Category Archives: portrait

Testing Kelly

Now to expand on yesterday’s picture

Personal work is extremely important to keep a photographer focused and constantly improving. Even with my clients, who are amazing and more willing to experiment than most people, I can’t ever say “Hey, I tried this really cool thing and it didn’t work out. Can you get married again next weekend?” So I’m putting together a little project that should mean some envelope-pushing for me. It might take a little while because it’s busy season, but I’m very excited about it. All you get to know about it beforehand is that, for my main star, I needed more than just a model, I needed an actor with an amazing emotional range.

Luckily I knew just where to find one: My friend Kelly Denicolo. Kelly and I actually went to high school together in the frozen tundra of upstate New York. We didn’t know each other that well, because, let’s face it, I was much cooler than she was. My talent and fabulous singing voice made me the star of all the musicals, while she was more of the subversive class clown type, encouraging students to have disco dance-offs during class-time and thinking up new and creative ways to get detention.

No, wait, I got that backward. She had the amazing singing voice (mine has been outlawed in 43 states), and I was the one who wrote the president that I wanted to secede my room from the Union because I had always dreamed of founding a climate-controlled nation.

But it’s been … several … years since high school, and we hit it off as New Yorkers. She’s focused on her dramatic talents ever since, so I thought she’d be perfect for the project, but I wanted to do some test shooting to see her emotional range on-camera.

I thought she’d be good, but I was wrong. She was amazing. I told her to recreate emotions so complicated even I didn’t understand what I was saying, and she nailed every one with subtlety and seamless transitions from one to the next. Seriously, if there are any screentesters out there, call me.

I’m more excited than ever now to get this project going!

Page-01.jpg
Page-02.jpg
Page-03.jpg
Page-04.jpg
Page-05.jpg
Page-06.jpg

BACK TO TOP | CONTACT ME

Photo of the Day: Sunny Day Stylin’

Sunny Day Stylin

Saturday was an intensely, intensely bright day. For the geeks, it was f/32 bright. For the rest of you, that means eye-searingly bright, with hot sun and direct reflection off shimmering water. In other words, it’s not the kind of light that a tiny little speedlight can generally overpower.

But I have my ways.


BACK TO TOP | CONTACT ME

Photo of the Day: Playing in Traffic

Remember Dora and Josh? We couldn’t get enough of each other, so we went for another round!

A few questions for you: Would you take a photo of a bride and groom in the middle of an active street? Would you take NINETEEN photos of them in the street, to stich them together in a panorama? Well I would.

One more, for those with a good sense of perspective: Dora and Josh are standing in a safe zone called the cross-walk. Where was I standing when I took the nineteen photos? Right, the intersection.

Kids, don’t try this at home.


BACK TO TOP | CONTACT ME

Photo of the Day: The iPad Makes All the Difference

I had an amazing time shooting Sameepa and Bareen’s over-the-top gorgeous wedding at espace on Saturday, and having what was (for me, Mr. Lone Wolf Photojournalist) just made it all the better. It’s a dramatic understatement to say that you tend not to get as much time to plan wedding portraits as, commercial portraits. Instead of meeting with art directors months in advance, you have to learn to handle “the schedule changed, and all we have available is three minutes and a parking lot.” But sometimes we do get a bit of time to prepare, and to take as little of the bride and groom’s time as possible, we do lighting tests before they even get there. These are generally an assistant standing emotionless on the mark, but given that it was iPad launch day, I got a bit creative with the lighting test to mark the occasion. Presenting “Dudes, With and Without iPad”

For the record, the iPad was a huge hit at the wedding. Since I had one of my assistants stand in line to get it first-thing, and since we already had a slideshow prepared for the bride from the Sangeet and Mehndi synced the minute she showed up with it, we may have pulled off the first iPad wedding slideshow, anywhere. Again, Mr. Jobs, I don’t frown at royalty checks.


BACK TO TOP | CONTACT ME

Photo of the Day: Sameepa

I took this photo last night at Sameepa’s mehndi — the henna application party — and today I am photographing her wedding! I am very sneaky, so I scheduled this post to appear right when she and her soon-to-be husband see each other for the first time. Bareen probably has better things to do today than refresh my blog over and over, but it’s nice to be safe.

As Stevie said, “Isn’t She Lovely?”

I’m excited to shoot with my buddy Tim Herzog as a second-shooter again, and the awesome Isla as assistant — and a special surprise fourth team member. The ludicrously talented Kevin Shahinian of Pacific Pictures is heading the videography team. Should be a great day!


BACK TO TOP | CONTACT ME

Photo of the Day: Panorama Revisited

On a tip, I’ve tried reworking some old “Brenizer method” panoramas with AutoPano Pro. It’s not perfect, but it’s very good, and gets right some panoramas that Photoshop did not. But what I most like is that I can set up a batch to do a bunch of panoramas at once, and then go take a nap or answer e-mails or something. Anything that makes the stitching process easier will make me want to shoot these more and more, and one of my goals for 2010 is to really see what sorts of ways I can push the envelope on this ball I got rolling. Also, I want to mix new and exciting metaphors.

Original shoot here.


BACK TO TOP | CONTACT ME

Portraits: Stephanie in Pasadena

Here is are some more from my session with Stephanie. We wanted to just have a little fun in the warmer weather and get some new looks, including some fitness looks for her book. And of course I had to get a palm tree in there. We don’t see much of those in New York.

And really, who knew all this time she could kick so high?

Reminds me of a story. One time, when I was much younger, slightly more foolish, and constantly practicing karate, I said to myself: “I wonder *exactly* how high I can kick…”

WHAM! Right in my own face. Bloody nose. Luckily Stephanie has orders of magnitude more sense than a younger me.

Page-02.jpg
Page-01.jpg
Page-03.jpg
Page-04.jpg
Page-05.jpg

BACK TO TOP | CONTACT ME

Photo of the Day: Stephanie, West Coast Girl

If one of my favorite subjects — actress and friend Stephanie Danielson — had to move to California, at least she did it a week before I headed out there, so we could finally shoot in warm(ish) weather. I love bringing out the color of the crazy lighting you can find at night. I love the natural feel of it, how good scouting can replace or ease the insane amount of work you’d need to deliberately recreate this, and how it feel like we’re exploiting new possibilities. In ye olden days, I might have needed to shoot this with T64 tungsten film — which would have required a full second exposure. Which would have required replacing Stephanie with a mannequin.

More to come soon.


BACK TO TOP | CONTACT ME

Photo of the Day: Party with the Ram

As I’ve said before, with flash composites (like most wedding photography), it’s not what you can do, it’s what you can do quickly. This was four shots, composited together for optimum lighting, and the whole thing was done quickly enough that you could stand on snow with open-toed shoes.

Maybe I’ll do a speed challenge at my April 16-17 workshop, which still has a few slots open. Sounds like fun.


BACK TO TOP | CONTACT ME