Getting the Right Pose

  When I first started doing fashion and artistic photoshoots, I struggled with posing the models. If the model was experienced, I didn’t have any issues because he/she already knew how to use her body to create certain looks. Personally, I have a difficult time posing in front of the camera, so it would also make sense that I would have a hard time explaining what I wanted from the model. This was especially true in the case when I worked with people who were uncomfortable being in front of the camera.   In a boudoir photography workshop I participated in a few years ago, the teacher showed us a notebook that was filled with different types of poses. The notebook was divided into categories, such as sitting, standing, and closeup poses. I thought this was a brilliant idea, so I created my own notebook. The next time I had a shoot, instead of describing the pose, I had the model look at some examples. It worked like magic. Since then I have always brought examples to my shoots.   My goal with poses is to find something that looks “natural” for the model. We’ve all seen those awkward photos […]

Themes

I enjoy all my shoots, but I particularly had fun with this one. When I first mentioned doing a photo series for the 7 Deadly Sins, a lot of people told they thought it was over done. In some ways they’re right, but I thought it would be an interesting challenge to see if I could come up with my own interpretation, despite the fact so many people have put their own stamp on this theme. This photoshoot was Gluttony, which involves an excess of food usually. I got the inspiration for this shoot from an old Gwen Stefani video called “Luxurious.” There’s a scene where Stefani is lying on colorfully wrapped candy. I loved the colors and the concept, and so I adapted it to my shoot. I certainly did get weird looks at the store when I picked up bags and bags of candy. Though I bought quite a lot, it still wasn’t enough. During the shoot, I made sure to arrange the candy so that I would be able to go back into Photoshop and clone the candy so that the entire background would be covered. The editing was a little more difficult than I thought it […]

Cathy Rankin

I have had the pleasure of working with Cathy on a few shoots. This shot was taken during a shoot where we were trying to get as many different looks in one session. In just a few hours and using only natural light, we were able to get many different looks. Being resourceful is an important skill as a photographer. I chose to shoot at my parent’s house because their backyard has interesting walls and lots of greenery, which is rare in Phoenix. Overall, the shoot was a success and we both had a lot of fun.

Body of Art

  I’m naturally a really shy person, but I’m also very curious. Photography has afforded me opportunities to learn about people, various cultures, and different perspectives. As I come to the end of my book, I’m revisiting some of the earlier shoots, when I didn’t know for sure how this project would evolve. I’m so grateful and honored to have met some incredible people through this portrait series. It’s easy to think that we’re all so different that we feel we can’t connect. If anything, this project taught me that no matter how different our lives may be, there’s is always a place to connect with people. We just have to take the time and listen. The black and white photo is from the very first shoot for my book. Angela taught me a lot about what it’s like being a tattooed woman in today’s world. I have been lucky to have worked with Angela on many shoots, and I’m very honored to have her in my book.

Building My Portfolio

I’ve reached a point in my photography where I actually need a physical portfolio. Most portfolios, I have read, include anywhere between 12 to 24 images. Even though I have shot countless photos, I found the process of selecting images to be quite painful, and that’s not because I’m in love with all of my photos. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who can pick myself apart to the point of tears. I’m extremely self critical. A little self-critiquing is good, but I happen to be a zealot. In the end I had a couple people I trust give me their suggestions as to which images they think I should include. Sometimes when I’m too close to a project I ask others for their opinion. Oftentimes, they see things I haven’t picked up on because I’m too distracted with the technical aspects of the photo. Building my portfolio taught me that I need to appreciate the journey just as much as the final result.

Phx Fashion Week: Shop Garment District Show

    Last week was Phoenix Fashion Week’s Shop Garment District Show. The event, which took place at the elegant Palomar Hotel is Downtown Phoenix, was another showcase for the top 13 emerging designers. Before the runway show, guests had an opportunity to meet the designers and shop their collections. Though the event was smaller than the Emerging Designer & Top 40 Model Announcements that took place in June, the enthusiasm and support for these designers and models was just as strong. The runway show was a testament to how much these designers have grown in just a few months. Each designer got to present 4 outfits. Some of theses designers even got to work with leading local stylists Audree Kate, Jenesis Laforcarde, Nuvia Magdahi, and Jackie Marin. The collections that stood out to me the most were Hues of Ego, Arae, and Michi Kinitwear. In fact, Hues of Ego seemed to be a crowd favorite that night. The designs from these brands looked complete and high quality. Hues of Ego pulled off a pinkish lace jumpsuit that look both elegant and wearable. I especially liked the sparkly ornament hanging down the model’s back. I also appreciated how the stylists […]

Model of the Year

Stilettos, skinny jeans, and sleek hair. Last Saturday was Phoenix Fashion Week’s Model of the Year search. Over a hundred men and women competed for one of the top 40 spots. The grand finale male and female winners will win a coveted modeling contract with Agency Arizona. I was one of a handful of photographers who had the opportunity to photograph and interview these promising contenders. Even though this event was a competition, the environment wasn’t at all unfriendly or intimidating. After all, we’re all participating so that we can become more involved with the fashion community. This event was a particularly a good experience for me because I’m not used to being part of the (and I use this word rather loosely) “paparazzi.” I had to act fast because no one was standing in one place for very long. Timing and luck is most of it. At first my shots were a bit sloppy or I wouldn’t be able to get my camera to focus quickly enough. Fortunately, it didn’t take me too long to catch up. I will continuing to document my experiences with Phoenix Fashion Week. On June 11th the the winners will be announced for top […]