Adventures in Lighting

While many portfolio sessions require weeks of planning and idea sharing. Others can be brokered with minimal planning  and just a few key exchanges. Such was the case with Lauren. New images to show off a new look and style that adds an artsy edge to an already fetching body of work. During the two hours we worked together. My goal of recreating a look that was based on my love of black and white Hollywood Film Noir. By moving the main light around I was able to create the shadow and depth that once went missing in my studio work. With little to no instruction, I followed Lauren’s movement and changes to capture a number of looks and moods. In the end, the results had me recalling what drew me to my earliest experiemnts with photography and black & white film. Below are a very small sampling of what we captured.

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… And So it Begins

If you took time to read my July 21st post “A New Beginning” Here . You’d know I’m taking steps towards what I hope to be a new chapter in my studio and promotional work. In reaching out to the many friends I’ve made over the years  as a photographer and music blogger. I hope to bring bands and musicians out of the comfort zones or the clubs, stages and recording studios and into my world to capture edgy studio and location images. Having had both my live and studio images appear in magazines, music media sites, record covers and inlets. I hope to build on my reputation and continue to earn the trust I’ve worked so hard to earn. With the studio and post production skills I’ve both learned and applied. I feel I can offer artists the professional and creative edge that will best represent their art and distinct personalities without feeling posed, forced or inauthentic. So, whether you’re a musican, artist, band, record label or creative spirit looking for images that best represent you. Reach out, we’ll put our ideas together and create something special.

07-26-2016 Adriano Garcia5646Erc

Catching Up with a Dear Friend

When my long time friend and favorite expatriate messaged me that she would be returning to New Jersey for a short, yet important visit. I knew the odds of me seeing her this time around, let alone catching up on her three years in Germany were about as good as the Cleveland Indians winning the World Series. Still, any chance to see such an old and dear friend was worth taking. Imagine my surprise when she was both available and looking forward to indulging me in one of my truest passions, studio photography. The hours we spent together were more of a gab session with me sneaking in a shot or two whenever I could.

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Having met Mandy in the parking lot of a strip mall adjacent to my high school when I was sixteen. The likelihood of us ever becoming friends seemed improbable to say the very least. Yet, despite being polar opposites we became trusted, close friends before long. Supporting one another through sickness and health.Through the good times and bad. She’s been a huge supporter and influence on me as a photographer and as a volunteer to worthy causes. She’s one of the few people in my life who crosses the lines between friends and family. One’s that, no matter the distance or time. Remain, unspoken, an integral part of my life. And as my Mother put it “Damn, that woman does not age.” Looking at this picture. I think it highlights both her beauty and unwaning strength. I’m incredibly grateful for having the chance to catch up with her. One of Jersey’s best, no matter where she goes.

 

She’s Not Heavy. She’s My Mother.

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Teenage Hottie.
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50 Years Later. Just as beautiful. If not more.

It’s been close to a week since my Mom’s first visit to our new home here in Jersey City. During her week here, I made it a priority to capture some intimate images of her stay. Being that we’ve lived so far from one another for over twenty years now. I don’t get to see her nearly as much as I’d like to. While her stay had it’s share of ups and downs. It reminded me of how much I love, respect and appreciate how much she’s shaped the person I am today. By far my favorite moments of her visit was seeing her interaction and the positive foot print she left on everyone she met. Her smile, positive outlook and ability to make complete strangers feel like family are inspiring. Looking back at her visit, I realized that the thing I enjoyed the most was hearing her speak in Spanish s0 often with anyone and everyone she new spoke the language. For me personally, it’s always been one of the many traits that made her so beautiful. Till this day, I still remember the first words she taught me as a baby “Dame Un Beso.” (Give me a kiss.)     All these years later, I still tell people about my first words and about what an amazing woman my Mother has always been. Despite all our differences and endless similarities. We still love one another to the fullest. Thanks Mom.

 

Learn as you Go.

On an almost daily basis. I take a few minutes to spend a little time visiting a past shoot to either tweak an overlooked image while sending any less than worthy ones to the trash. Learning from the pastIt’s a practice that has allowed me to purge thousands of images while giving me time to savor and care for the ones that really count.  As I look back to my earliest home studio work.    I see my leanings towards broad/flat lighting. A style that may have worked for me at the time. Clearly displays my fears of fucking things up and making mistakes. Perhaps revealing my rookie status. And while the image below might look good to some. I clearly remember feeling like that first day on the school bus. Luckily, that day helped me capture a number of images that would lead to future work and ultimately, more confidence.

On this latter image I had not only gained confidence, but I learned some essential lessons about successfully communicating ideas and concepts while gaining the confidence and trust of the model. StephOn this particular shoot,       I took a more creative approach with both the lighting and concept.           I knew exactly what I was looking to accomplish as well as the message I was looking to convey. As I revisited this image for the first time in over a year.       I decided to add a little shadow and highlights while adjusting the contrast to give it the dramatic and moody feel  the shoot called for. As I grow and hopefully evolve as a photographer. I look forward to taking chances with light, make some mistakes I can learn from and shoot with a more ballsy, confident approach.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OfWXps93dg

 

Balancing Your Creative Passions

Michael-2MichaelIf there’s anything I missed in 2014. It would have to be portraits and studio photography. While the year presented many opportunities for travel, event and real estate photography. My studio work suffered greatly for many reasons. Moving to a new and spacious loft in nearby Jersey City offered new opportunities while allowing me to expand and grow. Unfortunately, I stalled in the process and temporarily lost my way. It seems I lost my ability to communicate in a way I’m used to, in a way I’m accustomed to. Then came the winter, the cold, the ice and the snow. During that time, I kept busy, worked on other aspects of my photography and waited. Suddenly an opportunity showed itself when our interior decorator, friend and neighbor stopped by to see the remaining pieces he ordered for our kitchen.     A great communicator and story teller in every sense.   I asked him to sit for me as I tested some lighting set ups. He happily obliged and within five minutes we had some great photos to go with the stories we had shared. It was a nice moment that reminded me about navigating the highs and lows of creativity. How when one aspect of your work loses steam, another might thrive. Like life itself, creativity is a balancing act. Thanks to my new friend for reminding me.

MichaelII-2Michael Apriliano

 

Testing, Testing.

Audrey IIIAbout a week ago I had a friend come over for some initial tests in the new spot. I had moved just a week before and was looking to start booking as soon as I possibly could.  Considering Audrey has always been such a fun and patient subject to work with, she was my first and only choice. Considering Audrey has always been such a fun and patient subject to work with, she was my first and only choice. Audrey IV  Though we spent a fair amount of time in the studio fiddling around with different lighting and the lofts natural light. I felt most comfortable exploring what the building itself offered. As we moved from space to space,           I realized how much I really preferred the natural light the halls, lobby and nearby gallery offered.  To say I’m excited by the endless possibilities my new settings have offered, would be a tremendous understatement. I look forward to both the opportunities and challenges it all brings.

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