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Redefining Beauty: Women with Ink

12 Dec

inked photography by AG PhotographyPhotograph by AG Photography

Women with Tattoos

Traditional wisdom and most of the popular media today tells us what is beauty. We are bombarded with it every time we turn on the TV or go through the grocery store checkout line and see all of the beauty magazines. The ideal image is the the perfect woman is different to many, and today a new form of beauty is emerging. This is ink. Expressing yourself through tattoos can be both beautiful and creative artwork on your skin. What once was reserved for outcast and punks is now commonplace. One poll actually showed that 59 percent of women have tattoos. A number that has even surpassed men, of which only 40 percent of have.

Now that the majority of women actually have some ink on their body what does that mean for the public perception of women with tattoos, and is there a thing as too much? There really is no hard answer, but one thing is for certain, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there is a growing number of eyes that think ink is beautiful.

There are even a growing number of celebrities that are getting tattoos, such as: Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Katy Perry. Yet the list does not stop, but even continues on to even include the former Disney stars such as Miley Cyrus. With all of this attention it mean that ink as a form of expression is growing and becoming more ingrained into the popular culture of the world. While the number of people using ink to express themselves has grown over the years, if you think back only a little while, this was not always the story. Many businesses even still discriminate against hiring people with tattoos, both legally and illegally. Just ask yourself when was the last time you saw a banker or powerful business woman with a visible tattoo, you probably can’t.

Photographing Ink

Just because tattoos may not be ideal for the woman trying to make it in the world of business, it doesn’t shut all doors. One industry in particular is now wide open for those of the fairer sex with ink. This is the fashion industry. Sure there are still a lot of gigs that want the typical model type, but there is also a growing number of publication designed specifically to show of their artwork on their skin. Obviously there some of the bigger ones are Inked Magazine or Inked Girls, but there are also tons of places on the internet for models that are not afraid to show of their ink. Also if you have a lot of tattoos and would like to get into modeling, I’m sure that there are tons of great photographers that are always looking for that edge in their work.

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Does a Photographer Need an Agent

28 Nov

Does a photographer need an agent?

That depends.  Photographers come in a wide variety and range of talents.  With the immense growth of photographers since the advent of the DSLR cameras and the rise of social networking sites it really seems like everyone with an expensive camera decides to call themselves a photographer.  My first word of advice is do not listen to what everyone is telling you and take some time to really evaluate your work.  Many new photographers get an exaggerated sense of their own ability and believe that they are immediately ready for the big time. Just because your friends and family think your work is amazing don’t go out seeking an agent right away.

The department of labor reports that the average photographer earns about $29,000 a year, but this is almost surely slightly exaggerated because of the numerous photographers that probably don’t pay taxes.  That said there are a lot of starving photographers, just as there are starving actors.  It is going to take some real talent to get noticed.  Now the average photographer is probably in the business of what the industry calls meat and potato photography.  This is your typical senior portraits, weddings, events, family portraits, and even boudoir photography (which is not always that glamorous).  If this is the type of photography that you are interested in shooting then you probably don’t really need an agent, but you do need a good plan to market yourself.  When it comes to this kind of work it really seems that it is much more who you know in town than what your talent level is.  So go out shoot, and build up a base of clients that will help you with the word of mouth marketing.

So who does need an agent? 

Fashion photographers.  If you are looking to actually make money shooting fashion photography then it is almost a must.  There are a ton of photographers on sites such as Model Mayhem and other sites that work mostly on a TF basis.  This type of work is great to help build up your portfolio, but when it comes down to it, it does not pay.  If you are a fashion photographer, lets face it your probably more artistic than you are business minded.  In order to book a top paying client you are going to need to get an agent, and they are not going to come to you.  If you want representation you are going to have to track down an agent, probably in a major city like Los Angeles, New York, or London.   Once you find one it is likely that they already have about a dozen photographers on the books so the search will be a long one, but if you are persistent and have a great portfolio you should be able to get noticed.

Let me know what your thoughts are?  Have you had any success stories with finding an Agent?

Hair and Make-up – Fashion Photography.

