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Friday, August 28, 2009

Back in Time...

On a hot summer evening earlier this month, I felt as if I had jumped into Doc. Brown's Delorean time machine and ventured back into the 1960's. This shoot was concept of Chic Elite's owner Robinette Desrochers. She had found this amazing green and black dress that was straight out of the late 60's. Every entity of the shoot was planned around this dress, from the car, the model, and even myself as the photgrapher. After a month of searching for the right car, we found the featured 1937 Plymouth right under our nose. Tabi Strickland, one of my most utilized makeup artists belongs to a family of "wrenchheads" and hot builders. The own several custom vehicles and are continually working on new projects. Our model featured is Crystal, who like the car just happened to be Tabi the makeup artist's good friend.

My assistant and best friend Chris Thompson accompanied me on the distant drive way out to the rural community of Grantsville, UT where we met Crystal and Tabi as they were completing hair and makeup. I honestly felt as if I had stepped back into time and was staring at Jackie Kennedy! Crystal was certainly the one to pull off this look. Her natural smile and curves complemented the dress as it did her.
We drove a short distance to an non-busy road as the sun was starting to set and commenced to set up the shot. Being the budget photog I am, I utilized a minimal strobist approach implementing 1-3 speedlights that were bare or had a simple umbrella as a modifier. The car's matte non shiny paint made keeping hotspots and specular highlights to a mininum. We shot through the golden hour as the sun set and ended at shortly after dark when the mosquitos overpowered our wits and equipment. We had a blast and I special thanks to all that made this shoot come to life. The colored image shot from the side even took a blue ribbon 1rst place at the county fair!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

You can shoot out of your home and still be a professional

This was one of the few shoots I got in my basement before the great flood. This is proof that you DON'T need some large fancy building and thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of Studio lights and battery packs. All these images were shot on cheap photo background paper which I picked up for about $40.00 a roll from PICTURELINE. Lighting was accomplished with 1-3 old nikon speedlights which I have slowly purchased from ebay over the past few years. For the budget conscious photog, a STROBIST setup is the way to go. I have had the opportunity to work with sevral big buget monblocs and 1500 watt strobes. And I have to say that I love my strobist setup the best due to it's low cost, low maintance and best of all, its portability.

The model featured here is Shay DelaCruz, an old aquaintence from way back in Elementary school. We happened to bump into each other on a Modeling website. From reading her profile and viewing her portfolio, I knew she had more than just the looks to model. I commenced in setting up a photoshoot. The funny thing is that when I approached her, we had no idea who each other was. I didn't make the connection till I saw a friend suggestion on Facebook with her name and the same photos that were in her portfolio. We had a relaxed, laid back shoot on a late afternoon. It was fun reminising about grade school, old teachers, and times past.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Things have been crazy the past couple weeks. I have been shooting away and attempting to get the studio rebuilt in time for some scheduled shoots next month. I will be shooting another Pinup theme with a Rat Rod later this week. While I am shooting away, I am still behind in editing. I am tending to remain three shoots behind, for as soon as I complete the edits for one shoot, I have another one loading up from my memory cards... I am battling a ruptured ear drum due to an ear infection, which tends to cause headaches and affect my equilibrium.

I am ready for a vacation. I am planning on taking a camping trip to the high Uinta's later this month

If anyone reads this, thank you for the support. More images to be posted soon...

Monday, August 3, 2009


I had built and moved into a new home about 2 months ago. It has a large and spacious unfinished basement which I have slowly converted into my new studio space. I acid washed the floors, painted the walls black , installed a sound system, and after a week's worth of labor, I had a pretty decent area for a "home studio"

I had noticed when I had moved in that the basement drain which catches the condensation from the central air unit and softener was draining slowly. I placed a call to the builder, and I was told that some the other homes in the area had slow drains and that I should remove the grate-cover and shove the drain lines from the water softener directly into the hole. I did as instructed and it seemed to not backup as much, but I felt it was still not draining appropriately. I placed a second call to the builder... I was immediately blown off and pretty much told to quit whining and to enjoy my new home.

We roll forward in time to 3 weeks ago. It was one of those triple-digit days and the air conditioning wasn't keeping up. I decided I'd better run downstairs to check on everything and low and behold, as I reach the bottom of the stairs, I step into 4 inches of water! Lightstands are floating, props are bumping around as if they were toys in a bathtub. Besides my studio space, I had used a separate area of the basement to store all my old stuff and seasonal goods. As I rushed over to that area, I knew that there was no way in hell that my diplomas, old electronics, and my late mother's Christmas ornaments would be spared.

What would casuse such a thing to occur in a new home? Get this... When they built the home, one of the subcontractors decided it would be okay to dump his excess concrete, stucco, or tile grout material down the drain and into the sewer.

Now 3 weeks later after a maxed out credit card, a newly poured driveway, and priceless heirlooms and sentiments ruined forever, I have realized that we can never prepare for the unknown, and that we have to take life as it is dealt, regardless of the hand you hold.

As for me, luckily the builder is going to take care of the cleanup and construction costs. But covering my lost setiments is another matter.