Category Archives: Shoots

Diaspora Reggae Live

I was very pleased to be invited by Diaspora Reggae to shoot their live gig at Howl at the Moon at Universal Citywalk, on May 17. It was my first live gig shoot in a while, and I enjoyed getting back in the swing of it.

Howl at the Moon is a very nice club, with a really good, clean-sounding sound system. I thought they were only a dueling piano bar, but they have a lot of live bands, too. Because of the high-intensity color of the LED lighting system, I found it hard to get shots of the band where they didn’t look like Blue Man Group (or Red Man Group, etc.), so I wound up converting a lot of the shots to black and white, which really saved a lot of otherwise unusable shots.

The band consists of: Tyler Reinhart (Vocals, Keys), Cedar Compher (Lead Guitar, Keys, Melodica), Brandon (Drums), Joe Hall (Rhythm Guitar), Jason Dickie (Bass)

Diaspora Reggae Shoot

Diaspora is a great, L.A.-based reggae band that I met through Craigslist, and arranged a shoot while they were in the rehearsal studio. They are a great bunch of guys, and very talented. The band consists of: Tyler Reinhart (Vocals, Keys), Cedar Compher (Lead Guitar, Keys, Melodica), Brandon (Drums), Joe Hall (Rhythm Guitar), Jason Dickie (Bass)

During a break from rehearsing, we went outside and shot the typical, cliche “five guys against a brick wall” band shot. It’s hard to shoot something that is so common and make it different! You have to rely on the band giving you something to work with, in terms of attitude, look, and swagger… which the guys from Diaspora did very well at.
From the wall, we went out to the streets, literally, and we all stood in the middle of a busy street during a break in traffic. Don’t try this at home, kids!
Then we found a darker wall, with a low wall in front of it, and the band decided to try out their powers of levitation for a fun group shot.
Because the studio was dark, and I had traveled light, bringing just a couple of Speedlites, I was shooting at ISO1600, which brought a certain amount of digital noise to the images. Instead of correcting it  in post, I worked with it, and allowed the processing to bring out the graininess and contrast of the RAW file.
This was a fun shoot, and I look forward to working with Diaspora again.

New Kataholic Shoot!

I’ve been very lucky to work with local model Kataholic. We started off with basic glamour shoots last year, and this year began shooting sets for popular websites Zivity and Suicide Girls. For those of you who haven’t shot for such sites, it is more challenging than I expected. Traditional photographic “rules” for glamour photography don’t always apply. The sites have a very specific look and brand, and you have to follow their guidelines very carefully, or your shots will be rejected.

Of the two, Zivity is a little more free-form and artistic. To generalize a little, they are more fine-art glamour than commercial glamour. They give the photographer a little more free reign to come up with a look, and as long as it is within their style, they seem to be OK with it.

Suicide Girls, on the other hand, is very strict. I wouldn’t consider them commercial glamour, but they are sort of Playboy for alternative glamour (tattoos and piercings), and are very particular about what they want. Conversely, they allow photos to push the envelope a little more, and accept more explicit nudity, fetishism, and other stuff Zivity won’t allow.

Below are a few shots from my most recent shoot with Kataholic that will not be submitted to either site.

Characters on Location with Joe McNally

I was really looking forward to Photoshop World in Las Vegas this year, not the least because I had signed up for one of the pre-conference workshops, called, “Characters on Location.” The idea was to go on location with a bunch of actors and models, and shoot using a selection of high-end studio lights that are not available to most amateur photographers.

A couple of months after signing up, I learned that the workshop was to be taught by the esteemed Joe McNally, so I was even more excited. Best of all, on the day of the shoot, it turned out we were going to be working at Hardkore Parkour Las Vegas, with a bunch of Cirque du Soleil performers, bodybuilders, and other Extremely Fit People. This was going to be fun!

I’ve posted some of the shots I’m happiest with above. These are pretty much straight out of camera, with only a minimum of retouching on any of them… the models, and the lighting, was that perfect. Much thanks to Joe, Annie Cahill, and the great crew and talent who worked with us all on that day!