Archive for the 'Models and Actors' Category

19
Jul
11

My Barbies

OK, I have two Barbies in my studio – a blonde and a brunette.  It’s interesting to see the reactions of clients when they see them. Some will ask about them – others seem a bit concerned but can’ t quite bring themselves to ask. So why does a grown man have Barbies in his place of work?  Good question!

I use them for lighting practice. Later this week, I have a fashion shoot where I will use new gear and a new technique for wraparound  backlighting, which you can see in this picture.  It’s very helpful to practice with the Barbies so I don’t have to take as much time setting up with a live person.

Actually, if truth be told, I love my Barbies. There, I’ve said it! They’re very patient. They don’t complain if I try ten different ways of shooting them – or fifty. They seem happy with the music I choose.  They can hold a smile and their makeup never needs touching up. And the Barbies have definitely helped me to become a better photographer.

But they do need names now. Can you help me with this?

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23
Jun
11

our perceptions of people in pictures

Today I’m posting three more images from my recent fashion shoot with Nicole. If you missed the post from June 15th, you can see it at Beauty Lighting.  If you go back and forth between the beauty shots and these images, the look is very different – not just because Nicky’s hair is pulled back in the beauty images. The lighting makes a huge difference in how we perceive a portrait image, as do many other aspects of the picture. I believe there’s lots of subconscious stuff going on as we view photographs.  The colors, the pose and expression, the closeness to the subject and our own experiences and memory of people we’ve seen in real life, movies, etc. all impact how we respond to an image.

Here’s an experiment. Choose one of the images in this post. Spend some time looking at it. Try to imagine what the subject – Nicole – is like. What is her personality? How does her voice sound?  How old is she? What are her interests? What are her dreams? I’m guessing you can conjure up a pretty full and detailed description of Nicole in your imagination. Now look at one of the images from the June 15th post. Does your perception of Nicole from the beauty image differ from how you imagine her after looking at the first photograph? How does it differ?

Let me know how this experiment turns out for you!

15
Jun
11

beauty lighting

Faithful readers may recall some beauty shots similar to these in posts going back a few months ago. The images here are from a shoot with Nicole, a lovely aspiring model. Nicky’s facial structure is perfect for this lighting – sometimes called the Oil of Olay look. There’s a softbox behind her, with her head right up against the softbox. Over the camera, aimed down at about 45 degrees, is another light in a “beauty dish” – so-called because of the flattering look it provides. We also had a reflector just under the frame, to bounce some light back into the face. 

I often try to put hands in portraits to add some interest. Does this work here in your view?

Another image from the shoot, in black and white, without the hand. As always, your comments and questions are appreciated! Thanks to Nicole for a wonderful shoot!

07
May
11

model shoot in Santa Fe – part two

Just posting a few more images from my shoot with a young model in Santa Fe this week. If you missed the first post, check it out here.

04
May
11

model shoot in Santa Fe

 

This week, I’ve been in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a photography workshop. Before the workshop started, I had a model shoot with a teenager, who came to Santa Fe with her mom for the afternoon.

This young lady is rushing to finish high school a year early, trying to get started in modeling, and is heading towards college and a career in medicine. Whew!

Most of these shots were taken in the main plaza in Santa Fe. It was a very windy day, with harsh sun, so we were trying to stay in the shade and out of the wind. The shoot made me appreciate how fortunate I am to have a studio to work in, where I can control the light and the weather. But this was a fun shoot and I always enjoy figuring out the technical challenges of shooting outside.

We’ll post in a few days more images from Santa Fe and the surrounding area. As always, thanks for tuning in!

14
Apr
11

an actress talks about her shoot

 A photo shoot can be intimidating for any of us, even those that are used to being in front of the camera – or on stage. In my studio, I’m aiming for a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere – this helps in creating engaging and natural images. Recently I had the pleasure of shooting with Alisson, a very lovely and accomplished actress. Alisson was kind enough to offer to write up her experiences of the shoot:

Alisson one

“A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to sit for Blake as a model.  While I had done some “modeling” before (it’s kind of a stretch to call it that—I had lots of photography major friends in college who needed someone, anyone, to take pictures of), it had been years since I did more than a casual shot for Facebook. 

