beauty photoshoot

Water Beauty | Cary, North Carolina Photographer

I learned a great deal during the execution of this photo shoot, but before I dive into those details let me explained the concept behind this session.  This shoot was simultaneously anxiety-inducing, and exciting.

Hairstylist, Sheereese Cromartie, contacted me and proposed an underwater photoshoot, to which I replied I had no experience doing and I quickly recommended another photographer.  I would rather recommend a fellow photographer than undertake a task I have no prior experience with.  I have completed numerous personal projects that are suited to, and augment my skill set.  Sheereese and I work very well together and we decided on a shoot that involved water, just not entirely underwater.

Once we agreed upon how we would utilize our chosen medium - water - I started a model call on Facebook; Leah Lewis one of the models answered the call.  I then reached out to Mara Virginia Wuliger our second model and she was interested and wanted to do the photoshoot.  Sheereese reviewed the models’ portfolios to ensure they had the look she was aiming for.  I then reached out to Amani Asad, a talented MUA I’ve worked with in the past and she gave me her availability for the photoshoot.

The team was now in place, so it was just a matter of us executing the vision and me capturing the images as envisioned.  On the day of the shoot, I inflated a kiddy-pool and filled it with water.  I asked Mara to get into the pool so I can test the lighting.  After I viewed the first shot, I modified my angle from the top to the side, and I was very happy with the composition but the lighting not so much; I tweaked the lighting until I had the desired result.  

When the models were ready with hair and make-up, I took some test shots in the pool; Sheereese who was the hairstylist on the shoot, reviewed the images to ensure we were on track to creating the images she envisioned.  With lighting and angles looking great in test shots, I continued with the creative process.

From a post production perspective, I believe this was the first time I was so hard on myself with respect to the final product.  I’ve never done this before, but I asked two of my trusted and very talented colleagues, Benjamin Scott and James Thomas, for their feedback on what they thought of my final edit.  They were very accommodating and provided valuable feedback; turns out, I really was viewing my images too critically, and with a couple minor tweaks, the final edits were awesome.

While I’m aware these types of images have been done before.  I’m a portrait photographer, this was my first foray into the arena of beauty photography, and I’m pleased with the end-result.  

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BTS (behind the scenes) VIDEO

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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Natural Light Workshop 2014 | Cary North Carolina Photographer

On May 17th, I held a natural light workshop in Cary, North Carolina.  The workshop was done between 2pm and 4pm, which is not the most ideal situation to create images.  However, I knew with the right poses and specific directions we would create some amazing images.  Agnes, Nika and Jim were the 3 photographers who attended my workshop, I hope you all learned something new, thank you for attending.

The models that attended my workshop were Jessica Delovely who I have worked with in the pass and Seema Lateef Aziz.  Jessica had to leave early, so I didn't capture as much images I wanted to of her, which is why Seema dominates the below.  In addition to modeling Seema did the hair and make up.  Seema was a trooper and was very easy to work.

If you are interested in attending one of my workshops, please contact me.

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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

Impromptu Beauty Shoot | Raleigh NC Photographer

My friend Shereese Cromartie is a talented hair stylist, whose bragging rights include New York Fashion Week.  When she contacted me to do an impromptu beauty shoot, I was immediately interested.  I've worked with Shereese in the past and knew the quality of work she produces --- she creates some amazing styles.

Shereese was in town on business and decided to maximize her travel time by quickly organizing a photo shoot focused on soft, natural looking beauty shots.  I put the word out for models and MUA and received responses from two beauties, Jessica De lovely, recently featured in BeautyBliss magazine and Kaley Morrison, who walked the runway in Redress Raleigh fashion show; no MUA were available on short notice, so the models did their own make-up.

Below are images from the shoot.

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