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Jay Smith
Boston, MA

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The Allure of Film Photography

Post-processing at the computer for hours on end often leaves me feeling nostalgic. Maybe there’s something tangible to film photography that I’m overlooking. After seeing a fellow landscape photographer working his 4x5 near a tree in the local dunes, his approach to our hobby had me contemplating my choice of hardware. There are so many analog-inspired pictures circling the web, that it’s obvious that I’m not the only one. Today, I want to share my thoughts on film photography with you.

The Best Piece of Equipment To Improve Your Star Photography

Improving night photography is an ever closing gap riddled with tech-tips, tricks, and expensive gear. The Star Adventurer by Sky Watcher-USA seeks to be the reasonably, all-in-one option to improve your starscape photography. The built-in tracking head and accompanying accessories are the perfect companion to viewing and photographing the night’s sky.

ISO Review: Capture the Night Sky with the ISO-less Nikon D750

The clear night sky under a new moon is almost always the same brightness in the same location. I have blindly put my camera on ISO 6400 as a result. But after having read somewhere that Sony supposedly builds sensors that are ISO invariant, I wanted to test this claim with my own Sony-equipped Nikon D750.

Tips on Boudoir Photography for the Minimalists

Over the years as a boudoir photographer, I have noticed a theme when it comes to new shooters about the "restrictions" they come across. Countless times I hear or read, "I wish I could upgrade my gear," "I just do not have a commercial space," or my favorite, "I just cannot afford to have all those set ups." Well quite frankly, that is a load of bull.

A Few Tips on Astrophotography and How to Capture Stars at Night

Even though I am not a landscape photographer and I have never attempted any sort of astrophotography, I have always appreciated beautiful photographs of nightscapes. Recently, I borrowed the new Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD lens and tried to photograph an interesting night scene here in Charleston. Truth be told, it was quite the learning experience. In this video, I will share my first ever approach to shooting the night sky and hopefully give you a few things to think about when tackling this interesting genre of photography.

How I Try to Now Avoid The Most Obvious Approaches on Set

It can been said that according to Occam's Razor, the simplest solution to a complex problem is usually the correct one. That's all well and good in logic and philosophy, but when it comes to art, solving problems is hardly the priority. Or rather, it shouldn't be. This is why my motivation of late is steeped in the mantra of "How do I eschew my usual, or anyone else's for that matter?" when I walk onto a set.

Four Ways to Connect With Your Model

So you found the perfect model for your concept, reached out to him or her, agreed on a date, showed up at the location, and are about ready to shoot. You have never met this person in your life. Now what? We have all seen those unfortunate shots taken by our fellow photographers where the client or model looks wildly uncomfortable. We want our models to look at ease in every frame, and this can be accomplished by following these four simple steps.

Why You May Not Be A Boudoir Photographer Even Though You Think You Are

Recently, a fellow photographer (who shall remain nameless) posted a rather beautiful image on his social media, and added "Shot a little bit of boudoir this weekend..." as the caption. This made me take pause and ponder about what boudoir is, or rather is supposed to be, and how it could very well be the most misunderstood labels in portraiture.

How to Not Be a Creepy Photographer

This is a post for all the dude photographers out there. I really don't want to be writing this, because I don't think it should have to be said, but apparently it does. This post is simply a call and reminder to treat your models with the respect that they deserve. I want to talk about respecting your subject's boundaries in general, but I also want to address the psychological part within men's minds that makes them want to see women naked.

Get Yourself Prepared To Shoot Swimwear Model Photography This Summer

We've had one hell of a cold, long winter this year here in North America. On top of that, I live in Houston, Texas, so this business of freezing rain in March can go die in a fire already. I enjoyed shooting moody styles outside during this extended drabness in recent months, if I'm honest. However, sunny days are coming and I couldn't happier it because summer means outdoor swimwear projects begin, which is one of my favorite styles to shoot. However, having been so bleak for so long this winter, have you gotten yourself prepped for this most popular of fashion and glamour photography seasons?

Five Things Every Model Should Do Before a Shoot

When working with models, photographers often expect someone with perfect skin and a great physique. In reality, this is not always the case. Some models have no idea how to get ready for a shoot, and that can be really annoying -- especially in post production, as it might add a lot of retouching time!

Shooting Glamour Models with Exotic Cars

The most common request I get via email and social media is "How do you shoot exotic cars with glamour models?". I have actually held two classes on this very subject, both in Houston in 2012 and 2013, but have yet to ever discuss it online anywhere. So, in lieu of a full online class on the subject, I've recently documented how I went about my most recent project in Houston with Chicago model Amanda Paris and a trio of European exotics at Potresse Automotive, and I will discuss a few past projects as well.

Wait, What is Glamour Photography Again?

It is easily one of the most vilified and stigma'd genres in photography, and the one genre that provokes the most ire from its critics. Difficult to define and even harder to describe to someone accurately, one could also argue that it's the one photography category with the most people, mostly men, who are involved "for all the wrong reasons". In short, some people loathe glamour photography. But, is the reputation deserved? And what the heck is this glamour photography thing anyway?

Michael Grecco Teaches How To Photograph A Sexy Swimsuit Dramatic Portrait

During our 2014 Fstoppers Workshops in the Bahamas students had the privilege of watching 10 successful photographers share their top photographic techniques. Commercial and celebrity portrait photographer Michael Grecco taught classes on environmental portraiture and sexy swimwear photography, so of course we thought it would be awesome to tag along as Michael explained some of the tips that make his portraits so unique.

A Lingerie Photographer Takes us Back to the Basics (NSFW)

Too often people view lingerie or nude photography superficially and fail to see the photographic beauty behind it. While this stereotype is unjust, it’s also understandable. Too many photos of this genre forego the beauty and focus solely on tasteless sensuality. By sticking to the basics of what makes a compelling image, fellow Toronto based photographer Billie Chiasson reminds us just how tasteful and beautiful lingerie photography can be.

Some of the Best Photos of the Night Sky, and How to Make Your Own

The night sky is an astounding phenomenon that fascinates almost every individual. Stars have been around for thousands of years and yet, humankind is still mesmerized by their beauty. Despite the distance, we have such a strong connection and love for these great unknown entities. Capturing the magnificence of the night sky is highly rewarding and can be an exciting process as well.

Shooting Body Details With A One Light Set-Up

Follow Michael Zelbel from SmokingStrobes.com as he shows you how to light isolated body parts of your model in an stunning and artistic way using only a one light set-up. He uses just a shoot-through umbrella and a speedlight at a quarter of the power. So, the next time you're searching for an easy set-up to capture some simple low light bodyscapes look no further.

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