Oct 1, 2012

October 2012 Cover | Las Vegas Photographer Magazine




Featured | Regina Pagles

I'm gonna keep this short, 'cause there's nothing more boring than me talking about me.

Prior to 2010, I only shot landscapes. I sucked. I'd spend hours messing up my snapshots with layer upon layer of bad Photoshop. Attempts at polishing turds became the norm.

2010 rolls around. I win a contest sponsored by Westcott. A delivery truck shows up with a bunch of lighting equipment. We have a small unoccupied rental apartment, next door. I pretend like I know what I'm doing, and I set up a studio. This is where I am today, only I've stopped pretending, and embraced the fact that I don't know what I'm doing. Oh and no more landscapes!

Every photo shoot is hit or miss. Sometimes I get lucky, sometimes not... but it's all an experience. The same when it comes to retouching. Some images are winners. Most end up in the trash can. A favorite saying... that I often forget, 'Every shot does not have to be a masterpiece'.

Early on, I worried about what others thought. Will THEY like it? I didn't even know who THEY were, but their opinions were very, very important. Thankfully, I stopped caring and that's when I started improving.

Photography and retouching is just a hobby. I do not accept paid assignments. It's nice to pursue something just for the love of it and not for the money. I've ruined many hobbies in the past, turning them into jobs. In my mind, once a person hands over money, they own your creative vision. It becomes all about the clients' wants and needs. I want it to be all about me! I'm good with no deadlines, no do-overs, no unsatisfied clients and NO STRESS!

About the retouching. Many think HDR is involved, but I do not incorporate HDR in my portraits. The dynamic range is brought out many ways, but the 'Tonal Contrast' filter in the Color Efex bundle by Nik Software does a great job. I also love the filters in Perfect Photo Effects by onOne Software. I use those a lot.

I get a few inquiries on how I retouch skin. First, I remove the imperfections with the healing brush in Photoshop. Then I will dodge the darker areas and pores and burn the lighter areas. This takes quite a bit of time and requires a lot of patience. On average, a portrait takes me about 10 hours to complete, but a lot of that time is devoted to trying out new techniques and experimenting. Lately, I have been experimenting with Imagenomics ‘Portraiture’ plugin for skin. With the right settings, I am able to get decent results, while still retaining the pore structure. But my go to skin retouching technique comes from retoucher Natalia Taffarel.

My 'style' is still in the process of being defined. I have a long way to go. Most of my techniques are derived from my idols, who include:

Calvin Hollywood - German digital artist and photographer.
I first discovered Calvin when he appeared a a guest poster on Scott Kelby's Blog.
His English DVD training 'Calvinize' is amazing and I credit a lot of my techniques to him. He includes the skin retouching technique learned from Natalia Taffarel in this ‘Calvinize’ training. You can also find his classes offered on Kelby Training as well as his YouTube Channel. Most of his videos on YouTube are in German, but there are some in English as well, and they are worth seeking out!


Guest Blog Post on Scott Kelby’s ‘Photoshop Insider’

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 1 (YouTube)

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 2 (YouTube)

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 3 (YouTube)

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 4 (YouTube)

Joel Grimes - I love Joel Grimes. I devour every word that comes from his mouth. He is such an inspiration and is so generous with his knowledge. [Framed] Network teamed up with Joel and aired weekly videos on the lighting set ups Joel uses to attain his images. There is so much information packed into those 20 minute videos. Joel also has classes offered on Kelby Training and amazing videos on YouTube.

‘Lit Up’ on the [Framed Network]

Joel Grimes - BEHIND THE SCENES - Dorion

Joel Grimes - BEHIND THE SCENES - Hope Solo

Joel Grimes - BEHIND THE SCENES - Lauren

Joel Grimes - BEHIND THE SCENES - Aimee

Peter Hurley - You have to experience Peter in action to truly appreciate him and what he has to offer. He will drill home the importance of interacting with the person in front of your camera and he is a true master, so you learn from the best. I love this guy and you will, too!

‘Art Behind The Headshot’ Trailer

Guest Blog Post on Scott Kelby’s ‘Photoshop Insider’

Natalia Taffarel - High end digital retoucher from Argentina. A real pro. I have her DVD, it’s 11.5 hours of advanced beauty retouching techniques. A little over my head, but worth it for the stuff that’s not. This is where I learned how to retouch skin. Her technique is awesome, especially at retaining pore structure.

