The SmartPhone Photograpy Workshop for Bloggers, Writers, Designers and Social Media Managers is here!

SmartPhone Photo by Jorge Parra
Shot on iPhone by ©Jorge Parra

ABOUT SMARTPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY:

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:

 http://jorgeparra.com/pages/advanced-workshops-registration-and-payment/

 Register, have fun and learn!

Are Followers Replacing Professional Talent in Advertising?

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 9.25.00 AM

 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 of 6.5 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.

Thanks!

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.

You can see my work at my website at www.JorgeParra.com, but first and foremost, pls do not forget to start  following  me in my Instagram account, @jorgeparraphotographyjust in case…

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Suggested Links:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/30/sheer-nepotism-brooklyn-beckham-burberry-shoot-angers-photographers

David Beckham’s Son Just Shot a Burberry Campaign, and Photographers Are Pissed

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Miami Advertising/Commercial photographer Jorge Parra relaunches the Synthetic Habitat Project: Architecture, Interior Design and Lighting Design Photography for the Leisure and Luxury Markets.

Architectural Photography by Jorge Parra
© Jorge Parra


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.

Please, visit Jorge’s Synthetic Habitat Project and feel free to drop a comment.

www.SyntheticHabitat.com

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.
Cheers!!

Daniela, Dafne and Victoria: The Miracle of Life

Dani, Dafne and Victoria Parra © 2010 Jorge Parra

I take a break from my work to talk a bit about my life.

Back when I was a young adult, I could have never imagined, not even in my wildest imaginations and daydreamings, that life was gonna make me witness and participant of this magnificent miracle of life, and enjoy this fantastic gift, this amazing  and huge miracle, of having 3 beautiful kids,  and all girls!!

So there they are, Daniela, Dafne and Victoria, giving me an everyday dose of why I am doing my everyday fights, why there is always  a reason to be alive, and be totally thankful for it, why to keep pursuing light and enlightenment.

3 different manifestations of my own self, and yet each one so independent and unique, Daniela, always so rational, Dafne, so peculiar in her ways, and Victoria, still a magic Faery, all 3 tied up by all those invisible threads love and nature bring together into a special fabric, something with no name, no size, no form, yet big and tangible and solid as a rock.

It is unusual for us humans to stop and say thank you, and yet it is so liberating when it expresses a real feeling!
I am sure none of my girls would even understand this, but I just can’t thank them enough for just being there, and being who they are, how they are. All of my adult life has been reshaped over and over, revolving around their presence, while still experimenting things and pursuing light for my own achievements, just to be able to offer them more of my love, in different forms and manifestations.

One thing that is truly amazing, is how unique it is to be able feel and express unconditional love, this deep sensation in your body that tells you that you can love someone with no restrictions, no limits, no thoughts, no logic, no boundaries.
This deep, wide-open love can only happen with your own sons, in my case,  my daughters, and unconditional love is the best feeling you can ever have in your heart.

So I am the luckiest person to enjoy the miracle of life, and being touched by the opportunity to give unconditional love to my girls, and enjoy this miracle every minute of my life.

Daniela, Dafne and Victoria, thank you, my babies!!

You are the best source of Pure Visual Energy I will ever enjoy.

UrDad.

New York Fashion Week s/s 2011 and The Green Shows. Eco-Activism vs Glamour

©2010 Jorge Parra

I was glad and curious to attend the The Green Shows at the New York Fashion Week this week, presenting  a group of   fashion designers who are working on sustainability by way of reusing and recycling materials , fabrics and objects that many would consider trash or rejects, and transform them into fashion garments.

The interesting thing, as I saw it, is that there is still a good way to go before most of those products can be truly marketable into mainstream or even boutique stores.

The simple reason for this is that the designers are still too involved in their Eco-friendly/Green Activism, most designers have a defined background and participation in environmental/Green causes and therefore,  many designs and pieces only convey a statement, sometimes a protest, sometimes an irony, and activism has to be “toned down” into a more refined and subtle form, so the message is still there, but the glamour, usability and good-looking factors prevail. We are talking fashion here!

It was notable to see lots of designers  like LAVUK, Auralis, and Samantha Pleet working with recycled fabrics, and going  more towards casual and party wear. Other great collections like the “Black Label” by british designer Ashton  Michael introduced greatly designed pieces from recycled fabrics and natural products, for a very targeted population of young, androgynous consumers, lovers of the post apocalyptic look.

