Big Time Entertainment's Big Time Head shots. by Matt Brodie

Big Time Entertainment

Big Time Entertainment

 

It's always great to get to work with people and companies you know. I've worked with Big Time Entertainment many times during weddings. They are a great DJ company. However, the time came for them to get some headshots to help do some better promotional work. So we got them in the studio and not only did we get some great shots, but I was also able to put together this cool montage of Dj's. It's the perfect solution for posters, promotional materials and social media.

Ryan's Acting Head shot by Matt Brodie

Ryan's Head shot

Ryan's Head shot

The new photography studio is up and running (more on that later) and I barely had time to get the lights into the studio before I had calls for more head shots. I've been very bless with the amount of work I've been getting. Being recognized as a leader in the Columbia and surrounding areas as the place to get awesome head shots is very humbling. I also take it as a big responsibly. When clients like Ryan walk in my door it's always a great reminder of why I do what I do. 

Ryan has been acting a while, but he'd never had to provide a head shot for an audition. Outside of places like Columbia, that's practically unheard of. In New York for example, if your an actor, you practically have to keep a bag of printed 8x10 head shots on you all the time. However, here the market isn't as saturate with actors and head shots aren't always required. I say that to say, that when Ryan came through my door, he'd never been in front of a camera like this before. 

That's where having a great coach is crucial. I worked with Ryan and over the course of the session he made some dramatic transformations in his ability to work in front of a camera. It's not as easy as it might seem, often what we think we look like and what we actually look like are very different. Little changes in the mouth, eye or eyebrows can vastly change the look and feel of the image. With just a fraction of a inch change in his eyes for example, he'd go from nervous to very cool. Here is the head shot we choose for his audition. The goal with him, as it is with all my clients, isn't to make them look happy, or friendly, it's to make him look confident and approachable. To make him look interesting. To make him look like someone the casting director wanted to meet. 

Hope for the Children of Africa Choir by Matt Brodie

The other day I had the pleasure of documenting a concert by the Hope for Children of Africa Choir. This is an amazing group of kids. Many of them are orphans in Uganda, but you'd never know it by how much love they have. They sing and dance their hearts out when they perform. I had the chance to hang out with a few of them off stage and they are just as great. Their personalities are not just for show. They tour the United States spreading their ministry in hopes of helping all those other children in Africa that suffering from the effects of war, famine, and disease. You can learn more about them and there ministry by visiting there webpage.

Hope for the Children of Africa Choir Hope for the Children of Africa Choir Hope for the Children of Africa Choir

Transworld Radio Part 2 by Matt Brodie

If you've been reading the blog you might have seen that a group called Trans World Radio Europe wanted to use a picture of mine from Africa. (My Original blog post here) The images were for a monthly magazine called "antenne" published by ERF Medien. All of this is based out of Switzerland. So I am now technically an internationally published photographer!

Well the magazine today along with some other cool stuff as a thank you. I donated several images to them, because it's a cause I think it very worthy. The magazine itself is in a foreign language, so I have no idea what it says, but I think you get the idea when you look at the images and pick out a few key words.

What's really interesting is that they originally contacted me about an image I have of a Zimbabwe woman carrying a basket on her head. I sent them that image and a couple others I thought they might like. Turns out they didn't use the one they asked for and instead went with a picture of a Zimbabwe girl drinking water from a spicket instead.

As an added thank you they also gave me a CD form the Roma people called "Amaro Del" It's Roma Christian Worship music. I can't wait to listen to it!

Transworldradio

Gamecocks, Shrimp, and some other bird. by Matt Brodie

I really love finding old beat up things to photograph. It's a really pleasure to just sorta stumble on a bit of history and be able to photograph it. To be able to make a piece of art that will still be around long after something has fallen to pieces. This boat was one such gem! I was walking around an old harbor looking for something with that special touch of age and BAM it found me. The ol' Gamecock shrimp boat. I have no idea how old it is, who owns it, or even if it still shrimps. However, it does still float and still has nets, so I can only image some old stubborn sea dog taking her out ever day just before sun up. That's something I would love to photograph too, but today I had to settle for just my imagination of what this boat has been through and what it still has in her (you might notice it's for sale). I wanted to share this with you, both because I think it's a beautiful boat ( in that I wouldn't go on the open water on it if you paid me kinda way) and because, well I am a Gamecock, and I LOVE shrimp. I guess I had a lot to like, I hope you do to. If nothing else, at least I know the bird agrees with me.

 

Game ock 5 Game ock 2 Game ock 3 Game ock 4 Game ock 1

Columbia, SC Modeling shoot by Matt Brodie

Here are just a few images I shot from a recent shoot at the F-Stop Camera store in Columbia, SC. This was my first time shooting in there studio, but everything went great! I guess it helps to have a great model. We used a basic 3 point lighting set up with a reflector. So the main light was camera left with an umbrella. Then we had a hair light and a backlight. The reflector was off to camera right to give a smooth natural transition from shadow to highlight. We ended up with over 100 images that could all be "keepers".

Heather2

Heather 3

Heather

 

Beautiful Light by Matt Brodie

Galen

I am often surprised at how many pictures I see that have terrible lighting. More importantly I am often disappointed at how many photographers don't know the difference between good light, bad light, and beautiful light. My experience is that they also have no idea how to change the light. These are usually the photographer that say, "they only shoot available light". I say good luck with that. You'e very limited.

The image above is of a model I shot last week. When I showed up at the park to meet her at 4pm the light was harsh and the trees created a tons of speckled light. Both are terrible to photograph a model in (Trust me, I've learned this the hard way). So what could I do. The model looked great, but the light was terrible. Simple! I changed the light! I pulled out an umbrella, a reflector and a few Nikon speed lights onteh CLS system. I was shocked when she said she'd never seen any of these tools before. I mean she's a model, she should know some of this stuff as well as I do.

