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Posts tagged “lighting

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

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Japanese Punk Visual Kei and Camui Gakuen Inspired Fashion Shoot | Jake visits Washington, DC

Hey guys! Time for a time warp! Let’s swing back to February to cover a shoot I did on the 25th of the month. My good friend Jake came down to visit me from New York and to get some kickass photos taken. I was so excited to see him because we always have such a fun time together! He is super silly, as you will be able to tell from the outtakes that will make their debut in this very blog post.

photoInstagram: @alexapoletti

We decided to do two different looks. Jake’s style derives a lot of inspiration from Japanese fashion and basically looks like he fell right out of an really cool anime, so of course, I wanted to capture his presence the best I could. He has such a uniquely awesome style which is something that draws me to shooting him. We started with a dark theme at one of the coolest location in the DMV area.

Because we shot in such a cool location, I wanted to shoot in a bunch of different spots around the location, which means a bunch of really great outtakes since I had to light each area individually. Of course, let’s start with some interesting light test shots….

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Awww, Jake is pouting! What’s wrong!? How can you pout when we made a final image that looks like this:

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BAM!!! He is so cool.

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Seriously, what a rockstar.

How about another light test? Heheh…

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Haha! Take it offffff! I’m pretty sure he was stripping in this photo, swinging his sweater around. Can’t you feel the sexiness??

I should also mention that it was like 10 degrees and the poor boy was freezing. Taking his sweater off was not easy! Sorry Jake!

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I love Jake’s hair color!

What’s that you say? You want another derpy test shot? Okay, okay, if you insist.

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Hahaha, culling Jake’s photos is more fun than most because I run across little gems like these.

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Okay! After playing all around this area, we were finally done at this location! After this, we went back to my place in the city to shoot a Camui Gakuen inspired shoot at Meridian Hill Park at sunset.

Because it was a sunset shoot, we had limited time, so not a lot of time to make silly faces at each other. UGHHH. Life sure is tough huh? Still, we came out with some amazing shots with great color in the sky. I love this style!! What a cute little school boy!

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How amazing is this sunset?!

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What an awesome (and LONG!!) day of shooting! Found memories of this day. 🙂 I hope to be able to continue to document the other shoots I missed in my blogging hiatus in the next few weeks. I really enjoy revisiting these little pieces of my life and career. Thanks for visiting me and allowing me to shoot your handsome face,  Jake!! xx

Fashion Photography
Fashion Portraits
Washington, DC


Hunger Games “Capitol Citizen” Themed Shoot

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.

Cake break.

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!

Fashion Photography
Hunger Games Concept Photography
Charlotte, NC


My Facebook Fan Contest Winner – Beautiful Fantasy Fairy Cosplay Shoot

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:

Equipment Rundown:
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 580exII
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L
Canon 50mm f/1.4
CyberSync Transmitter/Receiver

I hope you all enjoyed my  journey with Sharmela.
Watch for more contests like this one on my Facebook Fan Page:
facebook.com/AlexaPolettiPhotography

Thanks guys!

Conceptual Fashion Shoot
Fairy Cosplay Photoshoot
Silver Spring, MD


Beautiful Natural Light Portraits

Hi everyone! I am back in DC (from my wedding getaway in North Carolina) and am very excited to bring you a new set of natural light portraits. Now I started talking to Eszter months and months ago about doing some really bangin’ portraits that were both classic and sexy without being too in-your-face. When I finally met her face to face, I was so pumped because this girl is hilarious and awesome. She brought her best friend and makeup artist, Laura, who was just as much of a pleasure as Eszter. Laura Dobi is the key makeup artist and creative director behind Green Revolution Artistry. Check her out for a super cool makeup mission.

We shot in a really amazing park off of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Midday. On a weekend. On Memorial Day Weekend. Errrr…. In hindsight, that my have been a mistake. Haha, oh well, live and learn! It didn’t even cross my mind that there would probably be ten zillion very curious rugrats running around the park. But  really, what is a photoshoot if something unexpected doesn’t happen?

Supermodel status? I think so!

Here is an adorable Behind The Scenes shot of Eszter and Laura. Fun fact: These best friends are both from Hungary. They met as kids in school in America when Laura transferred in and spoke no English. Eszter was the only other Hungarian in the school and had to translate for her.  21 years later, they are still best friends. How freaking perfect is that? Ugh! *melt*

When cruising to our next location, we ran straight into a tree-filled path with perfect lighting coming through the trees. Of course, we had to stop and knock out a few shots. Eszter looks like such a classic beauty in these black and white photos.

