Cary

They call me MISTER Parker! | North Carolina Photographer

I almost always implement and execute a shoot focusing on three main objectives: The first -- and this is a very important step in my process -- is to  find good available light and if there's none, I create my own using artificial lighting.  Next (second step) is to assess how the light is falling on my subject.  My third step, is to pay attention to the location.  While some tend to obsess over location, for me the location is not something I care about; lighting is more salient to my desired end-result and ensuring a great portrait.

When I have checked off my three main objectives, I then begin to work with my subject to figure out which angles and poses work best for capturing strong, impactful, and flattering portraits.

My subject for this shoot was Orlando Parker Jr.  He impressed me with his easy-going, effortless demeanor.  Just below that calm surface is a man who as Nicole exclaimed, "gives good face!" Nicole, my wardrobe stylist on this shoot said he had the intensity of actor Sidney Poitier, timeless, classic and contemporary all at once.  This was not Orlando's first time being in front of the camera; he easily followed through on direction and did what was required, allowing me to capture the amazingly striking images below.

The shoot was inspired by a movie starring Sidney Poitier released in 1970 titled "They call me MISTER Tibbs!".

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BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO

See You Later | Cary North Carolina Photographer

Jessica is leaving town :-(, so this was our see you later photo shoot, not good bye.

Our first photo shoot was almost two years ago, well February 2015 will make two years.  When we first meet I was pleasantly surprised by her bubbly personality, which wasn't the only surprise.  It turns out she was also a dancer, which we quickly incorporated into the photo shoot, as you can see from the video.   Jessica, it was a pleasure to meet you and thank you for supporting me for the pass two years through all my crazy ideas.  Good luck with your future plans I am sure you will be very successful with whatever you choose to do.

With respect to the photoshoot, I primarily used one light source "the icelight" for the entire shoot.  I also incorporated some candle light to add a little mood.  For the full length shot I used one speed light and the icelight to help open the shadows.  The light is the most important element when creating an image so once I had the light right I then moved onto posing.

With posing, I generally pose my subject to fit the environment and once I have the pose right my focus shift to getting a great expression from my subjects.  My goal was to get something timeless and elegant.

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Exposure / Lighting Workshop 2014 | Cary North Carolina Photographer

I had the pleasure of hosting some wonderful photographers and our model Carrie for my 2014 Exposure / lighting workshop.  It was sunny, then cloudy and finally rainy.  We did not backdown from any of our weather challenges, we had a great deal of fun and I hope they walked away with some new techniques to apply to their own craft. 

I did a lot of talking and not so much shooting, so below you will find the only two images I captured.

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Evolving the Practice | North Carolina Photographer

If you followed my photography over the years, you may have noticed that objects are not often my subject matter.  I enjoy shooting people more than I do objects, however, as an artist, I do not welcome nor do I embrace placing limitations on my art/creations.  I continuously seek ways to augment and improve my skill-set; I still need to practice photographing things I wouldn’t normally shoot.  As a photographer, I believe I can find beauty/art in whatever is in front of my lens.

The first image below is simply a snapshot to display the scene, but I wanted to push myself to develop the scene; the additional 9 images show my vision as it evolved in this instance.

"Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known"
- Oscar Wilde

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Note: There was no photoshop manipulation, this was all done in camera.

MUA FACES BY E'TOSH | Columbia, South Carolina

Last weekend I had a photo shoot in Wilmington North Carolina, which was cancelled due to the weather.  So since my photo shoot plans were cancelled my wife and I decided to head down to Columbia, South Carolina for a weekend get away.  Since I had my gear in the back of the car, while en route we planned a quick photo shoot with MUA E'toshia owner/operator of Faces by ETOSH; E'Toshia reached out to Monica Conyers, who said yes and just like that we got a photo shoot together at the last minute.

