We've got to do something, America!
Finally, a REAL fashion show in New Mexico! The City of Santa Fe was alive with style, libations and hors d'oeuvres for the first annual Santa Fe Street Fashion Show on August 28th, 2015. The only fashion show to be personally endorsed by the Mayor of Santa Fe, Javier Gonzales, as well as celebrated by the eclectic people of The City Different, it was a night filled with delight and professionalism to reflect what can be done properly when the right people are behind it. Fashion blogger and style connoisseuir herself, Amy Shea, produced a fitting (pun intended) and elite sartorial display from fashion capitals such as New York, Paris and Milan that are currently available via high-end retail shops located in Santa Fe. Although it took a New Yorker (Shea) to produce a show worth the $175 price of admission, the sold-out event was a massive statement to say the least of how badly a respectable fashion show was desired in New Mexico.
From major prevalent designers such as Etro, Comme de Garcons, The Row and Issey Miyaki to rising star designer Renato Dicent, to New Mexico's own crown jewel designer Orlando Dugi presenting his latest collection "The Red Collection", it was a night of high art meeting impeccable presentation. A global mix of fashion talent gathered and coalesced with Santa Fe's own stylistic mode to deliver a fashion alchemy of high art, replete with silk-covered reserved seats and chic gift bags for each ticket-holding cosmopolitan.
I had the pleasure of attending and photographing the highly-anticipated gala and was pleasantly shocked at how well the show was produced, especially for a first-time endeavor. The models were the most professionally suited (again, pun intended) for the event and carried the designers garments with elegance and grace. I've not seen a better fashion show in New Mexico to date (not even close), and expect the subsequent events next year and in the future to be better and better.
Special shout out to our local Santa Fe designers and retailers who also showed that evening:
Santa Fe Dry Goods/Workshop
United Nude by Goler Shoes
Santa Fe Scout Handbags (all handmade in Santa Fe)
Eyewear by Ojo Optique in Santa Fe and Nob Hill, Albuquerque
Jewelry by Patina Gallery
Lilly of the West who provided the dresses at The Show opening.
Hair styling provided by Mark Pardo Salon Spa
For more information on the event as well as what's happening in Santa Fe's growing fashion interest, check out these quality fashion blogs:
Santa Fe Street santafestreet.com
More Than Turquoise morethanturquoise.com
I'm already looking forward to next year, and what Santa Fe Street Fashion Week will do right for New Mexico next. -MT
As a currently working SAG-AFTRA film and television actor myself, I'm continuously interacting with casting directors and stay well-informed on what they are looking for in actor/talent head shots. I'm also well known and remain recommended by all of the SAG-AFTRA franchised talent agencies in New Mexico for headshot photography for the past 10 years. Most importantly, I make your headshot session about you. I don't do any cookie-cutter type service; I will work with you and your agent to get the results you are looking for in terms of role placement and call-ins. I do very customized work and also know the ins-and-outs of the New Mexico film and television business. Many of my clients have gone on to book roles in major films and TV series' and still use my headshots for their promotion.
Here's a basic break down of what my sessions offer:
- Fully customizable session according to what's most important to you. No amateur/cookie-cutter style photography.
- 2 Hours of either studio or outdoor/natural light photography, your choice.
- 3 looks (clothing changes and background/scene changes).
- Very fast turnaround: Your proofs will be available within 2 business-days of the shoot date via private, online proofing.
- 3 finished and sensibly retouched, fully printable high-res photo files sent to you within one week of proof selection.
- Lifetime license for unlimited use for your promotion as a professional actor.
- My work is guaranteed to meet and most likely will exceed your expectations. I tend to over-deliver.
- Fully tax deductible expense!
If you want to see for yourself a sample of professional actors who've commission me to shoot their head shots on a reoccurring basis, just check out my head shot page and see what roles my clients have played in major film and television productions by clicking on their photo and hovering your mouse over it.
Sometimes I like to do something creative and explore new ideas with fun and interesting subjects. A couple of months back I called a fellow photographer friend (who's a master at shooting weddings, check out his website here) and asked if he'd like to let me shoot some portraits of him with gritty, aged tintype processing to the final prints. He agreed and we met up for a couple of hours to just have a bit of fun and see what we come up with. It's great to work with interesting and visually-inspiring people who are artists themselves. Tony was also gracious enough to shoot some head shots of me, one of which is my bio picture. Here's the results of my tintype process study.
