Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pretty in INK

As part of my on-going project to photograph tattooed ladies, I was introduced to Chrissy (a.k.a. Pretty in INK) on MySpace by Kori.  Chrissy also has a 7 month-old son, and we decided we would shoot a few pictures of them together.
Chrissy wanted to put tattoos on her son, so she went to Michaels and picked up some Ed Hardy Washable tattoos.  Chrissy's son was such a good sport, didn't cry the whole time and was just smiling and very alert.  He made it very easy for me to photograph them.  I also arranged my latest MUA/HS to do Chrissy's hair.  I really like Kate's style since it's been different for each young lady.

Not much to discuss on this post.  Same high-key lighting except my background light modifier changed since I broke my silver umbrella at work.  I used my 64" PLM with the Black cover and an RPS Monolight, when will those darn Einsteins come out.  For the "key" light, I used my new silver 86" PLM with front diffusion fabric.  For "fill", I used Robert's AB400 with my 42" octabox.  The following light meter readings at ISO 100 and 1/125 were:
B/G::  5.6
Fill: 3.4
So this is my fourth young lady, I have one more tomorrow, which will feature my MUA/HS, Kate and then another one on March 20.  So until my next session...

...That's A Wrap!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hooters by the Dozen

Thanks to my pseudo-flip cousin Tonya, I was scheduled to shoot nine HOOTERS girls for HOOTERS' nation-wide search of candidates for inclusion in the 2011 HOOTERS Calendar.  Tonya put the word out back in mid-January and I received eight inquiries, excluding Tonya.  The girls needed to submit six photos, two headshots and four full-length body shots, printed  4" x 6" and postmarked by March 1, 2010.  Not much time for me to shoot and turn around a lot images. 

My rate for all this work , get this, $60. What A Deal!!!.  Tonya posted a sign at work stating I would charge $60 for my sessions.  Talk about low-balling everyone else.  Tonya apologized for the miscommunication.  However, I figured these girls are working two jobs, and going to school, so I honored that rate.

The images that follow are additional shots from my sessions and were not submitted.  They follow in the order when I shot these young ladies, too.  So first we have Brittney, tall and beautiful, we shot Feb. 6 in the rain, poor thing.   We ended up doinf Studio Work for a majority of the shoot. 

The following Saturday, Feb. 13 was Jackie and Tonya.  I photographed Jackie back in January when Angel needed some Hair models for his submission to VH-1's Hair Wars, and Tonya I haven't shot since December.  the weather was beautiful, sunny and clear and almost in the mid-70's.

This past Saturday was supposed to be four girls on Saturday, Feb. 20, and one on Sunday, Feb. 21, but two ended up getting their images done by another photographer.  No big because that would've been a lot of work.  The three girls I photographed were a blast, Ashley, Erica, and Natalie.  Natalie is Tonya's sister and is with Ashley in the image to the right.

Not much to share on these images, but rather the number of photo shoots in such a short month, too.  Did I learn anything? Oh yeah, plenty.  Mainly, I won't be doing this again unless I can rent a facility and have the girls staged every two hours.  Get them in and out, replicate poses and lighting, and do it early in the month.

Glad that's done and now I can focus on my Tatt'ed Sheets Sessions.  It's interesting to note that I'm booked up to April already, with some girls traveling from two hours away.  Of course when it's free, why not.

Did you figure out why this post is titled "Hooters by the Dozen?"

That's A Wrap?

Tatt'ed Sheets

As part of my on-going White Sheets series with tattooed women, it was suggested by Jenna that I contact another tattooed girl, named Kori. Kori definitely has a lot of ink and her boyfriend is a tattoo artist.

Angel was unavailable to do Hair and Make-up so Kate said she would help out. Our shoot was supposed to start at 6:00, but ended getting moved closer to 7:30 PM. Being old, 7:30 PM might as well be 10:00 PM since I get up at 5:30 AM. If you haven't guessed, I'm rationalizing my lack of creativity with this shoot.

Kori was also a little nervous, having never shot with me and also Kate's boyfriend was in the studio. To Kori's defense, she doesn't proclaim to be a model, so her nervousness was justified. We did manage to get some cool shots, and like I mentioned to her, I only need two for my series. So, these two I'm posting will be included in my series.

What did I learn? Simple. Either shoot during the weekend, when you are refreshed, or no later than 6:00 PM. Otherwise, it's too tiring and then afterwards I'm to hyped to see the images so I don't get to bed until midnight.

To date, I’ve got three more models for my tatt'ed sheets over the next three weeks. Once I'm done I'll have a friend review and help me pick and then post-process and print. I won’t divulge how I'm having them printed until their done. So until then...

...That's A Wrap

Monday, February 15, 2010

To Die For... Sarah Lynn's name on Model Mayhem and MySpace.  In fact, it is tattooed on her arm.  Sarah was my first model shoot in January and in February. After my shoot with Jenna, I realized I really liked the hi-key lighting and white sheets against the tattooed skin.  I have done White Sheet Sessions in the past, but wasn't too impressed with them, however; with the addition of tattoos I feel it gives a soft and angelic mood with an edgier look.
In fact, one of my photography friends suggested that I put together a gallery of images containing attractive women with tattoos and shop it around town. So begins my journey to photograph several women with tattoos among a high-key setting and then pimp them around galleries.

