Category Archives: Models

A ‘range’


I really don’t have time to do much test work these days (Nicole either… dang those pesky bills! ;) ) but back in December I got to shoot with Nicole… this was another one of those where we just ‘winged it’.  She might disown me for saying this (long story) but I really love the range of looks we were able to get with her short hair!  She did her own hair and make up on this one and I’m really happy with what we got!


We played with a range of emotions that were new for both of us; one of my favorites is the smile shot!
I’ve also applied some of my new post processing techniques to these photos.  I’m still refining it so you may see that fluctuate in the next few edits until I reestablish my flow!  Here’s what we did:

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Small victories and a month on OTHER blogs!

To put it politely, this month has been a mess for us!  Nothing has gone according to plan, business is always slow this time of year (which can really squeeze the bank acct.), we’ve personally been very busy, I just switched part-time jobs, and on top of all that, January is the time for getting taxes ready and wrapping up the finances for the year.

All problems aside, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for.  As tough as things can be, its adding up all the small victories that get you through and keep you motivated.  In no particular order: My work was featured on 3 separate blogs outside my own this month which was quite exciting, and very much an honor.  We ran a promo this month and were blown away by all the amazing entries and support we got.  In fact, we’ve actually got a fairly busy month ahead of us! (Hopefully enough so, to counter the slow season.)  I also had the honor and pleasure of getting a retouch lesson from the best in the business, side by side with my friend Tegan… for which I could not be more grateful.  My good friend Andrew dropped in and we collaborated on some personal work; always inspiring to be around him!  Earlier this month I worked my last day at my old part time job in exchange for 2 part time contract gigs that not only exceed the pay, but they’re relevant to my field (photography and graphic design.)  I finally got to attend a Pro Click (photography group) meeting and hang out with some familiar (and some new) faces which was pretty great.  I got honor of shooting a very special family session for a very good friend, worked my first wedding show, got to shoot with Nicole twice (one of those was with Jai too, OMG).  Andrea stopped in with all of her awesome (aka mad posing, and styling skills).  I’ve already started on one of my two part time projects and so far its going very well.  I gave my first official retouch lesson, had our daughter baptized, got to have a few beers with a good friend, rang in the new year with some amazing people,  gotten to spend a good amount of time with our wonderful families and friends… and to top it all off, I’ve only had to get the snow blower out once! :)
Here’s a few snap shots of my January! Read the rest of this entry »


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Back to the basics

A couple weeks ago my family and I were visiting my sister, brother-in-law, and their kids on a Friday night, when my nephew came up to me with a childrens camera.  I took out my droid and started taking photos of him taking photos of me.   He asked if we could switch cameras (Adam is 3) so I agreed and was surprised to find myself having fun with the toy camera and a getting some really cool results.  You can get some really cool photos mixing the flash on it with the ambient room light, but the problem is that the flash doesn’t always sync with the shutter! Hahaha!

After the kids were down for the night, I was panning through my photos and got an idea, that it would be really fun to do a shoot with this thing.  And THEN I remembered that Nicole was scheduled to be in town that week… so I asked if I could borrow it and try it out.  Nicole is really good at what she does, she has a great appreciation for any art form, she’s great at showing emotion, and most importantly – though I knew she’d laugh – I knew she wouldn’t leave my studio if she saw me pull out a blue toy camera.

More after the break:

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Jennifer Verstegen & Jai Schmidt

Jennifer - Fashion PhotographyJennifer has the most amazing smile (and personality, and talent, and natural beauty). A big, gorgeous, natural smile.  Jai has the most amazing talent.  I was captivated watching her work her do Jennifer’s H&MU.  I will have some wonderful behind the scenes photos to share when I get a few extra moments. Both such sweet, wonderful, and talented women.  This shoot sort of fell into my lap (for which, I am SO grateful) and was organized by Alan D. Charles who wasn’t able to make it in the end; a very important opportunity to spend some time with family came up, and we all agreed he should take it.

My main camera went down days before this shoot.  Although at the time it came out, my (back up) camera was the next best thing on the market, I’ve gotten quite used to my 50D and know it like the back of my hand.  My back up rig is 2 versions older so for my last few shoots, I feel like I’ve been shooting with a bit of a gimp.  I’m slowly getting the hang of my 30D, it’s just 2 versions older, it’s slower, the controls are a little different, and a few of my favorite features are missing… all that said, I’ve been very grateful to have my back up camera, and I feel like I’ve been able to make things happen, regardless!  Having one camera down makes me want to get a second back up when I’m able.

Back to our shoot; I can’t say enough good about what it’s like working with talented, professional, passionate people who share a common interest and style with me.  I really can’t say enough good about my experience working with both Jennifer and Jai! I also need to give a shout out and big thank you to Vintique Boutique for providing the last two outfits in this set!

Here are our favorite shots from the day!
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A Review

Bianca - America's Next Top Model

I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time now… and that is to simply display some of my old work next to my new work.  I finally (as in, after years of shooting) have some work I really like, and have decided on some of my old work to share side by side.  To be fair, most of what I shoot now… isn’t ‘portraiture'; it might fit better in the ‘fashion’ or ‘commercial’ titles.

For the purposes of this blog post, having two dissimilar genres side by side still does an ok job demonstrating my point because there is one important commonality… people.

I feel like the quality difference speaks for itself.  But a few things that jump out at me:

1) I had no concept of light, how important it was, and how I can use it to my advantage to create both a pleasing photo, and one that represents what is in my mind.  I was often either fighting the light, or completely unaware of it all together, as you can see in the black and white photo of Melissa Stahl (second last photo).  I have Eric Malette, and my dad, to thank for pushing me to grow in likely the most crucial ‘technical’ aspect of photography.

2) I was obviously just shooting in ‘Auto’ mode.  Apparently I thought owning a DSLR made my photos good.  Not so.  As I told a friend recently, if my photos were bad (in a technical sense) in auto mode, why not just make ‘bad’ photos in Manual mode and actually learn something; take creative control.  I had no idea how aperture, shutter speeds and ISO levels would effect my final product.

(More after the jump…)

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Alyssa LaMay All-Star Studios Commercial PhotographyI wanted to do something a little more ‘fun’ for my shoot with Alyssa, after-all, she’s a very sweet, energetic person!  She showed up on time and ready to shoot!  I was very happy with the looks she brought based on my simple description.  We really didn’t have much of an agenda other than to get some great shots and work together one last time before she moved away!  Yup.  Another model friend moves away! :(

Alyssa is very easy going and not afraid to try new things, which was great because I needed to try out my new reflector and this was a great opportunity!  I also got some natural light shots on this shoot too!

Have a look:

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Nicole Jolly

Nicole Jolly photographed by commercial photographer All-Star Studios

Sometimes you ‘just know’ when you will work well with another person.  Nicole is one of those people; she and I work very well together.  Nicole is one of those people who is not afraid to try and fail, she has an understanding of both sides of the camera that is very hard to come by, she has the ability to connect with the viewer, even while looking away from the lens.

I’ve learned a lot about photography, modeling, and connecting with subjects over the last several months.  One of the most important things I’ve learned about modeling, is that yes, beauty is important in the industry, but ultimately, that beauty comes from within… it comes from having the right personality, the right drive, and the willingness to connect; to try with the possibility of failure.  Nicole fits these descriptions, and she’s beautiful!

I’ve come to understand that growth comes from taking risks.  Growth comes from learning from mistakes.  It comes from doing and trying; it comes from being intentional.  I believe when people who understand this work together, it shows in the results.  Credits after the photos; take a look:
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