A comment on the photos above. All of these are HIGHLY compressed in order to follow Goggle's requirements for fast loading on mobile devices. As a result the quality may suffer immensely. Go here to see these image with low compression and behind the scenes info.
This sexy advertising Beauty photo was shot in the apartment in Milan, Italy in 2008. Since the Covid 19 Virus has stopped most work and kept most of us in the house, I have been going back to "The Vault" to re-visit some of my old work. I remember what I shot with Julia because I had used it in the past. While looking for another image, I saw these images and selected 2 out of the 9 horizontal images I had shot using this background.
This advertising Beauty video project of a model shot in Milan, Italy in a private home using window light and a Sunbounce Pro Reflector. Teodora had close to perfect skin and moved wonderfully.
This commercial beauty video was shot near Atlanta, GA. Almost always, if there is going to be wind, it will be in the wrong direction... click/tap image for the rest of the story.
These "Painted Eye" advertising beauty photographs of Ashlyn, a fabulous model, were shot near Atlanta, GA in a private home. The "Problem" for the top shot was... click/tap image for the rest of the story.
These photographs were shot close to Atlanta in, for here, a rare fog at late twilight. Fog so rarely happens it is an event around these parts. I was driving back from North Georgia USA (Marble Hill) and saw the top image and pulled off the street... click/tap image for the rest of the story.
This Advertising Cowboy image was shot in Colorado in a driving rainstorm with pea sized hail in early July. We were at the corral enjoying the 80° weather with blue sky on one side and the rain started on the other side. Within a minute the temperature dropped and it started to rain very hard and the cowboy asked if we were going to shoot and I said "yes"... click/tap image for the rest of the story.
This Beauty "video" was shot in a private home near Atlanta, GA. For light I used an Aputure 300d LED light inside a round softbox.
This commercial advertising business image was shot in downtown New Orleans just before sunset and then the N.O. police showed up. Oh the joy!
I had scouted for a location like this. I wanted to shoot into the sun, meaning the street had to run very close to east west, with a clear shot to the sun late in the day, meaning tall trees or buildings would interfere. Plus I wanted a wide road and with car traffic for the background element and a traffic light to stop traffic. This was the perfect location. Go here to read the rest of the story, what the police did and see the large image.
These fashion and beauty advertising photographs were shot near Atlanta, GA.
The shots are originally scouting snapshots that I have "Finished". Whenever I have extra time in Italy, I location scout. A lot of this is during "Weather' days, meaning I'm not shooting for a client or for my portfolio. Either Emiliano or I'll load the van and drive usually to Como and the area around Lake Como.
By having a large library of scout images I can show my clients locations that fit their needs. This allows me to logistically design a shoot that gets what they are looking for and be time efficient. These are originally scouting images that I "Worked" on to make them a bit special.
This advertising Cowboy lifestyle photograph was shot in Colorado in the snow. With the cowboy pushing 19 horses, who like to run especially when it is cold, you can expect a great shot if you are in the right place.
This fashion editorial style advertising photography and video was shot in Milan Italy at what was a large industrial complex converted into loft spaces. Yana, the model, had arrived in Milan 2 days before from Ukraine. She has been modeling for about a year and has worked in Japan and Taiwan. She is a very accomplished model at age 15 and we were very happy she was available to shoot.
This fashion photography advertising project was shot in front of the Purple Door in Atlanta, Georgia USA. Hailey is a good moving model with a great attitude, look and shape.
This commercial lifestyle fishing advertising photograph was shot on Piney Lake in Colorado USA. Dave, the fisherman, ask me if I wanted to go. I knew the light was going to be less than thrilling but I went. I squeezed into the bow and got as low as I could and I noticed the dog was taking interest in something and realized this was going to be a cool image. I had no clue just how cool when later I discovered... go here for the rest!
Merry Christmas! This snowy winter scene is brightened by a Christmas tree in the distance.
This advertising cowboy lifestyle project video/stills of Cowboys pushing Longhorn cows in the snow was shot in Colorado on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, about a 30 minute drive west from Vail.
This personal project started in the carport and I noticed some leafs in a bucket. I realized one of them, actually 2 that were connected, looked pretty cool. So I shot them for about 90 minutes.
This Commercial advertising Fashion photography project was shot in Como, Italy inside an aircraft hanger for Scully Leather, an American fashion house. We shot the first part of this project in Milan, Italy. As I always try to do, I wanted to shoot something extra for my client above and beyond what I was being paid for. My original plan was to shoot all of the garments on the 1st location, a cool farm in Milan, then drive to Como to have lunch at my favorite restaurant in Como, then shoot the "Extra" images.
