What begun as an interesting trend has now become a powerful form of expression, as millions of users now always have a smartphone in their hands/pockets/purses This has becomes the easiest way to register, document and keep track of events, situations and beautiful moments that would otherwise would get lost just as a memory.
Remember the now “classical” saying: “The best camera is the one you have with you”? That means the Smartphone Photography is no longer a trend or a passing fever, it is here to stay and get better and better!!
The cool thing about this workshop is that participants will greatly improve their skills at shooting with their smartphones, so these snapshots will have a much greater visual impact!
Bloggers, Writers, Graphic and Web Designers, plus all Social Media Campaign Managers will also benefit from upgrading their visual skills using their smartphones better, therefore, their online content will greatly improve!
– First, we are going to start by learning the professional tricks and tips, plus hidden smartphone features to better use the “native” capabilities of your own smartphone.
– We move on to the basics of photography, composition, lighting use of texture, shapes and forms, in order to show the participants how can they “upgrade” their images with basic visual arts knowledge, applied to shooting with the smartphone
– We will – obviously- embark in shooting new images with our new knowledge and capabilities, as part of the workshop.
-Then, we go some extra miles by further improving the images without ever leaving their phone, by using free editing apps which will enhance the quality of your final images, without turning then into “eye candy”, this is, keeping a very realistic and professional look to your pics.
You can register and pay on the day of the workshop, or you can easily register and pay online here:
Starting on March 2017, Jorge Parra Photography will offer a series of Advanced Photography Workshops for selected participants, in an intimate atmosphere, where only 10-12 photographers will attend each hands-on workshop. This will allow the one-on-one training that each participant deserves to REALLY improve their visual arts skills and the creative development of his/her portfolio.
Based on the experience gained from teaching for several years at the Miami Ad School, plus the previous private San Francisco and Miami Workshops, Jorge Parra Photography has selected the following content for the upcoming trainings:
– SMARTPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY: an interesting trend has now become a powerful form of expression, and the participants of this workshop will greatly improve their skills at shooting with their smartphones , first by learning the professional tricks on how to use the capabilities of your own smartphone, plus further improving their images without ever leaving their phone, using editing apps for even better results.
– PORTRAITS AND LIGHTING: this is a basic training, so participants can get comfortable with the use of artificial lighting in studio, plus manipulated natural light, to obtain fantastic results which will improve the quality of their portraits.
– FASHION AND BEAUTY PHOTOGRAPHY: although the name is obvious, this training is aimed at those who already have some good knowledge of lighting (both natural and artificial) and want to improve their own personal style by shooting models on location and/or studio, conceptualized as an editorial for a magazine. Wardrobe, from casual to swimwear to couture, plus Hair and Make Up Stylists will be provided.
-THE FINE ART BODYSCAPE: A powerful workshop dedicated to study the human figure and how to develop creative and artistic images, where concepts, composition and lighting will lead the way to obtain meaningful images. Models, Make Up, Styling and Props will be provided, so each participant can approach the body from his /her own vision.
NOTE: All workshops include either online or live review of the work done by participants, so, unlike other workshops, there is TRUE ADDED VALUE THROUGH REAL MENTORING, in order to assist participants in their creative portfolio development. Each Workshop has it’s own inherent characteristics, so the mentoring process will be disclosed along with detailed info when participants register.
Cash and Credit / Debit Cards will be accepted on the premises. However, We can not guarantee slots available for unregistered, Walk-Ins. On-Site Registration and Payment will proceed on a first-come-first-served basis.
In order to guarantee your participation in the workshop, you will find a simple way to safely register and pay, using PayPal in the secure link below, BEFORE the actually dates of the workshops.
It is certainly very cool news when an impartial entity does a review of the local talent in the Miami / Miami Beach area, fully crowded with amazing photographers, and still get listed as one of the Top 20 Portrait Photographers in Miami. Can’t be any happier!!
