Blog 2014 - chrispike

Blog 2014

April 21st - Lighting Design


Lighting Pattern: Find your own signature lighting style by experimenting. Have a concept for a few modified styles on a similar setup of lights. Spend the time to shoot on each lighting set up, and let your model freestyle in that setup. In your post processing workflow you will see what works and what doesn't work for you.

Keep in mind that you should change up your lighting multiple times during the shoot to give a variety styles. All of these samples are all based on a cross-light setup for Main exposure.

The main exposure is created from to 60" Ocotoboxes 36 inches away form the talent, one on each side. The variable in each shot is the fill. From left to right:

The first image is two horizontal strips while camera shoot in between. Second image is two vertical strips while camera shoot from in between. Third image is a single strip on camera left, but still center and camera very close to center as well. The last image on the right is created by using a 60" x 30" Softbox, horizontal almost above eye level the lower light is a 36" strip.

Which image is most pleasing? The answer will not be the same for everyone, and not everyone will even be able to tell the difference. But you have to know what works best for you.

Repeat your favorite variation over and over every shoot until you nail it. Now you have ONE lighting setup that you can add to your tool belt.

Next time you have a session, start with another base setup, and do 4 variations of that same base to find the best one. Then you have your SECOND lighting setup.

Repeat until you have at least four setups that you can replicate without even thinking. Have a look at the sample and see the light pattern in the catch lights. Remember the eyes tell you everything.

Happy shooting......

Blog 2014

January 12th - Insight into a Event Organizer/Photographer


Sometimes it feels as if I am an event organizer more than photographer. I do spend 4 times more time planning, organizing, and pulling together my monthly workshops. Networking is so important when organizing any event. Finding designers, models, makeup artists (MUAs), is just part of the job, but a very time consuming part of the job. Don't get me wrong I love what I do. I love meeting new people, and selling ideas for concepts and themes for photography experiences. But I think the most gratifying aspect of organizing photography workshops is the joy I receive from sharing my knowledge and insight in photography. Seeing the light go on in someone’s eyes to a technical aspect of lighting, or just a tip on camera setup to capture their images in a new or better way, really drives me forward to produce more and better workshops for every level of photographer.


I have just announced my January Workshop- “Cosplay Studio Light Workshop”, For Jan 26th. Model and MUA call time is 9AM and Photographers are instructed to arrive at 11:00AM sharp. I am looking to working with a completely new set up models, almost none of which I have worked with before. This will be very interesting.

Blog 2014

January 1st  - Some clients leave an impression.

Looking back at 2013, and going over my favorite private headshot sessions, I would have to say that my session with Author- Donn Smith, would have to be one of the best ones.


A personality that rubs off on everyone he meets. Such a positive man and inspiration. It was a thrill spending an hour in his home and on his property. We had such a great time capturing his Headshot for his BIO Image on his new Book "Internal Perfection"


I always take home something from every client. From Mr Smith, I would have to say that I took home an awareness that, I have full control over my life, I steer the way, and choose to get caught up in obstacles in my way. I also took away, risk and taking chances is the only way to grow. I know these tid-bits are not life changing, but sometimes hearing just what you need to  hear, when you need it, is just the thing that helps push us forward.


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