Back to the photo shoot, now dubbed as my "Tatt'ed Sheets Sessions".  I messaged Sarah and she agreed to shoot within a week, she just wanted to get a light tan first, which I find a little ironic.  Sarah is a pleasure to work with, always creative and down-to-earth.  We shot for about an hour and half and then I uploaded the images for her to choose.  BTW, she did her own hair and make-up for this shoot and it came out awesome.
So what did I learn?
Well not much on this shoot, I've pretty much dialed in the High-key lighting and now I just play with composition or key light placement.  Here is a lighting diagram to give you and idea of how my lights are set-up for high-key portraits.  It;s a little different since most people will use two lights on either side of the subject pointing towards the backdrop with barndoors.  Instead, I use a single strobe to bounce through a white muslin.  I only use this technique for 3/4 poses or elevated horizontal poses since the muslin I have barely touches the ground.

Anyway, I have at least 3 more models to shoot using this technique some with tattoos and others with tattoos and body modifications.  So stay tuned and see who else will be in my "Tatt'ed Sheets" sessions.  BTW, I had to post this picture of Sarah smirking.  Look back at my post on November 4, I posted a shot of her smirking, too.

That's A Wrap!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Kate Alley

My MUAH (Make-up and Hair), Angel, was out of town for one of my shoots, so he sent over one of his top student's to do Hair and Make-up.  So when I answered the door, there she was, fire orange hair, pale complexion and tattoos.  My first response, "COOL!!!"  So while we were waiting for my model to arrive, I asked Kate if she would be willing to pose for a few pics.  I definitely like her look and we've scheduled a shoot for February 28. 

Anyway, it should be fun and here are some of the images form our rather impromptu shoot.

Did I learn anything on this shoot?  Sure, use one gridded spot with a frost gel and a silver reflector.  No other light was used in this quick session.

That's A Wrap!!!


I dislike starting my posts with..."I received a message from a Model Mayhem Model."  So, instead I'll begin with, "Back in College, my Photography instructor was showing our class some slides of celebrity photos, if I recall we were learning Paramount lighting.  Anyway, one slide was of Marilyn Monroe in a ballerina outfit shot against a black background while she wore white, the images were taken by Milton Greene.  I've been wanting to recreate that image and initially asked Gaby if she was willing to help.  Although Gaby is a brunette, she has that same kind of sultry and innocent look; she agreed.  Day of the shoot, Feb. 1, Gaby's car broke down and she had to cancel.

Fortunately I also had another shoot scheduled Feb. 1, with Model Mayhem newbie Carlye.  We were originally going to shoot Jan. 10, but personal issues arose and Carlye had to postpone. Anyway, thanfully Gaby called me at 10:00 AM which gave me enough time to ask Carlye to bring a white top.

Carlye is a cosmetology graduate so she did her own hair and make-up , which made it easy for all involved. WE shot for about an hour and a half did an array of looks, but I really would have preferred different make-up.

Anyway, Carlye is artistic and definitely has a style all her own.  She is perfect for more of the non-commercial type of photography I miss doing.

So what did I learn ion this shoot?
1) Don;t mix lights from different manufacturers.  If I stated this before, then I'm re-stating it again.  Each manufacturer has their own calibration of "daylight balanced" lights.    I used my AB1600 with the PLM as a fill and my RPS160 Monolights as off-axis lights with softboxes,  and they gave off a reddish cast.

I'm thinking of doing some photo shoots similar to Drew Gardner.  If you don;t know his work, then check out his site..

... and That's A Wrap!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Jezabelles Boutique Shoot

Back in October of 2009 I was supposed to shoot at  a Downtown Clothing store, called Jezabelles Boutique;  however, my asthma was really bad and I had to postpone the shoot.  Well I started talking to the owner and decided I needed to make good on a promise.  I managed to get Kao, Tonya, and Jesi to be the living mannequins, and I also contacted the ladies from from F.L.Y. Cosmetics to be my MUAHS (Make-Up and Hair Stylists).  Everything was set for the shoot, what I didn't realize was that Kao lives in Atwater, CA, which is actually 2.5 hours away.   That's a bit of a drive for anyone, so to make up for that long drive I made sure he got enough solo shots for his port.

On the right is my favorite "strobist" shot of him that I actually like.  It was done at 4:00 PM in fairly bright sky with me shooting directly into the sun.  At this point I couldn't use Matrix Metering, but instead I had to use Spot Metering since the sky was blowing everything out. Also, the flash had to be set to "AA" since Auto FP wasn't letting the sky show up.   Anyway, this was shot with an SB-900 in a 15" x 15" softbox without the Diffuser because I needed to match the hard specular light from the sunset.

After an hour and a half of shooting downtown we headed back to Jezabelles.  I decided I would use my PLM to simulate sunlight and the ring flash as an on-axis fill.  I ended up needing at third light as an accent light to keep the models from blending in with the background.  This was definitely a learning experience.  I had to contend with reflective surfaces, clothing in the background, a variety of mixed lighting in the shop, etc...

All in all, I learned a lot and was able to work with a great group of people.  Unfortunately I don't think the store owner cared for the pictures since she didn't use any of them, and it's been two weeks since the shoot and I can't remember anything that I learned worth mentioning except a piece of advice from a Kern Photography Association suggesting that I blowout the background with light to almost achieve a high key look.  He commented that I did a really good job considering I was acting as the Photographer and the Art Director.  Hmmm.... no wonder I'm always creatively spent after a shoot....

...That's A Wrap!!!