There are many areas of Photography which have suffered from the Digital Divide and the fact that the democratization of the image and the tools available have turned everyone a self-appointed photographer, only means that professional shooters do have to work harder and produce top qualitywork to stay in the game, and prove their worth.
Portrait Photography is one of those areas that may survive the hurricane that digital technologies brought out to either eliminate or radically change the way it is done. There is always the need, either personal, commercial or artistic, to capture the looks of people, either as a document or as a statement, and not everybody is up to the task of grabbing those essential gestures and details that make up the personality of each individual. In the end, we are humans dealing with humans!!
Now, thinking in terms of slowing or dying trends, take for example Car Photography. There are countless former Car Photo Studios in Detroit that stopped producing images, specially those who never got into CGI technologies, which allows the user to start with a simple image of a car, even from a Smartphone, and the software, in the hands of an experienced user, can rebuild the car entirely, even creating a different lighting, place the car in any location, and quickly changing the color of the car, to show the entire gamut available on the market.
Years ago, a photographer had to shoot each and every car model and color, and the studio lighting systems were powerful and huge. You HAD to be an expert craftsman and lighting guru, in order to make a fantastic car photo! Today, most of the work is done in Post Production, starting with images that need little attention to detail, considering everything can me modified in Post! That is the reason, we can see those fabulous cars roaming all the way up to snowy mountains and jungles and surreal landscapes, both natural and artificial.
See for example:
When I am asked about the Future of Photography ( you can check other previous posts I have made about this subject), I think that a few areas will remain untouched:
Basically, Portraits will always be needed, and, as explained above, require a good deal of human interaction. Celebrities will always need their most recent images, Paparazzi photography will still be there too! On the other side of the spectrum, Documentary Photography, Travel and Nature, Events Photography and of course, Fine Art Photography will always be there, given the intrinsic curiosity of artists to explore the media in countless ways, always producing new, creative work. Film Photography is back, with many millennials embracing it as a very unexpected trend, staying away from digital technologies, and we all welcome this!!
What will survive and what not is always an open question, so I would like to hear other’s opinions too!
In the meantime, I am happy to be named one of the Top 20 Portrait Shooters in Miami, and, if you wanna find out why and have a taste of it, just make sure to contact me at your earliest convenience, and we will set up some cool time together!! Just click on the Logo below.
Advertising Photographer Jorge Parra is well known as a People Photographer, shooting Advertising, Fashion, Beauty and Portrait Photography for over 2 decades.
However, a number of Creative Directors as well as Architects and Designers who recognize and value Jorge’s vision, have been pushing him out of his comfort zone, by inviting him to shoot architectural and interior design projects. The logic behind these requests was the interest of these creatives in exploring different approaches to photographing places and spaces from a fresh perspective.
For this reason, Jorge has been working on a series of photographic projects in Architecture and Interior Design, mostly focused on the Leisure and Luxury markets, shooting Hotels, Spas, Restaurants, as well as private residences and vacation villas.
In addition to these visual challenges, Jorge has been traveling around the world, shooting some large-scale fantastic Lighting Design Projects for public spaces in distant cities like Ankara in Turkey, Dublin in Ireland and Madrid, Spain, and the most recent project was shot in Washing DC, here in the USA. Lighting Design Photography is an area where only a few photographers have been successfully involved.
The resulting body of work includes visuals for Conde Nast Traveler, Luxe Magazine, Hilton Hotels, SLS Hotels, Mandarin Hotels, Ritz Carlton Hotels, several travel and luxury commercial and private residential projects, plus the cool lighting design projects.
Please, visit Jorge’s totally new website for the Synthetic Habitat Project and feel free to make contact to discus you upcoming visual needs in these fields.
Jorge ‘s next and natural phase for The Synthetic Habitat Project involve a fine mixing and blend of his favorite visual themes: Fashion and Architecture, putting together all his skills, in an ongoing series of images to be published soon!
Photographers, as well as every other creative, should engage in donating their talents and skills to society, specially on behalf of their own local community, when it is the time to help others in distress or bad conditions.
