 millimeter range. There's quite a few of these out on the market, and they're often the standard kit lenses. They're often the more affordable lenses, because they're less expensive to make, cause they're not trying to maintain that aperture opening throughout the entire range. What's kind of interesting is that if you stop these lenses down to something like F8, you'll be able to zoom back and forth, and that F8 never changes on you, which is very, very handy. If it's a 3.5 to 5.6 lens, what's gonna happen is it has a maximum aperture of 3.5 at the widest setting, let's say 18 on an 18 to 55. And then at 55, it's maximum aperture would be 5.6. So only if you are setting the maximum aperture on the lens will it restrict where you can set that when you're zooming it back and forth. Once you stop it down just a little bit, it's gonna stay consistent with you as you go back and forth. I prefer a fixed maximum aperture at 2.8, or an F4 lens, that way if I set 2.8 or F4, it stays exactly there as I zoom back and forth. The only time that you really need to worry about it on those variable aperture zooms is when you are at the maximum opening. If you do set your camera manually, in manual exposure, that's the concern. If you set your camera in aperture priority, the camera's automatically gonna take care of things for you. I know this can be a confusing issue, and I hope I've clarified it at least a little bit, so thank you, Janet. Next up, from Mussa. My hobby is photography and I wanna start my own business specializing in newborn photography. What do you recommended, a Canon 5D mark 3, or 6D mark 2, or another camera? What lens would be best for newborn photography? Well, portrait photography, newborn photography, can be done with a lot of different cameras. You're thinking about a 5D mark 3, or a 6D mark 2. 5D mark 3 is gonna be a 21 megapixel, 6D mark 2 is 24 megapixel, so there's no real difference there. The 5D mark 3 is gonna have better focusing, if you are gonna be doing action outside of this. They're gonna be very similar cameras, there's not gonna be much difference between the two of them there. You can check out a lot of the reviews that are online, and there are gonna be people picking apart one or another thing. Either one of them I think are gonna be totally fine for this type of photography. It gets you into a full-frame camera, which gets you access to a lot of really good lenses that Canon has, which is your next question. What lens would be best for newborn photography? Well, if you're shooting newborns, which are about this big, you wanna think about how close do you wanna be with them. Are you photographing them in the studio? Are you photographing them in their home, with their natural environment? One 24 to 70 millimeter lens might do the job totally fine. You probably don't need anything much wider than 35. I think a lot of people are gonna be using the 50 millimeter and the 85 millimeter, if you wanna get a fixed focal-length lenses. A lot of people'd be totally fine with just the 50 and the 85. Depends on how you want your images to look, but I think those would be a couple of the safest, all-around best options when it comes to lenses. So thank you, Mussa, for that question. One more here. I love my Fuji X-T2, but I'm having problems in post-processing. The JPEGSs look awesome from camera, which Fuji is known for, but when I take them into Lightroom to crop or straighten, the exported photos are losing quality. Any suggestions on post-processing software and workflow? Okay, this could be a whole bunch of stuff, and I'm gonna try to go through this rather quickly. I don't think I could be able to fully untangle the mess here. Fugis are known for very good JPEGs. The exported photos not looking good are of concern to me. I don't know if you have something in Lightroom turned on that isn't supposed to be on, as far as a development export or a development on the import, but you should be getting good images from the raw, or JPEGs from the camera. Let me read through anything else in here. One of things to note is if you shoot raw + JPEG in Fugis, which I do recommend, cause their JPEGs have a very nice look to them, and sometimes you wanna use that as reference to go back to the raw image. And you can make some adjustments, and in fact, in camera profiles there's usually a little preset to get it back to the type of film setting that you shot your JPEGs in. So look on the development side of Lightroom. For you guys over here, it's down there on the bottom under Process. Look for the type of film simulation that you were shooting to get your raws looking like that. But you should be able to export your raws, which, for Fuji, is a .RAF, and you should get those to looking good. What I do when I shoot with Fuji is I shoot raw + JPEG. I shoot with JPEG, so I wanna see what that's gonna look like. I then adjust the raw to look a little bit like the JPEG, and then I tweak it so that it looks right to me. And then I export it, and it seems to be fine. I'm not sure. Just make sure you go through your Lightroom and make sure there's nothing being added or changed in the development process. And the whole other little thing that it could be is calibration on your monitor. Make sure that your monitor is calibrated properly. That's a whole class into itself. Unfortunately I don't any more time here, but hopefully that gets you started on figuring that problem. Thank you, Vicki, for that question. Alright, it is time to bring on our special guest, Sandra Coan. Sandra, come on out, thanks for joining me here. Yeah! Great to have you here. Pull up a chair, let's have a chat. Let's do it! We'll look at some photos. So you are a portrait photographer who specializes in newborn, is that correct? Yes. That's true. How long have you been doing this? Forever. I started my business kind of by accident, really, about 17 years ago. 1999, 2000 is when I started, and it just kind of took off, and I've been doing it ever since. Was it a hobby before that? It was always a hobby. I always grew up with a camera in my hand. My dad was a big photography enthusiast. We had a darkroom in our house, so I remember going in the basement with him as a little kid, and developing, doing all that. It was something I always had done, I just never considered it a career option, or that that was even a possibility. What happened was I was teaching kindergarten and struggling as a first-year teacher on a teaching income. That's a whole 'nother story, how sad that is. And one of my best friends had gotten pregnant. She was our first one in our group of friends to have a baby. It was the 90s, so I was like, we should do some of those maternity photos, like Demi Moore. She said okay, so I took a bunch of photos for her and she was the one that said, she was like, I love my pictures, nobody is really doing this. You should offer this as a way to bring in a little extra income. And I was like, okay. So I took my one picture that I liked and I turned it into a postcard, and went around Seattle, putting them in every coffee shop and maternity store, old school marketing. People started calling, and I started getting clients, and then maternity work lead to newborns. And within six months I went to part-time teaching. I did part-time for about three years, and then I quit my teaching job and did photography full-time. It's really interesting to hear people's story about how they get started and how they get successful, because there's a lot of ways that you can use photography. You could be shooting weddings. You could be shooting landscape, all sorts of things. Oh, I did that too. One of the things that I have found is that, when people are good at something, they seem to hit, like, yeah, this hit really quickly. And it kinda came on quickly. Did you feel like that for you? I did, but I didn't realize it at the time. I