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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Legend of the Samurai Editorial shoot

After a long personal hiatus it feels good in a special kind of way to be sitting back at the computer blogging. I could not dream of a better way to start off a blog with anything other than a Bluestill editorial shoot. I were hoping to return to the blog with the capabilities of loading video, but that function has never worked for me in the past here on the Blogger and I doubt if it is working now. As always I have to start off by giving a shout out to Team Blue who made this shoot possible. the model Ms Domoneka Franklin is new to modeling and has never modeled before. Yet she is such a natural that it is a wonder she is undiscovered. The first time I met her all I could do was think editorial. Thank you Domo for going the distance. My MUA; Samantha Tokita is a true darling in every sense of the word. Our meeting started from just a simple note and grew into this huge think tank session. I knew from listening to her talk that this lady was the right person for this editorial. I could feel it. Sammie, also handled the face painting of the mask used in this editorial. She was the perfect co-pilot for this project:

 Secondly, I cannot even begin to thank my Ace in the Hole hairstylist; Ciara Janee, owner of Dreme Dior Beauty. There are those people in your life who you just know you can always count on. Even though I decided to keep the hair very simple in this editorial, I knew Ciara would take simple all the way to perfection, and that is exactly what she did with very little hesitation, considering we shot this the day after Valentines Day when most couples were probably just turning over, this team had celebrated and pulled it together for this project. I will never ever forget that huge smile on Ciara face when she greeted me that morning even though I called her super early because hair was the first stop and I wanted to be sure she was ready for us. I could have at least shown up with flowers or candy right? Ciara will always be a huge asset to me because she never thinks inside of the box, and isn't afraid to prove it.
The Wardrobe and props
Sammie and I had met up for lunch and started deciding the props for this editorial. After viewing some photos on Pinterest I knew without a doubt that I wanted a long bow. After calling a few friends who hunt, and coming up empty handed, I knew I would be making this long bow, and I was excited about doing so. I took a walk thru the woods and before long came upon the perfect fallen branch, that had seasoned and were just waiting to be used or burned as firewood by someone. I went to the store and got me a cheap pocket knife and went to working on it. I could see it taking shape and I knew it would work out well. I later had my friend from Japan inscribe it with kanji letters to read: Legend of the Samurai and a few other sacred quotes.

The wardrobe selection was 100 percent inspired by what I had seen on Pinterest. I particular kept those looks in my head as I hunted for the wardrobe. I were quite delighted to so easily find similar clothing so quickly and all in the same store. 

The equipment
Camera Body: Nikon D800
Lens: 70-200 f2.8 @70mm
Lights: 1 Einstein and  2 Alien Bee 1600
Modifier: 2- 28 inch beauty dish and Large Softbox, large reflector
Camera Settings:
Beauty shots: ISO: 320
               Aperture: f8.0
Shutter speed: 1/200th second
I decided it would probably be best to post the photos unedited so that if you decide to shoot similar you will hopefully see exactly what I saw when I took the shot. This photo was shot using the two beauty dishes in a clamshell lighting shot (see diagram)

The Editorial Shot
Camera Settings:
ISO: 320
Aperture: f10
Shutter Speed: 1/250th sec
Lens: 24-70@ 38 mm

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Seaside Editorial

click on this link and tell me what you think:

One step onto Cannon Beach, and I knew this shoot was going to be extraordinary. But why wouldn't it be? After all I would be videotaping the beautiful and extraordinary model Rosemary Datz. The air on this day wasn't cold, but it wasn't that nice warm breezy air you love to romp around and stroll the beach on either. This concerned me because our scantly dressed model is thin and I just didn't want goose-bumps showing all over her body, nor did I know if the photographers; Garry Kettleson and Peter Jensen, had plans of submerging her or putting her into the surf? Rosemary began to organize her wardrobe, without any mention or regard to the coolness of that day. And what I captured on video was nothing short of the stellar performance I had witnessed when I were first introduced to Rosemary by Garry.