Opening Thursday, November 13th at noon in the Coronado Mall, H&M finally arrives in Albuquerque. The significance of this (to me at least) is that more and more fashionable businesses are starting to find a market in Albuquerque and I for one welcome their ingress. H&M has become a staple in the fashion world by combining the world-class appeal of top fashion supermodels and photographers in it's advertising along with chic and stylish garments with insanely-low prices. It's a perfect storm of image and affordability. At just about any time one can open an issue of Vogue or look up at a giant billboard in Times Square to see a photo of Beyoncè wearing a bikini on an exotic beach with a simple "Bikini: $9.99" inscribed on the ad. Not many labels can combine the advertising firepower of top fashion houses with actual great-looking apparel at prices similar to outlet stores, but H&M have figured out how to do it. They even have top fashion designers such as Versace and Alexander Wang designing garments exclusively for the H&M label. I for one fully support the methodology of this effective advertising and I've seen how it works since I began my career as a fashion photographer.
So I'm happy to welcome H&M to Albuquerque and I'm sure the city will start to look a little more stylish as the months pass. I know I'll be a headed in for some updated wardrobe as the seasons change and who knows, maybe some of their fresh designs will make it onto the pages of the editorials I shoot, as they have in the past. ;-)
*Post script- I wasn't paid by H&M to say any of this but I wish I had been.
Check out my editorial titled, 'Sojourner' in this month's issue of FSHN magazine available in all Barnes & Noble stores across the U.S. We shot in Santa Fe, New Mexico featuring labels brought in from Los Angeles such as Guess, Sam Edelman and Burberry. Thanks to our model, Marissa from LA Models and makeup by Miranda Qualls, hair by Amber DeJesus as well as the team for getting a lot done in a short time. You can see an online version of the spread starting on page 56 here. Also I've posted some behind-the-scenes shots in the On Set page. Feedback in the comments appreciated!
Now with handy carrying case to lug the 1700+ pages of fashion along with you! I'm very pleased to see Vogue featuring actual models on the cover; it almost makes up for the Kimye blunder earlier in the year. Inside each issue is a feast for the eyes with the new ads from all the top labels along with the editorial content. I'm also impressed with the new Ralph Lauren line for winter featuring complete white-on-white thick layers with no separation whatsoever. Great photography, great styling, great models. Between all the issues, there's enough content to enjoy a winter hibernation until Spring.
I'm been a believer in the lasting photographer's adage that, "A photographer is only as good as his weakest crew member." True that it is paramount to have the right team when constructing complex images for top-quality fashion and beauty work in an industry where a photographer is only as good as their last photo. To survive is one thing, to succeed is another. Success is a very illusive endeavor that requires both high quality and lots of luck. But if the quality isn't in one's work, one better hope they have a large supply of luck.
I bring attention to one of the key members of any good fashion photography team: the Makeup Artist. I emphasize "artist" because a true "MUA" is so much more than a makeup applicator- the MUA is arguably the most critical team member a photographer should hire for a shoot with possible room for exception for a good first assistant and a great model.
I've been fortunate enough to work with and around some top-level MUA's including my roommate in New York who is the Creative Director for Kevyn Aucoin Cosmetics, Kevin Hees. I've also had the pleasure of working on numerous shoots with Conrad Sanchez who spent nine years with Chanel and I quickly learned the difference between a true makeup artist and someone who just applies the makeup. A true makeup artist can interpret a mood board, understand the creative direction that the photographer and CD or AD wish to achieve and correlate that to the model's particular facial structure and features. A talented MUA can cover all the bases; from light, beautifully clean makeup to complex, powerful, hard-edge and near-theatrical editorial looks. A great MUA will contribute a refined, professional statement with the makeup in the photograph rather than an obtrusive, amateur design and tacky application. A photographer needs to know they can rely on their makeup artist to deliver the makeup design that best fits the creative direction. For me, it's such a great feeling when the model comes out of hair and makeup looking better than what I had in mind. Makeup artists with talent and vision are true artists and rightfully deserve their title.
There are sometimes elements on any given shoot that may not look right according to plan and the team can figure out ways to work around it. Stylists can strategically clip clothes that are too big for the model, assistants can adjust light to favor the scene, photographers can even trick an inexperienced model into getting a "lucky shot" when they can't model at all. But there's no workaround for bad makeup. Bad makeup will ruin the shoot, period. The only possible way to save the shoot is to fix the makeup in Photoshop- but that's an enormous hassle to retouch bad makeup in post. It's a far better action to hire the right MUA for the job in the first place.
