Monday, September 30, 2013

#3 Post Production Day

Recovering today from the Graveyard shoot. I was on my feet for about 6 hours straight and that takes me a while to recover from. I have to be ready by Wednesday as I'm shooting Meagan Williams wedding in the late afternoon. This should be fun as she is a great model and use to being in front of a camera and will know just what she wants! I've shot her and her fiance Tim together before as I took some engagement photos for them in a park a few weeks ago. Tim is a great guy and so this will be one of the easier weddings to shoot, I'm guessing. I've not shot very many weddings but the ones I have shot got some great images and everyone was excited about them. I don't advertise that I'm a wedding photographer but I get enough of them to do just from referrals from models I've shot. In fact I have another one on a beach this coming Sunday. Shooting weddings is very stressful, mainly because they want you in so many directions at once. The smaller weddings are much easier since you can just stay in one place and catch everything. The more relaxed everyone is the better. And if they trust me to do my job I can just breeze through it in most cases. I know what shots need to be grabbed, and I know the shots I'd like to do for the couple. Finding the time to just get some great shots of the wedding couple is the problem. It's come to my attention that some wedding photographers take the bride out in full dress days before the wedding and get some of the most fantastic shots that are later used in the photo book of the entire wedding. I'm going to suggest that to brides I shoot in the future.

Here are a few more of the shots I took yesterday at the graveyard:



When shooting the tombstones the cemetery wants to make sure we change the names on them. I usually put a celebrity name or my own name or someone from the shoot. This was my 3rd time shooting at this location. We were able to shoot in the mausoleum the first time I was there, the second time it was locked. This time they said we could shoot in there but once I went in they said I could only shoot in the doorway area. Once I went to do that and they made me stop. Then they locked the front gate making it hard for us to get our stuff out as we then had to carry everything way out the back gate. Not sure why they were being such a pain this time. They also had a guy just sitting and watching us the whole shoot and they'd never done this before either. They didn't stop us from doing anything else though.

We had 7 photographers and 5 models at this event. Not counting me, and co-host Jay and his wife Heather. Also Tim, a professional animal trainer brought his wolf : Willow Wolf to the shoot. I posted one with the wolf in the post before this one. The wolf was very nice and calm, and a couple of times it moved over to the models face and scared me but it only wanted to lick them!

I'll be posting even more shots today as I'm mostly just working on photos as I'm too sore to walk around much. I'm planning to be very busy this coming week and weekend.....Wednesday is the Meagan wedding I mentioned above, then Thursday is a shoot at the ARTWALK that they have the first Thursday of each month in Riverside, CA. It'll be a free shoot for my UUUP meet up group. We use this one as a sort of meet and greet, where members can meet me and Jay the organizers of the group, and we hand out biz cards....some models do join in usually and we shoot them all around this 100 year old building that was once a YMCA. Now it's called the Life Arts Building and houses lots of artist studios. On this ARTWALK day they open their doors and we can see what they are working on! This event covers other streets with art for sale. Then on Friday I collapse.....then Saturday I'm attending a wedding (not shooting this one) with my wife Bonnie as it's a co-worker that is getting married on a cruise ship. It was a package deal so everything was included. I have to dress up in a suit coat otherwise this should be fun. Sunday I'm shooting another wedding this time near a beach so that will be interesting. I've only met the bride to be once, and she seemed very nice, and her mother also easy to work with so far. It should go smoothly.

Photo Tip: When shooting models back up.....if you get too much of the background into the shot just crop it in closer later. If you are in too close you can't back up later in post production. You can add some background elements later but it's way harder than simply backing up at the shoot. Plus if you have the camera tilted too much during the shot and want to straighten it back up in post you have a much easier time of doing this if there is extra background to use. Also when shooting with 50mm to 2.8mm out for wide angle distortion. If you are shooting wide angle and too close to a models face for instance the rest of her body will be out of proportion to her head. When I have to shoot less than 50mm I always lower my camera to about their waist as to keep the proportions more even from head to foot of the model. If I do take liberties it's that I'll go way lower and shoot up as this will have them a bit out of proportion but I like the fact it makes them look way taller. So it's a trade off.

Feel free to comment and if you have a photo you'd like for me to post and comment on email it to I can help you make better photos!

Go out and shoot! Every time you do you get a bit better at it! Don't forget to search for anything on the internet you need/want to's all there! And YouTube is a great source of help as well!
My site is:

#2 Another Successful IEMPG Shoot!

Well, I got back from my Ghostly Apparitions shoot in a cemetery with 5 models and a live wolf, in time to watch the last episode of Breaking Bad. Loved that series.

