Photographer Spotlight: Marina Koslow

We are thrilled to welcome the amazing Marina Koslow  to the Rock the Shot Blog today! Take a moment to learn more about her beautiful senior photography, and be sure to visit her website. Thank you so much Marina for taking the time to share your work with us today!

Where did your inspiration for photography begin?

I began learning the basics of photography from my dad growing up. He would always take pictures of us kids and then we would develop film in a make shift dark room in our kitchen. Those memories are still some of my favorites from childhood. Once I was old enough I would borrow his camera and take pictures of my friends and the city I grew up in which is in Ukraine. It was during a hard time right after the break of Soviet Union. Photography became a small outlet for me while living in grey reality of economic depression. I didn’t know much about the technical aspects of taking photographs until years later after moving to US and picking up a DSLR.

How would you describe your photography style?

clean, classic, romantic portraiture

Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?

I am self taught. A lot of things having to do with “photography” have to be learned by practice. However I do feel that going to a photography school would give one a more artistic background as well as a better understanding of the industry and more connections for potential work.

Do you shoot Canon or Nikon, and what is your favorite lens?

I shoot medium format film cameras. My favorites at the moment are Contax 645 and Mamiya RZ. Contax comes with an 80 mm 2.0 lens and its quite magical. My 35 mm system is Nikon and I am very partial to Zeiss glass. I currently use 85 mm 1.4.

Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?

Don’t be afraid of light! If you are used to diffused soft lighting in the shade it may be difficult to shoot in direct sunlight but sometimes there is no way around it. You can always play it to your advantage. I try to pay attention to the subject’s eyes as well as what’s behind me. If shooting in strong backlighting its important to have some open sky above to make sure that face is still well lit.

What is the most challenging thing about photographing seniors?

Sometimes senior girls are not confident in themselves and that translates into being awkward in front of the camera. It takes a bit of time to break that ice and I always work hard to make them feel beautiful and at ease with me.

What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?

Taking extra time to educate clients is always worth it! locations, outfits, timing – sometimes it means that I need to be a bit more assertive to make sure all elements add up to produce the final product expected.

If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?

Allow yourself time to find what you love doing. It doesn’t happen overnight. Work hard and accept failures when they happen, but always try again.

What do you love most about being a photographer?

I love leaving behind memories of happiness, beauty and life.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

That’s a hard question! I don’t like predicting the future. I would love to see myself doing what I love and maybe traveling a bit outside of photography assignments, just to have more time to shoot for myself.


About the Artist: Marina Koslow is a photographer in Bend, Oregon specializing in weddings, senior portraiture for girls and family portraits. In her free time, she enjoys exploring beautiful Central Oregon, stand up paddle boarding and winter sports.

Visit Marina at her WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK pages today

August Photo Challenge: Dance Like No One is Watching

Turn up your favorite jam and grab your camera!  This month, challenge yourself to capture an AMAZING image of the beautiful art of “DANCE“!  There are no specific rules for this challenge, you may interpret the theme in any way you wish.  Everyone is invited to participate!

Special thanks to our very generous sponsors for the FABULOUS prizes for this months challenge!

Here are the prizes you can win:

 1st Place PRIZE: “Schoolgirl” Leather Camera Bag from Ketti Handbags {$295 Value}

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

Since 2008 Ketti Handbags has been producing camera bags with as much personality and flair as the women who carry them. Instead of a camera bag that acts as a purse, we made our newest leather collection a purse that can act as a camera bag. With enough space for wallet, phone, tablet and a camera, the Schoolgirl makes bringing your camera with you simple. It also works great for use on photo shoots – with your camera around your neck, easily carry up to 3 extra lenses in this stylish bag.

2nd Place PRIZE:  Beyond the Lens Photoshop Actions & Textures + Beachwood Papers {$250 Value}

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

Photo Deal Cafe brings the power of group buying to photographers. Save up to 90% off the BEST Products and Services for Photographers.

