How long have you been shooting?
What gear do you shoot with?
-I shoot with a Canon 5d Mark II, Canon 35mm f/1.4L, Canon 50mm f/1.2L & Sigma 85mm f/1.4. I also have two film cameras; a Canon Élan 7 and a Canon AE-1.
Do you go to school for photography?
-No. I majored in Accounting & Finance with a minor in Economics.
Do you recommend going to school for photography?
-I would say it’s not for everyone. I know many people; myself included, who have learned solely from photography forums, tutorials, other photographers and just by getting out there and shooting. I feel that that is the most beneficial and cost effective way to learn. The people I do know who are currently in school for photography generally don’t like it all that much. Though there are always some who take away a great deal from it which I truly respect.
How did you choose your major? Do you plan to stick with photography as your career or are you planning to start a career in accounting/finance?
-It was quite a journey. I chose my college for forensics as they have one of the top programs on the west coast. After a year of taking classes, I realized I couldn’t live with doing that forever and switched to business. Took an accounting class at some point and loved it and decided that I’d major in accounting since accountants are always going to be needed. In Washington State you are required to have 225 credits (5 years) to sit for the CPA exam which is why I picked up my other finance major and econ minor. At the moment, I’m still undecided as to what I’ll do in the long run. I plan to move out of Washington soon and head down to Florida. With that, I’d like to work at a bank and put some of my schooling to use. After a couple recent classes, I’ve found the banking industry to be pretty interesting so I’d love to get some experience working in it. However, no matter what I do, I’ll still always take pictures since it’s something I can do forever.
Are you willing to travel for photo shoots?
-If travel expenses are paid for then of course! I’ll go anywhere!
How do you shoot into the sun and still keep the subject’s face lit?
-I expose for the person’s face that way that will have the best exposure. Generally, this means the background will be over-exposed. Different angles will play the biggest part into it. The best way to do it is just to get out there and practice. With a little practice and technique you’ll find it’s fairly easy.
What lens do you use the most?
-I use my 35L the most. It’s ideal for the type of portraits I like to do.
How do you like using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4? Does it compare to the 85L?
-I love it! I’ve used the 85L twice and while it is a pretty awesome lens, it can be quite slow in focusing. IQ-wise, I find the Sigma to be pretty close to the 85L which was a big selling point for me. I picked mine up for $850 from a friend so it was well worth it to me to buy the Sigma rather then spend 2k for the 85L.
Do you use a flash outdoors? Indoors? On-camera or off?
-I never use a flash outdoors anymore. Indoors it depends on when/what I’m shooting. My camera doesn’t have an on-board flash so I use a Vivitar 285hv.
Are your outdoor portraits done with natural light?
-Yes. About 95% of my work is done with just natural light.
Do you use any reflectors, modifiers, etc. when shooting natural light?
-No. It’s always just my camera, the sun and me. Sometimes I’ll use nature’s number one modifier; clouds.
At what aperture do you shoot most?
-It varies between 1.4-2.2 depending on the lighting conditions, what lens I’m using and the type of shot I’m going for.
What metering mode do you use? Do you use a light meter?
-I use evaluative and no I do not use a light meter. I go based on what the shots look like on the back of the camera. It’s worked for me thus far so I’ve stuck to that method.
What white balance do you shoot on?
-I switch between Cloudy and Shade.
What do you use to edit your photos?
-I use Capture One & Photoshop CS5.
Do you sell actions?
-Yes, visit my website for more info. www.jordanvoth.com/photoshop-actions
Do your actions work in Lightroom or PS Elements?
-No, they are only compatible with Photoshop CS2-CS5.
What camera do you use to take the Polaroid-looking shots?
-I use a Fujifilm Instax 210.
How much is the Instax camera and is film expensive?
-On B&H, the camera is around $60 and film is around $17 for 20 shots.
How are you able to shoot with models who are signed to agencies? Do you contact the agency? What do you say to the agency?
-I’ve either contacted the agency or I’ve met models via other means of communication and set stuff up with them that way. As far as talking to agencies, I just tell them about myself, what I shoot, give them samples of my work and ask if they have any models that I would be able to work with. It’s worked out well for me thus far.
How do you talk to the people you shoot? As in, how do you get them to look natural and not posed?
-Just talk to them and carry on a conversation with them as if they were a friend, it’s not that hard to do after awhile. That pretty much relaxes them and allows you to get better expressions from them. I’ll generally ask whoever I’m shooting about him/herself and then if there’s some common interest between us, I’ll talk about that more. If not, no biggie, just talk about something else. You can even just talk about the weather haha. Anything works, just keep the conversation flowing.
Do you have any input as to what your models where for a shoot or do you just let them do it?
-Yes, we’ll usually email back and forth about location/wardrobe ideas and if I have a specific idea in mind I’ll try to send them some inspiration pictures for them to check out. Other times I just tell them to bring a lot of clothes and then we’ll pick through it whenever we meet up to shoot.
I was wondering since you shoot fairly wide open, how you do approach shooting a photo with more than one person? Your set with Erin and Jenna is so dynamic and yet things are sharp. Is there somewhere you aim on the subjects, are you utilizing you AF system in a unique way, are you simply stopping down, etc?
-First thing to think about is how far away you are from both subjects. The farther away you are, the larger the dof gets. You can see this by using an online Depth of Field calculator and putting in different values. When I shot them together they were relatively on the same focal plane, meaning that one wasn’t closer to me than the other. That’s one of the more important things to keep in mind, especially when you start getting closer to them. I may have shot some of these at f/2.2 (can’t remember exactly) so that helped a tad. But if you look at my blog post of them, there’s a couple of them running up from the water on the beach and those you can clearly see one of them is sharp and one is a little blurry. To me, a little bit oof doesn’t kill a shot. I was switching between AI Servo & One Shot. If you’re going to have them moving (running at you or something), I would suggest AI Servo.
Do you have a printed portfolio?
-Yes, I have an 11x16 and 8x10 book. I got the books from Aaron Brothers.
Where do you get your photos printed at?
-I order all my prints through WHCC. Awesome company, I highly recommend them.
Have you ever used anything other than the internet to advertise your business?
-Nope! Free advertising rules! The internet makes networking so much easier, everyone should take advantage of that.