Break a leg……..

Well, break a knee in my case.
Sorry to report that I slipped and broke my knee in December. After reconstructive surgery on my kneecap to wire it all back together, I’ve been pretty much home-bound, recovering ever since.

Happy New Year!

Understandably I’m feeling a little down, but it hasn’t stopped me from concentrating on my goals for the future. Every day brings a little win and one small step closer to a full recovery.

I’m planning on getting back to work with the camera VERY soon.

In the meantime, stay tuned for some great new content. I have plenty of time on my hands!

I’m a portrait photographer based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Specialising in creative and styled portraiture, fitness photography, headshots, and personal branding for actors, athletes and business professionals.

Book a session today.

www.andrewkatsaitisphotography.com

Find the content useful? Consider buying me a coffee at my ko-fi page.

USEFUL HEADSHOT TIPS.

IF IT’S CONSIDERED A FAD…….IT MIGHT LOOK BAD!

Let me be clear.

It’s fantastic to see people expressing themselves. Innovative style, interesting hair, bold make-up.

I love it.

But, and it’s a big but.

It doesn’t necessarily belong in your headshot session.

Why not?

Think about it.

Have you ever looked back at photographs of your parents or grand-parents taken in the 1970s, for example? Their style, whilst interesting, looks a little out-there doesn’t it? Flared trousers, platform soles, huge collars and heavy side-burns look dated by today’s standards.

This is what we would look to avoid in our headshots. Any trends that might appear out of date within a year or two.

If you think ‘timeless’ with your styling, then you won’t go far wrong.

Remember, your headshots are a representation of your brand. You are presumably looking to get hired or advance your career, so let’s try to avoid any ultra trendy styling items. Let’s work together to create the images that launch your career to a higher level.

If you do wish to work on something specifically to illustrate a more creative styling concept, then please take a look at my editorial portrait work and get in touch to discuss your needs.

QUICK LINKS

**USEFUL HEADSHOT TIPS FOR MEN #1 TRIM YOUR NOSE HAIR**

**USEFUL HEADSHOT TIPS FOR MEN #2 GET YOUR HAIR CUT A FULL WEEK BEFORE THE SHOOT.**

**USEFUL HEADSHOT TIPS FOR MEN #3 MOISTURISE YOUR SKIN!**

**USEFUL HEADSHOT TIPS #4 DRINK A GALLON OF WATER EVERY DAY!**

**USEFUL HEADSHOT TIPS #5 WEAR YOUR FAVOURITE FRAGRANCE!**

**USEFUL HEADSHOT TIPS #6 LAY OFF THE BOOZE!**

**USEFUL HEADSHOT TIPS #7 WORK WITH YOUR BEST SIDE**

**USEFUL HEADSHOT TIPS #8 DITCH THE FAKE TAN!**

**USEFUL HEADSHOT TIPS FOR WOMEN #9 SAY NO TO THE NECKLACE!**

**USEFUL HEADSHOT TIPS #10 CONFIDENCE COMES FROM THE EYES**

**USEFEL HEADSHOT TIPS #11 APPROACHABILITY COMES FROM THE MOUTH**

••USEFUL HEADSHOT TIPS #12 EMPHASISE THE JAWLINE**

Andy

I’m a portrait photographer based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Specialising in creative and styled portraiture, fitness photography, headshots, and personal branding for actors, athletes and business professionals.

Book a session today.

www.andrewkatsaitisphotography.com

Find the content useful? Consider buying me a coffee at my ko-fi page.

Photographing Medieval History’s Heroes……….and Villains!

Hello everyone.
In today’s post, I’m showcasing some images from a photo-shoot with a historical theme.
I’ve had a lifelong interest in history. World War 2 has fascinated me since I was a child, but I’m also interested in the Medieval period. So when Tegan and I got together to shoot, we put together a concept based upon several of history’s famous, or rather infamous households.

These images are conceptual by nature and are by no means intended to be historically accurate in any way, shape or form.

Just thought I’d clear that up, straight off the bat!

First up…………..

Beauchamp – Warwick

Guy Beauchamp (c. 1272 – 12 August 1315), pronounced ‘beecham’, was the 10th Earl of Warwick. He was an English magnate, and one of the main opponents of King Edward II and his favourite, Piers Gaveston. Edward and Piers certainly took to one another, though how close their friendship was, is a matter of speculation. After all, Edward went on to have four children with his wife, Isabella. Many at the time thought Edward and Piers were in a sexual relationship.

