Retouching, it’s the little things …………..

I discovered that retouching is about the little things, a little dodge and burn here, a selective application of saturation and contrast there. That’s what happened with this image. Sometimes it’s worth spending time with an image and doing the little things. The image was shot in natural light outside using a reflector to give light to Emilies beautiful face. Because of her amazing freckles I only removed blemishes and made a few skin corrections. I tend to use Portraiture (software) for skin work, but I didn’t for this one. Burnt in the freckles to further enhance them and contour her face. Dodging to light up the blue eyes. Never underestimate the power of dodging and burn. For those thinking, what the hell is he talking about; Dodging – lightening, burning - darkening. These are both brush tools in Photoshop and Lightroom (or any other retouching tools).

Colouring in warm tones and a bit of contrast to bring the image together and create a bit of an atmosphere. Model: Emilie from Lenis models, Makeup by Stacy Wodu and assisted by Sandjena Barnes.

#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #freckles #model #eyes

Retouching, it’s the little things …………..

I discovered that retouching is about the little things, a little dodge and burn here, a selective application of saturation and contrast there. That’s what happened with this image. Sometimes it’s worth spending time with an image and doing the little things. The image was shot in natural light outside using a reflector to give light to Emilies beautiful face. Because of her amazing freckles I only removed blemishes and made a few skin corrections. I tend to use Portraiture (software) for skin work, but I didn’t for this one. Burnt in the freckles to further enhance them and contour her face. Dodging to light up the blue eyes. Never underestimate the power of dodging and burn. For those thinking, what the hell is he talking about; Dodging – lightening, burning - darkening. These are both brush tools in Photoshop and Lightroom (or any other retouching tools).

Colouring in warm tones and a bit of contrast to bring the image together and create a bit of an atmosphere. Model: Emilie from Lenis models, Makeup by Stacy Wodu and assisted by Sandjena Barnes.

#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #freckles #model #eyes

Stick to who you are

Here’s @asa_music an amazing artist that I got to photograph during her concert. Had the opportunity to chat with her backstage, she knows who she is as an artist. She is not into copying or following the trends of ‘hot’ music. Stick with who you are meant to be and you will be fulfilled, and yes the money will come in time, once people see you are distinct and like nobody else.

Asas sound is distinct and has her DNA is all over it. She could have gone down the afropop/ afrobeat route or tried to be a Beyonce type clone for the sake of money. Stop following and define your style and produce your art.

PS The Asa concert was h-amazing and she has a great spirit, enjoyed meeting her very much. My very talented friend Bumi Thomas @bumisees Supported Asa, Bumi is amazing (another person I love that beats to her own drum)

Workshop Alert: The countdown has began and the creative teams are taking shape. If you are interested in creating great images, harnessing your creativity and just creating fulfilling work then check out the facebook page (link in my Instagram profile). The spaces are limited and filling up fast. #love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #asa #music #nigeria #woman #folk #africainspired #africa

The most powerful element
So sometimes people ask me how this image was created? I’ll break this bad boy down. I had an idea inspired by African mythology based on Mami water (African mermaids) which I pitched to the creative director of FAB magazine for their swimwear shoot.
I visualised how I wanted the shoot to look and then worked backwards. For this image I got the model to stand on a green box (simulating floating in water) and shot against a green screen. Why green? Green is easier to remove in post production. The lighting was to simulate an underwater shot with light coming from the top, so I used a 4 light set up, one from the top (for simulation of light from above), one from the front (illuminating the model), one from side back (to help separate the model from the background) and last for the green background (which would help in cutting out the green in post production). If you study how light falls on a subject you can figure out the lighting used by other photographers.

Once the shoot was done, the epic post production involved using layers of blue water, dolphins, and bubbles all combined in photoshop. These separate images were sourced from stock photo sites like getty and istock. The final composite is colour toned as well to bring all the elements together.