Blake and Maria Dominici, a fabulous makeup artist, made the process fun and stress-free.  The three of us and Sam (an 8th grade student who was shadowing Maria as part of a career mentoring program at her school) talked through the ideas for the shoot—what Blake was hoping to accomplish, what I was looking for, and what Maria could bring to the table.  Blake started prepping the studio, and Maria started working on my face. 

Alisson two

I’d never had my make up professionally done before, and now each morning is a disappointment at my own abilities compared to Maria’s.  But she gave me some great pointers, and after Maria worked her magic and I looked in the mirror, I could not believe what she accomplished.   

Once I was made up and outfits were chosen, the shooting began!   Blake’s studio is neat, welcoming and only slightly intimidating (I had seen those big lights before), with big windows and beautiful natural light. 

Alisson three

By connecting his digital camera to a laptop, we were able to look at the images as we went along – shown immediately on a big 17-inch screen.  Not only was that helpful to me as a model to get the right pose (“Ok, I see—I need to keep my shoulder low”), it was also very reassuring—“Wow!  That’s a great shot!” 

 It helped me feel more involved in the process.  I felt like the photos were something Blake was creating with me, not of me.  Additionally, I got to choose the satellite radio station! 

The first order of business was to create a headshot I could use (as a community theater actress, I always need new headshots), which Blake was happy to provide.  It was a great way to ease into the day, as the photos were mostly me sitting and trying to keep my head straight.  Easier said than done at times.  But Blake was very patient with my crooked gazes. 

Then came the beauty shots.  The straps of my dress pulled aside for a classic bare shoulder look, and these amazing lighting effects Blake created—I looked flawless.  I was shocked, truly shocked, at how I appeared on the computer screen as he flipped through the photos.    Maria stayed in the room to reapply powder and help however she could, which made me feel quite comfortable and supported. 

Another change of outfit, beautiful red lipstick applied by Maria, and a green background—now some fashion work.  The idea of shooting fashion style

Alisson four

photos terrified me (um, no one is about to mistake me for a runway model), but it was nothing like I feared.  A cute dress and encouragement to smile and make funny faces ensured I had a blast.  And some absolutely beautiful shots came out of it. 

A final outfit change and more fashion full-body shots.  For this last look I refluffed my hair and got to work.  Spinning, laying down, sassy faces, and playing with my skirt ended the day with a final round of fun photos.

My day with Blake was filled with lights, lipstick, yummy cookies, hairspray, music, beautiful photography – and fun.  Blake and Maria were professional, patient and casual yet focused.  We were chatting and laughing throughout our time together.  It was a great day.  I cannot wait to go back for my next shoot!”

Alisson five

16
Mar
11

headshots (and more!) for an actor

Does Green on Green work?  It does for me~!

This week I photographed Alisson,  a lovely and experienced actor.  Alisson needed headshots for her acting career and we made a number of fashion images as well. We were joined by Maria Dominici, makeup artist, and Sam, an 8th grader and my fabulous photo assistant for the day.

Normally, actors do not use beauty images for their headshots.  But Alisson really connected with these photographs and will likely use one for her main headshot.  This image certainly would show a casting director what she looks like. And I’m hoping it will lead to lots of gigs for her.

Headshots for models and actors by New York photographers are expensive. More and more, people are coming out to Connecticut to shoot with me – the $20 train fare is covered many times over by the cost savings.  My goal is to make images that are unique, full of energy, creative  and revealing  about the character of the subject.

Faithful readers will recall I often try to put hands into a portrait. Hands can add interest and be very expressive.  Does the hand work for you in this photograph?

You can see more images of my shoot with Alisson on my website, here.  As always, your comments and questions are welcome. Thanks for following my blog!