Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tatjana - From Russia with Love

By the time this gets posted, Reagan's blog "Not a Bad Shot" will be live.  Reagan was one of the first people I've ever shot where I couldn't take a bad shot and while that still rings true, here comes Tatjana. I didn't know she was from Russia till we began our conversation and started sharing our stories.  I truly believe that this is not a meeting of chance but speaks to my ministry of meeting and experiencing people from other cultures with experiences different from those of my own. 

Tatjana and I are going to hook up this month for a fashion shoot of sorts and are currently collaborating on what this looks like.  Whatever we come up with I promise you will be very fashionable, striking and beautiful.  I will be launching a new joint website with Tommie Chadwick (makeup and hairstylist) for my fashion work which is moving along and maturing very nicely.  I pray you keep coming back for more beautiful images and updates my other projects.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wedding Fashion - A New Beginning

I told you I was back!  LOL.

I did my first wedding fashion shoot with the lovely Kunjal who came all the way from Chicago to shoot with me.  I got the opportunity to meet and shoot her newly (3 weeks) engaged brother (Kunal) and soon to be sister-in-law (Vaishali).  They were a joy to get to know, shoot and possibly be hired for the engagement and wedding in 2012.  For now, here are a few preview shots from the fashion shoot with Kunjal; as lovely as she wants to be...


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Singing Dragon - 42nd St. Times Square

My uncle and I had our final dinner of my trip at the Cafe Noir restaurant down the street from his job. On the subway ride back to his house, he got off a stop ahead of me at 34th street to catch the Long Island Expressway train home. I continued on to 42nd St Port Authority headed for Time Square to get some night shots for my portfolio. As I got off the train and headed up the stairs towards ground I was trying to figure out if I should go right/left to my destination. As I reached the top of the stairs I heard what sounded like a concert coming down in the subway that I didn't hear when I got of at my stop. The sound halted me in my tracks as I debated going back down in the tunnel to see what was really going on. As I walked down the stairs, there was a crowd of people applauding someone but I was earnestly looking for the band and the "who". Well the E train was pulling seconds later and some of the crowd jumped on the train but a few faithful souls like myself stayed for more; but who the heck was singing??? 

As I looked around, I saw this older African American man, probably in his 60s, holding what appeared to be a Walkman CD player (his band) seated next to a cart with speakers that amplified his accompanying music. Well I wasn't 100% sure that is was him because there was no microphone and he was just kinda sitting there looking happy and content.

Then what happened next blew me away as he hit the play button on the CD player and started crooning the crowd. This man had a POWERFUL voice which needed no microphone as he lit up the subway tunnels. His only competition which wasn't ever a fair fight was the train as it swept to a stop on either wide of him during his redemptions of songs sung my famous artist if his time.

As must have states there listening to him for 15-20 minutes as he sung and spoke of his music, famous people he sung with in front of his well earned bag of money from the crowd from donations and CD sales. I gave my donation to the cause as I listening, smiled and took pictures of this subway wonder. Now I wasn't going to leave this story by just referring to him as a "subway" wonder as it wouldn't have done his life or musical works justice. Right before I took off for Time Square, I complimented him again on his music and asked for his name. He told me that he is known as the "Singing Dragon". Well the "Singing Dragon" at age 69 had some footwork to go along with that voice. I figured this was my chance to get away or else I would have been there all night seduced by a "Dragon" as so many of us were that evening; a nice treat to end my last full day in Manhattan.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Skyline of Love - Lauren an Matt

While in New York visiting family a few months ago, I was taking the bus from Queens into New Jersey to visit my grandmother. As we exited the tunnel into New Jersey around 8:00pm, my breath was taken away by this beautiful view of the New York skyline from across the river. If it weren't for my suitcase and camera bag, I would have jumped off the bus, started shooting and figured out how to get to my grandmothers house later. Well good sense prevailed and I stayed on the bus but was trying to figure out how to get the shot.

