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

Alex Portrait Session | North Carolina Photographer Ernesto Sue

Alex was very accommodating, he patiently sat while I calibrated the lights to match the scene and his features.  Working with a male subject is very easy, all they want is to express the traditional qualities of a man which is strength and to look cool.  With that in mind, approaching posing and lighting was easy.  Lighting for me is not about illuminating the entire scene, it's about defining depth in the image with light and shadow.  My images must have some depth, it cannot be flat. 

Please check out the behind the scenes video that shows how these images were created.

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There’s Always A First Time: Cary, North Carolina Photographer

The inspiration for this photo shoot was “hats”, yep, hats. I decided to capture images of the model wearing hats two different ways; the first look evoking an era reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn/ Diahann Carroll, Old Hollywood glamour and; the second look, an edgier glam-rock vibe. The juxtaposition of both looks using one model was absolutely brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed the image capturing process on this shoot. 

Admittedly, all the final images do not include hats and in keeping with the theme of not adhering fully to the theme (Ha!), I went totally off-script with the addition of a car; the images with the car were captured late evening, incorporating the mellow lighting dusk provides.
Our model Sonia had no prior experience modeling, this was her first time on a professional photo-shoot.  Utilizing my knowledge of lighting application and posing, and with Sonia being such a quick understudy, I was able to capture great shots of an absolutely gorgeous model.  Sonia hit her poses as directed like a seasoned model and it was an absolute pleasure working with her.

Thank you to the following very talented individuals for great team work and flawless execution:

videographer: Wayne “Wonder” Meyers
mua: Shannon “Conversionz” Sharpe
hair stylist: Kevin Saunders
wardrobe: Nicole “Polymoniker” Sue
model: Sonia Elizabeth Rivera

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