Jackie Goldberg – The Pink Lady

It’s always interesting the people you can bump into in an afternoon out with friends here in Socal.
Today, while in Burbank, my friends and I met Jackie Goldberg. Jackie, I found out, goes by “The Pink Lady” – which makes sense for anyone who might happen to see her since she wears all pink.

Actually, the reason I noticed Jackie myself was due to her outfit and style. Pretty much everything she had on and was carrying was pink. She wasn’t just wearing it, she owned it. Down to her pink converse wedges. I commented to my friends – I need to meet her. I want to go talk to her, and take her picture. Comments like that usually go fairly unacknowledged by my friends mainly because hearing me say I want to photograph someone isn’t anything new or surprising.

Well, I was fortunate enough to catch Jackie right as she was leaving the cafe we were at. I was positive I had missed my chance after she walked out; but then she walked back in briefly, so I introduced myself.

It turns out that Jackie does all sorts of seminars and talks for seniors about how life isn’t over when you’re older. She’s also one of the stars in “Rockin’ with the Ages” – which is a musical where all the stars are over 60 years old!

Unfortunately since it was quick portrait I had to use available light. And it was late afternoon in Burbank AND it had been snowing and hailing the last hour or two (I know, crazy right? Snow in Socal?!). So I had to make due with higher ISOs and low apertures. I was still able to get  a pretty nice quick portrait.

Al took a quick snap of us chatting too.. For those who haven’t met me, I’m a giant compared to a lot of people.

For those interested in Jackie’s seminars, please check her website: The Pink Lady
And for those interested in “Rockin’ with the Ages” musical tickets, email Jackie at PinkLady7@earthlink.net

I apologize for no major update this week. Things have been a bit hectic and I had a number of cancelled shoots this week. I’ll have more for you all as next week starts off.

The Portraits continue..

This week my work has been all about portraits of people around me. And to start it off, I’m going to take my photography back two years to when I just moved to Southern California.
I met Cliff as I was wandering around the Grove, in Hollywood. I was actually there with my camera seeing who I may meet and photograph. Cliff and I started talking about camera stuff – he works in film – and at some point in the conversation I took this image of him.
But it wasn’t until this week that I finally was at a point with my technique that I was able to edit it in the way I originally wanted. That took a lot more experience and practice since that afternoon long ago. So note, don’t ever delete RAW images you may one day want to go back to and re-edit.

The thing I love about this image of Cliff, his eyes.

Here’s a tighter crop… or you can just click over to my portfolio for a higher res version.

This image of Teo I shot outside of Anthony’s shop. Teo owns and operates his own mobile car detailing company and travels around the area here between shops and dealerships for his work. He stays pretty busy and I bump into him every week and a half or so. The other day was one of those times and I wanted to get a quick image of him since I was positive it would come out great.
I’m really pleased that the pose, combined with the bright sunny day adding to the squint in his eyes, all worked exactly how I hoped.

This image of Sam I took while he was on a break at work. He wasn’t thrilled at the idea of me photographing him while he was smoking, however I wanted the shot. I was actually more interested in his pose, kneeling down, and his hood from his sweater draped over his face in the cold weather. The cigarette really just ends up adding a bit of attitude to the shot.

Last is this image of Mac. This is a photograph I took yearsss ago – I actually took it three cameras ago, haha! So it’s a sensor that’s a few generations old, and it’s a third the resolution of what I shoot with now!
However this has been my most favorite photos of Mac that I’ve ever shot. The little smirk is totally his personality coming through in the image.

So, I have a question for you guys…

If I start doing portraits, say three a week, is that something everyone would have interest in seeing?
It’s a project I thought of doing when I moved to LA and then stopped as I got busy and didn’t have the time to go out and meet people.

Oh, and here’s a preview shot from last week’s shoot with Bambi in Long Beach.
I’ll have a couple more images of her to share at the beginning of next week. Later this afternoon I’m leaving for San Francisco and will be back Monday.

Bambi is a burlesque dancer in Sweden. She was in LA for a couple weeks shooting and contacted me to do some colorful fun photos. I’ll have those up later, but this was a quick image I wanted to do with her after we finished the other shots.

Have a great holiday weekend everyone! See you in a few days!

BMX rider portraits, Buena Park

When I wanted to do portraits with some interesting people my first idea was to get ahold of Sean Logan – a BMX rider.
I knew that I could create an image of him and maybe a few friends he rides with that would be awesome and telling at the same time. Ironically, none of the images above have much to do with what I set out to create – those come later.

I met up with Sean and a few other riders at Adam’s house to shoot. Adam, along with many other riders, have built some massive jumps in the backyard for them to ride.

When I say backyard… I mean they seriously converted their backyard into their own private course.  Check out Adam in the white hat for a bit of size comparison to the jumps.

But lets start out with the images that I set out to create…

I wanted something a bit gritty looking. Dirty in the sense of “dirt” for a BMX feel.

I created a similar shot with Adam. I kept the bikes in there as a token “yes I ride” theme. However it worked out pretty much exactly how I wanted. All the focus is still on their faces/eyes and the bike comes second. The editing fits the theme perfectly.

These shots were images we did in addition to everything else. While I wasn’t dead set on color shots because I envisioned the photos above first, they came out great and we had some fun. Here’s Sean, whose hair, by the way, still looks like this after hours or riding… it’s crazy.

