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Robert Wheater

a personal photoblog

Browsing the archives for the Design for Photographers category.

New Brochure [download here]

This is my new brochure. There is a wedding version of the brochure coming soon. I have revised all of my wedding services and the new wedding photography one will be up in a week.

Click here for the Robert Wheater Photography brochure

Glamor Photography

The beautiful model is Sunni. This particular photo is from a photo shoot a few months ago but I am working on a new editing style that is one of my favorites currently being used by a few of my favorite photographers. Photography style changes over time and only through really doing different things does our art as a photographer stand out. Not only is a style important to a photographer, it is essential. I am chosen as a photographer because of my style capability. I can create images that are clean crisp traditional black and whites, edgier vibrant colors but now I am really falling into a style that has really only become possible with digital photography. Airbrushing aside (I post process every image I take, it is the new dark room) the image was beautiful but I am working on a style that both shows the real person with the art of glamor photography.

Glamor Style Photographs

Glamor Style Photographs


Visalia Photographers

A little over a year ago, while still in art school I was thinking of ways to gather with other photographers. There wasn’t one. So, I set out to creating one. In the beginning, I was a little frustrated and didn’t really think it would work. How many people in the area wanted to be a part of a photography group?

It was when we were almost at 100 members when I decided to add a fee of $10/year. This fee would serve to find the more active photographers and get more people involved… it worked. We had an average turn out of 5-6 members before the fee and around 10 people per meeting after the fee was added. Membership dropped but those that dropped had never attended a meetup. The active members paid the small dues and started coming to the meetups.

A lot of people don’t understand how competitive the photography industry is. Ten years ago, there were less than 10 photographers in the Visalia metro area. Today there are at least 30 that are listed on Myspace, Facebook or have their own websites. A lot of professionals are very secretive and choose to avoid socializing with other professionals because of how hard it is to compete these days. My photographer network in this group has only served to increase my business. I have learned a lot and others have learned from me. That’s what the group is for.

There are over 50 members of the Meetup group, most of these are active members. There are several professionals from photojournalists to wedding photographers. There are lots of amateurs and people that just want to meet other like-minded artists. This group will continue to grow and I really like the direction it is headed.

Go check us out. Click on the picture to go now.

Resolutions 2010

While we should always be making changes to the way we live to become better people. As the New Year starts I still like to think about things I can do better and create goals that I try and follow. This year, I took it to another level. I have been in business for almost a year and a lot of my goals try and connect family and personal life with my professional life.

So what are my resolutions? I have 32 of them, separated into primary and secondary goals. Here are a few of my goals:

  • Spend more uninterrupted time with my family. I tend to get interruptions and deal with them on the spot. Now, I am just going to record what I need to do once play time or time with the family is finished.
  • Monthly Printing. With a small budget, I am going to print photos off every month. A selection of my best to 8×12 and the rest to 4×6. These are inexpensive prints of the kids playing and stuff I shot. I print my best images but so many images get pushed back so the best ones can be printed professionally. I am going to be making large batch single prints each month on a regular basis.
  • Read a photography/design/business book each month. I tend to get these books and read half of them and move onto the next, sometimes opening it months later before it goes to a shelf. Now, I am going to set time aside to read these books and hopefully with the scheduled time I can read more than one each month.
  • Create a photo book each month with my best images. These are going to be focused more on my professional images and by the end of the year, I will have 10 mini (20 page) hardback portfolios covering work over the last year. I want to continue this to both catalogue my work and be able to show a large amount of work.
  • Follow a regular posting schedule and start posting tidbits about my personal life on my blog. I don’t post a lot of personal information on my blog, I am going to change that this year and with my regular posting I am also going to post little things about my daily life. I don’t post regularly and I am changing that this year.

I am tracking and creating smaller objectives leading up to the larger ones. In order to solve the objectives I have already created a cool email reminder that will send monthly reminders and deadlines while the year passes. It is a great way to track the progress of goals. I believe in constantly creating goals and creating ways to measure them and keep track of them. For this I am using a free schedule program that will email or text you, it is called 30 Boxes. Check it out, it’s like google calendar but I wanted to try something I haven’t tried and I like 30 Boxes.

Site of the Week: Dave Hill

One of Dave Hill's Photographs

One of Dave Hill's Photographs

One of the greatest influences to my photography and a photographer that I absolutely love is Dave Hill. He does a lot of advertising photography and band photography. When I look at his photographs I get lost, I still don’t know how he does it.

When you look at his advertising and band work there is just something magical about it, especially to me as a photographer. Everything is perfect, the editing, the lighting and the look. His photographs have this look that separates him from the rest of the pack.

