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
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
Meet Kelly! She is an aspiring fitness model based out of DC. After seeing some of my dance photography, Kelly contacted me for her fitness shoot for a blend of lifestyle, fitness, action, and headshots, and I am so glad she did. She has a fantastic personality and I had SUCH a fun time shooting and hanging out with her!
Let’s back up and start with a little behind-the-scenes beauty prep. This creative team is so awesome, so I want to take a moment to spotlight them as well.
These beauty wizards are Liz and Melissa. Take a second to check out their amazing portfolios:
MUA: Melissa Michelle
Hair: Ms. Liz
Thanks to the creative team for an awesome look!
Now let’s check out how completely fabulous Kelly is! We wanted to start off with a casual studio look, with a little oil for a touch of fitness sheen.
Looking so stunning! Then we swapped into fitness mode:
And then to lifestyle:
Oh my gosh… Isn’t she the cutest freaking thing? I LOVE IT.
I am so in love with these photos. I don’t care if I am tooting my own horn… She looks amazing!
So then we went back into fitness shooting. I made this poor girl run so many laps while waiting for the sun to drop down where I wanted it. She was definitely a trooper and cut out to be a fitness model! Thanks for being such a good sport, Kelly!
This is what I was waiting for!!! Here we go~~
And that’s a wrap on Kelly’s fitness shoot! I hope you guys enjoyed the new material and keep a look out as I have a TON of new stuff that will be hitting the blog very soon. As always, thanks for viewing!
This is the gorgeous, hot mama Porsha. After bouncing around ideas for a few weeks, Porsha decided on a “Mother Nature” theme for her maternity session with me. When the day finally rolled around, I headed out to Raleigh, NC to meet this wonderful girl and her baby to be. I love working creative shoots like this one. It makes it so much more fun when I don’t have to do the traditional heart around the belly shot…
hahaha… Goofing around during lighting tests…. 🙂
Photographer: Alexa Poletti Photography
MUA: Donnie of IC Beauty
Model: Porsha P
And of course, a shot with Porsha and her sister, Ashante’, who came with us to the shoot.
I had such a blast with these two girls and I can’t wait to shoot Baby K’s newborn pictures when she finally graces us with her presence!
Goodnight friends! xx
So… it is creeping up on 4am but I can’t sleep yet because the shoot tonight was so badass… I wanted to get it posted so I could show all of you what we’ve been up to! Dedication, I know.. That’s why I’m here.
So, the idea behind this shoot was a girl whose world is completely shattered by heartbreak. I think you can figure out the rest. This is the second time I’ve worked with Hannah and I am absolutely stoked to have her back. I have another shoot scheduled with her this weekend. Part of the series.. I can say no more…
Anyway, Hannah killed it in the emotions department. These images are so strong & intense. I have seriously never had such a hard time during the photo selection process for my blog. I hope you guys like them as much as I do.
First, behind the scenes photos.. Getting ready, playing with Subreen’s hats, and being “sad”…
And what is a photoshoot without MoMo’s invasive personality?? She seriously tried to be in every picture during the shoot. Who does she think she is? WE KNOW YOU WANT TO BE A MODEL BUT YOU’RE JUST TOO SMALL (and bat-like).
Okay.. Now everyone’s favorite part of the blog. The finished product!!
Well, fasten your seatbelts.. It is going to be an emotional rollercoaster.
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography
H/MUA: Subreen Davis
Model: Hannah Sayles
I LOVE IT. Great job to my girls… Couldn’t do these things without you. ❤
The series is back and BIGGER than ever, you guys. Oh my gosh.. I can’t even explain how excited I am about this. About a month of work went into this shoot today.. we are stepping it up a notch on the series and incorporating designers and wardrobe into our artistic animal shoots. I am so happy and excited and inspired!!!
Today’s shoot features Ms. Christin Sorensen rocking a killer dress made by Candace K Styling and sporting makeup by Subreen Davis Makeup Artistry. I am so so so lucky to have such a talented group of girls on my hands… It is an incredible thing!!! Ok Ok, now I’ll shut up and show you the goods!
We will start off with a few behind the scenes photos just for fun. The getting ready process is always a fun time to spend with the girls. We were all constantly snacking on donut holes which made Christin quite jealous… You see, she was glued to her chair as to not mess up her body paint while it was drying.. So in the below pictures, you will see some generosity as we feed her donut holes. Candace helped Subreen with the body paint to help pale out Christin’s complexion. Final touch: paint her nails black!
Once to the location in the University Area, Subreen was able to put the finishing touches on Christin’s back and Candace got her dress all set. We got the occasional funny stare from spectators.. I’m sure they were wondering what was up with the koi fish in the river. My favorite, though, are the people who pretend like that don’t notice. You can see a look of confusion on their face but they don’t want to be rude and stare… Gets me every time.
Happy Birthday again to Laura, the set decorator!
And now, I give you…. *drum roll*… Christin, the Koi Fish!
The full shoot may be viewed at:
Quick custom card update!
Here is the double-sided card for my snazzy little twin sis’s freelancing. You guys all know her by now.. She does makeup on probably 80% of my shoots.
If you haven’t seen her stuff by now, check her out.
For her card, she wanted one side to be her fun, creative style and one to appeal to the bridal market with a natural look.
Book her, book me. 😉
Custom Business Cards
Arsenio! Incredibly awesome makeup by Genna, incredibly awesome model Arsenio totally workin’ it… This is going to be a long post because I really, really love this shoot.
I think it speaks for itself so I’m not going to sit here and jabber all day. He wanted a mix of gritty and glamourous.. love it.
