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Category : Models

Sip & Shoot…


This past Friday I got the opportunity to attend a photo meet-up called Sip & Shoot. Ordinarily I hate meet-ups. They usually take place in area too small to facilitate the number of people. They rarely have enough models to shoot. And sometimes they don’t like you to bring in your own equipment. This meet-up was the complete opposite. Firstly, the location, House of Blended Ink or HOBI, was big enough to accommodate anyone that wanted to shoot. They had several areas available to shoot. Secondly they had a fair number of models, in addition to MUA’s and stylists. But what I like the most is I was allowed to bring my equipment in and use it. While they did have enough equipment for the photographers to use. I simply like using my own stuff. I bought it, I know what it does, and we work well together. They also had a good mix of photographers, from newbies to experts.

 

They even had a professor of photography. I only knew so because he told me about his five degrees. My personal opinion, the money you spend on a photograph degree is more useful when you use it to buy gear. Nonetheless it was great to get out and shoot again. I will definitely attend the next one. And just in case you are wondering, yes, I did sip a little and shot a little too.

 

 

It was definitely a great experience.  I thought I might be a little rusty because I had not shot in a while, but just like riding a bike everything was still there.  The lighting, composition and most importantly the communication with the model.  I was able to get these marvels in such a small amount of time.  I simply was in rhythm, in stride, and on the beat.  Maybe it’s due to the so many years of practice or maybe it was the few sips of wine and the atmosphere.  Either way it was a great night of shooting.

 

 

 

 

RS Noir

You Have the Look I will give you an image.

After being away from photography for an extended period, about a year for school.  It  felt really good to get behind the camera again.  For this shoot I asked the model, Maggie Xia, to challenge me, help me create shot different than normal. Let’s do a image that is compelling and tells a story.  Her only request was that she wanted to do something darkly lit.  So we shot in a dark room and I brought a little bit of light.  I wanted the shot to have a mood of mystery, a cool and crispness that takes film noir a step further.  I call it RS Noir. In film school we study a period in film called Film Noir. Instead high key images, the directors shot using less light and darkness dominated to image. It proved make to seem more mysterious and help them tell a different story. Usually, the story would involve a a detective, a wife, and a murdered husband. In these whodunnit’s the wife would normally be the suspect and the director would just play around with did she do or didn’t she do it. Along the way she would always try to seduce the detective to get him to see things happen the way she said they did. The dark nature of the scenes made the femme fatale seem more seductive and that much more of a mystery. In the end the detective would always be able to resist her charms and the femme fatale would go to jail. This was the formula and it was followed for quite a long time. The best modern day example of a femme fatale would be Sharon Stone in “Basic Instinct.” In this image I wanted to depict Maggie as she makes her move trying to seduce the detective. Did she or did she not do it? The answer’s a mystery.

You Have the Look I will give you an image.

You Have the Look I will give you an image.

You Have the Look I will give you an image.

Intimately Close…

Unknown chic

I shot this some time earlier this year.  I don’t know the model’s name, but I’m really impressed with the soft emotional look she provided in this shot.  I like framing a shot really tightly to help pull the emotion out the image.   Instead using negative space to outweigh the model, I instead chose to fill the frame with as much model as possible.  This way the viewer can feel the model’s essence, and get a window into her soul.  I chose to post process the image this way to help convey softness and a very mellow mood.

Model: Marie

Time for a reset…

RS Photography

Due to other commitments I have not been able to shoot much over the last year.  Photography has been a passion of mine for quite some time now, and to be honest I miss being able to shoot like I used to.  Over the last year I’ve actually considered giving it up.  Partially because of lack of time and partially because of the rise of social networking.  As afore  mentioned unfortunately I simply don’t have the free time to create the work I love.  Given the opportunity I’d get right back out there again, lay on the ground and shoot some pics.  However, the rise of  social networking has meant a decline in request for physical prints, which to a photographer is your bread and butter.  But could it possibly be so bad that I should give it up??  Should I let this colossus run me over and end what I so love to do?  No way, no how.  It’s not going to happen.  I came across this shot a couple nights ago and decided to tweak it.  I thought to myself I did this shot over 2 or 3 years ago, and I still find it a striking shot today.  It was just a simple in studio shot of model, Michelle Dominguez. I like the connection she had with the camera. I gave the image a sephia tone to give a vintage type of feel. To me it adds to the pose. In it she’s not looking so much like a model, just simple shot of her hugging her knees. Yet it’s also warm and welcoming. A shot that’s just pleasant to the eyes. Around the time when I shot this image, I was on a photographic upswing. I could create any idea I came up with. I was at the very top of my hierarchy of needs, self actualization. I was at peace. How could I possibly give this up?  This is what I do.  I am photographer.  Plain and simple. I shall achieve my peace again.

