Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Paint It Black, and White

I noticed that on my Facebook fan page for Illusive Photography, I was receiving a fair amount of "LIKES" from a follower who happened to have some mutual friends.  Then one day at the gym, I was speaking with one of the HOOTERS girls I've photographed and she mentioned that this specific "follower" was also an artist and turns out that she was a former HOOTERS Girl, too.
We messaged back and forth and while I was reviewing her profile pictures I stumbled upon her surrealistic artwork, and decided we needed to do a themed shoot that would showcase some of her art.  I made sure up front that she knew this would not be a cutesy, or glamorous photo shoot, but rather evoke a more natural and raw feeling.  I would force myself to shoot only Natural Light and shoot both digital (Black and White Setting) and black and white film.  She agreed to the date and time and also brought along some of her artwork and a few books of Dali's work.
Now I needed a place to photograph the session.  A couple weeks back I attended a "Going Away" party for a "gypsy" model which was held at The Loft in Downtown Bakersfield.  The first thing that hit me when entering the space was all the Natural Light, followed by the wood floors and spartan interior.  I messaged him and booked the space from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM.
This had to be one of the easiest and satisfying shoots I've had in a long time. We moved easily from set-up to set-up and something just clicked and the two hours flew.  By 6:00 PM, I had shot 36 exposures of IIford Super XP2 400 35mm in my Nikon F5, 16 exposures of Portra 400 (I hope it was 400 ISO) 120mm in my Mamiya 645 1000S and some digital. 
What Did Learn?
  • I Like Simple Shoots - No reflectors, no artificial lights, no lavish wardrobe, no extreme make-up, no multiple bags of gear.  Just three cameras and three lenses.
  • Stop Looking for the LCD Preview on the back of my film cameras -   I must've caught myself checking for an LCD on my Nikon F5 camera; often.  Even Sam caught me.  
  • Sometimes First Shoots do Work -  I've always made the excuse that "first" shoots with a new model can provide for less than acceptable images, however; this shoot was one of those exceptions

I currently don't have any shoots planned for the remainder of June due to work constraints, but I'm sure I'll be back at it in July.

Here's a color image, just so you can see Sam's piercing eyes
The following two images were shot using my Mamiya 645 1000s with a Sekkor C 80mm f/1.9 lens on Portra 400



Saturday, June 1, 2013


Jukebox II

Approaching mid-year, it was hard to believe that the last time Jenna and I worked together was January 1 for our Dia de Los Muertos shoot.  Jenna was finishing up her Nursing program and is now an LVN.  Although we haven't shot in over five months, we stay in touch via Social Media or texting.


With the Memorial Day weekend approaching and realizing my last photoshoot was back on May 5, I texted Jenna to see if she was free, but what theme?  I told Jenna that the theme was "absolutely nothing", just something different than what we've done in the past. I told Jenna that I wanted to shoot something more emotive, shoot film and also convert some to Black and White.  Jenna agreed.


I met Jenna at her place after she got off work, and talked while she did her hair and make-up.  As she was putting on the finishing touches, I rummaged through her clothes for ideas.

We started shooting around 6:00 PM with a majority of the images captured using Natural Light until we started losing the light around 7:30.  I brought out my SB-900 and umbrella for the remainder of the images.

I stuck with my goal of shooting Film and also Available Light.  I used Portra 800 and shot with my 85mm f/1.4 lens.  I guess I really didn't learn anything new on this shoot, just confirmation that I enjoy shooting film and that I enjoy photographing models who I consider friends.  The results, I think, captures our ability to work well with each other.


We haven't decided when we will work together again, but I'm sure we'll pick up right where we left off.  


The image below was shot on her Dinig Room table, hopefully her brother doesn't find out other wise he may never eat at that table again. ;)