Unfortunately the shoot ran an hour longer than I planed and we could not make it before the restaurant closed. So we loaded up and started to drive to Como and Kassandra, my makeup artist, suggested we stop at the Auto Grill on the way. The Auto Grill is on the Autostrada (Similar to our Interstate system of limited access highways) and they sell gasoline, diesel, oil and also have a bar or a cafe and some have a large restaurant, and this one had a HUGE restaurant. So we stopped and had lunch.
After we finished we got back into the van and started to drive to Como, which was 20 minutes away that had a surprise ending.... click the photo or the red type to see how I shot this and read more about this fun shoot that thrilled our client and made for a memorable poster for him and his retailers.
This lifestyle photography and video project of Sydney Rose, was shot in a private home. But this story did not start there. In 1993 I got a call from a woman that told me her child wanted to model and the child was 5 years old, (or 6 or 7, I don't remember). At the time I was shooting a lot of stock photography and children were a big part of this for me. My first shoot with the mother of this baby was in Piedmont park in Atlanta, GA on November 12th, 1993 and she is the little blonde child that is holding a leash to the Beagle...
This advertising beauty photography project was shot in a private home near Atlanta, GA using just daylight.
This advertising beauty photography project was shot in a private home near Atlanta, GA using just daylight. This was a bit difficult as I had to shoot the same model with 2 different makeup styles in the same position with the same light. This was further complicated by my desire to use daylight meaning the 60+ minutes it took for the makeup change the light changed a bit.
This advertising beauty photography project was shot on location near Atlanta, GA and in the middle of the day with natural light using a 1 stop Sunswatter BIG (silk) to eliminate harsh shadows.
This advertising Fashion photography project was shot on location in Tucker, GA and is shot using natural light. In the video clips, I am shooting through 2 windows at 90° to each other that were not real clean giving the gritty look. The 2 sets of reflections in the glass were hard to work through but after looking at the finished color graded project, they added some very cool lighting effects. Hair and Makeup is by Sav Wood.
This advertising Beauty photography project was shot on location in Tucker, GA and is shot using natural light. In the video clips, I am shooting through 2 windows at 90° to each other that were not real clean giving the gritty look. The 2 sets of reflections in the glass were hard to work through but after looking at the finished color graded project, they added some very cool lighting effects. Hair and Makeup is by Sav Wood.
This advertising Beauty photography and video project started out as a still shoot, but I then decided to shoot video too. It was shot inside the Purple Door salon in Atlanta, GA. Hair and Makeup is by Sav Wood.
This Industrial Lifestyle Commercial advertising Photography image was shot for a major American industrial supply client. It was cold, overcast, in the early evening with rain and we discovered that we really needed the police... go here to read the rest of the story.
This Advertising Beauty still and video project was shot in a private home near Atlanta, GA. On this project I did not know for sure what the light/weather was going to do, which is not uncommon for summer in the southeast USA, so I brought a wide selection of lighting gear: A Sunbounce roller bag with reflectors, silks, boom sticks w/grip heads, a case of Lumedyne strobe gear, 3 1000 & 5 500 watt hot lights, 2 with softboxes, several "C" stands, sand bags, apple boxes, a bag of cameras with 7 lenses, plus a fluid head with CF sticks. In other words, a lot of gear.
I walked into the home and said hello to Emily, the model, and Sav, the make up artist and hair stylist. When shooting any image with models, it is important to make the model feel comfortable with everyone on the set. However with any close up image, like when shooting beauty photography or directing a beauty video, it is really important as facial expressions are critical and fleeting. If the model is the least bit uncertain or uncomfortable with the situation... you as a photographer or director, may be unable to overcome these emotions.
After saying hello, I then looked to see where I wanted to shoot. Knowing that I wanted dramatic light (High contrast), I noticed in the living room there was a French door that had great soft light washing into the house.
So after dragging a mountain of lighting gear to the shoot's location, I only needed 4 small items: The tripod, the fluid head, one camera and one lens. Oh, the chair we were going to use for the model to sit in, it was too high making the hair "Hat" even with one of the picture frames in the background, so I used an apple box of the for the model to sit on and I used another apple box for me to sit on. There was a table with a lamp and shade plus another decorative item on the right side of the photo/video, so I asked a crew member to move them out of the frame.
