Kelly's Portraits

Kelly responded to a casting call I placed a couple months ago on Model Mayhem.  I had a lot of responses and she was my top choice but we weren't able to work together because of scheduling conflicts so I kept her info for another opportunity to do some test shots.

Darrin Estep Photography | portraits

I'm glad I waited.  Her features are striking and what I was pleasantly surprised to find out as well is that she is very down to earth and fun to work with.  I started with a few images that were near a window before I broke out lights.  Natural window light is hard to beat.

Darrin Estep Photography | portraits

She mentioned that she didn't have as much in her portfolio that are full body so I selected one of the dresses she brought to the shoot and we played around with this outfit.  

Darrin Estep Photography | portraits

We ran short on time so I ended with a few headshots of her with this dress.  The session was short but sweet.  I hope we can work again in the future.

ModelKelly Mulvihill
MUANicole Maldonado

Fashion Portraits with Melissa

I’ve been wanting a beauty dish for years now and just never invested in one.  For those not into photography, its a very popular light modifier mostly used for headshots that shapes the light very nicely on the subjects face.  Photographer friends kept saying, “just go to Home Depot and make it on your own”.  Nice idea but just not realistic for me for many reasons.  I decided to get one and now I’m kicking myself that I waited this long. I think there’s a lot to learn with how to position the light just right to achieve the desired result but I'm very happy with my first try. 

Darrin Estep Photography | fashion

Armed with this new toy, I posted a quick casting call on Model Mayhem and opted to work with Melissa (featured here) as my model.  She was really fun to work with and had so much personality that comes through the camera.  I also pulled in Lyndsey as the MUA that I’ve worked with in the past on this shoot.  She was great once again in bringing the drama to an already pretty face. 

Darrin Estep Photography | fashion
Darrin Estep Photography | fashion

These last few (above) were actually natural light (e.g., no flash).  Its funny how seldom I shoot without studio light but its fun to experiment with what you get from nice window light.  Until next time.

Corrie J: Boudoir in Vegas

Continuing with my series of shoots I did while I was in Vegas this year for WPPI, the last one I’m writing about is with Corrie J.  She models full time in Vegas and works various conventions and events, of which there are many in Vegas.  

When I first decided on Corrie, I was a little worried because she’s almost 6’ tall - and I’m not.  I couldn’t bring a ladder all the way to Vegas so I improvised when I needed to be eye level with her (like standing on chairs :-)).  I like the before and after shots so I put this comparison together for that reason.  The one on the left is probably 5 minutes after she walked in the door.

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Here, I’ve got some of Bri’s work-in-progress with Corrie along with her kit spread out on the table.

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Some beauty/headshots before some other poses...

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Some variations in a comfy chair that I really liked the angles on.  Even though I’m featuring the one with her looking at the camera, I really like the shot on the right with her looking down.

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Going for something soft and in the moment for these...

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Then for something a little more edgy and dynamic for the ones below.

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Corrie brought a lot of clothes to the shoot.  Her suitcase was bigger than mine and very pink.  I wish I would have taken a picture of it but I didn’t.  So, I thought it would be fun to show all the things she brought in an interesting way so we put all the clothes on the bed and had her pose as if she’s exhausted from the mere thought of having to pick something to wear.  Fun stuff.

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Dark & Moody

One thing that remains the same is that the idea I start with isn't the one I end with.  I’ve come to expect that and I do my best to go with it when a curveball is thrown.  I planned this shoot several months ago with another model and then learned a few days before the shoot that the dates were confused by her and consequently she wasn’t able to make it.  I turn to sites like ModelMayhem when things like this occur.  I posted a modeling opportunity and very soon after that I met Steph.  She came across as very funny and approachable from the initial response and she turned out to be a great choice for this shoot.

The team was small. Steph is the model, Numi on make-up.  It deserves a shout out to Nicholas & Alejandro at Space 4 Shoots.  They have always been very helpful during the shoot.

I like to start with some beauty shots. I find that it helps establish a rapport with the model and hopefully allows for some nice shots of the face in the meantime.

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Next up was a shot based on a concept I saw from a Dior ad.  I felt like going for something kind of dark and moody.  We started with the inspiration and moved away from that idea throughout this setup.

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As we worked a bit more with this general lighting setup, I wanted to try some product shots with Steph so we used a perfume bottle she brought to the shoot and here are a few of my favorites.  Numi was very helpful as well with suggestions on holding the bottle. It's harder than you think to get something that conveys the right emotion without looking awkward.

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Quick outfit change and a new lighting and background setup and I found myself to still be in a product mode so we had her show off a red purse and a black necklace.

