Flashes of Hope

I once again had the opportunity to help Flash of Hope produce photographs for these families. Please support them http://www.FlashesOfHope.org

© 2013 Copyright Dean Farrell, DeanFarrell.com, Flashes of Hope


Holiday Photos

I know you probably hate it when people start talking about shopping for the holidays early.   I know I can’t stand it when I see Christmas stuff before Halloween.  But photography is one of the exceptions.

Great  photographs take time to create, retouch and print.  It is not like a DVD or shirt that you can buy a few days before.  The best photographers book up early so don’t miss your chance by waiting too long.  The photo labs start having backlogs.  Everything takes longer.


So contact your favorite photographer now to get those photos in time for the holidays.






Boudoir on Location

Sometimes it is fun to get outdoors and shoot some boudoir photography.  Of course you need to be careful not to go too crazy and violate any public decency laws.   But great boudoir doesn’t require that type of image anyway.   Here is a recent shot I did on a dry lake bed.  It was only 45 degrees and a cold wind blowing, but she made it work!



B&W to Color

One of my favorite techniques to create a unique look is to hand color photographs.  What I do is start with a B&W photo such as this.

Original in B&W

Original in B&W

Then I add solid color layers.  I set the blending mode to color and then simply paint the mask to show the color where I want it.  I use a separate color layer for each element allowing me to change the color of each as needed.  I will also adjust the opacity to fine tune the color.

The end result is something like this:

Hand Painted Ballerina

Hand Painted Ballerina

To save time I will invert the masks to black first before I paint in the color.  I find a soft edge brush works  best.  It can be very time consuming as you work on small details.  This example wasn’t too bad.  The eyes and lips were a bit tougher, but nothing I wasn’t used to doing.

Typically it takes a few hours to create this look, but I find it to be worth the effort.

Dean Farrell – Orcatek.com

1 Hour Photoshoot?

So you come in for you 1 hour photo session and wonder about the cost.

Let’s just look at the time to create your photos for now.

Schedule your photo shoot and follow-up. 15 mintues
Prepare studio for your shoot, check batteries, get memory cards ready, general set-up and take down. 15 minutes
Photoshoot 60 minutes
Prepare proofs for your review 15 minutes
Retouch 3 photos 90 minutes
180 minutes
Send prints to lab and get them back, check quality etc. 15 minutes
Deliver your prints 15 minutes

3.75 – 5.25 hours

Now this doesn’t include any costs, time for marketing, time spent talking with potential clients who do not book.   So it may seem like a lot for that “1 hour” photoshoot, but there is a lot of time involved that you may not consider.

Now add to that the long list of cost for equipment, studio rent, insurance, utilities etc, you will see why photographers have to really love what they do.

WPPI in Vegas

This past week I managed to squeeze some time in at WPPI in Las Vegas.  Many more vendor this time than last time I attended, which I took as a good sign that business is hopeful.

Found several new book printers that had some products I will be testing soon.  May be switching out some of my current providers.

Probably my favorite thing was actually in the Canon CPS lounge.  I got a chance to test at a 1Dx.  Did some shots at 25000 iso and all I can say is WOW! This camera is pretty amazing.   Lots of other great features too, but I really wanted to see the low light use and it is impressive.

No one would say anything about the next generation 5D other than to give a knowing smirk when asked about.  It looks like Canon is going down the right path and working on image quality over pixel count.

I also found a few companies to sponsor my photography workshops, so that will definitely be good for my students.

All in all it was a great trip, wish I could have spent more time.

Project Facity

Project Facity is a fun project that is a worldwide project where photographers take standard photographs of people.  I’ve been part of it for the Phoenix area for a few months now.

Photographers are required to provide a least one photograph a week.  Each photo must be shot to very controlled methods.  This assures that the photos will be consistent no matter where they are done.

From lighting to cropping to even the lens, everything is specified.   The pose and even the wardrobe is also specified.  In the end you have a consistent look to the photographs, which is the purpose.

This allows the photographs to be taken quite quickly.   The post processing (Photoshop) is all kept to a minimum which assures that people look real.

Now you are just looking at the faces of people from all over the world and seeing that we are all pretty much just people.  The slideshow below shows just a few of the photos I have done so far.

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I am always looking for new people to shoot, so if you are in the Phoenix area, visit my website and send me a message.

Orcatek Photography, Phoenix.