Name These Photoshop World Instructors

Just added to this post: Well, we already have a winner in this fun photo contest. Thank you all for playing along - Rick

What do these Photoshop World instructors have in common? Be the first to answer that question and the following question, and I'll send you (if you live in the US) autographed copies of my books:

Question: What are their names? You need to post the answer in the Comments section here on my blog - so I can check the time.

Good fun for all.

Explore the light,

It's Be My Guest Monday. Today's Guest Blogger: Jackie Bailey Labovitz

Today's Guest Blogger is Jackie Bailey Labovitz. Here are some of her favorite photographs, along with a few quick tips.

Take it away, Jackie.

Above: Get down on the ground - All the photos in my UNDERSTORY project, currently on view at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Naturalist Center, were taken in the belly-to-ground position.

Above: Shoot with One Lens - Your back will love you. It took ten-mile hikes every day for over a week with a 28-300mm lens to finally find this flawless pair of camera ready rare slippers. Endurance matters.

Above: Go Natural - Watch the light travel over and around the subject. Watching it hug, shun or barely touch living things otherwise untouched is mesmerizing. When it's just right, take a deep breath steady the camera and confidently press the shutter release. Revere the light.

All of the above: Enjoy the process of making pictures.

Model Photography From The Model's Side of the Camera

Photography Greg Powers
The stuff I post here about model, fashion and beauty photography is mostly tech talk: lighting, cameras, lenses and so on. To change things up a bit, I asked my friend Laurence Yang, editor-in-chief of Runway Weekly, to write a post about what it's like to be on the other side of the camera - the model's side.

Take it away Laurence!

Yes, models do need to be beautiful. For photographers, however, a model's beauty is not only skin deep. It's more than that. A good model needs a good photographer where he and the model work as a team. By doing that, they must have certain qualities that will help create stunning images.

I must say when modeling at seminars and workshops - I get a lot of comments and questions from amateur photographers who always asks me, "How can I make you comfortable during a photo shoot?" I also get asked, "What can I do or say to encourage the model?" 

Well, it's very rare that I feel uncomfortable during a shoot anymore but I have to say - I was once a beginner as well and didn't know what to expect at times. So I do know how unpleasant and awkward it can be to shoot in front of a camera with some random photographer who's probably feeling the same because he is possibly just learning himself. So I've come up with a list of suggestions for photographers who are trying to help the models feel  comfortable shooting.

I. Get to know the model.

When you have a committed team, the whole experience is very rewarding for everyone. Whether you're trying to have a consultation with the model before the shoot or spending sometime on the actual shoot day. Try arriving early to set up lights and backdrops so you can test everything before a shoot that way while the model is getting hair and make up done you can discuss the mood and goal you are trying to achieve. It's just an advantage of getting to know everyone.

Tip: Want to break the ice? I love it when photographers offer to do a coffee run while hair and make up is being done.  

II. You can look, but you can't touch! Don't be creepy - PERIOD.

It doesn't take a scientist to figure this out. Just don't get all touchy with the model. It's not ok to put your hand on her arm, knee, or even to give a hug - unless initiated by the model. Yes, all of this has happened to me. Instead, give her a high-five. Acknowledge her after a fabulous shot. Sometimes photographers hound models to drop their tops, and they end up getting a bad reputation.

There are many awkward situations between photographers and models; like changing outfits on a beach. If this happens ask a female assistant to cover the model with a towel or suggest her to change in your car. Also, if there is a piece of hair or clothing in the way of your perfect shot, point to it and let the model know so she or an assistant/stylist can fix it, that's what they're there for.

III. Put a TEAM together. Hire a makeup, hair and wardrobe stylist and if needed a photo assistant.

I always get asked to do my own make up for shoots and sometimes even clothes. I don't mind but having someone else who knows what they are doing is great. Models are meant to pose and look good in front of the camera, not to put on make-up or to go buy outfits and then return them the next day. That's what the rest of the team is for. Here's the thing, some photographers don't get it - they think they can just snap a picture and make the model look good. Guess what, at times it does work and that's fabulous. These days especially in this industry - DETAILS matter!

Depending on what your shooting bad hair and make-up may ruin your shoot. Some photographers don't have a clue as to when it comes to picking out the perfect eye shadow shade or the perfect belt to go that top he/she is wearing. The key is, it's in the photographer's best interest to keep their model's hair and make up as fresh as possible - which means this shoot isn't going to work if you hand the model a huge pelican case and make her truck all your gear half way across the desert.