Gaveston was exiled three times at the hands of the English nobility. He had been a relative upstart in the English aristocracy and made himself unpopular among the established nobility by his arrogance and his undue influence on the king. He gave mocking nicknames to the leading men of the realm, and called Warwick (Beauchamp) the “Black Dog of Arden”.

Sooner or later, something had to give. Gaveston agreed to surrender himself (on the understanding that his safety would be guaranteed), to the Earl of Pembroke at Scarborough Castle.

On 10 June 1312, while Pembroke was away, Beauchamp forcibly carried away Gaveston to Warwick Castle. Here, in the presence of Warwick, Lancaster and other magnates, Gaveston was sentenced to death at an improvised court. On 19 June he was taken to a place called Blacklow Hill—on Lancaster’s lands—and decapitated. 

According to the Annales Londonienses chronicle, four shoemakers brought the corpse back to Warwick (Beauchamp), but he refused to accept it, and ordered them to take it back to where they found it. Gaveston’s body was eventually taken to Oxford by some Dominican friars, and in 1315, King Edward finally had it buried at Kings Langley.

The legacy of Piers Gaveston inspired the ‘Piers Gaveston Society’.

An Oxford University dining club founded in 1977, joined by 12 select undergraduates each year.

Their Latin motto “(Sane) non memini ne audisse unum alterum ita dilixisse” which translates roughly as “Truly, none remember hearing of a man enjoying another so much”

They hold a grand party each summer, once described as a ‘very well organised orgy,’ whose decadence has supposedly ranged from mass drug-taking to live sex shows.

So, a fairly colourful historical contribution coming out of Warwick, and Guy Beauchamp was but one of the line of Earls!

Next up………..

Medici – Florence

The Medici family, also known as the House of Medici, first attained wealth and political power in Florence in the 13th century through its success in commerce and banking.

The Medici family’s support of the arts and humanities made Florence into the cradle of the Renaissance.

The Medici produced two queens.

During their time in power, two of the women in the Medici family became a royal by marriage. Catherine de’Medici became the Queen consort to the French king of the time, King Henry II.  More than fifty years later, Marie de’Medici became the Queen of France after marrying King Henry IV. In 1616, her son, King Louis VIII, banished her from court for two years.

The Medicis produced four popes (Leo X, Clement VII, Pius IV and Leo XI), and their genes have been mixed into many of Europe’s royal families. The last Medici ruler died without a male heir in 1737, ending the family dynasty after almost three centuries.

Poitiers – Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204) was one of the most powerful and influential figures of the Middle Ages. Inheriting a vast estate at the age of 15 made her the most sought-after bride of her generation. She would eventually become the queen of France, the queen of England and lead a crusade to the Holy Land. She is also credited with establishing and preserving many of the courtly rituals of chivalry.

She is said to be responsible for the introduction of built-in fireplaces, first used when she renovated the palace of her first husband Louis in Paris. Shocked by the cold northern climate after her upbringing in southern France, Eleanor’s innovation spread quickly, transforming the domestic arrangements of the time.

Eleanor spent her last years as a nun at Fontevraud Abbey in France, and died in her eighties on 31 March 1204.

She outlived all but two of her 11 children: King John of England (1166-1216) and Queen Eleanor of Castile (c. 1161-1214).

Dandolo – Venice

Dandolo was a patrician family of the Republic of Venice, which produced four Doges of Venice. The progenitor of the family was a merchant named Domenico.

Their most famous son, Enrico Dandolo (c. 1107 – May 1205) was the 41st Doge of Venice from 1192 until his death. He is remembered for his avowed piety, longevity, and shrewdness, and is known for his role in the Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople.

He was a dynamic leader, reorganising the Venetian currency and beginning the first codification of the republic’s laws.

Dandolo led the Fourth Crusade – an expedition intended to conquer Muslim Egypt – to Constantinople. His armies smashed the heart of the Christian Byzantine Empire.

His force became the first invading army to successfully breach the walls of Constantinople.

What makes all of this even more remarkable, is that Dandolo achieved all of these things when he was in his 90s. And he had been blind for more than two decades!

