Ken Schallenberg Photography | Blog

GEAR...Someone asked about gear ???





OK...So one of the most commonly asked questions I get asked, is "what camera do you use" ?


It's my fav question ;)

Let's start out by saying, it isn't the camera that takes good photos. It's the person looking through the viewfinder that does the magic, but now, back on topic.


I have shot a lot...A LOT , of different camera bodies, and brands over the last...ah..ah...for quite a while now !

Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and now i shoot exclusively Sony. Sony Mirrorless, to be more specific.

As technology changes so quickly, so do cameras, and what they can and can't do. It is an every evolving product.

As someone that has to rely on his gear , every single day, to perform as flawlessly as possible., it is important to have equipment, that is rock solid and holds up to the daily grind.. Different weather conditions, inside, outside, hot, cold, and so on.

I too, can get caught up in the hype, as easily as the next person, on the next 'best thing'.

Quite often, things just don't pan out the way as advertised. BUT then again,....sometimes they do.

Switching to Sony a coupe of years ago, has really been a joy, and has proven to be a great personal, and professional choice.

So below is some of the tools, I use, on any give day. Some days ...all of them ;)



Camera bodies:





This is my most asked ..what camera do you use..what camera should I buy?

If i am talking headshot/portrait, Im using my SONY A7Rll

Without a doubt, the finest camera I've ever used. It isn't perfect mind you, but in total, it is terrific.

Photos....stunning. Size/wieght...(the camera not mine), is quite nice. many, I find new ones all the time!

It is the tool I can use on any assignment, and feel confident, it will get the job done..and done well.




SONY A6300



A speed demon, and tracks like bloodhound. This is the one, I recommend , and think everyone should own!

Super fast focus, spot on tracking, eye focus ( this one is hard to believe..but it is awesome). An incredible 11 frames a second...all in the palm of your hand.






Lenses are from one extreme to the other...super wide..( never wide enough for a realtor ) 200mm or so, perfect for photos of faces.




This is the real fun part. 

In my humble opinion, if your in the photo business, taking images, in all sorts of CANNOT count on a wall outlet.

So all my lighting gear is portable, and battery powered, regardless of size or power. Not many cords to get tangles with, and solid reliability.

For those reason, I choose Elinchrom Systems. I use the Elinchrom Ranger RX AS..when I need LOTS of power. Great for photos in the bright sun, etc.


For a lighter option, I have the Elinchrom Quadra Hybrid kit. Super duper stuff.  Elinchroms produce fantastic light, but even more important, the light is consistent. The same great light, regards of the amount of battery power...that is very important.





Light modifiers:

This is too big of a topic for this blog post. Perhaps I can cover it next time in 'part deaux'.



That's it for now.....remember...









What a mixed bag.....Why I Luv my job :)

Sorry I haven't been blogging much these days..Time just seems to fly bye.

Life has been hectic, crazy, and wonderful. You too?...GREAT!!

The first quarter of the year has been a record breaking one, for Ken Schallenberg Photography.

I thank all those that helped make it happen.


I was thinking the other day...just how blessed I am to be doing what I love to do. Waking up each morning, looking forward to the days tasks.

Photography is one of the occupations, that really keeps you on edge...Going different places, each day. Meeting new people each day. All adds up to an interesting ,and exciting adventure on a daily basis.


As I have mentioned in the past, I started my company with intentions to photograph real estate properties.


I thought I would post a few images today. just to show some of the different collection of photo shoot that I might be encountering on any given week, or day for that matter.

They are all fun, challenging, and rewarding at the same time.

I am am thankful, for each opportunity.

May everyone have a fantastic week.



Headshots...Wall Street or Hollywood

I get asked a lot to shoot headshot photos. To be honest, it's a lot of fun. Challenging at times, but always an exciting time, and is my favorite thing to do, photo wise.

I try to make it as fun as possible, and as quick as possible , since everyone has a busy schedule, myself included.

I thought I would give my take, on my style of shooting humans :)

I break it down , to my usual simple way of thinking. ...Wall Street or Hollywood??

Both have there place, and both are equally demanding for the photographer, albeit in different ways. But this discussion is about offering my take on one or the other.

Wall Street, to me, is a bit more of a traditional look. Typically, attorneys, doctors, bankers, etc. call for this type of image. Using a  main light coming from one direction, and a little fill light from the opposite. Maybe, maybe not, a gradient swath of light, behind the subject, making them stand out from the background. A classic , standard in the photo biz.


Hollywood , means light...LOTS OF LIGHT!  This is my all time fav way of shooting. The images are vibrant, fresh, and contemporary looking.This lighting produces  less shadows. Bright images, that pop!

Let's take a realtor that is looking for a new photo, for their website, or business card. When I am asked about doing a response is...WHITE background....really WHITE :)

Here is my thinking. The vibrant image, on a crisp hi key background, offers a lot to advantages to a realtor. 

For instance. It's a much cleaner look, to  use this type of  image on a new business card, or even on a property flier, than it is to use a photo, lets say, with a tree growing out of the agents head..( i see that a lot :0), or other distracting elements in the photo, that take away from the impact of the agents smiling face.

Same thing goes for website headshots. To me..the white background photo has IMPACT. 


The photo can always be photoshopped to have a different colored background, as seen here. My point is, the white background makes can produce a terrific, natural looking shot, and offers a great starting point, should changes be wanted or needed down the road.




But for me...WHITE...., it is just an awesome look. 

If your in need of a new look, a new headshot, or new images for your website, let's chat!



Till next time....remember....


Another blessing...



So as I mentioned last time, there are a few folks that have really influenced my growth as a photog.