‘Beauty and Hair Retouching High End Techniques’ DVD
Sue Bryce - What can I say about Sue Bryce. Watch her on CreativeLIVE and see for yourself. A master at posing, she transforms average Janes into supermodels before your eyes, with just a simple pose. If only I could remember to apply a fraction of the advice I’ve learned from her...

‘Glamour Photography’ course on CreativeLIVE
‘Inside The Glamour Studio’ course on CreativeLIVE

Amy Dresser - An amazing digital retoucher, famous for her retouching on images by Jill Greenberg. I learned quite a bit from watching her ‘Pointy Man’ tutorial on RetouchPRO. Worth the $15.00 if you have 2.5 hrs. to spend in front of the computer. You only have 3 days to watch it before it expires. Covers her ‘Carve’ technique that is a big part of her style.

Amy Dresser Rentals page on RetouchPro

Amy Dresser’s retouching on Jill Greenbergs’ images

And lastly, I cannot forget to mention Scott Kelby, whom I have learned so much from over the years. He has generously offered so much of his knowledge, in the form of books, tutorials, workshops, seminars, etc. Also the main force behind Photoshop World and if you’ve never been, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It was at Photoshop World that I won that contest, sponsored by Westcott, that got me started in Portraiture.

Kelby Training

NAPP - Free shipping at B&H and Adorama, if you join - SO worth it!

Photoshop World

Scott’s Blog, ‘Photoshop Insider’

Let me finish with a quote from Joel Grimes:
"Hard work will out perform talent any day of the week"

With hard work, patience and perseverance, it is possible to realize your personal or professional goals, even if you are slow, lack memory, have no imagination and possess very little natural artistic vision. I am proof. Most importantly, impress yourself... an audience will follow.

Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/reginapagles/
Portfolio Website http://reginapaglesphotography.com
500px http://500px.com/reginapagles
Blog http://reginapagles.com/
NAPP http://members.photoshopuser.com/shineylewis/portfolio/
Google+ https://plus.google.com/109556244641607065276/posts
Pinterest http://pinterest.com/shineylewis/

Arthur Chang | Session Share

Who: Tran and Adam - both dentists who met in school. They live in Walnut Creek, CA, and really like the outdoors and beaches.
What: Wedding preparations.

Where:  Laguna Beach, CA.

Photographer:  [http://photography.artchang.com/] Arthur was born in South Carolina and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. His passion for photography took form in 2004 in the beauty around Santa Barbara California, where he graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Computer Science. When he wasn't coding, he was taking photos.​  His photography since 2004 has been very photo journalistic and he approaches any type of photography with the focus on telling a story.​  He has organized many "photo walks" (at least one a week), and started a group based around Flickr called the San Francisco Bay Area Shooters (SFBAS). Soon he branched out into the photography communities of Google+, 500px, and Instagram.  Chang says "Photography for me will be forever a learning experience, and I'm always looking for new challenges and stories to tell".  

Meet Julian | 20 Year Old Pro

I'm Julian Navarette, of Julian N. Photography.  I am a Fine Art Lifestyle Photographer and this is my story :)

I am 20 years old.  I Live In Odessa Texas, a small town in west Texas. I am owner and photographer for Julian N. Photography and I have been in business professionally going on 4 years. 

My interest in photography started when I was very young.  My mother was a hobbyist photographer and loved taking photos.  I picked up the love from her. My whole family is naturally artistic.  My brothers are artists as well, and it seems to runs in our blood.

Early on, I got my hands on any camera I could get, disposable cameras, tiny web cam cameras, digital cameras; you name it. I was young so I couldn't afford a fancy camera, but I managed with what I could find. 

I remember snapping my first photos on my mothers 35 mm Pentax film camera.  I also used her old Kodak camera until I finally got my first nice camera from eBay.  I was excited because I could edit photos directly on the camera. That's when I discovered photo manipulation. I played with every photo software that was free. I was impressed early on with how you can touch up photos with software. I started taking photos everywhere and anywhere. I always practiced on myself and on my best friend and brothers, and I started applying filters to the images, and posting them on Myspace.  I wanted to have a cool looking Myspace page, so I always tried to take a cool new profile photo to go with it. I got immediate feedback from friends and family, but I didn't think anything of it. My mother told me I had an eye for photography, though it was just something that I loved to do and didn't really think about it until my first “photoshoot”.