think that that's completely true. I think when you're on the right path, the path will rise up to meet you. For me, that was portrait work. Maternity, newborns, family, that all came really easy to me. I'd always been drawn to portrait work. I used to travel a lot, and even in my travels, I'd be at the Louvre, and everybody else would be taking pictures of the Louvre, and I would be taking pictures of the people in front of it. I was always drawn to portrait work, but early in my career, I decided that, if I was going to become a full-time photographer, I was gonna have to shoot weddings, which made zero sense, cause I'd never shot a wedding at all. That's what everyone else will do, it's like the bootcamp for photographers. Exactly, so I was like, okay, I guess I'll do this, and then I did that for a few years and I was like, this is crazy, and I went back to portrait work. There was a little bit of wiggle room in the beginning, and I think that that happens with a lot of photographers when you're trying to figure out what your voice is, but at the end of the day, I've always been a portrait photographer. Even when I was shooting weddings, I was known for my portraits. I would be hired because I was really good at doing those big family group photos that all photographers hate. I loved that. I was like, give me the family, and we'll sit everybody in chairs, and they'll all look in the camera. I loved doing the big group shots. I love it! It's the one few time that I get to be in charge of everybody. No matter what you say, they have to do it. Oh, yeah! And all that training as a kindergarten teacher comes in handy, cause you're working with a group of rowdy groomsmen, you snap, and get your teacher voice, and people listen. Put that down! Like, hey friend, yeah. It's amazing. So that's my story. Let's take a look at some of your photos and continue the conversation as we go through this. I love that baby. This one I think made it into a lot of your shots here. Talk generally about some of the photos that you've brought us here today. Sure, so I always tell people, like I just said, I consider myself a portrait photographer. And I know that, in this field, a lot of people say, oh, I'm a newborn photographer, or I'm a family photographer. For me, I'm a portrait photographer, and I just happen to specialize in newborns and kids. And that's an important distinction for me, because I feel like, as a portrait photographer, it's my job to tell somebody's story in a frame, right? To get a little piece of their personality in a frame. I aim to do that if my person's five days old, or five months old, or 50 years old, and that's why I love pictures like this, cause I feel like this kinda tells me a little bit of this little person's personality. Kinda easy going, just sitting there. I feel like I know who this little person is, or is going to be, and that's what I try to do in my work. So I have actually zero photos of babies in my photo archive. Nothing against babies, perfectly fine! No, you have to be called to do it, and not everybody wants to do it. One of the questions I'm curious is, how much good time do you get with a baby when you're photographing it? How much time can you expect to photograph? Well, it depends on the age of the baby. Okay. And I've actually gotten quite good at this. This age, six to 18 months, probably good shooting time, where they're gonna be engaged and with you? You're like 20, 25 minutes. And I tell my clients this, because I say, plan an hour. We're not gonna shoot that whole time, but we're gonna come in, I'm gonna go really fast. I'm really good with kids, it's kind of like a superpower that I have, right? Where I van get them to engage with me, and I enjoy them and they enjoy me, and we work well together. But we're all business for 20, 25 minutes, and then we play, take a little break, and then, if they still have it in them, we'll do a little bit more, but most kids don't. And I think that that's important too. I know, in your questions, you had some people who are wanting to start baby, new born stuff, and I think what I see a lot of newborn photographers do is say, oh, well I'll come in and we'll have a four hour session, right? You see that and you're like-- With an adult you could see that. Yeah, but I'm just like, that is bananas. Those babies are gonna be exhausted. I really try to respect-- Just developmentally, most kids have 20 to 40 minutes in them, so you have to use your time wisely and efficiently, and just go in and know what you're doing, and know what you're trying to get. For me, I'm always trying to get engagement. That doesn't necessarily mean that baby's looking in the camera, but it means that baby is engaged and is happy. I never want kids to be crying, or uncomfortable, or that kinda thing. Excellent shot, love that one there. Alright, so very different category. Very different category. Again, I'm a portrait photographer, and this photo actually means a lot to me, that I took of my mother-in-law, who just recently passed away. She had dementia, and she would have really good days, and she'd have really bad days, and this was on one of her bad days. She would do this thing where she would wear multiple coats, and she'd curl up in a ball, and just fold into herself. But we knew we wanted to get pictures of her. I was there with my husband, and his twin sister, and my boys, so we were trying to get some photos. What was amazing-- So I didn't know how it was gonna go. Was she willing? She was not interested. She wanted to sit on the couch with all of her coats on. So we brought her into the studio, and I put a table for her to lean on, cause I thought maybe that was part of why she was folding on herself, and we let her keep one of her coats on. But what's so fascinating about this is I started talking to her. I have twins, and so one common thing that happens with people with dementia is they get caught in this loop of conversation. So we started having this conversation where she saw my kids and she's like, oh, I have twins! Which I'm married to one of her twins, and I was like, yeah, I know, I have twins too, and then she'd laugh, and then she'd be like, well, you know, I have twins, and we kept having this conversation. It was so amazing because this woman, she'd literally just been folded in on herself moments ago, and she lit up, and this thing she did with her hands, she was singing songs. I get kind of emotional talking about it, but it's the same thing that I think about when I photograph babies, right? To work with somebody on the opposite end of the story. They still have something to say, they still have something to share. It's your job as the portrait photographer to help them tell that story. This has actually started, for me, a personal project, where I wanna work with older people, with the elderly. I wanna tell their story too. They need great photos of them as well. And their families do. These pictures we cherish. Yeah, oh yeah, absolutely. Now, you don't just bring someone in through the front door, into the studio, sit down, set, and take your photo. Talk about that interaction time, communication, and building a relationship. Sometimes I actually do bring them in through the front door and sit them in front of it. And then I start building that relationship while they're there in front of my camera. This kinda portrait, a lot of the portraits I do, I shoot with the Rolleiflex, an old Rolleiflex camera, so it's on a tripod, and it's the kind where you look into. And what's great about those cameras is that you can focus, and when my subject is on a stool, once it's focused, I really don't have to touch the camera except for to release the-- So you're done, technically. Yeah. I can just sit there and talk, and have a conversation, and hit the shutter when I see the moment. There's a different level of engagement that