FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER IN HEAT WAVE | VOL.2 ISSUE.12
How did you learn to shoot fashion/beauty photography?
I was a conceptual photographer for about a year until a friend of mine wanted some fashion shots, I fell in love with the styling and editing part of it. I liked the idea of having a full team on set and collaborating with different individuals to create a certain look, so I wanted to try it more. Pass forward two years, and I met this amazing MUA, A hood, who wanted some beauty shots and I just knew this is can be my new favorite genre.
Any tips for those looking to get outside of their comfort zone and try new photography tactics?
I think it's important to step outside of our comfort zones, try new tactics and let our creativity take over. Always remember that even the masters of photography were once beginners. Ask questions and don’t be afraid of failure. Learn to pick yourself back up and practice again and again.
Where and how do you scout your models?
In the beginning, I used to work with Instagram models. But now I mainly shoot agency models. Agencies reach out and send me their modeling packages, then select models with my team based on the look we’re aiming for. We always search for unique models that can add to our work.
How important is it to have a MUA on set with you?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a MUA can make or break an image. It doesn’t matter how good of a retoucher someone is, if the makeup is bad, the photo is probably a loss.
Tell us your craziest scenario you’ve been in to get the perfect photo!
About three years ago I had this strange concept of combining a milky-way shot with a headshot in a double exposure photo. I drove for about three hours to Joshua Tree in the middle of the night to get a shot of the milky way, then I asked a photographer to borrow her headshot for the concept because I didn’t photograph people at that time. It took me about two weeks to complete the shot, but it is still one of the dearest shots to my heart.
Do you retouch your own photos?
Absolutely! I’m sure others might do a better job at retouching my work, but I wouldn’t feel good about my work if it was retouched by someone else.
What does your editing process look like?
First, I retouch the photos, then adjust the colors based on the mood or the theme I’m aiming for. Beauty shots usually take me two-to-three hours of retouching. Whereas fashion shots take anywhere between 20 to 45 minutes. I enjoy every second of it.
How often do you travel for work, and where is your favorite place to go?
I travel a lot for photography. I’ve been to more than 13 countries, and I absolutely love it. My favorite place to shoot is definitely NYC. That city inspires me like no other.
What equipment do you always have on hand when you do a session?
I'm a strong believer that the best equipment you can use is the one you have. Professional photographers, or artists in general, are not defined by their equipment at all. With that being said, I mainly use Canon 5D Mark IV with 100mm f2.8L for beauty shots and 24-70mm for fashion. As for lights, I use either Profoto or Godox.
How did you make the switch to from TFP to getting paid for your passion?
I can literally write a book about this topic. Often times, people tend to forget or ignore the fact that artists have to pay bills and upgrade equipment. After I built a solid portfolio, I learned to value my work and approach clients that respect what I do. Building my packages and putting a price on my work was one of the hardest things I had to do as a photographer.
What is the Best advice you ever received while pursuing your dream?
Two pieces of advice actually. First one is to invest in yourself. Educating ourselves is priceless. The second advice is to understand the difference between following the money and following your passion. Following the money will only get you so far, but following your passion will take you to new places.
What is essential for you to have in a bag as a professional photographer?
Lighting! As a professional photographer, I have to shoot in all kinds of environments. I love natural light the most, and I always try to make my images have the feeling of natural light, but I can not always depend on it. Clients expect quality work in any location and any time of the day, so having my lighting with me helps me control the environment and deliver quality work.
What do you love most about being a fashion photographer?
I feel like I’m completely myself when I shoot. When I hold the camera, I forget about everything and focus on getting the shot. I also really love meeting amazing people. I met the most amazing and inspiring people from fashion photography.
Photographer: Noah Nash @noahnash
Models: Tijana, Veronica Naumkina @veronicanaumkina
Agency: Willow Model Management
MUA: Akiko Russell @akiko.artistry