We can learn a lot from watching fellow photographers at work. Everyone has their own style of shooting encompassing their unique ideas, personal influences and past experiences. By watching others closely we can draw on things they do and implement it in our own work, promoting growth in our own photography. From setup to final photographs, watch photographer Neil van Niekerk at work in the studio with model Ulorin Vex:
Van Niekerk has a great set up: a dream studio, models, make-up artists and assistants. But watching him work reveals a lot of important qualities of a good photographer. These are behaviors and ideas that can be adopted into any level of photography, inside and out of a studio. And hey, we are photographers after all—looking is what we do best!
Van Niekerk is confident in what he is doing. He understands his camera and gear well, and knows how to lead his subject to create the look he has envisioned. Communication with a subject is extremely important. Van Niekerk also offers praise, creating positive energy and establishing a good relationship between subject and photographer.
A wide variety of backgrounds, poses, styles, and equipment are used. Van Niekerk doesn’t limit himself to one idea and a single look, rather he moves around the studio, using the light, space and body movement to his advantage.
In photography, experimentation is key. From a smoke machine and pot lights to shooting through glass flowers, van Niekerk uses a variety of tools to create distinctive looks in his photographs.
It’s important to experiment with what you have around you. In the end, the results can be surprisingly stunning.
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