May 092018
 

Anne Akiko Meyers - Musician PortraitI’m excited to share a sneak preview from a series of images I made with acclaimed violinist Anne Akiko Meyers for her website and upcoming album, due in September. The shoot, which features her extremely rare and valuable “Vieuxtemps” Guarneri del Gesu violin, known to be the most valuable violin the world, took place at her home in Los Angeles. The instrument was lent to her by an anonymous collector to play for life after being purchased for north of $16 million. We had originally considered going on location, but the rarity of the violin, which is in pristine condition despite being constructed in 1741 (!), caused us to reconsider. So, we opted on setting up an outdoor studio on the shady side of her home, where we could ensure that the instrument’s perfect varnish would never see direct sunlight. Did shooting an essentially priceless piece of musical history on a live set make me nervous? Nah! Do it all the time. Did we quadruple sandbag any and every object within 15 feet of the set? Absolutely! Was I lying about not being nervous? Uh, yeah. Sorry. The winds did actually kick up a bit later in the morning, causing our backdrop to ripple, but my team had secured everything so well that it wasn’t a concern.

It was both a great honor and pleasure to work on this project with Anne. An experience I won’t soon forget. One of the highlights was realizing that we were getting a private recital part way through the shoot. Part of me wished I could stop clicking my camera  long enough to really enjoy it. I can’t wait to hear the album and see the finished product. I’ll be sure to share when it’s out!

On a technical note, the scenes we were shooting for required multiple lighting sources, so we set up for a variety of scenarios that we could rotate through in order to create images that appeared to be in open shade, low morning sunrises and moonlight among others. To do this we started with a Profoto pack on a large Elinchrom Octabank to create a beautiful broad key light and then rotated through multiple variations using combinations of a soft box, beauty dish and 7″ reflector as back and side lighting. For fill we set up a Scrim Jim a couple feet from Anne, which was secured by multiple sandbags, clamps and an assistant to make sure it didn’t move an inch. We also added in a Reel EFX fan to create a subtle breeze and add movement.

Finally, I also couldn’t have done this without the great crew, listed below.

Assistants – Ryan Duclos & Jeremy Jackson
Hair/MUA – Courtney Hagen
Grip – Sync Photo Rentals

Stay tuned for the follow up in September!

Oct 192017
 

I recently got the itch to polish my video skills and it so happens that my good friend and badass artist Curtis Weaver was putting the finishing touches on his solo show, TREES IN WOLVES’ CLOTHING, before its debut at the Garboushian Gallery in Beverly Hills. A few shooting days and many hours in front of a computer later and this is the result! Curtis is an incredibly creative sculptor and painter. His work generally revolves around a reimagining of the biological evolution of plants, with an environmentalist bent. While in the past he’s used a variety of synthetic materials to create imaginary beings from scratch, this time he chose to base everything on found pieces of wood, which he then disguised with paint and real-world objects such as shoes and clothing. The resulting pieces are great and worth a gallery visit if you can make it before the closing date of Oct. 26th. Check out the video and his artist statement on the gallery website for a better description of the work, www.garboushian.com . I am beginning to ramp up my video production capabilities, so keep an eye out for future projects in the coming months!

Mar 162017
 

Model Actress Dancer Portrait Los Angeles

I recently met up with the talented and extremely photogenic actress and dancer Jacqueline Yunez at Concrete Studios in downtown Los Angeles to shoot portraits for part of an ongoing portfolio of LA-based artists. A Chicago native who moved here to pursue a career in the arts after graduating from the University of Tennessee, Jacqueline combines an urban aesthetic with a sort of laid-back, midwestern politeness that made working with her a pleasure. Here are a few of my favorites from our afternoon together.

Special thanks to my go-to hair and makeup artist, Bethany Ruck, for kicking things up a notch. And to Concrete Studios for the great space and rooftop location.

Actress & Dancer Studio Portrait Los Angeles - Jacqueline Yunez

Actress & Dancer Portrait Los Angeles - Jacqueline Yunez

Actress & Dancer Portrait Los Angeles - Jacqueline Yunez

Jan 092017
 

Singer Promotional Photographer Los Angeles

Singer Promotional Photos Venice Beach

gabrielle-jackson-singer-photos

Musician studio portrait Venice Calfornia

 

What to do when your plans to do a studio shoot are thrown into question because a nearby brick wall has suddenly turned a bright fuchsia the night before your shoot? Change your plans of course! That was the situation late last year, the day before a scheduled shoot with Albuquerque, New Mexico-based singer-songwriter Gabrielle Jackson, who was traveling to me in Venice to shoot a set of promotional photos to use with her upcoming projects. Gabrielle’s music is soulful, melodic and soothing, so we had planned to create a set of studio images that conveyed that feeling, combining a vintage aesthetic with expressions and lighting that complimented the feeling of her music. When the freshly painted wall appeared – I believe thanks to some nearby video or photo production – I mentioned to Gabrielle that we had to go check it out. She agreed. Luckily, no one was using it when we arrived so we were able to make use of it. Good that we did, as the color worked great for her. While we were out we also decided to take advantage of a nearby tree I’d been eyeing for a shoot for years but had never had the right subject. We got to it just as the afternoon light was beginning to go down behind it, highlighting the long vines hanging from its branches. Gabrielle kicked off her shoes to climb on its roots and we as bounced some of the sunlight back into the scene to balance it out the shot came together perfectly. It was great to see an image I’d been envisioning for years finally coming to life. Happy that we were two for two with the improvised locations, we decided to head back to the studio to shoot what we’d intended. This also went well. Enough planning had gone into the shoot that I was certain it would be a good one, but I think luck was on our side that day. Not only had the shoot gone exceedingly well, but when I woke up the next morning and went outside the fuchsia wall had been painted back to its original brownish-red color! I wish I was always so lucky.

Gabrielle’s music really is lovely. If you have moment you can listen to some of it on her Bandcamp page here.

 

 

Mar 292016
 

Los Angeles Artist Portrait - Esteban Schimpf

 

I recently caught up with Los Angeles based artist Esteban Schimpf to shoot some portraits at his home in Highland Park for my occasional, ongoing portrait series on LA artists. I first met Esteban at an art party at our 1320Main Studio, now Elektrashock Studios, several years ago and have since followed his work online, growing as a fan as his work progressed. His art uses a mix of photography, photoshop, painting and collage and I’m always impressed at the bold and unique pieces he creates. He’s also a really nice guy, a collector of vintage typewriters and he bakes a killer loaf of bread, which I was fortunate to enjoy during the shoot. Check out his work on his website and click below for more portraits from the shoot.

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Dec 102015
 

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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