Roberto Valenzuela developed his unique teaching style by following the same rigorous regimen he developed as a professional concert classical guitarist and educator before becoming a photographer.
Roberto believes that it is not talent but deliberate practice that is at the core of skill and achievement. He has traveled to every area of the world, motivating photographers to practice their craft as musicians practice their instruments before performing on stage. His book trilogy Picture Perfect Practice, Picture Perfect Posing, and Picture Perfect Lighting have become staples in the photography industry and in academic photography departments.
Now, the top-selling author, multi-award-winning wedding and portrait photographer, and Canon Explorer of Light, is going to appear at The Photography Show in the UK, to show you exactly what to do to transform your photography, and photography business, from average to remarkable.
Tickets are still available to see Roberto Valenzuela at The Photography Show (opens in new tab) in Birmingham, UK on Tuesday, September 20 from 15:00 - 16:15.
Awww... I love this question! To me, photos are incomplete stories of a moment in time. But with photography, you can fill in the blanks with your imagination guided by the photographer’s composition, lighting, and posing skill. So fun!
What’s the best season for shooting, and why?
I live in Southern California, and the weather here is consistently comfortable throughout the year, therefore, our season is all year long. But if I have to choose the best time of the year to shoot, it would be the summertime for on-location jobs such as weddings. The reason is, that in order to create light that makes people jump with excitement when they see the photos, a photographer needs a lot of light—the more powerful the sunlight, the better.
With stronger light rays, a skilled photographer can manipulate the light by redirecting it, diffusing it, creating interesting graphic shadows with the light, and/or creating more contrast and drama in their photographs. Flat light, such as on cloudy days can be easier to shoot with, but soft light just doesn’t have the flexibility and punch of a strong light source. Learning to manipulate that strong light to your favor is key.
Roberto Valenzuela is a photographer, author, and educator based in Beverly Hills, CA. As a member of the prestigious Canon Explorers of Light group, Roberto is considered to be one of the most influential photographers in the world. Roberto is appearing at The Photography Show 2022 (opens in new tab) with his talk Breaking out of average into greatness.
What’s the best invention for photography / video so far?
If you think about what photography is, an art form that uses light to paint an impression into a sensor or film, then I think the best invention is the creation of the FLASH. Having readily available light at your fingertips that can be placed at any angle at any power you want, give your light painting ability a serious boost in how you tell stories through light. If the light from a flash is properly modified, it can blend in with natural light almost seamlessly.
For this reason, I use flash in most of my photos. Flash allows me to paint with light what I want, instead of always accepting what I get. The latter is not as fun. So I welcome the invention of flash with open arms full of excitement. Another modern invention that has changed the game is the introduction of eye detection AF. Now, the photographer no longer must have his/her eye glued to the viewfinder to find focus.
What will photography be to the Pro in 10 years?
We all worry about automation and software in our camera phones or our mirrorless cameras doing the job of a photographer. However, that’s just never going to happen. A skilled photographer will be in more demand than ever for people that appreciate good photography. Photography is more popular now than ever due to the rise of social media as a mainstream advertising vehicle. Photographers willing to adapt will come up with creative ways to fill the new needs of businesses to stand out on social networks and profit from them.
What do you wish cameras could do that they can’t do now?
Well, it’s not an increase in megapixels that’s for sure! I wish mirrorless cameras could work more like a leaf shutter camera where the flash sync speed is 1/1600 instead of 1/250. This is the biggest bottleneck in my workflow. I use flashes and strobes constantly, but I do so with a moving subject. By adding movement and rhythm to a pose, the photographer can vastly improve the static feel of a posed photograph or a nervous subject. But a faster sync speed would be much appreciated when the movement can be unpredictable.
Second, I wish we could buy a 5G network service for our cameras as we do with our phones. I want to be able to take a photo with my Canon R5 or R3 for example and upload it to Instagram or YouTube right there and then just like a phone. If an Apple watch can have 5G service on such a small device, why can’t we put it on our pro bodies?