Ask a Friend

LuLu (1 of 1)It’s not often when I ask a friend to model for me. Let alone, strip down to her bare essentials to help me tests ideas, such as boudoir set ups I’d like to do in the future. So when it came to asking one particular girl to help me out. At the very least, I was fully expecting a flat out rejection. When she surprisingly agreed.  I did everything I could to make her and myself feel as comfortable and pressure free as possible. My goal for this particular session was to project a sense of warmth and intimacy. A mix of subtle lighting, varied backgrounds and a great rapport with my model friend. I think we did a great job. And while my setup will need some adjusting. I’m grateful for getting the opportunity to work with someone I enjoy spending time with.


LanaII (1 of 1)

LanaIII (1 of 1)


Second Time Around

Every so often a model I’ve worked with returns to update their images or perhaps go for an entirely different look. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll have just such an opportunity. I first worked with Tara a little over a year ago. During that November shoot Tara and I worked really well together. However, there were some challenges. There have been times when you don’t really gel with the people you work with. It’s not that you don’t like or trust the person. It can sometimes be a simple difference in approach or vision.        This was one of those times. On this particular night I think I challenged her to look outside of the box a bit. Perhaps to step outside of her comfort zone. Looking back I was really happy with the results and recall her thanking me for taking her out of her comfort zone.

I’m really looking forward to shooting with her again tomorrow as we go for a more urban vibe. I’m sure I’ll have some good stuff to post and a new story to tell.

Third Time’s the Charm.

I finally got it right. After three years and three sessions I finally  captured Lana just as i see her. Though our previous sessions gave us some memorable shots.  (One that actually made it to the walls of SOHO Photo gallery) I never felt I quite captured the beauty and energy I saw in her. Lana stopped by late this morning and gave me the boost of energy and creativity that I desperately needed after a day/night of what might have equaled just a bit too much drinking. I hadn’t seen Lana in almost a year to the day. The was something different about her. She seemed more confident, mature, even radiant. We caught up on one another’s  adventures and experiences and connected the dots on the mutual friends we shared. It was great seeing her. I hope it’s not another year before we cross paths again. Below are some of my favorites. Breath easy….

The Switch

My shoot with Tara had all the makings of disaster and even confrontation. Scheduled for 4:00 p.m., the shoot and her make up artist didn’t arrive until 5:00. But that was just the beginning . Every other model I’ve ever worked with has done their own hair and makeup so I really have no experience dealing with a MUA. Having no experience with one, I gathered it would take five, maybe ten minutes tops. (Not even close.) Time passed and five minutes turned into a half an hour and then into a full hour. I tried to keep my cool but I was steaming. That and the fact that there was makeup everywhere. I was done. Ready to throw them the hell out.

6:00 p.m. came and they were finally done. I was going to do a very quick shoot and get them out of my place. As i started shooting I noticed the makeup artist shadowing me with her pocket camera. It was as close as it could possibly come to me completely losing it. “You can’t do that!” I barked. This is my work. She barked back “This is my work too.” The stage was set for a complete blow up. However, calmer heads prevailed and I explained “This may be your work. But this is my studio and my rules.” “I’m sure I’m a better photographer. If you want pictures, I’ll be taking them.” I don’t know what happened. Everything switched. Within second Tiffany (The MUA) and I were gelling. We were BFF and working together. She contributed by making suggestions on wardrobe from time to time. We were communicating. Tara was a pro throughout. She was quiet and very sweet. Things ended so much better than they started and everyone went home happy.

Later that night I told my wife Kayuri and smiled. Knowing full well my history with my temper and sometimes confrontational nature. (Going as far back as working at Sears Portrait. I had told customers who pushed me to the edge off on occasion.) She said “I’m very proud of you.” I’ve grown a lot in recent years. It’s important to grow as a photographer. I’ve seen a tremendous amount in the last two years. But growing as a man. Learning to be a problem solver and be a better communicator feels really good. Seeing that growth makes me proud. Maybe I’m finally growing up.