Thursday, November 28, 2013

Black and White Portrait of the Ballroom Dance

Igor Colac and Roxane Milotti black and white Ballroom Dance Portrait
I am posting one more image from last Sundays Ballroom Dance shoot. I have chosen to render this portrait image in black and white. I feel black and white photography emphasizes the fundamental elements of an image. Devoid of color, we are presented with composition light, shadow and movement. Black and white images allow the viewer to be carried away into a more ethereal place where one begins to feel the image at a deeper level. I am enchanted by the grace and movement of dance. It can be ballet. Jazz, modern, ballroom room or primitive, the expression of emotion translated into movement is exhilarating. Igor Colac and Roxane Milotti are the embodiment of grace and movement. I am excited by this series of portraits and I am planning more images incorporating movement as an art form. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ballroom Dancers Roxane Milotti and Igor Colac

I want to share a great Sunday shoot. As many of you know I usually take Sunday to work on projects that I am inspired by and this Sunday was no exception. I met Roxane Milotti and Igor Colac a few weeks age and found out that they were world class #Ballroom #Dancers. I love the movement and beauty of dance and have photographed many dancers in the past. After meeting with #Roxane and #Igor, I was struck by their elegance and knew I had to #photograph them. I designed this shot and last night after the dance studio closed we were able create this series. It was very cool to have a good friend and fellow photographer Ana Gibert lend a hand in styling and makeup touch up. It is always a little unnerving to have a photographer of Ana’s stature on the set but she is such a trooper that things ran extremely smooth. I am posting the first one the series with more to follow.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sunday Model Portfolio Shoot

 This last Sunday afternoon at the studio  we worked on a test model portfolio shoot for a new model.  Sandra Davis has a unique look and was fun to work with. Once again Shawn Jermaine handled the makeup 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Actress Femi Emiola and her two Resued companions Hershey and Zooey

It was a great afternoon hanging out at the studio with fellow photographer and actress Femi Emiola and her two #doggie companions Hershey and Zooey that are both rescue dogs. Hershey and Zooey, living in the home of a excellent #photographer knew exactly how to strike a pose for the camera. What a fun afternoon.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Guitarist: “Its all about the music”

Joshua is a deeply emotional guitarist that creates folksy soulful rifts and moving lyrics. I wanted to create a portrait that could say in visuals what I was feeling from his music. Music and photography have been paired from the beginning of photography. It is the photograph that helps to entice us to want to listen to the music. When the creating a portrait for musicians I first want to take time to listen to their music and then create an image that is born from that experience. Joshua was an excellent subject and totally at ease in the process.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Rembrandt Portrait Lighting

I’d like to share one more image from last Sunday’s mentoring session and workshop at the studio. As I mentioned earlier we worked with students from a local college photography program to help them get a hands on feel for fine art portraiture. I was demonstrating a lighting technique, referred to as the Rembrandt Style—name for the style most commonly displayed by Rembrandt the 17th century Dutch painter—and asked Ann my stylist to stand in, as she does on most of our shoots, to help check the lighting. I believe the portrait of her was exceptionally successful so I want to share it with all of you that know Ann. I don’t even like to take on a complicated shoot without Ann’s refined eye as a stylist on the set. Since this was only intended to be a test image there was no makeup or styling only Ann’s natural beauty and confident peaceful spirit. Ann is always steady and reliable on the set and a joy to work with. I hope you enjoy the image.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Bisera Family Flying High

I love creating portraits. The subject is not as important as it is to work with really cool people, that are fun and engaged in creating super images. I recently photographed the Bisera family and we had a blast. The black and white portrait is of their three daughters and the other portrait is what I call the L. A. jump. When I get a chance and have a athletic family I like to get them all jumping together. It’s a fun thing and gets everyone involved in the process. The youngest sister had just broken her arm at soccer practice so we thought of having her stand in place while the rest of the family jumped. This portrait is now going out as there Christmas card. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sunday's Results

Brittini is a beautiful #redhead with amazing #freckles, here is I how worked out her photographic #portrait

Sunday Workshop and Mentoring At L. A. Metro Studios

We just wrapped a Sunday afternoon workshop and shoot at my studio with an up and coming new talent Brittini Barlow doing the #modeling—her images to follow shortly. My regular #makeup artist was not available so I brought in a new person I have never worked with before. As you can guess this is a gamble because a bad makeup artist can ruin a good shoot. I have to admit I was blown away by Shawn’s ability.

