BUG EYE Photography: Blog https://www.bugeyephotos.com/blog en-us (C) BUG EYE Photography (BUG EYE Photography) Sun, 16 Aug 2020 01:08:00 GMT Sun, 16 Aug 2020 01:08:00 GMT https://www.bugeyephotos.com/img/s/v-12/u360792892-o621827753-50.jpg BUG EYE Photography: Blog https://www.bugeyephotos.com/blog 120 120 Citrus Leigh Fashion Shoot https://www.bugeyephotos.com/blog/2020/8/citrus-leigh-fashion-shoot     I was contacted some time ago to do a collaboration with a great new clothing company Citrus Leigh Designs (Citrus Leigh). Headed up by two cousins who call upstate New York home. Kacie Cotter-Sacala and Meg Edwards' designs embody what they like to call the "citrus Leigh lifestyle." So what does that mean? Their clothing lends its designs from natural elements and the boho style that has made it's way back into popularity from the 1970s and early 2000s. They have taken this style and added a clean and modern twist. Personally, I am a huge fan of clean lines while adding an earth element to it the mix. 

    When I was originally contacted by Kacie, I was so very excited and secretly hoping I'd get the opportunity to work with Citrus Leigh Designs. So already being a fan of the clothing brand and of fashion photography, I couldn't think of a better opportunity. Furthermore, this would be my first full blown fashion shoot on location. Kacie arranged to have models, who were fans like me, come to our shoot. Lucky for me, most of the models were already well versed in modeling; a photographers dream. We had eight models, and the artistic direction that was given to me was "witchy boho." We also had three locations for the shoot. Two were located on one property and the third was at a waterfall at a little known public swimming area. I was sworn to secrecy for the location of the waterfall, sorry!

    Below are some of before and afters and the stories behind each of the shots I was able to get for the day.

Citrus Leigh Before and After 2Model : Alexandrea Camera: Canon EOS 70D, with an 18-135mm lens (@29mm) Exposure: 1/100 sec., f/ 4.0, ISO 640     First shot was a fun one with the model Alexandrea. She has been a model for me on several occasions. I can not stress enough how important it is to treat your models with respect and build a relationship with them. You never know when you will be asked to work with a model again. Nothing is more heartbreaking when you are unable to deliver because you made a poor decision in the past. Alexandrea is also one of those awesome models who is up for anything. She was more than happy to pose in a stream just 30 or so feet away from a small waterfall. We both loved this spot and brain stormed a few future shoots as well. Alexandrea was also a great sport and, at my request, dampened her hair for me. I felt like having the dampened hair in this shot made it softer and added an undertone of confidence and sensuality without adding too much sex appeal.

    As you can see, there was a few adjustments made to this image. Alexandrea has very vibrant red hair and in the original photo you see that the color seems to be muddied. Also, for my fellow photographers, you will see that the white balance is slightly off. Since the theme of the shoot is boho, I also looked to change the overall color tone of the image. I use Adobe Lightroom for editing my images and I also own a few preset packs from different photographers. I absolutely love having presets at my disposal. Mainly, I like that I have a starting off point for my color grading. And a big bonus is that all the images I edit within a single shoot can carry the same color narrative. In my humble opinion when doing editorial and fashion photography, you really want to keep one part of the images constant through out. Wether that be a color tone, a single prop that shows up in each image, or maybe an angle at which the images are taken. The possibles are endless, but it all ends up helping you and your client tell a story.

    The preset used for this was "Heat Stroke" by Peter McKinnon from his 2017 Preset Pack 2 (Preset Pack). I enjoy this preset for people who have red hair and are looking for more of a cooler affect to the greens in an image. I did do a few tweaks to this preset to make it work for the ascetic I was after. I ended up shifting the greens to be more vibrant and dropping the saturation of the blues. I also adjusted the contrast to drop the blacks and make the white of the design stand out more. After, I added a radial filter to bring up Alexandrea's face, neck, and chest. This allowed me to brighten a single area without having to lighten all of the shadows of the image. Lastly I used the brush tool to bring the light back into her eyes.


