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“Fierce, Feathered Flows” My Bird Inspired Photo Series

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Photography (for me) being both my passion and my career can be a gift and a curse. I love it, but doing what others want, or not photographing in a while, can take it’s tole on me…creatively speaking. So I always try to keep myself excited and interested in photography but working on my own personal projects.

 

The first project I did was a series of images using candy in a fun and creative way. This challenged me to think outside the box and use something so common to most people in a way not most would think.

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Then I did a series on the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This was a darker series, but within it’s sinister nature there is still an elegance and beauty within each model.

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The next series I started working on is a project where I will be transforming my models into different types of birds. There are many different types of birds all over the world so this could potentially be an ongoing project for me. I use their colors and patterns as the inspiration for each look…and of course plenty of feathers! With the help of clothing designers, makeup artists, and hair stylists I was able to change very talented models into fierce, feathered fowls!

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Here is a behind the scenes look at how it went from just an inspired idea to the final images! (The video was shot with my GoPro camera and edited using iMovie.)

 

With each series I create, I always try to grow as a photographer and an artist. I try to perfect techniques that I learned, and experiment to learn new ones. As you can see, the quality of the images has improved and I hope it continues to in the future. I wonder what my next idea will be….

A closer look into the images from the “Encompass” Showcase

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The way I determined what best represented my work, I broke them down into different categories: location photos, studio photos, dark photos, and fun/my creative outlet photos. 

 

Location Photos:

Fashion shoot at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia just after sunset. (Slow shutter speed to pick up the lights from the buildings and the rich blue/purple of the night sky, with off camera flash Nikon SB900 to light the subjects.)Image

(Cloudy/Overcast day; off camera flash with umbrella for soft light.)Image

Las Vegas early morning photo shoot (3am on top of hotel parking garage, off camera flash + slower shutter speed to pick up ambient light from the garage light posts.) Image

(Sunlight + Reflector)Image

 

Studio Photos:

(Studio lighting: 1 AlienBee B800 light, 3/4 power facing the ceiling with the light stand fully extended almost touching the ceiling; with all white walls, this technique turns the entire room into a giant soft box and the light beautifully falls onto the subject and adds a nice shadow for dimension.)Image

(Hard light; Main light: AlienBee B800 with 40˚ Honecomb Grid, Separation light: B400)Image

(Hard light; One Light AlienBee B800)Image

(Four Lights; Main light: AlienBee B800 40˚ Grid on the face, short light to sculpt the face, Hair Light: B400 on a Boom Arm above the subject’s head; Accent lights: 2 B400’s with Strip Boxes on each one, there is one on either side behind and angled towards the subject; and of course the “Diva Fan” to add that beautiful movement to the subject’s hair!)Image

(One light: AlienBee B800 with Beauty Dish)Image

“Queen of Broken Hearts” Makeup by Joheymi (3 Lights; Main Light AlienBee B800 with Beauty Dish, 2 accent lights: B400s with Strip Boxes)Image

 

Dark Photos:

(One Light: “Softbox Room” Technique)Image

“Breaking Free” Plastic Wrap (2 Strip Boxes side by side in front of subject, camera positioned in between them)Image

 

“Inner Demons” (One light: AlienBee B800, in camera multiple exposure- complete darkness, long shutter speed, fire the light each time the subject changes position to freeze the action, make sure modeling lamp and other ambient lights are off for technique to work properly.)Image

(One Light: AlienBee B800 with Beauty Dish, studio light plugged into Vagabond Mini portable battery pack for out of studio photos.)Image

 

My Interpretation of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse: (All of the images were lit the same way- Main Light: AlienBee B800 with 40˚ Grid of the subject’s face, Accent Lights: 2 B400s with Strip Boxes; the Famine image doesn’t have the main light, just the 2 accent lights and a reflector on the floor in front of the subject to open up the shadows.)

“WAR”

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“PESTILENCE”

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“FAMINE”

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“DEATH”

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“SAVIOR”

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Fun Photos/My Creative Outlet Photos:

“Flower Dress” This image is of a flower close to the camera (lit with AlienBee B800 with Softbox) and the person far enough away from the flower that when they line up it fits like a dress (the person is backlit which turns her into a silhouette, a light is behind an extra large Scrim and the person is standing in front of the Scrim.)Image

“Mary in the Milk” Mostly water with 5 gallons of whole milk and 2 dozen roses, I am shooting in my shower on top of a 12ft ladder overtop of my bathtub on the other side (One Light: AlienBee B800 with Beauty Dish on a Boom Arm.)Image

 

“Eye Candy” (2 AlienBee B400s with Strip boxes on either side, and a B800 with a 10˚ Honeycomb Grid on the Lollipop.)

