Publicity Portrait Photography Los Angeles - Made in LA

The right amount of wind in a photoshoot can have a nice affect. Too much and it just makes a mess of things. On an otherwise beautiful afternoon, in an otherwise calm week, I recently found myself in the latter situation while trying to create some striking publicity photos for Michelle Eskin, co-owner and managing director of editing house Cut + Run. For the entirety of the shoot there seemed to be no escaping the incessant blasts of cold air shooting down Melrose Avenue in all directions, threatening to knock over light stands and worse, for the purposes of the photos at least, attempting to make a mess of our subject’s beautifully styled hair. We attempted to hide from it by shooting in a narrow, walled off walkway, but even there it found us. Perhaps it was an early appearance by El Niño – it was late October – or perhaps just a fluke, but there we were and we had to make it work. Fortunately we had a great team and patient subject and managed to overcome this obstacle and make some great portraits for her. There was really no trick to it other than waiting for the brief lulls between gusts and then shooting like crazy for two or three seconds before the wind returned. This week has been gusty everyday, this time certainly thanks to El Niño. Perhaps that’s what reminded me to post this shoot. I don’t mind the wind and rain. It’s nice to have some weather around here from time to time. However I’m feeling quite fortunate that none of my shoots this week are outdoors! Not that we couldn’t handle it if we were of course. :)

 

Hollywood Publicity Portrait Los Angeles

Los Angeles Hollywood Publicity Portrait Photography

Venice Beach Studio Portrait Model

A recent portrait I shot of Alana P at the studio.

Editorial Magazine Portrait Photographer - Align Dating App

On a beautiful afternoon in Malibu this past September I met and photographed young entrepreneurs Helen Grossman and Aliza Faragher, cofounders of a new dating app called Align, for the Carleton Voice, the alumni magazine of their alma mater, Carleton College. The app takes a fresh approach to the online dating scene, taking into account users’ astrological signs when trying to make a match. The two seem to have found an interesting niche in the market and have have had early success in finding venture capital and launching their app in LA and NYC. Old married man that I am, I’m not likely to be using it anytime soon. But if you’re in the market perhaps give it a try. You can check it out at http://www.doyoualign.com.

Comedian Eddie Ifft Portrait Bingle Bus Malibu

What the hell’s a Bingle Bus? It’s a short school bus that’s been converted to the world’s first mobile podcasting studio of course. Late last year I met up with comedian and friend Eddie Ifft to check out a live recording of his podcast, Talkin’ Shit with Eddie Ifft, which he soon plans to rebrand as The Bingle Show. In the meantime, he regularly hosts Talkin’ Shit on the bus, pulling up with his crew to record shows at comedy clubs, festivals or wherever they feel like showing up. I first caught up with him outside the Hollywood Improv comedy club and had a front row seat to about three hours of hilarious, often offensive conversation between Ifft, his sidekick Jason Auer and a string of guest comics who were performing that night, who would come hang out between sets. Later I met up with him during some down time and photographed him alone with the bus. One reason I wanted to shoot with him is for possible inclusion in an ongoing body of work of artists and entertainers. Another is that I am interested in the idea of mobile broadcasting, or more specifically podcasting, and think there could be a series there considering how relatively easy it has become to take the studio with you. I haven’t found much else like this though. I think that most still prefer to record in their homes, garages and basements. If anyone has suggestions for other shows like this though, I’m all ears. In the meantime, if you’re interested in giving Ifft’s show a try, and aren’t too easily offended, you can find links to hundreds of episodes here on his website.

Eddie Ifft Bingle Bus Podcast Hollywood Improv Comedy

Eddie Ifft Bingle Bus Podcast Hollywood Improv Comedy

Christina Angelina Starfighter Cosmopolitan Editorial

Christina Angelina Starfighter Cosmopolitan Editorial Street Artist

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend some time with the well known, Venice-based street artist Starfighter, aka Christina Angelina, as she was putting the finishing touches on a collaborative mural in Hollywood. The shoot was for a profile on her for Cosmopolitan’s “Get That Life” series focusing on successful women with cool careers, which published this week. You can read all about her career there, so I won’t repeat it here. But she was very cool to work with and I look forward to noticing more of her work as I drive around the city. Also, if you were just at Art Basel I know you can see a really cool large mural she just completed in the Wynwood Art District.

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Anza Borrego Fonts Point Landscape

Joshua Tree Nighttime

It’s been an amazing and busy year. The only downside to that is that we’ve hardly had a chance to get out and do one of our favorite things, exploring the parks and wilderness that are only a short drive from Los Angeles. In the past few weeks we tried to make up for that deficit by heading out to Joshua Tree National Park and then, shortly thereafter, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We first visited Joshua Tree in 2009, shortly after moving to Los Angeles, but hadn’t been back since. Anza-Borrego was completely new to us. Considering how close it is to Palm Springs, we were amazed it hadn’t even been on our radar, but were happy our friends invited us out there on a day trip over Thanksgiving weekend. The highlight was Fonts Point, pictured in the first photo as well as below. It’s an amazing, craggy expanse of badlands that you don’t even see until you drive out along a 4-mile stretch of washboard road, walk up to its edge and suddenly see the earth drop away in front of you. At Joshua Tree we camped with friends and spent the days bouldering and visiting several of the park highlights. We were somewhat unprepared for just how cold it would get overnight, but managed to survive. I’m unsure of the actual overnight temperatures, but a two gallon jug of water was half ice when we awoke the next morning if that’s any indication. Still, we had a great time and I managed to make some nice landscapes along the way. I have nothing to complain about this year, but am hoping that next year we’ll get to do stuff like this more often.

