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.
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….
Awww, Jake is pouting! What’s wrong!? How can you pout when we made a final image that looks like this:
BAM!!! He is so cool.
Seriously, what a rockstar.
How about another light test? Heheh…
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!
I love Jake’s hair color!
What’s that you say? You want another derpy test shot? Okay, okay, if you insist.
Hahaha, culling Jake’s photos is more fun than most because I run across little gems like these.
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!
How amazing is this sunset?!
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
Oh no… I’ve neglected this blog again. I’m so bad!! Lately I’ve been playing on TUMBLR a lot and I kind of forgot about this sweetheart blog that goes back further than any blog I’ve ever had. So, I apologize for the lack of updates. Honestly, I can’t say I’ve been shooting a lot anyway. I was working on a traveling television show for two months so that’s where a lot of my time went. Yeah.. I’m going to blame that for the lack of updates…. yeah…
Oh no. My first entry back and I’ve already started to ramble! I am so out of practice! I guess that’s what happens when you update in the middle of the night. Let me grab your attention back with some photos of my gorgeous sister Genna. Quick back story about what this photo set means to me, and then, as promised, photos of Genna’s freakishly pretty face.
I grew up in beautiful North Carolina. When that autumn air hits in North Carolina, there is nothing quite like it. The leaves change all kinds of colors and… to me… it’s home. This year, I was traveling in the desert during the time when the leaves turn these magical colors. After filming when I came back to DC, I was so sad because I felt like I missed the season all together. All the trees were dead and cold. Then, as Genna and I were walking home from the grocery store one day, we spotted color. And lots of it. One tree had waited until that week to turn bright yellow and drop all of it’s glowing leaves into a pile on the street. Because of that tree, I got my autumn.
Thank you, tree.
& Genna, I guess. 😉
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! Meet Tyler! He is an aspiring actor from Virginia who contacted me looking to update his headshots. He came out to see me in DC and we did a quick mini-session this afternoon for some fantastic results!
I couldn’t help but grab a shot of Tyler looking all fly with his Vans on. Too cute!
Love it! Good luck with your casting this weekend, Tyler! 🙂 Don’t forget me when you’re famous!
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!
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!
Hey guys! Meet actor Tim J.! He is a young up and coming star and a blast to be around. On Sunday, we got to hang out and knock out some shiny new headshots. Check them out! These are some of my personal favorite headshots/portraits I’ve done to date, so I hope you guys like them as much as I do!
And just for a little stylistic fun, we threw in these shots too!
After the shoot, we hung out at my place and played Mario Kart 64. If you think you can beat me, you are sadly mistaken! Dibs on Bowser!