very so often I get random ideas and become fixated on them it borders on obsession. Borders? Nope, it's definitely obsession. And I specialize in obsession. Like this one time I decided to do a cleanse that required only drinking lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and ginger extract...it promptly ended when my dentist said I could lose teeth enamel. Or this one time in a high school art class when my teacher taught me how to make a picture using a series of ink dots...I decided to create a mural that took, oh, seven million dots to complete. I'm, like, a ink dot specialist these days.
Yesterday, after looking at JD and realizing he hasn't shaved in a while, I got the idea of photographing him with a mustache. And then I became fixated. And then I became obsessed. His answer was no, no you will not photograph me with a mustache. But I continued asking and begging and the more he resisted, the more I pushed. I even told him he was stifling my creativity. HOW CAN YOU DO THAT TO ME?!
After begging, cajoling, and promising not to post the picture on the blog, I took this photo. Makes me think he belongs on a 1970s beach drama. The kind where they have bonfire with Richard Nixon kindling and say things like, Not cool, man.
Reflections : Natural Light Photography
few days ago Chris Walters wrote and asked me on Facebook how I find and use natural light during an engagement session. More often than that, it's just something I do, not necessarily something I'm good at explaining with just words. But that didn't help Chris, nor would it help anyone else with a similar question so I got to thinking...and when I think, it usually requires JD to do something. Like I've mentioned before, I love ideas, but he's much better at executing them. Which leads me to today's Reflections Post.
I asked JD to come with me to Eileen and Joel's engagement session to photograph behind-the-scenes photos of me shooting, specifically showcasing the environment and the light source(s). I think this is the best way I can approach this question without demonstrating in person. But, lemme tell you, I'm way more fun in real life. Honest.
I usually start the session 1-1.5 hours before sunset, but since we were shooting in an urban area, I knew the tall buildings would block a bit of light, so we started 2 hours before sunset. Because the sun was quite bright, I started the session in shaded areas, but ensured there was natural light reflected from nearby buildings. Here Joel and Eileen stand on a shaded street...
As you can see in the window reflections, the caramel colored building across the street poured a dose of warm light to illuminate the location and minimize the muddiness an overtly shaded location can provide.
Ever since buying the Canon 35mm, 1.4, I've become smitten with up close and personal photos. Smitten. Yes, I stand close to my clients, but it gives an entirely different feel to the photo and I'm a fan.
Yes, THIS CLOSE. The light source is behind me and you can see how bright it was (right side of the photo) and I'm standing just to the right of Eileen so I am not blocking it from illuminating her face.
Nice glowy light...in an alley? (Yes, I realize 'glowy' isn't a word)
Clearly there wasn't exposure compensation done on this photo, but I'm using it to show, precisely, just how strong the light source was...you know I love me some natural reflectors! The illuminated wall behind my left shoulder is reflecting light onto my subjects making an otherwise darkish alley shootable (again, I'm not sure shootable is a word either). Oh, and in case you're wondering, I'm holding Eileen's purse because I couldn't bear to see it placed on the floor...lord only knows what would've ended up on the bottom of her Louis Vuitton...
Like I mentioned in their blog post, this was the last frame from the session and as we were walking back to our cars, I stopped when I saw the light pouring down...I live for light like this...
Now here's a pulled back version of the photo. Clearly it's not a cute location...and it smelled just as funky as you think it would. But this light was amazing and the overhead bridge provided a frame for me that I might not have seen walking through another alley. Sometimes it takes me walking backwards (which I did when I talked to them) to see light and locations differently.
Okay, so now I'm at the end of this post and I feel a bit lame because I'm not sure if this was helpful, but here's the point: I had an idea...and JD made it happen. That right there? Well, I think he deserves an "A" on this project. You see, I'm not as cold and heartless as some of you think I am with my grading!
