Dani Diamond is a Fashion, Portrait & Commercial Photographer working our of New York city. He is also a writer for Fstoppers and commands a huge social media presence. The power of his portraits can only be described as “The Dani Diamond Look”.
(from Dani’s website – go here for his write-up.
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How did you get started in photography?
Started in business school. A friend had a camera while I was into computers…friend asked me to install Photoshop for photography lens.
Started taking photos of everything and morphed into portraits
First camera to shooting portraits was around eight months
Took some classes / workshops
Started shooting for fun
Why portrait photography?
My followers on Facebook / Instagram actually decided for me. While posting all sorts of photos I was receiving the most positive feedback on portraits / fashion
Gear, favorite lens?
Mainly shooting with a Nikon D800 – Tried shooting with Medium format
85 f1.4…the ultimate portrait lens
How did you build up clientele
Most difficult aspect…all to do with connections. Knowing people
Got a lucky break…father is a clothing manufacturer in Italy. After taking photos of fathers work I was able to build up a base
Posted photos through Social Media
Quality clients versu quantity
Why Photoshop and not Lightroom
Lightroom is good for people who shoot events and work in batches
Photoshop has everything I need…all tools are within the program
Why not too many B&W
Fashion shooting clothing lines. The clients want to see the product
Enjoy the toning…skin color stands out in color
What’s the most important thing a photographer looking to make a living in the field needs to do?
Do you have a signature style? What is it?
Head Shots and three quarter body
Backgrounds are always blurred out
Backlight if possible
What do you look for in a background to your images?
Just as important as the image
Looking for backgrounds that compliment the subject and the colors compliment the skin / hair of the subject
Always look stress free
Only you are in control and you are choosing how to feel
Always go into every shoot looking for the positive and happy
Try to bring out the positive energy and let the subject leave pleased
Would you try the mirror less systems
Don’t feel comfortable with these cameras
Models instinctively change when they hear the shutter
When are you coming to Dallas?
Workshops are posted to website
How do you balance work / family life?
Observe Sabbath, sundown Friday to sundown Saturday
Lot of free time throughout the day and spend times with family / friends
Common coaching tips
Keep posing simple…
All about eyes, lips, chin and position of shoulders
Expressions…very descriptive. Have photo album on phone with expressions that I will show model
Shy – bring shoulders in, head down to side and eyes up.
Do you use strobes?
Always bring a strobe to a fashion shoot. usually ad einstein strobe. Use mainly as a fill light
800 and that is rarely. Ensure I have good light or else I end the shoot
Wacom Intuos Medium
Any chance of allowing someone to shadow you?
That is the purpose of the workshops
Had a bad experience with a shadow and a photoshoot and it didn’t work out well with the other photographer over my shoulder.
How did you master strobes?
If you master natural lights the strobes are easy
The secret is to learn light
Male vs Female models. I notice most of your images posted are female, do you shoot male models very often?
I do shoot two mens lines, suits. However, there are more female clothing lines and people rather see females on social media.
What makes for a good model?
Took time to obtain and cultivate models and now shoot with mainly the same five models.
After shooting with one model and posting on social media I was able to obtain additional models to shoot
Which photographers influenced you and your career path
What extra gear do you bring to shoots and where do you keep?
I utilize several pelican cases. Each has a different set of items for different tasks
Difference between 85 f1.4 and f1.8
The f1.8 maybe sharper
Thoughts on the Sigma 85mm f1.4
Love the lens
Anything crazy ever occur during a shoot
Fashion shoot for a children’s clothing line. Nine children show with their parents along with my team. Locked in a location in a cabin in upstate New York. Fifteen cars parked at the location and the owner drives up and has a tantrum questioning what we are doing. The owner kicked us out and we needed to drive and find a new location. Ultimately it worked out great.
Images displayed during the show.
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Album for this episodes can be found here – Dani Diamond
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