So what’s the most powerful element for the shoot? It’s not the green screen, or the post production or the lighting. The most powerful element is the idea; it drives everything and gave the shoot a story. And the idea was born out of me, my culture, my heritage, my love for mythology and fantasy. Develop your ideas.
#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #artdirection #model #nigeria #woman #africainspired #africa

(at Adrian Pini Studio)

The elements of the image

A few years I put a shoot together for FAB magazine based around the concept of African heritage and legend all wrapped into a superhero mythology. This concept influenced everything else seen in this photo. For me photography is more than a guy with a camera, as a photographer I wear the hat of art director, shoot producer, logistics, castings director, project manager, location scout and off course of photographer. As an art director and photographer I visualised how all the elements of the shoot would come together and produce the final body of work.

These elements included the lighting, the styling, the model, the pose, the location, the colour palette and mood, everything is thought of with the team involved. Always consider your elements before the shoot, plan and strategise to get the best images you could possibly create. All these elements will be talked about and will come into play for the workshop I am putting together on the 5th November in Lagos. If you want to know more, check out the link in my instagram profile. Next time you see an image you like or love, dissect it and try and understand why you feel that way about the image. Is it the lighting, the styling, the composition, the subject, etc.

Styling by Crystal Deroche, Makeup by Tamara Ramsey Crockett, Modelling by Bad ass Brooklin, shot at Adrian Pini.

#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #tribal #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #colour #artdirection #model

DON’T COPY
Seriously don’t. I am finding a lot of people are beginning to copy styles and not creating their own voice. We don’t want a series of fake clone artists, we want diversity and mind blowing images. Copying limits your style and voice. I found this little piece below by Melissa Gibson (I was lazy today).
Don’t copy someone else’s photography style. You know that saying? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Well, it’s also the most annoying. And I don’t necessarily mean it’s annoying to the person being copied (although it is). I mean, for you as well. It’s annoying for YOU. Why? Because you can never, ever, no not ever get that image to look like the one that you are copying. And why would you want to? It’s the idea and brain and heart of someone else.
Instead, take an IDEA and run with it. Find what you like about that photography style and make it PART of your photography style. Maybe it’s the haziness of someone’s work that you love. Maybe it’s the lens flare. It’s very likely that you can pull ONE element out. You just need to pinpoint what you love about it.
The image is of amazing Philomena, with makeup by awesome Neonvelvet and off course at Adrians studio.
I’m running a workshop in Lagos, check out the facebook group page, link in my profile. #love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #model #girl #plusmodel #curvy #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #tgif (at Adrian Pini Studio)

Have a passion project.

9 times out of 10 when I ask a client why they hired me, they point wholeheartedly to my personal work. I rarely ever get hired from commercial work I’ve done in the past, except through a personal recommendation. In fact if you look on my site at the moment (asiko.co.uk), theres not really any commercial work on there. I get hired for the more creative driven work that is personal to me. So here’s a lesson I’ve learnt, the more I try to create commercial looking work to please potential clients, the more unfulfilling my future work will be. So I will create and share a portfolio that I would love to create again. Showcase your passion and what is deep rotted in you, it will show in the work you create. And if you haven’t got those kinds of images, create a personal project and go and shoot them with your money, you will eventually make the money back.

I know a few photographers who start their photography business shooting stuff they are not passionate about. Some have ended up frustrated, creating work that is way below their potential and not earning enough money.

Also if you have a strong creative direction in your work, clients will respect your creative opinion and hire you for more interesting work.

Image was from an editorial featured in Blanck Magazine. Model Dapo Coker, Stylist Funmi Fagbemi, Assistants Sandjena Barnes, Toyin Toni and Ola Ajani (thanks guys I couldn’t have done it without you all)

For those interested I am running a workshop in Lagos on the 5th Nov. Go over to the facebook group the creative forum (link in my instagram profile)

#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #tribal #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #colour

Things photographers hate to hear, it’s my Friday rant J

I think I will send these to my new clients, if any of these are, they will be in breach of contract J

1. “You must have a great camera” WHAT!?!?!? I actually had this said to me a while back and I didn’t have a good comeback (I always have a good comebacks). That day hunts me till now

2. “Hey take my photo” Look dumbass if I wanted to take your photo I would have done so already, and what the hell happens after I take it ………….. yea that’s right DELETE.

