Whenever I see any mural, graffiti or for that matter, any form of art that inspires thought. My initial reaction is to reach for my camera in order to capture the moment for future inspection. While one’s first instinct would be to back up far enough to capture my subject in its entirety. I often like to take a minute to absorb the subject in order to fully understand what it is that really grabbed my attention in the first place. In the picture posted here, I zoomed in on the lips and nose, as they reminded me of someone I love and respect. While clearly understanding that I was documenting someone else’s art. I felt that my interpretation of it made it okay to do so.
Less than midway through our first session. Angel leaned in and asked “Do you like working with me?” “Of course I do” I quickly replied. Truth be told. Working with her had been the most stress free session I had worked on in recent memory. Secretly, I was glowing inside. Knowing we had laid the foundation for future collaborations. So when the need to work on something new presented itself just months later. I knew I had an ace in my deck with Angel. It’s quite rare when I am so eager to work with someone again so quickly. However, the chemistry and the results of our first session created the desire to work on new ideas and themes together. We’ve already set up a third and final shoot that I’m hoping will give us something useful for both of our portfolios.
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.
Below are a couple of favorites from my final studio session of 2016. My two hour shoot with Angel was without a doubt, my favorite of the year. While Angel may be somewhat new to modeling, her beauty, grace and ability to change gears effortlessly should go a long way to insure her success. A second shoot is already in the works. One that we are both eager to bring to fruition. Stay tuned.
Results from Friday’s grueling two and a half hour shoot. There was zero chemistry between myself and the model. No adherence to the sessions theme or goals. Just one angry looking model.
I had so much fun shooting with Gia yesterday. Her laughter, smile and those incredibly expressive eyes. In the days leading up to our session. She sent me a couple of pictures of models dressed in flowing raps. (Imagine saffron robes blowing in the sahara winds.) While she never managed to track down the material. The idea stayed fresh even as we had begun our shoot. When it came time to change into the next outfit. She asked if I had any sheets we could use as a substitute. Thinking on my feet. I decided to use on of my photo backgrounds instead. Wrapping it around her upper . I had her friend hold the the ends. Creating somewhat of a loving tug of war. Notice the smile and the playful exchange she’s having.
I’ve always loved working with darker skinned models but it definitely has presented challenges for me. I had gone through a week or so where I photographed a number of African American women and though each of these women was beautiful on just about every level I found myself spending more time than usual in post production. There were issues with shine, blemishes that were unseen while photographing popping up after loading and a couple of others. My first thought was asking my models to wear foundation but in essence it was really my job to find a solution.
So I did my research and I learned that light skin and dark skin call for different lighting. While light skin bounces the light it receives. Black skin has a way of absorbing the light. Thus magnifying the smallest of imperfection. By changing the lighting from the front of the model to the side around the face , thus wrapping her with light, I saw a big difference. I also brought in an extra light which I placed at 90∘. This lifted the shadows while not obscuring the details of the portrait. Though I have yet to perfect this technique. I’m excited to have found an answer. It just goes to prove that with every problem lies a solution. And though sometimes the first instinct is to panic or give up. It’s always better to do your research. The answers are out there. It’s just a matter of asking the right questions.
I was photographing a woman near Prospect Park in Brooklyn earlier today when we came across this beautiful fountain. I had wanted to get a few shots of her next to it but there was a steady stream of wedding parties occupying the space. At one point my jedi skills took over and I got the young men from one of the groups to set up behind my model. It was hilarious. Me wrangling this group of kids who, in all honesty wanted nothing to do with it. With a little coaxing they filed in behind her as I quickly placed them in their spots. They glowingly asked “Is she a real model?” “Is this going to be in a magazine?” to which I replied “Yes, of course.” It was just a cool little moment that made us both laugh. You can often get people to do just about anything within reason with just a little effort.