E'toshia did a wonderful job with Monica's MUA and accommodated us at her home for the photo shoot.  While E'toshia was doing her thing I scoped out a few locations for the photo shoot and based on where the light was falling I decided to do the photo shoot in front of her garage door.  Crazy right, but the light was just right and I let the natural lighting dictate where I would shoot and I didn't care about the background.  However, to add some interest I asked E'Toshia if I could use a painting that was on her wall as the back drop and I think that addition came together pretty well.

I did record some BTS video but I left my BTS camera with the footage in Columbia and I am still trying to figure out if I should drive to pick it up or have it delivered.

Thank you Duane Herbert for the assistance with the shoot.  Also, thank you to my wife for assisting with the BTS video, although I forgot it.  Lastly, thank you E'Toshia and Monica for coming together at the last minute to pull this shoot off.

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BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO

Jay Goku James | Parkour Instructor | North Carolina Photographer

Jay James runs along walls, and flies through the air, taking Martial arts and Parkour skills to a new level in his training as well as in various classes and demonstrations! The emblem of his training team ‘Rahyz’ is a symbol of Determination. Jay is a professional Parkour athlete and instructor who teaches weekly Parkour classes, does Private Lessons, and organizes Live Performances around the Cary and Raleigh area in North Carolina!

Look for his videos on YouTube and Contact him through Facebook or email me at rahyz1@gmail.com

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BTS (Behind The Scenes) Video

Crappy Location | Amazing Images | Cary, North Carolina

Taking photos at high noon with no reflector, defuser or flash can sometimes prove challenging, but not always :-).  There was nothing really amazingly beautiful about this location, but when you have light and shadows, sometimes the location just doesn't matter.  Running from the light was simply not an option, so I embraced the light by applying very specific poses to bring out shadows, which brought depth and dimension to the images.

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Beauty Workshop 2014 | Cary North Carolina

On Saturday February 8th, I hosted a group of six great photographers at my home studio for a beauty workshop.  The workshop was very hands on, they got to construct the photo shoot from start to finish.  They worked with strobes, modifiers and models.   They pretty much put together every component required for this shoot, which I believe is the best way to learn.  We worked with 3 strobes and a speed light.  The modifiers were a combination of soft boxes, a beauty dish and bare bulbs. 

After the photo shoot, we grabbed some lunch and networked with each other.  We then quickly proceeded to post processing and I discussed my thought process when working with beauty images in photoshop. 

We had 3 incredible models Jessica, Claire and Julia, they all did a wonderful job working with 6 different photographers, well 7 if you count me :-).  Doing the heavy lifting, on the hair we had the wonderful Shereese Cromartie and on MUA we had the incredibly forgiving (inside joke about me) Deatrice Snuggs.  Without you ladies this day would not be possible and for that I thank you.

Overall this was an incredibly rewarding and successful workshop.  We were able to exchange a great deal of information and we made some wonderful connections.  I have learned a lot from this event and for that and many more I am grateful.

Below you will find one of the images from the workshop, I will be posting more on this blog post but I just wanted to get this post out to thank everyone for the awesome team work.

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Claire Daniella

Jessica Douglas

Julia Manchester

Dawn's Family Portraits | Apex, North Carolina

I really enjoy doing fun family portraits and Dawn's family was no exception, I had a blast.  Here's what Dawn and her family had to say.

"Ernesto is great to work with!  He arrived right on time and worked with me and my family to produce beautiful images.  He made everyone very comfortable and was quick and thorough.  He is personable and has a great eye - I would definitely hire again."

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Tornado Distraction | North Carolina Photographer

Today Wake County area in North Carolina was on a tornado warning and the message I got on my phone actually said "take shelter now", which was very scary and reminded me just how unprepared I am for such an event.  We had some heavy winds but thankfully the tornado did not hit our hometown in Cary.  Naturally after the warnings were over and I was trapped in the house I decided to grab my camera and test some lighting.

Here's the behind the scenes look at how I made this image.