happens, which is one of the things I love about that camera. It lets people's guards down. It's got two lenses, people don't know where to look, it's confusing, and so you can just sit and talk to people. It produces beautiful portraits, I think, because of that. It's interesting, because I use that camera when I'm working-- I started this project working with older individuals and their adult children, but then I also use that camera when I'm working with toddlers or little kids, and it's the same kind of effect. Because the camera's so weird, and it's not what they're sued to seeing, and because you're not hidden behind it, it just becomes a conversation, and you're able to capture them in a really different way. That's amazing. I used to sell those Rollei twin lens reflexes cameras. I've not met many people who still are using them. That's a whole interesting story there. Going back to the young ones here. There again, babies. Are most of these shot with film as opposed to digital? They're all shot with film. All shot with film? Yeah. So this one was shot with my Hasselblad H2, Fuji film. And again, there's a lot of reasons who I shoot film. I just taught a whole day class on why I shoot it. But again, part of it for me, is also about the connection, because what happens when there's no way for you to look at the back of your camera and check, that is just a non-issue. You learn to trust the process. That technology takes over, and then again, it becomes about you just doing what you're supposed to do as a portrait photographer, which is connecting with the person you're taking a photo of, again, regardless of how old they are, and telling that story. This is actually one of my favorite kinds of photos. There's this interesting trend in newborn photography, where oftentimes babies are used as props, almost, and I don't do that in my work. I was gonna ask about that, 'cause the first image that we saw, and this one, it's very plain, it's very simple. There's not big, bold colors. There's no shiny props there. Nobody's in a basket. Which is great, if that's your calling and that's what you wanna do, that's great. It's a different thing. It's a different thing. I don't like to use my babies as props. But what'll happen is I often end up using the adults in their life as props. And so I love this, I love the story behind it. There's the protection, the big hands, the small baby. Again, I love that connection with a newborn. For some reason, it fascinates me, these little, tiny people. Every time I take a picture like this I think, this person's gonna grow up to be somebody's parent, or aunt, or uncle, or grandparent. They have a whole story, and I went them to be able to look back at photos like this, or people in their lives look back at photos like this, and be like, oh, I still see you in that. You still look like that, or you still make that, or I wonder what you were thinking, you know? That's the fun of it, for me. I always get goosebumps when I think of these great eye contact shots with babies, because I wonder what they're thinking, what's going on in there. Right, 'cause they're clearly interested. They're engaged, yeah. They're trying to figure out what's going on. I told you, babies are my people, it's my superpower. And you'll notice this a lot in my work, you're gonna see a lot of eye contact at some point. Again, this was with the Rolleiflex. I can see the square image. Yeah. A little bit of that-- Do you keep that square on most of them? I always keep that, I love it. I think it's beautiful. And it's also a different way of seeing, you know? A different way of cropping, which I think is interesting. But again, this is, you know, people talk about-- I always say that I'm a studio portrait photographer, and I know it's not cool, and I don't care. I love it, I know it's on trend, I don't care, I love it. This is the kind of thing, you can have a family in-studio, you can have them sitting in front of a gray backdrop on a couple of stools, and it doesn't have to be stiff. It still can be about that family and that connection. This is the beauty, too, of the Rolleiflex, is we had everybody looking at the camera, everything was perfect, and then mom and the older boy had this moment and you can get it, 'cause I'm not caught up in the camera. I'm talking to my people and looking at them. Now you're working in-studio. How much does your lighting setup vary from image to image? It doesn't at all. Do you kep it pretty simple? I would laugh and say I'm a one-trick pony. Yeah, I have a big seven foot OctoDome that just stays, and I love big-- Big 'ol softbox. Just big, right there, and then that way little kids can be running around and I can get that. Creates a nice light, gives you a little bit of room to work with. If you move two feet back, it doesn't change everything. Exactly, or if somebody's running around. You don't need seven lights and everything. No, I always tell people, everything I do I do with one light and one light modifier. Beautiful. Yeah. Again, that's the Rolleiflex. Going in the-- Maternity. Maternity phase. Will you often engage with a customer for a couple years? Oh, yeah. This woman in particular, this was her fourth pregnancy, and I've literally watched her family grow up, which is amazing. I have people who's photos I took like this, started with maternity, and I'm photographing their kid's bar mitzvah portraits, or high school seniors, which makes me feel like the oldest person ever. The business side of my brain says, this is a lot better when you have six month intervals that you see these people, as opposed to, well, that was a great wedding you had there. If you have one again-- Bye! Yeah, which you don't really say, cause that would be awkward. No, it's actually wonderful, and I always tell people, I have the greatest clients in the world. Because you are with them at these really wonderful points in their lives, and then you see them as their family grows, and you get to know them, they become friends, which is really great. I have some clients who I adore. We've been working together 12 years now, 13 years now. When it was our 10 year anniversary, we were in the middle of the shoot and the mom said, you know this is our ten year anniversary? And I was like, I didn't! And so we all went out to dinner afterwards. I called up my family, we went out to dinner. That's really nice and special. I love that. Excellent. I could obviously talk about this stuff all day. Now we have somebody in the middle of the spectrum. This is the a senior portrait. This is a little boy I watched grow up, and this was my take on a senior portrait. He didn't want the in the field with a guitar kind of picture. On the train tracks. On the train tracks, no, we didn't want that. He's a really neat kid, really unique, really smart, very sweet, and I think that this captures his personality. A little shy. How much will you shoot, as far as number of shots, length of time, with a senior? Well, with anybody. For example, on the Rolleiflex I have 12 frames on a roll of 120 film, so it's not a lot. Again, it's a whole different process, it's a whole different way of seeing, it's a whole different way of shooting. I think at his session I shot, I think, three rolls? So not a ton, but we're still taking up that hour. I mean, 36 shots. Couple little megabytes of information for some people there, they would blow by that in a few seconds. Seconds, yep. That becomes the entire shoot. It's also different, too, because the process is so much slower. I talk about this in my Intro to Film class, that was actually a big selling point for me, coming back to film, 'cause I started in film, went to digital, and then made the choice to come back. Part of it was I actually like the slowness. People think I'm crazy, 'cause they're like, but you work with two year olds, and three year olds, and they run all