I directed Emily for each clip so I could have a selection of different looks: Lean forward, roll the head to give different angles, put her right hand behind her neck, slowly look to her left of the camera and to avoid looking into the camera. Fortunately for us, Emily is primarily an actress so she takes direction very well.
The stylist had her in a strapless black dress and I shot about 100 images and I was not thrilled with any of them. After stopping and analyzing the images, I realized I just did not like how the dress made her shoulders and arms look. So the stylist changed her into the fabulous little black dress you see in the video. After she sat down to shoot with the new dress, Sav checked the make up and hair and gave me the go ahead: 155 still images, 6 video clips and 13 minutes later, we were done.
Hair and Makeup is by Sav Wood.
This Cowboy commercial advertising image was shot in Colorado in a driving rain with pea sized hail. We were at the corral and the rain started. Then it started to rain very hard and the cowboy asked if we were going to shoot and I said yes... go here to read the rest of the story.
This Commercial advertising photography beauty image was shot in a train station in Atlanta, GA. We were shooting inside the station and knowing that I had shot enough on this one "look" I decided to look around. I saw this sliver of light, and knowing the model had near perfect skin, I asked her to stand in the light. I shot about 200 images and felt that I had something good and told both the model and the makeup artist/hair stylist we were done.
When shooting beauty photography, a fraction of an inch makes a huge difference and this image is no exception. I literally pointed which way to move her head and I told her to move slowly then I'd say "Stop". Because we were shooting using sunlight, when wanting to have the light perfect, this change is non-stop. In the original look the model had a large bun. When I saw the hair down I said "Stop!"... go here to read the rest of the story.
Hair and Makeup is by Sav Wood.
These advertising beauty photography images were shot in Nesso, Italy, on Lake Como. When I was in Italy in 2007, I rented a car with the intension of driving from Milano to Bellagio, some 60 miles (95KM) away and rather taking the fast way I decided to drive the scenic route, from Como to Bellagio on the road that is beside Lake Como. Being Spring, it had been raining and most of the streams, rivers and lakes in northern Italy were swollen.
While driving through Nesso, I crossed a small bridge, maybe 12 feet long (4 meters) , I noticed out of the corner of my right eye, a waterfall. I parked the car and grabbed a camera and started shooting, and shooting, and shooting. While trying to find a better spot, I noticed a narrow path between 2 buildings, so I took it to the top. What I discovered was a set of community wash tubs. I'm guessing there was a time where the women, and some men, took their laundry to wash and rinse here. It is this spot that I decided to shoot this image.
The first 3 images were shot using a Lumedyne battery powered strobe system with just a reflector and was about 3 feet away (90 cm)... go here to read the rest of the story.
This industrial lifestyle commercial advertising photography image was shot for a major industrial client in Mississippi, USA as a part of an advertising imagery library building project. The challenge in this type of imagery is to design the lighting, set up the lights and light control devices and shoot the imagery as quick as you can, while still being safe, in order to save time.
There are 2 reasons time is important:
1-The clients always want more shots than time permits and
2-We are delaying production while we are shooting, and sometimes while we are setting up we can delay work, costing the company we are working with a lot of money... go here to read the rest of the story.
Shot by Atlanta Industrial photographer, Steve Thornton.
This personal photography project was shot in Bellagio, Italy on Lake Como. I was staying with friends in Lenno, also on Lake Como, and they said we were going to go to Bellagio for breakfast. This was a chilly day so we grabbed our coats, walked to the boat house and Emiliano was our pilot... go here to read the rest of the story.
This Street Scenes personal photography project was shot in NYC. I really loved the different colored chairs in this park. I walked up, found where I wanted to be, grabbed a chair, sat down and 20 seconds later I was done.
This Personal photography Project was shot just before an aborted landing at NYC's LGA (LaGuardia) airport. We were so low we can see the faces of people walking. We could tell the wind was an issue. Then we heard the jet engines spool up when the pilot applied full throttle, followed by the retraction of the landing gear and the slow raising of the flaps. A "Go Around", free flying!
This editorial fashion photography image was shot in Milan, Italy for "Cowgirl Magazine". The arched doors are part of the train track supports that lead to Stazione Centrale, Milan's main international train station.