During a break in the shooting while, the model was changing I need someone to set in while I adjusted the lighting. Well I grabbed Shawn and threw him in front of the camera. If there was ever any doubt as to his ability as a makeup artist the way he did his own makeup proved he has major talent. As I began editing the images from the shoot Shawn’s photos just popped so I did a fast retouch and though I would posting an image here. If you need a great makeup artist, give him a try at Facebook at Shawn Jermaine.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Champion Boxer and Dancing With The Stars contestant Victor Ortiz releases VO Men’s Fragrance

What a cool shoot this was! I hit the buzzer of my security gate and in pulled a tricked out sport Bentley Continental GT. Even sitting still, this car looked like it was moving at the speed of light. The door opened and out step #Victor #Ortiz champion boxer and resent Dancing with the Stars contestant. I must admit I was expecting the usual celebrity shoot, accompanied by entourage and attitude. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Victor was a very cool down to earth guy. No, “I’m so special” attitude, Just the same workman like approach that has propelled him to the upper ranks of the pro #boxing community. Accompanied by the art director and a video crew we all settled down to create a #Portrait ad campaign for Victor’s new line of men’s toiletries. It takes a while for things to transition from image creation to final product but Victor Ortiz’s VO #cologne is now available through most men’s cosmetic suppliers.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Young and Talented Musician Samantha Pearl

I just had the privilege of meeting and photographing a young talented musician, Samantha Pearl. We worked on developing images for her new release coming soon. Samantha arrived fresh from playing the Foundation Room at the House of Blues and is know for her vocal styling and earthy guitar sound. — with Samantha Pearl at L.A. Metro Studios.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Last Sunday's Creative Concepts and Processes Workshop

Well this past weekend's fine art portrait workshop, “The Creative Process from Concept to Completion”, held at my Downtown Los Angeles studio, was a fun and challenging experience. It was presented for our local chapter of PPA, Professional Photographer of Los Angeles County. Nothing ever goes the way you plan and this Sunday’s workshop was no exception. I had a day planed that included working on developing the creative process for the morning session and then a fine art portrait demonstration for the afternoon breakout.

Well when I began the demo one of the attendees, that had agreed to be photographed, threw me a curve. I had previously workout this cool seated and contemplative image setup before hand and thought I would just set him down and shoot. But, wouldn’t you know it, he challenged me to do a portrait with him standing along his tripod mounted camera. This turned out to be a great learning experience, as all my setup had to be scraped and I had to create on the fly, so to speak. By the time we ended the workshop I had photographed several of the attendees in different poses and lighting concepts. You can see the results in this post.

Stayed tuned for up and coming workshops. I would love to see you and work with you, as well.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

One Photographer's View

Nefertiti Re-Visited
Eastman Kodak Elite Gallery Elite Award
Concealed in the darkness so familiar to the photographers of my youth, clad in the rubber apron and surrounded by the smell of the chemicals essential for this hallowed alchemy I anxiously waited for the magic to once again appear. And then there before me a watery image, an image I had created, an image that captured what my senses perceived but only my heart had seen, and now I could share it with the world. I was hooked.

Years have passed since the days of my youthful exuberance over the photographic image, years in which the passion has only intensified. With each passing year I find myself more and more enthralled with portrait photography, portraiture not purely as a reflection of reality but portraiture as an art form. The iconic images created by the masters of this art form Yousuf Karsh, Arnold Newman, George Hurrell, Clarence Bull, Richard Avedon, Horst P. Horst, and Irving Penn to mention only a few, have left an indelible mark upon my heart. Portraiture is the art form that immortalizes.

A portrait has the unique ability to reveal the complexities of one’s humanness. A successful portrait delves beneath the surface of a simple likeness, peeling back that which is superficial and revealing the true character of personhood behind the mask. I chose photography as a portrait medium because of its uniqueness of speed. “There is a brief moment when all that there is in a man’s mind and soul and spirit may be reflected through his eyes, his hands, his attitude. This is the moment to record. This is the elusive, “moment of truth”. – Yousuf Karsh

I begin the creating of my photographic portraits long before the first frame is exposed. I want to know all that I can about the nature of the person whose portrait I am creating. The designing of the image is complete before ever placing the subject before the lens. The positioning of the light, the direction of the shadow, and the pose of the subject are all part of the pre-shoot meditations, sometimes continuing for days before the actual shoot. The shoot itself is all about evoking and capturing that essential moment when the mask is lifted. Karsh writes, “The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world. In that fleeting interval of opportunity the photographer must act or lose his prize”.

I photograph extremely fast, never giving the subjects a chance to think themselves into self-consciousness. A steady flow of direction mixed with encouragement inspires my subject to climb higher, leave fear behind and embrace the light. Music sets the mood and after a moment or so the subject forgets that they are being photographed and gets caught up in the flow of the event. It is a tango, so to speak. It is the dance of love and passion, the dancers moving with the music and with each other creating movement, emotion, and beauty. I beckon to all my subjects, come dance with me before my lens and I once again wait for the magic.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Beginning

As it is with all things mortal there must be a beginning, this it that beginning for The Portraitist. I have spent my life in the pursuit of creating portraits that not only reflect the image of my subjects but also attempt to reveal the true essence of their humanness. Over the course of human history, artists have chosen many mediums in their pursuit of portraiture as an art form. I have personally chosen photography as my medium. As far back as I can remember I have loved the idea of creating portraits of people by way of the camera. My very first serious attempt was a portrait of my family seated on the couch. I was barely fourteen and knew nothing of composition, lighting or posing. I was shooting with a Minolta 2¼ square twin lens reflex and scarcely knew anything about exposure. Nevertheless, at that moment I knew I was embarking on a life long journey, as so many of you have also experienced as well. Even though the image is grainy and spotted with age I can in an instant be transported back to that very moment. It is one of my most valued possessions. It is said, “Portraiture is the art that immortalizes.”