3. “Can you photoshop that” Lord have mercy, if I counted the number of times I’ve heard I would be rich …………… like stinking rich. I started implementing the rule of fixing stuff on set before taking the picture. Yea cos sitting in front of the computer all night is my idea of fun.

4. “Do you mind bringing your camera” For some reason a few people think because I am a photographer for a living, I am going to bring out my camera when I am at an event. Errrr WRONG.

5. “Can you send me that?” NO

6. “I’ve got an idea for a photo” A lady once came up while I was working with a model and starting trying to interject her ideas, I didn’t know this lady from Adam. Please mind your business and let me do my job.

Image is from editorial (Tribal Escapsim) shot for Blanck Magazine.

#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #tribal #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #woodland #photographer #portrait #belgium

Not everybody is your client

Working for a few years now I’ve found that not everybody is my client, it’s a fact I had to learn the hard way. Years ago when my rates were low I was booked by everybody and their mother and shot all sorts from family portraits to fashion to pictures of building. Some of these clients were great and some were a challenge.
Over the years I have learnt to screen my clients and be careful who I work with. I offer my services to clients who appreciate them, and I don’t work with clients who view me as just another photographer, as it yields a non fulfilling relationship in the end. Here are a few things that I use to screen.

1. Asking too many questions before a shoot is booked. Asking loads of questions about ideas, concepts and the type of shoot is a waste of time if nothing is booked. I get loads of enquiries about photography so there is no point investing time and effort into something that may not happen.
2. Phone calls and texts 24/7. When a client has no respect for my time and calls all day, (esp out of working hours) at anytime I get suspicious. It shows they don’t take me seriously and feel that they are my only client.
3. Trying to negotiate down price. There is a misconception among photographers that if I stick with my initial quote, they will leave and I will miss out on the job. This is a dangerous mindset for any photographer; it shows a non belief in what you do. If a client wants my services for cheap, I will end the conversation and move on, I don’t need the stress and I respect myself and my time.
Image is a portrait I took a while back using a one light setup, light placed to the side at an elevated angle. Workshop in Lagos on the 5th Nov is taking Shape and people are beginning to sign up. For more information check out the link in my insta profile and join the group. The workshop will be about developing your creativity and creating something conceptual on the day. Casting for Models for our workshop in Lagos, drop me a line or DM.
#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #portrait

Overcoming adversity 1

Oh Lord if I got a dollar for every time things didn’t go according to plan I would have made a million ………………… ok that’s an exaggeration, but I would have made a good amount of money.

I have learnt to adversity as a part of life and not some idea that somebody is out to get me, although it feels like that way sometimes.
A few things I came across on overcoming adversity
Accept that adversity is inevitable in life. Trying to avoid or resist it will only make it persist. Although pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Things will go wrong on your shoot or with your images and crying or wallowing about it does you no favours. You have to press on, creating is not for babies.
Build your internal resources. Before adversity hits, prepare yourself mentally, work on your emotional strength, courage and discipline. Once you understand that difficulties are inevitable, you can prepare yourself mentally for confronting adversity head-on. It is no different than a warrior going to battle. They prepare physically and mentally for any possibility. Another invaluable inner resource is faith. Faith that everything will work out; faith that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, and faith that “this too shall pass.” As a Christian I put my faith in God that all things will work out for my good.
The image is from my time in Belgium working with the awesome makeup artist @paraguayana and model @audrey_borely Thanks for making my creative time in Belgium a good one.

Workshop alert: We have got the beautiful and talented Bubu Ogisi as our stylist for the day. For those who have sent their emails I will be sending some juicy stuff within the week, prepare yourselves. For others interested in the workshop, do you check out the facebook group (link in my insta profile). #love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #fairytale #woodland #belgium #adversity #photographer #tgif