if god will send his angels

My friend Chelsey is an accomplished makeup artist. Out of nowhere, she was presented with an incredible job opportunity, but there was a catch - she needed to produce a portfolio of her work in less than a week.

So the call went out: any one willing to be painted and/or take pictures? Naturally, I agreed to be paint...I mean take pictures.

This shoot was interesting because I arrived as the sun was beginning to move behind the mountains, and after the first few models, we had to use lights. I had only used lights a grand total of once before, so this was a huge learning experience.

Jocelyn was one of the first I shot, and the only one who I managed to get with natural light. I like rich colors compared to the grey, lightly textured background.

First major learning: models need something to do, or else they get skittish and awkward. This is especially true when their hands are empty. We pulled out a guitar for Jocelyn, and she relaxed immediately.

The lights we managed to wrangle up were those generic yellow work lights, which is pretty much the worst light you can use to photograph. To reduce some of the harshness I added a bunch of tea lights, which actually created a cool scene in addition to softening the light.

Second major learning: models need to be talked to constantly, or else they get skittish and awkward again. This was the first time I tried a scene to act out. The idea is that Kim set up a romantic evening, the table and two chairs, the candles, the hair and makeup...and the guy never showed. Can you see it?

After shooting model after model with the same backdrops I was starting to get bored - the parasol was found in the back of a closet. It made for a great background, the texture and neutral colour complimenting the hair and makeup nicely while the green really makes Shanna's eyes pop.

I took 1200 pictures that night. Not all of them were gems, many ruined by shadows from mis-placed lights. But you can be sure the next ones will be better.

15.9.08. Cropped to 3X5, slight colour correction.
15.9.08. Increased contrast, slight colour correction.
15.9.08. Cropped to 3X5, slight colour correction, increased contrast.


running to stand still

I went grocery shopping yesterday. Not just running in to pick up essentials like milk and veggies, but all the secondary things that you can keep pushing 'til next week (or until it all runs out at the same time). Stuff like freezer bags and paper towel.

It was heavenly.

The last six weeks have been undoubtedly the busiest of my life. The kind of busy where investing two hours to grocery shop is out of the question. The kind of busy where each week has a new major priority that takes over your life. The kind of busy where your focus and attention is split between a million different things.

The business trip. The photoshoots. The race. The concert. The new team launch. At vying for my attention, all now complete, and all successful. Fall has finally arrived. My team is now two weeks in and running full steam ahead. The house already has the joists in and the financing secured.

The craziness has ended, and the craziness begins anew.

Although the concept of routine is finally a plausible reality, I do have lingering regret that I was unable to write this summer. I started this blog to document my journey from Guy With Camera and No Skills to Guy With Slightly Better Camera and Some Skills, and a huge portion of that journey has occurred these past months.

I can't wait to share it with you.

2.9.08. Cropped to 3X5, slight colour correction.