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Linden and Kate’s Engagement Photos – Welcome to Night Vale Cosplay Shoot

Hi guys! I did it! I shot something new! Look guys, look! I’m really back!

Hehehe…! Oh, and it feels so good.

One of my best buddies, Linden Valentine (who you see plastered all over this blog) asked me to shoot his engagement shoot to the loveliest person ever, Katie Avalanche. Knowing Linden, I knew there was a curve ball. Wait for it….

 COSPLAY ENGAGEMENT. YUSSSSSSS. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate engagement shoot for Linden and Kate. I love shooting cosplay, so of course, I was PUMPED. Weeee!~

Because Linden & Kate live in New York, scheduling shoots with them is always tricky. We scheduled the shoot for earrrrlyyy on MLK because they were driving from Charlotte, NC to New York (shewww~ no thank you!) and could take a pit stop to see me and shoot in Raleigh along the way.

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Of course, I responsibly got a ton of sleep and was super rested when Kate and Linden arrived…

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Once Linden and Kate arrived, it was time to start getting ready for the shoot! Because they were cosplaying a podcast that I wasn’t familiar with (Welcome to Night Vale), I asked them to tell me the story so I could understand the characters. When shooting cosplay, I try to do my part to bring the characters to life through their posing and photos.

I am not even going to try to explain what the radio show is about, so have this description from their website instead:

WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

Turn on your radio and hide.

BTW- You can listen to all of the podcasts here.

Kate would be cosplaying Cecil, the Night Vale local and narrator of the show, and Linden would be cosplaying Carlos, a scientist who comes to Night Vale to study all the strange occurrences that happen in the town. In the show, there is a scene where Cecil and Carlos are sitting on the hood of a Prius under an Arby’s sign, which we decided would be a perfect location for this shoot. It is also extremely convenient that I drive a Prius, hehehe ;D

One of my favorite parts of shooting is getting ready before the shoot. I love hanging out with my friends that I don’t see very often and during makeup is one of the best times to chat! Since Carlos is described as a Latino scientist with “dark and delicate skin, black hair with a dignified, if premature, touch of gray at his temples,” Linden needed an insta-tan to get all dark and delicate. Watching Kate smear foundation on him was HIGHLY ENTERTAINING. I do not envy him having to scrub all of that off lolol… Reason #243916 why I don’t cover my tattoos for cosplay.

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Hubba hubba!!

Time to gather my equipment and head to Arby’s!

I am going to save all of my Behind the Scenes photos for the end, because this series tells a story and I would hate to interrupt it! Here we gooooo~

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Cosplayers: Koala and Bear
Cecil: Katie Avalanche
Carlos: Linden Valentine

Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography

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How cuteeeeeeeee are theyyyyyyyyyyy???????

Shooting with Alexa x Linden x Kate does not come without some ridiculous moments and unforgettable laughs. Here are a few of my favorite highlights:

The constant battle against the wind that Linden’s luscious hair was constantly losing. Cue infuriated Linden. 

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Linden’s very “serious” proposal. I should mention that he was a big cry baby about the concrete + knee situation, so I generously gave him a bag of unpopped popcorn and pajama pants to rest his little princess knees on. I think the fact that I had a bag of popcorn and pajamas laying around in my car probably reveals a bit too much about my lifestyle.

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When Linden kissed Kate and his “dark and delicate skin” & facial hair rubbed off on her face, hahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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And whatever the hell this is:

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I think I should also probably mention that I am 90% sure that we may or may not have caused a minor car accident because we are just a silly looking group of people doing unusual things. Most people aren’t accustomed to seeing a pink-headed Alexa-monster leading a photoshoot in an Arby’s parking lot. PSA: Friends don’t let friends watch photoshoots and drive.

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So, I’m sorry if this was you. Keep your eyes on the road next time!

After we finished shooting, we went inside to see the excited Arby’s employees (they loved watching our shoot!) and to chow down on some delicious fast food. #modeldiet

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And finally, a group shot after a job well done! ☺

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See more of my shoots with Kate & Linden (aka Koala & Bear Cosplay) here:

Otakon // YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz Cosplay Shoot
Adorable Kigurumi Shoot
NOH8 Campaign Shoot

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From all of us, congratulations Kate and Linden!! We love you and are so excited for your future together!!~ xoxoxoxo

Cosplay Photography
Engagement Photography
Raleigh, NC

I’m Back!

*tap tap* Is this thing on?

Hey guys! Wow. Just wow. It has been MONTHS since I’ve been able to go out, shoot, and enjoy the creative release that is photography. While working on a recent television pilot, I was talking to my boss about photography. He said he loved my work and I told him that I hadn’t shot in months because I’ve just been too busy. He said “Never get too busy for your art.” That really resonated with me. So here I am. I am back & I’m ready to rock n roll. I’m ready to meet models in Raleigh. I’m ready to find locations that blow my mind. I’m ready to create with new makeup, lashes, and wigs. I’m ready to dust off my camera and charge my flash. Let’s do this.

