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
Awwwww! ♡♡ GRACE, Y U SO CUTE!?
Speaking of cute,
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!
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….
I LOVE YOU, GRACE!!~
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.
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.
I love watching her work. So fascinating!
Mama Mia‘s boxes of bedazzles!
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!
Christiana grabbed this cool shot of me setting up. Follow her on Instagram for the hottest feed you will ever see: @christiahna
and a little sneaky peeky & excitement building on Mama Mia‘s Instagram: @facecreationsbymamamia
Applying finishing touches….
Most epic Behind the Scenes photo ever, right?
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. ♡
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography
MUA: FaceCreations by Mama Mia
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:
Thank you both so so much.
Well, that’s it for now! What’d you think? More flashbacks coming soon!
Alternative Fashion Photography
Extreme Makeup Transformation
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.
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”…….
….. 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!
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:
& a lighting test outtake of me falling.
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.
And the outtakes. Here is Britni making some adorably menacing faces in our lighting test.
Then we popped outside for a few more shots by this creepy lamp post in the backyard of this house.
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.
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.
Well, may as well take some pictures!
La la la laaaaaaa… Just waiting for the sun…
While the lighting is pretty, it’s not the lighting I was looking for.
BAM! Perfect! Time to knock em dead!
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!
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. 😉
Charlotte, North Carolina
Davidson, North Carolina
Well… I know I said I would be better about blogging… Oops. I guess I lied. But now…. For real. I am determined to catch this blog up because I have a ton of awesome content that isn’t getting the attention it deserves. So here’s to blogging, and here’s to staying on top of this. How about if I fall behind on this blog again, you go to my Facebook Page and harass me for updates. Deal? Deal.
Okay okay okay… Where were we? Let us take the time machine back to January 23rd, when the weather was freezing and my apartment was steaming.
Here we are. January 23rd, 2013.
Just kidding. Lets go back ever farther to the planning stages of this shoot. Reeeewind!
After being invited to be an affiliated photographer for Deadly Dessert Magazine, the first issue I would have work in was going to be the February issue. I knew this was a great excuse to shoot a Valentine’s Day themed shoot that I’ve been dying to do. Anyone who has seen my body of work knows that I love to shoot barely-clothed beautiful women with bright colored hair. I’m sure you can guess where this is going.
My apartment in the city is tiny and I don’t have a studio but I knew this shoot had to be indoors. It seems like I’ve shot every inch of my apartment a million times. I knew I had to make my apartment NOT look like my apartment. So I while doing a round between the dollar store, craft store, fabric store, and thrift store for photoshoot goodies, I stumbled upon this awesome fabric on sale at G Street Fabrics in Maryland. Initially I thought about wrapping my models in the pink fabric, but then I had the idea to make curtains behind them with the fabric. Since the fabric was on sale and dirt cheap, I bought all of it and brought it home for a little experimenting.
My big sis was in town visiting and she also just so happens to be the craft queen. It was nice to have an extra set of hands!
After a night of trying different ways of hanging the curtains, I decided that it could definitely be done.
Okay… Fast forward to January 23rd.
After finding two beautiful models and a super talented makeup artist, the transformation of my apartment and my girls began.
Models: Fate & CV Toki
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography
MUA: Anita of Tranquil Ashes Makeup Artistry
Wigs: Cosplay Wigs USA
I made a video tutorial to accompany this shoot that shows you how to turn a small space like my apartment into a DIY studio space. Watch our shoot from start to finish:
This is one of my favorite shoots I have ever done EVER. Seriously…. Just wow. I LOVE these two girls. They are easily my favorite models in DC. Their chemistry together in this shoot was so perfect and it turned out exactly how I imagined. Thank you lady bugs!! You guys are perfect! xx
That’s it for January… Coming to you soon (I promise!!), FEBRUARY!
Valentine’s Day Shoot
Oh my gosh. I am SO behind in blogging! Let’s time travel back in time together to January 12, 2013. WeeeooOoOooOooEeoooOooo. That’s my time travel noise.