Model : Jaclyn Camera : Canon 70D, 18-135mm Lens (@69mm) Exposure: 0.4 sec., f/ 20, ISO 100     My next shot to share with you is of Jaclyn. This was my first time working with her and boy she was just a ray of light. She was smiling throughout the whole shoot no matter if she was in water, sitting on a chair, or staining by a tractor. This location was the last one for the day, but it was hands down my favorite. I was eternally grateful that this waterfall had these large blocks right in front so we had the possibility of capturing this shot. I was located in the middle of the stream set up with my Manfrotto 290 light tripod. This tripod is actually intended for video, but it is one of my favorite. I like that liquid filled head allows me to adjust my camera without having the head jump too far in one direction or the other. The resistance on the head makes it easy for this small adjustments without having to lose every screw on the tripod. I also made a taboo and did not use a neutral density filter for this shot. I was able to accomplish this image because the water that was coming over the falls was actually moving fairly fast. This allowed me to get the long exposure feel without having to leave my shutter open for seconds at a time. Of course Jaclyn also did a great job at staying as still as possible which allowed me to get the image you see.

    In terms of editing, I simply added the preset "Machiato" from the same Peter McKinnon preset pack as the previous image. After which I used the Lightroom sliders to add a bit of clarity for a bit of texture, dropping blacks down, and a bit of luminance smoothing. Lastly I added a vignette to the image to help bring the edges of the images down and draw the eye to the center.

Isn't it funny that some images need that extra care when editing and some are very easily done with just a few adjustments?

    Overall, I was super happy that I got to collaborate with this up and coming clothing company and also improving my fashion photography. I will also say that the process was very well handled and clear communication was flowing as the shoot went on. This will be an easy collaboration to work with in the future. Please check out Citrus Leigh Designs on Facebook for their latest items. 


(BUG EYE Photography) Citrus Leigh Fashion https://www.bugeyephotos.com/blog/2020/8/citrus-leigh-fashion-shoot Sun, 16 Aug 2020 01:08:00 GMT
The Dark Water Shoot https://www.bugeyephotos.com/blog/2020/7/the-dark-water-shoot        There are few things in this world more mystical than the ocean. Her dark plunging depths, her unapologetic beauty, and her disregard to conform.   Personally, I have always been captivated by the ocean, and a little scared. With her great movements the ocean has always shown that human race must always bow to her wishes. Her cruel storms and unimaginable secrets draw many to there ends. Yet, the mystery she holds is far too intriguing for me to stay away. 

   For me, one late night TikTok post came to me and it got me thinking about this great ever changing abyss. (Yes, a TikTok post.) In this TikTok a photographer had two models sitting in a small blue inflatable swimming pool. You know, the ones from when we were kids. Well, 90's kids will understand. The photographer was perched up on a ladder shooting down into this pool at these two female models. I thought "Well, alright, you've got my attention..." As the TikTok goes on you see this photographer has placed a black tarp under the two young ladies and filled the pool about half way with water. "...OK, you still have me..." It continues on with the photographer placing flowers around the models and she proceeds to shoot. After a while, I presume, she adds milk. "...WOAH, now you're living in 2050!!" A few of the shots pop up and I just have this flood of ideas hit me. It's never 1 o'clock in the afternoon these ideas hit me, its always at 1AM. 

   So the next day, I making plans. Drawing from my notebook..simple sketches and ideas that help organize the chaos.

   As of late I have started a photography journal. It's very simple in that, it allows me to get these quick vibrant ideas out of my head and somewhere, where I can revisit.  Half of them I expect will never come to fruition, but I love that my creativity knows know bounds and it's reaching for the highest peaks of photography. Anyways, I start planning this shoot with crude diagrams, crossed out words, and a supply list. I'm not sure if misery is a cruel mistress, but she's definitely not nice. When my idea starts to take actual form, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown hits. "GRREEAAATTT." So, the idea got put on a back burner for the time being. I started working on other ideas and concepts. But that damn shoot was still lingering in my head. When I'm inspired I feel incredibly desperate to create; I wanted to make something beautiful in this time of negativity and heartbreak. But all I can do, is wait. And wait. And wait.