over the place, and I'm like, yeah, and I'm shooting them with a Rolleiflex. I like the slowness. It changes the energy in a shoot. Instead of being frantic and like, I gotta capture everything, and I hope I caught something. It's like no, we're all in control here. I can see, from the photographers point of view, it becomes much more about anticipation. You can see a moment, go in, and as soon as they look at me, click, that's the one. And I didn't need 40 other shots from the other three seconds, cause that was that one moment. Yeah, I actually have a photo that I share all the time that was just that. It was right when I was first transitioning back into film and I was scared about it, but you know how you can feel this moment coming. Things are coming into line, they're starting to align. It's gonna happen, it's gonna happen, and I got the shot, and it was this little baby, and she's laughing, and it was just that perfect shot, and it was one frame. I know if I had shot it with my digital camera, I probably would've caught it, but it would've been 40 frames before, or 40 frames after, or whatever, 'cause I woulda been like, oh, baby's laughing and having fun, I gotta take every single moment, every single one. But here we just capture it. And there's a lot of directing, too. It's not like these things just happen. So do parents bring their kids back at periodic intervals to get their shots? Usually in the first year, three or four times in the year, and then once every year. I love this picture so much, because mom came in with a newborn and she was like, I would love it if you could get a picture of her, and this little girl was like, I'm having none of it. I hate you, I hate your camera, I hate this whole process, which is weird, cause I'm usually really good with kids. But we ended up getting this. And this, again, is the beauty of that giant, seven foot softbox, cause she was running around and we were able to get it. If you look in her eyes, you can see that reflection of the softbox. If you wanna check out what portrait photographers are doing, look at the reflection in the eyes, and you'll get a hint, unless they've done something funny. I love this picture, too, because, again, it's that eye contact, it's that personality. It's telling me who she is. But just from a geeky, I'm a film photographer point of view, I love the tones of it, and I think that when hear that you shoot film, people think of, oh, everything has to be light, and airy, and super blown-out looking, 'cause that's what all the film is in the wedding industry that we're seeing like that. But I'm like, no, it can be anything you want it to be. This is a little of a moodier shot than I normally do with little kids, but I think it suits her personality, and certainly suits her mood at the time, and it's beautiful. It's gorgeous. It doesn't have to be light and airy, it can really be anything. With the films that you're using, do you have one favorite film, or do you kinda bounce back and forth, depending on what you're doing? No, I have a favorite. I told you I'm a one-trick pony. Let's hear it. My color film, I'm always Fuji, 400H. I did shop around, so in the beginning, I always talk about how different film stocks have different personalities. There's no universal standard. They all have their own way of seeing, and color profiles, and all that kind of stuff. So I did shop around, tried to figure out what worked for me. I'm obsessed with Fuji film, and the skin tones. It's just so pretty. I'm sure I've got some people out there who wanna do newborn photography, but they're not trained, there isn't accreditation for that. What are some precautions for people doing newborn photography, just to be careful of? Yeah, well, they're people. These are tiny, little people. Again, I say, really look at-- I know we said that trend of using babies as the prop, and setting them up, and when you're trained, and you do it well, there's some actually fantastic classes on how to do that well on CreativeLive. That's beautiful if that's your style, but it scares me. I've heard horror stories of babies being injured. Let's wrap it up in something. Yeah, I mean, just keep in mind, these are little, tiny human beings. These mean the world. Their bones are relatively fragile. Yeah, they don't have neck control. Treat them like they are the fragile, precious things they are. And actually, it's great that we talked about this with this frame. I always have a parent, or a spotter, just out of frame. Even when I'm on a big bed, even when baby's completely safe, I have somebody right there. This is an image where mom had been kind of patting baby, we were getting baby ready. She kept trying to crawl off the bed, and I just caught her hand in the hand in the frame, but I actually love it, cause, again, it kinda has this feeling of safety me, but also it's just an interesting story. And I love the little baby's face, again, that connection. Safety first. These are children, these are little, tiny babies, they're not props, they're not toys. So be safe. Excellent. This is really what I do. Like I said, I don't pose babies in my works. I don't do props. This is a very young one here. Yeah, this is brand new. I just like babies to be babies. I just want them to do what they do. Again, part of that is I'm a portrait photographer. I wanna be seeing who they are. These kind of pictures, you know, inevitably I'll take something like this, the parents will get it, and they're like, oh, we have an ultrasound photo with the baby, always had her hand up here, or her dad sleeps like this. They can recognize something in their baby, which I love, and it's safe. Now this set, I always tell people, I don't pose babies. I also don't just throw a baby on a bed and see what happens. Well, the whole throw part. There's a little, like-- I don't pose babies, I'm not gonna wrap them up and put them in things or whatever. I'm gonna let them stretch and do what they wanna do. But I also really take a lot of time to make sure the babies I work with are comfortable. They're warm, I don't wanna see babies in mid-startle. It's that thing that newborns do when they feel like they're falling. They'll startle and it'll wake them up. I wanna make sure that they're comfortable and they feel safe. Any time you're taking a portrait of somebody, if they're comfortable and they feel safe, you're gonna get a better picture of them, so I try to do that with my babies too. This looks like a challenging photo for me to take, and why I'm saying that is because, with a Rolleiflex, if you've not used a waist-level viewfinder, you usually hold the camera down here, and getting the camera tilted to shoot straight down. How did you do that? This one was with my Hasselblad. That one you have a viewfinder on? Yes, but what you can do with the Rolleiflex is you can, instead of here, you can turn it upside down. Which is a little awkward. Which is a little awkward. But it's already awkward to start with, so you're not traveling that far. You can do that, and you can look at it here, and shoot down. Did you put the bedding on the floor, so that you could more easily stand above? I have a little bed in my studio, and it's a little lower, and I'm tall, so I can usually just stand up and get over top. Yeah, either that, or I have a big bean bag that I'll put babies on. I always warn people, again, safety, if you are working over a newborn baby, either they're on a bed or they're on a beanbag, just make sure you always have that strap around your neck. And nothing that can fall off. Lens caps, hoods. Glasses. I do this all the time when I'm shooting, cause I wear glasses. No, nothing, cause they're babies. Gotta be very smart with that. Yeah. This is so fun. Again, this is just a baby being a baby. Every once in a while I'll post a picture like this on social media and I'll be like, oh, I don't pose