My Hollywood showcase, with RAW Artists

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

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.

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VJ Michael Benz, Sergeant Trevor Scott, DJ JJ Dunlap

VJ Michael Benz, event host; Infantry Sergeant Trevor Scott, veteran; DJ J.J. Dunlap, musician. All three men are the newest additions to my portrait series – and with less than two weeks til the art show in Hollywood, they’re great portraits to add to my collection.

As I’ve said before, each of my shoots is meant to be telling about each subject. And each one of these shoots came out pretty much exactly as I envisioned them.

I’m going to introduce these in the order they are in the image above – not the order I shot them, haha.

Michael Benz is someone I’ve known nearly the whole time I’ve been in Socal. We met at a club one evening and I introduced myself because I liked his wild style contrasting the model he was there with that night. We’ve worked together many times since then.
When I hit him up, I knew exactly what  shot I wanted to create. And, leave it to Michael to call me 30 minutes before our shoot to say “Hey, by the way, I got us exclusive access to KRESS nightclub to shoot in. We have the whole place to ourselves.”
Michael is an event host in Hollywood, and pretty recognizable to anyone who has ever met him. I definitely wanted him in my series, and he rocked the shoot just as I knew he would.

 

Infantry Sergeant Trevor Scott, veteran. Trevor is an old friend from school. He served five years in the Army and has since returned and is now in school. The idea and concept behind his shoot was something I’ve been wanting to shoot for a while. And it worked out perfectly to not only photograph someone who already owns the gear, but that with Trevor, it’s real gear, and he’s an actual veteran who has served. Truly an accurate portrait rather than me creating this image with a model.
Adding Trevor to the series was  great because it also gave us a bit of time to catch up. I actually haven’t seen him since high school – and it’s crazy how fast all that time has flown by. We created a couple different images. But the flag image was what I was really hoping to capture.

 

JJ Dunlap, DJ and musician. JJ is someone I met through my friend Samantha – a makeup artist I’ve worked with multiple times in the past. With JJ’s music background I wanted to create an image using his amps and speakers as the backdrop. About half the images I’ve shot have something to do with environment that adds to the shot – this was one of those concepts.
JJ yelled/screamed and posed for one particular shot right as I was testing lighting and working on settings. These typically are the best chances for really original shots. I got the screaming shot just in time, and while all the other images we did were good, I kept coming back to this one.

Sorry for the wordiness of this post, haha. But I had three very different shoots to introduce in one. So, now, on to the photos!

This was the image I pictured created with Benz. Came out exactly as I wanted.

Rooftop of KRESS, Hollywood in the background.

Again, a moment when the subject wasn’t actually posing, but his attitude in the shot is real and works better than any posed image we did after.

Tighter crop. You can see more detail of Michael’s face here.

This was a shot I really wanted to create. You almost never see Michael’s eyes. So this was a bit of an unmasking.

Michael and I, rooftop of KRESS

The main image I set out to create with Trevor
NOTE: The flag is NOT Photoshop. This was shot in-camera this way.

A much softer, friendlier image.

Full, uncropped version

Screaming shot of JJ. Love how much detail I was able to get with his mouth, even down to the saliva in the shot. Really, his mouth makes this whole image.

Wider version, more detail with the background with the speakers.

JJ isn’t actually missing a tooth, but the shadow makes it look that way. Haha!

I feel like I need to go back and be a bit more generous with the editing of this shot. It’s a little too much of a headshot, I like the image with his eyes, but the editing style isn’t close enough to my other photos.

Behind the scenes pics that Samantha took.
Thanks Samantha!

JJ looks bored!

Hope you all enjoyed the images!
That was one of the longer blogs I’ve done in a while. Sorry, but I’ve been swamped running around shooting and preparing for the show in a week and a half. I hope you guys can try and come to it!

Check out more details here: http://www.rawartists.org/hollywood/unearthed/?artistid=10284