All posts tagged: aera

AERA End of Year Party

This year I had the great privilege to start shooting for AERA, which is a weekly magazine who are said to be extremely picky about their photographers.  They’re part of the Asahi Shimbun publishing company, but the AERA section deals with more focused issues than the newspaper, and has a stable of very talented photographers, of which I’ve somehow managed to become a part of.  Was kind of a reality check when I went in earlier this year to show the photo editor my portfolio. After glancing through my book he gives me an hour-long critique/lecture on areas that need improvement, and what I should do to make my book look better for prospective clients down the road. After all that, he looks me in the eye and says: “You could be first class if you really wanted to be. Try harder.” Talk about tough love.  Inspirational though. Then he seems to remember that I’m not here for a portfolio review. “So why did you come here?” he asks. After sitting through an hour of …

Portrait shooting for AERA

I shot these portraits of powerful women for Japanese magazine AERA, which is like a monthly special-edition version of Asahi Shimbun, one of the major newspapers here.  They were doing a special on girls-only universities in Tokyo and wanted to feature some alumni with interviews and a photo. Here are a couple of shots that turned out pretty well, and I’m always happy when they run full-bleed. Gear-wise I used my usual assortment of SB-900, SB-80DXs and the old Apollo 24″ softbox as the main-light.  The fill-light depends on the situation – in the one directly below of television announcer Takanishi Mika the fill was a bare SB-900 with the little diffusor flap pulled down. It works surprisingly well when there are no pesky surfaces to reflect the hard specular nature of the flash.  In most other cases (especially indoor) I use a shoot-thru umbrella (Westcott 46″) to fill those shadows in.  Nothing extraneous needed here, most of these ladies aren’t too used to having a portrait shot of them so any setup too restricting/intimidating …