Visagist versus Photoshop,

November 2011, Orp-Le-Grand, Ranting,

Do we really need makeup artists? I a time of digital retouching it seems to be a valid question. The question is, can we do everything in Photoshop a makeup artist can do in real life? Yes we can! The next question is, do we want to? The answer here is it depends. If you take a shot of a model and you really like it, you don’t mind spending hours retouching it. But when you have a series of pictures to make you want the models to look their best to minimize time in Photoshop. Does this mean the model is not pretty? No it does not, but nobody is perfect. And we, photographers paint the light so our subjects get as close to perfection as possible. So what is the harm is some of the work towards this end is done in post-production?

A lot of people argue against Photoshop, claiming that its fake, that in the old days photographers had “real” skill that didn’t get corrected afterwards. Well its true we tend to easily reach to Photoshop for an answer, but in the old days the developers had their own set of tricks. Just like we have in the Lightroom now. Times have changed, but what drives us has remained the same. We try to create things of beauty, things people will want to look at.

In the end two hours’ work of a good makeup artist can save you days of work in Photoshop. But if you take that one shot that does it for you and you didn’t have a makeup artist. Just spent some time in Photoshop and try to make the best of it.



The Circle is round old man,


November 2011, Orp-Le-Grand, Ranting,


Except from stating the obvious, this is off course a quote from Star Wars. Completely unrelated to photography, but still very applicable. Like most people who start out with digital photography I used to spend way too much time in Photoshop. Obviously I sucked at it, but still I persisted. Then god’s gift to mankind became available in the form of Adobe Lightroom. My workflow just got pimped with jet engines. Life was good (it still is). For the last couple of years Lightroom has been the rosetta stone of my workflow. Without it I would be lost. Smartfolders are my main way of finding what I’m looking for, and the ability to make a virtual copy a few years later and trying out a new finish is mindblowing.

But silently Photoshop has made its way back into my workflow. After realizing this I also realize that I still suck at Photoshop. I have gotten better at making the pictures realistic/pretty, but the real Photoshop work passed me by. With this in mind I decided I’m going to have a Photoshop project every week where I’m going to transcend my limitations and improve my skills. The above picture is the first attempt to better grasp the capabilities of Adobe’s Photoshop.

We imitate because we admire,

October 2011, Werchter, Brent


The last couple of weeks a lot has been said about “stealing” from other photographers. With stealing we don’t mean breaking into somebody’s house and stealing the digital negative. But making an exact copy with your client and selling it of as your own idea.

My personal perspective is that this is a grey area. First and foremost, you only try to imitate something you like. So this being said, you could always see it as a compliment. If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that we always find inspiration somewhere. It’s true in general it should not be in somebody else’s work. But even then, is it so wrong, to try to create a similar image? I don’t think so.

The problem is after the  picture has been taken. What do you do with it? Do you sell it? Publish it on your blog as your own idea? Sell it for an ad campaign? Or is it just for the private use of a client, that requested that specific picture? In my humble opinion, if its private it’s okay. If you publish it, explain where you got the idea, and if possible, link back to the original artist. He will like you for the extra publicity. And if you plan to sell it…., please don’t.

It’s all a question of respect. Everybody likes it when they are respected, so try to respect the other too, it’s only natural. This being said, I “stole” the picture above. David Hobby is a very talented photographer. And what is more, he made two sets of dvd’s. I have been lucky enough to see both. And they are a great bang for your buck. Especially the second one “Lighting in Layers” is a jewel. It takes you through a series of shoots from start to finish. And are great, even for more experienced photographers. On one of the dvd’s they take a picture of a goalkeeper in action. And when I saw this, I just knew I wanted to do the same.

I took some liberties when I took the picture. Changed a few details, but in the end it is the same picture. That fact that I feel it looks good (and hopefully you like it too), is proof of the great way David explains how to light a set. If you are looking for a more advanced set of instruction dvd’s, you are a strobist, and you understand English. Then Buy this dvd set. Don’t look for an illegal download. As David explains on the last dvd it cost a lot of hard work and money to make a dvd like that. So give something back to the people who might inspire you in the future.

Pictures have just been edited in lightroom, I’ll make an update later this week after putting some more work into them.

Here are a couple of links for David Hobby,

To buy the DVD set.

Strobist blog.

A more personal blog.

Possibly Free Pics,

October 2011, Belgium, Ania.

If you take pictures, life can be beautiful, but also quite frustrating. On one side, you see all those wonderful photographers, taking pictures which you love and honestly are a little jealous about. You complain about not making enough progress, and wanting to become better.

Then you start looking back to your older pictures, and you notice, you do make progress. For that split second you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And then human nature takes over and you become frustrated again. Because of the progress you have made, your portfolio is no longer an accurate representation of your skill. It’s not always easy to put pictures on your blog for which customers have paid, and you need to find a solution.

Luckily there is always the wonderful insight given by somebody who is not in the business, in this case my wife. She asked the simple question “Why don’t you just take some new pictures to put on your blog?”. This question was answered with a sigh, I explained the problems of using pictures that people paid me for (including the copyrights). After listening to my rant she just asked me “Why don’t you just take some “free” pics to update your portfolio. A deep sigh escaped again, I took a deep breath to start a new rant, and couldn’t really find anything to say. I love taking pictures, and it has always been more than just a way to make money. Luckily I have my wife to remind me of this.

All this resulted in what are hopefully going to be a couple of very busy weeks. For the rest of this month (October 2011) I’m taking applications for photo shoots. Just use the contact form on the website or mail me at . Introduce yourself, if possible include a picture of yourself and an example of the style of pictures you would like to have taken, and I will certainly get back to you. We will do our best to deliver the pictures you like, I will be able to update my portfolio. A win-win situation, and all this free of charge.

We will evaluate every application and have the right to deny any or all applications that we believe unfit  for this offer.


So here is our first candidate.

Her name is Ania Kaczmar, she is a friend of the family and just as cute as a button. It was her first time posing, and in my humble opinion, she nailed it! We started out in the studio, slowly building up on her confidence. Regularly showing her the results of what was taking place. It didn’t take her long to get into the flow of things. Afterwards we took it outside, resulting in the above images. We had great fun and it convinced me to solidify this offer in the post above.

Thanks Ania.

The End of Time

July 2011, Orp-Le-Grand, Zombies….


I love Larp, I don’t know why, but I just do. And for the moment we are working hard to get a new project launched involving Zombies. We have done a couple of makeup sessions practicing making people into zombies. For the moment we are satisfied with just make people look like zombies. We tried really hard, but getting the Living into living death proved harder than we expected.


It’s safe to say we are having heaps of fun, but slowly stress is building up. The event will open subscriptions, midnight Halloween. We hope to have a great turn-up.


Hope to see you all there,

F o l l o w   m e
G a l l e r i e s