babies, and people say, well, you posed this baby, and I'm like, no. Babies naturally sleep on their stomachs. It's okay, that's a natural position for a baby to be in. Sometimes newborns, they'll startle, like I was saying, so we swaddle them, and that gives them the pressure, but laying a baby on their stomach is the equivalent of swaddling, cause it'll give them that pressure on their belly that they like, and that pressure on their hands and their feet, and they'll sleep really well like this. But, of course, not through the night. Not supposed to do that. I never thought I would ask this question, but do you have a recommended diaper that you prefer? Doesn't have a lot of colors, just simple. Turns out, I do! Isn't this just so crazy, the things that you learn? The Honest company makes really great diapers. I've never heard of them. I know! But you can get just plain white ones, which is really nice, and I have a bunch at my studio. They also make some that are kind of fun, little skulls and crossbones, rainbows, or whatever. They're fun. You like the clean ones, they're white. That's kinda my whole thing, right? I like simple, simple, simple, simple. Nice. Yeah. I really like that one, that's a great one. Thank you. And that's a good one to end on. Let's talk real briefly about some of your other classes here at CreativeLive. You've got introduction to film photography, and then you've got another one on strobes. Talk to us a little bit about the difference between these and what's going on. The Intro to Film, it's just that, it's an intro to film. It's on everything you could possibly need to know to get going, get started. We talk about, gosh, metering, cause it's so important. We talk about film stocks, the differences between films stocks, we talk about professional film stocks and consumer-grade film stocks, black and white, color, how you meter for all of them, the differences in that. We talk about the cameras, the kind of film, 35 millimeter, that was hard, verses 120. What goes in what cameras, how many frames you get on a roll. We talk about pushing film and the effects you can get with that. We talk about lab relations. I always say, to be a good film photographer, you just need to know your film, know your light, know your lab, and so we basically go over those three things. It's a really good class, if I do say so. And then you have strobe photography. Working in the studio with film, which you seem to know quite a bit about. That's what I do. It's interesting because, when I did make the choice to go back to film photography-- I shoot inside, I live in Seattle. I knew light was gonna be an issue, and I knew nothing about studio lighting. I was like, okay, well that's why we have the Google, right? I'll just figure this out. There were no resources for film photographers. I mean, there's a lot of resources out there that's really geared towards shooting with strobes digitally, but there are some inherent differences between the mediums, but also between the cameras, obviously. I couldn't find anything on how to get my Rolleiflex to work with my Pocket Wizards, even though all those film cameras out there were made to work with lights, right? Because people were using studio lighting long before. They had DC syncs. Yeah, all of that. It was intimidating and scary, 'cause there were no resources, and so I kinda taught myself a lot of stuff, and that's why I was so excited to be able to put this class together, because I know film photography's coming back, it's on the rise. It's not just for wedding photographers anymore. Everybody's doing it. I would love to see more film photography being shot in-studio. I think it's classic and it's beautiful. If you're gonna do that, you're gonna have to know and understand light. Well, good, it's good to have a class on it. Now there's a great resource, yeah. Yes, excellent. Perfect. Alright, so what we're gonna do now is we're gonna open up Lightroom and take a look at some of our viewer's photographs. Let's see if we can get this full-frame and get rid of all this other stuff. This is our image review, and so if you haven't been through an image review, we don't know what you were encountering and experiencing when you shot the photo, and so if we say, move to your left five feet, it would've been better, we don't know that there was a brick wall there or not. We're just gonna have to review it on what we see. Let's go ahead and take a look at our first image here. This is a CreativeLive student. Couple of sea lions having a moment out there. Obviously we've got a very good moment there. Excellent on the timing part of it, no doubt about it. I wanna know if they were in the water. That would scare me. In the water with them? Yeah, or if they had a big 'ol lens. Probably a big 'ol lens. This is one of those areas where it's really hard to tell what lens they were using, unless I can dive into the metadata. Is this mean for me to go into the metadata? Get that closed out. It's an 85 millimeter 1.4 lens. In any case, they're not far away from it at all. That's amazing. Now if you coulda told that third seal in the background to just duck behind. That's what I was thinking, or just scoot down. Just scoot down, or get outta there. There's really nothing you can do about that. Any additional thoughts? No, that's what I would say too. I know it's going fast, you wanna get that moment. Almost, if you get down sometimes, you can block things in the back. I mean, that's a great capture. I'm sure that went really fas.t We didn't have the name there, but I can see the name down on the bottom left, it's Gail Goldstein. You've put your name on there, get good credit, cause you did a good job on that. Very good timing on that. It's hard to say, because if you watch this behavior, this may happen every two minutes. If you stay there, and you stick around, and you see what's going on, you can get yourself really lined up. There's nothing you can do about a wild animal in the background. Nope, photobombing. If it's a one-time thing, excellent. If it happened again and again, stick around and see what you can do. Alright, thank you. Alright, this one comes from Ali Salih. Do you do much macro photography? Do you do details in portraits? Little stuff? I do have a macro lens for my contacts that I'll use, and I'll get those little, tiny baby toes, and that kind of stuff, but I never do stuff like this. It always is kind of interesting to me, to take something and turn it into an abstract image. Working with that macro lens, you often do get really shallow depth of field. If I had to guess, I'm not gonna pull up the metadata here, but I'm guessing they shot it pretty wide open to get that shallow depth of field, cause you do end up with that nice, beautiful, soft foreground and background in there. You have any thoughts on that, as far as what you like, or what could be better? No, I don't know. I think it's kind of interesting. I always like maybe the point of the leaf-- I mean, it's hard to say, if you're not there, though. But you know what I mean? Like a line, taking the line a little bit. It's a little too straight up and down, maybe. So maybe tilting the camera, or moving your position, so it's more of a diagonal line, maybe? I don't know, what do you think? This is hard! If I'm just grasping at things to make it better, that big drop is kind of interesting, cause it is so big compared to all the others. If there was more of a reflection in there. That would've been amazing. If there was a tree that had a shape to it. I mean, of course, I'm just wishing on things at this point. It kind of adds drama, though, cause you're waiting for it to fall off. Yeah, there's a bit of tension in it. I think, possibly, as you were talking about, just angling it so that the leaf is going more down to the bottom left hand corner. Cause then you would have this really