In the case of us, fashion and advertising photographers, who one way or another, enjoy some quite nice perks and benefits as a result of our work, we need to give back even more!
It is for this very reason that over the years, I have committed time, resources, energy and my visual skills to help different organizations who work tirelessly to provide help and counseling to the under-appreciated, the neglected and the survivors!
I have worked, and keep working, to provide assistance for kids waiting for adoption, little fellows in the foster care system, wishing and hoping for a better life, and thanks to the work of organizations like the Children’s Trust, the Miami and Broward Heart Galleries and Fotomission, we can do some portraits of these kids, and at least offer them a better chance to find a family that will take care of them.
On the other end of the spectrum, the “Flashes of Hope” Non Profit organization has committed to provide some partial relief to parents with kids with terminal cancer, and we volunteer to do portraits of these beautiful creatures and their parents. before their time is over.
I have also contributed with images to the Life Alliance program of the University of Miami Organ Donor Program, and have photographed several people of all ages, from kids to grandparents, who have nicely survived organ transplant surgery. I am also a member of the Volunteer Match Program, to provide visual assistance when requested.
Amazingly, through fashion photography, I have been able to donate my skills to Breast Cancer initiatives, both in South Florida and Latin America.
Finally, I am always volunteering time and resources to our local Creative Mornings Miami Group, a fantastic worldwide initiative for monthly breakfasts for the creative community, putting together all those talented people who believe Miami is THE PLACE to be and work and want to make this city grow into one of the finest creative destinations.
I always encourage Advertising and Boutique Agencies to contact me with their creative projects for Non-Profit Agencies.
Those who enjoy talking about the Digital Disruption or Digital Divide will encounter a fine material and food for thought is this post. I decided to wait a bit after the original hoopla was already gone, regarding this amazing situation, and here’s a brief description of it all:
Earlier this year, (probably late last year), the well known fashion firm Burberry was getting ready to prepare their Spring worldwide photographic campaign. Traditionally, the most sought-after shooters are called to send their estimates for such a juicy and interesting project, since the visuals will certainly define trends in both imaging and marketing for the year.
Now, the marketing team in charge of the Burberry account came out with what they think is a genius idea, and basically, the decided to make a move that caused a lot of frustration and anger in the market, as the selection of the photographer bypassed any professional or aesthetical consideration, and the agency decided to put 16 years old Brooklyn Beckham, the son of the ultra famous Victoria and David Beckham, in charge of the campaign.
The reason for this choice was that the kid has shown some ability taking pictures in his iPhone, specially selfies, and 35 mm DSLR cameras PLUS the huge list of6.5 million followers he has in Instagram, not to mention the additional “back up” and support of two powerful brands, the parents, and their own followers!
The strategy behind this idea is that Burberry considered that they wanted to knock doors on an already captive 6.5 million kids/consumers who are watching whatever Brooklyn publishes in his Instagram account, and if you take a look, you will find tons of selfies during his vacations, some portraits, little birds, friends, etc, etc, this is, what a 16 years old kid does with his instagram. Simple! If you locate the behind the scenes images at the Burberry Instagram account (@burberry), you may see the kid was handed a medium format camera, and it is sad to notice how he does not even know how to grab such a camera, but that did not matter, as long as someone took some pics of Brooklyn (in his iPhone, of course) “taking some shots for the campaign” with the MF camera….
Needless to say, young Brooklyn has no knowledge whatsoever on lighting, production, has never before done a fashion shooting, etc,etc, but the agency took good care of all this, by providing the best Art Directors, Fashion Stylists, Models, Assistants and Production Crew money can buy, so this kid could come up with what amounts to good photos (what in the industry is called good enough images). As a matter of fact, we have previously seen this situation has happened before, when talent like Steven Meisel and Annie Leibovitz, who don’t know anything about artificial lighting, are always working with the best lighting assistants around, but at the every least, these guys are super talented and brilliant, genius creators, and have actually committed a lifetime to their work as photographers!!
So, the question here is, are we seeing a starting trend where Instagram followers are going to replace talent for some type of campaigns??
