Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fashion Shoot Contest at SAINT

I just took part in a really fun photography contest at Saint in Boston. Saint is the sister club to the wonderful restaurant Domani, attached to the Copley Hotel in downtown Boston. I mention this detail because Domani's (and Saint's) chef is the famous Rene Michelina, who I photographed last summer for Asian Boston Magazine with Channel 7's Frances Rivera. Anyway, DJ Reaz's company The Synergy does some great events with great music and this was no different.

I had come to find out about the fashion shoot contest by contacting Reaz from a simple listing in Craigslist about his need for a marketing guru. He had selected to allow people to contact him for other services so I put on my salesman cap and told him I'm not a marketing guru but I'd be interested in shooting his events. He looked at my portfolio, contacted me and asked if I'd like to actually take part in the event. Naturally, I agreed to it.

My task was to get two models and dress them in Sam Vartan's designs. Two other photographers would be doing the same and we'd meet on November 7th in a head to head to head contest to produce great photos.

I located models via Model Mayhem. I immediately thought of Erica, a model I hadn't had the chance to work with at the recent Trash the Dress shoot at Oakland Beach, Rhode Island. I contacted her through Model Mayhem and all was set. However I needed another model. Sam and I talked extensively about models for his designs. We spent time on the phone going through the site and I contacted a few but very few models would respond. One model I was hoping would respond did, and rather quickly. It was Aileen. I was impressed with her interest, and the fact that she was actually signed on with an agency, Tonn Model Management. I was impressed as heck and we all agreed to a time to meet up with Sam for a fitting.

The fitting went great, Erica and Aileen looked amazing, and I was excited to come up with some ideas. Sam rocked, he was really open to the design combinations and he and the girls schooled me on what goes good together.

A week later the models and I (and Carlton) met up at Tonn's studio (thanks Tonn!!!) to practice some ideas for the event. We came up with some great photos. Keep in mind that with this kind of photography, I try not to take full credit. The models themselves contribute enormously... they can make or break a "perfectly lit" photo. So when I refer to this kind of photography, it's almost always a "we" and "us" thing.

The night of the event, we had several hiccups. Change in time, change in duration, change in what we could bring into the club, it all caused a lot of stress and anxiety, but I found that I totally lived for it. While we couldn't really shoot the stuff we had practiced for, we managed to come up with some last-minute ideas which I think were pretty good. John Bellavance helped out as well, and one idea he came up with was to put the lights in the bathroom. The bathroom's walls were transluscent glass, so we posed Erica and Aileen against the bathroom walls! People thought we were crazy. But we got some great photos. Unfortunately, the judges didn't think ours were the best, and we lost, but we sure did have a lot of fun doing it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Photo of photographer Jeff Engel by Carlton SooHoo, another photographer

Originally uploaded by carltonsoohoo
My friend and colleague Carlton SooHoo shot a photo of me last month since I didn't have a real portrait. I helped a bit with lighting, but he really made me look like such a bad ass photographer!

Check out an article about this shot on his blog or click on the photo to see his technical description for Flickr's "Strobists" group.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Gamble Mansion All-day Shoot-a-thon

I'm still exhausted and the shoot was last week.

We spent all day photographing a bunch of models – men and women alike – at the Gamble Mansion on Marlborough in Boston. The shoot was again for Asian Boston Magazine (we just shot Frances Rivera from Channel 7 for the front cover over a week ago), which my friend Carlton has been helping get off the ground. I came along as an assistant but also managed to get a few photos myself.

It was a full on operation... we had makeup, hair and wardrobe. The models were wearing local designers. And the Mansion was amazing... I can totally see why people like to have their weddings there.

My favorite model of the day was Julie Pham, an actress and writer whom I had met a few days ago at her interview with Frances Rivera. She's got a great look and could probably get some Lucy Liu stand-in gigs easily!

The designs were by Nirva, a local Boston designer who makes wonderful silk fashions with a cosmopolitan ethnic flair.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Frances Rivera photo shoot at the Boston Design Center

My friend and business colleague, Carlton, invited me to assist and take photos with him during an all day shoot for Asian Boston Magazine. The subject: Frances Rivera. Frances is a prime time anchor for Channel 7 WHDH in Boston. Asian Boston plan to do a cover and feature story of her in their upcoming issue.

We shot strictly in the "Strobist" method. We brought no big lights. Just strobes with pocket wizards. Add some stands and umbrellas and you can pretty much reproduce studio lighting on location, and it weighs a lot less!

The location was a dream come true: The Boston Design Center. The BDC is basically a mall for interior designers and decorators, so we had virtually any kind of environment or background we could want.

The shoot lasted for about 6 hours on location, and then we zipped on over to Channel 7 for an in-studio shoot.

And that's where I got the picture I'm proud of. We were up on the 2nd level overlooking the news room and Frances was standing against the railing with this cool lit up 3D computer generated Boston city scene in the background. Immediately I asked Carlton to hold my strobe, attached a snoot to it, and while he aimed it at Frances, I shot a couple. And that's what you see... 1 simple snooted strobe aimed at her from about 20 feet away. There's a lot of space at the top because I shot it in anticipation that it might be used for the cover. Haha!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Trash the Dress

What are ten models all made up and in in wedding gowns standing on a beach in Rhode Island doing? They're being photographed by twenty photographers from the Worcester Photography Meetup in an event called "Trash the Dress". It's become a popular photographic phenomenon and it's fun as heck.

I brought my regular digital camera equipment but also decided to shoot some film, including medium format and large format. I managed to get a couple good shots with my Speed Graphic and Type 55, although I got some "happy mistakes" when I didn't remove the packet correctly from the Polaroid 545 holder. The result is a funky picture of Gina, a great model, laying down in the water, but seemingly melting into the composition. You can see it and other photos at the link below.

Tabblo: Gina

Gina joined us for Trash the Dress in July. She was a blast. I shot some Polaroid Type 55 but some of it got wet and leaked before I could process it. I thought the effect was kind of interesting, even if I lost the picture.
... See my Tabblo>