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 / Chicago Portrait Photographer Shooting on location with a 2 light setup “Behind The Scenes”

What to consider when shooting on location.

I am Chicago based Fitness/Lifestlye Photographer with a majority of my work being done on location.  The very first thing I do is take a visual assessment of the location. Then determine what is a distraction and what can add to the value to the final image. What is it about the location that will help you tell the story? Or is it just about the individual you are photographing?  This all can be manipulated by your composition, lighting and the depth of field of the image.

This is a break down of my lastest fitness shoot with Katie & Anastasia on location at Tribalance Yoga Studio .

Below Setup #1 : Two Elinchrom ELB 400 power packs with pro heads. The pro head on camera right has a frosted diffuser and the pro head to camera left using the 47″ Westcott grand soft box with the Elinchrom Translucent Deflector. I removed the outer diffusion of the soft box to give it a little more punch a crisper light.

Chicago Fitness Photographer
Camera Settings  F/1.8 @ 1/80  ISO 50
Below Setup #2 : Two Elinchrom ELB 400 power packs with pro heads. The pro head in far right corner of the image has a Elinchrom 7″ grid reflector with a 40′ degree grid. This is used to focus the light and give it a harsher rim light on the model. The head directly next to me was using the 47″ Westcott grand soft box with the Elinchrom Translucent Deflector. I removed the outer diffusion of the soft box to give it a little more punch a crisper light.

Chicago Fitness Photographer
Camera Settings F/2.8 @ 1/60, ISO 50
Below Setup #3 Elinchrom ELB 400 power packs with pro heads. The pro head in lower right corner of the image has a Elinchrom 7″ grid reflector with a 40′ degree grid. This is used to focus the light and give it a harsher rim light on the model. The head in the back of image was using the 47″ Westcott grand soft box with the Elinchrom Translucent Deflector. I removed the outer diffusion of the soft box to give it a little more punch a crisper light.  This was my point of view.

 
Chicago Fitness Photographer
Female Boxer leaning on punching bag
Camera settings F/2.8 @ 1/60 ISO 50

Below Setup #4 Elinchrom ELB 400 power packs with pro heads. The pro head in back right corner of the image has a Elinchrom 7″ grid reflector with a 40′ degree grid. This is used to focus the light and give it a harsher rim light on the model. The head in the in the foreground has a frosted diffuser.  This was my point of view.

 


  

Chicago Fitness Photographer
Female Boxer leaning on punching bag
 
Camera settings for above two final images  F/1.8 @ 1/50 ISO 50

Below Setup #5 Elinchrom ELB 400 power packs with pro heads. The pro head in back left corner of the image has a Elinchrom 7″ grid reflector with a 40′ degree grid. This is used to focus the light and give it a harsher rim light on the model. The head in the in the foreground(to the right of me) has a frosted diffuser.  


Chicago Fitness Photographer
Camera Settings F/3.5 @ 1/50 ISO 125

The short flash duration of the Elinchrom Qudra strobes heads is what freezes the subjects while allowing me to shoot using a slower shutter speed. This allows me to take advantage of the available light and light the entire scene using only two strobe heads.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any question or thoughts on my work please feel free to reach out.

I am a Chicago Based Fitness Photographer , Chicago Based Portrait Photographer & Chicago Based Lifestyle Photographer  with the ability to travel. I have built a career by shooting on location and I have the uncanny ability to combine available and artificial lighting seamlessly.

My full portfolio can be seen www.shawankinney.com

Chicago Portrait Photographer / Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

 

 I am portrait/fitness photographer with a home base out of Chicago IL. and here are some of my favorite portraits I have shot over the years.
I tend to lean more towards shooting environmental portraits. Which in my opinion contributes to the story of the photo and the subject. You can tell a lot by someones environment. Who they are, what they do and what they are passionate about. However you have to be careful that the environment doesn’t overpower the subject in the photo.

 

Chicago Portrait Photographer

Chicago Portrait Photographer
Chicago Portrait photographer

Chicago Portrait Photographer
Chicago Portrait Photographer

Chicago Portrait Photographer

Chicago Portrait Photographer

 

Chicago Portrait Photographer
This is a portrait of Black Label Society prior to the drummer leaving the band.  It was shot in the alley in downtown Seattle

 

Chicago Portrait Photographer
Chicago Portrait Photographer

 

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

More of my work can be viewed at Chicago Portrait Photographer

Chicago Photographer / Are you a Small Business looking for personal Branding?