beautiful tones, too. Would kinda cut up-- What do you think about including the tip of the leaf, the front tip? I would've been pro tip of the leaf. Bring that in, cause the backing kinda just disappears into oblivion. Yeah, so if it was cropped down to here, and then you bring the tip in. Let's do this. This is why we have this in Lightroom. This is so fun. I wanna get that on manual. Shoulda had that setup ahead of time. Let's get rid of that, we don't need that. Where are you suggesting, we bring the top down a little bit? Yeah. You're right, and then if it was rotated. Let's just rotate it ourselves. Now it's really gonna fall off. That really makes you think. Now you get this (tense groan). We just rotated it, but if you actually rotated your positioning, the leaf would be angled to the corner, but wouldn't be tilting as much, and so you get a more natural look from it. But then it becomes, like I said, it's not leaf with a bubble of water on it, it becomes almost like an abstract painting, which I think is the cool part of macro. I think they're started off on really solid ground with the photograph, there's just a few different versions to play with it. Get your clean, good hot to start with, and then play around, cause that's fun about photography. And that's the beauty of digital photography, honestly, is you can look at something in real-time, and think about, how can I change it up? How can I change my perspective? Yeah. Okay, excellent job. Let's go to the next one. Oh, that's beautiful. Look at those colors. Where oh where could we be at? This is Moraine Lake. Have you ever been up to Banff and Jasper? Oh, yeah. I grew up in Alberta. Oh, really? So you know all about this place on here. I'm sure you've been there. Oh, yeah. Oh yeah, we spent a lot of time in Banff, and Waterton, and all of that area. It's gorgeous. My dad's a big canoer, this is speaking to me. Well, this is some of the most ridiculous rates you'll ever be charged for a half hour, it's $40 for a half an hour in the canoe. Oh, you're kidding! We always had our own. If you're a photographer and you really wanted a red canoe out there, it'd be totally worth the $40, but for the average person, wants go canoeing for half an hour? It was very strange. Obviously, you're in a very good environment, so that part is great. The time of day, with that white sky. That white sky is what's bothering me there. All your serious photography, is it in the studio? Yeah. And so you don't go out to the field? I don't like to leave and go in the outdoors. I will say, what's great about film photography, is you really don't get the white sky. You don't lose your cloud detail, which is nice. I mean, unless it's actually a legit white sky. They got a beautiful reflection, but I think that would be enhanced. Wouldn't it, with a little further over? You're not fond of the gravel pit on the left. I'm not loving the gravel pit. Not loving the gravel pit. You know what? If we're gonna do this, let's make it a true square. I tend not to like things that are just almost square but not quite. That may not be the perfect crop there. Let's get that little magnifier out of there. Yeah, I think that losing the left side, the left side was not strong. My eye was going to that gravel pit, when there's all this other really beautiful stuff. Let's just reset this so people can see. We're losing those dark, uninteresting areas over on the left. I mean, I can see how it might be a cool arrow. Maybe that's what they were going for. I think you're gonna have to work another part of it. It's just not as strong over there. Having, obviously, that spot color in that big environment, that's a tasty tidbit for a photographer, cause you got that color, and it's a relatively bland environment with this lighting on it. Potentially, coming back, I went up here to go shoot. Specifically landscape type shots. Oh, how fun! I searched, I walked over to the canoes, I walked in the water, I know exactly where they're standing at. There's some big rocks up there (mumbles). What's over here? On the right hand side, there's the place where they rent the canoes. So it's an ugly shack or something there? Yeah, there's a shack over there. Cause I was wondering why it was cut right there. I don't think that you can move too far over to the right, but then there's another hill way off to the left. I went back there probably four times, on afternoons, mornings, evenings, to figure out right weather, the right lighting. If you're doing that type of landscape photography, you have to have the time built in to come back. And then you can study how it changes. Monet did that, he would paint the same cathedral over and over again, and do it in different seasons and different times of day, just to study the way the light would hit it. That's fun, that it becomes a study. I'm totally geeky like that, though. Whether it's babies or nature, you need to learn your subject. You gotta figure out, when are they at their best? When are they not at their best? Oh, that's pretty. Let's see who this is. This is Donald Munn. This looks like Central Park to me. Love the choice of black and white. Do you shoot with black and white? I'm obsessed with black and white. I shoot super grainy, classic. I love it. This does have a film feel to it. Yeah, it does. Maybe that's why I was like, ooh. Now I wanna listen to Simon and Garfunkel. Exactly. It does seem a little on the dark side to me. It could be the monitor. This is a hard thing to meter to, because you have that bright snow, and the dark here. I think they did a good job capturing the snow falling, cause that can be rather challenging. It's not the most exciting photograph in the world, but it's not intended to be. No, but it definitely gives you a feeling. Now I could see this as an album cover. Totally! That's what I'm saying, a moody Simon and Garfunkel, in their early years. If you had to improve this, how would you improve this? Hmm. It's always so hard to do this, because, like you said, you don't know what's going on in the scene. My instinct, looking at this picture, is I wanna walk to the edge here, and maybe get a little more of this, and maybe less of that, got that bright, bright white. You have a large area of white, which attracts your attention, and there's not a lot of interesting details going on in there. My thoughts were kind of similar. I was thinking maybe going more vertical, and seeing if you could find some element of the edge that is more interesting. Like you, I wanted to walk closer, up to the edge, to see if there's something else. Again, I guess maybe I've gotten too used to shooting square. Okay, let me. I'm always curious now. What does that look like? Let's do the Sandra crop here. We're gonna go in to do a 1x1. So then you can kinda play around with-- Let's get rid of some of this. Do you wanna get rid of all of it? No, I think a little bit's fine, but it's heavy in that corner, don't you think? Yes, I believe so. Something in there is another version of this. I say that to be kind, because it was like, once you shoot one, in photography we accumulate more and more photos. We can have several versions of the same photo that work for different reasons. I'll have horizontal, panoramics, square versions, black and white, color versions, or the same image that work on different levels for different reasons. Again, if you're shooting digitally, that's the beauty of it, whereas a film photographer, you would walk around this scene for an hour, looking at it. Okay, so what now? You don't have to do it. I like square, it's just my brain. I'm gonna do my change, and I often like-- Nah, it's not vertical. No, I'm not gonna do vertical on this one. But I do like this 16x9 aspect. I do like panoramic. See, that's pretty. See, just taking out a little of that heavy white. We still want a little of it. Ooh, I like that. I'm