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.
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!
“I’m staying at the Chateau…maybe we can shoot?” So went a message I received a few weeks ago from my friend and frequent collaborator Nana, who had suddenly found herself staying at the famed Chateau Marmont hotel in Hollywood for a few days. Following a fun shoot last year at the downtown Ritz Carlton, the thought was that maybe we could keep these hotel shoots going. Naturally, I said yes and met her the following day. And so a series was born, tentatively titled “Nana lives in hotels.”
Here are some of the favorites from the shoot. Unlike the Ritz shoot, in which she was jumping around and laughing, this room lent itself to a quieter set of images. There’s a sense of history and seclusion there that didn’t inspire loud, high energy photos. I had brought lights, but ended up leaving them in the bag in favor of the soft, natural light pouring into the suite. Incidentally, according to Nana the the suite she was staying in was the one Helmut Newton stayed in at the time of his death. I couldn’t find anything to verify this, but he was in fact staying at the hotel when he died in a car crash in 2004. Regardless, if you’re going to shoot nudes in a Hollywood hotel, even believing you’re shooting in Helmut Newton’s room doesn’t hurt. We had a fun time shooting and catching up, as always. Can’t wait to see what hotel we end up in next.
Every year or two Nana and I get back together to make some fresh portraits. This time, we had been talking about it when the opportunity to shoot in a room at the Ritz Carlton in downtown Los Angeles came up. Her roommate had rented the room for a birthday party and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get together and have some fun. I only had 45 minutes available that day to shoot, as I was on the way to a meeting that afternoon, but we made the most of it! Here are a couple of my favorites that I think show a great side of her personality. I’ll probably post some additional shots on Instagram in the following days. You can follow me at @davidzentz!
Last week I had another amazing shoot with my friend Nana Agyapong, a Venice-based artist, model and actress. My first shoot with her was strictly portrait and confined to the studio, so this time we headed off in another direction. Nana has proven to be one of my favorite people to work with, because in addition to being stunning in front of the camera, she brings an amazing level of energy and creativity to the process. Shooting with her is truly a collaborative effort! In addition, she’s an amazing trooper, as it was quite chilly out there! Check out several more shots after the jump!