Thursday, December 18, 2008

Candace, Elizabeth, Rachel

So this past weekend has been super eventful.
A friend of mine who is a make up artist got hired for a job around my area(from Charlotte, NC) and she hit me up to give me a heads up. This girl knows what she is doing so I definitely did not hesitate to collab with her.


Candace wanted to use an octopus in a picture which I thought was a pretty rad idea. I knew I wanted a headshot immediately but more importantly I wanted really good eye make up (elizabeth tolley ftw) and it on her face somehow to make it interesting and gross.

Now the lighting.. I never tried a shot like this and I wanted to approach it differently JUST to see what the results could look like. First I tried 3 lights. A bare abr800, 2 sb800's with umbrellas for fill in specific areas. I was going to use the ringflash to light up her face DECENTLY and have the umbrellas fill in shadows a LITTLE and mostly bring out the pattern on the background. Turns out the background was a little too dark in color and sb800's with umbrellas couldn't really get the job done at F/11 so scratch that idea. I would have to bump up my ISO to have the sb's do anything significant so SCRATCH that idea. You'll notice how I totally didnt even use the background, sigh.. waste of 5 bucks!. Then I tried an ab1600 boom with a beauty dish with the sb800's EHHHHH nope. the bam, abr800 on a boom with the 56" moon unit to get the job done. nice even light and strong enough to get what I needed. I dont have a large softbox YET for my ab1600 but I will shortly.. anyways heres the shot.


Next we have Rachel.. this wardrobe was picked out by Elizabeth, so thank you Liz!
Now for this shot we did in my house.. well my parents house.. anyways. We have these cool columns in the living room and I love the color of the hardwood floors and the white paint on everything. I KNOW the background doesn't fit the wardrobe but thats what I wanted. The colors on her outfit would stand out even more and also show a weird contrast of colors overall. Anyways I dont think I worded that very well but this isn't english so whatever. I originally took exposure of the frame without her (I had my camera on a tripod the whole time) so I could get a good exposure of the ambient since I would be working with a super high f/stop. BUT I ended up dragging my shutter to about 25th of a second to get the chandelier looking KIND of cool, and the background just natural overall. I used an ab1600 with a beauty dish boomed as my main. I like the BD because it really doesnt spill light all over the place so the background usually remains NATURAL. Dont really know how else to put that but anyways. I then place an sb800 on the ground and layed an umbrella over it to fill in some shadows too. I think I was working with a pretty high fstop, probably f/10 or little more. Anyways, I photoshopped to the max on these but I am happy overall.


Next we have the headshot. I used 3 lights. 1 sb800 with an HONL gride on it behind her, 1 sb800 up high through an umbrella for hair light and a bare abr800 for the main light. The colors of the wall and stuff was all photoshopped to get that amber sepia look which I dig ALOT. I really like these shots cause the makeup is just INSANE


click all images to see bigger on my FLICKR!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Diane's wedding and bridal shot

So i help my friend ross shoot a wedding for a friend of ours. It was pretty laid back and overall stress free, thank God. I took charge of the groom shots and wanted to do something funny with the trees. The guys were pretty funny as well so that only made my job easier! I really like how this almost looks like a band shot.

Also during diane's bridal session the commodore had the perfect word on the sign thingie majig. I guess you could see the marquee??!
Anyways here are the shots, hope you enjoy!

grooms men

diane.bridal shot


click thumbnails to see bigger!

bobby boldasss y Candace Filip

So me and candace went over to bobby's to eat some food and get a shot. It was cold as hell outside so I wanted to stay indoors. for the sake of having a red nose to edit in pictures. Anyways his couch was pretty awesome and I was looking to get a simple color scheme shot in my port. Definitely going to shoot him again when time allows me, which actually, now that I am unemployed should be easy to do?!!

Also here is a candace and our puppy lilly. I like both of these shots... obviously!

bobby boldas!!


AGAIN, click thumbnail to see bigger!

wave church project

So continuing from the last update I did for wave church, I finally edited majority of the staff shots. Here are my two favs. The rest of these were clean and simple, but as far as location, these two killed it for me.

and ps.. thanks for justin(7citiesphotography) for helping me, made my life a lot easier for sure!

josh hill
josh hill, the legend.

wave church setup sneak peak
setup shot :)

staff shoot

click thumbnails to see bigger!

