I'm an advertising photographer/videographer based in Los Angeles, California. My mission is to create striking advertising photography, corporate photography and editorial photography of people for major advertising agencies, fortune 500 corporations and major magazines. I shoot photography and video assignments throughout California including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego as well as the rest of the world. As a photo educator I am happy to share my unique vision and methods. I'm currently teaching classes at College of the Canyons in video production for professional photographers and photography students. I give workshops, seminars and lectures on short form video production at colleges, organizations and conferences around the world.

Photo-Video 055 Head Makes Shooting Photos and Video Easy

Posted: July 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Manfrotto, video production | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

With the Manfrotto 055 Photo-Movie head w/Q5 Quick Release, once again, Manfrotto is in the forefront of supplying innovative products that make working with shooting stills and video with a HDSLR easier.

Photo-video tripod head Manfrotto O55

Manfrotto 055 Photo-Movie head w/Q5 quick release

As a people photographer, I’m often faced with assignments that require both a vertical portrait of a subject for the cover or advertisement and traditional horizontal video clip.  Up until the Manfrotto 055, no tripod head has allowed me to do both easily.  The Manfrotto 055 quickly goes from vertical to horizontal with the added benefit of being able to shoot smooth vertical video moves for web use in the skyscraper format.  In photo mode it acts like a ball head and in video mode like a fluid head.  Just like the all in one still/video solution that HDSLRs provide us, the Manfrotto 055 is the all in one tripod head for still and video.

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Don’t Shoot Like a Drunken Pirate

Posted: September 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Hoodman, Litepanels, Manfrotto, video production | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Anyone who has attended one of my Secrets of Video Production for Photographers knows I am a big advocate of sticks (tripod) like Manfrotto’s 536 MPRO with a fluid head such as the new Manfrotto HDV 504 for stability while shooting video. In the Pirate Faire, spreading sticks would have been an undue hazard to passersby in the crowded aisles but hand holding an HDSLR was not a good solution either. HDSLRs are simply not well designed for smooth handheld video. The usual jerky movements of handheld video draws attention to the camera and away from the story which unless it is a very highly dramatic reportage scene is counter-productive.

A shoulder rig from Redrock Micro was certainly a possibility and had I needed to move while shooting, it would have been the obvious solution. At an NAB presentation earlier this year, producers at National Geographic said camerapersons have requested being able to go back to shoulder mount cameras for some projects for the added stability. I came up with another solution because I was not going to need to chase the action but could plant myself in one spot and shoot.

The Manfrotto 3216 monopod worked perfectly. It was compact and easy to carry, quick to extend to any height I needed yet reduced the danger of tripping unaware passersby. I used a 3262QR ball head with quick release but had I needed to tilt up or down, I might have chosen a 501 fluid head. The Hoodman Cine Kit Pro made it easy to see the LCD when shooting in the bright sun.

Next time you’re tempted to handhold an HDSLR, try a monopod and see if your video looks less like it was shot by a drunken pirate.

Click to watch clip

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First production Canon 7d in the US

Posted: September 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Canon, Canon 7d, video | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Having one of the first production Canon 7d DSLRs in the US I have to think of what glass I want to put on it. Photographers love their glass, they love the rainbow colors reflecting off the multicoating, the image snapping into focus and the silky smooth feel of a fine rotating focus barrel. Up until now, photographers have had to live with the manufacturers line of lenses which are often very good especially the high end models or after market brands of varying quality with an occasional standout. Now there is a growing line of very high quality lenses that are especially well-suited to the latest DSLRs with video capabilities.

Still photographers now have access to a line of extraordinary Zeiss prime lenses much like feature filmmakers have been able to use for years. (Lenses that are still compatible with many of the electric functions of the camera but that have been set up to have an exquisitely long manual focus pull that make manual follow focus and track focus much easier.) The very wide prime aperture, along with its nine blades, ensure that the effects of the out-of-focus areas of the picture have an attractively balanced “bokeh” so highly prized by cinematographers.

Zeiss has already created a line of Nikon mount lenses and is starting to fill out the Canon mount lens line of a Planar T 1.4/50mm and Planar T 1.4/85mm with the just announced Distagon T 2.8/21mm and more to come. For more information on Carl Zeiss SLR Lenses go to www.zeiss.com/photo.

I have already decided on my first tandem still/video production with a friend’s classic bright red convertible Corvette and a romantic couple along the beautiful California coast.

Zeiss Distagon f2.8 21mm lens for Canon cameras

Zeiss Distagon f2.8 21mm lens for Canon cameras

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NAB inspires with new ideas, techniques and equipment.

Posted: May 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Canon, Education, photo lighting, Workflow | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Los Angeles photographers have the NAB convention to help keep them up-to-date. Commercial photographers like me often do advertising photography with the flavor of photojournalism to make location photography seem more real including my video work. The new video equipment I saw at NAB will help with that. When I do editorial photography, I often get to do video interviews and some of the new equipment will help with that was well.

