by Panikos Hajistilly Published 01/12/2016
My next favourite lighting set-up is using window light with a V Flat reflector bouncing some light back into the shadow areas of the face. This is probably my top seller. I’ve had many mums and dads gasp with delight (and some tears) when they saw their little ones faces projected on the screen during the viewing when they’ve been lit in this way.
I really enjoy doing model shoots in my studio too, both male and female, which is where I can play around and be a bit more creative. This provided the opportunity to create some rather nice images that have done quite well for me in competitions. And it is the combination of natural light and studio light that works so well for many of these photos. It was only a few years ago, after selling my Venture studio that 'I saw the light', and began to understand the quality of light, recognise good light, its characteristics and how to create different lighting styles on my subjects. Regrettably there are many 'men and women with cameras' who wouldn’t know good light if it slapped them in the face!
Attending photography groups such as the London Portrait Group, and the London and Essex Group has improved my photography immensely.
Listening to different speakers every month, looking at different styles of work, entering competitions and critiques on a regular basis and getting feedback - positive and negative - on my images has helped me make great strides in my photography. I have also attended many training courses and workshops as well as being mentored by people such as Martin Grahame-Dunn and Paul Wilkinson. They gave me great feedback when going for my Associateship, which I got earlier this year, and this made me very proud indeed, so a HUGE thanks to them!
So, my love for photography has never waned, even after 25 years of camera repairs, and running a studio for 14 more! I love the artistic side of photography, but anyone who knows me will know very well that I can get pretty technical, deeply technical, but I’m always able to put myself across with simplicity and that’s what helps me teach photography very well, at least that’s what my students tell me!
However, portraits aren’t the only string to my bow. I also love landscapes and adore wildlife photography, which give me that extra buzz, that’s the icing on the cake for me, going to beautiful places, enjoying creation and capturing it in my camera. I’d love to share my landscape and wildlife experiences with you, but they are stories for another time!
So what can you learn from my experiences? If photography is your passion, don’t give up, stay determined and you will make it!
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