Rachel Dashae

So I've been meeting to shoot this model for quite a number of months now and never really got around to it until recently. We met up with a friend of mine Jess who also does photography as well(and good at it!). Anyways, it wasn't quite the concept I wanted but the images came out really good, at least I think so.

The set up I used I believe was 1 abr800 with the 56" moon unit, 1 sb800 to her left through an umbrella, and then Candace held 1 sb800 bare at her right side.

Here are the shots!
and of course, heavy post processing was done -_-

rachel dashae

rachel dashae

again, just click on the thumbnails if you want to see them bigger!

Days Difference

A couple weeks back Days Difference contacted me about promos they would be needing to promote themselves to get on a couple huge tours. I definitely jumped at the opportunity because for one, they are a pretty big band, two there music is pretty good, and three, they are on universal. This was pretty much my first big label shoot and I think I did pretty good to my standards.

ALSO, I used 5 lights.. 5 lights?! I never used 5 lights before really but I think it worked out pretty good. A couple guys came out from this photography forum I am on and it definitely helped so much. I am so thankful they came, cause I could probably only manage 3 lights top by myself. Heres the setup..

and here are two shots I got that I liked.
One has lens flare but I don't really care too much since it was more of a fun shot than anything else.
I also did a number of face retouching as well to clean things up a bit.


days difference

days difference

just click on the thumbnails and it will take you to my flickr account so you can see them bigger :)

update after another.... long time

sooo I have a lot more new material since I last updated this blog.
Also other than new material I got new equipment which is what I have been wanting for sooo long. I got an AB1600 with a 22" beauty dish along with a light stand a boom arm attachment. This new stuff will definitely change my images for the better but at the same time keep my style. Here is the first image I made with it. Its of my girlfriend candace and we basically just shot it in my parents living room. It was influenced by a photographer name mojokiss( who is definitely an inspiration in my eyes.


More on the next post!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jenn Ryan, Norfolk VA

So a good friend of mine Jason( invited me along to help him do a shoot. The model was Jenn Ryan from Raleigh(?), NC. Also a hair stylist Andrew Cordell, and make up artist Elizabeth Tolley came in from Charlotte, NC. The shoot I did was for Angelique Boutique ( and they make jewelry. Anyways, here are the shots. For these I used 2 sb800's with ST umbrellas left and right aiming at the background and feathering her side. I used 1 abr800 as a main light using the 56" moon unit. Heavy post processing was in photoshop and adobe lightroom to help bring out some colors and the necklace.

view more on my site or flickr
all links on the right side of the page in the about me section

Wave Church, Virginia Beach, VA

So I was recently contacted by Wave Church to do some photo assignments. One of the assignments entails documenting their new building they are working on. This was one of my first paid architectural shoots, but I do have experience shooting this stuff for fun, thank Goodness. I pretty much went the HDR route since I shot everything at night time. I wanted to get all the detail within the building and on the outside. I think most of these shots were composed of about 4 -5 raw images, plus mass layers in photoshop to bring out certain things, and remove specific reflections on the windows that were a little distracting. The building will be done on the 21st of September so I will be documenting the inside, which looks amazing by the way. I'll have those up in the near future.

view more on my flickr
all links on the right side of the page in the about me section

Atilla photoshoot, Richmond, VA

So me, my girlfriend, and a fellow photographer friend of mine(JMB) went up to Richmond last weekend to shoot Hannah(Atilla). This was a model I've been wanting to get in my portfolio so I was pretty excited to shoot. Anyways, the day was pretty long, we started shooting in her living room. She bought some awesome wallpaper that we nailed up and used as a backdrop for one of her ideas. Which worked out awesome, especially her wig.

