Saturday, July 31, 2010

when you think you're working hard, work harder.

Here we go again; a new blog post.

I've spent the past weeks in contemplation of the next set of moves I'm going to have to make to reach the success I can only humbly wish and hope for. With that said I've also been busy taking pictures and speaking to many people who are interested in either taking photos are giving some of my work exposure. I still feel I have tons of growing to do, then again I've been told you are your harshest critic, so, I'm going to grab the opportunities by the horns and ride em till the wheels fall off.

As my photography grows and I venture off more into fashion & portrait photography, it's beginning to become very clear that, fashion photography, at the least; is not a one man show at all! I'm in crucial need of networking and creating alliances with working professionals who are not only talented but creative, punctual, and reliable. And with as many wanna-be's out there, you would think it was easy? WRONG. Many folks are all talk, or if not, they may posses the professionalism and reliability but I just do not see their work meshing well with mine. Its a struggle, as everything worth having often is just that, a struggle. But mama ain't raise no fool, I will pick through the masses and select what and who I need for that success and the rest, well, shall be history.

Enough talk; now to the photos =D. I recently had the opportunity to shoot with two very beautiful and talented friends. First, was my girl Myra, who, you've seen before on the blog, for the "secret gardens" shoot a few months back. This time we shot right around my area in the Mt. Eden section of the Bronx. The original intent was to go more glamor, have her hair done, face beat, and very flashy styling. However, truth be told, the morning of the shoot persons went M.I.A. So in the end it was just Myra and I. We chatted, walked around and got some lovely photos. I would def love to do something very high fashion and sleek with Myra, all in due time.

Here she goes, right off the top of some stairs, natural light, I threw in a little extra flash to make sure her face was properly lit. I wanted to use a reflector, then again, who would hold the reflector? (this is where an assistant would be ideal, any takers? lol) I still love the photos, the dress and shoes were from All Saints.

This time we had Myra in all black, with a drop crotch pant and a button up that had coat tails..very neat.

Here I tried a very harsh black and white contrast, with a blue tint to it. I tried to make it feel a little more raw and a little less glam. I'm please with the result, I'm sure I will try it again soon.

About a little after a week, a good friend of mine, Casper, contacted me to take photos. Casper has always been a fan of my work, and always looks for me when he wants quality images taken, and for that I'm always grateful. He actually has been in magazines before and has worked with another, more established, photographer. So basically hes a working model in my opinion. I've shot Casper before, in the winter, before I had the blog up, he was great then and even better now.

I borrowed some lights from a fellow photo enthusiast and great friend, Bryan. I had the lights for almost two weeks I would say, and I wanted to take every opportunity to utilize and learn about the lights. Manipulate them and make em do what I want. So with Casper there I decided to get a classic, black background, portrait. I also however wanted to catch him in laughter, not only does he have a great smile, but the emotion of him smiling will communicate in the photo. I wanted his face directionally light from the side, natural & classic were the key words. Tell me if you think I nailed it.



Next we had some fashion to shoot!! Casper came well prepared with plenty of looks, and I had a few jazzy pieces to include myself. Ultimately we went with 3 looks and 2 made it off the chopping block... so we have "Dandy Paperboy" which are the first 3 sets of photos with the rosy hue to them. Then we have more of a urban gritty look, with the lazy ski cap and desert boots (former 3 sets). I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

I'm all too aware that my photos lack a "high-fashion" look, and instead they read from a more street level, I was told by a professional that my work looks like brooklyns finest photo ops. I think he meant that with some sarcasm, but I took it as the biggest compliment ever. I know what high fashion wants, more of a contrast, reflectors, superior styling, amazing locations and most of all, flawless models. however, for now, I'm taking photos of my beautiful friends in nice clothing, in my hometown of the Bronx; and I'm having a fucking blast doing it. Thanks. And for being self taught and a hobby I took up about a year ago, I'm beyond proud of my progress, and can only imagine where I will go from here and how my photography transforms. For heavens sake I'm using a $500 consumer camera!! But I still make it look good =D

P.S- A HUGE shout-out to fashion blogger Jeremy Dante !! Recently his blog was featured on SWIDE.COM (if you don't know, familiarize yourself) and I'm sure he will be getting emails soon about collaborations with the site, *crosses fingers* or maybe even writing for them. He is such a sincere individual, who always gives me great tips and advice with my photography work. He's a west coast boy, so I can't wait till he gets his ass over here and we can celebrate. Here is to the new generation, of self-proclaimed, self-made, self-starters of the 21st century. Ahhh what a good one this will be =D visit his site if you want to know any and everything about the industry, models, designers, photographers, he covers it. (

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

5Pointz w/ Amanda Baez

Hey Guys;

Its been about a week since my last blog post and a lot of planning is underway..=D very excited to see what the future holds. I have some stylists and make-up artist requesting to work with me, which to me is such an honor. I guess people really like my photographs ..!! Im still hoping to upgrade very very soon, lets see whats in store for me.