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For the last set, we dragged in a chair from the waiting room where there was a casting going on for a dance performance (random tidbit).  I thought this layout arrangement below was fun with the legs closed and open.  Lots of fun working with this team.  I hope we can all work together again soon.

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I don't normally post pictures of myself in the blog entries however, I thought this one was kind of funny because I look so serious however, this was taken during a lighting test by someone in the studio and he just happened to catch me at a time when I was probably focused on thinking through the next setup.

Until next time...

Melissa M

Several years ago I met Eunice through a meet-up photo-shoot in NYC in 2009.  Turns out her friend Melissa saw the images of Eunice and was curious what fantastic professional (I'm embellishing quite a bit here) took those images.  We had been trying to connect ever since.

Melissa lives in the Boston area and back in the day was roommates with Eunice and competed in beauty pageants together and have been friends ever since.  Melissa has picked up a few honers along the way: Miss Rhode Island Latina, Miss US Latina (where she met Eunice), and Miss Colombia New England.  Very impressive!

A few months ago Melissa reached out to me via LinkedIn and I suggested we get together the next time she's in NYC.  The next day, I received a response that said, "Okay, how about March 24th?".  Wait, let me think about it - 'Hell yeah!'

I had a couple concepts I wanted to try out and Melissa was very receptive in collaborating on the ideas.  I think it helped to bring this shoot to another level.  I brought in a make-up artist, Nicole, that I worked with one other time and we were set.

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Comparison of two treatments on this image

Comparison of two treatments on this image

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Nice use of props!

Nice use of props!

Last but certainly not least.  This image was the very last one we did for the day and I'm so glad we tried it because I feel like this is my favorite image that I've ever taken.  I was standing on a laddar with Alejandro (studio guy) holding it below.  Two lights were on Melissa; one camera right (main light) and the other was camera left slightly behind her.  I just asked her to twirl around with this great dress she had.  We grabbed several like this but this was the favorite of the bunch.  What you don't see here is all the clutter that was in the original image.  A big thanks to Prerak for helping bring this image to life!

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Plan C

The first post of 2013.  Psyched.

In December, I arranged to take some updated headshots for Joe.  He owns an Agile consulting company called Incrementor. Being opportunistic, I thought I would also schedule time with a model since I was going to have a studio and a little time to shoot - why not?  This post is about why I called this entry, "Plan C".  In addition to the time with Joe to update his headshot, I booked two models to shoot with to build my portfolio, and theirs.  The first model canceled a week before the shoot, the other, the morning of.  Oh boy.  What do i do?

I turned to the internet gods and posted a casting call for another model and crossed my fingers that the make-up-artist (MUA) wouldn't cancel as well, fortunately she didn't.  I screened several models during the day and had a great response to this second posting.  It was about lunch time and Andrea called me.  We spoke for a couple minutes and I could  tell from her tone that she was going to be great to work with.  Turns out she's from California (and so am I) so maybe that's what felt right.  

Coincidentally, a friend of mine from High School, Eric, was in town on vacation so he helped out with the shoot and took some behind the scene shots (see below).  It was great to catch up.  

We split up the shoot to have the first part of the session focused on very simple concepts, then had Nicole (the MUA) work with Andrea on a different look for the second half of the day while Eric and I worked with Joe on his headshots.  I've posted some of my favorites from the work with Andrea.  Also, great work on the make-up, Nicole.  I'll post some images from Joe in a future post.

As I mentioned, there were also some behind the scene shots Eric captured.  The first one makes me wonder why I pointed and extended my leg the way I did.  Funny when you see the things you do.

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Fashion in Vegas

As I wrote in another post, I recently took a trip out to Vegas for a very large video conference called NAB.  Another thing I arranged for while I was there was to shoot with at least one model (tried for two but didn't work out) while I was there.

 

I posted a casting call for models for the dates I would be in Vegas a couple months back on a site I've used in the past called ModelMayhem.  Its a great place to find models, make-up artists and other professionals in this space to help each other build up each others' portfolio.   The model I chose was Meli.  She's done quite a bit of modeling and has started to rely on this as her primary source of income.  As it turns out, she was also modeling in the Canon booth for NAB.  Who knew!?

 

I also arranged for a co-worker to help me out with the shoot as he was interested in the shoot and I was interested in showing him how I work and getting a little help in the meantime.  Meli arrived with her husband and a bunch of potential costume changes.  We're ready to go!  We started off simple doing beauty shots and moved into some other concepts.  Ultimately I'm trying to communicate emotion and tell some stories in the images.  I've included several of my favorites.  More can be found on the gallery.