It is  for this very reason, that  the most remarkable looks, putting together a great deal of elegance, form and function while still conveying the green message, are the High Fashion designs for the “Upcycled Couture” Collection by Miami designer Luis Valenzuela, bringing class, style and forward thinking to the Green evolution, in atmosphere of luxury and glamour. His shoes made a remarkable presence, and he was one of the few designers to present shoes of his own creation.

I don’t see any reason why green and recycled has to convey a message of wear, deterioration, only post nuke attitudes and solutions. Homeless people, specially in New York, are masters at recycling garbage , and trust me, they don’k look great!

Backstage at the Green Shows, I spotted shirts and dresses left behind from some of the presentations. Does this mean that the designers just wanted to showcase the look – or rather the message- in the runway and just immediately after the event  those pieces became garbage for real? Integration of green fashion design into a marketable product needs more than than just an eco-friendly message.

The Green Design  for fashion is still in it’s early stages, no doubt much advanced than the Green Shows of last year, where most dresses were unwearable, they were just a protest, an activist’s message, but not a truly fashionable thing.
The 2011 S/S collections bring an air of freshness, and true approach to real fashion design, and, if the movement does not  slow down, and goes beyond being a trendy thing of the moment, we should see great solutions and great looks moving together for a future in which trash will have to be renamed , given the high value it may have in the proper hands of these true fashion designers.

For More images, just visit my FaceBook Business Page

Jorge Parra

Great Art keeps coming to Miami, to stay!

I am so glad of having met with my old friend Carlos Cabeza here in Miami.

 Carlos is great artist who has been living and working in Paris for more than 20 years, doing amazing work for companies like Capellini, plus many international exhibits.

His name in the Art world dates back to the time when he was assistant to Jesus Soto, the creator and major developer of Kinetic Art.
Carlos is now bringing some of his energy to Miami, and we will see a great show in October, when the new Oscar Ascanio Gallery will finally open doors in Winwood.
Oscar also deserves a warm welcome, because he is one of the most respected Gallery owners in Latin America, having published, edited and curated more than 30 books on Latin American Art, and from now on, we will have him permanently in Miami.

I had the chance to shoot an interesting portrait of Carlos immersed in one of his art installations, and also giving final touches to a very long ( 6 mt long) piece which will be on display at the opening. Carlos is also inviting local artist from Miami to a gallery in Paris he is curating for, as to create an Art Bridge between the 2 cities.

Carlos and Oscar, you are very welcome to Miami!!

Cheers!

Jorge

Gallery Opening: “Body Alchemy” by Jorge Parra in South Beach, June 3rd.







Dear Friends


 You are welcome to the opening of this special solo show from photographer Jorge Parra, showcasing for the very first time ever, his Chemo-Digital Prints, developed for a long term, and still ongoing project, “Body Alchemy”, exploring the human form.

The ArtDecoMiami Gallery, located in the heart of South Beach, is the perfect setting for this exhibition, a blend of Fashion and Fine Art photography, that is clearly seen in most of Jorge’s personal and commercial work. 


In this case, the human figure is the canvas for a transmutation process into a new visual expression, because it goes far beyond the original beauty and sensuality of the human body which originated the visuals in the first place, by using combined analog (darkroom) and digital (lightroom) techniques.


Opening: Thursday, June 3rd at 7:30 pm

 Address is: ArtDecoMiami Gallery. 
                  1528 Alton Road, Miami Beach, Florida 33139

Exhibition runs from June 23rd through June 30, 2010 from 10 am – 6 pm


See you there!

2 Hours in Mexico City

While on assignment last week, I had the chance to take a look at the surreal world of Mexico DF, or downtown Mexico, briefly.
The blend of religion icons, specially  “La Santa Muerte” (The Saint Death), patron of killers ,robbers and thieves, hand-operated print ” companies” that offer you any kind of fake document, including mexican passports, certificates of death, University Diplomas,etc , the ultra famous “free fighters”, and other things that popped in front of me, only helped me get more confused about what Mexico is today.

Meantime, taking a look at the Mayan ruins and all historical material gathered at the Antropological Museum, made me realize I was standing in front of the most amazing culture humanity has created, and will make me pursue a large road  travel into those regions.

I certainly want to go back to that strange land!

A moment in Time: a New York Times Initiative.

Hi there!

I just got news about this idea from NYT just on my only free day at Dominican Republic, after a 6 days assignment there.

The concept was to create one shot at 11 am local time on Sunday , May the 2nd. Thousands of shooters were doing likewise in their own locations.

Images will be posted on the Times soon. Follow the link below:

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/30/readers-11/

Included is my shot for the initiative.

Cheers!

Jorge