Cannon Beach is very beautifully surrounded by ocean front hotels and chalets that give it a small town feel. But what is most interesting about this particular beach are the haystacks, just off the surf. These huge lays of rocks have become residence to many of the ocean birds and seals. Shot just right and you are guaranteed capture some amazing photos. The weather could have stood  to be a tad bit warmer, and I worried about Rosemary having goose bumps be present or her shivering on the camera. Furthermore I had no idea if Rosemary would be entering the surf or not, which meant that I would be going into the surf in order to capture it on video. My task was to capture video and produce a useable editorial. As the two photographers Garry Kettleson and Peter Jensen of Vancouver B.C. alternated shooting Rosemary, I tried to stay out of their frame and produce useable video. I was a bit nervous because this would be my first opportunity to get footage with my Nikon D800. I stayed on task and did not worry  about shooting any photos. I did between wardrobe changes, did take an opportunity to shoot a few landscape scenics because this place was just too captivating not to. I had driven the 101 and saw the haystacks from the highway, and I always wondered if it was possible to get close to them. I found the answer.
after capturing the footage and spending the day with such an amazing model who moved so fluid-like in front of my lens, I now had to do my part and after weeks of reviewing the footage and pondering how I would use it best, I presented Rosemary with the video I created and she told me it was absolutely gorgeous.  I have to agree with her because she did such an incredible job, and so did the photographers. The photo of Rosemary walking  on the beach is courtesy of Garry. He and Peter were also very please with how the photo shoot turned out for them as well. So all in all, I think everyone did what they needed to do and did it quite well. I am looking forward to working with Rosemary as often as possible whenever her busy schedule can make time for it. I continue to work with Garry and Peter and have more video footage to work on as a result. This is just another milestone reached as I continue to reinvent my wheel. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Makeup

After a semi long hiatus due to medical reasons, I finally got a chance to pick up my camera again. And believe me when I say this, not shooting for what seemed like an eternity is the equivalent of dead, so I needed something exciting that would breathe life back into my motivation and warm up my skills for my upcoming trip to Bangkok. Came the perfect call at the perfect moment.
Gabby K is a phenomenal newcomer onto the scene, and I love working with her. So much potential with the perfect attitude that she makes everything looks good, flawlessly and effortlessly. I had worked with Gabby for the first time from a past blog, and I recalled she had done an amazing job for a grueling project which took a lot of time and patience. Oddly enough the first thing I could not help but notice when she arrived at my studio and began to unpack were her bright red high heels. I purchased a book: "Success in High Heels" coauthored by my longtime friend; DorothyInez "don't call her Dorothy". So this is a shout out to my pal DorothyInez because my first shoot after a long break, just so happens to follow the whole high heels thing. Go figure.

However, this shoot is not about high heels. Its about makeup, or the lack thereof. I viewed a magazine with an editorial feature with supermodel Naomi Cambell, in which she shot with absolutely no makeup on, making it all about the clothing. So I embarked on that idea with Gabby. I didn't want makeup on her skin, forcing the inner beauty to become the outer beauty. I think Gabby pulled it off perfectly.
 I kept this one very basic using only a gridded 28 inch beautydish and a couple of gridded background lights.
 28 inch silver beauty dish (gridded)
2 gridded background strobes
1 gobo
Camera settings:
Aperture: f/16
Shutter speed: 1/250th
ISO: 320
(lighting contains some post edit adjustment to enhance moodiness of shot)
** color photo in white top included use of ringflash as fill light**

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saying it Boldly


Saying it boldly is what this photo shoot was all about. After stumbling upon the website for Black Milk Clothing, an Australian based clothing line. I met Gabrielle one evening while she was hanging out in the lobby of a recording studio.After mistaking her for a rapper, which she corrected me by stating that she modeled, I gave her a head to toe look and saw a lot of potential for the idea I had envisioned while browsing the Black Milk website. This was definitely the right model as she put it boldly. Immediately I called Kirk, owner of KMS BodyPainting, and told him I had a model I wanted him to meet, as well as an idea to pitch to him. Kirk readily agreed that he loved the idea. Without hesitation we planned a shoot that would take place as soon as Gabrielle returned from a trip out of state. The day arrived, and after a few obstacles we were pretty much on our way to making a bold statement, and having a good deal of fun as we always do.
How was it done:
fabricating a stencil for lettering will give a much better result than free handing
28 inch silver beauty dish
hairlight with barndoors & blue gel
background strobe
White reflector (used also as a flag for background light)
24 in softbox for side light
70-200 f2.8 95mm
Aperture: f/16
ISO: 200
Shutter speed: 1/250

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Royalty Plus

 Ms. Fralisa McFall and I through my friend DorothyInez. Fralisa was in need of a few headshots and wanted to know how much it would cost her. After a quick price negotiation and some serious football rivalry confrontation, we had struck up a deal and she changed (if only for 24 hours) that ridiculous Black and Silver logo (I won't even say the team name) and sported the phenominal Seahawk banner. On the day of the shoot, she was a nervous wreck, having never gone to a studio for a photo shoot. After a little bit of conversation with my new client, I eased out and let DorothyInez do her thing with her brushes while I tended to the lighting set up. Within a few minutes of shooting Fralisa began to relax and we got some nice shots from the session.

