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The Divine Feminine | Raleigh North Carolina Photographer

I was asked by Shannon Sharpe to attend her annual Summer photo shoot, not as a shooter, but as an event coordinator, to provide any needed assistance/tips as an experienced photographer on the day of the shoot.  The event was held at Common 414 downtown Raleigh.  I was not scheduled to shoot and this was not my concept, however, Carlton aka Nicole, who was a stylist that day, asked me to capture some images of her work; she wanted the two different photography styles to be captured for her port.  Since I had not planned on shooting at this event, my game plan was simply to use the available light around me.  I didn't use any off or on camera flash to capture these images.  The images of Ai were all created using the venues lights, and the images of Shelby were created using natural light.  

A little background on the theme which was conceptualized by Wesley Yuan Shang (the photographer Nicole styled the models for at the event) and Carlton Eliza Charles aka Nicole Sue:

Yoruba spiritual beliefs are held in parts of Nigeria and Benin, some of which were introduced to and remain a mainstay in some western cultures.  In Yoruba belief, God (Olodumare - the divine creator and supreme energy) has many faces or states of existence, resulting in a pantheon of entities/Orishas.  Among the pantheon of Yoruba Orishas (deities) are Oya and Oshun; they each embody one of the manifestations of God (Olodumare) and are aspects/representations of the divine feminine energies:

  • Oya - a rapid, transitional energy; goddess of winds, tempest, change, transformation, and renewal; she is a fierce warrior, protector of women, and guardian of the realms between life and death. She is the Orisha of rebirth and new life.
  • Oshun - a calming, love energy associated with sweet, fresh waters and rivers; she heals the sick, watches over and provides assistance to the disadvantaged.  She is a progenitor of song, music, dance, fertility, and prosperity.

Acknowledgement to the following creatives for realizing the concept:

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Mike & Susan Couple Portraits @ The Marriott | Raleigh Photographer

Coordinating this photo session was such a pleasure.  Susan has over 200 couture evening gowns so finding wardrobe was not an issue.  My only job on this photo session was to ensure I made the couple look their best.  Mike was very supportive of his wife and extremely patient.

We were able to obtain permission from the Marriott in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina to photograph in the lobby.  I have photographed in that lobby before, therefore I challenged myself to not repeat the same images.

Working with this couple was simply a breeze, thank you Mike and Susan for such an amazing photoshoot.

I also want to thank my team, they were vital and help made this shoot a success.

Videographer:

  • Wayne Wonder

Assistants:

  • Mario Guzmman
  • Thang Nguyen

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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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Workshop | Environmental Portraits | Raleigh, North Carolina

Everyday I am enjoying creating images on location.  I enjoy the challenge and I love the fact that I never know what type of image I will get because I use what's around me.  The below images were captured at a workshop I held on July 19th in downtown Raleigh North Carolina.  In this workshop we worked with natural and artificial light to help create images with our model Jessica.   

Adley, John & Jessica thank you for participating in my workshop, you all made it very fun and educational for me.

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