Keith Loutit's personal project

I always find it amazing when someone takes a new style and does something newer with it. I am a huge fan of Vincent Laforet (among others) for their use of a tilt/shift lens in a way that the tilt/shift wasn't truly designed for. Remember when a ring flash was truly meant for medical and dental use? Well, take a look at any fashion shoot over the past 10 years and you will find ring flash used. 
Using new technology in a new way is one thing, but to use it creatively and with a purpose is the next level that I always love. 
Keith Loutit is a Sydney based photographer who is working on a personal project called 'Little Sydney.' Combining a variety of techniques (I want to know how) he shoots ordinary places in an extra-ordinary way.

His latest one, Bathtub IV, is his recent and simply AWESOME!!!

Check it out and support him by letting him know what you think.

Fun with Guinneas and lights

I was at my friend John Sturdy's house yesterday for some creative time and creative food. While there I brought his son, Cameron a print of a turtle asa gift. It was then, he suggested I take photos of his two Guinea Pigs. Who am I to refuse an opportunity. Luckily I try to make it a habit of always carrying a basic camera kit. My trunk kit includes my D90, a 17-55mm lens, 60mm lens (specifically for backyard project) and 2 SB-800s. Also, I typically will have a couple black foam core boards (bought at walmart office section for a couple bucks) and a small roll of white vinyl backdrop material. The boards and white Vinyl are versatile in that I can use the vinyl for backdrop when I want to go with that and the boards can be used as go-bo for light fall off. In this case I used the boards as backdrop and the vinyl for a small bounce of my flash. I usually have a bit of black foil (as seen here) for making light diffusers, snoots and such. I was out, but luckily John had a bit handy. I won't get into flash position or set up as it was always changing. The beauty of 'playing' with light is to be able to adjust your lights, experiment, test and see what you get. It is always fun to be around creative people and to do this kind of stuff. Like I say always, when you stop treating it like work it is always fun. We had a great time and the images show. I think even the Guineas enjoyed it.

Who's your mentor???

Yesterday, I woke up at 6am to drive 3.5 hours to Lakeland, Florida for the Sun-N-Fun fly in. It is more or less an expo of planes and plane show where people go 'shopping' for their next plane purchase. But that isn't why I went. I did it because I needed to see two people who have impacted my life immensely. Calvin and Leisa Goad. They live in San Diego and are one of the most inspirational people I have met in my life. Taking me under their wing when I was going through tough times in my life, they helped get me on my feet and in a path that I can be proud of. I should also mention it was them that introduced me to a class called the PSI Seminar which did more for my life and my career than any photo class could ever have done. 
Their passion, happiness and outlook on life is what inspires and helps me to be a better person. 

Mentorship - Have One / Be One

I believe everyone should have mentors. The ones that are in the place we want to be. You don't necessarily need to be physically with the person to learn from them. Or even know the person to have a great relationship with them (although it helps). You just need to want to learn, want to be. and don't just talk about it. Do it!
On the other note, you should always seek out others to mentor as well. Help them where they need. Always be open and ready to work with people. I now have a principle that when someone seeks me out to help them with something, I drop what I am doing. I devote myself to them and give them 100% of the attention. Why do I do this, because I was mentored by people like Calvin and Leisa who did the same for me when they didn't have to. I have had tons of incredible mentors in my life and it is because of this that I am they way I am. 

It truly is a great thing. Try it, you'll like it. 

GREAT DEAL AT LIVEBOOKS (I'll give you $100 back).

Every now and then Livebooks offers great deals on their website packages. Now is one of those times. 
If you don't know about LiveBooks, check them out (click here). They (in my opinion) are the absolute best in websites for photographers, videographers, agencies and artists in general. Each site is hand made to your style and they are always on the forefront in keeping up with the latest in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) needs. Don't listen to those other companies trying to offer "bigger" sites and "flashier" presentations. It don't matter if your site isn't seen in a search. Here is one of the best reasons I can think of to get your attention. Many sites you see with images sliding, popping, moving, dancing across the screen are made with a format called Flash. This is great, but in the world of internet and search-ability it is nothing but a blob. Web crawlers (like google) see a flash site and can't get in. They can't see how many photos you have, the kind of photos, keywords, metadata, etc. So therefore they move around it and leave. The heavy-hitters in the industry know this, they pay thousands of dollars for a company to design instead an html site  (or do it themselves). This may have flash in it, but that is cool because there is all the meat and potatoes also in the html coding that allows the crawlers to categorize and eat up. The more threads for the google monster to look at the better. 

What Livebooks does is allow for you to view the best of both worlds. It has a flash site for people to see, but behind it is an html site that is able to be categorized, logged, eaten by the google monster and other crawlers. I am not saying that all flash sites don't have a chance of showing at the top of a search result, but it is more likely the html sites will first. Or they flash guys are paying tons of money for this to happen. In the long run, the money you spend on a LiveBooks site WILL pay off. 
Oh, and another thing. Flash sites don't work well on iPhones and other devices. If someone types my website on an iPhone, they are automatically directed to the html version to be seen. This makes a difference when sending your emails to agency leaders that are most likely on the road, busy or doing their surfing while in a slow time on their phone.