TRAITS OF A VALUABLE COMMERCIAL & EDITORIAL MAKEUP ARTIST:
- Valid work experience. A professional MUA can show a work history of being booked for diverse print jobs with high-quality photographers. A good MUA will have a strong book, even if it's mostly test shoots. The level of photography a makeup artist displays in their book is a good indicator of who wants to work with them. When their work is displayed in great photos, it shows what level they are on in terms of their career as well as the level of creative professonals who hire them. It shows they can do the job and that high-quality professionals rely on them. A MUA who's experience is limited to only having done tons of weddings or only regularly work with amateur/hobbyist photographers isn't really up to par for the skilled nature of real fashion/editorial print work. They inadvertently show they don't have the drive to be successful.
- They bring all their own equipment. I love it when I'm shooting on location and the MUA arrives with their own makeup chair and whatever they need to do their job. There's been a few times when an MUA showed up with only a makeup bag and began asking me for tools such as a makeup chair, a mirror, a table, lights, extension cords, even a hair straightener. I felt like asking the MUA if they brought some strobe lights I could use. It's the same thing. Photographers bring photo gear, MUA's bring makeup gear, period. Really pro MUA's will have an assistant or intern to help them carry and setup their gear. This is very intuitive since it's imprudent to expect the photographer's assistants to lug the MUA's gear. The best makeup artists bring everything they may need and look after it themselves.
- They pay close attention on set. A real MUA knows that the most critical time to watch the makeup is during the shoot. Smudge fixes, hairs sticking to lips or minor touchups are always something needing to be addressed while the shoot is in progress. A makeup artist that applies the makeup then stands around playing with their phone during the shoot is one of the most obvious signs of an amateur. A good MUA is present on set to correct unwanted flaws or to make adjustments during shooting. This saves the photographer from shooting the next hundred frames only to find out later that those shots are unusable due to some problem that went unnoticed while shooting. Believe me, it happens all the time.
- Models (and everyone else) speak highly of them. Great MUA's take proper care of the models by being careful around their eyes, making sure the model's aren't allergic to the products and by generally being pleasant and fun to work with. Pro MUA's treat models and everyone as people, not as objects. They want to be an integral part of the team and do their best to have the shoot go well.
- They can approach anything asked of them with optimism and honest feedback. The best MUA's not only know how to do perfect work, they can change it if asked to without taking it personal or getting upset. They also can be a great creative asset by informing the photographer if a certain makeup look requested may not work with the model's facial features. A good MUA won't falsely assure a photographer that a look will work if it may not, which can result in wasted time and a lot of frustration. It's a team effort and the makeup artist is expected to be the expert advisor on the makeup while at the same time working toward the creative goal.
- They stick to the creative plan. This is possibly the most important factor in a makeup artist being invited back. A MUA who agrees to apply a certain makeup look according to the creative direction, then goes off-script and applies something different is a detriment to the entire shoot. There's nothing worse than setting up a shoot, agreeing to a mood board and then having the model come out of makeup looking nothing like what was expected and agreed upon. There's probably no worse of a way to waste everyone's time, other than being late to the shoot.
- They never, ever, show up late. It should go without saying, but the best of the best MUA's are absolute professionals and will be at the appointed location prior to call time. Many even arrive early so they can take their time to set up. Great MUA's do what they can to make the day go easier for everyone else, so they can ensure that they will be invited back again and earn a great reputation.
- They have awesome personalities. This is important for anyone, but everyone loves a makeup artist that had their own identity and is fun to spend all day on set with or even hours on the road with when driving to a location. For example, sometimes early morning call times can be a drag (especially for the models), but a makeup artist with a great personality can get the day started off right since they are often the first ones to start work. Personality + performance is always in high demand.
Makeup artists are mission-critical to a successful outcome; they can make or break your shoot. Don't be complacent when considering one- it matters. Great MUA's are not a dime a dozen, so when you find one, keep them happy and they'll do the same for you. They are worth every penny of their day rate.
I did some work for Mark Pardo Salon & Spa a few months back and just had a couple of my favorites from the shoot featured on the website of one of my favorite New York fashion magazines, Zink. Check out the feature on zinkmagazine.com
Here's a couple of behind the scenes shots. I didn't take many since it was a busy day and the schedule was tight. Had to keep my mind on what I was doing! Many thanks to the Mark Pardo hair and makeup crew, the models and my assistant + digital tech Jess. Great work, great day.
