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.

A Little Mayhem Never Hurt Anyone

After months of having issues with my Model Mayhem account I am just now starting from scratch. Over the years I’ve had the chance to collaborate with a number of aspiring models and makeup artists I  had found through the site. I’ll be adding images and contacts slowly as I go. In the meantime, you can come say hello or at least see what I have to offer. Just follow the link below.     http://www.modelmayhem.com/887432


Bring Your Friend Along

Every now and then I work with someone who wants to bring along a friend or chaperone to make them feel safer and give them more of sense of security. I honestly don’t prefer it, you know what they say,”Three’s a crowd”.  Third parties can get in the way and become a distraction at times but for the most part, my experience has been pretty damn good. I’ve had friends and even boyfriends that helped the model to let down her hair a bit or just lighten up the mood by making her laugh and feel less conscious. While at other times, just plain joined in the fun.

On this particular occasion my communication with the model I had wasn’t very good. I don’t recall what it was in particular but things just weren’t clicking as I had planned. At one time I photographed them together perhaps put the model at ease. The addition helped a lot as the strong friendship provided the chemistry  I was unable to. As the shoot came to a close I pulled aside the second girl and managed to take a few solo shots. Her eyes, lips and attentive look were incredibly sexy.

Weeks later we talked about working with one another but before we were able to schedule anything concrete she had moved to South America. Though disappointed I feel rewarded that I was able to get handful of shots.

This Won’t Hurt a Bit.

Believe it or not there are people out there that absolutely hate having there picture taken. The mere sight of a camera sends them into panic and hysteria. The most relaxed and  chill person can fall into an anxiety ridden state with just the mere thought of the idea.  I have seen this happen time and time again. Tuesday afternoon I was witness to such when Jenn came to have some headshots taken for her new business endeavor. As she rounded the corner she smiled and waved hello like a lifelong friend. As we met I couldn’t get over how beautiful and stunning her eyes and smile were. She was sweet, friendly and warm. In our initial phone conversation she told me how much she hated having her picture taken but I couldn’t possibly gauge what she meant until that time actually came. As I sat her down and began to raise my camera the cracks began to show…..and quick. Her shoulders stiffened and her eyes took on that of a dear in headlights. I tried everything under the sun to relax her but none of it came close to working. I had taken as many as five pictures when she called out “Are we done?” while reaching for her checkbook. I told her I couldn’t take her money if I didn’t actually do my job. When I suggested taking some shots outside it seemed to only make things worse. By all means she was one of the coolest people I’d come in contact with in a while. But when that camera came out, it was over. I was able to get some shots but nothing that even came close to portraying how truly beautiful this woman was. Surprisingly, Jenn contacted me later and asked if we could give it another try. I was more than happy to oblige and will have the pleasure of seeing her again on Friday. Jenn, if you’re reading this I’m just going to tell you something  a friend told me a few days ago, “Chillax, it’s all good.”



Lighting Darker Skin

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.

Thursday Session with Angela.

As I get ready to update my site I thought I’d share some images from my Thursday session with Angela Whitaker.  Tall and shapely with the eyes and lips of a Goddess. We had just met minutes before at the local Starbucks but gelled quite quickly. There’s an easy going nature about her that makes working with her such a pleasure. She’s recently relocated to Jersey City from Virginia. Angela is new to the modeling world and is looking to build her portfolio.

The Beauty of Tanu.

I don’t get to work on many morning sessions these days due to conflicting schedules and the fact that most of the models I’ve met are not exactly morning people. This was not the case with Tanu . When we first exchanged schedules for the week, she suggested 9:00 AM. “Whoa, I said. Perhaps a bit too early for me to be at my best. We settled on 10:00 Am agreeing it would still give us plenty of time to get things done. When I met her at the PATH my first impression was her pictures didn’t even come close to conveying her beauty or personality. Tanu was awesome and our session conveyed it. Her expressive eyes and lips had me  pausing to catch my breath. An absolute professional and a pleasure to work with. We stopped here and there but for the most part, we never really got off course. Tanu was born and raised in New Delhi India and lived in Brooklyn, NY before moving to Long Island City.

I hope to be doing a lot more morning sessions in the future. We’ll certainly see. I can’t think of many better ways to start the day.

Me, I Love B&W.

I just love shooting B&W. I love the mood and the contrast. I’ve been getting a lot of headshot work lately which calls for color. I find myself switching to monochrome in between shots. Later, when I show them the results. They often agree that the monochromes are the best shots and portray them in the best light.

Tara’s Head Shot session.

Early this afternoon Tara stopped by to have some head shots taken. After a failed start in the oppressive heat we moved inside to the cool, air consitioned studio and thing really began to click. Tara is the whole package. Fun, smart, talented and have to ever seen a set of eyes that were more expressive? We chatted about acting and movies over L7, Soul Coughing and Mazzy Star.  What had started out as a hot and uncomfortable sesssion ended up with us rolling on the floor laughing.

Over the past year I’ve noticed so much improvement in my ability to take bad or difficult situations and flip them to a positive. Something I deem just as important if not more than actual photography skills.

Tara is one of the actors to be featured in the upcoming presentation of the Pulitzer Prize winning, Rabbit Hole. Which opens Friday October 1st at the Chatham Playhouse in Chatham, NJ.

Box Office Information – Online Ticketing
Performance dates are October 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 8PM and October 10 at 3PM. All performances are at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, in Chatham. Tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for youth/senior.

To access the theater’s online ticketing service, simply go to http://www.chathamplayers.org/tickets.htm and click on the “TicketLeap” logo. The service is available 24 hours a day, and tickets can be purchased online up until three hours prior to curtain on the day of a performance.

The box office will begin accepting phone reservations on September 21 at (973) 635-7363. For information regarding box office hours, please call the box office number listed above.