4 04 2010

First time model Alexandria did an great job in front of the camera.  She had contacted me about modeling and I suggested we did a test shoot and see if she really liked it. Modeling is work and involves a ton of patience.  She was good at taking direction and was eager to learn and improve.  I am looking forward to our next session as we are planning  to shoot to build her portfolio.


A New Look for Love!

1 01 2010

A Lovely Couple

I love to play with light. This image was taken with an Alien Bees strobe- bare bulb and a 7 inch reflector directly behind the couple. More than 20 shots were taken until I found the sweet spot I was looking for.

Because of the camera angle, the soft light wraps around the young lady’s face and her expression is captured nicely. The profile and the harder shadow shows masculinity in his face.  This is such a great portrait. It shows their closeness as a couple and is a little different than the normal portrait look.  Today’s younger people are looking for something different and you must experiment a little to find that new look.  So now I have another trick to add to my bag.  Continually experimenting with light will pay off!

12 06 2009


Lucas is a new model I got the chance to work with a few days ago. Very much a blast to be around! While still working on her modeling skills- she did an awesome job of “changing it up” for me when we shot. She knew how to keep basically the same pose but change expressions, turn her head and slightly tweak a pose. The word here is variety!  I thought this set looked great for the images we planned to achieve.  Most wouldn’t know that this pic was made in my living room.

Shot at f/8 and 250th of a second shutter speed. Large octabox camera right and strobe above flowers with 10 degree baffle to make the flowers pop a little more.

With proper planning and forethought, your session can look like a million bucks too! Go to for more info on photo sessions.”

Remnants of A Kiss

23 05 2009


The subline for this blog says ” images,discussion, and experiments” – here’s one for the experiment category!

Sami and Carson are a couple and you have seen several shots of Sami before on this blog.  This shot was made from an idea we came up with and sort of winged it-but hey,  that’s how you learn-it’s part of the process.  I used a 50mm f1.8 lens and ISO was up around 800.  I used a 24 inch blacklight and just a hint of a red gelled incandescent flood. (focusing in this low light was a real challenge!)

Sami had applied a fluorescent makeup on her lips and gave ol’ Carson a smooch.  Then came the shot. I handheld at about 1/60th of a second (if I remember correctly). As you can see it is pretty grainy-result from the the high ISO, but I don’t think it kills the mood, or idea.  Definitely an experiment, and it has its merits as an art form I suppose.  Next time, I would use a tripod, and maybe have a camera that works well at the ISO so as to cut the grain. Yes, I could get most of the grain out in post processing-but then it would look like it had, and that is not good either. I always try to get the shot as close to right, and use as little processing as possible.

So-take it or leave it-like it or not, it was an experiment.  I learned that working with blacklight is difficult but can achieve a new look that I had not seen much of.  Just need to work out some of the bugs and try again.

Contrast – Hard/Soft

16 05 2009
Model-Jinny Kwan

Model-Jinny Kwan

When speaking of contrast,  light and dark are usually automatically thought of. That is only one type of contrast as there are many. Today we are going to look at soft/hard contrast. It is fairly easy to convey in an image as a compositional element because the hard is usually a “known” hard- like the rock in this image, and the soft is pretty easy to see as well.

We recognize the rock in the picture as hard and Jinny, the model,  is flesh and blood and softer than the rock. The outfit she is wearing is soft also.  Pretty simple element to achieve as the rocks were already on location (probably a few years anyway) and we just threw Jinny into the setting. Instant compositional element.

So why use it? If it is so simple why does it work? What does it do for us? Also simple- it helps make the subject (Jinny) stand out. The is no confusion on what is the subject. It helps separate the subject from the background. In this case, the intention of the image is to sell, or show the dress,  in a fashionable way. If the background was made of the same material as the dress, (or maybe the dress had a pattern that was like the background) it might be possible to lose her in the background, making the image hard to view, and would probably be somewhat uninteresting.   If the client wanted to use the approach of  similarity between the subject and the background- then there must be some type of contrast element to separate the two. Maybe light and dark, maybe a color contrast, tall and short, or any number of ways. We will look at different types of contrasts, but keep in mind the contrast concept.

In this image of Jinny, hard/soft is not the only contrast present. There is a color contrast that works hand in hand with the hard/soft, and it only helps our intentions-make the subject “pop”.

Contrast is a great tool to keep in the photographer’s toolbox. It can be used to separate, showcase, and make a subject stand out.

With proper planning and forethought, your session can look like a million bucks too! Go to for more info on photo sessions.

Fresh Experience

10 05 2009
Jessica Sauer

Jessica Sauer

Jessica Sauer is only 17 years old but her experience is very impressive.  She is already a professional runway model, and has had print in several magazines including 17 Magazine.   She is very busy with her dream which is professional modeling, but also gives a lot of her time  selflessly in community  service and charities. I am pleased to meet her and her Mom, which is a very knowledgeable and supportive person for her daughter.

This picture has some cool elements to it.  Of course Jessica looks great here, but she lets her body flow comfortably. This was not a forced pose at all. She knows fashion and what it takes to sell garments.  The pose is balanced since her left leg and right arm are pretty equal in position. That makes for good composition in this picture.

The styling and colors work well with the colors in the rock and the light. There is a very warm feel to the image.  And with her pose as it is, she shows the clothing and sets the tone for it. This particular style wouldn’t work well say, in a suburban neighborhood cul de sac setting pulling a red wagon.  The clothing, lighting, model, colors and pose must compliment each other.

Great job to Jessica, and for her dedication and  passion for what she does, on and off the set.

With proper planning and forethought your session can look like a million bucks too! Go to for more info on photo sessions.