3rd Place PRIZE16×24 Canvas from Canvas by Blossom {$137 Value}

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

Here are the details for entering your submission:

1. Create a post on your blog and include ONE photo submission for the challenge. If you like, include some fun facts about the photo, and any tips or tricks you might like to share about how you captured and/or processed your image.  For this month’s submission, the only requirement is that the image relates to “Dancing” in some way.
2. Include the Rock the Shot Button and type the link www.rocktheshotforum.com in your post. DO NOT include http://
3. You can also link your submission from public Facebook pages, Flickr, Pinterest, etc. Just be sure to include the link www.rocktheshotforum.com within your post. If you are having trouble with this method, check out our step-by-step video tutorial HERE 
4. Submit the link to your post using the InLinkz button below. You must submit the actual post link (permalink), not just your website URL. NOTE: do not include http:// in your link
5. You may submit your photo at any time during the challenge – the deadline for this month’s submission is August 31st, at 11:59pm CST.
6. The winners will be announced on Thursday, September 4th.

LEGAL STUFF: This promotion is in NO WAY sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You will NOT be notified publicly via Facebook if you are a winner. You MUST be 18 to participate. By entering this giveaway, you are providing information to Rock the Shot and NOT to Facebook. Prizes do not have cash value. There will be no returns/exchanges on any of the items.

By submitting your photo, you grant Rock the Shot permission to re-post your photo on our blog and/or Facebook page. Photo Credit will be provided.

New “Members Only” FREEBIE Packet {V40}

WOO HOO!!  The newest “Members Only” FREEBIE Packet {Volume #40} is now available for download in the forum!!  As usual, this month’s packet is filled with the most AMAZING goodies from our amazing vendors!  We want to extend a HUGE thank you for their generosity and support. Special thanks to Click and Blossom; Cherry Bloom Design; and Photographer Depot for this month’s contributions to Rock the Shot Forum members!

You can find the download link in [the Forum] under “Freebie Packets”. New members, don’t forget to download the other available issues of our “Members Only” Subscriber Packets as well! You’ll get HUNDREDS of dollars in FREE photography products.  Hurry, these packets are only available for a limited time!

Not a member of our forum yet?? JOIN TODAY, and get exclusive access to all our FANTASTIC FREEBIES!  Plus… for a limited time, save 30% off any level membership using code AGFB30 (new/inactive members only: expires on August 12, 2014).

And now….on to the goodies! You will receive the following freebies:

Exclusive Photo Overlay Collection from Click and Blossom

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

Click and Blossom is a brand of wearable and special accessories for the daily photographer, designer, blogger, instagrammer, photography and camera lovers too. From cute accessories and clothing to digital templates and overlays. Every product is made with the purpose of celebrating the joy and art of being a photographer.

  •  Compatible with Adobe Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements

“Back to School” Marketing Collection by Cherry Bloom Design

WEBSITE FACEBOOK

Cherry Bloom Design is a cute little husband and wife run business offering fully customizable Photoshop Templates designed with you and your clients in mind. Look professional, save time, and enjoy what you do. We sure do!
  •  Compatible with Adobe Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements

Exclusive Cloud Overlay Pack from Photographer Depot

WEBSITE FACEBOOK

Add drama and creativity to your images with Montana’s beautiful clouds, horizons and sunsets in this EXCLUSIVE Cloud Collection from Photographer Depot.  These cards are not included in any other set.  Find more beautiful cloud overlays in our Montana Skies Cloud Overlays Volumes I and II.

Photographer Depot is stocked to the roof with everything you need to succeed in the business of photography. Our focus in on practical, affordable tools for the newer professional photographer that will boost your confidence in the office and behind the camera.

  • Photoshop CS; CC and Photoshop Elements Compatible {must allow the use of layers}

Not a member of Rock the Shot Photography Forum yet? Come on over and JOIN our fun and friendly community TODAY!  Plus… for a limited time, save 30% off any level membership using code save 30% off any level membership using code AGFB30 (new/inactive members only: expires on August 12, 2014). 

And… don’t forget to stop by these wonderful vendors websites and Facebook pages and check out all the FANTASTIC products they have to offer. Remember to download all of our currently available packets in the forum. Here is a list of all the fantastic freebies available for download.  Hurry, these packets are only available for a limited time!!

