Learn From These International Professional Photographers
Tim Mantoani — In Memoriam
One of our original “Awesome Bouncers,” sadly Tim Montoani passed on October 7th, 2016, in San Diego after a long battle with cancer. Mantoani was 47 and left behind his wife Lynn, his son Lucas, his sister Beth, and his parents, Ken and Mary Ann. We encourage donations to the Lucas Mantoani College Fund.
Mantoani was an internationally acclaimed photographer who attended Brooks Photography Institute and at one point in his photographic journey he managed the studio for the late and renowned photographic educator Dean Collins. We will continue to honor Mantoani and we leave you with Mantoani’s own words:
“Every one sees the world differently. Through their own lens. I’m lucky that mine happens to be attached to a camera. To me, that’s the most exciting and rewarding thing about photography and film. Capturing a vision that’s uniquely yours and sharing it.” — Tim Mantoani
Greg Gorman, born in Kansas in 1949, has become one of the premier portrait and figure shooters in the world. His career spans thirty years of brilliant images and each picture is the culmination of careful planning and letting his subject flow into a relaxed shooting environment. He is known for the quality of his lighting and the beauty of the human form be it a celebrity portrait such as Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, and Kim Basinger or one of his classical nudes.
Vincent Versace, Los Angeles based, is an internationally recognized pioneer in the art and science of digital photography. He’s one of Nikon’s founding Nikon Ambassadors and is considered by Nikon as “one of the top photography artists and visual storytellers of this era.” Vincent is a recipient of the Computerworld Smithsonian Award in Media Arts & Entertainment and the Shellenberg fine art award. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History. He is the photographer of Immediate Assistants Medical Rescue Go Team and was commissioned by the San Francisco Presidio Trust to create a body of photographic work to permanently capture this National Park and Historic Landmark.
Vincent’s work was featured in American Photo, Popular Photography, The New York Times, Shutterbug, Outdoor Photographer, Pro Digital Imaging, PDN, What Digital Camera, Petersen’s Photographic, PC Camera, Studio Design and Photography, Professional Photographer, Digital Imaging and many more. Nominated multiple times to the Photoshop Hall of Fame, Vincent has been recognized by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals through the creation of the Vincent Versace Award for Digital Photography Excellence. The “Vinnie” is a special category of the Photoshop Guru Awards, considered one of the most prestigious and coveted awards in the international digital imaging industry.
He’s authored the best-selling books From Oz to Kansas: Almost Every Black & White Technique Known to Mankind and Welcome to Oz 2.0: A Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop. His book, Welcome to Oz was selected as Shutterbug Magazine’s best how-to book of the year. Vincent was the original host of the Epson Print Academy and is a member of the Epson Stylus Pros. He’s also a Nikon Legend Behind the Lens, an Xrite Colorotti, Lexar Elite Photographer, Team NiK Elite Photographer, Benq Ambassador, an American Photo Magazine Mentor Trek and Master Class instructor plus a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals Instructor Dream Team. He teaches regularly at Photoshop World, B&H, the FBI, US Navy Combat Camera, US Coast Guard, Maine Media Workshops and Palm Beach Photographic Workshops.
In 1994 the Dept. of Defense selected Rolando Gomez as one of the “Top Five” military combat photographers worldwide. He later transitioned to fashion, glamour and beauty photography and has authored five photography books. Gomez has traveled on assignment to 44 countries as a photographer and photojournalist. Gomez runs the photography blog Lens Diaries and his fine art blog plus gallery at Americano Dream. In the past 17 years he’s taught over 700 photography workshops worldwide, lectured at major universities and attended major photo industry events as a guest speaker.
Partial credits include Parade (cover story), People, New York Times, Newsweek, Huffington Post, Playboy, Rangefinder (cover story), Maxim, Sports Illustrated, St. Martin’s Press, NBA, Amherst Media, Studio Photography, Digital Imaging, Peterson’s 4-Wheel Drive, Stars & Stripes, Army Times, Airman, Soldiers, San Antonio Express News, Evan Williams Bourbon, AOL/Time Warner, PMA Daily, Leica World News, Shutterbug, Photo Media, D-Pixx (cover story), Zoom NL, Photographie, PROFIFTOTO, fotoMAGAZIN, FOTO-VIDEO DIGITAAL, Camera Magazine, and many nationwide newspapers.
One of the world’s leading international image makers, Atlanta, Georgia native Steve Thornton began his career as a self-taught 12-yearold shutterbug with a keen interest in photography. As a professional, he has photographed numerous national and international ad campaigns, along with feature editorials for magazines in the United States and Europe. Steve & his crew travel on average 175+ days a year, in the USA, Europe, the Middle East as well as the Orient. Prime client list for stills and/or motion: UPS, Invesco, American Express, General Motors, Hallmark, Citizens, Hyatt, Trane and Ferguson.
