A lot of people think Glamour and Fashion photography is just a matter of turning up at an exotic location with a glamourous model and an expensive camera Wrong. Taking good pictures of beautiful women is a highly skilled art form (you also need a make-up artist and someone to make the tea / nip to the shops).
Based in San Diego, professional photographer Aaron Riveroll works for a number of big name clients and his photos are regularly published in magazines around the world. As part of Flush the Fashion’s Art Month we asked Aaron what it takes to be a success in this line of work.
It’s a tough job but someone has got to do it….
How long have you been taking photos?
Professionally, I’ve been taking photos for about 5 years. It all started when my dad bought me my first dSLR…and when a co-worker found out I had a camera and knew how to use it, she asked me to help her with her modeling portfolio…and then it took off from there.
Did you always want to be a photographer?
Actually, no. I went to college to be a high school music teacher (no surprise, one of my favorite shows is Glee). I still have a passion for music and vocal arts…but sort of realized that anything artistic is a great outlet…and being able to share it with other people is all part of the fun.
Are you still learning new things?
Absolutely. I think that the drive to always be better is what makes agreat…anything. The motto I always live by is to try something new at every photo shoot…and to at least try and be better than the last time. The moment I think I know everything is the moment I need to put away the camera and stop shooting. I’m pretty confident, however, that will never happen…there are far too many great photographers out there pushing the envelope and raising the bar…and I need to keep on trying to reach it.
Do you use a digital camera?
I do. I’m a Canon guy.
How much do you rely on Photoshop to get the final result?
I think like anything in my camera bag, Photoshop is a great tool…but it shouldn’t be a crutch. In glamour photography, retouching is essential to get that polished look…but I believe in the “less is more” theory. Get it right in the camera, have an amazing makeup artist, and it means less work in post (production).
What is the best thing about your job?
Getting to be creative and sharing that passion with like-minded individuals. And, of course, meeting and working with amazing, beautiful people.
Do you have any good techniques for relaxing models?
I just be myself. I’m not gonna lie, I’m sort of a dork…and I have a very unusual sense of humor. But I’m also really laid back and I don’t let a lot of stuff bother me…so I think when people see that there isn’t any stress involved in what we’re doing, they let their guard down and drop their walls and realize they can be themselves too…confident, sexy, and maybe a little dorky too. And that’s when I’m able to get THE shot.
Where is your favorite location to take photos?
I love shooting anywhere interesting. Honestly, I HATE shooting in studios. Even though it’s more controlled and reliable, it can be a little stifling from a creative standpoint. I like a challenge. I like not knowing what I’m getting into and playing around with what is given to me.
I love shooting at the beach for that exact reason. You never know what the sky is going to look like, how bright the sun is going to be, or even if the high tide will give you any sand to shoot on.
Pushing your skills like that makes you better because it makes you think a little bit…and even if you have a “system” or go-to lighting scenario, things can change very fast and you need to be able to adapt and work with what you have.
Do you have any tips for beginners?
Learn the basics. You can have all the fancy equipment in the world…but something is to be said for being able to take a great picture with just your camera and the light that is around you.
Learn how to manipulate available light and learn how use your camera in different scenarios. Once you learn the fundamentals, you can pretty much light and shoot anything. And that’s when the crazy fun begins.
Do you ever got bored of taking photos of beautiful women?
Not at all. 🙂
All pics © copyright Aaron Riveroll.
Aaron also keeps a great blog with info from his latest shoots here www.aaronriveroll.com