Hi. Welcome to my January 12, 2013 blog post. Today, I was lucky enough to have a good friend of mine, Jazzmin Jolly, travel down from Philadelphia to come shoot with me! As if my friends weren’t all awesome and amazing as it is, they also all happen to be models. It’s the nature of the industry and one of the many perks of being a photographer. So when my friends come to hang out, we shoot! Yay!
Jazzmin and I started with a quick Ariel cosplay shoot before immediately being booted from National Harbor. Well. That is always fun. Not. But that’s neither here nor there. This post isn’t about that shoot. It’s about THIS shoot!
Jazzmin and I were featured in Essere Magazine for our The Doll in White photo set!
(Get the issue here!)
Since we are now pros in time travel, let’s go back even farther. The whole idea came to me while I was location scouting a few days prior to Jazzmin’s visit. I read about a cool place online, so I thought I’d check it out as a potential photo location. After checking it out, I walked around through some trees for a bit and stumbled upon this little gem, which is actually way cooler than the original location that I had gone to scout! Don’t you love that? What a win!
So after a quick failure in National Harbor, we scooted on over to this location to switch to our little lolita doll shoot. Our mutual friend and lolita extraordinaire, Grace Valentine, let Jazzmin borrow one of her lolita dresses which turned out to be PERFECT with the house, the white bunny, and the extreme fog. I love to blow out images as it it, but man… This made it too easy!
Here is Jazzy getting ready in the car. We’re fancy like that.
After Jazz was all dolled up, we raided the house, and left with these amazing photos.
She looks so amazing! I love it! And the weather and the lighting… Ah! It’s been a long time since I’ve shot any natural light stuff, but I really dig what we got on this day in January. She was a serious trooper for sitting out in the cold in that dress. Thanks Jazz!
For more Behind the Scenes and a time lapse set to the wonderful weirdness of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, check out this video:
A few more Behind the Scenes. We might be a little out of control.
After we got home, we had a Pikachu party before Jazzy had to head back to Philly. Here is my darling assistant Pipes (looking very happy), and Jazzmin’s assistant Floppy Ears, sporting the Pikachu look.
And that’s it from my fun day with Jazzmin! Remember to check out her modeling page here: Jazzmin Jolly!
Come back and see me soon, you adorable little thing!
Like this post? Reblog this on Tumblr here: Tumblr!
See you soon for more time traveling until I am up to date! Whewwww!
Alexa Poletti Photography
Hi guys! MAN! I have been so busy traveling lately that I have gotten so behind on my blog! I am so happy to have a day to relax and catch up!! Today’s entry comes from a lovely lady named Mari. She contacted me wanting a concept shoot which I was SO stoked about because those are just my favorite kind of shoots. We started emailing back and forth tossing ideas around and eventually settled on the idea of a Hunger Games styled shoot. Fun fact: Mari and I were both extras in the first Hunger Games movie!
Mari lives in Asheville, NC so planning and styling with her was quite a challenge seeing as that I am based in Washington, DC. Fortunately, the stars aligned and I was going to Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention and other photoshoots and was able to get a shoot in with her! We had an outline of a few outfits we wanted to maybe try out so we just both agreed to pile our cars high with clothes and accessories and have my rockstar sister Genna Poletti help us style the shoot on the day of.
These don’t even touch on the mess we made in her apartment… Sorry Genna! We ended up going for the bright pink and orange skirt outfit with a pink underbust corset topped off with a single ponytail from Gothic Lolita Wigs’ Atomic Love Affair (available here: Atomic Love Affair) wrapped into a mini top hat-esque bun on top of Mari’s blonde dreads.
I also had a momentary brian lapse and forgot to take pictures of Genna’s makeup magic. Sorry again! Basically Genna Poletti Makeup Artistry is the jam. Check it out.
So my vision for this shoot was to have a brightly colored Mari in a rockstar stance in front of the Charlotte skyline. Of course, do things ever go as planned? No. Never. First of all, it was pouring down rain. Okay, maybe I can work with that. So we drove to the location to either look for shelter or hope to wait out the rain. Second, my awesome location with the skyline view that I picked out via Google Maps Street View (….Long distance street scouting..) was all blocked off for the DNC!! UGH. How frustrating!
