Leading by Helping Others
Motivational speaker, Les Brown once said, “Help others achieve their dreams, and you will achieve yours.” Justin Haugen, a photographer from Tucson, Arizona, is the perfect example of this quote. Over the last year, Justin has been earning lots of respect from his peers because of the constant support he gives others. About a year ago Justin decided that in addition to working hard in his photography business, he wanted to dedicate time and effort to helping other photographers learn the craft as well. It is something he is great at doing!
He started by forming a free group for photographers in his local area that has since grown to 1,023 members. In the group they actively share business ideas, plan shoots together, post weekly themed photos and pass along work leads. He has also taken on an active role at the highly respected SLR Lounge helping to moderate their community, writing educational articles for Learning to Light and is consistently sharing knowledge in Facebook groups he belongs to including the MagMod Community. In fact, Justin is the most active member of the MagMod Community. In just one year he’s left 752 comments, posted 74 times, and has actively engaged with countless posts. In addition to being extremely helpful to others, he is also incredibly talented, and his work is worth checking out.
We asked Justin if he wouldn’t mind sharing some of his favorite images created with the MagMod modifiers and give us some details on how each was shot. To see even more of Justin’s portfolio be sure to visit his website, Facebook and Instagram and keep an eye out for him in the MagMod Community.
“The sphere is such a versatile light shaping tool. Pulling off a perfectly round light pattern is very easy to do which you can’t achieve with other modifiers of this size and portability. In this photo the speedlight with the magsphere and creative blue gel is behind the couple and pointed directly at the wall.”
“The creative gels are a real hit with brides and grooms. I like to ask a couple what their favorite color is and use it for colorful rim lit images. A little hair spray, powder, or atmosphere aerosol make for great special effect when combined with a kicker or rim light.”
“I’ve found it essential to have as much of the magmod kit as possible to give myself a lot of options with multiple light setups. I started out setting up this photo with the couple using a speedlight with a magsphere stacked on a grid and full CTO gel. When I noticed the bmxer on his bike nearby, I flagged him down and asked him if he could pull of his manual across the length of the bench. I quickly set up a grid and another full CTO gel on a speedlight to the left of me and was able to knock this shot out in one attempt.”
“As I go through these photos, I’m noticing I really like rim light! There was a lot of great ambient light and colors in this arcade and I just wanted to add little bit of pop to their bodies. I used a mag grid on a speedlight positioned on a small light stand on the skeeball machine. I had a full CTO gel on the flash and set the white balance to tungsten.”
“Another rim lit photo with a gridded speedlight and a half CTO gel. It helps to be mindful of foreground elements when rim lighting. There’s a little extra fill from the light bouncing back off the bushes in front of the couple.”
“Posing and lighting go hand in hand. I’m always conscious of the origin of light, its direction, and the my subjects position relative to that light. I love short light. It’s dramatic and moody. While shooting portraits of the bride I looked behind me and noticed her sister and mother looking out of the house as guests were arriving. A few steps back and I had a completely different photo on my hands. The bride was lit with a speedlight with a maggrid and ½ CTO gel”
“It really makes my day when a subject has a great idea to let their personality shine on a session. We spent the afternoon walking around the University of Arizona campus and she wanted to end the session riding her longboard. I positioned a speedlight with maggrid and half CTO gel and had her ride towards it. I put another speedlight bare on the steps behind her to add a little pop to the scene.”
“Every time I ask a bride what her favorite color is, purple seems to be the popular answer which is fine with me because the purple creative gel photographs amazingly. For this scene I really wanted to light this oak tree up. I positioned the speedlight 60 to 80 feet behind the couple and put a purple creative gel inside the magsphere with the wide angle diffusion panel on flash pulled out to maximize the spread of the light. I aimed the flash at a 45 degree angle. Even shooting at ISO 5000 at f1.4, I had to crank the power of the flash up to ½ to get that purple light tp reach the furthest edges of the scene.”
“Indoor spaces are a playground for the magmodder. Most photographers would walk into this space and be thrown off by the ugly fluorescent lights. Shooting with two speedlights, one with a triple stacked grid and the other with a fully extended snoot, I was able to bring focus to the couple in this image without spilling any light onto their surroundings. It’s really important to me that I’m not a victim to poor lighting situations and that I can intentionally shape how I choose to.”
“With twilight approaching, it’s a great time to creatively shoot with corrective gels. A ½ CTO gel warmed up my subjects as I pushed the white balance for the scene cooler to correct for the orange tones I introduced into the exposure. I used a maggrid on the flash to limit the spill of the light and keep it exclusively on the couple. It took some steady hand holding to get the exposure down to 1/5th of a second to add an element of movement to an otherwise static scene.”
Thanks Justin for all you’ve shared. Very inspiring!