Fashion

Bright Lights, Big City - A Collaboration

Last week a good friend and fellow photographer, Miguel Cortes messaged me asking if I was available to help out on a photoshoot concept he'd been working on, so naturally, when I heard the words "Neon" "Eighties" and "Custom Bikes", well, I was in hook line and sinker! 

Calling in Liz Gopwani and Tiffannie Michelle to Style our models (Samantha Vitone and Angelica Acevedo, we set off to the Downtown Container Park in Las Vegas to be the background of our shot.

Once the awesome tricked out bikes arrived on set we started the setup. Consisting of my Profoto B2 Light kit on some Savage Universal Drop Stands with 46" Photek Softlighters, we set the camera to Rear Curtain Sync (for shutter drag), and started spraying some Atmosphere Aerosol to add a little ambience to the shot. 

I started spreading the atmosphere aerosol for Miguel to get his shots while we drew a fairly large crowd around the entrance to the park. After he got the images he wanted, we switched off so that I could fire a few frames before moving to our second location for the alternate look, (And subsequently, more complicated shot).

By the time we got ready to roll for this setup, Miguel had to leave. Meaning, I had to take the lead to finish the image.  The plan was to setup the bikes in an alley using rear curtain sync with my Sigma 35mm A series locked on a tripod with focus dialed into a "zone" for the girls to roll up on and hold a pose before the lights fired off. It took several test shots and countdown tries between the fog and approximate "marks" to hit before we finally nailed our "fire" shot, but with an awesome team, we managed to get the images we wanted all in under an hour's time!

Take a look at the images below and let us know what you think. All edits done in Photoshop with finishing tone touches done with Alien Skin Exposure X

Last Minute Shoots - Dark Phoenix

The day after WPPI when everyone was supposed to be heading off home and getting back to the real world, a lot of photographers found themselves stuck in Las Vegas due to storms knocking out travel to the east coast.  One of those travelers happened to be my good friend Clay Cook!  So after an intense and epic meal of Korean BBQ, we started planning out a fashion shoot somewhere in the desert.  Scanning the internet for inspiration and clothing ideas we pieced the concept together and then started making phone calls!  Pretty quickly we had our model and Make-Up lined up, all we needed was a ride and our wardrobe! 

The next morning we met for breakfast and started to figure out where we were going to get the missing pieces of our wardrobe.  That's about where our friends Enrique and Mykii come in! Taylor, (our model), had some of the pieces, but we were missing some elements to our edgy wardrobe that Clay had wanted.  So Enrique and Mykii picked us up and we headed to Burlington Coat Factory to hunt for a proper trench coat and accessories! 

We went through pretty much everything they had on their shelves, but within 30 minutes, we had made our selections, and were on the road to the desert to start shooting!

The weather was a complete contrast to the last shoot in Las Vegas with Nanako.  The sun was beaming and there was just enough of a breeze to keep us from getting too hot. Basically, it was perfect! With that in mind, we made the call to go with just available light. The sun was in the perfect position to give us a great look and perfect shadows to match the style of the shoot! 

Watching Clay work with Taylor was pretty amazing.  Clay, who has had tons of experience with the fashion world, was able to easily and casually instruct Taylor to get the exact look and feel he was going for and Taylor picked up on every queue like a pro. Even though we only had about an hour to nail our shot, Taylor was able to nail every pose we asked and we had enough time to let everyone fire off a few frames including some awesome Polaroids! We even got Enrique's dog into the mix! (Stay tuned for those images!!!) 

Here's my first finished image from the set with the beautiful Taylor;

The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.

Two things I realized after this crazy week in Las Vegas...(1) Korean BBQ is the absolute best place to brainstorm! And (2) There is no limit to the creative possibilities on the West Coast!  With a SUPER SMALL budget and a timespan of less than 1/2 a day each, we were able to pull together a couple of incredible photoshoots and had an absolute blast while doing so. I can't wait to see the images I can create when I get back to the west coast for a project with an actual budget and time to prep!