 

 

The Girl with the Tribal Tattoo…

One of the shots Menat wanted was a picture of her new tattoo.   The tattoo is an exact replica of Angelina Jolie’s shoulder tattoo,  Menat, wanted the tattoo immortalized photographically.  So in creating the shot, we had to come up with a concept where the tattoo would be the focus.  I had her look over her shoulder and centered the light on the tattoo to emphasize it as the main character.   I chose to make it a black and white to give Menat a little mystery hiding her face in the dark, but leaving her shoulder in the light.  I like using this type of lighting technique on a black background because the light cut off is so instant it looks like she literally stepped out of darkness.

Persian Beauty…

I created this one in the midst of a marathon type shoot. Believe it or not she was the seventh one I shot that night. The challenge with shooting so many in one night is keeping it fresh and not being formulaic. I like for each model’s personality to show individually. In this shot I wanted to show Persia Paressa, the model, up close and personal. So regardless of what angle you look at this photo I wanted her beauty to shine through.

Like a shoe ad…

Amanda, pictured, approached me about doing a shoot with a track and field theme. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. Nothing tells the stories of triumph or the agony of defeat as well as sports. When I approach these shots I like to show the athlete in their environment perched like a king or queen sitting on their throne. Because we are creating the shot, I tend to tell the story of triumph and heroism, versus defeat. At the end to me this picture looks like a shoe ad. Nike are looking? If so go to the contact page, I’m only a phone call away.

So far, so good…

There’s nothing like shooting a new location with a new model. Many photographers only like working with models that they have shot with before because the time it takes them to get in tune with each other and the environment is shortened. I too appreciate working with someone I’ve worked with before because they start to learn my habits and things move a lot quicker. Then another side of me loves working with someone new in an unfamiliar environment because it takes me out of my comfort zone, and makes me less dependable on my habits, and thus not as predictable. It keeps the process organic, free flowing and a fresh new experience. It didn’t take long for the model, April Herrera, to get in tune with me. This was one of the more mystical shots of the shoot. We will definitely shoot again, and I will definitely post more shots from this shoot. I’m still adjusting to the new camera, but so far so good.

On location…

Two of my most favorites words in photography. For years I was convinced that the studio was way to go. Get a white drop, a black drop, a set lights and all my problems would be solved. That worked for a while, that is until I was introduced to the words on location by Aubrey Williams.

He said, “Man you need to get out of the studio, and shoot outside.” I never realized how helpful this advice would be. While on location presents many challenges, for me it renewed my love for photography.

For every challenge I had to learn a new solution. The reward for these challenges are great textures, colors, and compositions you simply can not create in a studio environment. Even a basic pose like this looks so much better just because of the location. Who knows, maybe I’ll never shoot in a studio again. Well then again, the winter is drawing near.

Ina Owens an ANTM hopeful…

She came down to audition for America Next Top Model, while she was here she shot with me. Three shots into the shoot I knew it would be a good shoot. By the time we got to this shot it felt like we could make every shot a money maker. I’ve never watched ANTM, but if she makes the show I do know who I’m voting for. We will definitely be shooting more pics. Great work Ina!

Beauty in the rough…

The concept was simple: a pair of heels, cut-off shorts, and a tank top in an industrial area. I lit the scene and Chelene, the model, struck a dynamic pose and the rest of the work is left to your eyes. You can choose to focus on the color,composition or the model. Either way this shot captivates. Good job by all.

So how do you want me?

This shot has always been one of my favorites. The model, Dalida, is very demure and shy, but in this shot she exudes a quiet confidence in a simple look. The shoot came about when she responded to a late casting I placed on a local modeling website. As luck would have it she was new in town and had nothing to do for the evening and decided why not take pictures. She was brand new to modeling and had very little experience posing. So like so many models have said before she softly asked, “So how do want me?” That simple five word question to me is like music to my ears. It’s like a mound of clay asking a sculptor to mold me. So many times models would come in with there standard three or four poses that they do every shoot, which usually results more photos that look like previous photos they have taken. Instead of that, this model was giving me an opportunity to create an image completely the way I wanted to see it. So I posed her. I had her turn and tilt her head they way I thought was right for the lighting. I then had her make a few adjustments with her hands. And lastly I made sure she gave the camera proper eye contact. If the eyes are the window to the soul, then I wanted to make sure that the windows were open wide enough to let her soul shine through. To this day this is still one of my favorite images. The posing, the lighting, framing and eye contact were exactly the way I wanted them to be. And it all came from five little words.