Gaga..oh la la!
Time for a wardrobe change!
Hello, hello, hello! Another studio update for you guys!
This is Holly Gardner rocking out a catalogue look for some new promo pics for herself.
Ch-ch-check it out!
We are SO EXCITED for Halloween coming up. Yesterday, Subreen, Genna and I wanted to warm up for an evening at Scarowinds (we are just a tight group of friends looking for a creative outlet, after all..) by shooting the BLACK WIDOW in our animal series! Oohhh SCARY. Ohh, Halloween is just so much fun!!!
We had Anita come out to Davidson for this one. Subreen hooked her up with about a zillion eyeballs, crazy black bodypaint, styrofoam hair, and a bag of Halloween spider webs. She brought her five year old daughter to the shoot who kept my cat, Pipesicles, very entertained during H/MU. Fun fact about Anita and her daughter, Nina- they speak Polish! Coolest thing ever. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me. Brendan, my main man, hardly ever comes to my shoots, but he came to keep little Nina company in the spooooooky graveyard while I did the shoot of Anita. They were just soooo damn cute that I had to snap a photo of them bonding.
So I am thinking about adding Behind the Scenes photos to my blog here.. I have them for tons of my past shoots but I never really do anything with them except put them on my site. So.. what better place to post pictures of shoots than my blog where I talk about…shoots? 🙂 I’ll admit that they will probably get a little more wordy but I’ll try to keep it to a minimum!! Hehe… so here’s another great Behind the Scenes photo. This is my twin sister being a super diva in the graveyard. Probably terrible, but pretty hilarious.
Alright, so enough of that for now.. Let’s get to the goods! For the Black Widow shoot, I wanted a good, creepy desaturated look, while still keeping the beauty of the eyes and the vibrancy of the hourglass forehead. I think the product turned out fantastic, and as always, it was so great watching Subreen work.
Introducing… Anita, the Black Widow of the creepy graveyard… Rawr!
And we will wrap it up with a silly group photo taken by Brendan with all of his fine photo skills…hah… right. I love you, B!
That’s all for now, xx!
Animal #3! Sooo excited to shoot our panda today!!! She is SO cute! I have been looking forward to shooting this fluffy, cuddly little bear from the beginning of the series when it was just a little, far-fetched idea in my head. We’ve had a busy weekend working on the series, and the next two are doubled up weekends as well… so you guys have a lot more coming! I’m really loving the flow of the series so far, and how fast we are cranking them out. It makes our future plans for the series seem not so far in the distance. That’s so important and wonderful!
Wendy Li was our model for our cute panda! The minute I saw her, she was immediately casted for panda without any other competition for the spot. She was the first of the series to be cast because she is SO FREAKING CUTE. She’s got such a cute smile, and warm face.. We wanted to make the panda a cute animal, to balance our evil bee. I love how it turned out! The bamboo forest and the green leaves in her hair (Thanks Subreen!) were a perfect touch! As always, great work by my team, Gen & Sub!
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography
MUA: Genna Poletti
Hair: Subreen Davis
Model: Wendy Li
Also- hehe… I might add, Panda’s fun ANIME EYES:
And the ball is officially rolling on our animal series!!! Yes! Today, we kicked off with Jennifer Hoyle, playing our bee… the evil, disgruntled bumble bee. For this, my team and I decided that bees are evil and mean, so we went with a sinister look for her. We took her over to a garden, filled with actual bees, for some evil bee inspiration. I loveee how they turned out! Check them out!
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography
MUA: Genna Poletti
Hair: Subreen Davis
Model: Jennifer Hoyle
Hey guys! Today we did my twin sister’s business card shoot! Yeeeeahh! (Did I mention that I design business cards- you get the cards, layout, font, etc. Email me if you’re interested. firstname.lastname@example.org). Also, created a banner and stuff for her blog. Check it out!
Here are some photos from her fun, candy shoot today. I got to eat the leftover Skittles.. best shoot in the world. 😉
MUA: Genna Poletti
Model: Nancy Vang
She is so damn cute!! Here is Genna’s new card.. please hit her up. She is so talented!
YES!!!!!! It is time to kick off the new series that I have been rambling about for nearly a month. It is now in full swing with scheduled shoots one after another after another. I can FINALLY release some details about the series..
The idea is a series of models portraying a variety of animals through animal inspired makeup designs by my wonderful team. I’m so happy to have such a great team working with me… Ms. Subreen Davis and Ms. Genna Poletti. I know I post their links every time, but they are a huge part of these shoots and I really couldn’t do it without them. I am so grateful.
So, with all that said, here is the beginning of the series! We started on Saturday with such a sweet model, Sierra Davis. She was casted as our swan, pretty much the moment we saw her. Such an elegant, gorgeous face on her… And she’s only 17! Sometimes we work with such young talent, it really blows me away to see the images that they produce. We have some great stuff coming up very soon so definitely be on the lookout for updated blog posts, and I may even get around to updating my website one day too, hehe… Well, without further ado, here she is.. Sierra the Swan!
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography
Makeup: Subreen Davis
Hair: Genna Poletti
Model: Sierra Davis
So, a few weeks ago, makeup artist, Subreen Davis, came to me wanting to do a collaboration. I know that she kicks ass, so I was sooo super stoked about this opportunity. I asked her what she can do, and then I will come up with an idea based on that.
Her reply was, “I can do anything.”
which is the coolest answer ever, because that led us to this shoot today. After planning and planning and tweaking and planning, the idea blossomed into the best shoot (possibly ever), with the help of ridiculously talented model, Hannah Sayles.
Special Effects Makeup Photography