always unsure as to exactly how far up to crop that to get-- I like your crop better than my crop. Oh, really? Yeah. Well, thank you. Yeah, you're welcome. Now you notice the ducks. Get that (mumbles) out of there. Sorry. Sorry about that. Yeah, we do have ducks in there. It's amazing how different crops will just really change the subject, even though it's the same subject. I mean, obviously, the bridge is good, those trees are good with the snow on it. The feeling is really good. This is why, if you do wanna photograph snow, my big tip on photographing snow in Seattle, where it snows once a year, every year, except on some years, is that you gotta get out early in the morning. Early. Before everyone else, when everyone else is at home, freaking out, watching the news, you are out with your camera while the snow is still on the trees. It's not melted and there's not thousands of footprints and tire tracks everywhere. This looks to me like an afternoon, a late afternoon. Nice. Alright, next up. CreativeLive student number two here. I think they're getting creative with the angles on this. Yeah, and the colors, and the shapes, yeah. That's interesting. I think they've done a good job of finding a snippet of where something looks good. Staircases are kind of gimmes as good locations. Oh, it's a staircase! Yeah. I thought maybe they were looking up. And to be honest with you, I wasn't sure at first if we were looking up or down, but obviously, with the lights, we're looking down at multiple chandeliers. It's not a circular, but kind of a half circular staircase? It's kind of a gimme for a repetitive pattern shot, which I always love. Pattern shots are just so easy. I love them. But the colors, don't you think? The colors are cool. This is what I love about photography, and about photographers, is that you can take something that's just your ordinary world and look at it differently. We all do that. Do you do that? Oh, yeah. I'll be sitting in a restaurant, and my husband will be in the booth behind me, and I'll have to move my body around a little until I'm-- He probably goes, what are you doing? Yeah, he knows what I'm doing now. He's like, you're totally composing me, aren't you? But you know, where you can see the lines, and you see these things. Things start lining up. Yeah, it's fun. Not everybody can do that. I always appreciate things like this, when it's clear this person was seeing something differently. It looks like it's probably a pretty beautiful building to start with, but this is something that most people aren't gonna recognize. In the whole concept of what would you do to improve this, boy, I don't know. There's a little bit of camera positioning you may wanna play with. I kinda wanna move the camera up and to the left? That's what I was thinking, I was like, kinda up on your toes, up over. You kinda want to see a little bit more down there, but then there's chains right there that are holding it there that looks like it are kinda blocking it, so they're using that as framing. They might've been boxed into this position, you might say. I like the light, too, the way that the light's playing. I will do the old square crop on this. Let's just try it. We're gonna square crop everything today. Doesn't that sound fun? See, square crop! Not just for Instagram. See, it's interesting! I maybe just wanna get a little bit more on the right. Just a little, there you go. Yeah, get all of that curve in. I kinda wanna go a little bit wider than straight square, but square-- Do you like a six seven? A 6x7? Okay, let's see if I have that. We'll pretend we're shooting a-- How about 5x7? There we go. 5x7, and let's get that. Can I? There we go. (mumbling) Yeah, cause there's a little bit of extra space over on the right hand side that we don't need. Yeah, we could even bring it in to there. So let's just do a, yeah. We'll do our own custom crop here. You tell me when to stop. There. Right about there. Okay, Sandra crop, right there. I think that looks awesome. Got the nice dark border on the right hand side, natural framing. And then you get that really beautiful little bit of light. Then I want this printed and I want it hanging in the staircase. That would be cool! I would love that. Alright, thank you. Very good photograph. Let's see, Heather Folse. You don't go out and do abandoned building-- I went through an abandoned building phase in my teenage years. Everybody does. Like I said earlier, I'm such a portrait photographer. I look at a picture like this and I'm like, okay, well, what is the story? What do you tell me here? It's just now how my brain works. One thing I'm gonna say is, over on the left, there's just a smidgen of mountain over there that just doesn't help us out. Just crop it down to the clouds right there. Then, after taking this shot, the whole telephone pole there, cropping that out's gonna be really tough. Lemme turn this off. (mumbling) The other thought, for me, is oh my gosh, there is a gigantic puddle perfect for reflections. That would've been cool, if you go up in that-- Getting that camera up close with a wide-angle lens, there may be some really options in there. As it stands right now, it's a very stark photograph. I think there's just too much foreground. I would definitely crop out most of it, up to the mud puddle. But I agree, I would go up there. I'm a big fan of puddle reflections. Yeah, get your camera up there. Hopefully, if you have one of those little flip screens, or a waist-level camera. There's your Rolleiflex in use right there. Everybody needs a Rolleiflex. There you go, that would be perfect on that. That would be really cool, then just get down there. Get down there and then get some reflections, with the graffiti there might be some interesting pattern that comes out. Okay, thank you Heather for that. Next up we're gonna go to Lulu. We do have some kid shots. I believe that her name is Lily, but Lulu is the photographer. My niece is names Lulu. It's a cute name. Alright, kid photography. Kid photography. What is your tips for this photographer? Okay, so this is my thing. Kid photography is hard. It's like being a wildlife photographer. Sometimes you have to go, go, go, and sometimes you just have to sit and wait. I'm betting that Lulu took this shot because she had eye contact, so I get that. Some things you wanna notice, or look at, when you are photographing people, is if you are getting that really tight face shot, and she's looking at you, and that's what you want, then make sure that's what you're taking a picture of, so even change your perspective a little so you're not cutting off her knuckles. Right, so vertical would be better than horizontal in this case? Yes, or go wide enough so you get the end of her hand. 'Cause we're cropping the hand off. I've certainly cropped many a hand. I've cropped feet at the ankles. I've done everything wrong too, I get it. But that's what I would recommend, and then I would probably retake this again. I would ask her to take the toothbrush, or whatever that is in her mouth, out, and then I would sing her a song, or tell her a story, or do something, so I could still get that connection. Get the eye contact. Sounds like some good tips from the expert there, alright. Kids are hard. Thank you Lulu and Lily. Next up, Ankit Mishra. I love these kind of stark environments, but that post is-- The post is driving me crazy, too, I was gonna say! 