Venice is close to my heart. My family name ‘Katsaitis’ is the Greek variation of the Venetian name ‘Cazzaiti’.

Our ancestors left Venice in Medieval times, settling first in the modern-day region of Trabzon, before relocating to Kefalonia and Corfu, after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Hopefully you enjoyed this little sortie into my historical households project? It certainly was fun to shoot.

This set has also recently featured in the ‘Editor’s Choice’ section of Streetfashion Magzzine if you are interested in taking a look.

As always, thanks for reading.

Stay safe.

Andy

I’m a fine art portrait photographer based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Specialising in creative and styled portraiture, fitness photography, headshots, family portraits and personal branding for you, for actors, for athletes and for business professionals alike.

www.andrewkatsaitisphotography.com

If you like the content maybe consider buying me a coffee at my ko-fi page.

Easy to follow tutorial for a painterly style skin effect in Photoshop.

Hello everyone.

Quick and easy to follow video tutorial to share today on my YouTube channel highlighting a process I use on the majority of my images.

This two-minute retouching step gives that waxy, painterly look to skin which really fits well with my style and works perfectly with fine art portrait images in general.

There’s an added bonus here too, as it also has a skin smoothing effect.

Use it at the end of the skin retouching/frequency separation stage of your workflow to get the best results.

Have fun with the technique and be sure to let me know how you get on with it.

Stay safe.

Andy,

I’m a fine art portrait photographer based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Specialising in creative and styled portraiture, fitness photography, headshots, family portraits and personal branding for you, for actors, for athletes and for business professionals alike.

www.andrewkatsaitisphotography.com

Buy me a coffee at my ko-fi page.

I went to the shops today to buy toilet paper……………

……killed two birds with one stone and took this self portrait in the kitchen!

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It wasn’t any fun taking this. Wearing that mask felt like someone was pressing a pillow down on my face! No fun at all.

The props, I had lying around. A World War 2 helmet, a cold war era Soviet gas mask, a couple of nasty looking weapons and my trusty old All Saints military coat.

Single light setup, a Godox AD360 in my 120cm octabox (gridded) to camera left and just out of frame.

I had the camera set on 10 second timer, pressed the shutter, grabbed my weapons and hoped for the best! After less than ten shots I’d had enough and wrapped it up. I got one shot that worked and that was enough for me. I’m not planning on getting back into that mask anytime soon!

Be careful out there.

Stay safe.

Andy

I’m a fine art portrait photographer based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Specialising in creative and styled portraiture, fitness photography, headshots, family portraits and personal branding for you, for actors, for athletes and for business professionals alike.

www.andrewkatsaitisphotography.com

Buy me a coffee at my ko-fi page.

Hallowe’en photoshoot ideas when you’re locked down in the middle of a global health pandemic!

There’s absolutely no doubt………and I mean none whatsoever that the Covid-19 health pandemic has caused incredible pain and suffering the whole world over. It’s also restricted what we can and can’t do in a massive way this Autumn or Fall. With Hallowe’en, Bonfire night and Christmas looming ever closer it’s looking like it’s going to be a huge casualty in terms of the fun things we and our kids are going to miss out on………….

………..or are we?

There’s a feeling here in the UK which borrows from an extremely desperate time in the Second World War. We call it the ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ (in reference to the British Expeditionary Force’s evacuation from Dunkirk) and if you’re unfamiliar with this idiom, it basically means an attitude of being very strong in a difficult situation and refusing to accept defeat.

“We shall never surrender…….”

Sorry, my interest in World War 2 is trying to hijack this post!

It looks like trick or treating might be off the agenda on October 31st here in the UK……it may not be advisable to do so with the current rising Coronavirus figures. So what are we going to do that’s safe instead? My kids absolutely love Hallowe’en……..always have done. Every year, when they’ve painted their faces and put on their costumes before we go out trick or treating, I set up a light (or two) and do a mini photoshoot before we head out for an evening of sugar fuelled spooky mayhem!

It may seem obvious but as a photographer, documenting these occasions has given me enormous pleasure and beautiful family memories to look back upon.