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Cosmopolitan Editorial Portrait Toni Ko NYX Cosmetics

I recently spent a whirlwind hour with NYX Cosmetics founder Toni Ko in one of her LA offices to photograph her for a Cosmopolitan feature called Get That Life. The weekly series focuses on successful women and how they made it in their respective careers. Ko founded her cosmetics company at 26 in order to bring a higher quality of cosmetics to people at drugstore prices. The Korean-born entrepreneur’s business quickly took off and 15 years later was sold to L’Oreal for an undisclosed sum estimated to be around $500 million. A ball of energy from the moment she walked into the room, Ko was a pleasure to work with and helped to make the most of our limited time. Seeing her enthusiasm first hand it came as no surprise to me that she’s found the success she has and is also not sitting still now that she’s no longer attached to NYX. She says she wants to sell two more companies in her lifetime, starting with an apparel line she is set to unveil early next year. I have little doubt she’ll do it. It’s worth a read to head over to Cosmo to get the rest of her story. More photos from the shoot after the jump.

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Body_Traffic_Dance_Sequence

Happy Holidays! As the holiday season officially kicks off with Thanksgiving tomorrow, I thought I’d post this fun sequence I shot a while back. The photos were taken during a studio session with Body Traffic, an LA-based modern dance company co-founded by our friend Lillian Barbeito. I had practically forgotten about the session, but suddenly recalled it while attending a recent sendoff party held in the company’s honor before they were to depart to Israel and Jordan, where they were to tour as official cultural ambassadors to the U.S. It was a huge honor for the company, which has played a big role in revitalizing modern dance in Los Angeles. So I decided to go back and see if anything from the shoot jumped out at me. I was happy to find this nice little sequence of one of their dancers, Guzman Rosado, performing the lead part of the company’s performance, O2Joy, a fun and energetic dance that is always a crowd favorite. I’ve seen it performed live on a number of occasions over the years and always love it.  Be sure to check out their site and try to catch a show if you’re ever in LA.

Commercial Fitness Photo Shoot in Malibu

Commercial Fitness photo shoot in Malibu

Continuing with my recent efforts to build my commercial fitness and active lifestyle portfolio I recently invited professional soccer player and fitness model Diana Redman to do a shoot in Malibu. Diana, who plays center midfielder for the Israeli National Soccer Team, is a powerful athlete and was really fun to work with. Extra kudos are deserved for her willingness to go through with the shoot despite the nasty, seemingly endless heat wave that had us in 100+ degree temperatures that day! All that training in Israel has apparently conditioned her body to high temperatures as she’s barely breaking a sweat here. Myself and the makeup artist, on the other hand, were melting. Compliments as well to the talented hair and makeup artist, Emily Wetzel, who made Diana look great, kept her looking fresh all afternoon, and was a hell of a sport putting up with the heat. More photos are after the jump!

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The Amber Rose Slut Walk in downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 3, 2015.

The Amber Rose Slut Walk in downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 3, 2015.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I received the assignment to cover the Amber Rose SlutWalk for Cosmopolitan a few weeks ago. I had no idea what a SlutWalk was, nor did I really know who Amber Rose was. A little research turned up that Rose is a hip-hop model and entrepreneur who is probably most widely known for the tabloid attention her romances with Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa have brought her. SlutWalks, I learned, are actually a widespread movement started in Toronto in 2011 in response to an officer’s response that women shouldn’t dress like sluts to avoid being assaulted by men. Since then there have been organized rallies throughout the world and in numerous U.S. cities where people – mostly young women, but a few men – have gathered to protest the ideas that society should dictate what people wear and that what people wear can be used as a valid excuse for matters such as sexual assault and rape. Rose had decided to organize this walk in part as a reaction to the slut-shaming she has endured from Kanye and Khloe Kardashian.

Though the event at first appeared poorly organized and the turnout was far less than the 15,000 organizers had promoted, by most accounts it turned out to be a success. By my estimates around 1,000 people, many of them dressed as provocatively as current laws permit, gathered that Saturday morning at downtown’s Pershing Square. From there they moved a block or two south on Olive Street where they made signs and officially kicked off the with a greeting and rallying cry from Rose and a couple of guest speakers. Following that they made short walk back to the square, chanting and hoisting their signs. I joked that it wasn’t much of a “walk,” but was also thankful, as we were still in the middle of a heatwave. The rest of the afternoon was spent in front of a much larger stage where a series of speeches, performances and a fashion show kept the crowd engaged.

Over the course of the day I covered the general event and also collaborated with the writer to create a portrait series of individuals who were willing to share their stories. Many of them had experiences being slut shamed at some point in their lives, either for how they dressed or for their own sexual activities, rumored or not. It surprised us though – and really drove home the importance of this event – how many had been victims of assault and rape. I was impressed that so many of them were willing to come out to directly confront the matter in such a public way.

In the end I was glad I was there and that Cosmopolitan decided to cover this story. Though the events are not without critics, I hope we can all agree that the central point of this – that no one “deserves” to be attacked or raped – is as valid as they come. Hopefully these events will have a positive effect on public attitudes.

Check out the general coverage here and the portrait series and profiles here. And click below to see many more photos from the day!

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