Congratulations to our Top Pic of the Week, Justin Vaseur! Located in his living room and at The Wetlands in Las Vegas he used his Sony a6300 with Sony 50mm 1.8 lens to capture model Kevin Smith in his series,” Solis ”.
I’ve been a photographer for about 4 years now! My journey started pretty randomly. I started photographing friends and landscapes with one of my point and shoot cameras I bought for travel. I started playing around with photoshop and started learning how to create effects, add and remove things in the photos, and how to color grade. After a few months, my family saw my interest in photography and bought me a basic DSLR. At that time, I ended up not liking photography anymore and stopped shooting for a few months. I then met a photographer who allowed me to assist him on several fashion shoots and that ended up sparking my interest in photography again. Soon after, I got my first paid gig which was a 1-hour shoot for $600. Just with that one gig; I decided to pursue freelance photography full time and I quit my job. Now 4 years later, I am still freelancing!
The set with the red was a spontaneous idea. I had some glitter that I bought for a shoot years ago that I never ended up using so I was like I have to use it! The red backdrop had been sitting in my closet unused as well, so it was time to get that baby out. As far as how I got these shots, I used the Sony a6300 with a 50mm 1.8 lens and ended up using the light from my ceiling fan as the key light and the modeling light from an AlienBee my friend Enrique Malfavon let me use. That’s it! The model, Kevin Smith, is always awesome to work with. I just let him do his thing with the posing. Just gave him a few instructions and that’s it. From there, it was straight fire…
Mnyama set was shot at the Wetlands in Las Vegas. This too was a random idea. We had some powder and water with us and used it!
My tips for shooting portraits is to study how light works, how it falls on the face, and to work on directing your model/client to get the best images for whatever application they/you may be using it for. If its acting headshots for an audition, business headshots, or editorial/lifestyle stuff… it can all incorporate different direction. Communication is key.
Gaining inspiration is always tough for me. What I find myself doing is a lot of research on my favorite photographers, study how they light their images, and how they retouch. Then, to sort of curate my own ideas, I spend time away from social media so I don’t get influenced by other peoples ideas and start jotting down my ideas in a journal as they come. Some days I have a lot of ideas, other days I don’t have anything.
I didn’t do much with post-production on these sets. I used Capture One to process my images. I did a contrast adjustment, adjusted the white balance for the right feel, did some sharpening and added some grain. That’s it!
Shoot ALL THE TIME. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new angles, tools, models, locations, etc! And always be studying light, composition, and color theory
Thank you, Justin, for allowing us to share these photos! Check out more of his photography on his Instagram @JustinVaseur and Facebook. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel.
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