Tossing, Turning And Talking In My Sleep

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The sun sets, the moon rises, the world keeps spinning around. People keep having the same problems and making the same mistakes. It helps to have clear vision and to look at things from the correct perspective. When we are young we gladly take risks and try new things without much thought but after living for a good while and miraculously dodging many things that would do us great harm, we get a little more cautious and actually worry about things beyond our control. The funny thing is that whatever finally does us in will be something completely unexpected. We spend all our time worrying about the wrong things and ignoring those that will actually harm us. I’ve got no solution, just do the best you can and don’t be foolish. Look around, pay attention, take sound advice but be wary of people trying to sell you something. Dream big and sleep well.

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Back to photography… This  is a photo shoot that started out based on some ideas from Helmut Newton’s “Polaroids.”  It ended having more in common withWilliam Eggleston (at least to my way of thinking). Like most people I never really knew much about the photographers behind many iconic images and because of the way images are presented in the media we often keep seeing the same few “famous” images over and over. Digging deeper has great rewards.

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I did a lot of experimenting on this shoot, in part because the models and conditions did not fit my original concept as well as I would have liked. In this image I have switched from brutal glaring midday sun to slightly less brutal dusk.

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In this shot I switched the color of the small fur rug and extended it on the left side. I like vertical stripes so I added an alternating blue  overlay to the fence. There is also some texture thrown in to add depth. This image was shot in the shade of the fence so it was a bit easier to darken it down even with my puny 150w strobe… Steve was shooting next to me and my strobe was causing his to fire in sync. Steve’s is on the right with a beauty dish and mine is towards the left with a 7″ reflector. I’ll take an occasional happy accident when I find  one. Steve was not as happy when he discovered that I had been draining his batter pack all day.

 

Living a Life of Danger

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On Sunday my friend Steve and I met over in Midtown to take some photos loosely based on old television shows about spies and secret agents. Just about everything we work on together is loosely based or loosely made because we never really have a budget for these things, just overactive imaginations.

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This is the most complex shot of the day and by that I mean I used the most lights. This was done with four Nikon hot shoe flashes. The main light (camera right) is in an umbrella soft-box and the other lights are gelled and used for fill. I only brought one stand so I have all the fill flashes setting on tables. All flashes were fired with Yongnuo RF-602 radio triggers.

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Setting up a secret meeting. After a quick breakfast we were able to borrow this location for our interior shots. Model: Haley Marie Horton

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Your mission… is to look fabulous (should you choose to accept it). Model: Nicole Parmentier-Jones.

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Stopping traffic. Everyone loves a photo shoot. We had a lot of appreciative drivers going past our shoot, some drove by more than once.

 

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“I’m watching you… watching me.” All these outdoor shots were done with a single mono-light powered by a battery pack.

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Keeping an eye on the competition.

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Setting the trap, laying the bait. We tried this a few times, mostly a comedy of errors. I thought it was hilarious and could have gone on all day. Steve eventually gave me his don’t be a turd speech, which is short and to the point.

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“Congratulations… You found me.” It’s called, chase me catch me. The idea is to make someone follow you so you can catch them instead of them catching you.

This is just a small sample of the photos we took. Thanks to Steve for putting it together and to our models. Congratulations to the newly engaged couple. I didn’t show them here so they could properly inform all their family and friends.

 

Whirlwind Days

October was a blur of many photo shoots. Car shoots, Costume shoots, Baby shoots, Fall Foliage shoots, Vacation shoots and chilly outdoor location shoots. Then Super Storm Sandy hit the East Coast and made everything else trivial. Big storms always make me think back to my own disaster days and all the places I have traveled to in the aftermath of earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes. Television coverage is a pale representation of the actual event and nothing can prepare you for the emotion of seeing large scale destruction first hand. There is nothing you can say to people in the first hours or days following such complete loss. I’m fortunate because along with all that I have also witnessed the resolve and determination that follows. People are simply amazing when faced with adversity. A lot of things will be rebuilt and reinvented in the months to follow. In many ways I wish I could be there to see it and to participate in the experience somehow.

October is over now, it’s time to begin new things and to give thanks for everything and everyone we love.

 

Hippy Chic Photo Shoot

My big photo shoot for July with Steve Yancey, James Dixson, Ashley White, Charlene Fiehler, Kelsey Lawson, Michelle Tranter, Sheilar Hager, Valery Lillo, Victoria Katherine Verbytskyy.

These three are of Sheila Hager. All the models created their own outfits for the shoot and did an outstanding job of creating the look we were after.

This is Victoria with her interpretation of the hippy vibe.

We started outside in bright, hot, wilting conditions and soon decided we had enough.

Scorching hot even in the shade. It took me a couple of days to recover. Victoria looks like she could be out there all day.

This is Charlene Fiehler. Working in direct midday sun, a virtual photography no-no. She looks great even in these blast furnace conditions.

Even looking at those shots makes me hot. Back inside for some rebels jumping on the furniture shots. I like the relaxed shape of this pose and the cool styling.

Here is a shot outside in the heat again. Charlene and Victoria, taking their Hippy Chic message to the street.

This is just a very small sampling of the shots we took. There are lots more of the models working together and of our other talented models.

The Middle of Nowhere Shoot

My friend and fellow photographer Darren Rutmanis organized a little photo shoot for a few of us in the middle of nowhere last Sunday. It was hot outside but well worth the effort, bug bites and all.

Model: Victoria Katherine Verbytskyy.

Model: Nicole Parmentier-Jones.