Amaranthe, Butcher Babies, Lullwater

Every time a I photograph a concert, I usually encounter some challenges. It’s never completely smooth sailing, which I kind of like. I look at concert photography like a game because my success depends on my ability to adapt to any situation and compose shots that others will find interesting. Amaranthe, Butcher Babies, and Lullwater are great bands ,and I highly recommend you check out their music. So this blog has nothing to do with their performances. The concert was probably my most challenging event, and it was mainly because the venue was very dark. Pub Rock is a cozy venue, and I have actually played on their stage a couple of times. If you’re there to enjoy watching a band, it’s a great venue. However, if you’re a photographer, you’re going to feel a little frustrated. For one thing, there was no photo pit. The place was packed and the only way I could get close enough to the stage was to make a deal with a couple of people near the front, that, if they just gave me the first song to get my shots, I’d stay out of their way. The second problem was that the musicians […]

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 […]

Rachel & Mackenzie

Just before the summer heat settled in Phoenix, I had the opportunity to photograph recent Chaparral grads Rachel and Mackenzie. It was my first time shooting at the Riparian Reserve in Gilbert. Even though the afternoon was overcast, it turned out to be a really fun and successful photo shoot. Besides the fact they had an incredible wardrobe, they were comfortable being in front of the camera and they had a great sense of humor.

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 […]

Headshots

Since I was a kid, my parents collected movie posters and 8×10 headshots of the glamorous actors of the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Elizabeth Taylor was my mother’s favorite actress. We had so many photos of her and other actresses, that we started referring to the rooms by the name of the actress whose photos plastered the walls. We had the Liz Taylor room and the Marilyn Monroe bathroom (People always took extra time in there). I spent my childhood surrounded by these pictures. Even now, when I close my eyes, I can remember the way the tilted their head, the shadows, the colors, the piercing look in their eyes. Headshots are fun for me because I don’t feel there’s a right or wrong way of doing it. I go with my instincts, and I also take chances or experiment. Most importantly, I have fun with it.

A Dose of Humor

Everyday I post on Instagram. As I was trying to find what I wanted to post, I came across this photo from a shoot I did several months ago. I related to this girl because, in the beginning of the shoot, she was really shy and not too comfortable in front of the camera. Towards the end of the shoot, however, she came out of her shell and we all started laughing and having a great time. It’s easy for me to take everything and anything too seriously. I’m very critical of my work because I want to continue growing as a photographer. But sometimes I need to just take a step back and remember to have fun. Photo shoots are a lot of work, but if the model or the client isn’t comfortable or isn’t having a good time, their discomfort shows in the photos. I’ve always been very uncomfortable having my picture taken. There are few photographers who made me feel okay to be in front of the camera and it’s their photos that I’ve always liked best. I’m grateful to those photographers. They taught me a valuable lesson. Life is too short not to enjoy the process. […]

The Selfie Effect

Frankly, I could write a 100 page research paper on how social media has effected photography and the business of photography. However, I just want to point out something I’ve noticed in my recent photo shoots with young people. When I got my senior portraits done, it was before the popularity of social media sites such as MySpace and Facebook. My mother took me to Jostens Studio, which was where the majority of my Chaparral classmates went to have their senior portraits. My shoot included a couple studio shots and a couple outdoor shots. It was nothing too special or original. The photos weren’t terrible, but it was obvious that I was so unaccustomed to being in front of the camera that the photographer had to tell me how to tilt my head and place my hands. Lately, I have been photographing seniors, and one of the things I’ve noticed is that, not only are they typically more comfortable in front of the camera, but they know how to pose. Many things can be said about the surge of selfies populating the internet. But here is one thing that I’ve noticed: young people are finding ways to create their own […]

Landscape Photography in Jerome

Even though I’m primarily focused on photographing concerts, fashion editorials, and portraits, I still like to explore other types of photography. Every experience teaches me more about my camera and exposes weaknesses that I want to improve. As one instructor told me, “Photographers are always practicing.”