“In fact, all my assistants, after using all the other kinds of reflectors & silks with other photographers, have bought them over all of the competition. This gear will last and work well under difficult conditions. It has really helped me in my imagery and helped me out of some real lighting jams. During my 25+ year career there are precious few photographic products I have bought that more than live up than live up to its hype, this is one of the very few.”
“What i like most about sunbounce©: it’s simple. You hold it up… you look at it… you just shoot the picture and it’s awesome! Another sunbounce© tool i like: the WIND-KILLER – it lets a bit of wind come through and keeps the hair nicely blowing without all these weird crosswinds. It saved my shoots a lot of times.”
“I discovered Sunbounce at very early stages in my photography career. There was not mistaken that the bonding with the product was instantaneous. I use Sunbounce reflectors in glamour, fashion and commercial shoots based on its durability and known reliability. My function as a photographer goes to both sides of visual arts in video and stills, where the crucial lighting matters.”
For over a quarter century, celebrity photographer Michael Grecco has been taking images and making impressions. From advertising to editorial, Grecco’s dynamic work is continually raising the photographic bar. Michael Grecco works with an unrivaled technical ability and a rare sensitivity. Michael couples this technical savvy with a personally engaging style that draws out the people and the potential. Grecco is a photographer’s photographer, always ready with hard-earned advice and willing praise for others. The image he has created for himself is authentic, composed and always striking.
Mike Larson is an international photographer who began his career traveling the globe in search of exotic locations, amazing surf, and beautiful other cultures to photograph. Since then, he discovered his passion for photographing people who are in love and enjoying life. Mike Larson resides in Southern California when not traveling. Mike is honored to be sought after to photograph spectacular weddings around the world. His travels and exposure to diversity continue to inspire him to keep a fresh and fun, outside the box, approach to wedding photography.
Ever since I first picked up a camera in the 60’s, my main light-source has been the sun. Shooting surf photography all over the world has taught me how to read and manipulate the light that exists. We used to use things like surfboards and white walls to bounce light for beach portraits.
Now, we just use a variety of sunbounce scrims, swatters and reflectors to get soft, magical lighting at any time of day. Shooting beachwear advertisements and catalogs from first light to last light means that something has to be shot in high sun. Sunbounce helps me transform high noon blowouts into soft highlights that compliment the content shot during magic hour.
In 1979 David Mecey was hired as a staff photographer at Playboy Magazine launching an exceptional, 23-year relationship. David discovered 20 Playmates of the Month and has over 40 different magazine covers to his credit. His celebrity clients include Denise Richards, Brooke Shields, Rachel Hunter, Carmen Electra and Sharon Stone. The most personal chapter of David’s journey began in 2003 with the introduction of FotoFantasyCamp. Mecey’s love of his craft and eagerness to share what he’s learned through the years has made FFC one of the best beauty and glamour photography courses to attend.
Erin Manning is a professional photographer, teacher and television personality living in Los Angeles, California. Television viewers know Erin best as the digital photography expert and host of DIY Network’s TV series The Whole Picture. She helps people understand photography and technology by translating technical mumbo-jumbo into everyday words and by facilitating their learning with a clear, friendly teaching style. Erin first fell in love with photography at age seven. That early encounter shaped the direction she was to take with her photography – capturing moments with and between people. Whether in front of the camera or behind it, photography has always been a part of Erin’s life and synthesizes her experience and education in art, technology, and entertainment. She specializes in lifestyle imagery and spent several years honing her craft by working as a commercial, portrait, and stock photographer, as well as working for Getty Images.
“I put four sides around an idea.” With a deceptively simple phrase, Nick Vedros sums up three decades of international award-winning photography. Anyone can look through a viewfinder, but there’s nothing simple about Nick’s multi-disciplinary approach for bringing a concept to life:
- Inspired imagination fueled by ingenuity,
- State-of-the-art production resources,
- An innovative studio team of hand-picked professionals, and
- Attentiveness to client satisfaction which is downright addictive.
In the hands of a photographer driven to make every shot his best, it is simple to understand why Nick’s work garners top honors. His award-winning methodology attracts blue-chip clients and keeps them coming back for more. No one is a stronger proponent for using only the latest state-of-the-art equipment. Yet if you ask Nick, he’ll tell you that technology alone can’t bring an idea to life. It’s imagination that transforms a concept into a memorable visual experience. And it’s the ingenuity of Nick’s “can do” drive that injects even ridiculously challenging concepts with his emotional impact. Nick’s dedication to craft may explain his track record for resolving creative challenges-ingeniously. When a solution is evasive, Nick heads for the open road on one of his motorcycles. Inspiration, Nick will tell you, has been known to hitchhike.