Los Angeles photographer dramatic night portraiture

Los Angeles photographer dramatic night portraiture with Canon 5D

I had some very productive chats with the following representatives and want to thank them for all their information. In chronological order Peter of Lectronics, Fred at Audio Technica, Red of Photoflex, Joey of Mathhews Studio Equipment, Greg at JVC, Douglas at Shure, Ulrich Goetze of California Sunbounce, Mike of Marshall Electronics, Bernie of Panasonic, and Jennifer of dedoweightfilm.de.

California photographers are lucky to have so many resources locally. I have been shooting video for over seven years and there is more demand for it than ever.

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Los Angeles advertising photographer Lee White focuses on healthy living.

Posted: April 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Education, photo lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

California photographers are right in the middle of the country’s most health conscious region. Advertising photography of healthy food, year around outdoor activities and mind/body health are photographed here. Location photography is easy with endless sunny days, beautiful beaches and mountains.

Los Angeles photographer Lee White shoots healthy lifestyle - Yoga

Los Angeles photographer Lee White shoots healthy lifestyle - Yoga

Yoga studios and gyms seem to be on every block providing commercial photographers like me beautiful models for my advertising and editorial photography.

Photography hints: use cool pastel colors to make your subject’s skin tones standout. Cool colors also help present a calm quiet atmosphere.

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Los Angeles commercial photographer Lee White involvement with ESL teacher conference in California.

Posted: April 19th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Canon, Education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Advertising, editorial, and corporate photography is the main stay of my Los Angeles advertising photography studio’s work. Since many of my assignments as a corporate and magazine photographer include a video interview, it was natural I would be asked to help out at Ventura College and Santa Barbara City College during video projects. Being involved with photography education, I always feel privileged to assist other educators.

ESL teacher Kari Tudman presenting at CATESOL conference

ESL teacher Kari Tudman presenting at CATESOL conference

Los Angeles advertising photographer Lee White presenting at CATESOL conference.

Los Angeles advertising photographer Lee White presenting at CATESOL conference.


The CATESOL presentation was given by the well-known ESL teacher, Kari Tudman who used producing a video in class as a classroom community building project. During the class project, I assisted Kari and the students with technical advice and a second camera when needed. Kari and the students did the bulk of the work themselves and a good job at that. The two videos turned out very funny and the students really enjoyed working together. I then did a slight reedit, grading and sweetening of the projects at my Los Angeles photography studio to prepare the two videos for presentation in a large conference room. I also helped out at the presentation to make sure there were no technical problems and answer a few questions.

Photography hints: With over fifteen years of experience in photography education, I find I have benefited as much as I have contributed to any class. Take the opportunity to share your knowledge and give to your community.

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You always have a subject!

Posted: February 25th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Canon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
Self Portrait

Self Portrait

As an advertising photographer in Los Angeles, California, I have photographed everyone from Hollywood celebrities for international ads to stockholders for corporate annual reports. Being a people photographer, I find it interesting that there is a common belief that one needs a celebrity or at least a model to make a good commercial photo. New photographers sometimes don’t realize celebrities and models are just real people too. Admittedly they have more experience in front of a camera and sometimes the support of professional makeup artist, hair stylist and wardrobe people so are more comfortable being photographed. It’s our jobs as photographers to create a situation where all our subjects response in the way we want.

Creating and controlling a photo session takes practice, I still practice all the time. This brings me to the above self-portrait. Although, I love the interaction with my subjects and find willing people to photograph almost everywhere I go, even if I don’t find a subject, I always have myself. I set my Canon 5d on self timer to capture this shot.

It is good practice being in front of the camera. If you want willing photographic subjects then you should be willing yourself and as a side benefit, you only have to quit shooting when you get tire. Never fear, in the coming posts the pictures I show and discuss will be of models, celebrities, and “real” people, just don’t forget you always have a subject in you.

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Little enough light.

Posted: January 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I love photographing people on location with just a few small lights that can go outside at a moments notice. Now, coming from a advertising photography background and at times shooting multiple sets with 8X10 film view camera I have strobes and light modifiers enough to light up an office complex at night and have. My studio has dedicated outlets just for strobe packs.

Sometimes it is necessary to have tens of thousands of watts of light available but regardless of how much power you have it is always about crafting the light and getting the most from your subject. I can’t show the recent cover shot from the Comerica Bank photography yet but using the same portable light system I did this editorial photograph.

Sherry King with clouds

Sherry King with clouds

I used a single light to make this dramatic portrait Sherry King. Rather than just accepting the soft light created by a cloudy day, I was able to control the light. I could pick the light’s direction and so select the areas of clouds I wanted behind her. The light on her nicely defined her features and clothing. It equalized the brightness of the subject to the brightness of the background so I could keep good rich cloud detail. You can see I purposely let the light fall off quickly at her lower legs to hide the dirt and sticks. Not only does it hide an ugly foreground it gives a solid base to the picture while still showing she was outside. At times, you need to hide ugly details in plain sight and make them work for you.

With my portable lighting kit I can move about without worrying about plug-ins or generators. I can keep in rhythm with my subject and the energy up.

It is all about having and using the right tools at the right time.

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