23 Nov

When doing a fashion shoot one thing is true, hair and make-up can make or break the shoot. Having a great fashion photographer and an outstanding model is one thing, but when you really want to kick it up a notch a photo shoot can quickly become a full scale production.  Don’t get me wrong, the photographer and model are essential, but you can get an entire different look and feel when hair and make-up are used to enhance the shoot.  Below are some pictures taken by one of my favorite photographers: AG Photography.

fashion photography by AG Photography

fashion photography by AG Photography

fashion photography by AG Photography

fashion photography by AG Photography

fashion photography by AG Photography

I just wanted to share some of these photos because I think they really show the creative side of fashion photography.  So if you are an aspiring photographer or model, just remember, taking a great picture really takes a team of people coming together to show their creativity through their own mediums.

AG Photography has moved to Sierra Vista, Arizona

20 Nov

Fashion photographer Ashley Gompert has changed locations to Sierra Vista, AZ.  If you have not already seen some of her work you must check out her fashion photography portfolio online at AG Photography.  AG has been recognized as an excellent photographer and has been published in numerous fashion magazines.  When AG is behind the camera you know that what comes out will be a work of art.  In addition to just shooting models and fashion, AG is also comfortable with weddings, senior portriats, and boudoir photography.

Here are a couple works of art from her photography portfolio:

 

Fashion Photography by AG

 

Fashion Photography by AG

How to Photoshop Yourself Into an Avatar

8 Feb

This was originally posted by my wife Ashley Gompert.

Everyone who has seen the new movie Avatar has fallen in love with the characters. Written and directed by James Cameron, the modern day Pocahontas story with 8 foot tall, sexy, blue aliens made 504,868,451 in the box office, has the critics favors, such as the Chicago Sun Times famous critic Robert Ebert called it “…an extraordinary film” , and created quite a large base of fan art. The latest rave: Photoshopping yourself into an avatar!

Fans are swarming forums trying to find out for themselves how to do this. Well, this examiner is pretty handy with photoshop, and I am going to teach you how!

Step one!

Choose a good quality photo of yourself. It should show your face clearly without pixelation or blown out portions due to lighting. Always remember, you lose pixels with photo manipulation, so when editing you want to work with as many pixels to start with as you can.

Step two!

Drag the background layer to the “new layer” icon to create a copy layer. Rename that layer “color” or simply “blue”. It’s always a good idea to get in the habit of naming your layers. Select the “brush” tool and change the brush mode from normal to color and drag the occupancy down to about 50%. Then search google for pictures or screenshots of the avatar characters, and save one to your computer so that you can open it in photoshop. Use the eyedropper tool to select the color of the real avatar, and then carefully color in your face and skin. Then use a shade of red to dye the lips, and a shade of yellow to dye the eyes.

Here’s what we got so far!

Ok, step three!

The ears can be tricky. Use the  “Polygonal Lasso Tool” to copy the ears from the screenshot you took and place it onto your image. You may have to pay a bit with the size of positioning.

Step four!

The hardest part is the nose. Open the “liquefy” tool under the “filter” menu and mold the nose using the screen shot as a reference. This can be quite difficult, so make short small changes at a time. Once you’ve got the nose to your liking, select the “brush” tool again, and change the mode to “darken” and pull the occupancy down to about 15-20%. Then carefully brush in the lower part of the nose to make it darker.

Step Five!

Flatten the image, and then create another background copy. Label this one “darken”. Then change the layer mode to “darken” and create a layer mask by clicking the layer mask button. Then, with the brush tool selected, change the color to black, and the foreground color to white. Select the layer mask, and brush back in the background, clothes, eyes, mouth, and hair, leaving only the skin darkened.

Create a new blank layer and name it stripes. Then, with the brush mode to “color” and the occupancy at about 15%, carefully brush in stripes on the skin.

Then create another new layer and name it specks. Change the brush mode to “vivid light” and pull the occupancy up to 25%. Then, sporadicly place specks around the face concentrating on the nose and cheeks.

And there you have it!  You have successfully created your “avatar!”

Author: Ashley Gompert – Anchorage Alaska Photography Examiner, Follow Ashley on twitter , become a fan of her work on Facebook , and friend her on Myspace