CGI – Computer Generated Imagery

•February 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

There has been a long standing debate about whether to manipulate an image or not.  It’s a bit silly.  Yes, there are ethical concerns, such as when enhancements change the story of what was really going on in an editorial photo.  But ethics are a part of everything we do.  Or at least they should be.

I’m only posting the CGI version of this photo.  But it looks equally good without it.  It is a great photo with a great model.  The computer enhancements simply make it a different image, telling a different story.

Commercial photographer

CGI Imagery, copyright Mark Stout, All rights reserved.

The Game Called Life

•February 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment

It’s funny sometimes how things I am coming to realize so often mirror the images rolling off the line.

These two photos are part of a series called “The Game.”  More will be coming when I can release them.

What has been revealed to me in the last few days is that in this game called life that we are all playing, we are actually the creators of the game.  Not the pawns that get kicked around on the board by the other players.

I invite you to take a look at that.  For when you see it, it is a total game changer!

commercial photographer

The game called life – copyright Mark Stout, all rights reserved

advertising photographer

CGI photographer, copyright Mark Stout

Fitness Photographer

•February 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I spent several years shooting for several of the major fitness magazines including Men’s Exercise and Fitness for Men.  So I guess that it is only natural that fitness photography remains such a part of my work.

This photo with Raffi Cote was taken last fall.  On the day of the shoot a major snow storm moved in and it looked like we were going to have to postpone or move it into the studio.   I told him I knew of a spot near where we were planning to shoot where the storms seemed to jump over it.

Driving there it seemed we were nuts.  It was nasty, snow, icy roads, winter.  I really began to doubt my intuition.  But a mile before our exit the storm let up and in the small mountain town it looked like a beautiful fall day.

Seems life can be that way too.  On your way to your objective every reason to doubt yourself will appear.  If you carry on, you reach your objective.  Take one of the doubts too seriously and it becomes the end point of the goal instead of the original goal.

Speaking of reaching your goals, Raffi has really stepped to the forefront.  We have recently had two magazine covers come out with Emage Magazine and a third on the way… and a few other exciting things about to happen.

male fitness photographer

Men’s fitness photographer, copyright Mark Stout

Seeing what is around you

•February 22, 2015 • Leave a Comment

A while back I was speaking with a very prominent photographer about a photo I had taken that made a splash.  I commented to her that it was not planned at all.  Nothing about the photo had anything to do with why I was out on the shoot that night.  It was something else I noticed going on around me that caught my eye.

She said, “Mark, that is what makes a professional.  It is what we see, and how we see it that sets us apart.”

This is another example of that.  The shot wasn’t planned.  I glanced over as the model, Cody Woldt, was changing in the car and noticed the lines of the composition and the light and took the shot.  The natural feel could never be captured in a posed shot.

I actually had to teach myself to look, to see what is around me, to see what other might miss.  I’m glad I did.


Male model changing – copyright Mark Stout

Sometimes on the way to your dream…

•February 19, 2015 • Leave a Comment

…you find something better.

That is the line from an episode of an old TV series called Just Shoot Me, a sit com about a fashion magazine.    Somehow while working on this photo that thought was on my mind.

The last few days some new doors have opened.  One in particular.  It seems to have started when I looked at the work of a London photographer named Greg Williams.  There is a strong parallel in it to my own, and a distinct similarity in the style and voice of the work.  With some notable differences that made the next rung up on the ladder, the next step up for my work, quite obvious to me.

I’ve revisited his work several times over the last few days while doing my own work and more and more occurs to me.  I could never really explain it, but I have come to see quite clearly what is lacking in the majority of photos we see:  Creativity.

And the reason why is also apparent.  You see, no software program, camera or app can unleash it.  It resides within us. And the barrier to creativity is on the road to it, we smack into all of the things we once created and later wished we hadn’t.  I believe that because of that one fact we hold ourselves back from true, unbridled creativity.

I’m posting the photo I was working on while thinking this.  For the record, it looks nothing like the work of Greg Williams.  The reason for studying his work wasn’t to copy… it was to enable me to look a little higher.

Copyright Mark Stout

Copyright Mark Stout

Copyright Mark Stout

Copyright Mark Stout

Cover for Emage Magazine

•February 16, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Emage released a preview of the magazine cover for issue 30 today which I shot.  The issue will feature a several page spread with more of my photos of the same model.

The cover was posted on Facebook, and it has been interesting to see the attention is has gathered.  Not your usual crowd and chatter, but it has attracted people at the top of the arts world and some of what has been said was quite flattering.

But they all pull down to what the model in the photo said:  “We killed it!”

I’ll post a link to the online version when the full issue is released.

Mark Stout Photography

Emage issue #30 Magazine cover, copyright Mark Stout, all rights reserved

The magic of an image

•February 10, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Many years ago I would look at the work of notable photographers and wonder just what it was about the image that made it so unique, special.  The marketing gurus like to call this branding or style.  That isn’t it.  Others can copy the image down to the last minute detail, the lighting, wardrobe, location, props, model and somehow they end up with only a pale imitation.

Over the years I started to become aware of something rather intangible.  It is as if the photographer… at least any photographer who is actually worthy of the title… puts a bit of himself into each image he shoots.  Not in a physical sense, it is intangible, but very real.  And it is what make the photograph what it is.  No amount of technical mastery can replace this quality.

I don’t expect this to make sense to everyone.  Even before I started to notice this, I had been featured in a large magazine spread.  While showing it to a friend she made the comment that there was a quality my images had, and that quality was me.  It took me over a decade to finally “get it” and I would say it is the most important thing a photographer can learn.  How to impart that piece of magic, of himself, into his work.

I say that as a lead in to the photos posted below.  Obviously I was there when it was taken :)  But it didn’t look anywhere near as magical as it does in the final image.  I believe that this photo transports the person looking at it, in his mind, to a night on a beach… away from his problems and to a place he would rather be.  And that is what I intended it to do.

Mark Stout

Silhouetted man on the beach, copyright Mark Stout

Mark Stout

Man on the beach at night, copyright Mark Stout, all rights reserved.


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