I want to start my comeback by (finally) releasing some photos that I’ve been sitting on for a year. I have a bad habit of holding on to photos that I really love so that I can enjoy them myself before I blast them out to the internet. Here is a set that I shot of Linden Valentine in Virginia back in February 2013. Linden is wearing an amazing mori-girl style dress and Gothic Lolita Wigs Classic Wavy in Auburn. There is something so magical and serene about this set… I just love it :’)

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I’m so excited to be back.

behind the scenes

Otakon 2013 | Cosplay Photography with Grace Valentine and Katie Avalanche

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Hello everyone!! Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending Otakon with two of my loveliest friends, Grace Valentine and Katie Avalanche. You may remember them from my previous posts featuring Grace and/or Kate including the adorable kigurumi shoot, NOH8 Campaign, or Grace in Lingerie. They came down to DC on Thursday and while we were hanging out & eating all the pizza in the world, we decided to we wanted to do a little promo shoot of our Friday cosplays so that people could know to look for us. 😀 Grace cosplayed Sherlock, Kate was Watson, and I was Hermione. We wondered who would win in a fight between Sherlock and Hermione. Thoughts?

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It took us a lot of energy post-pizza to actually get motivated to do this shoot. We flopped around and chased the cat and eventually got into our fancy little outfits. Hehehe… I volunteered my handsome boyfriend to take our photo so that we could have a good shot of all of us together before I did a solo shoot of the Sherlock cosplayer lovebirds. But first, Hermione invasion!

Waiting for Brendan means ridiculous selfies:

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And taking pictures of people taking pictures:

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Finally, Brendan arrived to take our photo. I realized that we somehow have a very hard time looking normal. Other than the Otakon promo photo above, the rest of the shots all seemed to look like this:

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So, we quickly abandoned that idea and I took over as photographer and shot Sherlock and Watson together. Mwahahaa~

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Awwwwww!!!!! Best Sherlock and Watson ever. EVER I SAY!

So, after our super quick mini-shoot, Sherlock and Watson headed back to Baltimore so they could start Otakon super early. Drum roll… Otakon Day 1!

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:’D So much fun!!!

On Saturday, I decided to bring my camera gear with me so that I could shoot Grace and Kate in their GACKT x Jon Underdown // YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz cosplay. If you are unfamiliar with this J-rock duo, you should give em a gander. Grace and Kate do an EXCELLENT cosplay of Gackt and Jon and I didn’t want to miss my chance to shoot it! They rarely do this cosplay because it takes FOREVER to draw Jon’s tattoos on Grace‘s arms, but she is a dedicated monster. :3

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Tattoo in progress!

We hopped and danced around and spun in circles until the tattoo was finished and then we headed outside to shoot some seriously badass shots right outside of the Lord Baltimore hotel in downtown Baltimore.

Cosplayers: Grace Valentine as Jon Underdown
Katie Avalanche as GACKT
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography

 

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I LOVE THESE YFC PHOTOS and the amazing light that we had that day.

After exhausting this spot, we ran across the street. I am a weird little creature with a YFCz towel on my little bear head.

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I’m awkward.

Anyway, back to the goods.

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Successful group shot even though it was too bright to see cellphone screen in three… two… one…..

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All done!

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After that, we scampered back to the hotel room so I could drop off my camera and enjoy the rest of the con worry-free. Here is a collage of the whirlwind that was Saturday at Otakon!

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Thanks for a wonderful, wonderful weekend, Otakon! Awesome pictures, awesome friends, awesome memories.

xoxoxo

love always,

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Cosplay Photography
Otakon 2013
Baltimore, MD

 

Grace Valentine Lingerie Shoot x2!~

Hi guys! Now, don’t be jealous, but I have had the opportunity to shoot Grace Valentine in lingerie not once… But twice! I know, I am a lucky lady. ☺

The first time around was back in February. I KNOW. SO FAR BEHIND. It’s okay guys… I’m catching up. Grace was in town visiting me from New York and we were popping off a bunch of shoots left and right. This SUPER quick session lasted maybe about 15 minutes. We were going for sexy… But got the most adorable photos possible. How did that happen!

Model: Grace Valentine
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography
Hair: Gothic Lolita Wigs
Lashes: Dolluxe 

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Awwwww! ♡♡ GRACE, Y U SO CUTE!?