I recently spearheaded a new business endeavor that I felt was truly needed in the New Mexico fashion market. I'm proud to be a part of the newest and most sincere New Mexico modeling agency and I'm very proud to be working with these wonderful and incredibly positive-sprited people. These are the faces of the newest and most professionally dedicated New Mexico fashion models. Please welcome to the New Mexico fashion market as well as the fashion industry, MTM Model Management.
Yesterday this tweet was posted by the music artist Lorde in which she herself didn't see the necessity in her photo being retouched and preferred to show a separate, unedited image along with her statement that, "Flaws are ok." It inspired me to shed some light on what this epidemic of retouching, i.e. "Photoshopping" is really all about. In the extremely competitive world of photography, photographers are doing everything they can to make their images stand out from their competition. By retouching their images, photographers are not trying to make any sort of statement about facial blemishes, weight or other human "flaws". They are not saying, "Lorde's face is ugly, I need to retouch it for the sake of society.". In fact, photographers aren't retouching her or anyone else for the sake of their subjects at all. Photographers retouch their images so that they can market them to as many media outlets as possible. Those media outlets demand very high quality, "flawless" photos for their publication standards.
Every photographer wants the reputation of having the best images. I, we, they, all want a reputation for our work to be heralded as the best, so to photo-editing software we turn. It isn't because we necessarily want the people we photograph to be flawless, it's our photography we want to be flawless. As if we magically have some sort of talent that makes whoever and whatever we shoot come out looking better than real life. Well, photo editing software does that. There are even programs, apps and even some cameras now that have face recognition software that can automatically retouch someone's face to flawless perfection. Although the results usually aren't even human-looking and in fact quite often look ridicules. That too will change as technology becomes more intelligent.
In addition to every photographer's desire for their work to be regarded as the best and therefore hopefully acquire more jobs, there's also the notion that a celebrity being photographed might disapprove of images in which they look, well like they really do. We've all heard the whining demands in the media of certain celebrities who require their photographs to be retouched to so-called perfection before being published in any magazine or on the web. We certainly see that practice being over-endugled on most mainstream magazine covers. In this case, Lorde has preferred the unedited image, but that's seldom the case. Magazines are also in competition with each other to have the 'best looking' celebrity covers and photo editorials. So the standard practice has become for most photographers that any un-retouched photograph submitted for publication will be an automatic rejection...and usually is.
So to clarify the reason behind all of the photo retouching going on in today's media, it's not that anyone feels that someone's flaws are to be erased for the sake of societies' approval, it's simply a matter of marketing and competition. You as a consumer are more likely to select an apple with the most pristine and flawless appearance in the produce section. Ergo, the same theory applies in the magazine section. Every media company is just trying to climb above their competition by presenting the most-polished and flawless products. So much so, that "flawless" has become the new "normal".
Ever wanted to see how a billboard goes up? One of my clients, Gertrude Zachary Jewelry, had a billboard that was torn and needed replacement. Here's the job done in 1 minute!
It's always nice when you're flipping through the first few pages of a magazine like ELLE Italia and you come across a double page GUESS ad with a model you know and have photographed before. "Hey, that looks like Samantha Hoopes!" I thought, so I had to send her a quick message and receive her bubbly and excited reply confirming it. Samantha has been featured in both the new GUESS Spring/Summer 2014 campaigns as well as their lingerie campaigns. By her smoldering gaze she brings to their gorgeous photography, I'd say she's a perfect fit for the iconic brand. She's still currently in my portfolio in the beauty, commercial and swim/lingerie categories. I also booked her for the Gertrude Zachary 2012-13 holiday billboards that ran last year. I was happy to hear from her that our photos we did together in New York are still used in her book that she carries with Elite LA and Select Management in London. I requested her from Major Models New York and was very impressed with her when she first walked into my apartment in Manhattan to meet up for our shoot. I'm even more impressed now. It's evident that she's really making a strong presence and a definite connection in the industry judging by these new GUESS ads. Rumor has it she's one of the new rookies in the upcoming 50th Anniversary Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. I suppose we'll find out on February 18th when the much-anticipated issue hits the stands worldwide. Samantha was really fun and easy to work with and I look forward to another opportunity to work with her again.
So please join me in congratulating Samantha Hoopes on her new venture to the forefront. She's well on her way toward stunning the whole world with her all-American bombshell looks as well as her lovable personality and can-do work ethic. Here's a few of my favorite outtakes and snapshots from us working together in New York. Cheers, Sam!