The equipment I used for these shots were 1 abr800. The first one was with a 56" moon unit attached, the second was the abr800 with just the standard diffuser on it.

view bigger on my site or flickr

After the inside shot we went to the woods to shoot. These shots were pretty much on the spot. I scouted around while everyone talked and found an awesome "mini wall" of logs that worked out perfectly for a bench sort of thing? Anyways I only used 1 sb800 as a main light. I would have used more but I prolly would have got poison ivy or eaten by a snake trying to work my way into the back. Here some of the shots, I have more which I haven't edited which I probably should. Anyways here are the shots.

view bigger on my site or flickr

Here is one setup shot for the photos I don't have up yet but will soon!
This consists of 3 sb800's(for portability)

hannah, jmb, candace

view bigger on flickr
all links on the right side of the page in the about me section

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Band photoshoot

So last week I did a shoot with a local band In Cynthia's Diary. Overall the shoot went rather smooth and quick. Got the shots we needed and got out of there. I try not to shoot hundreds of images like a lot of people do. I like to get what I want within 3-4 frames and move on to the next thing. This saves both me and the client time and saves me less pictures to go through(obviously if they don't look good I will correct them on location).

I was excited to use my new vagabond II and my new 56" moon unit on my abr800 so I definitely had those stocked in the bag of goodies to bring. I also brought along 3 sb800's just in case there were shadows needed to be filled, or rim light that would be necessary to separate them from the black background(sky). Me and my girlfriend are still having difficulties actually attaching the moon unit to the abr800 but it is definitely coming along now!

Anyways heres one of the setup shots I used for the street shot(which is my personal fav) This is my typical set up and I'll add or remove a light if necessary. This setup involves 1 abr800 as my main light probably around 1/2 power(i think) and 2 sb800's around 1/8 -3/4ev I believe. I used my gf as a light stand because I am retarded and left my last stand and bracket at my last shoot

I like to try new post processing things with every shoot I do depending on the surroundings and the whole look of the shot. I did a lot of dodging and burning techniques as well as converting my raw files quite a bit in lightroom. worked out pretty well I think, but I am still working on perfecting this technique to get it perfect. Here are some shots that I liked from the shoot.

this is the street one I posted the set up for

PS: I apologize for the small pictures but AGAIN i will remind you they would just be cropped. you can view them on my flickr/website/jpg site by clicking the links to the right!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I wanted to make a cinematic type shot or old school movie poster shot, this is what I came up with.

model: my girlfriend candace
animal: my cat liger

Lighting was way more difficult than I anticipated. I had a whole lighting diagram thought up and it pretty much failed. Not to mention wind blew over my softbox and broke it :( Anyways I ended up snooting 1 sb800 on my cat. That was the hard part. I had to lure the sucker into place with cat food which took about 1 hour, such a pain. Then I had to illuminate the metal tower to make it "pop" I did that using 2 sb800's. 1 snooted on Candace, and the other zoomed at 24mm to spread the light better and get an even gradient. I PP'd everything in lightroom and CS3.


Still Pink

Another band photoshoot for you! A local band and good friends of mine Still Pink finally got those promos done. These were mostly done with 3 sb800 speedlites. 2 of them were shooting through 43" westscott umbrellas and 1 was bare with my girlfriend being my human lightstand. The shoot went pretty smooth, I really wanted a lot of fun in these pictures rather than the typical serious look, it's not really Still Pink to me. The pictures weren't too flattering at first and I was kind of disappointed but every came together. Popped those bad boys into Lightroom and CS3 and went to town.

Enjoy :)
PS: photos are cropped off on the right. visit my flickr, website, jpg page to see full version

about time..

So my photography club had a workshop with Splash Modeling Agency about 2 weekends ago, and I am NOW posting this. Anyways, this was a learning experience for me. First of all, the day actually started out pretty horrible. I just received my vagabond II battery pack which I was more excited to use, and I also had my 56" Moon Unit ready to use for my key/main light. BAD thing was, I BROUGHT A BAD POWER CHORD. Man, what a disappointment. The setup I ended up going with was 2 sb800's, either one bare, both with 43" shoot thru umbrellas, or a 1 light setup with an umbrella which performed better than I could ask for in harsh sunny conditions. I did do some shots without flash and used available light which was a bit challenging. First, I don't have a light meter to meter the ambient light, second it WAY sunny outside so I can't really read the lcd but I did use the histogram which did help me out a little with the help of shooting in RAW.