Speaking of cute,

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Awwwww. And yes, Pipes and Grace are the same size. No trick camera angles here……. *shifty eyes*

SO… Let’s fast forward to June 2nd, when our lingerie do-over was scheduled. Another marathon shoot day with my NY buddies. We shot this lingerie set just before this FREAKING ADORABLE KIGURUMI set with Grace and her girlfriend, Kate. For this lingerie shoot, we wanted to stray from the cute and venture more toward sexy Grace. Meee-ow. Here goes nothing!

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Nailed it!! I love it! It’s hard for me to pick which set I like better. I can’t choose! Ahhh!!! Which version do you prefer?

If you are interested in either of the wigs Grace is wearing above, they are both Gothic Lolita Wigs Lady Grace Collection. The first shoot is Lady Grace in Cinnamon Scoop and the second is Lady Grace in Chocolate Royale.

And surprisingly, both of these sets were shot with natural light & bounce boards. I never use natural light! Sometimes it just works. ☺

Before I decided to go the natural light route, I did catch this shot. I don’t feel like this blog post is complete without it. Teeeeeehehehehhee….

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I LOVE YOU, GRACE!!~

Lingerie Photography
Boudoir Photography
Washington, DC

Christiana Vi: Cyborg Robot Inspired Fashion Shoot | Dramatic Futuristic Makeup Transformation

Hi friends! Today I am taking you back to April 14th to one of my favorite shoots of the year. This concept began after a late night eBay search for the word “shiny” led me to this dress.

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I bid on the dress and won it for a measly $6.61 (New with tags & free shipping!). After patting myself on the back for a great find, I kicked it into brainstorm-mode. Shiny… shiny…. sexy…. futuristic… ROBOT!? Yes!

I had been talking back and forth for quite some time with makeup artist and face creation extraordinaire Mama Mia while waiting for the perfect collaboration shoot to maximize what we both bring to the table. Mama Mia makes these crazy elaborate mask-like pieces with makeup, fabric, and bedazzles. Real works of art. I knew our time had come to finally work together on my shiny robot shoot.

Perfect makeup artist. Perfect model (Hi Christiana!). Perfect dress. Perfect location.
Shoot day is upon us!! YES!

After all three of us had arrived, and after we had all finished fan-girling over each other, Mama Mia started the makeup transformation. The full transformation from blank face to cyborg took about an hour.

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I love watching her work. So fascinating!

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Mama Mia‘s boxes of bedazzles!

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ALL DONE! Looks like Mama Mia is satisfied. 🙂
Also, I think it’s funny that photos from my previous blog post about Britni are displayed on my computer in the background of this photo. I must have been editing while they were getting their glam on. You can’t keep me from my craft! Mehehe..

Off to our amazing location!
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Christiana grabbed this cool shot of me setting up. Follow her on Instagram for the hottest feed you will ever see: @christiahna

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and a little sneaky peeky & excitement building on Mama Mia‘s Instagram: @facecreationsbymamamia

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Applying finishing touches….

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Most epic Behind the Scenes photo ever, right?

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Here we go!! AHHHH! All the build up, all the love, all the creative juices, and all the hard work, for these images right here. I hope they blow your mind out of this world. ♡

Model: Christiahna
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography
MUA: FaceCreations by Mama Mia

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 *melts*

I love it. Just love it. So so so much. I love making stuff like this and I couldn’t do it without these two goofballs:

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Hehehe…. ♡♡♡

Thank you both so so much.

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Well, that’s it for now! What’d you think? More flashbacks coming soon!

Alternative Fashion Photography
Extreme Makeup Transformation
Makeup Photography
Concept Photography
Washington, DC

From Dark to Light | Britni in Black and White | Beautiful Girl of the Flowers

I am on a blogging ROLL lately! Damn! Today we are going back to April to visit a shoot with the lovely Britni McIntosh! You may have noticed, I am still digging through my older shoots that need to be blogged, and I am doing so in no particular order. I hope you like this trip down memory lane that I’ve been doing. I swear I will catch up one of these days….

Britni is the sweetest little thing. I have known her for ages. We grew up in the same crowd of friends and now we are all old and still friends. Woohoo! Britni was actually one of my very first guinea pigs EVER when I got my first camera (Nikon D60) a few years ago. While Britni kicked ass on that shoot, looking at my old work kind of burns my eyes out. I’m making these really small so no one can actually see them.

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HAHAHA. If it gives you any indication of how old this is, I found this photo on an old hard drive from 2009 in an folder entitled “Myspace”…….

ANYWAY.

….. I’ve lost my train of thought.

Now it’s 2013. And I got to shoot her again for the first time since my early days. It was pretty stoked!! I’ve wanted to shoot her for so long but she lives in Indiana and I live in Washington, DC. Somehow, the stars aligned and we were both vacationing in North Carolina at the same time in April and we were able to schedule a quick shoot together!

