The moment when Shelby’s beautiful hair went SNIP!!!
I keep a relatively small circle of creative folks around me. What I like most about them is they are just as passionate about what they do, be it for fun or profession. Whenever we get together, we are constantly coming up with ideas for our next creative project. It seems a month cannot go by without us getting ourselves into another project.
This particular project started as a very loose suggestion after our last photo shoot with Shelby. From the first time I met her I always thought she would look amazing with a shot A-line haircut, but that would be a very tough proposition. If you haven’t met Shelby, she’s a towering 6 feet tall, athletic and has (until this past week) long deep red hair down her back. She most definitely has a physically commanding presence. At the end of our previous shoot she expressed interest in cutting her hair so I began the gradual process of pitching my idea/vision to her.
What I like most about Shelby as a model, is she is very versatile, willing to push her boundaries and explore the unknown. I feel so many beautiful women often hide behind their hair and never truly explore their beauty in all it’s complexity and dimensions. Strong, sculpted shoulders and graceful necklines are almost always more desirable than the best hairdo. Long hair also conceals the back can ultimately curves that so critically define the female form. We settled on the Allure Salon and Spa downtown and were thrilled to have the owner Missy O’Daniel work on Shelby. Makeup was done by Toni Cisneros. Thank you to all the staff at Allure Salon and Spa for hosting us.
Thank you Shelby for taking a chance on my crazy idea. It was my pleasure to be a part of your first haircut and makeover of sorts. Here’s to many more creative, fun projects.
Prepping for her haircut
Missu getting to work.
Then the wash.
A little more cutting
The new look is taking shape
A little touch up
Makeup with Toni
All done and ready to shoot!
Theresa Manchester – Canon 5D Mark III + EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
This past weekend welcomed another addition to my ongoing Tattoo Series – Curators of Art. For this photo shoot I had the pleasure of working with model and world traveler Theresa Manchester. She was a great subject to work with. Aside from a her beauty and considerable collection of body art, she came with quite a bit of experience in front of the camera. She also spends some of her spare time behind the camera. This all made for a great productive session as I was able to quickly and easily communicate and direct her throughout the shoot while she shared her many exploits around the world – some in places I have been myself. It was great to work with you Theresa. I certainly hope we get to collaborate again someday.
For this shoot I kept it fairly simple and spartan as I typically do. I used the the Canon 5D Mark III. I started off with the EF 24-105mm f/4L but quickly switched to the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II once we got into the rhythm of things. For lighting, I used two Canon 430EX speedlites in manual mode with Photix high speed sync RF triggers. I shot full manual the whole time for precise control of the camera, lighting and desired effect. The location was my private home studio. Key shots will make it into my limited edition collection prints from my Tattoo Series. Few will ever be published, however I felt I should at least share one (above). Below are a few behind the scenes shots. For BTS coverage I used the Canon 7D Mark II and EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM on a tripod. I used the built-in intervalometer to trigger the camera periodically throughout most of the shoot.
Charis on the tracks – 5D Mark III + Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM
A few weeks ago I was wrapping up my evaluation of the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM super telephoto lens. Just like the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM I had evaluated a few weeks earlier (see my post Fashion: Winnie Stackz Collection), the folks at Canon USA were kind enough to send me a copy for review. This is the second in a series of posts in which I will be discussing my observations and results of my evaluation. I had one last item to cross off my evaluation list and that was to run it through at least one photo shoot with a human subject aka model.
This lens is nothing short of spectacular. The EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM are in a league of their own. They both represent the pinnacle of lens technology and the very best of the best money can buy. They are both uncompromising pieces of precision gear. The EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM was perfect for, if not more at home with the task of fashion/model/portrait photography. The resulting images required no editing whatsoever. The clarity, sharpness and contrast were on point. Perhaps this lens’ strong suit is how well it performs wide open at f/2.8, affording shutter speeds that will stop any kind of shake. The amazing IS was almost unnecessary in daylight. The depth of field is very well defined, none too shallow (perfect), but what sets both lenses apart was how graceful the fall-off is and sublime transition to creamy bokeh. I will be writing more on this soon and which lens won my shoot-out.
