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

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.

Corporate Headshots: Mastiff LLC

A company that I've worked with before, Mastiff LLC, called on me again for photos of a new employee, Bryan.  He interned with them before and now he's been hired on as a full-time employee.  

Darrin Estep Photography | portraits

We went to nearby City Hall Park to grab some photos while the weather was still warm.  Later, we joined the others for some group images near the office.  Love the repeat business and look forward to working with this group again soon.

Darrin Estep Photography | portrait

Corporate Headshots for Debbie

I consider Debbie to be a great friend and client as well.  Debbie is the CEO of Stride and had an upcoming speaking engagement.  She needed updated images for her website and to give to event organizers so we met up in the city to capture these images.  Fortunately, we had a nice day in the city to shoot.  We walked around for about 30 minutes and stopped at a few locations I scoped out prior to us meeting.  Here are a couple favorites of mine.

Corporate Headshots - Darrin Estep Photography

Lisa's Portrait Session

Today I am featuring a portrait session I shot with Lisa.  She's a professional violinist and wanted some updated headshots.  My goal for the session was to deliver a variety of looks she could use.

We managed to get both indoor and outdoor photos even with the chilly weather in December.  We started inside and her dog wanted to be a part of the action so, why deny her that opportunity.

north jersey professional head shots

Something I find myself doing on most every shoot is moving furniture.  I think I need to add that to the about me page :-)  I’m always striving to put my clients in the best light and without distracting elements in the background.  For the next setup, I wanted to feature Lisa on this old couch that had great curves and shape but didn't want the same backdrop as before. 


By this time in the shoot, the sun had fallen a bit and the golden hour had arrived.  That would be about 3:30 in the afternoon for December in the northeast.  She had a great outdoor space and we captured a few photos while we could both stand to be outside in the cold weather.


Before we closed up shop and moved furniture back in place, I wanted to get some dramatic photos of her playing the violin so….furniture move (again) and changed out the backdrop to black.  I setup one light, just out of frame to her left. I had her play a little something while I took these...


Headshots for Shashi

I've been fortunate enough this year to have a pretty steady stream of work.  I received an email not too long ago to do some portraits for Shashi that ultimately she wanted to be able to send to her family in India.

When I arrived, I asked if she had any pictures of herself either in her place or online and she didn't - hence, the request for headshots :-)


Shashi was a self proclaimed introvert and seemed a little uneasy in front of the camera so we took a little time getting to know each other.  It didn't take long to discover that she is a writer in her off time in addition to her daytime work.  Throughout her life, she's interview some interesting people and talking about these interviews, is what I discovered, made her comfortable in front of the camera and allowed us to get some genuine smiles from her.  Shashi, it was nice working with you and I hope your family enjoys the images we were able to create.

A Great Designer

I worked with Prerak for about 9 months and he was one of those few (for me, anyway) that I really connected with.  He's a great designer and we got to know each other  through a mutual interest in gadgets, great design, and photography.  

Prerak has helped me with a couple projects now that were beyond my Photoshop knowledge and I look forward to future collaboration.

A few days before his last day, I had my camera in the office and we went out for about 30 minutes to grab some shots for him personally and for his website.  We went out to a place in midtown that I've shot at before and here are some of my favorites...


Help Portrait: Take 2

This past weekend I took some time away. Time away from friends, from family and from anything else I could potentially do on a Saturday to volunteer for a great cause called Help Portrait.  This the second year I've participated and this year was just as rewarding as the last.  Here's how it works: 

First, you find someone in need.  Take their picture.  Print it and give it to them. That's pretty much it.  Oh, and you do all of these things in the same day, for free.

This year, we were at a small church called Humanity Baptist Church in Newark.  As I rolled up, I sat in the parking lot for a few minutes since I was the first one there.  It was 11:00.  Shortly after, Jarvis (the organizer for this event) along with several others arrived.  I got out to introduce myself and help bring some things in.  Once we got setup, people began to arrive and it was already noon.  I was on the edit/print station again this year which is a tough spot, especially at the end of the day.

For the participants, they would enter and immediatlely be paired with a greeter which would explain how things work, have them fill out a permission form for using their photos, take them over to a hair/make-up person if they so desired, escort them over to have their pictures taken and then make sure they knew where to go to get their final product (that's where I come in).  I would grab the files from the shooter, import them, speak with the family for them to pick one they want to have printed.  Once the selection is made, I clean up the image and print it.  If the family chose to, we would print a second image for them on matt paper for them to write a message. This is one example shown to the left.

Of course, I'm leaving a few things out.  The patience of the families, the good spirits of all that were there and the great feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.  One story that stuck out was a family that asked to have their picture taken but couldn't make it to the church where we were setup.  So, a few of us went to them. The picture was of a little girl (about 10) that had breathing tube and wasn't expected to live much longer.  She gathered with her mother and father for a special family portrait.  Very sad but a great example of the power of photography capturing that moment for that family.

It Takes Two To Make It Outta Sight

I heard the song on the radio that has this phrase and it reminded me that I needed to write about a recent shoot I had with Anna.  I met Anna through another photographer friend of mine, Lou.  They're both from the same country, Madagascar.  Anna came to a meetup style shoot a few years ago where you have a bunch of photographers, models, and make-up-artists get together for the sole purpose of everyone working on their portfolio.  Once in a while, I like to pull together a really simple shoot to accomplish the same goals...keep the portfolio fresh with new material.

Anna has - uh - a few things going for her here.  First, she's super nice, speaks French, which is always fun to listen to, she's easy on the eyes (stating the obvious), and she's totally professional; show's up on time, no drama, respectful, etc.  She mentioned she was able to be an extra in an upcoming feature film.  I'm hoping she'll remember our work when she's famous :-)  Oh, and I forgot to mention that she makes my job super easy because she just magically falls into these great poses without me needing to guide much at all.  Love it!  This particular shoot was pretty short (setup to breakdown was probably 60 minutes).  There were less than 100 photos taken.  Enjoy a few of my favorites.


And a few more...


Some time with Brandy

Brandy is someone I met quite some time ago.  She's a good friend of my sister's and has recently moved to NJ to be with her husband and to invest her energy in attending auditions for NYC Broadway plays.  Exciting stuff.  She's spent a few years in Las Vegas in great performances and is now trying her luck in NYC.

When I first met Brandy, she was in grade school.  She's now all grown up and here to make her mark on the east coast.  She saw a post I did on this blog and sent me a note through Facebook offering to help out on a future shoot...I got to thinking and thought she'd be better in front of the camera vs. behind it.  I think I was right.  Check out a few of my favorites from our session.

Next up.  A shoot with her and her husband.  Stay tuned for that.