nickfancher

Great Reads in Photography: April 4, 2021

Every Sunday, we bring together a collection of easy-reading articles from analytical to how-to to photo-features in no particular order that did not make our regular daily coverage. Enjoy!

Shooting Cyberpunk Flapper Girl and Other Photographic Mashups

It’s a rare occasion when I do a team collaboration on a personal shoot. I typically prefer to work directly with the model, having them bring their own wardrobe and arrive with their hair and makeup already done. It not only saves time and is easier to coordinate but I also love the challenge of coming up with a cohesive theme for the shoot, basing my techniques, lighting, and color palette on the items that they brought with them.

Exquisite Geometry: A Wacom and Projector Photo Shoot

This was my first time working with Amber. In preparation for the shoot, I told her the same thing I tell all of my models: bring 4-6 different outfit options and have hair and makeup ready when they arrive.

Remotraits: Shooting Portraits via Facetime Through Various Materials

Because of the quarantines currently sweeping the country and world, creatives have had to get especially creative to make collaborative art in spite of distance. I’ve seen photographers shooting portraits of people from the sidewalk and through windows. I’ve also seen photographers shooting via conferencing apps. I, too, recently conducted my own remote portrait sessions, which I’ve decided to call Remotraits.

Shooting a Creative Album Cover Photo with a Delorean

In late 2018 my buddy RJ (AKA RJD2) approached me about shooting the cover art for an upcoming album he was working on. He didn’t have a concrete idea about what he wanted to do but suggested possibly involving his Delorean.

Finding Photo Inspiration at the Hardware Store

Over the past year, I’ve been pushing my images into more abstract, painterly directions. As digital images seem to be moving into a realm of hyperrealism, I find myself longing for gritty tangibility. Since I have always more in the get-it-in-camera camp, I have been experimenting with a range of techniques and materials to try and achieve the look I’m after.

Perfect Imperfections: Using a Flawed Camera Lens for Creative Photos

If you were to ask a photographer whether it’s better to invest in a camera or a lens, most would answer lens. After all, no amount of megapixels or camera features can save blurry or ill-rendered images. The lens is the eye of the camera, which is why photographers spend thousands of dollars on them. However, this doesn’t mean that you need an expensive lens to make compelling images.

Randomizing Photo Shoots to Stretch My Creativity

I am a fan of light (honestly what photographer isn’t?). Hard light; reflected light; dappled light; low-key light; colored light -- I love it all. Light makes or breaks not only my images but my mood. I’d venture to say that light is sandwiched between “belonging” and “safety” on my hierarchical pyramid of needs.

Why I Deleted All of My Social Media and 60,000 Followers

Yesterday morning, I woke up and deleted all my social media. My Instagram, Twitter, and personal Facebook accounts (I deleted my Facebook business page a year earlier), all gone. I ghosted from the party. As a small business, it’s a bold move (if not insane) to walk away from such successful pages (I had over 60,000 followers between the three platforms). But I had had enough, and here’s why.

From Lighting Test to Album Cover: The Tale of a Photo in the Social Media Age

As a photographer in 2018, I can’t help but think of my photos as drops in an ocean of imagery. Here are a few quick stats: There are over 60 million photos uploaded to Instagram every day (not to mention Instagram stories). Then there are the photos posted to Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook (some people still use it, right?), blogs, etc, etc.

How to Use a Projector as a Lighting Tool for Creative Portraits

In my opinion, there’s an extra layer of believability -- a tangibility, if you will -- to using practical effects as opposed to relying heavily on post-production. Post work is limited by the breadth (or lack thereof) of imagination, which is why I try to get as much as I can in-camera.

Shooting Beauty Photos with Jewelry Made Out of Candy

I recently collaborated with food typographer Danielle Evans. She approached me with the idea of doing a beauty shoot except the jewelry would be made out of candy that she crafted. I was intrigued and immediately began planning.

You Don’t Need to Spend a Fortune to Have a Great Photo Studio

I have a studio. For those of you that know me -- the author of the Studio Anywhere books, which focus on shooting anywhere but a studio -- this statement may sound oxymoronic or even blasphemous. Nonetheless, after years of shooting in my cramped basement, I finally outgrew my space and needed a slightly larger, dedicated space to have for working with clients.

How to Shoot Pro Portraits in Everyday Places

My name is Nick Fancher and I'm a portrait and commercial photographer who specializes in lighting, specifically with the use of small flash in unconventional locations.

Making Gobos Out of Unusual Things for Creative Portrait Lighting

Typically, the term “gobo” is reserved for the lens filters and patterns that are affixed to theater lights. The terms “flag” or “cucloris/cookie” are actually more accurate for what we’re going to be using in this post, which is an object placed between the light and the subject, but not attached to it.

How I Shoot Pro Portraits with DIY Barn Doors

Recently, I had a portrait shoot with the legendary poet, rapper, and actor Saul Williams. It began with a simple stroke of luck: I saw he was scheduled to perform at a local club near my house, and so I did a quick search for the name of his manager. I easily found it and e-mailed them, introducing myself and explained that I would like to take his portrait.

A Photographer’s Lightroom Workflow in a Real-Time Walkthrough

If you're just getting started in Lightroom and have an hour to spare, here's a video you might want to watch to learn some handy tips and techniques. Ohio-based portrait and commercial photographer Nick Fancher, author of Studio Anywhere, walks us through his Lightroom workflow in real-time. It's a detailed look at how Fancher culls and color grades his photos after a shoot.