Shoot the Bloggers: David Tejada

While in Denver late this summer I got to hang out with David Tejada, a corporate photographer from the area and frequent blogger/teacher. (Dave needs no introduction for long-time readers of this site.)

So I couldn't pass up shooting him -- and using his own cool DIY beauty dish to do so.

Dave was kind enough to hang out with us at a Denver lighting class, so I did not want to waste the opportunity to shoot him while he was there. Being a fellow small-flash guy, it seemed appropriate to include some of the lighting in the frame.

The key light is Dave's own very nifty $20 DIY dish, which you can learn how to make here. (Seriously -- a CD spindle cover and a car mirror extender? Very MacGuyver.)

Dave's version is designed to perfectly fit an SB-800, but you could alter it to fit just about any speedlight. It is a really nice mod for close-in headshots -- especially when you consider that it started out its life as a salad bowl.

There is no ambient contribution to the photo. The detail in the shadows in from an Orbis, my go-to fill light, at about 2 1/2 stops down. This also gives the catchlight as the dish is at too high of an angle. The background is lit by the domed SB-800 seen in the back.

I am kinda jealous of Dave right now, as he is gonna be visiting some of the coolest cities in Europe next year with a small-class hands-on lighting workshop.

Well, I am jealous until I see his schedule anyway -- 12 cities in 23 days. And especially considering the cities. Wait'll Dave realizes he has only an hour or two to enjoy the Cours Mirabeau in Aix, which may well be the most beautiful street in the world.

He's gonna be pissed.

My guess is, when he is done he will plan some time to go back for a proper visit.

Next: Bullet-Proof Glass


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Blogger Mel Haynes, Jr said...

David is a really nice guy. I got to know him when I was in the Colorado Strobist group and I emailed him asking if he would like to come to one of our meets. I was expecting to get no response, but he responded right away and we met for coffee and talked about what he could do at a meet. He did a great presentation to our group and even hung out with us afterwards. It was a great night and a very inspiring presentation. Anyone going to his workshops are in for a real treat.


October 14, 2010 1:32 AM  
Blogger Drackar said...

Travel is always good...even if it's a quick jaunt. You can see where you want to go, later.

Also, I like that dish...simple.

October 14, 2010 1:35 AM  
Blogger Pedro Cardoso said...

I can't believe that Portugal is actually on the list of workshops - Lisbon AND Porto. Wow! We are usually left behind in almost everything (not only photography related) so it's with great pleasure to see that David T. is going there.

Now it's your turn. And McNally's.

BTW - cool portrait.

October 14, 2010 2:38 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

Hi David,
Thanks again for my photographic education. This post makes my wonder - dp you feel any additional pressure when photographing a peer, or is it a really easy process given the subjes understanding of what you're trying to achieve?

October 14, 2010 4:42 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

Nice post again (and i just like these portraits with some of the gear included on purpose).
Also like the DIY / MacGuyver equipment tips - being a hobby shooter only, i like saving options ;-)
(Its funny - no, tragic in fact - how expensive a simple small piece of plastic can be when it called photo whatever.)

October 14, 2010 4:51 AM  
Blogger Interface said...

so come to Australia. He hasn't been here yet.

October 14, 2010 6:00 AM  
Blogger glenn kaupert said...

Looking forward to your teaching tour of America. You've got friends and allies in many fantastic places. Hope you make it to the Chicago area - we can trade stories of the Tribune Company.

October 14, 2010 8:10 AM  
Blogger Dave6163 said...


David Tejada does some very nice work. Thanks for sharing his beauty dish. Looks like a fun DIY project to build.

When will we see the David Hobby workshops get started again?

October 14, 2010 9:18 AM  
Blogger Dominique LACOUTURE said...

David, I live at a mere 30 minutes from Aix-En-Provence, so you can drop by anytime you want... I'll keep chilled rosé ready...

October 14, 2010 10:51 AM  
Blogger AndyM said...

I'm surprised there's no workshop in the UK, not even in London. :(

October 14, 2010 10:52 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

AndyM - Both David's T and H were in London this summer. But I could only attend one - was at David H's in May.

October 14, 2010 12:07 PM  
Blogger Wink of an eye Digital said...

Nice to see some stuff again on DT....I remember that DIY was quite the rage!

Good to see you post about him again

Now on to adding a vote of where in the hell has DH been? time to get out the road tour shoes

October 14, 2010 12:15 PM  
Blogger diegonyc said...

Couldn't agree with you more Wink of an eye.

October 14, 2010 3:45 PM  
Blogger David said...


I think it is easy to shoot another photographer. Probably harder for the other photographer, who suddenly finds oneself looking down the barrel of the gun for a change.


Not gonna be traveling/teaching for a while. I have two big projects in the works which will make any teaching impossible until they are done. It is all shooting and/or blog related, so teaching would preclude any actual other life.

October 14, 2010 4:17 PM  
OpenID kurtwerks said...

Bummer about not teaching workshops. In the meantime, I greatly appreciate what you do with

Having a life is so overrated.

October 15, 2010 4:02 AM  
Blogger Addison Geary Photography said...

Slight correction, Tejada's beauty dish is not a salad bowl but rather a planter. Look for it in the garden center of the big box stores.

October 15, 2010 7:06 AM  
OpenID Anonymous said...

David T is great. I attended a workshop he taught in Indianapolis this year. I love his MacGuyver sensibilities. It's about what you do with the light, not how you make it. Nice portrait David H!

October 15, 2010 11:23 AM  
Blogger LouJanelle said...

After looking at Zack Arias' recent post on "the imperfect" shot, I think you may have something going ... I wouldn't be surprised to see more "imperfect" shots showing up in different posts and , maybe, advertising -- we easily get bored with the "everything is perfect Photoshoped look".

October 15, 2010 3:32 PM  
OpenID kaeframes said...

Very nice post as usual. Like those cheap selfmade gear. Saves some real money!
Other question: Why are all good photogr called David?":-) Is this a photography-kinda-name?

October 15, 2010 4:44 PM  
Blogger Connor Walberg said...

I really like that DIY beauty dish, it just seems so simple and the way he made it looks professional. I've always felt that most DIY stuff looks too cheap to be professionally used. Great work David!

October 15, 2010 6:48 PM  
Blogger AndyM said...

@steve - yeah, I would like to have attended one of them, but sadly I was unable to.

Oh well.

October 16, 2010 11:01 AM  
Blogger David Tejada said...

Hey David, thanks for the nice portrait. I enjoyed spending the day with you at your workshop! DT

October 17, 2010 3:18 PM  
Blogger Graham & Graham Photography said...

I have a question about your use of the Orbis--do you shoot through the ringflash, or just prop it up on a lightstand?

October 17, 2010 7:37 PM  
Blogger David said...

G&G in a portrait setting, I usually stick it on a light stand *and* shoot through it.

October 17, 2010 8:41 PM  

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