   I am a part of the workforce that was furloughed due to a closure of my place of employment. I figured that there is no time like being furloughed and home alone all day to take the time to look into how and what I was doing a photographer. How do I make my business stronger? What are my goals? What is my plan to get there? How do you feel you're doing as a "small business owner"? I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea. I watched video after video about photography. And I came up with two things:

  1. I have no idea what I am doing.
  2. Girl, if you're going to do this, you better get your ass in gear.

   So what else do you do when you're feeling energized and wanting to push yourself and your craft forward? Well, you pre-order a $5800 camera and you build a website. It was a hell of a week, I tell yeah. Ive never spent so much money on something for myself; outside of buying a car. But like a car, these things are tools. The camera and this website are tools I need to achieve my goals. You can't give your photography life, if it is shut away in the dark recesses of your hard drive. You also, can't move past where you are if the tools you are using are beyond their limits already. Scared and unsure, I dove headfirst into this ocean of photography.

   I have always been one to make a lot of things work out even though I don't have exactly what I need. Turning desk lamps into spot lights and using old wooden doors in your brother's apartment into backdrops. You work with what you have. And that's how this Dark Water Shoot began. At first I acquired a Facebook market place blow-up kiddie pool, a black bed sheet, and then bath bombs. Yes, bath bombs. After doing research and thousands of reference images later, I felt like the mystery of this "dark water" could just be amplified by making the water darker and even more murky. A week or so out I decided to unveil my idea to the world. I organized a Facebook event and invited some of the models I am used to working with. When working with a new skill or a concept I've never employed before, I like to organize a day of mini shoots. This allows the kinks to get ironed out and helps me identify where my own personal short comings are. I also like to shoot with another photographer, who is also a dear friend of mine. We met what feels like a a decade ago, but really its only been about four years. He is what I like to call my "twin creative flame". We are both able to lock on to these creative endeavors and find truly amazing story telling through photography. He is always right there with me learning and growing as we navigate this art form.

   Some background information on my shoots, I like to send a run-down of my photo shoots to each client/model. I like to set a clear and concise expectations for my clients/models before, during, and after the shoot takes place. I like to believe it gives some sort of comfort to the client/model, so they aren't walking into a shoot blind. Furthermore, I also follow up these shoots with a model release or contract. Again, having clear expectations for both sides keeps you and your client/model safe from lawsuits and disagreements. 

   Now, for the good part, the shoot.

   I like to think that any person can walk onto a shoot and they can turn into a total rockstar. They pose just right and they are able to take direction. But not all dreams come true, especially when working with other humans. Me and my fellow photographer, had two models for the afternoon. One fairly experienced and the other was doing this for the first time. I honestly love shooting with new clients/models. They tend to feel like they are going to mess up a shoot or not do well enough to get a good image. But once you upload an album and do a few edits, they light up with excitement. And that's such a great feeling to be able to give that to them. Of course getting a good shot pumps you up during a shoot, but for me, giving someone something they didn't think was possible...it's incredible.

   Below you will see a few before and after shots taken during the two sessions. As you will see, I had quite a lot of reflection and silly me, I didn't use a circular polarizer. Of course, I didn't realize this until I got to the editing process.

Laura Sarah

    My first set here is of Laura. She was our new comer and I believe that after all the nerves settled she was able to really sink into the photo shoot process. She would need some guidance and a few laughs, but overall I was very impressed. However, it was a bit of a challenge on the editing side. As I mentioned above, not using a circular polarizing filter really added a lot to the back end of the shoot. But with some trial and error, I found that using "dehaze" via the brush tool in Adobe Lightroom Classic, eliminated all of the reflection and achieved the goal was after.

  The second model was Sarah. Her and I have known each other for some time and have done multiple projects together. As you can see in her before image, you will see just how bad that reflection was. You will see myself, my photography partner, and my significant other. (He was our light diffuser holder.) With Sarah, we had to work against the clock. The water began to get a bit too cold and that has its own implications when shooting. She definitely pulled though and delivered elegant and ethereal shots.


Overall, I really like this shoot and I feel like this will be one I will do again. I also believe that the shoot in general can be very adaptive. From an elegant more delicate shoot to one more dark and gritty. it can also be used from the newbies to the more experienced. And I as a photographer will be better prepared for this shoot in the future.




(BUG EYE Photography) Dark Water Dark Water Shoot https://www.bugeyephotos.com/blog/2020/7/the-dark-water-shoot Sun, 19 Jul 2020 00:04:58 GMT