We made this image with the gridded beauty dish. We placed it to the right…..and I mean hard right. You can see the spill of light from right to left against the wall. Now I know you’re going to say the beauty dish should only be used front and centre and you’re right of course, but this is Hallowe’en, horror lighting…….and anything goes! This is a white wall shot by the way, the texture overlayed in Photoshop. Check out my easy to follow tutorial for this technique here…………

https://andrewkatsaitisphotography.wordpress.com/2020/10/18/how-to-easily-add-texture-to-your-backgrounds-in-photoshop/

Two strip boxes with grids and the smoke machine for this shot…………it was made just before we headed out trick or treating. Take a few moments and make those memories. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.

So what does this Hallowe’en hold for us?

Well, we’re definitely going to do a mini photoshoot for starters. We’re going to most likely stay home this year. Decorate the house. Watch a fun scary movie? Play some games and have a Hallowe’en fondue. Maybe the adults might indulge in a glass of seasonal grog! Dad doesn’t mind a glass of whisky if the truth be known………..

Whatever happens you can be sure we’re going to make the most of it, 2020 has been a testing year but we’re determined to have a good time. I hope you are too.

Be sure to share your Hallowe’en shots with me. I’d love to see them.

Stay safe.

Andy.

www.andrewkatsaitisphotography.com

Buy me a coffee at my ko-fi page.

The top five inexpensive pieces of gear that made the biggest impact on my photography………..

…………………and I’m not talking about the latest camera bodies or the fastest most expensive glass. We’re not even in the same ballpark actually………nowhere near.

Let’s break it down. Cameras and glass aside I’m sure we’ve all had those Eureka moments on our respective photographic journeys where we’ve come to realise ‘how did I ever manage before without this piece of kit?’ Call it an epiphany if you will, but each of these individual items I’m going to list below have had a huge impact on my creative process and really enabled me to grow as an artist.

None of this stuff is going to break the bank……….

First up and probably the single most simple but ultimately effective item on the list……..The tethering cable.

Tethering to the computer during a shoot has literally transformed the way I work. I WILL NEVER LOOK BACK. Forgive the caps but I can’t emphasise enough the value of shooting this way. Working in real time and being able to see the images on the big screen will allow you (and your creative team) to make live adjustments to hair, makeup, posing, lighting and anything else that may go unnoticed on the small LCD display on the back of the camera. My subjects have always appreciated being able to see the images as they are being shot and have the opportunity to see what is working for them and what isn’t, and adjust accordingly.

Type A to Mini-B USB 2.0 Cable is the specification for my Canon Cameras. I have a couple of cheap cables I purchased from Amazon for as little as £6 which do the job perfectly, but if you wanted to buy the industry standard then Tether Tools is the place for you.

https://www.tethertools.com

So yeah……just in case you missed it……..the tethering cable is my number one most useful piece of kit. ‘Try it…….you’ll like it’ (as my mum used to say!)

Next up…………

The C Stand and Boom Arm.

Now light (as I’m sure you already know) works best either from above (it works for the sun) or from the side in a painterly Rembrandt style. I love to light from overhead, either with the beauty dish or an octabox and this beautiful, ugly bit of metal allows me to do just that……probably the best 90 quid I’ve ever spent on grip. I can boom my 22 inch metal beauty dish front and centre of my subject without fear of it dropping down and denting the floor (or my model!) It’s truly a great bit of kit and the boom arm itself also allows for better placement and manoeuvrability of other larger modifiers in the Rembrandt position too. All in all much better choice than a regular light stand, and a LOT more sturdy.

Third on my list…….Sheets of coloured cellophane.

Yep.

These cost me £3.50 for a multicoloured selection. Use them to gel your flashes. Cheap as chips as they say here in England, and very effective.

If you have some coloured gels for your flashes then why not go a step further and add some smoke?

The humble fog machine ranks next as one of my most useful pieces of kit.

Instantly add atmosphere to your studio shots with one of these. Remember to backlight the smoke and have fun!

One tip when using the smoke machine though would be to use it near the end of the shoot……the room can get a little clogged up after a few blasts and you’ll find it increasingly hard to focus until the smoke dissipates, so use sparingly.

Finally, last but not least is my wonderful painterly style cloth backdrop from KateBackdrop.

It features in many of my images for good reason, as I absolutely love it.

