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Tag Archives: Bay Area Fashion photographer
I’ve always admired people who can devote their time and energy to keeping your body fit. As a photographer, it’s hard to carve out time to go the gym and work out. The motivation is just not there… until of course you do a fitness shoot! I had the pleasure of shooting this sweet couple a few weeks ago. As soon as I finished the shoot, I went to the gym for about 4hrs! I’ve been running at least 6 miles a week now and eating healthy. Long story short – headshots, fashion and portraits are awesome but photographers should really do more fitness photoshoots… it’s good for their health.
Strobist info: black muslin background, 2 gridded strip boxes at AB800s and one flash behind the camera for a bit of fill.
The stereotypical “model” stands at about 5’9″ at around 145-150lbs. A study done in 2002 showed that among top editorial fashion agencies in Los Angeles and New York, 81% of their “editorial fashion” models were 5’9” and above; 15% were between 5’8” and 5’9”, and only 4% were below 5’8” tall. With these statistics in mind, some women are often discouraged to pursue modeling as a profession due to their not meeting that height ‘requirement’.
Then you have the rare case of a girl so damn driven to pursue a modeling career that even if you threw a book of statistics at her, it would never deter her ambition to pursue this career track, and Victoria Barajas is an excellent example of such a lady. Proudly standing less than five feet tall, I met her on set at the Candy Factory in Fremont during a photography meet up. Victoria’s attitude and professionalism were top notch, and I was genuinely excited to work with her. Vincent Gotti, as always, had assembled a great group of sytlist; Roy from Hair by Roy got Victoria’s hair “did”, Prince Kaleo dressed and styled her and Carla Tersini did an amazing job with her make up.
Victoria is a very talented model and I would not be surprise to see her in print soon.
Photographing a model who has extensive dance background is very different that photographing a model who grew up modeling. I had recently had the opportunity of photographing Eva Luna in my favorite studio The Candy Factory in Fremont, CA. Vince Gotti, the Director of Photography at GEV Magazine set the shoot up and contacted the amazing hair stylist Roy from Hairby Roy along with the always fabulous Prince Kaleo from The Armoire Closet to create a fantastic photography set.
Eva was so interesting to work with. Unlike most models who moves from pose to pose, Eva fluidly moved throughout the entire shoot. It was up to the photographer to guide the movement and capture an instance where the movement is at it’s most beautiful state. Now I would never give this posing advice when I am doing corporate headshots or portrait photography here in San Jose / San Francisco area but for some reason, she was able to make it work. Maybe it was because she was a dancer maybe she was just really good at what she does; no matter what the reason on how she made “fluid posing” work, I am looking forward to working with her again in the future.
There have been talks on releasing an editorial spread for the 2012 HKLT Court for close to a year now. Well it’s almost near completion and I wanted to give a quick preview. The girls were asked several questions and one the intrigued me most is about the topic of “Beauty”. Being a photographer, I certainly have an opinion about beauty but this post is not about me, it’s about the the girls. So read on because what they have to say is very interesting.
What are your impressions when you hear somebody talk about beauty, or mention that something or somebody is beautiful? What does “being beautiful” mean to you?
Janet Pham – Beauty means so many different things to each person. When I hear someone use the term “beauty,” I find it so subjective. As cliche as it is, I believe that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty could be a reference to one’s outward appearance, but this represents a preference and not a universal truth. There is no single, objective standard for physical beauty (even though there are social constructs of beauty in different societies, but particularly in ours with the media and hollywood). To me, being beautiful means to first and foremost love and accept yourself. To be completely comfortable with who you are-your looks, your style, your character, your convictions. Without confidence, physical beauty is easily forgotten. The characteristics that define my personality enables my confidence, and to me, this is what being beautiful means. These things highlight and bring out physical beauty.
Kim Huynh – I love beauty. I don’t mean to become abstract, but there’s truth in beauty. The rare moments when you come across something so beautiful and perfect, so powerfully transcending it makes you gasp, like you’ve witnessed something that can never be replicated quite the same way. It’s why I believe in the arts, why I belly dance and why I’m an English major. These are moments worth living for, because they’re moments I feel alive. When beauty is applied to a person, it’s much harder to define. I try to quantify it, break it down into analytically – “Yes, I agree she is beautiful because of the placement of her eyes, or the prominence of her cheekbones.” But have you ever noticed that people become worse-looking or better-looking depending on how you like them? In the battle between beauty and personality, you can’t discount the latter.
Theresa Ngo – The world and the media places great emphasis on “beauty” and the belief that beauty is everything can often be ingrained into our minds. This is also the root of the problem for women’s insecurities and internal conflict to always remain “beautiful” in the public’s eye. What defines beauty is truly subjective and it is up to the eye of the beholder. There is a Vietnamese proverb, one of my favorites, that states “Cai net danh chet cai dep”. The rough translation means that personality and charm overcomes outward beauty. Beauty should encompass more than just a woman’s outward features and genetic gifts-her talents and tribulations; her code of conduct, her values and beliefs, and her wisdom and intelligence should all be considered.
Kimmy Huynh – When I hear people talk about beauty, the first thing that comes to mind would be how beautiful the person looks. Of course outer beauty is nothing if the inner beauty is not there to support what’s on the outside. What is considered beautiful varies from individuals to individuals. From the cultures that I have experience, beauty have many forms, but the basis seems to be standard overall, and that is the ability to carry oneself gracefully, be proud of oneself, and have aspirational dreams for the future.
Visit the Miss Vietnam of Northern California on their own blog here.
Did you know that your whole body needs to be fully lubricated in order to wear latex? No? Well neither did I until my last photoshoot with British Alternative Super Model Ulorin Vex!