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“Pop Art” Makeup by Joheymi (Main Light: AlienBee B800 with Beauty Dish, 2 Accent Lights: B400s with Strip Boxes on either side; white background, manipulated in Photoshop.)Image

“Honey Necklace” I found a honey colored necklace at a flee market and wanted to do a photo with it using actual honey. (Main Light: AlienBee B800 with Strip Box on a Boom Arm above the subject’s head, Background Light: B400 behind the subject facing the background.)Image

RAW Artist Philly “Encompass” Showcase

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It’s been a while since my last post (things have been kind of hectic). To give an update, after graduating from Antonelli Institute (Magna Cum Laude) I dove head first into my photography! I took a trip to Las Vegas, NV to celebrate my graduation. I never leave home without my camera, so while in Vegas, I took it upon myself to get in touch with some local models. One responded eagerly and we had a photo session at 3am on top of one of the hotel’s parking garages. It was so much fun, she was amazing to work with, and the images were gorgeous! After returning home (still excited from my “Sin City” photo session) I decided that I wanted to be a freelance photographer and do my work my way.

In October 2013 my work was featured in the Philly RAW Artist “Encompass” Showcase. It was a huge event that showcased many different types of artists! There were fashion designers, aerialists, hair and makeup artists, photographers, painters, singers/band performances…you name it, they had it! I got a lot of positive feedback and almost all of my business cards were enthusiastically accepted! 

A lot of preparation went into the showcase. I created many new photos to display at the event, I did 6 or 7 photo sessions within only a 3 week period (5 were completed in just a week). Lights were not provided, so I had to bring my own. I was given a chain link fence to display my work upon, but I also setup a table that held my photos that wouldn’t fit on the fence, along with my final portfolio I created while at Antonelli Institute, and my business cards. I tried to find frames to put my photos in, but while printing them I realized they weren’t all the same size. I decided to have them mounted on a thick foam core boards and then my dad helped me put a nail on either side and tie a piece of string behind them so that as they were hung on the fence they would almost appear to be floating. It gave a different look to my display, and I loved how each one could be appreciated on its own.

Each image is unique, and all of them represent a special piece of myself. The work I do for my clients is different from the work I do simply for myself. I always want to make my clients happy and I do everything I can to do so. When I create images for myself, I do it to make myself happy. It’s a way of expressing my thoughts, feelings, moods, and sometimes it can be just shear experimentation. I want my audience to stop and think. I want to get a feeling or reaction from them whether it’s fun, uncomfortable, or they can simply appreciate it for it’s beauty. My body of work is very much a part of who I am and I love sharing it, and myself, with the world!

I have gotten so much support in such a short amount of time, words can not express how much it means to me! I can’t imagine doing anything else but photography. It’s what I love and it’s a huge part of me. I am constantly learning and growing as a photographer and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

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Boudoir/Glamour Photography

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Boudoir/Glamour photography is one of my favorite types of photography. It can be fun, sexy, and empowering to a lot of women. Women use this type of photography in many different ways whether it be as a gift for their significant other, a reward after they lost weight and want to show off their body, or just to get their confidence back after having a baby or having a major birthday like 30 or 40. Boudoir/Glamour glorifies the curves of the female body as well as the structure and beauty of the face. Done tastefully, boudoir/glamour style photo shoots can turn the image a work of art and make a woman’s body look like a beautiful statue (the same way famous sculptors portrayed the female form throughout history). 

Below are some examples of my interpretation of boudoir/glamour. I used the showgirl/burlesque style (with the formal white men’s shirt and the top hat) as my inspiration.

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Is Photography considered an “Art”?

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Many people think that art is only something created with your hands whether it be drawing, painting, or sculpting. People in the world look down on photography and say that “anyone can do it,” or “if you give a monkey a camera, eventually it will take a good picture.” In my opinion (not just because I am a photographer) that photography is in another form on art. Art is a way of expressions one’s emotions, thoughts, and ideals and photography does that. A drawing, painting, or sculpture can be created from nothing, meaning that they start with something blank and then create something that was not there to begin with. Photographs are captured moments in time, they can ONLY exist if something else does and if there is light to show it. True anyone can take a photo but the same applies with the other forms of art. Anyone can do it, but not everyone is good at it. The same way someone with a point and shoot can take a bad image, a person can draw a stick figure or make a lop sided ashtray. Artistic photographers take the time to set up subject, get the lighting just right, capture the exposure, and then edit the image. Photographers work just as hard as other artists and have just as much passion, if not more because they have to work twice as hard to get the same amount of respect other artists. What is your stance on the topic? Are photographers artists, or just like everyone else with a camera?

Below are some of my images I have created, my art.

Cross Processing

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A trend in the photographic industry is called “cross processing”. Cross processing is a technique that is used to manipulate the colors in an image to make it more interesting. Photographers do it in such a way that it looks unnatural, but also remains somewhat believable. This technique is often used in the fashion photography industry. It can give the image an edgy feeling, though going overboard can render the photo almost ridiculous. When using cross processing properly, it can enhance an image and take it to another level. Below are some before and after examples of cross processed images that I have created.ImageImageImageImage

Easy Portraits

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I have posted several portraits that were shot with a technique that is rather easy to master. It’s simply photographing your subject, in front of a colored backdrop, outside…that’s right, I said outside! All you have to do is set up the backdrop outside under an overhang to soften the light, have your subject move a couple feet in front of the background, and (to enhance the light) have an assistant hold a reflector to bounce some of the light onto your subject. Remember to play around with different poses and allow your subject(s) to have some fun!

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