You will not find a blog on his site just a massive amount of advertising work and a huge portfolio. Take my advice, look at his entire advertising and music portfolios. You won’t be disappointed. Well, you might when you realize that his magic is hard to touch. Look at the amount of depth in every image, there is a lot going on in the frame, a great story in every photograph.

Free Texture Tuesday: Paint Splatter

Today’s free texture is called paint splatter and unlike the last few, this one is not created from a photograph and was created in Photoshop. I hope you guys enjoy it.

Right Click and Save Image As...

Right Click and Save Image As...

Here is an image with the overlay layer style applied and dimmed a little. Feel free to contact me for more information on getting textures. I can also custom make texture sets for those interested.

Sunni, a model in Visalia with the paint and splatter texture applied.

Sunni, in her wedding dress with the paint and splatter texture applied.

Free Texture Tuesday: Stitched Glass Swirl

While walking around in Visalia, I sometimes spot unique designs. I prefer to walk around in the historical sections of town because there are unique designs and old architecture. As a photographer in Visalia, I don’t normally use textures in my wedding, portrait and commercial photography but sometimes something comes up where it can really advance the image.

Here is a piece of glass that almost has a stitched effect in it and swirl patterns. Here is the texture:

Stitched Glass Swirl, right click and Save Image As...

Stitched Glass Swirl, right click and Save Image As...

Here is a recent image with the texture applied and then erased off her face:

Natalie Symanski with the Stiched Glass Swirl texture

Natalie Symanski with the Stiched Glass Swirl texture

Free Texture Tuesday | Fibers

This Tuesday for our free photoshop texture we have our fibers textures. The way I use this texture is to create a fiber or almost gallery wrap-like effect. It is great to make formal images look more classic with that textured look you would find on a gallery wrap up close.

Right Click and Save Image As...

Right Click and Save Picture As...

The image below was made by placing the image over one of my beautiful brides, Dana. All I did was made it an overlay layer. Then, I went and erased the fiber layer off her face and parts of her arm. My eraser was at 20% opacity and 70% fill as I worked to give it a more organic transfer to areas covered by the texture on the image. I like to avoid textures on skin for the most part. Dana was the bride for a great destination wedding that I shot in May.

Dana, one of my brides, with the fibers texture overlay

Dana, one of my brides, with the fibers texture overlay

Design for Photographers 10: Proximity

Proximity at its core is simple. It is a Gestalt principle of perception that tells us things that are closer to each other are more related than things that are apart. In design, grouping is essential. We use grids to place these grouped items efficiently in graphic design. The rule of proximity is, by far, one of the most powerful tools we can use to show relatedness in elements.

Paying attention to this rule is essential in photography and some of us already do it. I will use a family portrait of three generations as an example. Let’s say we have seven people in our three generation family photo session. We have a grandmother and grandfather, the mother and father and their three children. Now how do we pose a large family like this? First, ignore looking at a bunch of poses and then situating them. Think of how you want the image to come across, what do you want to be related first? Take the grandmother and put the youngest child in her arms, she is the centerpiece. In the image you must try and keep their faces the closest. Our brain will perceive these two elements as the most related and that will form the basis of connecting three generation instantly.

Want to show the boys more connected in an image, put them together, closer than the rest of the family. The brain will perceive them first and then piece together the image. I like to take a variety of poses that look at the law of proximity instead of arranging them in traditional ways.
Also, always, always, always get two people in as close together as you can. The closer you can get them, the more connected they will be in our mind and the more emotional impact they can carry. This is why an image of a couple with their faces touching and most of the face close looks more emotional than just kissing. A couple with their faces touching is more connected via proximity than the picture of them kissing.

You can use this in anything, just remember… the closer objects are, the more connected we perceive them to be.

Touching up Eyes for “The Look”

Many people out there wonder how to get eyes to pop out of the photo or have that super realistic look. There are dozens of ways to do it. I will share mine, I think I learned it off of the web somewhere and have made it my own since.

Okay, this is for Photoshop CS2. Duplicate your layer so that you can change the opacity when you are done.

After duplicating your layer, open your dodge tool, change the setting to highlights and make the exposure somewhere between 10-30. I like to use 15 for most images, you will have to play with this process to get it right for you.

Now, switch over to your burn tool and set it for shadows. I set for 10-20 on exposure. You should use a little less burn than dodging.

It is ok if you overdo it. You can reduce the opacity of the layer when you are done.

The last thing. Make a new adjustment layer for hue/saturation. Don’t overdo it but try to get the original color. Change opacity to suit.