I was in Junior high when my best friend’s cousin was graduating.  She knew I liked photography and that I had a camera, so she called me and asked if I could take some quick photos for her graduation invites.  After submitting our order to the photo lab, we were told to come back in about an hour. When we came back to pick up our photos, the employee told us that we couldn't, because its against copyright to print professional photos without a release.  My eyes grew big and I had a big smile on my face as I told the employee that I was the photographer. I think thats when I first realized that I actually had something going for me.

I started my photography business and became an avid photographer when I was 17 years old and I was in my Senior year of high school.

I had a technology class my senior year, it was animation and design, we learned advanced software called Maya Autodesk, the same complex software that was used to create the movie Avatar and Toy Story. Towards the end of the semester we had a course on photoshop. I was excited because I would finally learn how to use photoshop and know how to edit photos more professionally.

After a few weeks of assignments my teacher told the class that we would have the chance to take a photoshop certification test and if we passed we would be Adobe CS4 certified. I had my twin brother in the class with me and he passed the test and i failed it. I was so jealous and mad when the teacher told me I would have to retest (might I add that they charge you to take the test every time).  This was the test I studied very hard for, and I believe on my 2nd or 3rd try, I passed. 

That year I had to write an essay about the career I would be getting into after I graduated. I researched photography, freelance photographers and commercial photographers basically anything and everything that had to do with field of photography. After weeks of researching, I began to see that it wasn't easy to get into this field, but that didn't stop me. 

A few weeks before that, I bought my first DSLR (a Canon Rebel Xs , the cheapest DSLR camera that canon offered at the time) and I loved it!  I used the rebel for alot of my shoots until I could save up enough money for another lens. After graduation I starting doing more and more photo shoots.  After being at a job that I was just tired of it, I decide that I would go full time as a photographer.  

Honestly it wasn't easy for me, business was good but after seniors were done, work was slow, and I was discouraged. I didn't know what to do.  I thought working in a photography chain studio would be good for me.  I thought about it, actually applied for a few and never heard back. During that time I started talking to other photographers.  One particular local photographer Jennifer Guiley, inspired me, and her work is amazing! Jennifer helped me out alot as I continued my photography journey. She convinced me not to go work for a chain studio and told me I was good enough to be on my own.
I am a photography and technology geek so I liked learning everything. I built my business and my clientele completely around Facebook, it was the best way of getting in touch with people and the cheapest, well,... because it was free. Most of my clients have come from Facebook and a lot of my client base grew from a word-of-mouth client base. I had a Facebook page and started to get likes on it, when i got to 100 "fans" I had a free photoshoot giveaway to clients, my page grew from there. After about 400 likes I hosted a Valentine contest for a free photo session, from that session my likes grew from 400 to over 1,000. To me, offering a free session was worth it because it helped me grow my client base and get my name out there. After a while my name was reaching out in town and in the photography community, I was thrilled. It did take some time but as I went I began developing my own style and kept to it.  Now I only shoot what I love and I get clients specifically who like the kind of work that I do. About 4,271 "likes" later  I got noticed by the local newspaper (I was 19 yrs. old).  I was also featured in other known photographer blogs. Now i am at over 5,300+ Facebook likes and I cant help but thank everyone for the support that they've given me.

Now, almost 3 years later, my good friend Jennifer Guiley and I have a studio together, and I run my own successful photography business!

I am inspired daily, there are hundred if not more, photographers that inspire me. To name a few:  Jessica Drossin, Gina Kolsrud, Angie Monson, Skye Hardwick.  I am also inspired by art, light, shadows and textures, and take a fine art approach to my photos.  I love cross processing and film tones.  I shoot 100% natural light and use the suns golden light to light my photos. I believe in first, getting the photo right, in the camera, and then using photoshop to add to it, rather than trying to save it with photoshop. If I could give advice to someone I would say: Practice, practice, practice!! Don't give up, learn much as you can from yourself and others. If you are passionate about it, you will do what it takes, develop your own style and keep at it.

I shoot in the evenings for all my sessions during the best light that many know as golden hour. I shoot with Canon 5d mark ii (now mark iii) and use mostly 50 or 85 mm focal length.  I Start in Camera Raw and do adjustments in ACR and then I open in photoshop.  I do any retouching and then add sharpening and contrast. I use curves adjustment layers, as well as levels, color fills and gradients to get my achieved look, finishing off by adding a texture and sharpening.