I’ve never really shot an alternative / punk rock model in the past so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I checked out her website prior to the shoot and it was filled with some of the most creatively beautiful / crazy looking images I’ve ever seen. From doing mostly corporate headshot around Silicon Valley to shooting a latex wearing, red haired British model with nipple patches… the transition wasn’t easy. The most risque shoot I’ve done prior to this was when Adam Pisoni, the CTO of Yammer Inc, decided to take off his tie and shoot outside! *gasp*
After the initial awkwardness of me introducing myself “Hello ummm I am Moses… I’ll be taking your pictures today.” and her replying with (in an English accent) “Good to meet you.” Pip pip, cheerio, carry on.” – I added that last part; the shoot went great. We took some full body pictures, several headshots and a couple of portraits. Below are some of my favorite images from the shoot.
Ohh and one last thing… huge thanks to the super sexy and talented Jodie Truong of JodieStudio for creating my new logo.
I rarely shoot professional models because most of my clientele are corporate folks here in the Bay Area who are looking for professional headshots. I needed to mix things up and I was lucky enough to be invited to one of CandyFactory’s meet ups in Fremont CA. The model for this meet up was Ashlee and she was amazing. She was so professional and needed very little direction. I usually tend to talk a lot during a photoshoot so that my subject would loosen up and show their personality. Ashlee showed her personality right from the start and literally shut me up. Aside from the occasional “chin up”, “move your hands” and “fix your hair”, I didn’t really have to say anything. Her make up was flawless, courtesy of Krytal Garza and lighting was fine tuned by Mr. Vincent G. If you’re interested in the camera settings and technical stuff, I’ve listed the specs after the pictures.
- Camera: 5d M2 ISO 100, f/8, 1/160
- Lens: 70mm – 200mm 2.8L (most of my shots were around 135mm)
- First picture was a beauty dish with a grid.
- Second picture was a big soft box on top camera right with another soft box on camera left for fill.
- Third picture was two huge softboxes on both side metered to be exactly the same.
- Fourth picture was in a white cove with just one Profoto light.
My friend Kimmy and I have been planning a portrait session at her place in Cupertino for about a year now but life keeps interfering. After rescheduling about 7 times, the planets finally aligned and we were able to meet up and do the shoot. It was awesome but what’s even more awesome is where we went before the shoot… The Church of Scientology! I told several of my co-workers that I was visiting the Church of Scientology and they told me about Operation Snow White as well as several other crazy stories relating to Scientology. I am not gonna lie, I was somewhat scared and paranoid when we arrived in front of the building. Long story short, we went in and they gave us a nice little tour. It didn’t seem too crazy and I actually think that Kimmy will be taking one of their classes soon.
“Set in 1960s New York, the sexy, stylized and provocative AMC drama Mad Men follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising, an ego-driven world where key players make an art of the sell.” – Official Mad Men Site
I have always wanted to emulate the style that Don Draper epitomizes on this show, but, simply put, I don’t look good in a hat. Since I can’t dress like Don, I decided that taking inspriation from two of the primary female characters for this photo shoot would be more than satisfactory; the always discontent housewife Betty Francis (nee Draper), and everybody’s favorite office manager Joan Harris. I couldn’t have posted this with more perfect timing, as Mad Men starts the long awaited season 5 at the end of the month.
Special thanks to the impeccable Jessica Do for her hair styling and make-up skills that so expertly captured the ‘new-retro’ feel I was going for in this shoot. Thanks to Jamie for being my Betty Francis and to Cassie for capturing Joan Harris so well. This set was shot at the always awesome Candy Factory Studio in Fremont, California.
-Inspired by Betty Draper-
-Inspired by Joan Harris-
– Joan Harris and Betty Draper –
Special thanks to the ever so talented Jessica Do for her crazy hair styling and make up skills. Thanks to Jamie for being my Betty Draper and Cassie for capturing Joan Harris so well. This set was shot at the awesome Candy Factory Studio in Fremont, California.
I’ve always admired the works of Keith Selle and other photographers who create a lot of images with models who are, for lack of a better word, “bad assess”. These photographers are able to capture the intensity of the tattoos as well as the beauty of model. Being mostly a corporate and headshot photographer, I rarely get the chance to photograph models with badass tattoos and piercings. Unless Mike Tyson wants a headshot, my chances of photographing someone with an awesome tattoo is very slim.
As I troll Facebook one day, I came across a set of pictures from my news feed and what do you know, it’s a set of pictures of some tatted up girl that I just happen to know. Her tats and piercings were so unique that I went ahead and contacted her to do a shoot. Long story short, we met up in Fremont at my friend’s awesome studio, The Candy Factory Studio, and due to some time constraints, we literally only had about 15min to actually shoot. My awesome MUA/Hairstylist friend, Jessica Do, did her hair and some of her make up. The shoot was, in my opinion, a success. I cannot wait to work with her again in future projects.
- F/6, 1/160, 5d mk2
- Alien Bee 86′ PLM on camera right
- Softbox on far camera left
- Both had Ab800 on it at 1/4 power
I do my fair share of wedding photograhy under a different company name (Nocturnalz Photography), and I’ve been blessed to befriend several talented florists whose constant creativity has pushed my photography to the next level. One florist approached me after a wedding session with an idea to do a “chiquita banana” inspired photoshoot but instead of using fruits as the headdress, she wanted to use flowers! She linked me to a slideshow from an America’s Next Top Model episode as a reference for our shoot.
I didn’t exactly have the budget ANTM has so I suggested inviting a few makeup artists (Audrey and Mimi) and doing more of a beauty portrait shoot with the flower headdresses she had in mind. Stobist information below.