So we head back to Genna’s apartment building to start shooting in her parking deck. There are still ways to make parking decks look cool with lighting, so I figured we could give that a try while waiting out the rain. Totally dig what we got! Here is Mari, a fine citizen of the Capitol!
Time to move outside! We headed up to the roof. By this time, it was super dark outside. The skyline I had hoped for was unattainable due to clouds and DNC road blocks so instead I went for the bokeh of the street lights below. Photography 101 is being able to think on your feet!
Finally, as we were about to wrap it up, I had a thought. I don’t usually do composites in Photoshop for my concept shoots. I actually really hate them because they look manufactured. But I realized this was a perfect opportunity to grab that skyline shot I had initially envisioned for the Hunger Games concept. The whole idea of a “Capitol” is manufactured anyway. It’s all CGI cityscape. So why not make a composite for the concept shoot? I lined up Mari against the black sky to make these shots. I am SO picky about composites, but I really really love the way these turned out!! What do you think about photoshop composites?
Thanks again to Mari for coming down to Charlotte to hang out with me and knock out these rad photos. I had a blast!
Hunger Games Concept Photography
Hey everyone!! Back in June, I held a contest on my Facebook Fan Page to celebrate my page hitting one thousand fans (woohoo!). My contest was to win a free concept/fashion shoot and no one tried harder to win than Ms. Sharmela. I could not be happier that my contest brought this wonderful person into my life. She is the sweetest, most adorable, honorary Japanese girl (like me!) I have come across in a long time.
So after Sharmela kicked ass in my contest, the concept planning began. After ideas and ideas, emails, sketches, chats, and evaluation of my wig inventory, we finally settled on a fairy concept shoot. Executing a conceptual shoot from start to finish was the goal of my contest and I am happy to say that we nailed it.
We were joined by the fab Dwana Blaqstar Stover, who styled Sharmela from head to toe AND doubled as a rockstar makeup artist. Here are a few behind the scenes shots of the “getting ready” process with Sharmela and Dwana:
Makeup is done! Looking great!
Add a wig (Gothic Lolita Wigs White Curly Bob), headband, and earrings, and we are all done! Here is an adorable shot from Sharmela’s Instagram. Oh my god. Too precious.
You can follow me on Instagram @alexapoletti for Behind the Scenes shots, my modeling work, and photos of my cat. Mostly the cat.
So now that Sharmela is all fairy-ed out, it’s time to hit the gardens. I am pretty sure that all the kids in the surrounding area were convinced that she is actually a fairy princess.
Drum roll please!
1k Fan Contest Winner/Fantasy Fairy Shoot
Model: Sharmela Rivera
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography
MUA/Stylist: Dwana Blaqstar Stover
Fun fact: This was actually a test shot, but I loved the complete innocence of this, so it made it into the final set.
She has the BEST smile ever ,right? It’s so contagious! At this point I decided I wanted to get a few natural light closeups and play with my 50mm f/1.4. It is my favorite lens for getting a super shallow depth of field. Since it’s a pretty cheap lens, it’s not much use until around f/2, but then it’s pretty sharp and great for the price. How adorable is this girl?
She has the best expressions… This is one of my favorite expression series that I have done! Also, how CUTE is that curly bob on her? I wish it looked like that on me! >.<
Here is a behind the scenes shot from our next location, taken by Dwana. By this point we were all disgusting and sweaty and hot and miserable, but still loving every minute of it. It’s all about loving what you do!
For photographers/those of you wondering, the only light used in this series was a Canon 580exII Speedlite with no light modifiers around 4pm.
This is all of the equipment that was used in this set:
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L
Canon 50mm f/1.4
I hope you all enjoyed my journey with Sharmela.
Watch for more contests like this one on my Facebook Fan Page:
Conceptual Fashion Shoot
Fairy Cosplay Photoshoot
Silver Spring, MD