Last post, I talked about my friend, Carl.

This time, I will be taking about my pal, Will Crockett.

Will is a long time photog, who has shot movie stars, and presidents, and even me :)

I first saw him, watching some education video about lighting. His confidence and professionalism was quite evident .

He is a master photographer, lighting guru and coach, as well as, a master printer. 

As I mentioned last post,  I am a firm believer in learning from those who have been successful, no matter what business endeavor your are pursuing. day, i would like to meet Will, and more importantly, have him meet me ;-)


Much to my surprise, one night i am surfing the web, only to find that Crockett is going to be in New Orleans the next day. WHAT THE HECK !!

Sold way....I can't let that stop me.  SO......I make my way to the venue early the next morning. No more tickets..heck !! Then I hatch a plan..go get a coffee...hang out .,,,and barge in :)...Sounds good to me! 

Hey.there he is,,,WC himself....going into the classroom...So I patently wait ,to gain enough courage to enter.  I proceed to stalk the back of the room.until I got up the nerve to ask.."ANY MORE SPOTS AVAILABLE," i say!  Crockett looks up over his red glasses ,and says,,,,,'theres always room for one more!!" BINGO! I'm in...and I just happen to sit right on the other side of the laptop screen. :) When he peers over his Mac....he's looking at me ..PERFECT!! I spent that day, asking all the questions I had no answers for. He answered everyones questions. It was a fun day.

We have become pals. He has given me way more F's than I got from Carl, too, sadly. Watching and learning from Will , and seeing the new technology in cameras, is the reason I  eventually switched to mirrorless cameras. He taught me tons about lighting, video, LEDs  and on and on. 

Early on, I had the pleasure of him taking one of my shoots, and tearing it apart on a 20 minute 'youtube' video, for the who world to see. AWESOME :)  Specular highlight, Shadows...hey, I;m learning here !! OK!

If I have a question, he is always there to answer. He has been a true blessing in my growth as a professional photographer.

I've gotten better, faster, more focused, more successful, and certainly, more confident, thanks to Will C.

I'm proud to call him my mentor, and my pal.



So one day a couple of months ago, I'm driving Will and we are heading to spend the day shooting a plantation on the river. I"m lost on some backroad, in the middle of nowhere, between rows and rows of sugar cane fields. All of a sudden Crockett yells out.."STOP..STOP THE CAR..HURRY".  What's wrong I say? His reply...."the lighting Is perfect..look at that sky...get out..stand in that my back for alligators"...and bam..

Image created by Will CrockettImage created by Will Crockett©Will Crockett

I now have a new headshot of my own, taken by crazy Will Crockett himself.

Till next time..BE AWESOME !

WOW....Time flies

WOW...Three years have flown bye!
I thought it was a good time to start my new Blob.....I mean BLOG :0

Back in 2012, after have a crazy idea to turn my life long love for taking photographs , into a business .
Utilizing my realtor background, I found myself deep in learning the nuances of real estate photography. Before I knew it, I we on my way, and launched Photogenic Properties.

With the help of a couple of courageous agent, I found myself off to a fast start.

Shortly after starting, along came a commercial client, then another, then headshot request, get the idea.

So after all my hours of strategic planning, and website design, and focus on what I thought would occur, I was blessed to have opportunities that I couldn't have imagined, pop up.

Since I was now shooting a variety of different styles of work, including humans, I thought I should go on another direction, marketing wise.
Thus...Ken Schallenberg Photography was created, to market to a broader client base.

So many blessing to mention in this first of many blog post. From ,my lovely wife, E, who allowed me to pursue my idea, to the many clients who continue, to repeatedly call for my services.

I've always followed the rule that says if you want to be successful, you should make it a point to follow other successful individuals.

Along the way, I met some individual that left there mark, on a professional level.
While I was in thinking and learning mode, I had a chance meeting that opened my eyes.
I happened to meet, at a camera club gathering, the famous, or should I say infamous photog, Carl Edwards,( Carl Edwards Phitography), who happened to be staying in the area for a while.

He probably doesn't know it, or even has any remote idea, of what his passion for photography, or the hours long talk, while out standing in the street, talking about life, taking photos, and business, how it brought all my nervousness, and doubt to the front, and focused me like nothing else had. If that makes any sense. Just do it, as the slogan goes !

Driving home the evening, I knew that I was absolutely doing the right thing, and it was full steam ahead.

It was shortly , very shortly after that , that I started my adventure in the photo biz.
Early on , I would share some of my images with him, and ask for his view and comments. His response was usually the same..'F' .

F....who would have thought getting an F would help me so much.

It was really the first time I could see the big picture,.no pun intended. It made me mad, and more focused, and harder working,,,,but sadly, still 'F'.
UNTIL, the day when his response was "Great Job" you are now a professional photographer! My photos were pretty good. But for Carl, at least partially , it was probably the fact that I was on my belly and on my back shooting lighting for my engineer client, at a new large commercial project, that won his praise :) Doing what was needed to get ' the shot!'.

Carl is a pro, an instructor, teacher, and published photographer, and has been for many , many years. He probably won't remember the story exactly as I have stated it, but I remember it as if it were yesterday.
Now he may have been just being nice. But that encouragement was exactly the kick in the pants I needed. Confidence is everything! 


I've met some great folks, who's help has helped guide me through these first few years. Two stand out. Carl is one. We will meet the other , I'm proud to call my pal, next time.


So there it is. My first blog post. Excuse the rambling nature , please. I type and write, kinda how I think. It's just my style, I guess.

Doing what you love, and loving what you do. It makes each day, special.


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