A Session with Lena Marie from Paradis Model Management on a cold day in Autumn.
Over the past year, I have grown to love photography community events such as photowalks. It is a great way to learn and bond with other creatives with a similar love for photography.
This year I attended a photowalk by ONAbags and Leica Cameras for Photoville 2018 in Brooklyn. This event was hosted and lead by Jose “Tutes” Tutiven, a Photographer based in New York City, whom I met at a previous ONAbags event in 2017.
I was ecstatic to find out we were going to be shooting on Leica that was lend to the people participating in the photowalk. All the photos below were shot on the Leica Camera AG Leica Q with a fixed 28mm F.1/7 focal length. I heard about Leica cameras for a couple of years now and it was great to have hands-on experience with the model. It was small, lightweight, easy to carry around and produce stunning images. I had a great time using it and shooting something a little different.
It was great to be a part of this event and seeing some familiar faces. Thank you ONAbags and Leica for collaborating for this photowalk. I can’t wait for the next one.
Its that time year again where hundreds of models strict their diets, gather up their comp cards, rush to their castings, wait on line for long hours at a time to be judged and get cast for runway shows during New York Fashion Week.
I had a pleasure working with Andres Leonardi and Clayton Wilson of Paradis Models Management before they embark on their events for Fashion Week.
Last week I reconnected with Omar, for another test shoot for Paradis Model Management. Usually when I do a photoshoot with the same model, I want to do something different from the last shoot. So when I had the opportunity to work with him again, I had to refrain myself to take another bus route to the city (where I usually do my shoots) and do something different. I only had a couple days to figure out what I wanted to do before the sending the final information to the model.
After time trying to figure it out what to do, I recently saw a couple photos of photographers using backdrops in a outdoor settings outside. Then it clicked in my mind. Why I didn't think of that? I have my Impact Background Support System with my Savage White Seamless Background Paper from B&H I haven't used in forever and natural light from the Sun. Basically, I have a whole studio in my backyard.
So I went downstairs in the basement to recover my equipment. I first dug up my background system but when it is was time for my seamless paper I had some concern because of the box it was in was soiled, probably from water getting into the basement. After uncovering the box from it my fears came true as I notice the thick roll of paper had deep rooted stains on it reaching all the way down to the core. I'm like Great, What I do?
One option I thought of was to buy another roll of seamless paper from a camera store I usually go to rent but I didn't have the money to spend. So I thought of another option of using an off white linen curtain sheet given to by my job that I wanted to use from my previous photoshoot but I didn't end up using. I was skeptical of using because it was slightly see through but I figure if I had the model step away from the background and played with the settings on the camera, I think I would be okay.
I analyze the socket of the linen sheet to see the poles would fit. Once I figured everything out, I start setting up on the day of the shoot. When we were about to shoot something earlier before told me to bring bug spray for my model and unfortunately when my model stripped down to under garments. He was attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes in a matter of seconds. It gotten so bad that he also got bitten on the face TWICE. I felt so bad. After making a quick run to a near by store and getting some bug spray. I dose him with bug spray and finished off with out first part of the shoot.
We then later finished off the the shoot in a near by gas station a couple blocks away from the house and took the model back home. After looking back at my photos. The photos turned out great. You can't see through the sheet (unless you are pixel peeper). The backdrop I use was wrinkled and can some areas but other than it turned out well. I wish I would've gotten some close up shoots of him standing up but other than that it was successful. Omar's face and body did not go in vein.
This session told me about what a pile of junk, a little creativity and a big imagination can do. After spending hours of finding studio places on Peerspace, I realize have my own personal studio in my own backyard and would probably use it more often for my simplest shoots.
Just note to self bring bug spray.
In July, I had the chance to go to New Orleans for the Essence Festival. I had the most amazing experience ever. It was also the first time I lost my airplane virginity since it was my first time taking a flight by myself.
The first time I was on a flight was 18 years ago. I went to Florida to go to Disney World and went on a cruise to the Bahamas. However, when I was on the cruise I ended up getting an ear infection from playing in the pool when it was a bit cold out. This made my trip back home excruciating painful on my ears. So this time I took extra precaution by using some techniques I googled to make sure it would not happen again. I wasn't too successful the first time but the trip going was a breeze.
Traveling to New Orleans was a great experience. I met some cool people along the way, like the woman I met at the bar who also attended the Essence Festival. I forgot her name but she was traveling from Oakland, California.
During the Essence Festival experience, we saw many celebrities and performances from Missy Elliott, SWV, Xscape, Jussie Smollett, Ella Mai, Erykah Badu, Miguel, Regina Hall, Amandhla Stenberg, The Cast of Power, Brandy, 702, Russell Hornsby, and many more.
We couldn't forget the great cuisine. It was amazing experiencing bourbon street, walking and drinking a hurricane in public.
Going to New Orleans open my eyes. I remember watching a YouTube video of someone gave advice to splurge money on trips and experiences because you will have those memories for a lifetime. The advice was spot on. Most of my money have went towards food and consumer items. But after this experience I would make sure I would splurge on more trips and get some use out of my passport.
All photos were shot on my Galaxy S8 using VSCO.
*SIDENOTE* I wanted to bring my film camera (Nikon N2000) however it was damaged from old leakage from the batteries and would need to money (which I couldn't afford) to repair.
On my latest shoot, I decided to touch do a shoot that celebrates black beauty in all ethnicities and cultures. This shoot was inspired by celebrities such as Amara La Negra, letting the world know black is beautiful. The subject in this shoot is Rosa, who's an aspiring model and is of Afro-Dominican descent. The Outfit is styled by me and thanks to my friend, Nazera for the headpiece.
I am back from a hiatus with a collaboration I did with up and coming model, Omar for an editorial style looks for the summer around the West Village area.
Model: Omar Ledesma @_omarledesma
Agency: Paradis Management NYC
Fashion: Shirts (Urban Outfitters) and Pants (H&M)
A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to go to the Dia: Beacon which is a Museum that has two locations one in Chelsea, New York City and the one in Beacon, New York which is the most popular. While still suffering from the cold, I decided to get creative and some indoor shots of inside with my model, Badimir.
Despite being primarily there to shoot photos, we did take some time to look around and see the exhibition and love the museum. There will be a time I will go again.