Here is a shot from today:
This is model and master cosplayer Jessie Cook! We had 7 photographers there, not including me, Jay Boivin and his wife Heather who co-hosted the event with me. It's the Inland Empire Models & Photographers Group (IEMPG). We had a blast shooting girls in gothic attire....gas masks, black wings and I paint model Olivia's face green for a witch look she was going for!

I'll be posting these up on the IEMPG site and also on my Facebook area. Tomorrow I plan to work on many more. I'm pretty sure my favorite theme that we shoot is this dark, horror look....I like the challange of taking these shots before dark but making them look like dead of night!

I shot today with my Silver Beauty dish with cover over it to diffuse it even more, and a small flash on the side for some high light or rim light effect. I should of done more lighting of the background elements but didn't think of this at the time....sometimes if the model is in dark clothes just lighting the wall behind them will bring them out more than trying to light them more from the side or back. Anyway, I'll be adding a few more here as I go along. 

Here is one of model Kat Sheridan and Willow the Wolf!
Ted the owner and trainer of Willow said that Willow has been in many movies and TV shows so he's a bit of a star. I also got a few shots of Kat/Willow/Ted all together that I'll post tomorrow. 

These were shot with a Nikon D4, and mostly today I was using my 70-200 lens to try and blur out the backgrounds more. I had plenty of room to back up so this worked pretty well. The first half of the shoot I was using my 24-70 2.8. It does a great job as well especially when I'm up close and trying to get the full body in head to toe. I got out the 70-200 to do some portrait like shots and just keep shooting with it the rest of the shoot.

Well, it's late and I'll have more to say tomorrow....

Have fun and keep shooting!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

#1 First Posting of the Master Photography Blog

First Posting for this New Blog!

Let's see how long I can keep this up! Anyone placing bets?

I'm Allen Freeman and I'm not a master photographer. The tile of this blog is basically, or should be: How to Master Photography.....but, well, maybe someday this blog will be so darn awesome that it will be the MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG...or long as you learn one thing from all this then it was worth it for me to keep posting here.

Frist about me. I'm Allen and I've been interested in photography since my dad handed me his 8mm camcorder (Kodak) when I was about 8 years old and said, "Here, film me and your mom and then pan it across this waterway...." I'm What....hold this and what.....

I also saw my dad taking photos and having cameras as a hobby that he enjoyed since he was in high school. Here is one of his photos he took in the 50's of his sister. I love this shot and I scanned it in and cleaned it up from a small original print.

I also like the fact that from this shot we know it was taken around September 6th, 1954!

My dad was mostly shooting slide film and all his slides look as good now as they did when he took them. Which is cool. He never lost a shot to a hard drive crashing....just saying....

I mostly started out in my teens shooting movies with that 8mm camera that my dad had (He bought it around my birthday in 1956 with the projector and the blinding lights that were needed to shoot with indoors.) Mostly shooting my friends fake fighting, or a mini crime drama, etc...a bike chase....this eventually turned into more serious movie making with a friend in HS but after shooting a lot of expensive footage he realized that editing all this was too hard. He had film hanging down from his basement ceiling, I saw on the day he gave up. 

OK, too much detail. I'll flash forward to when I went to college and I was using my dad's camera that his brother gave him when my Uncle Joe came back from WWII where he mostly typed in an office and took photos with this Kodak Retina he bought over there. (I have this camera now in my photo studio). My first photo class was pretty awesome as it was not a teacher for the class but an experienced LIFE photographer who ran the class. I can't remember his name but he did a huge spread for LIFE in a prison. He told us how he was deep into the heart of this place when he looked up and realized the guards had wondered off and he was surrounded by the inmates. He slowly lowered his camera and walked out. He was fine, but scared. 

I'll be posting a lot more (too much?) about me and my early days of photography with some examples of my early work and tell you why it was so bad. I'll try and critique my work and yours if you send me anything and are brave enough for me to look it over and post here about it. You can email me a photo (web size is fine, 100 dpi) at:

In the mean time visit my web site at

More here tonight as I'm about to go to a photo shoot with my IEMPG group, more about all that later. Here is an ad I posted about this shoot I'm doing in a Graveyard today.....
Email me questions you have about me or photography or about your photos...I'm here to help out. Oh, and before I go for today......I have 30+ years of graphic art experience (will post some of that along the way) and extensive photography experience mostly with shooting models in the last 3 years. I have a full time photo studio in Ontario, CA.

----Allen (9-29-13)