Canon 5D Mark III + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Charis was gracious enough to volunteer. I have photographed Charis before and posted about it in 2015 Sacramento Fashion Week and in Retrospect Vintage Fashion exhibit at Demin Spot. She has a look I always found intriguing, is an all around great person to collaborate with. Beautiful inside and out. New for this shoot was our hair and makeup artist Nicole Matta. This was a last minute shoot and she was a breeze to work with given my time and scheduling constraints. What I like most about her work is her execution – clean, seamless, and picture ready – which means much less work in post processing. My good friend and fellow photographer Steve Phang also partnered with me for this shoot to assist me in making the most of this opportunity. I have often drawn creative inspiration from him over the years, over numerous photo excursions and assignments.
Below are some behind the scenes shots to give you some insight into what it entailed. In all it was a very productive afternoon. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to share any thoughts, questions or ideas you may have.
Jin doing Pinup Girl
Happy Valentines Day!
Last weekend I had the distinct pleasure of photographing Jin. I had a specific look I wanted to capture. The look was a Vintage Versace look by Hannah Be from Retrospect Vintage Fashion. She’s an amazing stylist. Jin, my model was the perfect model for the look. She came up from Los Angeles for our shoot and has a great creative sense, style and energy. Her experience in front of the lens really made all the difference as far as how much we got done in just a few short and quick hours. After giving two looks a thorough treatment we still had a little time left. She suggested we play around with some pinup looks for Valentines Day. Here they are along with a few behind the scenes shots. I didn’t put much thought or effort into getting these shots just right but thought they were cute none-the-less. I hope you enjoy them and have a happy Valentines Day.
Angela (Sweet Cheeks)
As part of my ongoing Tattoo Series effort earlier this year I had the pleasure of working with a young interesting model, Angela. She also goes by the alias Sweet Cheeks. Angela already had collected an impressive array of art on her body and had an even more intricate work in progress. She was prompt, driven, mellow and personable. She even did her own hair and makeup well – a photographer’s ideal type of model. She shared her many plans and ambitions during the session. It is probably time I checked in with Angela since her big move to pursue her dreams and ambitions. She had an unusually clear vision of what she wanted to accomplish. A great person all around. Another one of the great things about this creative effort has been the great people and models I have had the distinct pleasure of working with.
Several shots from this session will make it to limited edition print as soon as I can finish the final edits and review full size test canvas prints. Below are some behind the scenes shots. Please feel free to share any feedback, ideas, suggestions, questions and requests you may have. As always, anything on my blog can be shared as well.
Thanks for stopping by.
This photo shoot has been a long time coming. One of my favorite photo models Charlie [Secret Weapon] had been working on some major Tattoo artwork together with a talented tattoo artist Bryan Blanco who coincidentally shares the same first name with me. I had also been putting together some concepts for a series of exotic and creative photo shoots, working with bold colors and dramatic styling. This was the perfect creative project to get my home studio up and running for more controlled shooting – I posted earlier here about it:
Hair and makeup was done by Courtney Hurley or Ravish [https://www.facebook.com/ravishedbeauties]. This was the second time I have worked with her and I like how she is able to create the look I am going for. In every subject, I see a two looks; the one everyone else sees everyday, and the one hidden deep inside. I have little interest in shooting what everyone else sees in a person, because it is pretty obvious. In this case Charlie has a daring personality, bold, independent minded with a mean free spirited streak. I wanted a look that contrasted greatly with that but still portrayed who she is a the core – daring, seductive, wild, mellow. I wanted a look that would make those most familiar with Charlie take a second glance before realizing who it is.
For this shoot I used the Canon 5D Mark III body + Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS II. For lighting I used two Canon 430EX speedlites in full manual mode with simple RF triggers and Interfit Strobies kit. This session lasted about 2 hours with 1 hour hair, makeup and studio prep prior.
My biggest challenge here was how to showcase this great tattoo artwork, in a tasteful manner. Here are some shots from this creative endeavor. As always any constructive feedback is very welcomed and most appreciated.