IV. Give direction and don't over exhaust your model!

For some photographers, this isn't the easiest thing to do. Most of it is learned over time. It all depends on the model. Some need guidance on what expression to give and how to pose and some are experienced and don't need to be told what to do. I've been on shoots where I was told how to pose, when to smile and when not to smile. It was bad!!! I've also been on shoots where I've had no direction to the point where I feel lost and had no motive to shoot.

Giving SOME direction is ideal. Another thing don't keep pushing your model to shoot if the outcome you've hoped for had already been achieved. Modeling is exhausting. When the shoot is taking longer then expected, things start to get uncomfortable. From my experiences when I'm tired, the pictures simply don't look as nice - especially if your team is worn out after a draaaaging day. If there isn't any more juice to squeeze out of the lemon then there is no need to keep shooting.

More helpful Do's & Don'ts TIPS:


** Show them works you have already done.
** Put on some music. Ask the model if she has anything she would like to listen to while shooting.
** Bring a large t-shirt, towel/sheet or robe ready for the model.
** Offer refreshments. Fainting models aren't fun!
** Give your model plenty of breaks. 10-15 minutes is a long time to be posing.
** Show images during break, it gives the model a feel of how she's doing and what she needs to work on for the next set.
** Be upbeat, professional, encouraging and confident.
** Compliments! Compliments! Compliments!


** Push your model beyond her boundaries.
** Watch your model change.
** Act like a giant douche bag, then you won't move up the ranks and won't be able to work with more experienced models.
** Ask the model out after a shoot!


Laurence Yang
Runway Weekly

• • •
If you want to get better at model photography, Hal "Bull" Schmitt and I are running a model workshop later this year. Click here for info.

Have Some iPad and iPhone Photo Fun This Weekend

Rick Sammon's HDR Portfolio
Soon to be renamed: iHDR.

My newest how-to app for the iPad is now available: Rick Sammon's HDR Portfolio (soon to be renamed - Rick Sammpn's iHDR). User feedback suggested that this instructional app is all about . . . Images, Imagination, Innovation and Interactive learning. Hence the i in iHDR.

This app is packed with HDR photos (my latest), info and movies. A great way to learn and experience HDR. iHDR will include the same great content as HDR Portfolio, but when the new version is release, it will feature a Favorites section, which is very cool.

Here is a look at my other apps.

Rick Sammon's 24/7 Photo Buffet

My flagship comprehensive how-to app: Rick Sammon's 24/7 Photo Buffet - iPhone and iPad.

Click here to see a serious review of the app. Click here to see a fun movie about the app.

 Rick Sammon's Light It!

Light It! and Light It Light!: My basic lighting apps – iPhone and iPad.

Click here to see the into movie to Light It! 

Cool new feature: You Light It! Photo Club. This club showcases your best photographs, along with the photographs of other talented photographers, based on the tips from this app. Simply click here to join the fun . .  and to enter the monthly photo contest. The prize for the contest:  1/2 hour portfolio review with yours truly via Skype or iChat.

Butterfly Wonders

Butterfly Wonders: Beautiful butterflies and section on close-up photography –  iPad only. Cool section on how-to take close-up pictures!

 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Mother Nature

Life Lessons We Can Learn From Mother Nature: My favorite images with inspirational quotes – iPad only.

 Skip Marini Golf Lessons

In Skip Marini Golf Lessons, I become the student – learning the best golf tips from the best pro in Westchester, NY – iPad and iPhone.

Back by Popular Demand: Topaz Adjust Webinar

After Topaz Adjust/Color Stretch
Before Topaz Adjust
Hi All -

Due to popular demand, I am redoing my Topaz Adjust Webinar (from two weeks ago) on April 11. I hope you can join the on-line training, learning and fun.

Click here to register. Space is limited. Sorry.

Explore the light,

P.S. For more examples of Topaz Adjust, as well as some of the other plug-ins that I use, see below:

Rick Sammon's HDR Portfolio
Soon to be renamed: iHDR.
User feedback suggested that this instructional app is all about . . . 
Images, Imagination and Innovation. Hence the i in iHDR.

My newest how-to app for the iPad is now available: Rick Sammon's HDR Portfolio (soon to be renamed - Rick Sammpn's iHDR). This app is packed with photos (my latest), info and movies. A great way to learn and experience HDR. Same great content, but when the new version is release, it will feature a Favorites section, which is very cool.