At our next location, we had the option to shoot exposed brick. Does anyone ever really turn down the opportunity to shoot exposed brick? (That is a real question.)

Keep in mind that there were dozens of kids all around us… Throwing footballs at us, yelling to us from the roof, and standing in front of the reflector… Looking back, I can’t believe we made it through the day so effortlessly, haha! I suppose that’s the power of good company! I had a blast with Eszter and Laura despite the challenges! She looks so gorgeous, natural, and relaxed in all of these shots. You’d never guess she had such an audience!

As we were heading to our next location, again we ran into a wonderful surprise. Tucked back off the path was a small clearing with a completely epic, and probably magical, tree.
Here is a Behind The Scenes look that Laura shot at the tree location. I am (of course, looking whacky) doing some weird balancing act in attempt to not slide down the practically vertical hill I had Eszter climb up. Have I mentioned what a trooper Eszter was?

And here are the killer shots from that spot. It probably would have taken half the time to shoot it if all of the kids in the park weren’t convinced that Eszter was Jennifer Lawrence, in her natural habitat of District 12. 🙂 Do you see the resemblance?

And finally, we were off to our final location! Ready to cool off with the breeze from the Potomac River.

For the photographers following, up until this point, Eszter’s entire shoot had been natural light portraits. Because of the shadows from the trees by the water, for these next few shots I shot an on-camera flash into a reflector to bounce some soft light onto Eszter.

Finally, I topped the shoot off with some super shallow closeups. For this, I used a 50mm at f/1.4-f/2 and I am so obsessed with the fall-off.

Alright, that’s it for Eszter’s portrait session! I have a feeling you may be seeing more of Eszter and Laura around here! Cross your fingers! I had the best time with them and really hope to see them both again soon!

Portrait Photography
Washington, DC


Kaitlin Davin

Hey guys!! I am VERY, VERY excited to release to you the photos from my photoshoot last week with the incredibly talented Kaitlin Davin. She is an extremely beautiful person and an amazing dancer. I can’t rave about this girl enough! I had such a great time hanging out with her for this fun shoot, mixing in headshots, fashion, and dance.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of studio, so I figured we would just take a few headshots on a gray backdrop and then hit the streets. Kaitlin jumped right in and NAILED it on one of the very first shots. Doesn’t she look like a covergirl model?! Gorgeous.

Out to the streets! This girl loves Beyonce as much as I do, so I LOVED jamming to B on location. So great.

^Love that shot! One of my personal favorites of mine. ❤

Oh! I should also mention that it was near freezing that day! We had to stick close to the house so we could keep going in and warming up. Insanity. Kaitlin was a champ, though!

I just love how her body curves with the arch. I love shooting dancers!

LOVE THIS SHOT SO MUCH! Ugh.. I just love this whole session. I can’t pick a favorite shot!

Great attitude! So pumped on these! Isn’t her outfit perfect??

Allllright, I know this was a long post, but that’s a wrap on Ms. Kaitlin Davin. Keep an eye on this one… She’s got a bright future!

Washington, DC
Portrait Photography
Headshots
Dance Photography
Fashion Photography


Playdate with Amanda Flood

Meet Amanda!

Amanda is a Maryland-based model who came to DC to shoot with me and Sweet Trade Photography last week. I had a blast dressing her up in wigs and watching her morph from character to character. These sexy photos are featuring Gothic Lolita Wigs‘ Farrah Bombshell Wig.

Next she threw on Gothic Lolita Wigs‘ Classic Straight Black and took on a classic Old Hollywood glam look.

Totally love it!
Mixing it up next with Cosplay Wigs USA‘s 36″ Light Pink Wavy wig for another super sexy look.

 

After all the fun playing in wigs, we decided to hit the park and shoot a natural look. We were lucky to have such a beautiful day in January in Washington, DC. Great blue sky!

Switching over to some natural light to mix things up! She looks so awesome in black and white!

That’s it! Lots of new stuff coming your way soon. I look forward to digging the animal series back out and starting on it again with a fresh outlook and new take on the series. So excited to show you guys what I have planned!

Portrait Photography
Washington, DC