Lindsey Vonn Revisit { New York Editorial Portrait Photographer }

Lindsey Vonn in Black and white which was shot up in vail using a single light octabox with a grid

I’m starting to realize more and more how important editorial portraiture is to me.  I honestly love capturing someones character.  Headshots are fun and all, but I love it when I have a client that wants me to tell a story.  Lately, my headshot sessions have been turning into me doing more fashion oriented portraits of my clients.  Which has caused me to start thinking more and more about where I want my photography to go this next year.  This is going to be a big year for me, and while I can’t share all the details there certainly is going to be some major changes in my life.  I’m getting married first off, and after that who knows where the wind is going to blow me.  I’d love to go out to japan some more, maybe Europe, who knows.

All of this has really made me start to take a look at my work, and decide where I want to push it over the next year.  Because it’s going to be a very important year for me.  I feel like what I do this next year is really going to define what direction my photography takes over my life.  I’m starting to realize that most likely shooting model portfolio’s and corporate headshots isn’t the best way to support myself.  I do love doing them, don’t get me wrong, and I’ll always shoot fashion, but honestly I’m not convinced it’s going to pay the bills as nicely as I would like.  No, that’s not me being greedy, It’s just simple math.  Even if I booked all those shoots at $350 / session (which I don’t) I’d have to shoot 248 of those a year to earn 75k.  20 a month,  basically 5 a week.  Let me tell you, no matter how much SEO work I do, no matter what my rankings are, I just don’t think there’s that much work to go around here in New York.  It’s just not going to happen.  However, if I managed to book more editorial portrait work for the larger magazines at 2k a pop, then suddenly I just need to book a couple of those shoots a month, and add on some model portfolio, and headshot work.  That would even give me the ability to start testing again, which as much as I hate to say it, I miss.  Test work isn’t exactly glamorous or anything, but it allows me to be much more creative in a very low pressure environment.  Which in turn leads to my book getting better, and more diverse.

Of course the other thing I’m realizing is that there really aren’t a ton of editorial portrait photographers who really shoot with fashion lighting and retouching.  Of course there’s some big names that do this, but for the most part in the smaller markets there just aren’t many people who bridge these 2 worlds.  They tend to sit firmly in one or the other.  The fashion photographers stay in their world with lookbooks and model ports, and the editorial portrait artists shoot for the local magazines, but don’t exactly get all that creative.  They tend to show up for an environmental portrait with a softbox off to camera left, and shoot away.  Which I guess works, but I’d like to be someone who shoots things with more of a fashion mindset.  Not quite so boring, with retouching that’s more on par with a photographer who shoots as much fashion as I do.

This is why I’ve included this shot of Lindsey Vonn here.  I think this is an example of the kind of work that I’d like to start doing more of.  More intense fashion style portraits of people whether they’re famous or just starting out.  I want to shoot more magazine work, but I want to do it my way.  I want creative artists, craftsman, musicians, and all those types to be able to come to me, and let me put together an awesome shoot for them.  That captures something more creative than they’ve done before.  In other words not your standard headshot.  Anyone can shoot those, and I still will, but it’s time for me to move on to bigger clients.

FYI, this was shot last year up in Vail, and it was a total blast of a shoot.  If you want to see more from shoot with Lindsey you can check it out here.  I couldn’t have been happier with how those shots came out at the time of the shoot, but even now I see things that I would have done differently.  In fairness to me, this was one of my first major shoots that I had ever done, and I was nervous as all hell.  I probably didn’t even mention in that blog post, but right before we started shooting, I found a hair on my sensor and had to use tweezers ever so delicately to try and pull it off.  So not only was I sweating from being nervous before the shoot, but literally 10 minutes before the shoot started I realized that I could have a major problem on my hands.  Lighting on that shot was a simple octabox camera left, with a grid, on a dark grey seamless paper.

I hope I can look back on this blog post and realize how far I’ve come next year.  I never really know who all reads my blog, honestly it’s just a lot of rambling from me, but if you are reading thanks.

My editorial portrait work can be seen here.

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