I guess that speaks the to level of photographer she's been use to. Using the umbrella and reflectors helped shape the light giving it a warm even feel. It's not harsh or speckled at all. I did put tungsten gel over one speed light to help warm up the light. See, out door lighting in harsh conditions isn't impossible to shoot with, you just have to know how to manipulate the light. (Joe McNally would be so proud of me!)

It's the same with the model below. I recently got a complement that said, "stunning combination of model and natural light!" But that's just it. This isn't natural light. It's another example of a speedlight with a warming gel shooting through an umbrella. It just looks natural. That's the point!
Tiffany 3

These techniques are just for models. You can use the same ideas at wedding, still life, even journalism. Any place the light isn't great is a place you can make it better.

Drawing Back The Curtain... by Matt Brodie

Every now and then I like to show people the guts of a picture. How it was made. This means everything from the lighting to the backgrounds, to where the subject was standing. I recently did an in home maternity portrait. Here was the set up...
You can check out what all the pieces are by visiting my flickr page.

 

Mother's Day Portraits Behind the Scenes.

And here are a few shots from the session.

Mother's Day Portraits Mother's Day Portraits

The details taste so good! by Matt Brodie

Just Dessert

I often find that photographers over look the small details. I think most of us our guilty of that at some point. We can sometimes has a tendancy to only see the big picture (The forest, but not the trees).

I was in Savannah, GA not long ago. It's a beautiful city, but when I photographed it, I wasn't happy with the images. I realized the reason was I was trying to focus on too much. The "big" picture was just too big.I started capturing the small details that make that city so special and the results were much better than I ever expected.

Wedding photography is very similar, you have to get the big shots. The first kiss, the first dance, exchanging the rings, etc... However, if you miss the small details (like this strawberry) you really miss out on some of the things that make a wedding day so special. Brides spend a lot of time making sure everything is perfect. A good photographer should spend just as much engery making sure all of her little details get noticed!

Some times it's about what's missing. by Matt Brodie

Oregon Wedding

This is one of my favorite wedding images I took of a wedding in Oregon. It was a great candid moment, the bride and groom walking down the vineyard, the flower girls running being to keep up. PERFECT! Well perfect except for one thing. The wedding planner was walking in front and in between the bride and groom. I know she didn't mean to ruin the shot, but the fact is, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and GRRR as a photographer you just want to scream...MOVE OUT OF THE WAY!- But you don't, or at least you shouldn't. I took the shot with her in the middle making some goofy face. About 30 minutes worth of photoshop later and BAM! She's gone. You'd never know she was there. I took her out without too much trouble, but it was well worth it. The shot went from being an if only... to a wow that's so cute! Throw in a little black and white conversion and you've got a keeper! I end up doing something like this at least once a wedding. I don't wait to get the brides opinion, she doesn't need to know. All a bride wants is great pictures that she and her family will always treasure. That's what you got to deliver every time!

A Capital Place to be... by Matt Brodie

State Capital

South Carolina is an awesome state to photograph. We have everything from oceans to mountains. We have alligators, bears, panthers, and some great birds. I'm not normally a "wildlife" photographer, but don't get me wrong I don't mind it either. In fact I actually really enjoy it. However,people, portaits, weddings... things like that are really what I shoot the most. So when the Exposure.Columbia Flickr Group had it's first photo walk down town, I knew architechure was going to be the name of the game. - Not something I'm normally doing.

Downtown Columbia has some great building, but the capital building is by far the most recognizable if not one of the most beautiful. Many a bride gets her portrait taken on the steps. It's become a natural backdrop for lots of events, speakers, and general craziness. (I once saw a girl painted as a tiger in a cage to protest.... well who knows what).

This image of our state house is one of the first photos I took with the new Nikon D700. I had the ISO cranked up to 3200 just to test the noise level. (that's photographer talk for crap on the image). The camera did great. I'd like to claim that this was EXACTLY what I was shooting for, but the truth is sometimes you get some good suprises. - Just like good ol' SC!

Later Gator by Matt Brodie

I grew up on Hilton Head Island South Carolina. My back yard was home to many an alligator. I'm not saying I was Steve Corwin, the crocodile hunter, or even Crocodile Dundee. Think of me more like a fool with a camera who doesn't know when he's too close. :) Actually, I've been MUCH closer, not wise, but it's the truth. I stalked this gator for about an hour to get this close without spooking him. It was a lot of crawl, wait, get bitten by bugs, crawl, etc.. I think you get the point. Anyways I was about 6 feet away. I was completely safe,  I was on a low walking bridge, but I was on my stomach to get the right angle.

 

See you later Gator

Trans World Africa. by Matt Brodie

Trans World Radio - Africa, has found some of my Zimbabwe Flickr images, and has asked to publish them. I'm really excited about that. Trans World Radio is an international Christian broadcaster and one of there broadcast arms deal with social development in Africa. In this case they have developed programs to educate people on how to clense water for themselves in the midst of a cholera crises where people are dying from this disease. People from all over the world gave to this need and the World Health Organisation helped get the program on air in that country.

They want to use this image and maybe a few others for there bi-annual magazine.

 

Zimbabwe Woman

I'm still working on the this new site. by Matt Brodie

I decided to make this site live even though it wasn't 100% finished. That said, I've gotten a lot of little things done that I was never able to do with the old site. I've also started putting together some videos to show on the site. They should be up shortly.

If there is anything you see that needs adjusting/fixing/ or is just plan missing that should be here please let me know. The more you help, the better the site is.

 

Hope to shoot you soon! (with my camera).

 

M