  A few days later, she contacted me again and asked if we could meet to discuss a bigger project. This project brought about some ideas which would bring some changes to my business model. As a result my website will now sport a page directed to a specific audience; the plus size population. Fralisa is the delegate for an upcoming pageant and needed a photographer for her coronation ceremony. I suggested she do more than just shoot her coronation, and she thought about the portrait shoot and asked if that is what I meant? We talked about a few ways of revving up her coming out, and decided to go with a candid lifestyle shoot which we accomplished on a cool brisk gray morning, thankful that the rain stopped long enough for us to get in a very nice session.

 Seeing the results of the photos we decided to go with another session as well to ramp up even more personality and give a public peek into her lifestyle. We decided an indoor shoot at The Lobster Shop at Dash Point  Arrangements were made with the restaurant and we could not have asked for a better lighting for what we needed to capture. Fralisa's FB page had come alive and people were talking about her photos. A very good sign as the day of coronation quickly approached.
 The Royal Day was quickly approaching and things were about to get stirred up. As with many projects, there were a few minor setbacks. Fralisa and her small staff worked right though them without missing a beat. A quick venue change, a few rearrangements here and there, and everything was back on track.
 The Coronation
The evening had finally arrived, and I thought she would be a nervous wreck, considering the woman whom I had first met at the portrait shoot, where I could very easily see the level of discomfort on her face. Not on this evening. Fralisa seemed well rested and rehearsed to her duties for this event. She greeted her well wishers as they came through the doorway, finding time to make small talk with each and everyone of them. Even the children got their chance to talk with the soon to be queen. 

 Past delegates and current title holders all arrived wearing regalia and sashes, and as the evening progressed, I found myself feeling like I had attended the Inaugural Ball Ceremony which was actually still days away. None the less, Ms Fralisa McFall had been transformed from owner and principal of the small private Imagination School in Tacoma, into Ms Western Washington Woman American Beauties Plus delegate. As a photo artist I look forward to creating photographs for this organization.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Capturing Children personality

I have shot a few models under the age of 17 and as always I speak directly with the parents or parent. However, I have learned that speaking with the child star normally gets me a much better rate because the children never mind spending top dollar for their photo shoots. They will also attempt to pay with monopoly money was well. However all kidding aside, I have yet to see a child come into the studio and not be bashful in the beginning of the shoot. I have been around Trinity on an occasion or two and she would always ask me questions about models and tell me how much she wanted to do a photo shoot. Finally her parents agreed and we arranged a day to shoot. She arrived to the studio with bright eyes, but I watched her nervously put her hand on her face when her dad told her to put on her game face. Sort of like that first day of school when you're the new kid. I figured I could bring her out of that shell a bit, if I showed her around and let her find her comfort zone. After a tour and a few small conversations with some working professionals and upcoming recording artist that happened to be in a recording session in the studio across the hall, I started to see her become herself again. It was time to take her in that big room with all that strange looking equipment she had never seen before.  As I set up lighting, I also answered all ten thousands of her questions about what I were doing or I started the conversation about it. She became intrigued with the flashing strobes and pocket wizards and how they worked, apparent by her blushing at her parents every time the light flashed. I knew we were just about there. A final quick coaching to assure her that she did not have to worry about making a 

 mistake, and she looked quite confident. Trinity was no longer standing in the shadows of the equipment. She was taking charge of her spot on the seamless, and she pretty much just became her normal self and were no longer even bothered by the flashing light or anything in the room. My job suddenly became quite simple. I only needed to push the button and capture the series of personalities she displayed. I would give her a small instruction and just let her be herself, ensuring to give her frequent breaks. A child star was born indeed. Between breaks we made small talk and ate delicious cupcakes.  When we finished the shoot and pulled the photos up on the large monitor I only needed to glance at her and her parents faces to see that she approved of her photo session. Her dad said she is very anxious for her next shoot, and I am as excited to make it more interesting for her.
 How was it done:
I had previously done a couple of test shoots for lighting and so I knew pretty much how I wanted to light the set.
28 inch gridded beauty dish with sock camera left about 3 feet from subject.
Strip box to subject left front at a 45 degree angle.
White bounce reflector  about 2 feet off subject  left rear
gridded strobe on backdrop.
Camera settings:
Aperture: F/9
ISO: 250
Shutter Speed: 1/250
Lens: 70-200 f/2.8 

Parabolic Umbrella approximately  5 feet from subject front Center
Aperture: F/16
ISO: 250
Shutter Speed: 1/125th

Good luck Trinity. You'll make a great Gap Kid.

The Model:
Age: 8