TNTM end of year 2013 publication cover photo

One of my images made it onto the cover of TNTM (Talk Nerdy To Me) end of year 2013 publication.  Congratulations to Joy Anna who is featured on the covered, she did a great job.  Also thank you to Marsha Green for the awesome make up.

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Also if you want strong portraits similar to this cover image take advantage of my holiday promotion which is schedule to expire at the end of December 2013.  Click here for more details on this promotion.

500px.com | north carolina photographer

500px.com is an online community that houses thousands of talented photographers and artists from around the world, who share and sell their work publicly.  I believe I joined the community about a year ago and admittedly I didn't know how to fully utilize the site then and I'm still discovering different aspects of site content and offerings; I generally go to the site to get inspiration and never expected much more.  

I was pretty stoked when in less than two hours after posting the below image it made it to the popular section of 500px.com.  Do I get a prize?  No, but this is pretty cool and a testament to great teamwork.

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Drive | north carolina photographer

This was by far the most difficult shoot I have attempted -- I am sure there will more difficult shoots in the future but for now this was mine.  I get inspired by movies, the movie that inspired this shoot was Drive.  When I saw Drive, I just knew I wanted to try and reproduce some of the same beautiful lighting from that movie.  The lighting was the most difficult and yet the most rewarding because I learned some new techniques.

The right model was a bit hard to find, but eventually I found Alexander Veach.  I talked to Alexander about my concept and he immediately was on-board; We actually met about two weeks ago at a Meet-up group I organize with various photography workshops.

On the day of the shoot I had no idea what direction I was going in and what the images were going to be.  We had to deal with a few challenges; we came up with some clever solutions and given that Alexander is an engineer he was responsible for most of the remedies.  In lieu of a behind the scenes video, I'll just say one solution involved a plastic bag and an electrical cord.

Fashion stylist: Polymoniker

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The Cary News October Publication | north carolina photographer

I am so honored Hamilton Scot Inn and our local newspaper The Cary News choose to use one of my image in the October 30th publication.  Please take a moment and read the article about Hamilton Scott Inn in The Cary News

Hamilton Scot Inn has the distinction of being the only bed and breakfast located in Cary, North Carolina.  I've used the quaint and eclectically appointed residence as the backdrop for a very successful Breakfast At Tiffany's themed engagement photo shoot in the past and recently had the pleasure of capturing images of an engagement party held at the Inn.  Inn keepers Eric Hoke and Sue Ferguson are always a delight to work with.

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Engagement Celebration @ Hamilton Scot Inn | North Carolina Photographer

I had the great pleasure of spending my Saturday afternoon covering this wonderful engagement celebration at Hamilton Scot Inn located in Cary, North Carolina.  

Special thank you to Sue Ferguson and Eric H. Hoke.

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cassie kozyrkov | north carolina photographer

As a photographer I am still growing and I suppose this growth process may never end.  I am a very analytical person so if someone asked me a few years ago if I would be doing portrait photography, the answer would have been a resounding "no!".  I honestly don't recall why I picked up a camera, I wish I had a cool story to tell you, but I don't.  What I can say is, as a child I used to draw and as I got older for some reason I lost that skill and perhaps that's why photography appealed to me.

I get inspiration mostly from movies but I'm also inspired by various images, shapes and textures. I try to convey what I see in my own images. With this photo shoot--as with many other shoots I do, I consulted with my wife on styling and wardrobe and she directed me to a fashion blog she frequents, where I found a black and white editorial.  I loved the simplicity and calmness of the shots and was inspired to create my own imagery depicting the laid-back but sharp images below.

Cassie Kozykrov who is featured in the images below like me is a very analytical person and I was very impressed with her smartness.  She studies statistics at NC State University Graduate School and she's a very impressive programer.  It was a pleasure working with her, she has a great personality and was willing to work hard to make this shoot a success, which was awesome.

Dawn Frischmann Losinger was our MUA for the day, she is always such a pleasure to work with.  Thank you so much for offering your talents on this photo shoot--both Cassie and I appreciate the great job you did.

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