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 and Video Together

Posted: October 14th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon 7d, Lighting, photo lighting, video | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Now that the Canon 7d is out, can new video from Nikon and Panasonic be far behind?   Some more interesting new products are out to help photographers move into doing short form video.  One of the problems that photographers got away from long ago was the need to use constant lights with the advent of strobes.  The constant lights were hot both to handle and on the subject, it took a lot of wattage to get a decent exposure, and were 3200 K so had to be gelled to balance with daylight which brought down the power even more.  Well, as wonderful as strobes are and I’m a big advocate of using them whenever possible except for a very few highly specialized stop motion systems, they are useless for video.

If you want to shoot video, now there are a number of choices beyond the old tungsten lights.  One type that is finding favor with cinematographers is the new LED light.  As a light source, they are powerful (for their size), small, sturdy, draw little power and a are daylight-balanced source that run very cool.  As of now, to light large areas you still might need a number of 1 x1 panels that can cost quite a bit but that will surely change in the near future.  For now you can start by trying one of the smaller battery powered on camera LED lights like the Litepanels Mirco or MicroPro.   Powerful enough to light small scenes or use as a fill in some cases, it can be dimmed with little color change.  I have found them useful off camera for interviews or as a kicker and on camera for an eye-light and run and gun situations.  I wish I had had some when filming in the catacombs of Paris a few years ago.  The quarters were cramped with no place for stands and these LED lights could have been hand held right where I needed them. Image by © Lee White

Litepanels Micro LED

Litepanels Micro LED

Zeiss continues to grow their line of Canon mount manual focus lenses that are especially suited for the DSLRs with video capabilities.  The latest is the ZEISS Distagon T* 2/28 ZE which is a moderate wide-angle lens designed for full-frame (D)SLR cameras, delivering a 74-degree field of view. Like the other Zeiss ZE lenses, it incorporates a CPU and data contacts for communication with the camera body and long focus pull.  This lens is meant to be used on the Canon cameras such as the 5d Mark II and the new 7d.  As I have mentioned before, Zeiss already has a line of Nikon lenses for video capable DSLRs.

Zeiss Distagon F2 28mm lens for Canon

Zeiss Distagon F2 28mm lens for Canon

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Professional Photography and Video Merge into Hybrid

Posted: August 31st, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Education, video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

As a professional advertising photographer in Los Angeles, video production was a craft that has been around me daily. I photographed the print side of commercials and shot specials on set working closely with the crew. Then almost a decade ago, I saw the desirability of shooting video to extend my creative range and supply clients with more creative services along with my photography. I first shot in standard definition and now shoot in high definition with incredible tools such as the very cinematic Canon 5d Mark II. As the internet was starting to become fast enough to play clips and cable had a growing need for material, my clients have increasingly asked for video shot with my “photographer’s eye”.

I have taken my skills in lighting, composition and mise-en-scene and applied them to the continuous narrative that is video. I first sought out video editors to learn what was needed to join clips together to tell a flowing story. If you know where you want to end up, it is much easier to get there. As I learned editing, it allowed me to understand what needs to be shot and how it needs to edit together. From there it has been practice, shooting for clients and watching the trends in films, commercials and on the web. It has come to a point where I teach a college course for professional photographers who want to learn video.

I’m using a Canon 5d Mark II on a rig by Redrock Mirco. Photo by the well known retoucher Dennis Dunbar.

Lee White using Canon 5d in video mode with Redrock Micro gear.

Lee White using Canon 5d in video mode with Redrock Micro gear.

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Photography of healthy lifestyles

Posted: May 20th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Green, photo lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

As a California photographer, I have great weather for healthy lifestyle images all year round.  I especially love the summer months for surf and turf images when I get either rich blue skies or dramatic cloud filled backgrounds.

California surfer showing healthy lifestyle

California surfer showing healthy lifestyle

Combining great locations with my lighting style allows for some stunning advertising or editorial photography.  Casting of models and/or locations is easy for California photographers and clients in the place where the healthy lifestyle trend was started.  Being on the west coast means wide sandy beaches, vast deserts and majestic mountains for striking images.

Corporate imaging here is great too!  New facilities in open green areas are ideal for portraying the new face of greener corporations.

Photo hint:  Even when shooting at golden hour be ready to use supplemental lighting techniques like strobes or reflectors.  You might find the perfect shot is towards the sun which can add real life to an image as well as extra depth.  Photography is a craft.  Photographed with Canon camera and strobe.

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NAB inspires with new ideas, techniques and equipment.

Posted: May 2nd, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Education, Workflow, photo lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Los Angeles photographers have the NAB convention to help keep them up-to-date. Commercial photographers like me often do advertising photography with the flavor of photojournalism to make location photography seem more real including my video work. The new video equipment I saw at NAB will help with that. When I do editorial photography, I often get to do video interviews and some of the new equipment will help with that was well.

Los Angeles photographer dramatic night portraiture

Los Angeles photographer dramatic night portraiture with Canon 5D

I had some very productive chats with the following representatives and want to thank them for all their information. In chronological order Peter of Lectronics, Fred at Audio Technica, Red of Photoflex, Joey of Mathhews Studio Equipment, Greg at JVC, Douglas at Shure, Ulrich Goetze of California Sunbounce, Mike of Marshall Electronics, Bernie of Panasonic, and Jennifer of dedoweightfilm.de.

California photographers are lucky to have so many resources locally. I have been shooting video for over seven years and there is more demand for it than ever.

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Los Angeles advertising photographer Lee White focuses on healthy living.

Posted: April 29th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Education, photo lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

California photographers are right in the middle of the country’s most health conscious region. Advertising photography of healthy food, year around outdoor activities and mind/body health are photographed here. Location photography is easy with endless sunny days, beautiful beaches and mountains.

Los Angeles photographer Lee White shoots healthy lifestyle - Yoga

Los Angeles photographer Lee White shoots healthy lifestyle - Yoga

Yoga studios and gyms seem to be on every block providing commercial photographers like me beautiful models for my advertising and editorial photography.

Photography hints: use cool pastel colors to make your subject’s skin tones standout. Cool colors also help present a calm quiet atmosphere.

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Los Angeles commercial photographer Lee White involvement with ESL teacher conference in California.

Posted: April 19th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Advertising, editorial, and corporate photography is the main stay of my Los Angeles advertising photography studio’s work. Since many of my assignments as a corporate and magazine photographer include a video interview, it was natural I would be asked to help out at Ventura College and Santa Barbara City College during video projects. Being involved with photography education, I always feel privileged to assist other educators.

ESL teacher Kari Tudman presenting at CATESOL conference

ESL teacher Kari Tudman presenting at CATESOL conference

Los Angeles advertising photographer Lee White presenting at CATESOL conference.

Los Angeles advertising photographer Lee White presenting at CATESOL conference.


The CATESOL presentation was given by the well-known ESL teacher, Kari Tudman who used producing a video in class as a classroom community building project. During the class project, I assisted Kari and the students with technical advice and a second camera when needed. Kari and the students did the bulk of the work themselves and a good job at that. The two videos turned out very funny and the students really enjoyed working together. I then did a slight reedit, grading and sweetening of the projects at my Los Angeles photography studio to prepare the two videos for presentation in a large conference room. I also helped out at the presentation to make sure there were no technical problems and answer a few questions.

Photography hints: With over fifteen years of experience in photography education, I find I have benefited as much as I have contributed to any class. Take the opportunity to share your knowledge and give to your community.

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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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