CHUCK ARLUND BLOG » living one weekend closer to death

Avian Wonderland Fashion

Ever have one of those ideas for a shoot you just have to get out of your head? I had this really cool idea incorporating birds into looks for the shoot we did Friday. I love to pull inspiration off the web for shoots such as this one.

It was a pretty hot muggy day on location. We set up and pulled off two looks with the assistance of Todd and Jimmy from a Facebook KC photographer blog. Thank goodness they were there since it’s a little difficult for a 7 month pregnant woman to hold reflectors and huge beauty dishes. 😉

So with the help of Shannon at Rock Candy boutique, a couple stops at Goodwill and Michael’s I threw together a quick look. It’s not styled like what I imagined on a NYC high-end shoot and it seems to work. What I think is pretty cool is Emily’s uncanny resemblance to Natalie Portman.Emily was a great sport (even in the heat) and we enjoy working with her!




RonJuly 23, 2011 - 9:58 am

Hi, I just stumbled here while looking up Longview Mansion and had to comment. Image four is magical. The sky’s gradients with the hint of sun in upper right. Then the wonderful jewel of a model with a striking pose contrasted against the soft dark green background. Wow, magic strikes.

Lighting a scene subtly. One light and the sun

One of the things I love about strobe (flash) lighting is the ability to create light. One of my pet peeves is when sometimes photographers over light because at first glance it looks pretty damn cool. It’s kind of like the first time you played with Photoshop and started getting “creative” with filters.

My approach to lighting is to be subtle with it, so even though you do notice it, it is not the main focal point. “Wow, look at that flash” (Yes, I’m guilty)

We recently did a photo-shoot based off a bird or Avian theme. In the photo I am going to discuss there are two light sources. The sun and my modified streetlamp/beauty dish.

What I am trying to accomplish is getting the flash output to be very similar to the setting sun.

She is being lit by the strobe. Take notice of the columns. See how the back sides are being lit by the sun and now look at the column she is next to, it has a nice even light that mimics the sunlight. I think this makes for a very natural looking image as far as the lighting goes. It is dramatic but not to the point that the lighting is over the top. I will post the series soon so you can take a look at all of the photos. most were lit with this thought process, a few were not.


Avian Wonderland shoot - Chuck Arlund

I wanted to keep this image very natural looking. By using the strobe I was able to give the model a look as if she is being lit by the sun. The column that she is sort of looking at has the light source (the sun) facing her and that brightness tricks our minds into believing that she might also be being lit by the same source of light.

If you would like to learn more about lighting and photography in general take a look at my website, for details on workshops, one on one sessions and speaking engagements that I am at. If you would like to schedule a workshop and think you can get at least 10 people to attend, please contact me for details and pricing.


Some behind the scenes images: Thanks to Jimmy Douglass for the images. Thanks to Todd Davidson for all the help.


My Street Lamp that has now been modified to fit an Alien Bee.

Todd DavidsonAugust 9, 2011 - 10:24 am

Chuck, I had a great time getting to know you and your wife. We as photographers are better together. Your work is beautiful, and I am so proud to know you. We all are going to be successful, with beautiful work and families.

Rachel Senior Session


We met Rachel and her mom Loree through a family friend Shila. We have been fortunate to have Shila help us by sending High School seniors our way to grow our business. Rachel had her makeup applied and hair styled by myself while we coordinated some really cute outfits to set the tone for her photo shoot. It was a pretty warm afternoon and with “all hands on deck” we travelled to Rachel’s house, Loose Park and the Plaza area to capture images. At one point to style Rachel’s hair I (Kristina) used twigs to keep her hair style a certain way….always thinking on the “fly”! Chuck has a fun personality and he directed Rachel into getting the images they  were looking for. It was a productive day and we look forward to having more Senior photo sessions with Rachel’s friends.

Lucy Pop Salon Photo Shoot

Lucy Pop Salon is a cool, trendy and friendly hair salon in Nashville. We began our friendship with Renae and Brannon Morton, the owners of Lucy Pop, about 5 years ago working on a fashion magazine story. Over the years Renae has become our “go to” stylist. Renae and Brannon continue to grow their salon by incorporating more artistry and fresh talent for Nashvillians. Boy do we miss being able to drive out on a whim for a cut and color….kind of difficult 600+ miles away. So, we try to schedule our haircuts and color when we visit Nashville.  You have to try their “Truth Serum” hair and scalp treatment. It is relaxing and intoxicating on the hair!



Announced! Boston April 13 Hot Sexy Light Event.

Boston April 13th HOT SEXY LIGHT

1 day event. Class limit is 15.


UPDATE – Due to my Son having surgery I am now having to get back home. So, let’s do a one day class. Only $250.


Here is the deal.

De mystify lighting – Still in the dark about using studio lights or light in general? I teach, not just show!!!

In this class you will go back to the basics to be able to fully understand how to use lighting properly.

You will come away understanding why, not just how to light.

Learn how to shoot with up to 3 lights.
Learn about TTL and speedlights.
Learn about proper metering.
Learn how to light with subtlety, you know, just a kiss of light.

In addition to lighting, let’s learn how to do some dramatic things in Photoshop without spending a lifetime messing with images. Approach Photoshop from a Darkroom point of view.

Also we will be taking a field trip to a local gallery to get back to the roots and be really inspired.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

Location: Beverly MA – 1/2 hour north of Boston
Lunch provided


10:30 am – 5pm



Live shoot and mentoring


DeeMarch 10, 2011 - 5:55 pm

Chuckie! I wish I could make it. I greatly appreciate all of the help you gave me on lighting. It’s made a HUGE difference in my photography. 🙂


Emily TishhouseMarch 10, 2011 - 6:00 pm

This workshop looks like it will be a blast! It sounds like you will be covering some very valuable information. I wish I lived closer to Boston, so that I could attend!

TammynizeMarch 10, 2011 - 6:16 pm

Your work is amazing! This is definitely a class I would be interested in and totally within my style. 🙂 I definitely need to look into it. 🙂 Plus I love some of that cool grudge editing. I don’t do a lot of overlay stuff in my edits. Sometime to learn.

Erin MichelleMarch 10, 2011 - 6:21 pm

Chuckie, this looks amazing. I wish I could make it out, I know it will be a wealth of info!

Artistic Images PhotographyMarch 10, 2011 - 7:02 pm

I wish I lived in Boston or had the time to travel right now for your upcoming presentation on photography lighting, your lighting and photography is amazing!
Boudoir by Elizabeth

DaneaMarch 11, 2011 - 10:45 am

This looks awesome Chuckie! Hopefully it’s a huge success and then you can bring one to the west coast! 😉

Kim MalloryMarch 17, 2011 - 2:24 pm

Come to Vancouver!!!!!! Pleeeeeaaassseeee!!

MelissaMarch 17, 2011 - 2:48 pm

I wish I could go too. This looks like it would be so helpful.

Christiana AuerMarch 23, 2011 - 6:25 pm

Awesome! I would love to learn from you!!