We decided to do two looks together. One sweet and happy and one dark and gothy. Since this photoshoot is from April, I’ve lost all of my Behind the Scenes photos, so I am shamelessly borrowing them from Britni’s instagram. Thanks honey bunny!

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Two look sneak peek!

Knowing that we had limited time and two looks, I decided to shoot the black and white look first. I wanted to save the pink look for shooting the sunset because I knew the colors of the sunset would pop more against the pink than they would against the black. We started in an abandoned fraternity or sorority (??) house. I used to live near this abandoned building with the greek letters Delta Kappa and an owl painted inside it. In my extremely minimal google searching, I still don’t know (or really care) what it is/was. All it is now is a pretty cool photo spot.

On to the goods! First setup:

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& a lighting test outtake of me falling.

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Yes, those striped legs belong to yours truly.

For this next set, I wanted to try some seriously low key lighting. I love the way the deep shadows play into the feel of this image.

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 And the outtakes. Here is Britni making some adorably menacing faces in our lighting test.

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Then we popped outside for a few more shots by this creepy lamp post in the backyard of this house.

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SppooOoOoOky.

All done here! Time to lighten the mood a little bit and change outfits! Planning shoots while in different states can be difficult. We were each picking pieces of our wardrobe for the shoot. After texting pictures back and forth we settled on something that looked like this.

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Now that is some good e-planning!

Britni got changed and we headed out to our next location: a huge field of beautiful yellow flowers.

Once we were there, we had some time to kill while waiting for the sun to go down.

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Well, may as well take some pictures!

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La la la laaaaaaa… Just waiting for the sun…

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While the lighting is pretty, it’s not the lighting I was looking for.

And then…

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BAM! Perfect! Time to knock em dead!

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OH yeah! I forgot to mention! These photos were featured in Deadly Dessert Magazine’s May issue that had a flower theme. Check out our spread! Woohoo!

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Finally, we wrapped up a fun day of shooting together. If you’re interested in either of the wigs that Britni is wearing in the photos above, please check out Gothic Lolita Wigs. The black and white split is a discontinued wig, but you can see GLW‘s new longer splits HERE. The pink wig she is wearing is Gothic Lolita Wigs’ Rhapsody Collection in Rose, which can be found HERE. Her lashes are Born to Flirt from Dolluxe.

Thanks Britni! I am so happy we could make this day work and I can’t wait for our paths to cross again!!! I’ll dress you up like Hermione and take your photo. 😉

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Fashion Photography
Charlotte, North Carolina
Davidson, North Carolina

Alt. Model Fate, the Queen of Sexy Nerds | Latex Nerd Fashion Shoot

Hey hey hey! Today we are taking this flashback even farther back than my last post. This one takes us ALLLLLLL the way back to January 8th. Oh, you know, it’s only been about six months. Totally a reasonable turnaround time on a blog post, right?….. Right?

Back in January, alt. model Fate (if you follow my blog or Facebook regularly, you should be very aware of her by now!) was asked to shoot the cover of a magazine for the latex/nerd issue. I’m not going to get into it because it’s annoying, but for reasons beyond our control, the magazine fell through and the cover was given to someone else. Since it was their July issue, I couldn’t release the photos until recently, so I suppose this blog post isn’t SO late….. *searches for more excuses for being a slowpoke*

ANYWAY, moving on to our shoot day! January 8th!

Purple latex.
Rainbow hair.
Pikachu hat.
Video games.
Fate.

I think that’s all the I really even needed to write in this post, so I am just going to stop there.

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My assistant helping out with our first setup. She did a great job because these pictures turned out awesome. Thanks Pipes!

Model: Fate
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography
Hair: RockStar Wigs

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Wheeeeeww.. Is it hot in here?

On to our second setup! For this setup, I had Fate lay on the floor on a blanket, surround by my classic Nintendo 64 games, while I stood on a stool over her shooting down. She is a brave girl because I am clumsy and the stool was wobbly.
**DISCLAIMER: No models were harmed in the making of these super hot photos.**

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^^ One of my favorite photos ever.

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Ahhhhh!! I love this set so much. Four of my favorite things in one! Fate, N64, Pokemon, and latex! ❤

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Here I am post-shooting! I often work in pajamas. That’s just how I roll.

Also, as you can see here, the blanket Fate was laying on was blue. I used a layer mask and a hue shift in post to make it appear purple to match Fate’s latex. Gotta work with what you got! I hope you liked the final results as much as I do.

If you’re interested in the amazing wig that Fate is rocking, it’s the Rainbow Rock: Hair Prism 1 from RockStar Wigs. Find it HERE!

Thanks Fate for being awesome as always!!

Fashion Photography
Latex Photography
Washington, DC