Category Archives: For Photographers

In a couple of previous posts I’ve gone through my batch processing using VSCO Film. As a wedding photographer it’s often necessary to get through a huge number of images and VSCO helps me to give them all bit of a look. Not much, but a tweak of colours and contrast at least. I use presets that work well across all images, meaning the presets needs to be light enough to work for different light conditions.

But when it comes to individual images, images I’ve worked more on, portfolio images, your creme de la creme, I do other things. I add my special sauce. These images never gets batch edited using VSCO. Sometimes I do dodging or burning, adding punch or selective sharpening or other things that draws your eyes to the right part of the image.

But I also always use Alien Skin Exposure.

No matter what I do to an individual edit, I will finish it off with Alien Skin Exposure. Before that last step, my image will be a work in progress, after, it’s ready to publish or print. Every single one of the images I’ve won awards for have been finished off with Alien Skin Exposure. At it’s core Alien Skin Exposure or ASE is a great film emulator that gives your images the illusion of having been shot on film. If you edit your raw images using LR or ACR, you probably know that the fake film grain looks horrible. Enter ASE. The film grain in ASE is extremely good. Easily the best you can buy. When I shoot digital, it’s important for me to look a little less digital and ASE is the perfect tool for that. It gives me a final tweak of colours and contrast and I also always add ASE film grain to soften them up (for lack of a better word). On some images I use its light leaks and if I’m feeling extra playful I’ll use its textures or frames.

I’m sure the film shooters will tell me to shoot film if I want that film look and I do, I shoot a lot of film, but I also shoot a lot of digital and for those times I still prefer to use Alien Skin Exposure. Nothing finishes the job better.

Alien Skin have been kind enough to offer a discount code, so if you’re interested in buying it, use the coupon code “JON0214” and you will get a 10% discount.

All the images below have been edited with Alien Skin Exposure 5.

note: the two polaroid images in this post are actual polaroids and not  frames from ASE.

Just a quick update on the future of my workshops and some speaking I’ll be doing soon. For the last two years I’ve been teaching my workshop “A Greater Story” around the world. It’s taken me around Australia, to New York, Vancouver, London, Paris, Cape Town, Sweden and a few other places and it’s been a very interesting learning experience for me and hopefully all the attendees. I see what people are struggling with and it’s helped me get a better understanding what I have to do to better myself and run a smarter business and richer life. Today everyone is a photographer, just look around you on any given day, photos are taken of everything all the time. And the cameras are getting better and better. As photographers we need to learn to be more than just image makers. We need to tell stories and we need to create emotional connection. For me story and connection is everything. It’s what separates pretty from beautiful and what makes our images captivating. The stories are the key to everything.

Because of this I’ve decided to focus on stories this year. I’ve always done it in my work, but I feel it’s time to start preaching it more. I’m taking a brief break from my two day workshops and instead I’m going to offer a one day intense storytelling workshop where I go through everything from how stories affect our brands and client interactions to how to physically craft our stories, both the visual and the written. When you understand the power of the story, everything will change.

I’m putting together a more detailed page for all this, but if you feel you’re interested in me coming to your city teaching on this subject, please drop me a note. The  price for the One Day Storytelling Workshop (name coming soon) will probably be $995 USD.

To kick all of this off, I will be speaking at WPPI in Las Vegas early next month.

I will be teaching a Masterclass on Storytelling for Photographer March 3 at 8am and a Platform Class called the Business of Being You March 5 at 3pm.

A lot of people have also asked me if I can do One on One Mentoring, so I’m launching that soon too. Basically we put together a day of teaching where we go through all the things you’re interested in. If you want to know how I built my social media presence, we’ll talk about that, if you want to know how I edit, we’ll talk about that. It’s your day and the focus will be to grow your business, not mine. We can focus heavily on one subject or cover several, it’s all up to you, but we’ll plan the content together beforehand.

And yes, I’m also going to try to set up some kind of Skype mentoring sessions as well.

If you’re interested in any of these things, let me know.

The One Day Workshop on Storytelling ideally needs 10-20 people to work well, so if you feel you have a large enough group in your area, just send me an email.

foto: Annelie Johansson

In March this year I was part of a production called the FILM Show, a show about photography that has been available online for viewing for a while. As a part of the show, we shot a wedding. Being a wedding photographer, it was very important for me that we shoot a real wedding, with real people and not an editorial shoot with models. In the end and through a lot of serendipity, it turned out that the hosts of the show would shoot the wedding of Sara and Dylan. I’ve know both Sara and Dylan over the internet for a while, so getting to shoot their wedding was a huge honor. We were five people hosting the FILM Show, me, Ryan Muirhead, Tanja Lippert, Jan Scholz and Tia Reagan, so even getting my head around shooting with three other photographers bothered me. Add a a film crew of about 20 people to that and you can imagine how difficult I thought it would be to shoot the way I normally do.

But for some reason it worked.

Tanja did her thing, I did my thing and so did Jan and Ryan. Tia styled Sara to perfection and I hope the images speak for themselves. These are some of my images from the day, I’m sure Tanja will share hers too. If you’re interested in me shooting you on film, let me know, i’m happy to shoot more film whenever I get a chance.

You can also watch the actual episode of the FILM Show here to give you a behind the scenes look of the day. And if you’re a photographer interested in my approach to wedding photography, both the art side and the business side, you can buy three separate workshop videos where I talk about my approach to what I do. There’s also a wedding Q&A I did together with Tanja. You may have to sign up to Framed to get to the workshops, but signing up is free.

But back to Sara and Dylan.

I shot this whole wedding on film and there was something about this that needed to be shot on film. Sara’s ethereal beauty needed the glow you get from film. And knowing Dylan brings it out of her, I just feel blessed I was there to document their day.

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(For the photographers: this is shot with a Contax 645 with an Zeiss 80mm 2.0 and an Canon EOS 3 and a variety of L primes. The films used are Kodak Portra 160 rated at 125 for colour and Tri-x rated at box speed for B&W. Developed and scanned by Indie Film Lab).