Granted, Brooklyn Beckham, there is only one, but there are tons of sons of equally famous celebrities and millionaires and billionaires around, and you can read in the links at the end how photographers did not take this in a good manner. Those of us who are working our asses to build a presence and name in order to arrive to those levels when you are called to shoot some of those amazing clients, feel a good deal of frustration.Once again, granted, the most vocal complainers when the news came out, were shooters with the smaller number of instagram followers, although their portfolios are just the top of the line….
Months have passed, and If you check today Brooklyn’s Instagram account, you will find, again, new, regular selfies and simple images shot by a teenager, and the number of followers just keeps growing. Maybe there are some purchased followers (as most everyone seem to do in this time and era), but much certainly, the advertising and marketing geniuses see more value in those potential consumers than in the image-making creative process, involving true creators, which could drive both the sales and the brand up.
On a personal note, I think this is but one more attempt from the Advertising market to visualize millennials barely as “top consumers”, and nothing else, using one of them to reinforce the concept.
About the author: Jorge Parra is a Fashion and Advertising Photographer, based in Miami, who, among other things, is looking after getting his first (not purchased) million followers in Instagram.
Moving on in our “Conversations” series, I just want to share this short video-monologue about my impressions on Fashion Photography and how design is involved in showing up the many aspects of women, their beauty, character, femininity, elegance, sensuality, all intermixed with design, in mysterious and fascinating ways.
It is always a fine visual challenge to be able to put together these elements in a fine balance, and make it work for the Advertising Market.
To begin, I have made a commitment to myself to maintain the utmost respect for women who, in the creative visual fields, specially when looking for the “hip”, the “never seen before”, the unexpected, the “out of the box” ultra-super-duper-creative approach, sometimes end up poorly misrepresented.
Without further ado, please take a look at the brief clip, where yours truly keeps talking and talking!!
I hope you liked this clip, and if you really enjoyed it, and would still like to hear more, feel free to quickly jump to my “Conversations” link on my site, where you will find more brief clips on my talks on Fashion Photography, Advertising/Commercial Photography, Fine Art Photography, The Luxury Market and Portrait Photography of Women.
I had previously posted a whole set of tips and suggestions on how to successfully use Linkedin as a professional networking channel, taking advantage of the fact, that, contrary to FaceBook and other channels, Linkedin gathers a huge percentage of professionals from all areas and fields of human performance. This characteristic makes Linkedin a potentially useful platform to build up new business relationships and strategic alliances, which can help on the profitability of your own business.
Thing is,Success is, from my point of view, more of a process than a goal. It can be easily proven that, once a goal is achieved, in any aspect of our lives, the mind already has yet another new goal to achieve, and on and on, indefinitely, so it makes sense to focus more on the process to achieve success than in the goals themselves. Improving the process will facilitate achieving new goals.
The well known formula: [Garbage In = Garbage Out] applies wonderfully to Linkedin and every other platform and channel you intend to use for marketing and promotional purposes.
Basically, if you do not commit to provide useful, appealing content, a well groomed profile and stay active on the process of updating all your info on Linkedin, and participate in Groups, you can not expect better results than the ones you have today. Too many Photographers believe that they just need to create a profile, as brief as possible, and sit and wait for a torrential rain of new clients and projects to pour on them. Then the complaints about Linkedin not being useful as an instant cash cow pop out in every forum.
I can not emphasize enough how critical it is to prepare a very effective Profile about yourself in Linkedin. Almost everything is relevant!! From your education to the causes and organizations you donate time and resources to, to the historical career path which has led you to who and how and where you are today, everything counts, if posted properly.
Just recently, the Linkedin Blog published the 10 words people OVERUSE the most in Linkedin in their Profiles, and therefore, have been rendered technically useless for self-promotion, specially if you want to differentiate yourself properly, so your Linkedin Profile should avoid the following:
Ten most overused Profile buzzwords:
• Extensive experience
• Track record
Sounds familiar?? How many of these are right now in your Profile?
