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Tips on styling

Styling is one of the most important parts in a successful photoshoot.
If you shoot a model in jeans and tanktop, you’d better be a lighting wizard because there is not much else going on…..
This is one of the quotes from my book “Mastering the modelshoot” (which recently got the label bestseller :D).


Now for some people the term styling already gives them a panic attack… styling is difficult, impossible to do yourself etc.
Well…. let’s be realistic, for a good styling project you will need a professional stylist, they really have “the eye” and know what goes together and will work in a photo, but don’t worry if you can’t afford one, there are some simple things you can do yourself.

Anna Juli 9 2014 452-Edit

1. Don’t overthink, but DO overthink
Sounds weird right?
Well it is.
What I mean is that sometimes people already think “I can never do it, so I won’t even start” and that’s the first overthink. The second one is much more important… when you start doing the styling for a shoot do it with care, make sure that everything goes together, match colors and match the styling to the model and the look of the set you’re gonna use, you really have to think about this over and over again, a styling idea can fall flat on it’s face by small mistakes.


2. It’s always personal
You can create the most amazing outfit and look, but always remember that as soon as you steer away from “standard” people will either like it or hate it, and the more extreme you go the more extreme the reactions will be, be prepared for some intense flaming online, especially from people who don’t do it themselves :-)

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Some images from Anna

Anna is the winner of our competition “Poldermodel 2014″
In the meantime Anna and me have been working on some projects which I will share later on, but for now a few shots from a recent session with our stylist Nadine.

Anna Juli 9 2014 396-Edit


Anna Juli 9 2014 375-Edit

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Peter Hurley at StudioFD

I met up with Peter Hurley in Atlanta during Photoshop World, now for everyone who doesn’t know who Peter Hurley is…
Peter Hurley is specialized in shooting headshots, you can call them portraits but that’s not correct, a headshot is an image that you will use for a casting agency and that really has to represent that person, in short a good headshot can get on you the red carpet, a bad headshot can make you work at McDonalds. And Peter does his work very well and is considered by many as one of the best in the world. His videos on the jawline, illuminating the face etc are very popular online and help a lot of people better understanding how to shoot the “perfect” headshot.


After Photoshop World Peter and I met up in his studio in New York (where he invited me to shoot my new headshot) and during a nice diner he told me he was doing a workshop tour in Europe in July, now originally the Netherlands was not on the list, so I told him he could use our studio to host the workshop and voila the Netherlands was added to the list :-)


So last weekend it was time for the Peter Hurley workshop.
I did hang around during the workshop of course and it’s fun to see how Peter really made a science out of the art of the headshot, it’s actually quite amazing to see what his though process is. The first day was mostly spend inside and talking about the theory, although after diner the group did get out for some nice natural light + strobe shots. The second day was completely different with loads of shoots in different setups and (thanks to some of our models) also with some extra faces.

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Light can be very simple

As photographers we have to realize that light is our language, it’s the paint we work with to tell the story.
Now for most photographers light is something they can control as long as it’s something familiar and something that…. well has a label which states what it does.


Light however can be so many things, in my opinion (and I really mean this) there is no light source that can’t be used to create a nice image. So during a workshop I got some questions about different light sources and we did a part of the workshop with just one (well actually 3) light source, an old chandelier. The only thing we modified from this chandelier is that we use 100W light bulbs instead of the much lower in power bulbs you would normally use. This helps to keep the ISO a bit lower.
Oh and don’t worry if your camera shoots on ISO1600 or ISO2000, when you zoom in you indeed see some noise, but trust me… when you print or publish for the net you won’t see the noise anymore, or at least it won’t bother you.


Now the fun thing about shooting with these kind of light sources is that you really learn to control your light and see what light does, for example placing it closer to the model will give you totally different look than when you place it further away. Today I show you two sets we did with the chandelier. On the first one we had the lights really close to the model while on the last set my assistent actually swung the lights above the model (Manon). As you can see… the same light source but two totally different looks.

Manon Juli 5 2014 (82 of 153)_DxO

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IceLight review

Today a small review on a speciale piece of lighting kit, the Westcott Ice Light.
Let’s first look at what it is…
Annewiek called it my short lightsabre and I have to be honest, it does remind me of one :D
Here you see one in action in the shot.

Chantal Juni 25 2014 161 1

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The Arcanum

Last year I met with Trey Ratcliff at Google head offices in the states.
At that point he told me about a project he was working on that would be different from the educational programs that were on the market at that moment, because I love to work with people I was more than interested. And a few months ago the Arcanum went into beta.


I’ve been working with them from the start and it’s nice to see something grow the way the Arcanum has grown. It’s still very early of course but I think it’s a completely new way of learning and inspiring people. Due to a very busy schedule I skipped the first group of masters but I’ve become active yesterday as a master on the Arcanum, and I’m more than looking forward to be working with them.


Check them out at 
I’ve been running my own program “A year with Frank” for some time now ( and I think the way the Arcanum is setup it’s a very good addition to what we already offer in education. So I’m psyched to be on board.



One light, outside

Today just one simple portrait which I really like.
Shot during a workshop last week with Manon, the light source is a Quadra from Elinchrom with nothing on it, just the dish.

Manon Juli 5 2014 (13 of 153)_DxO