So now, here's the deal. Among other deals, LiveBooks is offering a $200 cash back for all new sites generated from referrals from current site owners. This is cool, but what does it mean for you? I am a big supporter of the WIN/WIN situation. I am not greedy or sleezy. I think that the more people that sign up to LiveBooks the better they will become. So I will make a deal. For every person that signs up for a SELECT or UNLIMITED site and uses MY NAME as a referral, when I receive my check for $200, I will mail you a check for $100. How's that sound? 
So if you purchase a $1,700 select site (and referr my name), you will get $100 back. That is just over 5% back. or your first year of hosting for free.

Another killer deal is they allow for financing. Ask for more info.

Here is a link to more deals they are giving.

Lloyd and LaDawn - Model portfolio photo shoot

We were recently approached by two models that needed to have their portfolios shot. We were very glad to help them with this and you can see the results on this new video. You can also view images from their shoot at


Here is an example as to why you ALWAYS carry a camera. Yesterday
(Sunday) I was with a friend at a nearby horse farm. Anna's major
passion is horse riding so this was a great day for her (although she
is very sore today), but while she was riding, my friend and I took a
drive in a nearby back wood where we came across this horrific site.
Literally tons of fresh produce being dumped in an empty field and
left to rot in the hot sun. It is unclear as to the exact reason why
this was happening, but what is clear is that this shouldn't be
happening. I always believe that if there is no imagery (video,
stills) to document something then it never happened. This is a
terrible proof of something bad happening and it must be seen. In
order to show the scale of the scene, I stood ontop of my friend's
truck and did a panoramic shot. Using Adobe Photoshop's photomerge, I
was able to process about 20 images onto one large scene. That was the
only thing that can be considered manipulated.

How I did the Jet/Car/Motorcycle/Da'Man shot

As soon as I started sending this shot out, a lot of guys started asking me how I did it. So I figured this would be a perfect time to start putting my drawings on the blog.
First I have to say that many people get really scared when it comes to the weather. They fear rain destroying gear, getting people upset because they are wet, etc. Of course the same people will also complain of a harsh 12 noon bright sun day.
I say, "Bad weather is awesome weather." Any weather is just a part of the assignment. It only happens once and is there for you to capture. If it is bright sun or heavy overcast. We work around, under, through these times. And if you take it on without fear and understand it is uncontrollable then you will start to notice the beauty in it.
I say it was perfect. The overcast increased the saturation (especially in the trees). It created a nice wrapping affect of light on the otherwise very reflective glass and metal in the shot. It also had a great affect of wetting the pavement which is almost always common when doing a shot like this.
I used my Elinchrom Ranger RX battery kit with Freelight S head and 6 foot Octabank. It was attached to a hefty Avenger Century light stand and remotely triggered using a Pocketwizard. I used my Nikon D2X with the other PocketWizard and finally an 80-200 mm zoom lens so I could compress the elements together. If I had more options I would have been able to back up another 100 feet to shoot the shot at 200mm. This would have pretty much filled the frame with the trees in the distance and been cool. Knowing this, I am very happy with he shot and will make a mental note for the next time I shoot something like this.
I balanced my light to match my aperture. Remember the flash will always pop at the same speed. This particular head will sync with the Nikon at 1/250, but will put the same exact amount of light is you shot at 1/4 second. So note that I was controlling much of my ambient light with my shutter speed. Next my f/stop ended up being at about f/9. This was so I could get everything within the depth of field and tone down the ambient light even more. So all I had to do next was match my flash to the f/stop and pop away. 
Easy day!

Tag Heuer Ambassadors photo shoot

We were recently commissioned to photograph Pat Rogers, owner of Pat Rogers Speedway Harley Davidson and Wendy Venturini, Pit Reporter for Speed channel. We travelled to Charlotte, North Carolina for the shoot and had an awesome time. Watch the video to see.

Us working ;)

Here is Multimedia video about us working. 
Please feel free to rate and comment this video on you tube.
Our select of images from this assignment you can see at:
album: premiere vision 13Apr2009
password: eyewear

Love you guys,
Anna and Aaron

Pat Rogers Speedway Harley Davidson of Charlotte, NC

We recently returned from one of the most exciting shoots in a while.
We were recently commissioned to shoot images for a two page
Advertorial of Pat Rogers for an upcoming issue in Nascar magazine.
Not knowing who Pat was, we treated it like any shoot. Always excited,
passionate and looking forward to meeting another amazing person.
Little did we know he would be treating us the same way. He was very
willing to show us around and basically limit us only to our
imagination. From taking us to the race track to even pulling out his
Lear Jet, we had Carte Blanche access to this wonderful man's life for
the entire day. It was almost hard for us to have to stop. He just
kept going and we know this will not be the last we see of him.

