Chicago Fitness / Lifestyle Photographer : Commercial Photography / You’re more than just a photographer!

What does that mean exactly? If you have been or are looking to start shooting for commercial clients. Its important to understand the who, what, where and why of your clients expectations. They are going into the shoot relying on you for certain things. The most obvious is the final product but some of them also rely on you to direct them through the process to achieve the final product. At some point, you are called on to be an art director (how to arrive at your final goal), stylist (knowing what looks good together),  location scout, and even a talent scout. If you don’t have the support crew to complete certain tasks, it’s up to you. The following is a real life example of how this can happen:

It’s Monday morning and a potential client from New York emailed me to ask if I can put together a yoga shoot by Thursday and have selected edits emailed out Friday morning. In addition, they wanted me to secure a location and have eight models for the shoot. They were looking for eleven different looks, setup in a yoga studio, and one outdoor location. I took a couple of minutes to digest the email and determine if it was feasible to pull this off. I said we can definitely pull off the looks indoors, but I was not sure we had enough time to go to an outdoor location. After agreeing to scrap the outdoor location, he promptly booked his flight to Chicago. He was bringing all the necessary yoga apparel and gear with him on the plane as there was not enough time to ship it to Chicago. In the meantime, I spent the next two days confirming talent and support crew while reviewing the mood board sent by the clients art department to determine what looks are best for what part of the studio.

Wednesday night arrived and that’s when my client was supposed to fly into Chicago from New York. Something occurred while he was going through security at the airport. All of his luggage containing the yoga gear and apparel made it on to the plane, but he did not. He called me and asked if I could go to baggage claim and get the bags while he caught the next available flight, which happened to be at midnight. I agreed without hesitation. Once you agree to take a job, it is necessary to do what ever it takes to deliver the finished product! After securing the product, I dropped it off at the yoga studio and headed home for the night knowing tomorrow was going to be a long day. 

Thursday morning came and the client informed me that he will be at our location late morning and to start without him. This was not the ideal experience for the first time working with someone, but I had the skill to deal with this kind of situation. I still needed input on setups and final image approval, but no one was on site to do this. In order to get the shoot started and headed in the right direction, I added a viewing gallery to my website and uploaded low-res images so the client in New York could approve the images as we go. This wasn’t the ideal structure since we were on a time crunch, but it worked pretty well.  I received approval on images before heading to the next setup and in order to make the most of our time, I had the models dressed and set to go when their setup was ready.

https://www.shawnkinney.com/

This setup actually worked out really well and only minimally slowed down the shooting pace. I was able to continue throughout the day. My client checked in on set around eleven and he was extremely happy with the results thus far so he only stayed for a couple of hours and then headed back to New York. In the end, the shoot was a huge success and they turned out to be a very happy repeat client. As you can see, as a commercial photographer, a lot rides on your ability to delegate responsibilities and preform multiple tasks. You have to do more than just take the photograph. You have to make sure everything gets accomplished and the final product gets delivered as agreed upon.

Here are some of the edits from the shoot.

Chicago Fitness Photographer

The day went so well I was able to complete the request for an outdoor location. This goes back to my favorite saying. “Under promise and over deliver!”

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer

How did I really complete such a daunting request from a potential client? I know what I don’t know! And that comes with years of experience. I knew that completing eleven plus looks and setups in one day is very difficult. I learned a lot from this experience. When my phone isn’t ringing from potential clients, I am working on my craft. I have shot at the yoga studio so much I knew every angle of every room.  I also would some time put time restraints on some of my shoots to see if I could still complete quality work under a time crunch. All of these previous shoots prepared my for this day.

Know your equipment and know your surroundings. With that you can accomplish any task  your client requests of you.

My full portfolio can be viewed here Chicago Fitness Photographer.

Chicago Fitness Photographer – Behind the Scenes shooting on location

Hello there  I am Shawn Kinney a Chicago based Fitness/Lifestyle photographer and this was a shoot with Chicago based model Willow Star   for the fitness clothing line Avia. My home studio location is Tribalance Yoga Center. 

The first setup I wanted to do a fierce Black and white portrait to set the tone for shoot.

Chicago Fitness Photographer
Camera settings f/1.8 @1/200 ISO 100

With a slight change in camera angle you can see how the mood changes in your photograph. That is why I almost always shoot without a tripod. This gives my the freedom to explore the different qualities of light created simply be changing where you stand.

Chicago Fitness Photographer

Below is the behind the scenes photo illustrating the lighting set up.

Main/Key light was a Elinchrom Portalite 22″ Octa with translucent deflector. Rim light which was to camera right was a 40′ grid with a 1/4 stop cto warming gel and the fill was a golden bounce reflector.

 

Second setup

For this setup I took advantage of the available sun light(in this image it created the back light and both rim lights on the subject). When combining available light and artificial strobe lighting it is key to 1st meter the source you cant control. In this case it would be the sunlight. I then add one strobe at a time to get the results I am looking for. The 2 Elinchrom ELB 400 packs and heads were use for a controlled fill light on both front sides of the subject face and legs.

