A couple weeks ago I shot with Rita von Riot (left) and Megan Renee (right). This was part of my color themed series that, honestly, has been somewhat on hold the last few weeks with all the wedding work I’d been doing. Rita, or Crystal depending on how you know her, got in touch with me wanting to do a polka dots kinda theme for her shoot. The great part about working with Crystal is that she always comes up with some fun stuff and plenty of costume/wardrobe ideas to use.
A couple days before we were going to shoot Crystal asked about Megan joining us. Megan Renee is a highly published model across many different tattoo magazines. So of course she’s going to be someone I would be thrilled to shoot with. Not only is she extremely experienced, but her look is also completely different than a lot of the women I’ve worked with over the years.
So we all met up at Crystal’s studio to shoot and spent part of the afternoon creating a bunch of images. It was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to getting back to shooting more for this series after my next round of traveling finishes up.
However, until that time enjoy some of the shots from this series. I actually created a separate glamour section in my online portfolio now since it’s been getting more difficult to throw everything into Fashion knowing that not all of what I’ve shot is exactly fashion. Haha, so, some of them fall more in to that category.
We also got a shot of Crystal and her daughter Rylee. Rylee wasn’t too keen on spending much time with us shooting, but, we got a couple decent shots. I still need to go back and edit a few more.
This is one of my favorites from the afternoon
Both girls immediately started sassing it up once they started playing with the sunglasses Crystal had. haha.
And I loved Megan’s expression/pose here. You guys will mostly love the two ladies in not-much though I’m guessing.
I’m getting ready to start about three weeks of travel again in a couple days. I hope to have another update later this weekend for everyone in between my trips. So, check back soon.
I also will find out how I did in the national voting for RAW Artist’s Photographer of the Year contest that just closed public voting.
Last night was my showcase in Hollywood, at Playhouse with RAW Artists. As many of you know, I was contacted by RAW Artists a little over a month ago. They had come across my photography and were interested in having me showcase with them. Well, that event was last night and the support I received from everyone was overwhelming.
I was really touched by how many people came out to support me and my work – and even the goofy shot of five of my subjects and myself above is awesome!
So often I tend to look at my work as just photos.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in my work and stand my imagery. I’m confident in my abilities, but I still will look at my images as something that my subjects allow me to very easily create with them.
What I’m trying to say, is that often I forget that the portraits I’ve created of people mean more to those individuals than I realize. And nearly every person from my collection in last nights showcase proved that by showing up excited to see their photo on the wall, give me a hug, congratulate me on my work, and thank me for allowing them to be a part of it.
I’m surprised I didn’t get more emotional, but as I go through these photos and see what a great time everyone had talking and meeting one another, it compounds the amount of love there really was last night. Again, Thank You!
A couple things that stand out, before I get to a huge assortment of photos…
My cousin drove up from San Diego to be there even though he had to work at 4a the next day, thank you Gianni!
My Mom and step-dad flew down last minute from the Bay Area.
Adam, who turned into my poster-boy for this whole event, came out on his 25th birthday to be there.
Lauren, my best girl friend here in LA, celebrated her birthday last night with me at the show AND took tons of photos for me because she knew I wouldn’t have time.
Everyone else that attended, texted, called, emailed, posted on facebook, etc. Thank you all for the support!
Please check out the rest of the images after the break, I’ll have a lot more to say about the event and people that attended.
Mark Fightshark Miller, Shelby Jones, Rita von Riot.
Three new amazing additions to my ongoing portrait series and the last additions to my upcoming showcase this Thursday!
Mark Fightshark Miller has had one of the most inspiring stories behind any of my portraits so far.
Heavyweight kickboxer Mark Miller is the only person to get back into the ring after open heart surgery. Here, check out this video about his story..
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
The opportunity to meet and photograph Mark was actually offered to me by Shelby – a model-turned-fighter who I was talking to about photographing for my series as well. But I’ll get to her story in a moment.
After Shelby told me a bit about Mark, what he’d gone through, and then reading more about him online, I knew his was a story I had to have in my series.
The idea for his portrait was simple. The image above is exactly what I envisioned too. Mark, pointing to his scar, with an expression that said “Yep. I came back from THIS.”
This was the very first image I took of Mark.
Honestly, I love this one as well because I think for this brief second, his personality and humor came through in the shot. He did this pose and expression on his own and it’s a funny, creepy, and still powerful image. Admit it, you would NEVER get in the ring with him.
Shelby Jones was someone I was introduced to through a mutual friend of ours. I was told by our friend Lisa “You gotta shoot Shelby, John. She’s hot. Has bright red hair and tattoos. She’d be amazing with your work.”
Sweet, redheads intimidate the crap out of me. Probably because I’ve never worked with any. Ever.
But, Shelby and I started chatting and were discussing shooting “at some point”. Then, when I mentioned my portrait series lacking women, she volunteered herself for it. And after seeing some of the images I’d created for the series, said she would definitely be down to be in it. She also volunteered Mark (above) for it as well.
The funny thing was that I didn’t realize Shelby was now training to fight until I explained more of my series and the concept of creating portraits of people and a side of their life. Shelby’s background includes modeling, burlesque, dance, etc. I honestly thought that alone would be a cool concept.
But come on now… How awesome is it that she fights? Anyone who says otherwise is lying.
I played around with a few variations of this image. Ultimately I went with green, to contrast her bright red hair.
But seriously the concept of “hot girl who is also a fighter” will be cool to anyone… so I wasn’t worried about backgrounds at all.
The last shot we did was with some blood and scrapes makeup (Thank you to Samantha Ward our MUA!)
This was an idea that Shelby had. I didn’t want her to look completely beat up, so we kept it light. Because honestly you never want an image that looks like you lost… You want something that looks like you got knocked around a little bit.
