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Essentials: Here’s what you to need shoot magazine-caliber celebrity portraits

shoot magazine caliber celebrity portraits heath ledger
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When the world’s glossiest of glossy magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair seek a photographer who can make celebrity portraits into works of art, they turn to Greg Gorman. A master in lighting, the California-based photographer has the ability to draw out the natural, human side of his famous and non-famous subjects, redefining what a portraiture can be.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1949, Gorman pursued photojournalism at the University of Kansas and cinematography at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. But since the 1970s he has excelled in portrait photography, becoming one of the most sought-after shooters in this field by editorial and commercial clients. Gorman has also published several art books of his photographs.

How does he capture his unique brand of photography? Gorman shares with us some of the gear he uses to capture his fine art.

shoot magazine caliber celebrity portraits gorman camera bag
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR and EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens

“I love working with this camera and lens because of its sheer weight, speed, efficiency, and sharpness, not to mention the file size.”

Sekonic light meter

“Being old school, I love having a solid light meter with me at all times, and the new Sekonic meter tops the charts of any meter I have ever held.”

California Sunbounce Sun-Mover light reflector

“Working with California Sunbounce has always given me the reassurance of having the best light modifiers available.”

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport

“Not pictured but very helpful and always with me is X-Rite’s ColorChecker Passport for assuring me the proper color balance in tricky situations.”

Other Essentials

“I love working with Lexar flash cards for their dependability and G-Technology drives for onsite backup with my MacBook Pro, and with Lowepro for always having the latest in portable and easily accessible camera bags.”

greg-gormanIn addition to his studio in Los Angeles, Greg Gorman holds his Digital Photographic Workshops at his studio in the Northern California town of Mendocino. Students here can learn the tricks of the trade from Gorman and his crew of pro instructors.

(Copyright images via Greg Gorman)

Les Shu
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I am formerly a senior editor at Digital Trends. I bring with me more than a decade of tech and lifestyle journalism…
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