Lindsay Adler teaches workshops and seminars to thousands of photographers every year across the country and internationally. Her presentations cover a wide range of topics for both the hobbyist and professional photographer. To see a list of her presentations as well as upcoming workshop schedule, see her events calendar. She always holds a variety of intensive fashion and portrait workshops with small classes, great locations, and incredible shooting opportunities. Whether running creativity workshops, retouching classes, lighting demonstrations, or photo business training, she has an upbeat and engaging presentation style that has sent her teaching career skyrocketing over the past few years. She regularly appears as a speaker at major conferences including WPPI in Las Vegas and Photo Plus in New York. She speaks for many major photo companies including Calumet, Unique Photo, B&H, and more. Her speaking sponsors include: Miller's Professional Imaging, MPIX, Nik Software, Sigma, Broncolor, California Sunbounce, and several more. Visit Lindsay Adler’s website at www.lindsayadlerphotograpy.com.
DOMINIQUE JAMES: How did you get started in photography?
LINDSAY ADLER: I began photography as a hobby that I shared with my mother and grandmother. We would photograph the family farm, photographing trees, and mushrooms and snow. I began really by focusing on nature, then eventually began to take portraits as a way to have a viable business. From there, years later I discovered my passion for fashion photography! At one point or another I’ve experimented with nearly all types of photography because I have such a strong passion for image-making.
DJ: What kind of pictures do you like to take?
LA: I focus most of my efforts on fashion and beauty photography. Once in a while I dabble in fine art, but typically my focus is on the realm of fashion and creative imagery!
DJ: Who or what would you consider as influential to your photography?
LA: I have many influences on my work and I take constant inspiration from other photographers. From the fine art work of my good friend Brooke Shaden, to the fashion editorials of Tim Walker and Solve Sundsbo, I am constantly drawing inspiration for concept, posing, lighting and more.
DJ: What’s your favorite camera and lens?
LA: I go through phases of my favorite gear, depending on the subject matter that is currently inspiring me. Right now I have been using a lot of the Canon 5Ds and 180mm macro lens as an awesome pairing for great detailed beauty shots! Typically I use more of a 24-70mm and 70-200mm lens with a Canon 5D III!
DJ: Any other particular piece of photo gear that you like using?
LA: My favorite piece of studio lighting gear is my Profoto D1 airs with a 20-inch white Profoto beauty dish! I also really love my Spider Holster to keep my camera at my side when shooting!
DJ: Do you edit and enhance your pictures before showing them?
LA: My post-processing is an important part of my creative process. I always process and perfect them before showing them on social media. I do skin retouching, creative toning and much more. On the other hand, sometimes when I show a client images they will see pretty RAW results so that I can select which ones to devote time and love to retouching.
DJ: How do you share your pictures and to whom?
LA: I share my images in many ways as prints, digital files and on social media! Art galleries for my fine art work, magazines for my fashion editorial work, Facebook and Instagram for fellow photographers and clients, CloudSpot and PhotoShelter with clients.
DJ: How do you store or archive your pictures?
LA: I store my images on G-Technology mirrored hard drives. I have two 12TB storage arrays. They are mirrored so right away I have two copies of my images. Any valuable or retouched files then are put on PhotoShelter for cloud storage.
DJ: What advice can you share with others?
LA: Rejection isn’t failure. As artists, our work is a reflection of ourselves. We put pieces or all of ourselves into our work. That is why rejection feels so debilitating to many of us artists. When we hear critique, criticism or rejection all we often feel like failures. At least that is how many of us feel, particularly as we start our journey as artists. I know I used to feel this way, and at times that tinge of rejection is still painful to bear. Early on in my career I heard some brutal criticism of my work. I regularly would send my shoots to 200 magazines and not get a single acceptance of my images. In fact, I had worked professionally as a photographer for years when one editor told me that every image in my portfolio should be scrapped as garbage. Rejection felt like failure. Even more than a dozen years into my career I still get brutal critiques and have my work turned down by major companies. This rejection used to feel crippling. One thing I have learned in my years of photography is that rejection is not failure, and the way to hurt your career the most is to let rejection hold you back from sharing your work or prevent you from producing with all your heart and soul. I found there are many reasons I have been rejected. Perhaps my work didn't fit with that particular client. Or maybe it just wasn't the ‘right time’ and the company wasn't looking to work with a new photographer. Or maybe, my work actually was weak but I have a great deal of room for improvement. Negative feedback shouldn't destroy us or tear us down, but instead help us find ways to build up and be stronger. Pay attention to where the criticism or rejection is coming from. Sometimes it is by the cruel of heart, knowing it will hurt you. Others are from experts simply trying to help you grow. Learn that rejection is just part of being an artist and a professional, and don't let it cloud your mind. Even the most successful artists in history have been rejected, often. Their resilience is why we know them today. The more you put your work out there, the more opportunities you will be creating for yourself. Even if your work is exquisite, opportunities don't come knocking at the door. People don't beg to hire you. You have to create the demand, you have to get your work in front of more eyes to create more opportunities. The more you share your work, the more you will come across rejection, but at the same time you are creating more opportunities. You create your ‘lucky break’ by pushing past the pain of rejection until you find those prize opportunities that change your career. Rejection isn't failure, so don't allow rejection to force you to fail.
Notes: All photographs on this page, used with permission, by Lindsay Adler. Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved. For the complete set of all the amazing featured photographers on this blog’s exclusive Q&A, click here.