Last, and certainly not least, is my dual-portrait of Rita von Riot.
Some of you who follow my work might remember Rita from the K&N Filters Calendar that I photographed a little over a year ago. Rita and I talked about shooting again last Spring, but timing just never worked out for us. Then she became pregnant with her daughter Rylee! So, of course, that kept us from shooting as well! Haha!
I was hugely flattered when I received an email a week ago from Rita who said that she’d been following my portrait series and loved all the images that were coming from it. She said she would love to be a part of it and had an idea for a mirror-image type shot that showed both sides of her life. One half would be the plain mommy-side of her life, and the other half a dolled-up model side.
I loved the idea and was also very interested in the challenge of creating such an image. I knew certain factors had to remain constant for the photo, but that there would also need to be major hair and makeup changes. Rita used her favorite MUA, Maria B. Muah, who was also used for the K&N shoot.
Adding Rylee into the photo was something I didn’t plan for or expect. And while it made things a little more difficult because Rita had to adjust her body a bit to hold her daughter, honestly, it really is what made the shot great. Plus it helped that Rylee was completely mesmerized by my light.
For those curious, this is a composite of five total images, and over 20 layers. It took quite a while to edit, but, was entirely worth it.
To give you an idea, here’s the Mom-photo from that afternoon.
All three are awesome new additions to my series and each one of them a great story, too!
For my last and final calendar preview I would like to introduce Rita von Riot!
This was one of my favorite shoots that we put together. The concept was to do something a bit 50’s or pinup-ish. Since we had rented out an air museum for the day we were able to book two different shoots that day – Rita was the second one after Lana.
Rita was a blast to work with. Take a look at the image above, first off… she did her own pinup style hair. Second, she put together and made all her own outfits for this shoot. The dress she’s wearing she actually bought and dyed to get it the right shade for the rest of the outfit. And she put together a number of other pinup-era costumes from things she found at the surplus store or already owned! I love creative models!
We tried a few different outfits and a few different styles. I also tweaked my processing of each image a bit to see what I thought looked best. This particular lingerie outfit with thigh-highs was great for a sexy shot without being over the top. The one thing that the pinup era still proves, is that you can be hot without having to show tons of skin.
Some of you guys may actually recognize Rita from her work in Lowrider magazine, MTV, etc..
Rita and I will actually be shooting again in the next month – which should be a lot of fun. We’re going to stick with a 50’s theme again, so whatever we come up with will rock I’m sure.
So, that’s my final update on this entire calendar. Again, it should be printed later in 2010 for distribution for 2011. I know LOTS of you guys have been asking me about it and I’ll be excited to update everyone as soon as I receive my copies in the mail. However, it’s a limited production that’s not available to the public… so, you’ll just have to stop by my place to check it out. Haha.
I’ve already had a few potential clients interested in my work for other calendars… with a little luck, I may be able to say that I have two 2011 calendars coming out. And hey, if you’re a vendor of some kind, please feel free to email (contact available in my portfolio on the link at the top of this page) and get in touch with me regarding my rates!
Good night everyone! I will have updates on my trip to the Bay Area later this weekend sometime.
Let me introduce Rita von Riot, who I had the pleasure of working with during this this project the last couple of months.
Rita not only brought an incredible attitude to the set but she even MADE her own costumes. Ok, obviously she’s not wearing much in this particular shot. We did a few images on our own outside of the project we were working on for the client. This is one of two shots we did – both similar style – on our way out that evening. I think think it came out stunning and exactly as I hoped it would as she hit her pose.
Over the last few months I’ve been working on a project that has allowed me to shoot some very creative images at some very unique locations.
I also had the opportunity to work with a few good friends of mine. Above is a shot of me and Adam during a shoot with Megan Black (who you’ll remember from the shoot I did with Megan in Laguna). You’ll also see Nick and Caitlin in pictures later. The project is now complete, and should be ready in a few more weeks! I’ve seen a possible mockup and it looks great! I can’t wait to share more about it with all of you!
Until that point when I can disclose more details and show full images from the actual shoots, I’ll just share a few group shots. Sorry guys, it’s the best I can do. I’m sure everyone can understand rules and client relationships. Plus, these people are friends of mine and they’re being very flexible in allowing me to share a few details! And let’s be honest.. it’s only going to help drive interest and excitement!
I want to figure out details for a showing of my work, too! Right now it looks like mid January will be best. I’m thinking something in Orange County or perhaps West Hollywood?
A photography show of everything I’ve done the last 12 months and the inclusion of some images from this project.
What do you guys think?
What if I get some of the models to come, then would you go? Haha. Contact me! Let me know your thoughts!
Me, Caitlin, Adam, Michelle, Nick, and Craig after a (long) crazy night of shooting.
The energy she brought to the set was so much fun we went two hours past our planned finish time.
Adam, I forgot his name (Sorry!), Kassandra, me, and Nick.
Kassandra and I have been trying to put together a shoot for the better part of a year. We were finally able to work together on this project. Yay!
Adam, Ashleigh, me, and Nick.
I don’t know how to thank Ashleigh for saving us. Not only is she gorgeous, with an incredible resume of experience and published work.. But she rocked this shoot for us after a different model canceled. Ashleigh had one day’s notice; and she couldn’t have been more prepared or made it any easier for me to work with her.
The last shot I have tonight is Caitlin, Nick, Rita (from the top of the post), Adam, and myself.
Again, Rita was the kind of model you always hope to shoot – fun and easy going. Hopefully one of these days I’ll have to opportunity to work with her again.
But that about sums up what I can share with you guys on one of the multiple projects I’ve been working on this Fall. Please email me or shoot me a message on Twitter with what you think about a mid-January photography show!
Have a good night everyone.
I’ll probably do another update this weekend.