Five Elements of Control: #5 Composition


You knew it had to come back to composition, right?  I know, everyone is screaming by now “But Jason, you’ve talked about the Rule of Thirds until the cows literally came home!”  Truth be told though, most people think about composition positioning with their subject matter.  It’s true that subjects are ideally placed on a hot spot or along one of the grid lines in the ROT grid. But you can break the rules too, ya know!  I say, put anything you want on a grid spot.  Or don’t have a specific point of interest!  Make the subject of your photo the space! Negative space, as previously mentioned, can be a powerful thing! Read more

Photography and Morality


I was doing some portrait work for some local friends/clients (they’re getting holiday pictures done) and it involved both group and individual shots.  The group was two parents, their dogs, and a couple kids ages ranging from 13-18.  Group shots were done and we segued into the individual shots.  The plan was to have the kids go first in order of youngest to oldest (attention and interest in participating drops exponentially the younger you get…) when a touchy subject centering on photography and morality hit me square in the face.

The Background

So, out comes the 13 year old in her holiday outfit and we start doing a couple different posed sequences.  Then, to keep the mood light and fun, I said “Let’s do a few silly shots…make some goofy faces and just have a little fun”  Next thing I know this 13-year old is trying to strike this seductive-like pose – hand on hip, chest thrust out, head back and her tongue just waggling out of her mouth.  I stopped the shoot and asked the parents to step in.

The Reaction

They were all laughing and I said that this wasn’t really all that funny – we all know what that kinda pose means, right?  Is it funny for a 13y.o. to be suggesting she is into…uh…that?  I think it started with Miley Cyrus when she got all slutty, and it went viral from there…and I didn’t want to produce photos of that nature.  The parents looked at me rather shocked for a second, and said they were done and packed up to leave.  I got paid the sitting fee for the session, but suffice to say, no prints were ordered or were any provided.  They’ve also not been very reachable socially since.  I’ve offended them on some level…by not letting their kids pose like this:


But to me, I would rather not produce photos that depict women – much less young kids! – in such a light (and this is one of the tamest ones she has out there – you’ve probably all seen the more, well, slutty ones…).  I was rather shocked myself that the parents were ok with that…and yet they are upset with me.

The Quandry

Is my morality conflicting with society?  Would you have completed the shoot?  Where does your photography end and your morality begin?  Can the two co-exist?

Photography Apps for the Smartphone, Part 2

Earlier this week, I started diving back into active blogging with a review/write-up of a smartphone app called SetMyCamPro.  You can read more about it here, but I’d like to continue the theme of some photo app reviews, because the best camera truly is the one you have with you, and for most of us, that happens to be the camera built into our phones.  With practice and a photographic eye, you can get some pretty excellent images from these cameras.  Case in point, here’s one I got of an Ohio sunset just a few nights ago:

Ohio Sunset
Ohio Sunset

Granted, not going to win any contests, but something worth remembering for me.  Anyway, enough of the shot that I took, instead it’s time to dive into the second App I am reviewing here on the blog.

I actually reviewed this app before but it was part of a promotional giveaway article for the vendor – and it’s called Easy Release!  The concept is pretty simply – use your phone, ipod or iPad screen to generate a model or property release, have the individual sign from your touch-sensitive device (which most phones are these days anyway), and you’re done.  It’s a handy app to have for those “on the go” kinds of shoots where it’s not in a studio, or something last minute.  For those, you’d probably want to have a more professional setup in place with actual pens and papers to have clients sign off on.  (In addition to an event contract, licensing and usage, and much more.  In fact, I have a two-Ebook combo that gives you all the paperwork you need to get started in photography, including model releases (adult and minor), event contracts, and a how-to guide…you can get it here for only $30:

Add to Cart

Now, for those that prefer the digital mobile on-the-go style of releases for your business, then let’s dig into Easy Release!

On downloading it, the first thing you’ll want to do is configure add an image or logo of your business to your device – this is to add it to your logo/branding to the header that will be used when emailing a copy of the signed release to your clients! (Yes, that’s right, you can email them a copy right from your phone!)  If you want to set up multiple brands, the option is there from their Pro Pack (only $3.99), but if one is enough, then you are set with just the base one in the app.  Enter your logo, the company name, and your contact info, and that’s all you need:

Photo Jul 31, 8 11 23 AM





The rest is pretty straightforward – you’re simply selecting the release type (model or property), taking the image, and then the most tedious part – where you enter all their contact information, including phone, address, email, and other pertinent data.  For my own two cents, I wish they would add the option of making an audio recording of this data for later transcription so you can get to the signing quicker.  I’ve gotten fairly proficient at creating these, and actually used it on more occasions than I can count off the top of my head – probably in the scores by now (that’s 20’s for those speaking in layman terms!  LOL).

You can check out the app on the iTunes or Android Google Play stores here and here.  No commissions to be had by me here, so feel free to either buy or go another route, but I think this is the benchmark that any digital model release has to stand up to, because these guys are top notch!  This is, of course only my opinion, so I’d like to open the floor to others.  What are your experiences with Easy Relase?  What about alternatives?  Are they cross-platform supported like this is (Android and iPhone)?  I know it’s a bit pricier than the average app, but for a working professional, the cost does seem justified to get something this robust and portable.

To that end, I am also open to suggestions for additional apps to review.  I’ve got 3 more in the bank, but that doesn’t mean we can’t re-visit later if needed.  Throw your suggestions for other apps in the comments section too, and I’ll add to the list!  Have a great weekend everyone and keep on shooting!