Modeling Portraits with KimC

Now and again I like to use ModelMayhem to help find new people to work with.  I put a last minute shoot together to keep things interesting and put a challenge in front of me to think on my feet.

DarrinEstepPhotography | portraits

As I usually like to do, we started with beauty shots.  I find this really helps to break the ice and for myself and the model to get a little time to connect.  Well, this was pretty quick and easy with Kim.  She looks intense but she was very down to earth and easy to talk to and I remember being impressed on the day of the shoot that she would very easily go from smiling and laughing to being completely "in character".

DarrinEstepPhotography | portraits

We had this nice exposed brick to work with so we played around with that for a couple looks. Kim has super long legs and I wanted to feature that in some of the images.  She asked if I prefer working with taller models and I said, "Sure, as long as I have my step stool with me :-)"

DarrinEstepPhotography | portraits

We were running short on time toward the end and there was a couch I wanted to use so I moved it in front of my black backdrop to isolate Kim against the couch.  Love what we got here.

Thanks to Kim (model) and Sheila on make-up for making it a fun, successful shoot.

Ekaterina Dramatic Headshots

Once in a while I try to shoot something fun, something I find interesting.  I posted on ModelMayhem (popular site for sourcing models, make-up artists [MUA], etc.) for a casting call to do dramatic headshots and was overwhelmed with responses.  I chose Lyndsey, the MUA, almost immediately.  She has great work and awesome review as well.  The model took more thought and one consideration for me was that I don't have nearly as many blonds in my portfolio as I do brunets.  

Ekaterina was ultimately my choice.  I also used a service that I've used in the past which is called Breather.  Its a small, one room place that you can rent by the hour.  It works pretty well for photo sessions.  I should have allowed more time but...I had to work with the time allowed.  I probably had 30 min in total to shoot.   Here are my favorites...

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I love doing these kinds of shoots.  Next time, I'll give myself more time to explore!

Model Headshots for Melissa

Last year, I shot for the first time working with Melissa and we hit it off.  She’s so great to work with and this session was just as awesome.  We proved again that spending some time before the shoot going over various looks via Pinterest and choosing outfits and accessories is a valuable activity. 

I snapped a couple shots of Amanda & Melissa before we started shooting.  She has so much hair that it turned out to be a bit of a blessing and a curse.  Styling all that hair takes time!

Prep for hair and make-up

Prep for hair and make-up

Images that resonate with me have a simple composition and draw your eye directly to the subject.  I have a pretty simple lighting set up here that helps achieve the look I'm after.

Simple lighting and non-distracting background keeps your eye on Melissa

Simple lighting and non-distracting background keeps your eye on Melissa

Alternate looks but still keeping it simple

Alternate looks but still keeping it simple

Finally got to use my fan! - Thanks Amanda for standing in to help.

Finally got to use my fan! - Thanks Amanda for standing in to help.

Hands up!

Hands up!

Hair everywhere. One of my favorites of the day was this composure where Melissa created her own frame.

Hair everywhere. One of my favorites of the day was this composure where Melissa created her own frame.

The location I used was a little different than what I've used in the past.  I used a service called Breather where you can rent a small (and I mean Manhattan small) room by the hour.  Its a great business idea and someone else suggested this as an option so I thought I’d give it a shot.  Once we navigated our way to the room, I noticed this set of stairs and made that a second shooting location.  This turned out to be a bonus of shooting on the weekend since nobody was traveling up and down the stairs.

Stairs and railing helped to create some interest in the composure

Stairs and railing helped to create some interest in the composure

And a few more back in the room to finish off the shoot.  A big thanks to Melissa for coming out to NYC from Boston and for Amanda for showing us her talents on hair and make-up.  I'm looking forward to the next shoot!

Relaxing on the couch

Relaxing on the couch

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...

The Highline: Headshots Take 2

I liked this location so much that I had to go again.  I had a day off recently and organized a shoot with Aneta which, as it turns out, is from Prague and visiting with her boyfriend for the summer.  Glad I caught her why she was here in NYC.

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Helping out, in more ways than one was Seqoiya, the MUA that operates under Pure Glamour.  She was great and helped with both hair and make-up and also helped with some lighting too. 

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I scouted out the next location but it was a little further than I wanted to go.  I came across these stairs and knew I had found our next spot. It's a little funny (now) how long it took to get these shots with all the time we spent waiting for people to clear the stairs.

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Desert Fashion

As promised from my WPPI post, I can now share some images from the shoot I setup while in Vegas last month.

Since I already described the whole scenario in another post, I won't take you all through it again.  Let's get to the images.  I shot about 150 images and with some work was able to narrow it down to a handful to share here.  I've also posted a few of these back in the overall portfolio.  

First, some make-up for the "talent" :-)  The make-up artist (MUA) here is Summer.  We were at her place for about an hour to do hair & make-up for Meli.  This is the second time I've worked with Meli - here's a link back to the first time.

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