Volume 39:

  • Summer Marketing Bundle {4 templates} from Paper Lark Designs
  • Facebook Timeline Cover Bundle {6 templates} from Marketing Mall
  • “Owlsome” Texture Pack {12 Textures} from Owlsome Boutique

Volume 38:

  • EXCLUSIVE Lightroom Preset Collection {5 Presets} from Pretty Presets for Lightroom
  • “Artista” Client Welcome Packet from Squijoo Design Studio
  • Facebook Timeline Collection {4 templates}  from Bittersweet Design Boutique

Volume 37: (expires August 12, 2014)

  • 14 Piece Marketing/Branding Set from Hummingbird Press
  • Print/Blog Collage Collection from Fotovella
  • Exclusive Mini-Session Collection {4 Templates} from Prairie Sweet Boutique

Featured Vendor + Giveaway: SewTamz

Today we are featuring the amazing SewTamz Designs, maker of beautiful camera straps, covers and wristlets. Check out the fantastic options they offer, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of {3} $50.00 Gift Certificates to SewTamz Designs.

About SewTamz Designs
SewTamz Designs specializes in custom photography accessories for all photographers.   Her designs offer a stylish way to accessorize your camera – Items include camera strap covers, wrist straps and designer neck or cross-body camera straps.  Whether it’s choosing colors to match you’re branding, showing off your business logo,or adding your own monogram the possibilities are endless.

New items released TODAY!  SewTamz has created coordinating neoprene lens cases, drop-in-bags, and our new “thin” neoprene strap.  All of our products come in a variety of stylish designs and provides the comfort every photographer needs.

Beautiful classic, modern and simple designs in endless color options.

SPECIAL OFFER EXCLUSIVELY FOR ROCK THE SHOT READERS: Save 20% off using code ROCK20 at checkout.

About the Designer: Tammy is a wife and mom to two busy kids.  After leaving the corporate world as a “techie” to be a SAHM; on a whim she began designing camera straps and covers for photographer friends adding embroidery for a personal touch.  Thus trading in the corporate job for a sewing machine; SewTamz was born and now products are distributed world-wide.  Tammy enjoys creating new products that are functional and fun, has a slight addiction to fabrics, social media and Pinterest recipes.

Visit SewTamz Designs at their WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | BLOG | TWITTER

Enter the Giveaway for a chance to win one of (3) $50.00 Gift Certificates to SewTamz Designs!

Hurry! Giveaway ends on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 .  Winner will be announced on Saturday, August 16, 2014. a Rafflecopter giveaway

LEGAL STUFF: This promotion is in NO WAY sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You will NOT be notified publicly via Facebook if you are a winner. You MUST be 18 to participate. By entering this giveaway, you are providing information to Rock the Shot and NOT to Facebook. Prizes do not have cash value. There will be no returns/exchanges on any of the items. Giveaway is open to US/CA residents only. 

Congratulations to Tasha Still; Kelly Smith; and Kala Howard on each winning a $50 Gift Certificate to Sew Tamz Designs! Winnersplease email me at karlen@rocktheshotforum.com in the next 48 hours to claim your prize. Thank you all for participating and have a wonderful weekend!

July Photo Challenge Winners

We are so excited today to announce the WINNING photos for our July Photo Challenge.  Our theme last month was “SUMMER VACATION”, and as usual, the images were simply outstanding!!   We want to thank all of our readers who submitted entries for the challenge, and a HUGE  THANK YOU to our fabulous sponsors Blahblahbebe photography; Photo Deal Cafe and Canvas by Blossom for their generous prize donations to the challenge this month.

Here are our winners for the “Summer Vacation” photo challenge.

1st Prize: #54 Lindsay Williams Photography

2nd Prize:  #38 Amanda Lassiter Photography

3rd Prize:  #4 Ginny Haupert Photography

Honorable mention #1:  #Adele Marianne Photography

Honorable mention #2:  #42 Toni Englestead Photography

If you’re one of our top five, proudly display the button “Top 5 Photo” button on your blog and Facebook pages. This button can be found HERE.

Winners, please contact Karlen at karlen@rocktheshotforum.com

Thanks to everyone who entered, and STAY TUNED for our August Photo Challenge…

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