The very next day, my Aunt and I decided to go back into the city and I thought, here's my chance.  I took a later subway ride and bus back into New Jersey and got off the bus to take my shots; only problem was that I got to my location too early and had to wait for nightfall. So I decided to stroll around this park across the bay from the skyline which is where I first saw Lauren and thought, WOW!!!  I would love to photograph her.  Then a few steps later as I walked around I ran Matt and thought, these two must be together and I would love the opportunity to photograph this couple.  As I got closer a car pulled up with two photographers and I quickly figured out what was happening and I thought, "'I've got some time on my hands so I will watch this engagement shoot till my light it right"; all of us photographers LOVE to watch!!!  LOL...

After "watching" for a bit, I started to engage the photographers and offered some "head nods" when I saw things that I liked.  One of the photogs was having trouble controlling the background light with her flash, I provided some suggestions which helped her get the background light under control and I was her new BFF.  After watching for their shoot for another 5-10 minutes, the two photogs invited me to shoot with them after clearing it with the couple, "Lauren and Matt" who were doing engagement photo's for their 2011 wedding.  So here's my little confession or excuse for the quality below.  When going into New York for the day, I left my backup batter for my main camera and my main flash as I didn't plan on shooting people that day.  So I shot this with my Canon 30D at very high ISOs with no flash so I had to wait till almost dusk in order to pull in the New York skyline while getting Lauren and Matt exposed properly.

I really enjoyed myself with this couple and in meeting some photog brother-in and sister-in.  Did I mention how much I LOVE and MISS the East Coast which will always be home for me.


Donna Lesli and her second shooter in "action"!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Not a Bad Shot!

I'd like to believe that every photographer runs into a client, bride, teen, child, someone or something that captures their eye that makes it impossible to take a bad shot.  Now we the photographer need to make sure we do the technical things in order to create a beautiful image but I still think it's somewhat rare. Well I ran into one of those rarities in Reagan.  I was able to get out with her a couple times and each shoot left me in awe!!!  This is one of those jewels I've been holding onto unless you've been out to my Facebook fanpage.

I have sooooo many stunning images of Reagan that it was impossible to choose my favorites so I closed my eyes and started flagging images for the blog and then limited myself to these few.  Enjoy these and don't be surprised if there is another post about Reagan...


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Studio meet Angey, Angey meet Studio!!!

So the story goes that I was sitting at the bar at one of my favorite restaurants in town and was waited on by Angey.  We had never met before, things were slow in the restaurant so I mentioned that I was a professional photographer and had done some work for the restaurant .  Well she remembered me being there on a couple occasions shooting, said she loved my work and that she was a graphic artist and done the menus and other artwork for the re-branding of the restaurant.

As we spoke more I mentioned that I loved her "look" and that I wanted to get her in the studio; she was "all-in".  Now when I post the rest of the pictures, you will notice that she has a "few" tattoos.  Well believe it or not, I didn't at the time we met but quickly noticed them as we were getting her ready for her photoshoot.  My first thought was "that's interesting" but my second thought was "we're going to have some fun" and we definitely did.  I am showing you, in this preview, my second favorite shot from her studio session.  More to come on Angie and my catchup from the Spring/Summer.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hardly Trying

I've been here all the time....  I know you've been wondering where I've been but LIFE has been kicking my butt lately but it's all about persistence and growth right?

I am all caught up from my editing and am now going back and posting shoots from the summer.  I shot a fashion show this past summer at our local Macy's and in the process of working with the coordinator looking for models, we ran into Ruby.  From the minute we saw her we wanted her in the show but Ruby was headed to India for a wedding and to visit family.  Well I'm pretty persistent so I finally caught up with her to see how the trip went and for a quick shoot.  We found some shade in an alley and then I had her play in the sunlight and really enjoyed how she lit up each frame.  We will hook up again when school slows down for her but for now enjoy part 1 of my experiences with Ruby.