Photography Q&A

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Over the past few months, we've gotten the occasional question about cameras and photography on the blog. So, your questions are answered here in this mini-series, Photography Q&A. (See Part Two and Part Three here.)

Who takes your photos?

Kristian: The Boy, Amos, takes most of the photographs! He usually shoots photos for the outfit posts and hair tutorials. I take photos for the mail posts, and instagram shots (and this header). Anything else is marked with the photograph's source.

What camera do you use?

Amos: I shoot Kristian’s style with a Canon 5D Mark III.  When we have enough room we prefer to use a “Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS L” lens (it just works well for fashion), but when we’re in close quarters we use a wider “Canon 24-105 4.0 IS L” lens

What other equipment do you use?

Amos: When I’m on the ball I remember to use a grey card to get an accurate white balance, but I often forget and try to correct the color later.  For indoor shoots we use Paul Buff Einstein flash units with diffused PLM Umbrellas attached.  We’ve been setting up a simple white cloth backdrop for indoor hair shots... but with any luck, I’m planning to do the next set with some “seamless background paper”.

What are your username(s) on instagram?  

Kristian: my instagram username is @withoutastyle. Feel free to follow me there!

What editing software do you use?

Amos:  I use Adobe Lightroom for most of my photo management and basic edits.  Lightroom is fantastic for quickly picking the best photos from a set, applying crops, and synchronizing color and other basic touch-ups to make sure all images from a shoot have a similar “look and feel”.  After we select and process a set of photos from a shoot, Lightroom makes it easy to export a folder of jpegs perfectly suited for publication on the blog.  Lightroom is a relatively affordable tool with an amazing amount of power... I recommend anyone who processes sets of photos on a regular basis to at least download the free trial and give it a shot.
In the occasional case when I really get obsessed with a particular photo of Kristian I bring it into Photoshop CS6 and tinker with it until I get the look I want.  This can involve anything from detailed stray hair removal to complex background texturing and selective color enhancements.  Photoshop is a complex and infinitely powerful tool which can produce amazing results... but be aware that it has a steep learning curve and can be frustrating while you are mastering it.

What do you use for making collages?

Kristian: I currently use Picmonkey, an online site. It is quick and convenient for me. For images with words, I use Photoshop CS.

What do you do for a living? Is it connected to photography?

Amos: I support a unique local organization dedicated to reducing drug-abuse among students.  It’s a privately funded incorporated charity literally run by high school students (they form the Board of Directors and sign my paychecks)... and the donors are generous in terms of budget for support and equipment.  I help with all the technical stuff (equipment maintenance, in-house software development, DJ setup), photograph all our events (thousands of photos a year of dances, parties, dodgeball tournaments, sporting events), and create media for promotion and education (event posters, local trading cards, brochures, newspaper ads).

tldr: Basically I am the Tech and Media departments of a small company run by students.

Where or how did you go about learning to take photographs?

Amos: I’ve had no formal training, but once our anti-drug organization realized that students loved photos of themselves I acquired some equipment and started shooting.  I tend to be a stubborn workaholic and have tried to overcome my lack of training with lots of experiments and lots of practice.  At a normal event I take 300-500 photos per hour then spend several days culling, processing and publishing them.
I’ve learned to take decent “candid” shots and have done a few weddings and traveled with groups as a photo documenter.
However, I never did much in the way of posed or fashion photography before Kristian decided to start her blog.  It has been very much a learning process for me and I feel like I am slowly getting better at capturing a bit of her style.  Eventually I hope to be able to take the shots she deserves to have, but in the meanwhile I’m glad she lets me practice on her :)


  1. This is a fun post! You got some mighty fancy gear. So nice that Amos edits for you. While my boyfriend takes my photos, I love doing the editing. It's one of my favorite parts.

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    1. Amos certainly does! But then he uses for his job too, so it is a very well utilized set of tools that way.

      I'd like to find out more about running lightroom; I can (and do) use photoshop, but for things like blog photos, it just works well.

  2. Wow, Sean would NEVER edit photos for me, haha! He dislikes even taking photos, but he does it because I guess he loves me or something :) That is so nice of your boy and he does a fantastic job too!

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    1. Heehee- how sweet that he stills takes them for you, even if he doesn't like the job much <3

      I am lucky that Amos likes photography, and, as he mentions, he uses it for his job so has all the editing software. I might be taking over more of that if I get Lightroom on my own computer.


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