And speaking of crazy… Stuntman, and friend, Crazy Mike was there to have a few images done as well. Mike and I have worked together multiple times and when he heard that I was shooting with Sean that afternoon he came down with his buddy Ninja Nick so I could do some cover shots for a TV pilot they’re working on. I’d share them here… but I can’t. Sorry guys!
Mike’s personality always comes through in ridiculous images like this one. Haha.

Adam Saunders portrait ended up coming out great. Honestly, part of the reason I love it was that he grabbed his hat and threw a bit of attitude in with his lip.

Loren’s shot I dig because of the simplicity, and his eyes. Shades in photos always add attitude. But eyes humanize any image, and this one totally pulls you in despite all the color and busy-ness of the photo as a whole.

And while we’re on the topic of eyes… Check out Dustin Nette…
No, take your time, those are his real eyes. Not enhanced. I didn’t add color either. Dustin was throwing tricks and riding with everyone that day. But when he stopped and was walkin around I noticed his eyes – seriously, you can see them from 20+ feet away. I talked to him briefly and asked if I could do a quick portrait of him. I shot this with my 85 f/1.2 because I wanted all the focus just at his eyes and everything else to fall off. Came out great.

So, time for some action shots… since I’m sure that what many of you came to see.

Sean, doin a Superman over jump two.

Adam, backflipping jump two.
Check out the barn-type structure in the back. They cut out part of the roof and made a ramp to use that to drop into the jumps.

Loren, drop three in jump two.

Loren, turn down flip in jump two

Loren, backflip in jump one.

Dustin, cheesin’ it up for the camera.

Loren threw a flip table only about three times before we got a great image.

Sorry I don’t have the names of the tricks, I’m still learning all the BMX trick names. But, I’m sure a few of the guys can help me name everything and I can update later.
Hope you guys liked the images, I was really happy with how they all came out. I’m planning to try and keep going with these portraits and see what else I can come up with.

Next up will be images from a shoot I did last week with a Swedish model and dancer named Bambi – totally colorful crazy outfits and everything. I think you all will dig it. And if all goes as planned, I’ll be shooting long time friend and nation pole dance competitor Mina Mortezaie this weekend.

So Fresh. So Clean. From Black to White…

Because for some people, a white wedding is best viewed on website that’s white – not black.

Among various editing and major back-end redesign and cleanup that I’ve been doing on my server and website, I overhauled my wedding section last night. Ironic that as my sports work and portraiture is picking up that I decide it’s time to redo my wedding section…. but, now is as good a time as any.

My entire portfolio is viewable only on a black background. I do this for a couple very simple reasons. Colored backgrounds are distracting. Designs and wallpaper on your website are distracting. My portfolio has always been kept minimalistic and clean.
But, I’ve been thinking I should add the option for people who like viewing wedding images on white, instead of black.

So now my clients and potential clients have the option in my Wedding section to view everything on white – just click here:

Simple, huh?

Go check it out, see what you think of the new white wedding section. Post any feedback and thoughts you may have.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I’ll have some new portraits on BMX riders this upcoming week. I’m also setting up a new military war-era shoot with some models I know in two weeks.

Tall, Dark, Beautiful. Shooting with Kassandra.

While most of you were watching the Superbowl I was spending the afternoon shooting with Kassandra. Some of you may recognize her from our shoot on the K&N 2011 Calendar (view it here if you need a refresher, she’s November).
Well, it had been a year since we last shot, and even though we’ve talked about putting something together again for a while, life always gets in the way. We finally found time this past weekend to catch up on life, and make some great images.

Kassandra, for those of you who haven’t met her, is stunning. Tall, long black hair, and amazing figure. How are you not going to create awesome images?
The original ideas we started playing with were similar to the portrait style images of Mike Bell that I shot a week ago (check the last blog post). Kassandra loved the darker grittier feel to those. We ended up spending a few hours together and doing about seven different style shots. The image above was created in the middle of our afternoon together. I love the contrast difference between the white and black. And it puts nearly all the focus right on her eyes.

I like the uncropped version, too. But I’m sure most of you noticed that I’m a big fan of landscape/wide shots with my images.

Here’s what we were originally going for… a darker image. In this case we have a black/black/black/black shot. What I mean is that she has black hair, a black boa, black shirt, on a black background. Unfortunately for most of you guys reading this, you aren’t on calibrated monitors. But, for those of you that are, you will see that there is actually differentiation between all four elements in this image. This is one of those photo-nerd moments where I’m going to point out that there is a level of light/exposure control to create this shot. So for those of you new-to-photo readers that I have, practice with this idea ; )

Portrait style shot.
Really dig the attitude mixed with her style on the red-drape background. The border was added effect.

Kassandra showed me some simple images like this that she wanted to create. Again, very clean, but with contrast between the black clothes and empty surroundings.

Also a casual version, with a sweater and shoes.
But check out her Converse that she made!

We went out to the roof to see what we could shoot out there. Neither of us were completely feelin this location with the chess board. But, I figured I’d throw some layers and textures in to make it more interesting. Did it work? I don’t know.

But I do like this version more. Maybe I’ll go in and remove the background completely…

Edit! I removed the background tonight. Looks much better I feel like.

I <3 LA

Last shot of the evening was on this awesome couch. The only tricky part was Kassandra’s incredibly long legs on what was actually a very short couch. I still think it came out great though.

Between all the different style shots, catching up on life, and laughing at what’s new, it was great to see an old friend and shoot again. I have a few more shoots this week that are in the works including portraits of Sean Logan (the BMXer) and two more model shoots. I think I’m going to be continuing the portrait series with various people I know down here in LA in different industries. Should be fun.

Check back in a few days for more shots. I’ll try and post another blog this weekend.