Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ms. Martin in the park

I had the pleasure of photographing a friend for her business recently. She is someone who generally does not enjoy getting her photo taken and I promised her she would not only feel comfortable in the front of the camera with me but also have a blast! And we did!  Her business link:

My intention was to just make her laugh as much as possible to show off her gorgeous smile. I got some great candids of her at our first location, this one being my favorite:

Then, we got some really nice headshots that she can use for her new magazine she’s creating. I love this one:

We moved onto a new location with a lovely butter yellow wall in as our background. I got her laughing again and captured this beautiful moment:

And after getting some really fun shots of her dancing in front of a giant blank wall – which almost acted like a canvas for her! – I got her leaning on this post. I think this image really captures her sweetness.

In the end, she really had a great time and felt comfortable in front of the camera – a first!


Vallean Mann headshots – take 2

After some critical feedback from agents and other actors, Vallean and I came to realize that her photos were too ‘character-driven’ with the hats and her fabulous glasses (see previous post). The agents want to see the PERSON, not a character she could play.  So!  We did a reshoot and got some gorgeous photos.  We went with some brighter colors on the clothing and Vallean’s agent is already raving about the reshoot!  We were told to aim to capture 3 looks:  Casual, Commercial and Corporate.  I think we got it…

This one is so beautiful of her, I had to show you:

Beautiful Vallean









This one shows her true personality and lo and behold, it is the one her agent loves!  A-HA!

Vallean as herself

Captured her true essence!  I wanted to get some of her laughing and smiling and so, I was joking around and got her laughing.









I thought these were two more beautiful captures of Vallean where you really see who she is and it shows a couple different looks.

Her "commercial" look

her "corporate" look

I so enjoyed working with Vallean. It was a partnership where we both kept in mind the end goal and the vision for these images. The final selects have not yet been identified but we’re confident these will work for her acting portfolio.  I’m seeing 2011 being a huge year for her and she’ll really start working steadily as an actor!  And these photos will help her get there..

My new favorite subject – Vallean

I did a shoot this week with a woman who in her 70’s decided she wanted to go for it as an actress in Hollywood.  She is a friend of my roommate and has been doing extra work appearing in several blockbusters including “Angels and Demons”.  She was in the scene at the Vatican where there were thousands of people falling over with high winds because of the helicopter.  She was one of the nuns!  😀

She really needed some new headshots.  We had a ball getting these.

We started out with some really nice ones and as I was shooting I was giving her some coaching here and there with ‘chin up’, ‘chin down’ type stuff.  I also asked her to turn one shoulder toward me pretty often because they really accentuates the subject’s figure.

Here is one from the early part of the shoot:

Then, I asked her to start playing with her glasses which could really add a whole new element to different characters she could audition for.  For this shot, I was first experimenting with her holding the glasses with both hands and then had her drop one hand and look over the rims at me.  When I got this shot, I was saying to her, “Now you have a little sass going on.  You know something I don’t know..”  She winked a couple times and was laughing and somehow in there she did this.



We had so much fun doing this shoot, I got some great ones of her laughing just as herself. This is my favorite…




For this shot, I was talking to her while I was shooting saying, “Now you’re a college professor and you are contemplating a very difficult issue.

You’re highly intellectual and respected as a mentor” and she gave me this:









Then,she changed and I had her go into the elegant lady/baroness mode.  I was photographing her saying, “You’re veeeery sophisticated… You’re the BaronESS.” Sometimes talking with a dramatic Southern drawl b/c I could so see her sipping her mint julep on the porch of a large home in Louisiana.









Then, she went for the 20’s look and we got some great stuff with this cute hat on.

When I work with actors, I like to talk to them about the various characters they might be cast for so they can slip into that mode and it always becomes evident in the eyes.  It is a powerful way to get compelling images for their portfolios.  And we always have a ball shooting together.  That really helps people relax in front of the camera.

Until next week, happy shooting!


South Africa 2010…arrival…


This is very exciting b/c this is my first blog!  I had a realization about Facebook and how short-lived posts are.  Then, I started thinking I should have something more permanent regarding my time in Africa this year.

As you may know, I successfully made it to South Africa after a 33 hour journey from LA to Chicago to Frankfurt and finally to Johannesburg.  I was on 3 different airlines and thus had to pick up my boarding passes at each city for the following flight.  The 3rd airline I was on – South African Airways – was really interesting because I found that the entertainment options were more diverse than the 2 previous airlines – United and Lufthansa.  S.A.A. also had the individual screen in the seat in front of you but there were a few interesting South African films being offered that addressed racial identity in So Africa.  I watched a 60-minute documentary on the events leading up to Mandela’s release from prison in 1990. The flight from Frankfurt to Joburg was 10.5 hours and I probably slept 6 of them.

I completely forgot to call the airlines to book my seat and to tell them I was a vegetarian.  So, I was in the middle seat on the first 2 flights.  No big deal since I was still able to sleep!  The 2 flights that had meals offered pasta dishes to everyone.  So, I was able to eat no problem.  😀

Arriving into Joburg was unlike any other African arrival I’ve had because it was so fast and efficient!!  South Africa does not require visitors to get a visa before entry.  Going through passport control felt JUST like arriving into a major European city!  The woman who stamped my passport didn’t ask me any questions and was yawning as she handed it back to me.  I’m so used to other African countries where it takes at least 2 hours to get through customs…  The luggage pick-up was also really easy.  In other African nations, I get hounded by porters fighting each other to assist me with my bags but not one person did this and again, it felt like Europe.  So wild!!  The airport had really nice luggage carts for free and I grabbed one of these.

My host, Dan, was holding up a sign with my first name printed in huge letters and I could not miss it!!  Walking back to his car, I could not believe the airport.  I know I keep going on and on about this airport but it was HUGE and air conditioned and…  I have landed into Niamey, Niger where it feels like they’re landing a giant jumbo jet in the middle of nowhere and the airport has one tiny building – no AC, 100 degree desert heat and 3 hours of passport control.  So, the contrast is just so dramatic.

After picking me up at the airport, Dan (colleague of my brother-in-law) wanted to run some errands. We first stopped off at a store that was exactly like Home Depot.  Again, I was astonished.  We got some paint and paint brushes for the fence-painting project he has going at the house.  Then we stopped by this huge grocery store.  Let me just tell you, South Africans like their MEAT.  This meat dept practically wrapped around the store!!  We got tons of food for a “Braai” aka BBQ Dan had planned for Sunday afternoon.

Next post – the braai.