Sooo, this past week I was able to shoot the lovely Amanda Baez for a personal shoot. She is the younger sister of my good friend Matt (he's been in photos on the blog before). You might recognize her from the 4th of July cookout/bbq/pool-party fiesta photos I posted last week. Amanda saw my work and wanted to get some personal pictures done. I talked with her for a bit and discovered that Amanda had a deep love for graffiti and all things street art. Also, she mentioned how she wanted to show a more feminine side of herself. My brain got to working, and I realized shooting Amanda at 5pointz in a nice dress could do the trick. If you don't know, 5pointz is an area in Queens, about a block radius, covered in graffiti. From murals, to portraits, and just tag-ups, 5pointz has all forms or spray art.

It's not even far, about 4-5 stops into Queenz on the 7 train. You give a donation to the artists on the premises and they let you shoot all day. Take a look at the photos we were able to get.

Oooh, and this has nothing to do with 5pointz, but I did get to see my baby nephew, Evan. He's growing up so fast, his hands are huge!!! Hes about to hit 10 months old. What a handsome fella he is.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

hot like the 4th of July

This past 4th-of-July weekend, I spent out in New Jersey at a good friends house. The house had everything to offer and more.. a pool(of course), jacuzzi, grill, bonfire... best place for a nice group of 20-somethings to spend the day and make sure everyone stays out of trouble.. I was worried recently, returning from Florida and in middle of butt-booty summer that I would lose my enthusiasm to take pictures; usually I'm good at reading myself when I know my work will go into remission so to speak. But I'm glad I was dead wrong, everywhere I go I have & will have my camera, its just that simple. Might sound tacky but I'm growing closer to my camera, I know exactly how to push her buttons now =D, and I can read a scene faster then before. Moral of the story : I feel I'm getting better, and here are some pictures to see if you decide so as well.

Self Portrait, lol, before leaving the house.

Picture of EZ, the bestie & the roomie, at a concessions stand in the subway station, no attendant tho...

Some of the group upon arrival at Casa de Berardi.

Mr. Jon "Famous" Rod, taking a dip in the pool. I love this photo..the expression, the color, I shot it from the deck, and the silhouette you see there is a plant holder.. =D

Jacuzzi time. =D Jets, Bubbles & all.

A la Bonfire..very grainy image, had to use a super hi ISO to get a still shot. I like the grain tho, it adds to the picture tho, very painting-like.

All I see is fireworks...

Like everywhere I go I tend to want to extend my I always ask first !!! So I stayed over and spent an extra day out in Rutherford, NJ. Next day was the beginning of this serious heat wave hitting the Northeast, so we lounged around the pool, listened to music... & the pool had a sprinkler that could be attached, naturally we wanted the whole experience and had a friend attach the sprinkler. I fell in love.. I've been on this trip of learning to love and appreciate the small things, and free things in life, detach myself a bit from the materialistic view on things. Try and change my mentality to not think I have to go out and pay big bucks to have a good time, enjoy life simply as it is; and the sprinkler was a great way to start. My creative mind started to race and I wanted to play with shutter speeds and capture the beads of water shooting off the sprinkler. Raced to grab my tripod, and tada !! check it out...

First image, Matthew is slightly out of focus and his sister, Amanda, is nice and sharp, the sprinklers shooting from behind.

Im really proud of this image =D I was able to dial up the shutter speed, get a good aperture going..and freeze the droplets, and that is Amanda in the background getting out the pool. =D

Justin (owner of the play house) had a friend who invited us over for her post-fourth-of-july cookout/pool chill out. So here is Willy (travel buddy, same friend who stood with me out in Orlando for a bit) Amanda, and a slither of my shoulder, on our way to the second cookout.

Photo on the left, upper right corner, there is Justin! and this was the friends pool, I love the pink floaties against the aqua blue of the pool. So I photographed it =D

Lastly, upon leaving. I was able to snatch a picture of Matthew, Amanda's brother, and another residence at Casa de Berardi. Dude has swagg for days & fellow Mac Missionary. =D

Fun times, Fun times. Now to read another novel. Some suggestions please?