This fashion photography project had an "Issue" and was delayed about 4 hours. Steve had two models on hold until the day before the shoot date, at which point he then confirmed his "A" choice. Unfortunately around 3:30 the morning of the shoot, model "A" sent Steve a text message saying she was experiencing a lower GI "disturbance". When Steve woke at 5:00 a.m. to prep for the shoot he got the message and knew that his A choice was now not going to work. So he sent the agent an e-mail asking if his Plan B model was able to shoot. Around 9:45 a.m. the agent called Steve apologizing profusely. It seems the model told Steve but did not tell her agent, so she was clueless about the problem until she got Steve's message.
"Yes", she said "the other model is available!" so Steve asked the agent to send him the model's address so he could pick her up along with the make up artist/hair stylist. By the time he had collected all of the players and started Hair & M/U it was noon and he did not shoot the first look until 2:15 p.m. and finished the project's last look at 8:10 p.m. having shot 9 different looks in 3 different locations 6 miles apart (9.4Km), most of it being in Milan's traffic, in just under 6 hours.
Steve said that he really wanted to shoot something that said "Milan" (Actually Steve says "Milano", but that is just due to him having lived in Italy on and off since 1985). But due to the disastrous loss of time in the morning, coupled with Milan's incessant heavy traffic, not to mention the extreme difficulty in parking in the center of town, he decided to shoot the train station vs. the main cathedral, called the Duomo.
This is from Steve about the lighting: "I slid a Lumedyne round head onto the hot shoe of my camera using a LightwareDirect Mini Mount."
Note: Steve sent one of his flash heads back to the Lumedyne factory... go here to read the rest of the story.
This editorial fashion photography style image is one of a series of images Steve shot for a very cool art hotel in Palermo, Italy, who wanted some off-beat sexy imagery. In this shot he is squeezed into the shower in one of the hotel rooms (Steve is 6½' tall - 2 meters).
He tried to shoot this with a 14mm flat field (rectilinear) lens, but because the door was blocking his field of view he could not move far enough back to get all of the model in the image... go here to read the rest of the story.
These fashion & beauty photography images of Annabell, who is one of my favorite models, were shot in the back seat of an old Cadillac in the California desert about 2 hours out of Los Angeles, USA. It was raining lightly making the dirt on the windows collect in small pools. I really did not have to give Annabell a lot of directions because she is what we call a "Mover". In addition to moving, because a lot of models don't move or move mechanically, she is also graceful and has fluid movements. These are the rare qualities that all great models have. I included several images above to show how great she is as a model.
There is a short video here, about 28 seconds not counting the end credits.
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These Commercial advertising lifestyle photography images were shot near Miami, Florida and are quite difficult to shoot. Between having to hold the underwater housing (the camera and lens are inside the housing), the 9" glass dome port and the 45° finder (about 16½ pounds total - 7¼ KG), just above the water, I also have to contend with the waves picking me and the models up and the ocean currents moving us in frequently different directions or closer together or farther apart all the while trying to frame the shot and direct the models.
The models in all of these images had just met maybe 20 or 30 minutes earlier on the beach. We would meet about 30 minutes before sunrise to get the styling done, introduce the models and get into the water. Coupled with all of this, sunrise light will only last maybe 20 minutes before becoming ugly, meaning everyone had to be "On" and stay focused in order to get some cool shots quickly.
In the top image, the sun was not yet above the horizon, the light is being reflected off of a cloud, the same light that is hitting the clouds above the trees and the models. This why I want everyone to be in the water roughly 15 minutes before sunrise in order to shoot predawn light and give the models time to get comfortable with each other. To me, advertising lifestyle photography needs to look real, by giving the models a few minutes to get comfortable you will have a good chance of getting something that is 100% believable.
While in Cologne for Photokina, I shot a couple of Commercial fashion advertising photography images for Alan Michael USA, a client in Beverly Hills, California. I had shot with Esther 2 years earlier while giving a presentation on Guido Karp's "Leading Photographers of the World" stage at Photokina. I knew I wanted to shoot at the train station and had e-mailed Esther about the shoot and she agreed to meet.
I asked a friend if I could use his studio to shoot a little and have the makeup artist/hairstylist work on Esther. We shot some in the studio and then got into the car to drive to the station.
We parked and was able to get to the first location just in time to shoot with the last of the sunset... timing is everything.
Go here or click on the beauty image below to see how I shot it.
If you would like to use this image, or any of my images for mock or comp use, please just ask. There is never a charge for this service. Educational use is permitted without charge, unless published, but please ask first. All commercial use is available only with a limited copyright release prior to use from the copyright holder, Steve Thornton. Thanks for looking!