Archive | July, 2009

Regina Russo

24 Jul

Regina is my new old friend. We’ve only known each other for a few weeks, but after the first few hours we felt like we had known each other forever. I am sure she will be a lifelong friend. She is beautiful on the inside and outside, as you will see from her photos.

We shot first in my old bedroom, soon to be the room of some lucky stranger who wants to be a part of my weird family. It is pretty large and has north light, so it’s perfect for photos. My walls are this rich bluish sea color, and Regina’s skin tones and hair went beautifully with the richness of the colors. The room is small, but so are we, so we didn’t need much space. I used a strobe pointed at the white ceiling for most of the shots, just to enhance the light from the window.

For the starry night shot, I exposed for sky and lit Regina’s face with a strobe at lowest power. We only took 5 shots outside because both of us were getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, so I am glad that this one was so good. Regina is a very willing and patient model and her natural beauty was just stunning with all the colors swimming around in these photos.

After the shoot, which took about 2.5 hours, we were tired, happy and hungry, so we went to Applebee’s because it’s cheap. The barbecue chicken salad is AWESOME!





Keeping Up

12 Jul

I always want to schedule at least two or three shoots a week, but I am never able to, because I am the type of quasi-anal planner that has to have a shoot ORCHESTRATED, not just thrown together. A few weeks ago I did a shoot with a model that I had just found the day before in a last minute casting call, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t have time to think about theme, wardrobe, makeup, etc., and it just didn’t feel right. The best shoots I’ve had have been ones where I plan for months and then at the shoot I have a whole team of people to help, including an assistant, MUA, my props and location are perfectly thought out, sometimes I even make my own shot list. Oh, and not to mention the refreshment table, which is always an amazing addition, because then everyone is happy for hours! It’s kind of anal but it works for me.

I have the next two weeks off and I’m trying to plan a lot of shoots to keep my creativity flowing and use my time wisely. Lately I have been drawing a lot of inspiration from movies and film, and my two latest projects were born from watching Bjork’s “Hyperballad,” directed by Michel Gondry, and a movie called “Brideshead Revisited,” which is based upon the literary classic of the same name. I am still working on the background for the Bjork project, but I have a model and makeup artist all lined up. For the Brideshead project I am still working on a model.

I am going to shoot both with my Mamiya 645 Super, so I have to buy a pocket wizard so that I can use the strobe with it. If you’ve never seen a pocket wizard, it is just a little radio thing that plugs into the camera and then another thing that plugs into the strobe light, and when you press the shutter the strobe is triggered by the radio. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome. Anyone using strobes needs one.

From now on, for my personal shoots I am going to try to use the Mamiya 645 Super exclusively, though I’ll bring my Nikon D300 and my Nikon N6006 35mm film camera as well just for fun. I just love film so much, and the Mamiya renders color and light so beautifully.

One of the reasons I’m writing is because I get so frustrated sometimes because I have so many ideas running through my head all the time, and sometimes I just overwhelmed because I want to try to control them and reign them in but I can’t. And then I just get lost in this sea of ideas and I can’t single any of them out to try to really get them going. I mean, aside from the Bjork thing and the “Brideshead Revisited” thing, I have so many others, I could be shooting EVERY SINGLE DAY, but I just don’t seem to have the time or money to put all of these ideas into action, especially considering my very detailed organization of my shoots. I would need like three or four more of me in order to get that many shoots organized per week.

El Mar

6 Jul

It was a gray day, the third of a string of 5 gray days. The first two had been rainy, torrential downpours all day long so that you had no desire to set foot outside the house. On this particular day, the rain had ceased, though the overcast, misty sky was a threat. This grayness inspired the following self-portait, taken on Passe A Grille Beach just before a downpour.

People were walking by and staring at me as I ran back and forth from my camera on its tripod, trying to get that perfect shot. I took my glasses off, so I couldn’t see anything and thus felt a little less self-conscious, though I tripped on more than one occasion and cut my foot on a rock once. I didn’t have a remote, so I had to use the camera’s timer, which is probably why the focus is a bit soft. Anyway, a little photoshop magic, and here she is…



1 Jul

I have a new idea for a shoot, and it involves one of Bjork’s videos directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep, etc.), and I already have a model who is super thrilled about the idea! This is good. The model is awesome and I am excited. She is very flexible with incredible facial and body expressions, so I think it will be super to work with her. I am going to get to work making the background and planning out lighting and such. I love orchestrating photo shoots!