I'm an advertising photographer based in Los Angeles, California. My mission is to create striking advertising photography, corporate photography and editorial photography of people for major advertising agencies, fortune 500 corporations and major magazines. I shoot photography and video assignments throughout California including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego as well as the rest of the world. As a photo educator I am happy to share my unique vision and methods.

Advertising photography – On a cold winter’s morning

Posted: March 22nd, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

advertising portrait
It was dark and cold in the predawn hours as I left my studio in Los Angeles for an assignment to do a beauty shoot in San Diego in tandem with a TV Commercial shoot. I arrived just as the sun broke over the distant horizon and started to warm the crew that had gathered at the production studio entrance. I have done a number of these shoots and it is always interesting to see how the Director of Photography is going to light the same talent. Besides the fact, I love to light for video when I do web interview content in conjunction with my editorial photography. Undoubtedly, sometime during my part of the shoot, some of the production crew will come by to see what I’m doing and, when I get a chance, I get to do the same on their set. For these photos, I used my Canon 5d in raw mode to give the client options for both print and broadcast use.

This time the cinematographer was Stuart Asbjornsen, who has worked on a number of feature films and TV series such as Baywatch. I had to finish my portion of the shoot before the talent could move on to Stuart’s commercial set. This meant I had to wait until I was done to see just how he was going to handle the beauty lighting for film. Would it be similar to how I light my commercial photography or vastly different?

When I finally got a chance to get over to the other set, I was pleasantly surprised how much his set up was like the set up I often use to light women. A large soft light from the side to give contouring to the face, broad front fill to soften the skin, and rims to give sparkle to the hair and make the face glow. In this case, I was using strobes and the film crew hot lights but once again it brings up the fact that it is about the craft and not the equipment. The above shot is not from the San Diego shoot but uses the same type of lighting. The San Diego images have not been published yet, so I cannot release them in my blog.

Knowing how to make attractive lighting for women is useful in all types of commercial photography whether it is for an advertising photo, editorial photo or corporate photo.

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Video-Students jumping for joy.

Posted: March 18th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Lee White filming the exciting conclusion of a scene.

Lee White filming the exciting conclusion of a scene.

[caption id="attachment_156" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Lee White with students involved with a class video project. "]Lee White with students involved with a class video project.  [/caption]
Here are a couple of shots, taken with a Canon G9, during a recent video session I did at Santa Barbara City College for a non-photo class. I have been teaching and lecturing in photography classes as well as volunteering to do photography and video for non-photo classes for over fifteen years. I’m always happy to help out and find the student’s enthusiasm contagious.

In the future, I hope to see more interaction between the image making and non-image making classes so image-making students can learn how to deal with situations they will face out of school. Almost all image-makers, except a few fine art creators, have to learn how to communicate with non-image making people and become team players while not losing their individual identity. As image-makers, we are usually part of a collaboration in creating something more than just images, our images are combined with text, spoken language and music to convey a total message that communicates information and emotions about an idea, an event, a service, or a product. The sooner students can enjoy the interaction and creativity that comes with collaboration, the sooner they will be comfortable with the world after school.

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Portrait Photo-Drama at sunset

Posted: March 4th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Editorial portrait

Editorial portrait

This photograph could easily be used as an editorial photo, possibly an advertising photo, and the technique could be applied to corporate photos as well.

Again, this is location photography with direct light used for impact. I photographed this portrait on the beach at sunset with dramatic clouds in the background, so I wanted to keep the crisp outdoor feel to the picture using direct light. Photographing with direct light can be challenging, but in this case it makes the woman stand out nicely from the powerful background. The portable lighting system I use allows me to adjust to the quickly changing light at sunset and move about without dealing with generators or power cords. This time I used a Canon 5D and Canon EX580. I plan ahead and always think about keeping it simple, so I can concentrate on the picture.

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Editorial Photo-Seeing the light.

Posted: March 1st, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

editorial-portraits
This weekend while walking the dogs down to the beach, I realized I was daydreaming about two advertising photography projects I want to do. Not assignments for an advertising agency, corporate communications or editorial client, but advertising photography projects that I wanted to do for myself. I was thinking about the lighting, casting, wardrobe and propping while I’m sure others this Sunday morning were thinking about where they wanted to go for brunch or the upcoming game. I then thought about a question Ian Summers asked in one of his webinars about whether photography is your calling. Ian questions, “If assignment photography was banned in America, would you continue to make pictures?”

I already have my answer that dovetails in nicely with my last blog post on finding subjects; my answer is of course I would. Recently, I had a very pleasant lunch with some photographers including Anthony Nex, an excellent photographer. While the conversion was engrossing, I couldn’t help but notice a shaft of light that played nicely on the wall across from us in the restaurant. It slowly walked its way along the wall until, as we were leaving, it rested on an abstract painting. I asked Anthony to stand in a spot that would allow the light to play across his face and took the one shot, shown above, with my ever-present Canon G9. No matter how involving the discussion on photography was, it did not detour me from seeing another possible photograph.

It reminded me that not only are there interesting subjects all around but that it is not about the equipment, it’s about the craft. As a professional photographer, for a job, I would have had the necessary equipment to create the light I wanted if it had not been there. In fact, that will be a subject of an upcoming post. But, if photography is your passion, it is about your eye and your craft.

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