I do love to shoot against a storm grey backdrop and blend textures in Photoshop as this gives me a lot of creative scope in post production, but this fantastic and cheap bit of cloth really allows me to get a finished look to my pictures that I really love. I’m sure I will purchase others from the range going forward but for now I’m very happy indeed with this one.

Here’s the link to it on Amazon.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my insights in this article and I’d absolutely love to hear about your own ‘go to’ pieces of kit that you simply can’t do without.

Thanks for reading and please do drop by and connect with me on social media.

Stay safe.

Andy.

I’m a fine art portrait photographer based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Specialising in creative and styled portraiture, fitness photography, headshots, family portraits and personal branding for you, for actors, for athletes and for business professionals alike.

www.andrewkatsaitisphotography.com

The Ring Mistress | Portrait Photoshoot Featuring Tegan Including Speed Edit YouTube Video

In today’s instalment I’m going to offer you an insight into this themed photoshoot featuring Tegan, which I’m delighted to say has been both well received and also published.

My approach to such a session is usually one of careful advance planning. Now for me, I have to have a structured shoot plan made and agreed upon in advance of the shoot. Your model or subject will be able to hit the ground running on shoot day if you are both on the same page in terms of styling, make-up and even posing. I go so far as to even discuss lighting setups and planned backdrops with my subject in advance of the shoot. What’s the best way to do this I hear you ask? Well for me it’s a no-brainer………Pinterest!

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/andrewkatsaitisphotography

Sharing a Pinterest board with your subject/client/model and adding them as a collaborator is also a great way of embracing and incorporating their input into the session. It works…..trust me!

My usual shoot process on a project like this would be to take three themed ideas. We would discuss and develop those ideas in advance and decide on an order of priority. The most basic idea usually forms the warm-up set for me. I use it to tweak lighting and get a feel for which backdrop I might use. In this case I’m using a very inexpensive cloth backdrop by KateBackdrop which has been worth it’s weight in gold to me. I love the painterly feel of it. Check out their range here…………

It just seems to complement the styling and theme so well so I was very happy with my choice here.

Incidentally my previous post deals with adding texture and colour to grey paper studio backgrounds. This might prove to be extremely useful for matching and complementing a background to your subject/model’s styling via the means of post production.

Please find the article and tutorial here………..

https://andrewkatsaitisphotography.wordpress.com/2020/10/18/how-to-easily-add-texture-to-your-backgrounds-in-photoshop/

The two strongest themes I usually reserve for the main body of the shoot. The strongest of which I usually like to submit for a magazine publication.

So Tegan styled the Ring Mistress beautifully in my opinion. The addition of the whip made for a nice prop and we borrowed a pair of my Wife’s gloves to finish it off. I’m sure you’ll agree she looks fantastic.

Maybe you’d be surprised to hear that this shoot was completed in an extremely small room at my home with my shooting position being located across the hall in another room and shooting through two doorways back towards Tegan?! The smaller the space you have, the more creative you’re going to have to be……..thrive on the challenge though and it will help you to hone your craft at a vast rate of knots.

Hopefully this article has given you some food for thought and some inspiring photoshoot ideas, but before I sign off I’ll leave you with this speed-edit video from this set.

If you are interested in any of the steps I’ve taken to achieve this look then please do reach out and connect with me on social media.

Thanks for reading.

Stay safe.

Andy.

I’m a fine art portrait photographer based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Specialising in creative and styled portraiture, fitness photography, headshots, family portraits and personal branding for you, for actors, for athletes and for business professionals alike.

www.andrewkatsaitisphotography.com

Buy me a coffee at my ko-fi page.

Pray for me

Seems like an appropriate place to begin.

I plan to use this platform to showcase some of my work and also to pay a little forward as to how I achieve these images. I’m a firm believer in collaboration and I love to share ideas and tips.

Please feel free to connect with me here or on my other social media pages if you wish to discuss any commercial requirements or even just to chew the fat on anything related to photography or retouching. The name is Andy (Andrew Katsaitis) and my brand is called Republica.

This is an old image of the lovely Eloise Dulcie. Shot simply against a painted white wall in a small room. Lit with a large octabox positioned to camera left. The textures and painterly styling are all added in Adobe Photoshop CC using a mixture of blending modes and colour look up tables.

I hope you like it.

“Penitence ft Eloise”

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