To make this brief, consider this: if by any chance you actually are NOT motivated passionate, creative, responsible, etc,etc, then you are not a good profesional anyways, and again, if you are all of the above, a cool Pro, make no mistake: every other Pro who is your actual competition, claims to be exactly the same cool Pro!
So, use your motivation, passion, creativity and experience to build up a better profile, avoiding most of the words above!!!
The matter of connecting with potential clients stays the same: One of the most useful decisions is joining Linkedin Groups, BUT, do not join a dozen of photographer’s groups, since basically none of them will need your services!! Of course, it makes sense to be in touch with the photographer’s community, so being in a couple of those groups is healthy to stay in touch with changes in the industry, etc, so, do not discard all of those, but know in advance those do not offer lots of marketing opportunities. For the same reason, Retouchers, Educators, Assistants, Coaches and Consultants need to be in photographer’s groups, since they can become their clients.
Think exactly in the same way, to decide what groups you should consider joining. You have to be in places where your potential clients also roam. If you are interested in architectural clients, join architect’s groups, same for Corporate, same for Fashion, same for Advertising etc,etc.
Participation in those groups will streamline the process of connecting with people who might become your future clients or strategic allies. It is also important to note that potential clients, prospects, may not necessarily react instantly to your profile and activity.They may bookmark your profile and will check it out for changes/updates in time, and might consider you for a project later on, when their need for your type of work arises. Months may pass by before this happens. Be patient!!
This is solid proof that success in Linkedin is a process, as you can not measure your success by what you have already achieved, but for what is coming ahead.
I have previously started a discussion on the impact of digital technologies in the way we do business, and it’s implications in the Visual Arts (see for example http://linkd.in/12i2K0Z), but there is still more to talk: a critical conceptual and relevant element in the discussion was very clearly exposed by Mr Herring in his presentation: the fact that many artists and creators are still having issues embracing digital technologies as the way to create new work.
Of course, we are the generation dealing with the transition process, and that is already hard and harsh. Many of us learnt our craft the “analog way” and many are reluctant to just switch over to digital technologies.
It was impressive to hear Herring talk about the problems in the music world, all the more so in classical music ( Mr Herring is in charge of developing the right digital tools and strategies to teaching classical music to young musicians, whose interests are mostly elsewhere) and the experience has been quite challenging and yet, successful.
Many other artists, and specially photographers, have had troubles in embracing digital cameras, computers, software, plug-ins etc, etc, after having lived for decades under the analog technologies, shooting in film, chemical processing, chemical printing, manual retouching of both negatives and prints, tons of darkroom techniques to produce “alternative” results, and then, in the scope of less than 10 years, it all changed. Film manufacturing is going to minimum amounts, Kodachrome ceased to produce new film, ( actually, Kodak went out of business!), Polaroid closed doors, and , while still a few artists keep shooting in film ( just the same in the movie industry), most shooters from older generations have had to forcefully adapt, in an attempt to not go down the drain.
It is then when Herring’s presentation brought in a fantastic insight to the state of things, bringing back from the past no other than Marshall McLuhan, a well respected communications visionaire from the 60’s and 70’s. Herring recalls one of the most remembered phrases, “The Medium is the Message”, and even though McLuhan did not even foretold the advent of the internet and the digital revolution, the relevance of his words resonate today more than ever.
Basically, in current terms, we have to understand, absorb and digest the fact that EACH NEW MEDIA IS MEANT FOR AN INTRINSICALLY NEW MESSAGE.
And here’s a simple train of thoughts I offer to explain this:
Back when the telegram was invented and put to use, communications were brief and to the point ( probably, the first iteration of Twitter). Then comes the Radio, and now the message is not just written word in a few characters on paper, there is now audio, and conversation is “streamed” through the airwaves. Then comes Television, and now the message involves both audio and moving images, generating an altogether new message (or type of messages), that no telegram or radio program could provide. You can, of course interject photography and movies in between.
So here we are, with each new media, a new message was intrinsically created and developed.Then we jump back to current times, with the Internet and all the digital technologies popping out.
