Posts Tagged ‘bold colors

15
Jun
11

three teens surprise dad for father’s day!

Can you keep a secret? If you recognize these kids, do NOT tell their dad about these pictures! These teenagers (along with their mom) decided they wanted to surprise Dad on Father’s Day with some new family photos.

So, last week, we did a shoot at their home. It happened to be miserably hot, but the kids were just great – very patient and willing to work hard to get good images.

As any of you know who try to corral teenagers, it’s difficult to find a time where they are all available. 3PM in the afternoon was that time. I would have preferred to shoot closer to dusk, to get a warmer light, but these images worked out fine. We set up in open shade to avoid the harsh sun of mid-afternoon, and then used a flash unit on a stand to bring some light into their faces.

We mostly shot out in the yard, but did a few headshots in the living room, such as the one on the right.

With the group shots, I always take a lot of pictures. With three people, the chances that one person is in the middle of a blink or doesn’t have a good expression is pretty high. So, the more pictures you take, the better the odds are that you will have enough “keepers.” I took over 300 images in this shoot. As it turned out, I didn’t need so many – the kids were smiling and looking great in almost every picture. Isn’t this a fabulous looking trio of kids?

Advertisements
04
Jun
11

“Slinkies” recognized

My photograph “Slinkies!” won an Honorable Mention in the 53rd Annual Darien Art Show last night.  I’m honored and humbled! There is some great work in the show – painting, sculpture, multimedia as well as photography. The exhibit runs through next Saturday. For details, see Darien Art Show.

30
May
11

kids in the memorial day parade

Just posting a few grab shots from the Memorial Day Parade in my hometown of Darien, CT.  I couldn’t help wondering what the kids of some other countries  are doing today – Somalia or Yemen, Libya or Malawi. I hope someday the children of each of those countries will have a fun day such as our kids had today. It won’t be the same of course, nor should it be. But I pray for a better life – peace, stability, hope and joy – for all the world’s children. Some Day.

26
May
11

Dance Skirts!

This week, I had the pleasure of photographing dance skirts for my friend, Neeta Maniar. Neeta and a partner in India have a business selling beautiful Indian dance skirts. Their website is Taal Dancewear.  The images we shot will go on the website soon. For the shoot, Neeta brought in six models and over 20 skirts – a big production for my modest-sized studio, but somehow everyone fit in!

For each skirt, we shot one full body image, usually in a dance pose, and then one closeup shot of the lovely waist bands. Both images will appear on the website, so Taal Dancewear’s customers can really see the beauty of the skirts.

All of the models are experienced dancers and most had danced together many times.

For the lighting, I had two lights on the white paper background and two lights in front on either side, to provide a fairly soft, low contrast overall lighting setup, which I felt would be appropriate for the website.

I know very little about proper dance poses, so Neeta was just behind me, checking the view from the camera and coaching the models on the poses she wanted.

Neeta and the models could see each image on my laptop as we went along – a big help in getting just the right look.

The shoot was great fun for me and I think for the models as well. I truly hope these images will lead to a big jump in sales for Taal Dancwear!

In a few of the pictures the models hammed it up a bit. Wonder if this one will make it to the website? You can see more images from our shoot here.

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!

24
Feb
11

Slinkies! (part two)

I wrote a blog post recently with some pictures of slinkies. If you missed it, you can catch it here. The weather is still pretty drab and I needed a fix of bold colors, so it was back to the slinkies. This was not all just for fun, but also for lighting practice and experimentation. But the fun was the main thing!

The slinkies are indeed fun to shoot. I’m remembering playing with them as a child, trying to get them to walk all the way down a flight of stairs. (I never quite made it – did you?) The colors are fun. And playing around to get some interesting shapes and compositions was a terrific creative exercise.

In the first two images, I used a fairly soft lighting setup. In the one above, I went for a harsh light, to bring out the shadows on the “floor.”  This harsher light also accentuates the three dimensionality of the slinkies. With the slinkies hanging in mid-air, I had to wait a long time for them to stop bouncing.

The one above was also shot with a fairly hard light. As I look at it, there is almost a theatrical lighting feel to the picture. 

How do you respond to these photographs?  (Notice I didn’t ask if you liked them.) I’m fascinated by how each of us responds to visual images.  You may have a positive or negative reaction to each of the colors, based on your own experience and memories. The shapes may conjure up other subjects, consciously or subconsciously.  A psychiatrist could flash these in front of us like a Rorschach test and have a field day! The more abstract a photograph is, the more liberty we give our imaginations to take over.

Which image did you respond to most strongly? What did you feel? What experiences from your life came to mind?  I’d love to hear from you!

And – just as a preview of possible coming attractions….Legos!