843 Collective Beauty Shoot | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Hair & Beauty Photographer

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Models: Miranda Phillips, Alexa Walter

H/MUA: Laura Fraizer, Justine Green

Photographer: Leighton DaCosta

Photographer's Assistant: Tonya Brisson

Stylist: 843 Beauty Collective

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Model Session: Shante | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Fine Art Photographer

Model Session: Shante | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Fine Art Photographer

Shante has been a blast to work with as we work through this project, but recently while reviewing the images from a session, one image jumped right out at me. 

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Aquisha - Head Shot Session | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Head Shot Photographer

Aquisha - Head Shot Session | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Head Shot Photographer

Whatever the reason you have for a new head shot, keep in mind, there is no "One Size Fits All" type of head shot, nor a "One Size Fits All" type of client. 

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The Power of the Print #1 | Leighton DaCosta. Atlanta Portrait Photographer

The Power of the Print #1 | Leighton DaCosta. Atlanta Portrait Photographer

Books and photos are reflections of our memories and thoughts that we can enjoy while we are alive, but are also able to leave for future generations to enjoy when we are gone. 

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7 Ways to Make Your Studio More Mobile NOW | Miami Photographer, Leighton DaCosta

7 Ways to Make Your Studio More Mobile NOW | Miami Photographer, Leighton DaCosta

The reality is, to have a mobile setup doesn't have to be overly technical, or even overly expensive, IF you have a little forethought going into it.

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My Push for Film While Staying Digitally Loyal

The Beautiful Taina photographed with 400ISO Superia Fujifilm. Pembroke Pines, FL.  Processed by Dale Laboratories, Hollywood, FL. 

The Beautiful Taina photographed with 400ISO Superia Fujifilm. Pembroke Pines, FL.  Processed by Dale Laboratories, Hollywood, FL. 

#FIND: Film Is NOT Dead. In the current day and age of digital cameras, with the convenience and consistency that comes with them, why would ANYONE continue to create photographs on film? I ask myself this all the time. Digital, while being the "way of the future," is simply put, "better" for the customer. 

Photographing digitally allows me to make focus, lighting, color temperature, perspective changes all on the fly to create a consistent product. Photographing digitally, allows me to proof images MUCH faster than when I photograph with film. This allows the client to make purchase decisions sooner and which accelerates the ordering process. 

The images to the right show the difference between film and digital capture. Can you tell the difference? I do not do my own film processing, so with the film, the white blouse is over exposed, whereas on the digital exposure, I was able to go in post and correct the exposure in less time than it took for me to drop my film off.   

In another example, I have used a digital image to simulate the look of film. Were you able to tell the difference? This is another example of why I REALLY enjoy shooting film. The (x)=f/n factor. What does that mean? Simply put, the additional variables to photographing with film. No two rolls are the same. The age of the film, storage methods, and other things can change the final look of the exposure. 

In the images to the left, the image with her arms below her waist, is the film image. The giveaway is the color of the background in relation to the actual color temperature of the subject. In the digital image, the background is more of a neutral color, while the film exposure shows the green tones. 

Another reason why I enjoy using film, is when I am photographing boudoir and fine art nudes for clients. While all images can be digitally scanned, using film does add a certain level of security. There is a very finite origin of the image. The Negative. There is a sense of immortality with a digital file, which is not there with a negative. Let me explain. The digital file, can be lost, deleted, manipulated; but it also can be reproduced, and live forever in the cloud. It is very hard to put back in the jar once released. The film negative, once gone, is gone. The negative can be in possession by only ONE entity, usually either the photographer, or the client. It is hard for that negative to be "accidentally" released. While I have many safeguards in place for my clients and models who I have photographed nude, hacking, theft, and even clients who have separation/divorce are always a threat to discretion. 

The lovely Martha photographed with Fujifilm 400ISO Superia. Salt Lake City, UT. Processed by Dale Laboratories, Hollywood, FL. 

The lovely Martha photographed with Fujifilm 400ISO Superia. Salt Lake City, UT. Processed by Dale Laboratories, Hollywood, FL. 

Film photography is growing more and more everyday. Is it fad or trend? I don't know. I do know that many professionals have added the use of film to their offerings to better serve the clients who demand the more artistic medium. 

Some things to keep in mind when requesting film photography:

  1. FILM IS EXPENSIVE. The average roll of professional film can range from $8-40 a roll depending on size. A 36 exposure black and white roll of film may be $8, while a 12 exposure color roll of Medium format film, may be close to $35. When hiring a photographer who captures with film, expect a premium for the service. 
  2. Film requires PATIENCE. Remember when we had the one hour Fotomat? This is not really the case with professional processing. The average lab turnaround could be as much as 72 hours not including transit time, longer for special services. 
  3. Film is AESTHETIC. In the 21st century, film is used for the process and the "look." The look is unique and random, and so may be the results from frame to frame. Think of a high end steakhouse. Medium Rare should ALWAYS be Medium Rare, but the degree of rare will vary between cuts. The size and weight of the cuts will also vary. But the consistency is in the experience and the flavor. The same as the style and look should be consistent to the artist/photographer capturing the images. 

Film photography is still fun. It is relaxing and sometimes frustrating, all at the same time. Sometimes not having to look at the back of the camera, allows for more interaction with the subject, which often leads to great images with character. I would offer for any photographer looking for a new challenge, to pick up a film camera, and take some time during a session to do a little film photography. You may be in for a pleasant experience... for you AND your subject. 

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The Survey Questions: #20. When will the photos be ready?

This is the first of a series of questions that I want to answer for brides, grooms, and all interested. This blog deals with the age old question regarding when will the pictures be delivered. 

Almost a hundred years ago, the "instant" camera was invented. It would take almost 50 years before instant film and cameras would be popular with the mainstream and accessible. With the advent of digital photography and cameras on our phones, the push to get images faster and faster grows stronger. I know many of us wish we had the photos even BEFORE they are taken, but that whole space-time thing.... 

Depending on the nature of the photography AND photographer, images can be ready moments after the event, or months. There is no right or wrong answer, but only that of expressed expectations. Keep in mind, your photographer wants to put his or her best images out there, and deliver to you the very best. 

When editing and retouching is involved, a good rule of thumb is 30-90 days. Do some photographers deliver in 24-96 hours, yes, but not all are created equal, and when dealing with single person studios, that photographer not only has to photograph sessions, but meet with new clients, deliver photos to current clients, edit images, and still run the other aspects of the business. 

I have a 60 day clause in my contracts, but depending on time of year, my goal is within 30 days for most jobs, and often within 10 days for proofs. When albums are ordered, or other large prints, I ask for 90-180 days. The goal is always to underpromise and overdeliver. 

Sometimes we hear horror stories of clients waiting years to get photos or albums. We'll hear of how they spent thousands on their wedding, but what is often not told, is that they still OWE thousands on that wedding photography. I'll address the importance of a reasonable payment schedule in another post. 

In summary, make sure you ask your wedding photographer clearly when the photos will be ready. Have a reasonable turnover date in mind. Do not be afraid to place incentives and penalties in the contract as well. This may end up being a win win for both parties. Also, if the photographer has any deadlines, such as proofing or premier dates, be sure to keep them. This will allow the process to run smoother. Stay tuned for #19 where we discuss the pay schedule. 
 

LD

DISCLAIMER: These questions come from several online surveys that are given to brides and grooms on websites such as The Knot, Wedding Wire, Wedding and Wedding Flowers, Martha Stewart Wedding and others. This series are an attempt to assist the customer with general answers to help his search and experience

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