Ending the Year on a Positive

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.

My Instagram Account

07-17-2016 Manya K5168IManya K..jpgFor years now I’ve been  aware of Instagram, but had no idea as to what it offered or what I’d find. In all honesty, I thought it was an app. where people uploaded their selfies and pictures of meals from their mobile devices. Thankfully, through  conversations with my brother and a close friend who’s been mentoring me. Not only was I open to investigation. I was flat out prepared to dive in to the deep end of the pool. Since opening an account, I’ve been posting regularly and building a small, but steady following. More importantly, I’ve found inspiration and ideas by following my favorite photographers, magazines and modeling agencies. And just as I’ve built a following with Photogeek over the years. I hope to grow and share with Instagram. Below is a link to my account. I’ll be posting work from my sessions regularly.

Follow me on Instagram

 

All the Right Ingredients

Having worked with Iya numerous times during my years of shooting in my cramped Hoboken home studio. I’ve been eager to have her over to the Loft to close out my new portfolio in a much more open and for lack of a better word, lofty space. Having someone who was both a friend and an experienced model at my disposal initially felt like a no brainer. However, her inquiry regarding my providing a makeup artist and/or stylist threw me in to panic mode. And while having one of the industries best makeup by stephanie perez living in the adjacent loft went a long way to ease my tensions. Trying to book her only days in advance  was a bit of a challenge. In the end, the m.u.a’s assistant Karen not only stepped in. She amazed. As beautiful as Iya looked walking through my door. *&^%$% had her looking like an absolute goddess. Going forward as a photographer, I hope to incorporate the use of a make up artist and stylist. Knowing that I have such fantastic options at arms reach is very reassuring.I highly recommend you take s look at Satephanie’s site. I assure you, you’ll be inspired.
07-06-2016b Emily Mercado4356Iya.jpg07-06-2016b Emily Mercado4610TeegaN07-06-2016b Emily Mercado4533Emily

The Best Things are Worth Waiting for.

When I originally posted a casting call on Model Mayhem back in early May. I had no idea I would be getting such an overwhelming response from models interested in being a part of my upcoming portfolio. Yet, as I sought through the thirty or so candidates. I found a seldom few that really fit the overall feel and aesthetic I wanted to convey. As I worked through May and June with the people I had chosen. I kept in mind the ones that I was unable to immediately book due to their busy schedules and location. There was one by the name of Emily whom I would wait patiently for the right time to come.

Almost two months later, to the date, that time would come. When I went downstairs to greet Emily. I immediately noticed she was even more beautiful than any of the images in her portfolio would tell. Her big smile and upbeat personality were a welcome sight on what had already been one of the most oppressively hottest days of the early summer.

As quickly as our session started. I knew that the wait and a more detailed description of what I was looking to accomplish with the session made for an even better session than I would have ever hoped for. Her ability to move and change expression effortlessly was incredible. Emotive, expressive and flat out gorgeous. She put life in to all of the looks and vibes I was hoping to convey. Along the way we explored new lighting techniques, utilized my new canvas background and even found some use for my almost extinct CD collection. Thanks to Emily for making every image count.

Fun with Teegan

This past Thursday I had the chance to work with Teegan on what is becoming my new portfolio. The New York by way of Florida model was a pleasure to be around. With my voice not holding up as much as I would have liked. My friend and current studio director Kevin provided much of the verbal communication. During shooting there would be moments where Teegan would just provide a look that knocked me off my feet. So much so that I had to shout out “Gorgeous” “Fantastic: or “Beautiful”. Each time her eyes and smile would light the room with an incredible smile and a thank you. Just pure joy to work with and be around. With each session I feel my anxiety lessen and my attention to detail grow. Making me feel grateful for the opportunity to get back to the things I love. Learning new things while adding new layers to the template. The left and middle images were shot on a new Fashion Grey seamless. The right was taken shot on the roof with a reflector.

If you have the chance please check in with my new instagram account Here

You can also check out my progress on my official website Here

Adding to the Blueprint

In building a new portfolio I’ve been trying to show consistency in both my lighting and settings. The blueprint started with using a two light set up consisting of a beauty dish and a fill light fitted with a 72′ inch umbrella. As the sessions have progressed. I’ve tried to add a new element to each session. The project started using a seemless background for the majority of the session before quickly moving to a concrete column (L) that separates the kitchen from the living room. On to the foyer which features a giant black / chalkboard wall before finishing up with a few outdoor shots, typically on the roof. It’s a pattern that’s built from one shoot to the next. One that’s rendered improving results with each try. Today’s session with Kristina was more than I could ask for. Great looks, makeup, style and personality to match. On top of all the studio fun. She helped me overcome my fear of heights by simply showing her own.