The extra treat was to also photograph Pit Reporter, Webdy Venturini
of Speed channel. Another wonderful person with an awesome attitude,
the two of them made yesterday an awesome day filled with excitement
and passion. As for gear, Anna was using the D90 in order to shoot
video for an upcoming multimedia piece on the event while I used my
D2X as well as my Elinchrom Ranger Speed RX kit. We used a multitude
of light diffusers from bare bulb to the huge Octabank. It seemed that
no matter what I used for lighting, the quality was always there for
me and never slowed me down.

There is more to come on this shoot so I won't spoil the behind the
scenes on this yet. I just thought I would share a few images first.

shooting Marco Andretti with a LensBaby

I was at the St Petersburg race Sunday shooting images for Jonathan Summerton and Marco Andretti websites. I announced this on my facebook and a friend of mine, Mark Rebilas , gave a friendly challenge that I better impress him. I tell you what, Mark is such a perfectionist that I don't know if I could ever pull that off. You see, I met Mark as a young guy in the Navy with a hat in his hand asking for help and mentorship. I knew from the start this guy was going to be some amazing photographer. Sports or not, he had a natural talent for catching peak action that was very rare. He ended up getting out of the Navy and doing exactly that. Now he is living his dream and doing great at it. So it is only natural for him to challenge a guy like me to see what I have to say. Laughingly, I told him I would shoot the entire event with only a lens baby. Well, I didn't shoot the entire event with a lens baby. Maybe half. The other half was with an 800 mm lens that I borrowed from a friend.

I just love me some extremes!

Feeding Tarpon

This really isn't too much of an exercise on photography skills or passion, but thought it was fun to share.

ASMP Strictly Business Blog

A while ago, I was privileged enough (and smart enough) to be able to attend one of only four Strictly Business 2 seminars. These were 4 day seminars put on by ASMP and taught by some of the leading and most successful photographers in the industry. They gave a wealth of information that cannot have a price tag. What I do now and how I operate is in direct reflection of the knowledge I gained from this class. I was able to talk two other friends into attending and they are experiencing the same awareness and successes. 

This blog is open and free. Why such information for free you might ask. Well, here is a thought. If I want for my business to be successful and for my competition to also be successful, wouldn't it behoove me to make sure you are all on the same wavelength? If you have no idea about business and make stupid mistakes, give your imagery away, underbid on jobs, not even know how to manage your imagery, then you are going to possibly destroy a client's impression of what a professional photographer is like. 

We have way too many people that think that just because they own a camera that it makes them a pro photographer. You wouldn't think of a person that buys a canvas, brush and paints to be a serious artist would you?

This blog already has a ton of information that is extremely practical towards your daily photo career. No matter how many years you have been in the business, it is very healthy to look through and get a few new ideas.

Marco Andretti website

Geez, how much more exclusive can I get???

I was recently commissioned to photograph Marco Andretti for his website. We had about 2 hours to shoot and had a blast doing it. Marco is sometimes a shy guy who doesn't typically smile so the challenge was to get him to open up a bit and make him look more approachable. This isn't too hard a task for us and I think we did a really good job with what we had. The best thing ever happened on Sunday while we were chilling off at the Andretti Green tent in St Petersburg. The marketing director for Andretti Green (and tons more) came up to the AD and told him how awesome the photos where and how everybody loved them. Then as if in a staged commercial, the AD raises his hand and says, "Well here is the photographer responsible right here." BAM!!!  
Take a look at his site at

A bonus is if you scroll to the bottom of his front page, you can see a blurb that says "Exclusive photography on by Aaron Ansarov" Click on the link and there is an an entire page dedicated to me. wow! what a celebrity (in the background) I am becoming. ; }


The importance of Synergistic relationships

Today was an incredible day. 

Rewind by about three months when I had the honor to have an image presented in a small photo exhibit put on by ASMP. While at the exhibit party, Anna and I met with John Sturdy of the Sturdy Group. He is a videographer who is also an ASMP member. Very passionate about what he does, John became a member of ASMP because he enjoys being around other passionate visual communicators. Impressed with my 1:1 project, he had offered to help put a video documentary about me and the project. "Call any time," he said. How often do we hear that and never get a response? But I am always a person that gives the chances. Fast forward to last week when I was working on an assignment with Jonathan Summerton and images for his website. I called John and asked if he would be interested in participating in this. Little did I know he would bring award winning Niki Hinman or offer to do a multimedia project on the agency I have been working with NOR offer to help along with a production about Jonathan NOR even become a great friend in the process and so fast.

He came to the house today to do interviews with Anna and I and ended up spending most of the day doing it. Going way out of his way for us showed he had a serious attitude towards doing great things at great lengths... JUST BECAUSE!!!

It is people like this that make my life all the much better and enjoyable. It pays off. Because of all the extra effort he and I did with Jonathan we were able to acquire special passes to this weekend's race in St Petersburg to get imagery of Jonathan in action. I can't think of a better example of Synergy. That way of making 1 + 1 = 3.

This attitude and passion works. TRY IT!!!