Here's a few BTS shots from out shoot with Michaela from MTM Model Management. She's only 15 and is already 5'10" with a stunning look and modeling versatility. Big thanks to Armani Leon for makeup and Santiago Romero on hair. Looking forward to the selects publishing soon but for now other looks of Michaela can be found at mtmmodelmanagement.com.
Hey I just wanted to welcome you all to my new website. I decided since it was a new year, I'd rebuild my website with some mighty improvements. First, all my photos are now displayed in huge, full-screen format so that the quality and detail can be seen. With the smaller size photos I had before, I always lamented that so much effort goes into making high quality work, yet it gets lost in the small size displayed. Not any more. Now you can see every degree of work that goes into the final images.
Next is that my blog is now an "in house" part of the website. It's just nicer to have the blog right here than having to click and be sent to a separate blog page that's not connected to my website as it was before.
And finally, you have the ability to view my work as large thumbnails or full-size just by clicking on the "Show Thumbnails" button on the bottom left of the site.
I hope you like the new digs as much as I do. Thank you and enjoy your visit!
Just a quick shout-out to Max Factor for publishing what I think is a proper-looking cosmetic skin care cream ad. Featuring beautiful model Candice Swanepoel, the ad reflects a more natural-looking photo to promote what the skin cream does, rather than what Photoshop does. As a digital artist myself and a fan of post-production poetic license, I'm also aware of the impossibilities that are being presented to mostly women and young girls showing beauty in advertising that is simply unachievable. When I recently flipped through the pages of a current fashion magazine (I think it was British 'Elle'), I was pleasantly surprised to see a cosmetic ad with a gorgeous face, sans the usual amount of computer pixel replacement. Kudos to Max Factor for a realistic and plausible image displaying what their skin care cream does and not leaving it up to the Photoshop artist. This turn in the direction of truth in advertising makes me want to go out and buy the product myself, though I doubt it would help me get a date with Candice. :-)
I recently finished editing one of my first videos that we shot in NYC. It's sort of a vibe just showing the nightlife and some behind-the-scenes of the fashion shoots I do. I edited the whole thing as well as wrote and recorded the music. If you click on the outward-facing arrows at the bottom of the viewer it will display in sharp 720 HD. Let me know what you think! http://vimeo.com/71536277
Shout out to this guy (on the left) and some of the coolest/ hardest working/ best-looking people NYC has to call their own. To Emily, Marian, Steph-bomb and Ryan, pleasure working with you ladies and gents. Thank you for the experience and knowledge, I promise to use it wisely. Looking forward to discovering yet another unguarded beer tap with you.
For those who aren't familiar with this ruggedly handsome photographer and this team's genius work (also available for weddings and bar mitzvahs!), please grab a cup of tea and sit back...
I'm always passively looking around to see if there's any good subjects to photograph, and it's pretty rare when I approach someone to do so, especially guys. We guys are, well, always on alert for anyone who walks up and starts talking about photos or modeling to try to scam us. Needless to say, I don't do it often. Chase is a good guy, so we met up and did some test shots. Turns out to be a pretty good skater! No experience, very good results. Could see him shooting a variety of ads. Stay tuned for more..
Working with familiar new face Sofia on some simple clean shots for her book. I like to work with different methods, sometimes complex setups with lights, crew and tons of hoopla and sometimes just myself, a camera, the sun and the subject. Although I go against the grain and remain an avid proponent for high-tech gear, I still also support the fact that one can get great shots with no extra equipment. Enter the simple side of photography. I've taken the opportunity to just go out with the camera and work with what there is. Sometimes in conditions that aren't the best for photography (sun angle, wind, blowing sand, cold temps, etc) . Rather than just shoot slot-machine style and hope for the best (otherwise known as "spray and pray" where one just randomly shoots a ton of frames and comes up with a few lucky winners), I set a short time frame and try to find a groove that works where I only need to shoot a few frames to get the shot. Models are always surprised when I only shoot for a minute then say, " Cool, we got it. Lets move on".
It's always a good experience shooting with Sofia, because she listens to direction and gets it quick. In this instance, we only had a very short time frame to get something, and we ended up with a bunch of different looks. Keep an eye out for this one, she's getting better and better! So here's some examples of simple techniques with just sunlight to work with. My thanks to Sofia, supportive mom Ophelia and Shastity Moreno for the great makeup work with the black dress.