Don’t waste you time and money on stock images. I can’t emphasis enough the importance of separating yourself from your competitors. These days everyone wants to shop and meet via the internet. So why not take advantage of it. Show everyone what your brand really is all about with custom imagery.
This is a marketing campaign for a message therapist, showing off some of her advanced massage techniques.

Chicago Portrait Photographer
Massaging techniques to sooth a headache and neck pain

Chicago Portrait Photographer Chicago Portrait Photographer


Working out the calf tightness
Chicago Portrait Photographer
Working on the lower back
and below is a advance technique called cupping. It works by creating suction and negative pressure, massage cupping is used to drain excess fluids and toxins; stimulate the peripheral nervous system; bring blood flow to stagnant muscles and skin; and loosen adhesions, connective tissue and stubborn knots in soft tissues.

Chicago Portrait Photographer Chicago Portrait Photographer

By creating your own custom images you will show your potential clients you in action. So lets work together and get you message out to the masses. Contact me @ shawn@shawnkinney.com or cell 702-232-0882
 

Chicago Portrait Photographer / Creating Portraits

Creating Portraits with what you have
 Often times we sit here wishing we had an amazing studio space, the newest camera body or the fanciest lens. Here is a prime example with a little creativity and a small amount of space you can create fun and captivating portraits. For these I used a 7′ x 7′ section of my one car garage and turned it into a make shift studio.

 

I used the very first lighting kit I ever bought. The Wescott Spiderlite TD5 window light kit bought back in 2007ish. It is a daylight balanced constant lighting that is great for shooting tight portraits. The next decision is what do  I use to capture these images? For this series I decide to use my Iphone 6s. To many times I have experienced that as soon as you pull out a commercial/professional grade camera the subject instantly gets nervous. But with Iphone it is a little less intimidating and allows them to relax. I mean how times have you had you picture taken with a Iphone? It really makes it seem as if it just a friend taking a picture of friend and here are the results.
Chicago Portrait Photographer

Chicago Portait Photographer

ChicagoPortait Photographer
And of course I brought them into photoshop and did my usual finishing touches to my portraits. So here is a prime example that the camera is just part of the process and your ability as a photographer is the true necessary piece of the puzzle. Now when someone ask you what camera you use or prefer. You can tell them the one that is available to me!
This is also the setup I use to do my 1972 Polaroid Land Camera portrait series . Which can be seen here Polaroid Portraits
Thanks for reading and my full portfolio can been seen 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 Portrait Photographer

This was shoot for a Mens Vintage reseller Feather & Oar.

 

Chicago Portrait Photographer
Chicago Portrait Photographer

 

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

Chicago Fitness Photographer / Highlighting Tribalance a Schaumburg full fitness/wellness center

Tribalance  is located on the Northwest corner of S. Roselle & Wise Road in Schaumburg. To maintain their Yoga persona the interior build out was constructed of 60% of recycled material. They provide both in group and private sessions and offer Meditation, Yoga, Yoga Teacher training, Barre classes, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Condition, Kickboxing, Tri-fit (bootcamp style training), Thai Bodywork and Acupuncture.

 

Welcoming desk

 

Hall Way leading to their 4 separate class rooms 

 

Inspiration Board

 

Mindful inspirations throughout 

 

Studio “Mind”

 

Studio “Spirt”

 

Studio “Body” lower space has padded kickboxing ring

 

Studio “Body”  upper level for Cross-Fit and body shaping classes

Below are Yoga class in the main studio “Soul”

Chicago Fitness Photographer
 studio “Soul”
studio “Soul”

 

studio “Soul”

 

studio “Soul”

Below is Tribalance Owner & Lululemon Ambassador Shawnda Falvo

Chicago Fitness Photographer

Chicago Fitness Photographer


Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer
Lululemon ambassador and teacher Melina Milcarek

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer

my full portfolio can be view @ www.shawnkinney.com