Master Class

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Monte Zucker Posted: Apr 01, 2007 2 comments

I thought that I knew what family portraiture was all about. You know what? I didn't have a clue. I discovered this not too long ago when doctors told me that I had cancer with possibly only 6-12 months to live. A statement like that puts an altogether different perspective on things.

So, my family joined me for a weekend, more or less a love-in. A highlight of...

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Monte Zucker Posted: Feb 01, 2007 0 comments

There's no such thing as a small wedding. Every wedding is special and needs to be captured as such. I got that feeling when I photographed the wedding of Phillip and Krystle. I don't photograph many weddings anymore, but these people were special. The groom was the brother of my assistant, Jeff.

Even though there were going to be less than 10 people at the...

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Monte Zucker Posted: Dec 01, 2006 0 comments

One light pattern for everything--that's what I teach. Boring, you say? I don't think so. It simply makes life easy. With one light pattern, two poses (Feminine and Basic), and three camera positions (you place the lens where it sees either full face, 2/3, or profile) you're free to express your creativity.

The light pattern you see in most of...

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Monte Zucker Posted: Nov 01, 2006 0 comments

My classes out of the country offer possibilities that keep my life and my photography exciting. For the past three years Merida, Mexico, has been an adventure in teaching. Sights and sounds...color and composition...all available just for looking and seeing. The challenge for me is always to teach photographers to see how the light is playing on their subjects and to show...

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Monte Zucker Posted: Oct 01, 2006 0 comments

Imagine you're on a trip of a lifetime and want to bring back memories that will last more than a lifetime. It all began with my deciding to teach a class in Tuscany, Italy. I was already going there for a convention of photographers, so Jeff Medford, my assistant, suggested that we combine it with a class. It was so successful that we're planning more...

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Monte Zucker Posted: Sep 01, 2006 26 comments

Beach time is picture time; sometimes in the sun and sometimes in the shade. We did it all recently while I was teaching some of Carnival Cruise Line's photographers who were chosen to be a part of my college on the Imagination. At Grand Cayman we all went to one of the beaches for a fun class in casual portraiture. The lessons learned there I felt should be shared with...

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Monte Zucker Posted: Jul 01, 2006 5 comments

The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP) invited me to come to England and Ireland to do a series of lectures and classes. The SWPP is fast becoming one of the world's leading groups dedicated to advancing the professionalism of portrait and wedding photographers throughout Europe. Not only were the photographers receptive to my instruction, but they were...

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Monte Zucker Posted: May 01, 2006 0 comments

While the city of Shanghai is a wonder to see, this portrait photographer, on a trip to Shanghai, still looks at faces first. I couldn't help but noticing the incredible faces on both the adults and the children. Everywhere I turned, the faces are what grabbed me. I had no trouble taking pictures of the children. Their parents were more than happy to cooperate with me. But...

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Monte Zucker Posted: Apr 01, 2006 0 comments

Although I've been somewhat pigeonholed as a portrait photographer, I am a traveling man...and love taking pictures along the way, of course. Recently I made a trip to Shanghai and loved every second of it--what great opportunities for pictures! I started out my trip by carrying my camera case with three bodies and four lenses. My basic camera bodies are a Canon EOS...

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Monte Zucker Posted: Mar 01, 2006 0 comments

Eddie Tapp, my personal Photoshop guru/teacher, and I joined together to teach portraiture and wedding photography in Hollywood, Florida, for our first annual class. I've been studying Photoshop with Eddie for years, but had never taught a class with him. We went from concept to completion. We did it all...created images, put them through a production routine, and...

Monte Zucker Posted: Feb 01, 2006 0 comments

There's something about a good black and white image that makes it jump off the page. It should be simple, direct, and hit you right between the eyes. It stands on its own. It doesn't even need color to make it stand out. It has a full range of tones from a true, deep black all the way to a clear white...with detail throughout.

What kind of...

Monte Zucker Posted: Jan 01, 2006 0 comments

Paul Aresu
I had worked before with some of the other Explorers. I had even employed and trained one of them. But I had never before experienced the likes of Paul Aresu, a New York-based commercial photographer. His clients are like a who's who of dream customers. Aresu is a freestyler. He shoots just like all the commercial photographers you see in...

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Monte Zucker Posted: Dec 01, 2005 0 comments

When I began photographing weddings professionally in 1947 I never would have believed that I would have a studio in Switzerland in the '70s. I also never would have believed that I would have the opportunity to photograph a wedding in Paris, of all places, in the 21st century! Well, not exactly in Paris, but a few miles beyond the Paris borders in the small town of...

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Monte Zucker Posted: Nov 01, 2005 0 comments

I've always said, "See the finished picture before you even snap the shutter!"

Well, sometimes it doesn't work, especially now that we're able to do so much postproduction work in Photoshop. Such was the case recently in Savannah, Georgia, when I photographed sculptor Bob Friedman. I wanted to do a strong character portrait because of...

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Monte Zucker Posted: Oct 01, 2005 2 comments

Isn't it time that we simplify and clarify what portrait lighting is about? I think so! Many photographers are afraid to photograph indoors, because they don't know what to do with light. Others go outdoors and take snapshots, because they don't know how to control light.

I was fortunate enough to learn one simple lighting pattern that works for...