Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Today was simply a great day! Great models, beautiful cloths and a wonderful story. The best photographic stories come from life and today I was able to put my life into the images. Thank you to all the models, (their were seven total) my producer, studio manager, assistants and hair and makeup team. You all rocked today and I can't wait to edit the story!
Always Dream Big
Friday, August 27, 2010
Five years ago I was still living in New York City but traveling around the U.S. working on my "Lost & Found book. Lost & Found was a photo project documenting missing children the U.S. and took me all over the country as I worked with The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The project is as far away from fashion and beauty as one can get but I needed to work on a project that nurtured my soul and Lost & Found was it. I finished photographing the book just before Hurricane Katrina happened but I felt the need to include what was happening at the time and flew to the Reliance Center to document what I could.
When I arrived I photographed people in the who were taken from New Orleans and given shelter. It was scary to see the conditions and hear the stories. The images speak to the conditions there. While I was there I learned of a group of kids who were separated from their parents and living at the reliance center. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children located the mother and asked me if I'd fly with the kids to meet their mother. None of the kids had ever been on a plane before and it was a very interesting experience for them. When we arrived a film crew from CNN was at the gate for the reunion. It was good to be able to help in some way and document the process.
Have a great weekend and don't forget to give back when you can.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
This is it! The final seminar of the Creative Experience photo seminar will be held in Dallas, Texas on October 18th, 2010. Sign up early as we've limited the amount of seats for the seminar. In this seminar you will learn the tips to propel your career to the next level while receiving one on one training from me in lighting, creativity, promotion and much more. Early bird registration begins today.
Yesterday, was an amazing day of shooting and I'd like to thank my assistants, producer, manager, hair, mu, and both the models. The day started off with everyone being hindered by traffic because President Obama was in town. Once everyone arrived the shoot went amazingly well. We shot on location in Malibu and had the best weather I've seen in L.A. at the beach. Normally, the beaches can get chilly in the evening in Los Angeles along with a marine layer that comes around sunset. Yesterday was the exception and we had a fantastic day. We planned out every shot for our shoot along with a time schedule and stuck to it. The result was a fantastic shoot. Here is a sneak peak into our day which was inspired by an old movie. Can you guess the name of the movie that inspired this shoot?
Always Dream Big
Thursday, August 12, 2010
My first assignment was an editorial for Essence Magazine. The job was a multiple day shoot photographing an eight page fashion spread. Two days after I turned the assignment in the art director called to offer me my second assignment of my career. It would be my first celebrity portrait and my first travel assignment.
Anita Hill was my first celebrity photographed during the Clarence Thomas confirmation scandal and since that time so much has changed in the world and my career. The recession has been hard on all of us but there are so many lesson's we've learned in the process to make us stronger and better. Reflect on all you've learned in the last two years to make you better and smile because everything happens for a reason.
Today I am putting my lessons to work and shooting a story I can't wait to share with the world. Today's shoot started with an idea and turned into a story board. My crew is now almost ready to leave for location but before we head out I want to share a few images from today's story board. Have a great day!
Always Dream Big!
The other day I was going through some old images and found a Kodachrome slide of myself as a kid. My father always had a camera with him when I was growing up and now I try to do the same. Nothing stays the same for long so don't take what's in front of you today for granted. Sometimes our best images are right in front of us.
Always Dream Big
I often talk about my love for travel but one island stands out from the rest. If I could go back to one place over and over it would have to be Bora Bora. It is by far the most amazing island I've ever set foot on. The food is not the best but the beauty of the island is like no other place on earth. I'm looking forward to going back when the economy turns around and we are all living our dreams fully!
Always Dream Big!
It's been forever since I shot a polaroid. Years ago Samuel L. Jackson told me that I should keep all my polaroids and hold on to them. He told me Annie didn't give her polaroids away because they were originals and there was only one like it. This was years before digital came into our lives, but now looking back I believe the polaroids are more precious than ever.
I have ton's of my old polaroids from my assignments and as I view them I miss the days of polaroids. 665 was my favorite! Yes, you can still buy it now but its just not the same.
In many ways digital has killed the art of photography but it has also opened doors to many who would never pick up a camera before. It will be interesting to see where the industry of photography is in five years.
I know it's hard out here but keep dreaming big!
How do you select the right models for the job? The secret is to keep your project in mind first and then match the model to the assignment. When casting multiple models you must make sure all the models looks work together.
Recently we were casting and I noticed all the woman in the room were giving their opinion on what guys they thought were handsome, but sometimes I felt the choices didn't work for the concept of the shoot even though the models were handsome or beautiful in the case of the woman. Casting is so very important and selecting the wrong models can make or break a shoot.
When a model walks in that I like I will immediately place them on hold for my assignments, but I won't confirm them until I've had time to really study them to make sure they fit into my assignment. For an assignment needed four models I may place 15 models on hold and then decide on my top selects after viewing all the casting images and video. Here is a sneak peek into our latest casting session for a swim wear project.
Times are rough! I've heard from so many photographers from all over the country about how hard it has been this year to stay in business. I too have had problems with clients and payment this year but we must all keep our eyes on the prize. Even if you have to take another job to make ends meet, keep your passion for photography by doing personal projects. The personal projects feed your soul and keep you fresh.
I've been working on a personal project for four + years now. In January I signed with a literary agent to shop for a book publisher for the work. She has not shopped the project yet because of the economy but has asked me to shop for a gallery to exhibit my fine art work in NYC and LA. This past Monday I had a meeting with a former gallery owner who came to look at my project and offer advise. She told me she thought I'd have no problem and would probably have my choice of galleries as she'd never seen any images in her career like my project. I was elated! She advised me on packaging my submission and more for an hour. I made the adjustments and the next day handed my package to my old intern, (who is in LA from Dubai visiting). Ramona took my project to the gallery and now I must sit patiently and wait until next week to hear more.
My personal project is all shot on film (I don't believe it can be shot digitally) . The project contains images with no retouching or digital manipulation and I truly love the process of making these images. It was hard to let these images go out but I said a pray and handed them to Ramona.
Wish me luck!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Over the years I've had many great shoots but working with Vanessa Williams is one of the best photographic experience's I've had. We've worked together forever and she looks as amazing now as she did the first time we worked together. This year my 2nd assignment of the 2010 was photographing Vanessa along with her daughter who is now ten or eleven I believe. I enjoy working with Vanessa but I also enjoy documenting her life. I am thankful for her friendship, talent and dedication to her craft. Here are three images of Vanessa with her youngest daughter at different stages of life.
Big kiss Vanessa!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
This is another great blog from Skip Cohen's Marketing Essentials.
The past two weeks have been filled with meetings and estimates. I've been away from the blog as work has consumed me lately but stay tuned for more soon.
Always Dream Big!