Talking Cameras with the Photographers Behind Some of Your Favorite Blogger’s Content: Part 1 featuring Nick Urteaga
There is a quality standard that goes into creating consistent visual content for bloggers. These days, there are so many different cameras to choose from, so many apps to make use of, and so many editing techniques.
To help give an idea on what product you should be looking at if you’re interested in achieving quality content like your favorite bloggers, we have talked to some notable photographers in the New York scene who work with some of the most popular, and influential bloggers today. They've teamed up with us to give you some of their best tips and tricks when it comes to professional photography. Today's edition is featuring Brooklyn photographer, Nick Urteaga.
Name: Nick Urteaga
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Previously Shot For:
Wallstreetpaper, She's A Gent, Mimosas Manhattan, Denny623, K.Havolli, Levitate Style, Themetroman, Myunfilteredlife, Dapper_Nick_Nyc, Selin_minaa, EvannClingan, Singhgentry, Dandyinthebronx & Gioserna_
What camera do you use?
I shoot with Canon 5D Mark III and use a Canon 50mm f/1.4 as well as an 85mm f/1.8. I bought all my gear at retail price coming to roughly $3,400 all together.
What is your main aesthetic?
I'm primarily an outdoor photographer with very little studio work. I love to work with morning and late afternoon light but really pride myself on the angles in which I capture my subjects. I try to add a twist to things to really make people say, “wow”.
What's your go-to editing technique?
I primarily batch edit in Lightroom but tend to take photos into photoshop to add or edit more things in detail. I don't use any apps aside from my Adobe Software.
Best photography tip ever learned?
Go out and shoot! When I first started, people suggested to watch videos or read certain articles or magazines, which were all very great tips. However, a fellow photographer simply told me to go out and shoot. I preach that to all upcoming photographers because I think that's the way that I learned and became better. The more you shoot the more you get to train your eye and force yourself to see things in different ways because seeing through a lens is a lot different than just seeing through your eyes. Going out and shooting also forces you to get to know your camera very well and truthfully, the closer you are with your camera the better.
What is your secret to getting the best light for a photo?
That's such a tough question because the broad and simple answer would be to say 6am sunrise of 7:30pm sunset. Those times are easiestly the best times to shoot but I've had amazing success shooting during the middle of the day as well. Outdoor lighting is tricky and I think any photographer will agree that outdoor lighting is the toughest thing to master but you kind of have to work with what you get. One thing I more recently learned was that an assistant with a deflector/diffuser goes a LONG way and can change your shoots dramatically if utilized correctly. Yet in the end, I wouldn't say there's a secret for perfect lighting per say. I would say that this ties into my suggestion of going out and shooting, the more you shoot the more you'll get a feel for which kind of daylight works for you and the vibe you're going for.
Best tips to make sure beginner shots look as professional as possible?
Honestly, beginner DSLR's with kit lenses produce some clear and great quality pictures. However, you have to make the jump and switch your camera off that little A (automatic) and turn it over to the little M (Manual). Learn your shutter speed, aperture, and iso and how they all work together and how they can form the shot you're looking for. But if I had to pick one tip I would say editing. When I first started, I think my editing style allowed me to get away and land certain clients that were a bit out of reach for my skill set. Thus over time I realized how important editing is, to learn your softwares and start to create and own your own editing style (which is a lot harder than it might seem). And of course, this all ties into my tip for going out and shooting, the more content you shoot, the more you have to edit, the better you will get, I promise.
Any great tricks or tips for “on-the-go” shots on an iPhone?
This is tough for me because I try to never really use my smartphone for capturing moments. However on the rare occasion that I do and need to post something, I try and do something different. What do I mean by different? I mean look through an object, window, glass or maybe put something in the foreground to add another aspect to the shot. Be creative with your smart phone and use the surroundings to your advantage. One time I actually picked up flowers and held it in front of my camera, completely out of focus, but added a different element to a basic iPhone picture. On top of that, throw a quick edit on it. I have apps on hand that really help me put a twist to my images. I use Priime but I know a lot of people use VSCO as well. With Priime, all I really do are adjust certain edits with lighting, clarity, sharpening, just the every day Instagram type adjustments. Then I'll usually pick certain filters and adjust them to my taste. It's basically like on the go photo editing.
What Makes The Perfect Shot For You?
I was an avid painter growing up and in college which is something that's helped me with photography. I don't do it as much anymore but I think I need to given my current profession. But getting back to my point, a perfect shot for me is something that pulls together all the things that I tend to incorporate into my paintings. For me, it's colors. I LOVE colors and how they mix and work together. So when I'm taking a picture, usually at sunset, it's usually allowing me to work with a lot of warm reds, yellows and oranges. Given those warm colors I'll try to incorporate some greens, blues or purples to put a twist in there. If I can't do that naturally, I'll throw a splash of color in the edit. I'm not sure if anybody is picking up on it yet but you can see that edit in some of my photos where there's an unnatural splash of red or purple in the upper corners where the sky is. I literally just take a contradicting color with my paintbrush tool and throw it right on there. But back to my original point, essentially a perfect shot is all about the colors for me.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Nick Urteaga spent 6 years in Michigan pursuing a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Media Studies at Adrian College and Central Michigan University. Post graduation, Nick accepted a position at Major League Baseball Advanced Media in New York where he spent over two years as an Instant Replay Operator for the Replay Operation Center.
During his time at MLB Nick transitioned into fashion photography as a hobby, working with various men’s and women’s bloggers around the city. His background in videography also allowed him to intertwine both mediums for various project. However, over time his photography hobby turned into a passion that he decided to pursue more professionally. His work with the bloggers connected him to various brands such as Mack Weldon, Thursday Boots, GREATS and Sprezza Box. On August 1, 2016 Nick decided to leave MLB and pursue photography full time.
Currently residing in Brooklyn, NY, Nick primarily works in men’s fashion but also does work in women’s fashion, fitness apparel, wedding and family photography.