A New Home

From today, 11th September 2017, Rob Lamb Photography has moved to

Unit G6
Enterprise House
Marina Commercial Park
Centre Park Road
Cork

We’re waiting to get the old landline number transferred so for now the best way to contact me is on the mobile

087 683 8511   or

rob@roblambphoto.com    as usual.

Still a bit to do on the new place to find homes for everything and hang a few pictures but I’ll be taking appointments and viewings here as before.

Irish Youth Dance Festival 2017

I had the pleasure of photographing the New Moon Dance company at the Irish Youth Dance Festival in Dun Laoghaire, last weekend.  As usual Tina’s dancers were amazing.

It was the only (brief) rehearsal they got on the stage and it was during lighting setup so let’s just say there wasn’t a lot of time – or light – and what light there was got better as the lighting guy worked things out.

Turbulance

I’m experimenting with WordPress at the moment to decide whether to move the whole website over.  I’m looking for something more responsive and a little more modern without getting too flashy and unusable.

So you may see some weird stuff going on with random template changes and it’s possible that at times the blog may be busted while I play with something in WordPress.

Generally the feedback on the website is that people like it’s simplicity – which is pretty much were the original design was aimed at.  Easy access to photo portfolio, some useful info on who I am and what I do.

But although I transferred the image galleries to be mobile friendly some time ago, the bulk of the site is unchanged for many years.  So maybe it’s time to take a look.

It’s soooo hard to choose pics for the web site.  Even harder to talk about yourself and what you do!

Can you make me look younger?

Of course I can, but are you sure that’s what you want?

None of us are as young as we used to be and it’s pretty common for someone getting a Professional Headshot taken to say something off-the-cuff about photoshop when we start the shoot.

That’s a pretty normal, self-concious reaction to being put under the lights.

But some people are serious: they want me to make them look younger.

Of course with Photoshop, anything is possible. But remember that a Profile Image is all about establishing trust. With age comes experience, wisdom and pragmatism. All good things for a professional in a service industry.

Also remember that at some stage, if you get your marketing right, this potential client is going to meet you in the flesh. If they discover they’ve been mislead by your profile image, how much more will they trust you?

Most of the work on an image is done in camera: lighting, posture, presentation, expression and engagement. I do just enough finishing in photoshop to make sure you look ‘your best’.

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More of Me

Some nice reaction to my last self-portrait post.

Now it’s Friday again and I’m messing with the studio set-up to give some more options for Business Headshots.  There’s a lot of them about at the moment.

So out with the Clamshell lighting.  A simple but effective beauty lighting: one light and a shiney reflector (in this case the triflector and stand).

And what Beauty is on hand to try it out?  Well just me actually.

Last time someone asked that I smiled a bit.  Trying to pull a natural smile on your own in a dark room isn’t easy but I tried.

Only that lovely clamshell lighting picked up all those wrinkles – I look like a pug!  Time for some delicate photoshop!!!

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One of these might actually work for a new profile image?  Text your votes now!

For the interested, I also tested out the tethered set-up for another job on next week.   This allowed me to trigger the camera remotely with the wireless mouse and review the images in Lightroom without leaving my seat.  I just had to trust the autofocus – which did a very good job at f2 on the 85mmf1.4.  You may also spot that I added a small backlight so I have a slightly better edge to my hairline in the later photos (click the image for the higher res version).  I just the Lowel video light but it’s hard to direct on your own.  The background is a dark pop-up but it’s getting no light so it’s gone practically black.  Liking the Black more and more…

Testing

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It pays to be prepared.  I have a Product Shoot tomorrow and my client wants to Direct.  That’s an ideal situation for me because there are hundreds of small design decisions made in a shoot like this and I’d much prefer getting direct input from a client who knows what they want rather than finding out later that they wanted something else.

But this kind of stuff is time-consuming so I set up the lights and the supports this evening so we’re ready to go.

The mood board supplied features a lot of textured products in shiney containers shot from directly above.  So I looked around the office to see what I had like that.

Lovely crema there lads.

What does your profile photo say about you?

My favourite part of LinkedIn is the ‘People You May Know’ page: a gallery of mug shots of everyone and anyone who has a connection to someone you’re already connected to.

A picture tells a thousand words.  So what do you see when you look at all these faces?

Who looks professional?  Who’s presenting themselves in a way consistent with the core values of their business.

Who do you trust?

Ultimately engaging with potential clients on-line is all about creating trust.  Whether we like it or not, people form judgements about you when they look at your profile picture.  It’s a skill we learn in early life and an important part of human relationships: ‘sussing someone out’; ‘reading a face’.

A good profile image can do that for you.  It’s more than ‘just a headshot’, it’s your opportunity to make a good first impression – and you never get a second chance.

So next time you’re perusing the ‘People You May Know’, look at your own profile image and ask yourself if it’s serving you as well as it should.

I shoot professional profile images on location and in the Studio.  We can discuss whether a formal or informal portrait would work best for your business and we’ll shoot a range of images so you can choose the best expression and presentation to camera.

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Special Selfie

A few strands came together yesterday:

After ripping my oldest white paper background in half on-site on Wednesday, I needed to check out a couple of studio paper backgrounds that I’d been given by another photographer.

So I hoisted the stand and unrolled them to see what they were like.

First off, after you got through the inevitable dirty bit at the bottom, the white one was actually in better shape than my old one (and much more there).  Result.

Then there was a black one.  Never used black.  It’s a little bent but most of it is good.

I wanted to see how the black would look.  There’s no one around to model it.  We’ll do a self portrait then.

Cue the second thread: I’ve been thinking about a self-portrait for a while.  Wondering how I’d like to photograph myself.  It is a very challenging task for a number of reasons:

  1. No one really likes pictures of themselves.  No one normal anyway
  2. I do this a lot for other people.  I know too much.
  3. I know lots of ways to take a portrait and have considered the whys and wherefores of each option.
  4. I know how small things change the way we read a face in a still image.  I know the work I put in to get that right in other people.
  5. I think way too much about this kind of thing.
  6. With all of the above, I expect to be judged by my own self-portrait (maybe I’m actually judging myself)

So all in all, it’s just not happening.

I’ve had a few ideas but not really progressed them.

Moreover I’ve enjoyed looking (and secretly mocking) other photographers’ attempts to do their own job on themselves.  Mysteriously, the majority seem to involve hiding behind a camera: “I’m a photographer, I must have a camera in my image”.  It seems to be some kind of rule.  And some photographers love rules.

Buy Why?  Does the camera define you?  Why do you hide?  When you look at the profile images on LinkedIn, why so only the photographers include their tools?  You don’t see dentists holding drills.  It’s rare even to see musicians holding instruments – and those that do don’t hide behind them.  So what’s the story?  Is it a secret code?  Some even hold them like they are some kind of weapon!

To me it demonstrates a woeful lack of comprehension of exactly what it is a profile image does.  From the people who should know the most – but maybe it’s just me that thinks about this stuff.  Maybe the other guys just take the photo.

But the arrival of the black background and 15 minutes spare finally started me off.

Perhaps it’s the complete randomness that got me started:  I never shoot on black; I hardly ever use studio light.  I’d imagined my self-portrait to be completely typical of my best work (soft natural light, shallow focus, blurred contextual background, engaged expression) and this was the exact opposite.

Of course the wasn’t much time and the wireless remote release wouldn’t work (again) so it’s just a very simple start with a plan for future iterations (which is very me): black background, one light, prime lens, self timer.   I only took a couple and some were out of focus (because of the self-timer thing).

And I need a hair cut.

But it’s not bad – considering the subject matter.

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