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.
I recently had a casting call for a print ad campaign and wanted to give some feedback to models who may have submitted or been called in, but could use some help on how to improve their next casting or opportunity to be selected for any project. This article is designed more for unrepresented aspiring models without professional agencies. Others looking to improve in the fashion world such as makeup artists, hair stylists and wardrobe stylists can also benefit from this post. If you're a legitimate agency represented model (not a small town scam agency represented model in which case you're screwed) then most of the info here will be handled by your booker. For those who are not represented, here's a first-hand experience look at how you can improve your success with photographers, companies and even real agencies. A lot of this is geared toward fashion modeling, so if you a are different type of model, then this info may not apply to you.
1. Be very timely in your response to those who contact you.
If someone whom you would like to work with reaches out to you, don't take days to return a communication with them. This sounds common sense enough, but you're be surprised at how many people have no sense of professionalism and readily prove it with flakiness. Nothing says "difficult to work with" more than someone who is slow to respond. People in the fashion world in particular are very busy, and by not responding quickly to them you are showing that you are careless and lazy. By the time you remember to return an email days later, the offer is no longer on the table. Don't use the "I don't always check my email or have time to reply" excuse, because it's not valid. I don't know anyone who doesn't check their email, private messages, voicemails, etc multiple times a day, and you always have time to return an email, it only takes a minute. Bottom line: You only get one first impression, use it wisely.
2. Have at least some sort of portfolio book to present your work.
Other than a new model meeting with an agency for the first time, in which a book is not needed, one of the first ways to identify yourself as a professional or at least pro-minded is by having a portfolio, otherwise known as your "book". A book is important because it shows that you are taking yourself seriously enough to place your best work in a book format where you can present it to someone in a professional context. A portfolio doesn't have to be expensive or large, it can be a regular artist portfolio bought at a local hobby or art store for a few bucks. The prints in them can even be printed with a home inkjet printer. In this digital age, a lot of people use their iPads, tablets, laptops or even smart phones to show our work (myself included). This is fine for impromptu situations where having your work on hand to show is convenient. However, I would never show up to an important scheduled meeting where I needed to impress a client or business contact without a portfolio book. If you go to a meeting and when asked to see your portfolio you proceed to set up your laptop and show your Facebook page, you've variably taken yourself out of contention as a professional. Bottom line: A book gives you and your work more validity.
3. Quality, never quantity.
I can't remember how many times I've been interested in working with a particular model or makeup artist and when I see their portfolio, it basically talks me out of working with them. A clue that it's a bad idea to work with someone is if they put every photo shoot or project they've ever done in their portfolio. A few good shots in your book can easily be overshadowed if the majority of your work is generic, boring or poorly done. It looks like you have a couple of lucky shots, but as a whole you are unusable. I've even heard people say "I don't really like these photos" to which I have to ask why they put them in their book. Your portfolio shouldn't be "the good, the bad and the ugly", it should only be the best examples of your work. Your book is your representation of what level you are on. Are you a beginner? Do you only work with the same amateur hobby photographers or are you shooting with really skilled and inventive artists? Your book communicates that. Don't advertise yourself as a skilled professional and then present a book that is full of badly produced, amateur work. It defines that you are as such. Bottom line: What's in your book directly communicates how professional you are.
4. Models, be for real.
There's nothing more obvious than someone who calls themselves a model but their photos show that they are more appropriately described as, "someone who needs photos to feel pretty". Real modeling is a business as well as an an art. Showing that you can have your picture taken doesn't do anything for showing that you are a legitimate model. Sure, it's important to do a lot of test shoots with (good) fashion photographers when you are starting out, but don't post up every amateur, boring shoot you do with the need for your friends to comment on how "stunning" you are. That's just showing desperation for acceptance. A real model doesn't need modeling to fill an empty void with compliments from endless amateur photos. If you want to be a model, show that you are for real in every way possible. Otherwise you will only be sought by other amateurs and you'll receive no interest from those who need good models for legitimate projects. Bottom line: Modeling is a skill, not a compliment.
5. Direction is not just doing what you are told.
If you are doing a photo or video shoot or other project, chances are there is going to be someone giving direction. From a photography standpoint (and being that photo shoots are about 80% of what you will be doing), the photographer will direct you. All photographers are different; some like to micro-manage you and some will let you do more of your own thing. Speaking for myself and the lion's share of photographers out there, it's very frustrating when someone calls themselves a model and then has no clue how to actually model. Unless it's your first time or you are very new, no one wants to work with someone who has to be told every single thing to do when shooting. Models are booked for their look, but more importantly for their ability to have great presence on camera. Direction is an idea, a mood, or an improvement to make the shot better. Direction is not telling you exactly what limb to move, how to stand, what to do with your head, what to do with your eyes, what to do next, etc. That's "puppeteering", and it's extremely frustrating. Modeling is not showing up empty-headed and having the photographer do everything for you to make you look good. I've done shoots where I had to use every trick in the book to make a so-called model look good, to which they gladly accepted the credit that came afterwards. I'd love to show everyone the first 100 frames and the unedited shots, then we'd see how she really was. Bottom line: Understand direction, but make it your own movements, expressions, etc. Be a model, not a mindless puppet.
Hope this is helpful and I'll check comments for questions or feedback. Until next time, always do your best!