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.

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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You always have a subject!

Posted: February 25th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
Self Portrait

Self Portrait

As an advertising photographer in Los Angeles, California, I have photographed everyone from Hollywood celebrities for international ads to stockholders for corporate annual reports. Being a people photographer, I find it interesting that there is a common belief that one needs a celebrity or at least a model to make a good commercial photo. New photographers sometimes don’t realize celebrities and models are just real people too. Admittedly they have more experience in front of a camera and sometimes the support of professional makeup artist, hair stylist and wardrobe people so are more comfortable being photographed. It’s our jobs as photographers to create a situation where all our subjects response in the way we want.

Creating and controlling a photo session takes practice, I still practice all the time. This brings me to the above self-portrait. Although, I love the interaction with my subjects and find willing people to photograph almost everywhere I go, even if I don’t find a subject, I always have myself. I set my Canon 5d on self timer to capture this shot.

It is good practice being in front of the camera. If you want willing photographic subjects then you should be willing yourself and as a side benefit, you only have to quit shooting when you get tire. Never fear, in the coming posts the pictures I show and discuss will be of models, celebrities, and “real” people, just don’t forget you always have a subject in you.

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A personal shot that’s not a personal shot.

Posted: February 24th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Louisa

I did this shot for a job but it looks like a real shot of a friend. There is a level of comfort the subject has that speaks to a certain level of intimacy. It’s the emotional connection between the subject and the viewer that I always strife for in my images. In reality, it is a model I had never met before this shoot, being photographed by me, a professional advertising photographer on set, but it looks like two people in a trusting relationship. You know this person, you like this person. The feeling is helped by the unusual angle.

A key element in an advertising photograph, trust.

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Little enough light.

Posted: January 23rd, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I love photographing people on location with just a few small lights that can go outside at a moments notice. Now, coming from a advertising photography background and at times shooting multiple sets with 8X10 film view camera I have strobes and light modifiers enough to light up an office complex at night and have. My studio has dedicated outlets just for strobe packs.

Sometimes it is necessary to have tens of thousands of watts of light available but regardless of how much power you have it is always about crafting the light and getting the most from your subject. I can’t show the recent cover shot from the Comerica Bank photography yet but using the same portable light system I did this editorial photograph.

Sherry King with clouds

Sherry King with clouds

I used a single light to make this dramatic portrait Sherry King. Rather than just accepting the soft light created by a cloudy day, I was able to control the light. I could pick the light’s direction and so select the areas of clouds I wanted behind her. The light on her nicely defined her features and clothing. It equalized the brightness of the subject to the brightness of the background so I could keep good rich cloud detail. You can see I purposely let the light fall off quickly at her lower legs to hide the dirt and sticks. Not only does it hide an ugly foreground it gives a solid base to the picture while still showing she was outside. At times, you need to hide ugly details in plain sight and make them work for you.

With my portable lighting kit I can move about without worrying about plug-ins or generators. I can keep in rhythm with my subject and the energy up.

It is all about having and using the right tools at the right time.

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