female models

Carolina's Most Stylish 2015 Book Publication | Cary, North Carolina Photographer

I am so stoked to finally release these images which were created for, and published in The Carolinas’ Most Stylish 2015 book by Carolina Style Magazine.  This is my second time being published in Carolina Style Magazine, the first being The Winter Book.  You may pick up your copy of The Carolinas Most Stylish 2015 book here.

Tomris McDaniel is the Triangle Market Editor for Carolina Style Magazine and she was the Styling and Creative Director for this shoot.  My first time working with Tomris was in December of 2013, where we worked on creating an Easter Theme marketing image for Carolina Style Magazine.  That first shoot thought me a great deal, specifically the importance of working with a great team.

So, a little background on this shoot: Tomris reached out to me about this project in February of 2015.  The theme of the shoot was Spring/Summer, however, it was about 9 degrees outside and although we can make it look like Spring/Summer through an image, it would be extremely uncomfortable weather to work in for the model with summer attire on.  With the weather in mind, we decided to do the photo shoot in my home studio aka my garage.  We choose to use bold colors to help sell the theme of Spring/Summer.  Tomris was very disciplined about the direction of this shoot, from the clothes to the colors, to hair and mua; everything was deliberate, which was perfect for me, she and I think alike concerning areas and aspects of project management.

Tomris introduced me to three new awesome and professional individuals, whom I had never worked with before.  Although I had no work experience with the new creative team, as we had not collaborated prior to this project; our focus was cohesive and harmonious, resulting in a seamlessly executed vision with great images.  

Demetra Angelis of the D-Spot was the hair stylist on the shoot, yeah, what can I say about Demetra that I haven’t said already?  She’s without a doubt, a good-natured, creative, bundle of energy, and I absolutely enjoy any time spent with her.

Amani Asad was our makeup artist, very quite presence; watching her create is sublime.  Amani is focused and her artistry renders a measured flourish.  

Mara Wuliger our model for the day: this young lady embodied classic elegance and takes direction very well; no ego-tripping, just an amazing person.

James Thomas, a talented beauty photographer as well as the one of best people to provide assistance on a shoot, was on hand to assist me with lighting and being my test subject :-).  He helped with implementation and execution; and I am extremely grateful.  Thank you, James.

If you want to attend one of my workshops, please become a member of my meetup group and RSVP for any workshop that you are interested in.

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One-On-One Workshop With Mario Guzman

In this one-on-one workshop with Mario Guzman, I explored 4 different lighting techniques:

  1. I used the sun as the hair light and the reflector as the main light 
  2. I used the sun as the main light and the reflector as fill 
  3. I used the omega reflector as our main light and the speed-light as the hair light 
  4. I used the flash as the main light and the ambient light as fill.

For more on these techniques and other educational/useful tips, you may view my YouTube channel.  Mastering these techniques requires repetition and proper application.  That's right!  Practice.  If you don't intend to put in the hours it takes to enhance your technique and augment your skill-level, you may as well not invest any finances in attending workshops; without thorough investment and dedication, you will not gain any additional knowledge or get any better at your chosen craft.  With the advent of smart-phones, and the smorgasbord of social media, it has become commonplace for some individuals to be easily convinced that they are photographers.  So, what makes you a "professional photographer"?  Better than the millions of "photographers" out there?  It's certainly not the camera or all the gear you have or even knowing lighting.  What gives you the edge and finesse, is your hours of work and mastery of all the techniques that encompass being brilliant at your craft.

While I am not a master photographer, I take pride in the earnest I apply to curate my craft and the work I put in.  In these one-on-one workshops, it's my goal to inspire attendees, show them techniques that I have learned overtime, which have worked for me, and instruct them on posing techniques that will bring out the best in their subjects. 

Thank you to Milica Guceva and Quionna Byrant for being our wonderful models for this workshop.  I also want thank Thang Ryan Le for assisting me on this workshop.  Big thank you to Wayne Myers for BTS video.  Lastly, thank you Mario Guzman for attending, I hope you were able to walk away with some valuable information that you can apply on your future photo shoots.

Here's what Mario had to say about the One On One Workshop:

"Being in this workshop with Ernesto was a great experience. Ernesto took the time to teach skills like using sunlight to illuminate the hair using a reflector as the main light. As a beginner in portrait photography, I thought that sunlight is used as the main light. Seeing the results of the techniques that Ernesto taught me I realized how great it is to manipulate light. Also learned how to use the sun as the main light and reflector as fill light. Ernesto is a great photographer and teacher of photography. I participated in some workshops with him and it's always a great experience."

One last point, light is light, you can create great images with just a camera and any beautiful quality of light, so don't get caught up with expensive lighting equipment.  In this workshop, you will notice I didn't use any expensive strobes; I used the sun, a reflector, and a single speed-light.

If you want to attend one of my workshops, please become a member of my meetup group and RSVP for any workshop that you are interested in.

If you like what you see, please share with your friends and family.  Also, please click the heart button and/or post some feedback below.

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BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO

Edgy Fashion | Raleigh North Carolina Photographer

So, here’s a photo shoot where I was tossed a few curve balls and how I was able to address and navigate each one.

First let me thank the incredible team that made this photoshoot happen.

Demetra was our hair stylist and wardrobe stylist on this shoot. If you ever have the pleasure of making her acquaintance, you will quickly realize there’s never a dull moment with her; she keeps the energy high and is acutely tuned in and anticipates the needs of her team members.

Shannon Sharpe was the make up artist on this shoot.  She is always affable, wearing a smile, easy to work with, and willing to do what it takes to complete the vision.

Vivian Powers Ramge, and Miguel Angel were the models.  This was my first time working with both Vivian and Miguel; they were both professional and attentive.  They never complained about poses, and trusted my directives.  Miguel was very dedicated; he got separated from our little photoshoot team motorcade as we made our way to the venue.  Instead of giving up and leaving us, he parked his car and was picked up by Vivian’s mother at an agreed upon meeting spot.  We were able to complete the shoot without losing anyone and compromising the vision - with one exception, Shannon our MUA; sadly she didn’t make it to the “other side” with us. Twelve-gun-salute for Shannon.  Until we meet again, my friend.

Wayne and Najee, they are the permanent team, but they do deserve credit as well.  Wayne did a really great job with capturing behind the scenes video. Najee was an incredible assistant with lighting and video.

Let’s get into this shoot.  Initially, the idea for this shoot was parkour with fashion.  However, the parkour model was unable to participate.  Given that I had all the resources lined up I decided to change the theme of the shoot; the new concept became: an edgy fashion shoot.  With the new concept, I needed a new male model and Miguel stepped-in and was a welcome addition.

Downtown Raleigh - our venue on the day of the shoot - was also hosting Iron-Man Raleigh, as a result, downtown was completely blocked off.  More on that later.  After we navigated - thank you, Demetra - the Iron-Man Raleigh event with all the resulting road-closures and detours; we were faced with yet another challenge, my original location had construction work going on.  So, once again, I had to come up with yet another location that would work well for the team, all while communicating with and corralling the remaining team members who didn’t make it to the original location, and getting everyone to the new location to start shooting.  Whew!  Stay with me.  The new location from a lighting perspective was not ideal for me, but I decided to play the hand I was dealt.  I ended up working with direct harsh sunlight, which would have been a problem for me if I had never worked with direct sunlight before.  Understanding posing and the light, helped me navigate this not so ideal situation.

If you want to attend one of my workshops, please become a member of my meetup group and RSVP for any workshop that you are interested in.

If you like what you see, please share with your friends and family.  Also, please click the heart button and/or post some feedback below.

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Preview of BTS Video

Full BTS Video