One thing I did not like about the whole event was that things were getting repetitive(as far as backgrounds go) but I made the best of it and I think I got a couple solid shots for my port. Thanks to VBPC for making this happen!

I'm currently at work, so I am cutting this short..
PS: thank you blogspot for always cropping off the rightside of my photos =/

Friday, June 27, 2008


Finally got my headshot portfolio started thanks to a good friend Chloe who got some people to come over to her house.

I was going for the perfect black background that I have never actually done myself before and I think these pictures came out way better than expected. I am pretty excited for further headshots to come and hopefully my skill on lighting improves.

These were all done with two bare snooted sb800's and 1 abr800 ringflash, I LOVE this ringflash, it works wonders.




pablo and chloe
pablo y chloe

go to my flickr to see them bigger!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wedding Crasher

Went to a local photography meet a week or so ago. It was fun and the turn out was pretty impressive. I manage to have some time with the bride and groom alone and got the shots I wanted, well.. shot I mean. Nothing to serious, with a little humor.

The lighting I used was 2 bare sb800's back left and right and my main light was an sb800 through a shoot through umbrella. post production was done in lightroom and cs3 to get them to "pop" out of the frame a little.

a little bit is cropped out to the right due to this text box being ridiculously small.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

various shots of Candace

Since Candace is my girlfriend I have the advantage of practicing new lighting techniques AND full time access to a pretty model.

This shot we were on a vacant backroad in whoknowswhere, North Carolina. I wanted to see how my SB800 power would stand against the sun. Of course the sun won, but the SB800's performance was satisfactory.

One thing that I am disappointed in was my awful knowledge of what settings to use. WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE was make my aperture smaller with a decent shutter speed. But I am dumb and did the opposite. Fortunately the results were pretty nice.

Anyways heres the setup description, Candace stood between me and the sun. I was laying flat on my back on insanely HOT pavement with her standing right over me. I had 2 sb800's camera left blasting away at full power.



This shot was actually done right across the street from my house in the park. Candace got a new dress and why the hell not take some pictures of it. Equipment used was 1 sb800 with a 28x28 softbox camera left and 1 bare sb800 camera right.



We Were Gentlemen

This photoshoot was fun and came out out amazing. At least for my expectations. We started out in McArthur Mall's parking garage. I got there 30 minutes early to set up my strobes on a vacant floor (hoping security wouldn't mess with me). I used my girlfriend Candace to stand in 5 places where I wanted the band members to stand so I could make sure there was not too much fall off on each of the members. The parking garage shots I believe were done with 3 sb800's. 2 Bare back left and right for highlights, and 1 as my main light through a white shoot through umbrella.

Results for parking garage locations:


Next we wanted to try and ask the movie theatre if we could do some shots there. Unfortunately we were shut down, I was excited to get some cool theatre shots.

We ended up walking to the high end restaurant Kincaid's(sp?) in the mall and I talked to the manager and she was really nice about the whole situation. So we were a GO for that.
I used 1 strobe set up for this place. 1, because the place was kind of too small for two strobes, and 2, because 1 strobe was more than enough for this place. 1 strobe can also help get some dramatic shadows, but that wasn't the case for these shots.




Finally, we went to a walkway I really wanted to shoot at. These shots came out extraordinary. I pretty much used the same set up like I did for the parking garage shots but the walk way was WAY more cramped. Not to mention there were huge puddles all over the place that made nervous, and on TOP of that there was a steady flow of pedestrian traffic in there so we were constantly moving.

Also since the place was a little more compact I had to lower the power output of all my flashes because they were a lot more close to the band than they were in the garage.


we were gentlement photoshoot teaser

OH YEAH, I forgot I got an ABR00 ringflash to add to my army of sb800's. I have only used it on this shoot so far but I am excited to get it going. I just need a VAGABOND II battery pack and some other light modifiers and I'll incorporate it more.

But these were done in Jillian with 1 ABR800. I'll only post a couple to avoid redundancy.
Thanks for reading!