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer
Camera settings F/1.8 @ 1/250 & iso 200

For a slightly different look a separated the model from the bike and Changed the lighting setup slightly. Main/Key light was a 35″ Dynalite grand soft box with internal diffusion, fill light was a golden bounce reflector and the strobe head had a 1/4 stop cto warming gel directed towards the the stationary bike.

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer
Camera Settings F/1.8 @ 1/200 & ISO 100

 

Chicago Fitness Model

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer

For the last setup we moved into the yoga room where we created these. We were under a time restraint so no BTS photos for this setup. But I used two Elinchrom ELB 400 power packs with pro heads. Camera left had a 1/4 stop cto warming gel on it to add some warmth.

Chicago Fitness photographer
Camera settings F/1.8 @ 1/80 & ISO 100
Chicago Fitness Photographer
Camera settings F1/8 @ 1/80 & ISO 100

With the proper game plan and the right crew you can get 4 different looks with only 4 hours of shooting time. I am a Chicago Based Fitness photographer and My complete portfolio can be viewed here shawnkinney.com.

Chicago Fitness Photographer

Latest work with fitness model Chyna Bardarson
Chicago Fitness Photographer
Camera setting  F-4.0, 1/500 and iso 100

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

 

My full portfolio can be viewed @ www.shawnkinney.com

Chicago Fitness Photographer / Chicago Lifestyle Photographer

My latest work for a model portfolio development for Ashely Bates a model @ www.ohlssonagency.com on location @ www.Tribalance.com

 

  Chicago Fitness photographer
Chicago Fitness Photographer

Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer
The rest of my portfolio can be viewed here www.shawnkinney.com 

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer “The evolution of a fitness Photographer”

I truly believe in order us to grow we need to know and understand were we can from. The journey in my opinion is just as important as our final destination. The evolution of my photography started with the desire to capture breath taking landscapes and grew from there. After the purchase of my first DSLR in 2008 and many hours learning the ins and outs from any book I could get my hands on. I was able to capture theses images while out on a hike in Death Valley California

Chicago Photographer

These were honestly the first two images I ever intentionally set out to captured. My photography desire quickly change from landscape to fashion due to the influence of my first instructor at the Art Institute of Las Vegas. After understanding the ability to control the mode and feel of the images with studio lighting I wanted nothing more to do with landscapes for now. Upon relocating to Wa in 2011 I set out to develop my fashion portfolio and thats when I first met and became good friends with Bri Seeley. Here are a couple of Images from her 2011 look book.

 

 

Later that year I met and became good friends with commercial photographer Dean Zulich He also started his photography career with a desire for landscape photography and quickly became known for his unbelievable ability to create conceptual images. The next step in my evolution I truly owe to him as he showed me how to blend my two loves. The initial love for landscape photography with my new love of fashion photography and this was born. Another collaboration with fashion designer Bri Seeley.
 
 

 

Then I wanted to bring my conceptual work into the studio. This was also captured 2012

Chicago Photographer Chicago Photographer
Chicago Photographer
From here I went on to develop my dynamic studio portrait shooting style. Images below were shoot in 2013.
Chicago Portrait Photographer
Chicago Portrait Photographer
Chicago Portrait Photographer
Chicago Fitness Photographer
Chicago Fitness Photographer
Above is my first fitness composite. Model shoot in studio and then added to trail landscape shoot in 2013
Next was fitness/athletics on location and a 5 am location call created the images below.
 
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Then I hit the beach to create this
 
Chicago Fitness Photographer
mixed in a little a running

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer
and that brings us to 2015
 Chicago Fitness Photographer Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer
and my latest adventure below. Multiple exposures.

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer Chicago Fitness Photographer

and thats a wrap on my quick breakdown of the evolution of my photography journey. The most important thing I have learned along the way, is that the greatest piece of equipment is your own personal version and the ability to apply to your clients needs. I am look forward to the growth I will experience in 2016.

“Your ability to thrive in any environment and any situation rests not primarily on what you do, but who you are as a person, an individual; a human being”

My full portfolio can be view @ www.shawnkinney.com
follow my on Instagram 



Chicago Fitness Photographer Specializing in YOU!!

Are you a fitness professional and or model? Do you own a gym or design/produce fitness clothing?
Lets collaborate and get your message out there. You are Your brand! Show them who you are!

This is a recent shoot I did for TV Personality/Fitness model Chyna Bardason. She is currently represented by Sports & Lifestyle Unlimited .

Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

Location was at TriBalance Yoga Studio in Schaumburg Il.
Chicago Fitness Photographer
With an emphasis on kickboxing and highlighting her physique.

Chicago Fitness PhotographerNo brand is to big or to small. Yesterday is to late and tomorrow may never come. Call today to get your message out there. P.S your competition is already doing it!! and you are behind!! 

 
Instagram shawnkinneyphoto 
Cell 702-232-0882