Oni Studio From San Diego California specializing in a variety of Boudoir, Noir, Glamour and Portrait Photography.

Site Features :

  • SmugMug Photography Site
  • Mobile Friendly
  • Variety of folder/gallery styles – Collage style and SmugMug style
  • Left Side Logo and Right Side Navigation
  • Home Page – Carousel Slideshow
  • Text pages – easy to use and update
  • Social Media Links and Sharing Capabilities
  • Private Client Area
  • WordPress Blog – Seamless integration

We had the opportunity to interview James from Oni Studio and here is what he had to say…

1. Why do you like photography ?

It was a process. I didn’t start out liking photography. I didn’t like art growing up, and I’ve never been a patron of the arts. I was sent to a photography school by the U.S. Government and over time learned to appreciate the craft. After finishing my time as a government photographer, I began to take the time to approach photography from an academic standpoint. This study has led to a greater appreciation for photography, and for those who practice the art.

Why do I like it though? It captures a moment in time. It can send a powerful message. It has helped start wars, and helped to end them. It helps to sell, to sway, and has influenced minds since it was developed.

2. What is your favorite type of photography ?

If I had to pick a genre, it would be a tie between portraiture and boudoir. The market has become flooded with boudoir photographers who approach photography in a more visceral and emotional way, and that’s not something I agree with. With portraiture I think you have to have more of an academic background, at least in regards to lighting.

I try and approach my own boudoir photography with portraiture lighting techniques. Sometimes I am successful, and many times I am not. I particularly respect the work of photographers who are excellent in noir lighting. If you’re curious as to an example of noir lighting, please check out Larry Darkman Clark, he’s freakin amazing!


3. Share a funny story about your photography…

Most male boudoir photographers are thought to be a bit like Hugh Heffner. For some reason everyone always seems to think I am sleeping with the lady’s I shoot with. This has always struck me as funny. Here I am, one of the most bookworm, nerdiest guys in San Diego county, and some people think I’m sleeping with multiple hot women. It’s true that some guys use their camera to get laid. In fact that’s the sole reason they picked up the camera in the first place. I think that sooner or later people like that end up being found out. In fact they are pretty easy to spot. Go to model mayhem, and look up male photographers. Take a look at their portfolio, and if the work they did five years ago looks the same as the work they are doing now, odds are they are shady and are just out for girls. No self-respecting photographer is going to let their work stay at the same level for so long.

4. Share a photography trick or tip…

I’ll share two.
1. Get a prime lens, and place the camera on aperture priority mode. Go wide open on the lens, and then go one stop up. For example, if your lens goes down to 1.4, then shoot one stop up at 1.6. Allegedly this is known as the lens “sweet spot”. Now focus on your composition until it becomes second nature.

Of course this technique applies to available light portraiture. If you want to explore this technique more in depth, then go out and purchase the “Digital Photography Boxed set” by Scott Kelby. It’s a wonderful set of books that I still refer to from time to time, despite multiple reads.

2. The second tip is for those interested in studio photography. Start with one light, and move it 360 degrees around your subject. This is a great way to learn how studio lighting works. You can add more lights as you get more comfortable with the techniques.

5. What is your favorite/recommended camera or piece camera equipment?

Here’s the list:

1. Strap. Immediately ditch the Nikon strap that came with the camera. Get a Black rapid RS-7. Black Rapid has many other types of camera straps, many of which are more expensive. Don’t fall for the marketing nonsense, the RS-7 is freakin phenomenal and is all the strap you’ll need.

2. Prime lenses. You might want to have one zoom lens, but stick with prime lenses. For anyone shooting something besides Nikon, I can’t help you. However, for those of you who shoot with real camera’s you can’t go wrong with the 50mm 1.4G, the 85mm 1.4G or the 35mm 1.4G. For those of you who insist on a zoom lens, the Nikon 70-200mm 2.8G is a great choice. These lenses are not cheap!

3. Tripod. Get a Manfrotto. If you can afford it get a carbon fiber model. They are tons lighter and will still be around when you are worm food.

4. Bag. I’m so torn here! Lots of good bags out there, and I currently have a Lowepro Nova 180, (I think that’s the model) but do a little research here. Camera bags should securely carry your equipment, but because of security, should NOT scream, “I’m carrying expensive camera gear!!” Along that line of thinking, “Thinktank” produces a great line of camera bags. I’ve got my eye on the retrospective 40 Pinestone model right now.

You can get this equipment from either Amazon or B&H. I prefer Amazon, and if you keep watch on Amazon sometimes they will have gold box deals on some of the above equipment.

6. Why do you love SmugMug and/or jR Customization ?

SmugMug is a great plug and play way to get your site out there, as well as a good platform for potential clients to make purchases. jR Customization is a great company to make your site look professional. No one wants to eat steak out of a trash can, and they makes sure that your photography is presented in an intelligent and aesthetic manner. jR Customization is with you all the way, and definitely makes deadlines established during the planning phase. They lets you put focus where you need it, on your photography, and on your clients. I can’t recommend them enough for those photographers who take their craft seriously.

7. What is your major goal or photography project for 2016?

I have yet to map out a specific goal. However I have gotten very interested in interviewing other photographers, and artist who make unique products. I have done two interviews so far, one with John Hitt (article), and another with Jen Rozenbaum (article). The interviews had another wonderful unintended consequence, in that when they interviewees promoted the interview, new fans were introduced to my work. You just can’t beat free advertising

8. How can readers learn more about you?

Probably by booking a shoot with me. In person I talk a lot, but I really try and watch what I say in public as most of my views are considered controversial. I do love to share what little I know, so if you’re in the San Diego area look me up.

To learn more, visit Oni Studio :

Website | Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Model Mayhem | 500px

Recommended – Visit the Oni Studio blog for a variety of great photography tips and tricks !

Pin It on Pinterest