**EDITED TO ADD**
For those who asked, I used the 50mm for every photo except the one I highlighted with the 35mm. For the entirety of the shoot, however, I also used the 85mm. Also, for those who asked what I was doing with my hand in the last photo: I was shielding the sun so I could focus on my clients (sometimes when the sun is too harsh and pointed into my lens it prevents me from doing so). Thanks, friends! :)
Orange County Engagement : Eileen + Joel
e knew he shouldn't, but he did. He sat at the table and drank caffeinated drink after caffeinated drink waiting for her to arrive. And when Eileen walked through the door for their date, Joel's first thought was, Wow...and quickly regretted the caffeine. Eileen smiled, sat at the table and listened to Joel tell story after story. He blamed the drinks.
After a few unsuccessful (and downright weird) dates via Match.com, Eileen skeptically approached her lunch date with Joel. Extraordinarily busy with work and a successful career, Eileen worried she'd be more consumed with her upcoming business trip than idle chatter or incompatibility with another online match. As Joel sat across the table from her and regaled her with colorful stories, she found herself laughing and forgetting her schedule. Three hours later, they left the restaurant promising to connect upon Eileen's return from an impending business trip. The following day, after a full day of travel and meetings, Eileen called Joel. She, apparently, missed his stories.
I'm incredibly excited to be photographing Eileen and Joel's wedding this June in Laguna Beach and I have no doubt their Montage wedding will be absolutely beautiful. Just like their love. Eileen suggested an urban vibe for their engagement session, so we met in Santa Ana for their shoot...and, really, Eileen and Joel made dirt and grime look good.
Eilee, you're beautiful...truly...
One of my favorite things about Eileen and Joel is their ability to make each other smile and laugh without a single word. They share an unspoken language and a enviable communication only love provides...
There are few people who can make an alley look romantical. Joel, you're one of them.
Last frame of the session...we're walking back to our cars when I asked them to stop because the light was beautiful. And so are they.
'm so incredibly excited to announce I'll be hosting a workshop in London this summer. Should've I ended that last sentence with a thousand exclamation marks? Because, really, I'm THAT excited. So here it goes: !!!!!!!!!!! We've been waiting for the right moment to jump across the pond so when the ever amazing Kat Williams of Rock N Roll Bride emailed out of the blue and asked to help me put it together, I knew the stars aligned. We have a fabulous day planned at One Marylebone and I am incredibly excited to join forces with such an amazing team on Wednesday, July 20, 2011!
The workshop will be a full day of branding, specifically focused on the Eight Components of Creating a Brand:
1. Creating a logo to reflect YOU.
2. Selective clientele.
3. Client care.
4. Branding correspondence.
5. Branding your online presence.
6. Branding photos.
7. Networking your brand.
8. Branding post processing.
While having discussed these topics before online, I'll goes into depth about personal decisions I made to cultivate and foster my growing business. The class will be limited to 20 students for individualized attention and direct accessibility to both myself and JD to answer your questions (and, no, nothing is off-limits...so ask away!). Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided, so be sure to bring your appetite along with your camera gear because a professionally styled bridal shoot by Wedding Magazine is included in the course. I will demonstrate my natural posing techniques and natural lighting tips, as well as give access to students to photograph the models for personal portfolios.
More than anything, this workshop aims to provide a jumpstart for your photography career and refine the decisions you make as a business person. To secure a seat and/or get more information, feel free to check out www.jasminestarworkshop.com. Hip hip cheerio!
Shooting Star : Staying In Control + Styled Shoots
ellllll, hello there. And happy Monday! I hope you had a lovely Easter and are recovering from a chocolate comatose. Oh, that's just me? You mean you didn't sit in front of the Lakers game last night and make your way through eight pounds of mini Snickers stolen from your nieces and nephews baskets? Am I the only person who rationalizes the mini-sized candies as reduced calorie? Well, if one or all of the above scenarios occurred we can so be friends.
I'm starting this week jumping back into action with another installment of Shooting Star. If you can believe it, I decided to film this by myself after seeing my blooper reel a couple weeks ago...I wanted to make sure JD didn't have another opportunity to garner new outtakes! Without him offering feedback behind the camera, however, I think I talked too much.
In this video, I'll be discussing...
*If I've ever had a client try take over and/or control a shoot.
*Whether I blog each session before providing the digital negatives.
*How to organize/partake in styled bridal shoots.
*Three things that helped me move past being too nervous to build my online portfolio amongst my friends.
Like always, you can submit questions for future FAQs on Facebook!