We then have to question ourselves: for these new media, which are the new messages?
For the initial years, the term Disruption has been used over and over. Digital is destroying our way of life, or at least the one we have lived through several years/decades. The Digital Crossover is right there, in front of us.
But disruption is the initial stage and things just change and move on. Most everyone was convinced at the onset of the 20th century that Painting was going to die, due to the disruption created by Photography, but then again, Painting just took another, less pictorial, representational road, and thanks to that we have contemporary Painting, well away from Photography.
We then have to deal the realities of living the “disruption era” of digital technologies, the Digital Crossover. As a sad reality, among the visual artists, I see so many photographers still entangled in this recurrent and pointless drama. The fact that so many shooters are just trying to emulate analog photography, while using their digital cameras, is merely a disappointing way to deny the new message that is implicit in digital photography!
The fact that cameras look almost exactly the same may be part of the issue, but when I see so many of my colleagues, for example, longing for grain (and actually, adding noise to digital captures, in order to make them look like grainy film) and so many other complaints about how film photography was soo much better, I only have one solution to their longing: get back to film photography. Use the old media in the context it was developed. Artists and creators can still go a long way creating interesting images in film ( some movie directors, like Tarantino have sworn they will stop shooting movies when they run out of film), but in the meantime, if you are going to embrace digital technologies in your visual art, then get ready and curious to explore a new media, create and produce your own, new/revamped message.
Recently I tried to sit with my teenage daughter, to explain to her the basics of Photoshop, and she flatly refused to go there. She quickly showed me all the editing she does directly on her smart phone, and even challenged me to do it as fast as she does. For her, Photoshop is already old school!
So, for this coming generations, who were born in this digital/technological environment, for them the new media and it’s new message are matter-of-fact. Looks like once again, and more than ever, we have to keep learning from our kids, and stay in touch with the ever-changing technological landscape, as we learn to embrace the new world we are crossing over.
The same applies to so many other careers and professions, from lawyers to architects, to engineers, etc., meaning, we all have to stay in learning and experimenting mode, in order to stay relevant, as the business models also keep changing, sometimes in unexpected and aggressive ways.
My question/challenge to the Visual Artists is: are you willing to explore and craft your new (or revamped) message, as a way to stay relevant in this digital world we are crossing over, full speed ahead?
About the Author: Jorge Parra is a Photographer who shoots mainly Fashion, Beauty and Portrait for Advertising, and based in Miami, FL. He is also an Advanced Photography Instructor at the Miami Ad School.
Jorge’s photographic work can be seen in his spanking new website,
During the last 8 years, Advertising Photographer Jorge Parra has been working on a series of photographic projects in Architecture and Interior Design, mostly focused on the Leisure and Luxury markets, shooting Hotels, Spas, Restaurants, as well as private residences and vacation villas. Jorge is well known as a People Photographer, shooting Advertising, Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Photography for over 2 decades. However, a number of Creative Directors as well as Architects and Designers who recognize and value Jorge’s vision, have been pushing him out of his comfort zone, by inviting him to shoot architectural and interior design projects. The logic behind these requests was the interest of these creatives in exploring different approaches to producing and photographing these projects from a fresh perspective. In addition to these challenges, Jorge has been traveling around the world, shooting some large-scale fantastic Lighting Design Projects for public spaces in distant cities like Ankara in Turkey, Dublin in Ireland and Madrid, Spain. New projects are being produced in the USA and will be showcased in the near future. Lighting Design Photography is an area where only a few photographers have been successfully involved.
The resulting body of work includes visuals for Conde Nast Traveler, Luxe Magazine, Hilton Hotels, SLS Hotels, Mandarin Hotels, Ritz Carlton Hotels, plus several travel and luxury commercial and private residential projects, plus the cool lighting design projects.
The next natural phase for The Synthetic Habitat Project involves a fine blend of Fashion and Architecture, both Stills and Motion, putting together all of Jorge’s skills, in an ongoing series of images to be published in the near future.