'Cause of course I was like (distracted groan). It's really close. It has the potential for a really nice design element. I think if they wanted to keep the post in, you crop out clouds. Okay, let's give this a try. Probably doesn't help (mumbles). Then you can leep the post in. 0 [John] It's just too far to the left, and so if we bring it in-- Yeah, it's not working, cause then you lose that gorgeous cloud detail. Even now it's still seems tight on the left side. It's just a little cramped in there. Now I don't know far the reflection goes down in the water of that post, but it might be good to kind of tilt down, so that we could see the top of the reflection of that post, so it's one continuous element, rather than one that comes out of the bottom. I don't know that it's better, but I would wanna see it before I decided. I like things really simple and clean, so my inclination is to crop the other way and take that post out, and just get the boat, and the water, and those beautiful clouds. Right, and so we can do something like this, and that is really nice right there. I like that a lot, and those clouds are beautiful. One thing I wanna do is I-- Exactly, I was just gonna go to that. I like the clouds, I wanna see a little bit more, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna darken it just a smidgen here, we'll say a half stop, and I wanna add some more contrast into the sky. Let's get that right there, and then we can play around. Obviously go way too much, come back to nothing, just add a little bit there, come back to the contrast, go back to nothing. Just see what happens as we play that around with that. Add that there. There's the before, there's the after. It's not much, it's just a little bit of tone. And then at this point, it's that stick coming out of the boat that's almost, it's a little too close to the horizon line, it's where I just wanna get up on my tippy toes, or take a step up and get that. I think there's something really nice. If you knew that this was what you wanted to get, you could start playing around, moving left and right, getting the cloud formation so that it kind of matched. Again, kinda sitting and waiting, cause you know those clouds are moving, and seeing where you wanna do. I was just thinking, it must be really funny to watch a bunch of photographers look at art. I wonder if we all do that, 'cause you and I are both like, moving our bodies. It's a two-dimensional, and you're moving around and it's like, it looks the same to you. I wanna do that too, I wanna get up on my tippy toes and just bring that down a little bit. Well, I think it's very good. I think there's a couple of different good versions in there. Yeah, I do too. Keep shooting on that. Thank you Ankit. Rupam Konar. On this we are getting some spectacular color on it. I can see, I get that colors (mumbles), it still feels like the blacks feel a little dark, a little collapsed to me. I think we're got strong color, but we don't have much else that's strong in the photgraph. Yeah, maybe that's what's going on. Maybe getting a tighter shot, just for instance. Maybe it's really all on the city. This is a terrible version of this, but maybe there's these houses along the lake with this red, fire sky, which is really nice. I think there's maybe another version where you have something in the foreground right here. Let's just pretend that there is an interesting shape in the foreground, and things were lined up a little bit better than that. Yeah, and the horizon's just a little-- Yeah, that hroizon. Let's see if I can do it from this side, fix that horizon there. Did I make it worse? Yeah, fixed that. Yeah, gotta watch those horizons. Any time you're around water, you gotta be really careful about the horizons. It's hard. You know, this is one of those situations that-- I'm just gonna reset this whole thing. I straighten stuff all the time. People always think, 'cause I'm a film photographer, I don't touch my photos. It's not true. I shoot just a little crooked, you know, I get it. You're going-- You're in the heat of the moment. And then you get it back and you're like, babies gonna fall off the bed. I have to do that all the time myself. It's not much, it's like one degree, two degrees, or something like that. Yeah, just a little bit. It's good lighting, but I think we need more than lighting. I do like the gradation and the colors. I can totally see where you're going. That's where you see the light coming, you go, this is gonna get good in the next five, 10, 20 minutes, I need to get myself into the right position. It's not the worst position, but I would be still trying to find something better. All those rocks over there on the left, there might be a really interesting long-exposure shot with those rocks as a really solid silhouette, with the water moving around it. Yeah, or even playing on these stripey colors in the water. Oh, yeah, right. Could be interesting too. From the reflections. Good potential, very good potential. Thank you for sending that in. This is our last one, Steve Cross. This is kinda completely different. Is that like a double exposure? I'm hoping it's a double exposure. I don't know if I can zoom in, just to-- Pretty good. This looks like it's a quick double shot with, and I don't know if this is in-camera, or-- Get this on manual so I can get this outta here, cause I don't think we're gonna be doing much cropping on this one. No, good crop. Nice, tight. Okay, I have very strong opinions about double exposures. Let's hear it. They can be very cool. I think if you're gonna be double exposure, you just have to really, really think it through, and I can see where you're going with this, and the thought behind it, but that nose, with the pinkies, is bothering me. It's a striking image. I said whoa when we first got it, I get that, but you know what I mean? My eye is going right there, so I'm almost wondering-- Moving the hands up and down a little bit? Yeah, or something. Okay. I don't know. Maybe it's the knuckles in relation to the eye? Well, I mean, the knuckles of the pinky finger look like an Avatar type character. Cat face with a crinkle on it. I think, with what they were going for, they nailed it. They nailed it. Okay, now, it's not totally my type of photography, but I appreciate this. Oh, I appreciate it too, and I think that this part is cool, too. And so you're gesturing towards the knuckles under the eyes? There's something right here that is-- Right in the middle? Right in the middle. Yeah. And so, I think it's an excellent execution. I think it's a very striking photo. Yeah, well it certainly took my breath away. Thank you, Steve, for send that in, and thanks to all of you for sending your phtots in here to One Hour Photo. This was so fun! Sandra, thanks for coming in, seeing your photographs, and getting your opinion on all of these. Once again, tune in next time when we have another special guest, and we'll talk about more photos, and answer your questions, and have an all-around good time. Thanks a lot, and we'll see you later.

Click here to ask John Greengo your questions for future One Hour Photos!

Every month, John gives you an hour of expert guidance and immediate feedback with student questions and critiques in this exciting new series we're calling One Hour Photo. John will also sit down with one guest photographer who will offer insights, advice and industry knowledge, and participate in a photo critique of student images. This month's guest is Sandra Coan.

Sandra Coan is a film photographer specializing in studio portraiture and family photography, with over sixteen year’s experience working in both film and digital photography. Her award-winning work has been featured in a variety of publications including Click Magazine, Lemonade and Lenses and Seattle Bride. Sandra's work is also part of the Seattle Museum of History and Industry’s permanent collection. Sandra is an educator with a passion for teaching others about the beauty of film photography and the joys of building and running a successful photography business. Check out her CreativeLive classes here.



  • Enjoyed this wonderful conversation with Sandra Coan and I love her photographs and how she seems to get the personality of the baby and the person she is photographing. So happy when I see someone using film.
  • This is great, John. Thank you!