Damion Photo is Moving

Canco-38In the coming weeks myself aka Damion Photo, aka Photo Geek will be moving to the Canco Lofts at 5o Dey st. in Jersey City. The move, a long time coming, hopes to provide the perfect live/work space for my wife and me. In recent years I’ve had a makeshift studio in my living room, and though I was able to make it work, it was always far from perfect.    The three floor walk up and cramped space served as two major obstacles. Obstacles that limited the kind of work I’ve always been capable of.  The new space more than doubles the size of my current spot, provides plenty of natural light and areas to shoot outside the loft and the building itself. I’ve already mapped out the area I’ll use as a studio and can’t wait to explore more of Canco and the surrounding blocks.

Canco-2Within the coming weeks I’ll be focusing on expanding Damion Photo’s reach to include family friendly packages that will include children, family, maternity and more. Like I said, this has been a long time coming. I haven’t felt this positive and energized in a long time. I look forward to focusing, once again, on my passion and all the things that made me fall in love with photography in the first place. Feel free to contact me via email at DamionPhoto@gmail.com for more info or to book a session in the near future. Now, back to packing.

Just When I Thought We Were Done.

Early this Tuesday night I braved the hurricane winds and torrential rains to attend the International Center For Photography’s Open House to look into some classes and have my portfolio reviewed. As I sat nervously with the soft spoken elderly gentleman, he critiqued my work. Noting that my lighting was impressive and that certain areas could use improvement. He suggested some techniques and approved me for some classes.

As I stood up to leave I thanked him, shook his hand and handed him one  my business cards. That’s when things got really interesting, animated and a hell of a lot more exciting. The soft spoken gentlemen I had been conversing with for the last thirty minutes arched his back and exhaled “What is this here?” as he pulled his glasses forward for closer investigation. In a cool voice often reserved for Jazz cools you see in old movies, he remarked “Now this is what your portfolio should be based around.” “This is what I like to see.” I had gone to such lengths and examination of fashion and glamour to create a portfolio I felt best represented fashion and what I was seeing in magazines. I may have gotten away from making a portfolio that best represents me as a photographer.

Though I was already more than happy with his critique of my portfolio. (Yes, I was actually very happy to have a professional critique my work and perhaps, take me down a few notches.) But if I would compare the differences in his reaction with a music reference. It was like going from listening to Miles Davis recording to getting a chance to sit in on one of his recording sessions. I showed him my other business cards, all of which have different images and he picked out what he strongly felt were the best. Then he took the paper that included the class level he pre-approved me for crossed it out to qualify me for more advanced courses. From there I went to the office and registered for “The Art of Fashion Portraiture” which is a hands on course starting in December. I’m really looking forward to the class and getting my work out there again.

The core of my heart.

IMG_3407
IMG_3344IMG_3438IMG_3462Sebastianne came into my life at the age of three. At the time I had become close friends with her mom KC. Through the years KC and I remained good friends and I watched Sebastianne grow and mature. Even as a baby I was impressed and even amazed at what a smart and well behaved kid she was. She always seemed mature beyond her age. She was very special to me and along with her mom was there for some of the most important times in my life. As the years went by both KC and I moved out of Manhattan and saw less of one another. There were holidays and the occasional get together. They remained very special and loved throughout. A few years back I was having a special dinner with some friends on the lower east side and invited KC to join us. We were already in mid celebration when KC arrived with a friend. As I stood up to give her a hug I asked “Who’s your friend?” It turned out to be Sebastianne. In a short time she had morphed from  a cute child to a woman. She was the same sweet, beautiful kid. I couldn’t get over how much she had sprouted. Fast forward to last week. I was in the middle of a session when the phone rang. I didn’t pick it up due to the fact I was in midst of photographing a beautiful woman. Later that night I checked my phone and didn’t notice the 914 area code. Once I checked the message I was still a little unsure. The message was very basic just mentioning her name and to call her back when I got the chance. When I did call back I realized  right away who it was. My sweetheart Sebastianne. We talked and made plans to get together before she was set to start high school today. So yesterday I went up to Harlem and picked her up from the train. We went out for lunch at Gobo in the village and had a chance to catch up. She filled me in on her Summer and what she’s been up to. There are a handful of people in my life that occupy space in my heart. People you would do anything for at the drop of a hat without any questions asked. She is without a doubt one them. After lunch we headed back to Hoboken and did a laid back , impromptu photo session. Sebastianne is a really smart gifted kid. She loves to read, learn, writes, including her own songs. She’s beautiful but not the least bit self involved. A lot of kids her age hit that rough patch where they think everything is lame and stupid but she’s so balanced I don’t have the least bit of worry about it. Later that night we watched the movies I let her pick out at Blockbuster (Pink Panther I and II) and laughed ’til it hurt. This morning I drove her home and to her first day of High School. Sebastianne, I’d wish you luck but I know you’re going to synch it. Love you always.