Kevin is my go to guy over a LumoPro, over the past few months we’ve developed a healthy relationship, and he’s the guy I turn to if you ask me any questions I don’t know the answer to about LumoPro gear. I also seem to ask him a fair few questions about the gear aswell 🙂 Anyway Kevin informs me that his website is going under some major reconstruction as he is currently doing a lot of work across multiple mediums.
I think it’s really cool that LumoPro hire photographers to be involved in the running of their company from product development right through to customer service, because of this you get top notch products and support. Should be mentioned that Kevin recommended the LumoPro gear I have and I couldn’t be more happy, I have some videos coming soon. Anyway here you go!
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Kevin Deskins, I am from Columbus, Ohio in the US- I work as LumoPro Techinical Support, Development and Design, and Customer Service. I have been fascinated with photography since the age of 12, but didn’t roam into the industry until I was older. I specialize in studio and lighting equipment- and have extended my studies and research in photographic lighting behavior and modification, I like to tinker around with synchronization methods as well. I am currently engaged to a lovely young lady who has always encouraged me to push my creative side and I couldn’t be happier with the love and support of her.
What made you get into photography?
When I was 12 my dad gave me a Canon AE-1 Program, I remember shooting and shooting, and figuring out metering, the idea of depth of field, shutter speed, and ISO. Even if there wasn’t any film I would study the workings of the camera. Figuring out how capturing a moment of time on a piece of film was truly amazing to me. This really sparked the interest in photography for me, I have always thanked my dad for it. After school, I didn’t run right into photography, I took some time in other fields of study. It wasn’t until later that I knew that the early years with a camera really were a calling to photography. I quickly embraced and surrounded myself with all that was photography, lighting, lenses, etc.- any type of information or education I could find involving photography was gold, and I collected every last bit- and still do!
How did you get started?
Early on, I was hired by a local studio as an assistant and moved up to 2nd shooter and photo processor. The foundation of running a photographic business was there. I left a while later and began freelancing engagements, wedding, seniors, and models. Later I was hired by a photographic retailer and worked as the lighting equipment specialist. Shortly after I moved into a position that I am in now working as LumoPro Technical Support, Development and Design, and Customer Service. I manage the LumoPro product line, work with resellers, and help in any way I can customers worldwide who have questions or need support. Shortly after I moved into this position I stopped freelancing portraits. I shoot when I want, how I want, for whatever I want. It’s nice to be able to work on my own schedule and shoot whatever subject I want, it opens a world of new creativity and allows me to further learn new techniques and teach others about them.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I have always specialized in portraits. In the states it’s a huge industry- I enjoy shooting people to get them to see they aren’t just another face in the crowd, they are a unique individual. I still do portraits despite not freelancing- I just do portraits for myself and the art of portraiture. I enjoy landscape and urban landscapes, I’ve been recently trying to get into some more abstract shooting to stretch my creativity a bit.
What gear are you using?
I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II, and my work horse is a 17-40 f/4L. Most people are puzzled by the idea I’m using a wide angle lens on a full frame sensor while shooting portraits. Yes it is different, but yes I do like it. I have the ability to create wide landscapes or shoot architecture on the wide end, while having the ability to shoot a standard portrait on the long end. I believe it to be an incredibly sharp lens and don’t know where I would be without it. I favor other lenses as well, including the 70-200 f/2.8L IS, the 85 f/1.2L, and the 24-105 f/4L.
Most questions I receive involve lighting, I always refer back to my experience in the field when answer customer questions. I believe lighting is THE BIGGEST KEY to photography- hands down. Think about it you can shoot a photograph without a lens or camera body (look up: pinhole cameras) but photography, eye sight, or any other form of capturing images of the visible color spectrum would not be possible without….light. With that said I use lighting in the majority of my photographs. Not just ambient, but flash. I enjoy balancing the two for effect, it tends to separate a photographer from anybody with a camera. For flash gear, I use all LumoPro- I’ve always been a fan (even prior to working support) the gear is tough, long lasting, and as a consumer, not just an employee- I’ve never ever had any problem getting support. I own 2 LP160s and 2 LP120s (previous model) I use LumoPro LP605 compact stands, and LumoPro LP633 swivels. I use a variety of modifiers, from gels, softboxes, and umbrellas.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
Ah- now this has always been a tough question! I can never decide between:
The Canon 85mm f/1.2L- this lens is SHARP and the bokeh is beautifully smooth. This is a must have portrait lens if you do weddings or engagements. On top of being an awesome lens that creates beautiful photographs, you look like a rockstar carrying this lens around, the front element is nearly the size of a saucer.
The Canon 100mm f/2.8L Hybird IS Macro- This is a fairly recent lens that , in my opinion, side blinded the idea of macro lenses everywhere. This came out of the gate as a super sharp lens with new IS technology from Canon. The lens is incredible for close-up macro photography, but what most people don’t realize is that is it works great for portraits as well. Nice bokeh, great focal length, and IS!? How could you go wrong here.
How are you marketing yourself?
I don’t currently market myself as a photographer. However I work hard at marketing the LumoPro product line. We use facebook, twitter, and help out with questions on forums and blogs!
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
This photograph I took of my lovely fiancé, during an evening shoot. I used an LP160 off camera shot through an umbrella. This is a recent photograph that I’ve taken, I like this one because it really was a moment that I found myself expanding and experimenting with off camera flash- enjoying time with her and learning new things photographically.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
-Educate yourself. The best thing about digital photography is the ability to learn from your mistakes. The more you experiment with your equipment, the better you understand how everything works.
-Just don’t get modifiers, understand how they work. If you have to purchase or make your own DIY kit and play around with light. The better you understand how light works, the better you can use it to your advantage.
-Have friends, family, and colleagues CRITICALLY critique your work. It’s hard to sit and hear your photograph get torn apart by critics, but once you do this- you can learn how to make a better photograph.