How Creativity and A Pile of Junk Create An Awesome Photoshoot

 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.

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 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.

Revelations 20:17

 
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Another year down in the books, and I must say. I had an eventful year.

  1. Freelance Photography. Over the summer I was very successful of making money as a Freelancer Photographer. Most of the money was from Thumbtack. I was told by a co-worker about it and decided to give it a try and found it to be beneficial. I had a quite of few clients from it. I was also able to get a few clients from word of mouth and even booked a wedding event.
  2. Portfolio Building/Networking - I continued to build my photography portfolio and made a massive amount of connections, and acquaintances especially through Instagram.
  3. Category Winner of Pursuit of Portraits. The most prominent highlights for me was winning a category in a Social Media competition in Pursuit of Portraits.
  4. Photo Assisting. I was a photo assistant for a famous photographer, Alejandro Ibarra at the Trevor Live event where I encountered many celebrities and photographing. I also shot Love and Hip Hop star Tahiry Jose.
  5. Eden Contemporary Art Gallery. I was able to showcase my portrait work for the Eden Contemporary Art Gallery show, created by my friend Damabel. The photos I produce made me realize what types of images I wanted to present and start branching out my aesthetic.

Unfortunately 2018 will be the first year without my dog and my Uncle who passed away in 2017. It was definitely the most difficult time I had to endure.

2017 was a revelation for me and as time goes by I start to figure which is the right path for me. In the past, I was trying to do what everyone else was doing as a next big came up but started to ignore what I wanted at a young age.

Photography is something still new to me. Yes I have been doing it for several years now, and it has something I became great at and even made money off, but deep down inside ultimately it isn't what I was destined to do. At the age of 12, I knew what I wanted to do and unlike anything else. I knew I wanted to be an Author and I believe that is what I want to focus on primarily.

12:01AM (The Lost Poet)

 

If you don't know me personally, I also write poetry besides doing photography and writing short stories. In my high school days, I was known for my poetry. I would go to poetry slams held at a local center in our town and perform my poetic pieces (not spoken word). It was another form of outlet to express myself especially at a time where there were rough patches during my high school experiences. 

I wrote a lot of material during that time, and at the beginning of social media (Xanga and AOL chat room s etc.) there was a site where I can upload all my poems and I was getting great feedback but as time went by I did not many write many poems. I would write once in a blue moon. But I remember running into a high school classmate constantly reminding how he admired my poems. It always stuck with me. It took me awhile but I decided I want to present my favorite pieces with a twist.

I always admired poetic pieces that had an image incorporated into them and rather take some photo from the internet or becoming highly skilled in graphic design. I decided to take an image with my own camera and use it in my poem.

In high school, my poems were dark, melancholy and emotional mostly because I was going through that "EMO" stage (I don't know if they still use the term) But as I got older my poems started to mellow out. I started to dive into spirituality and consciousness and incorporated into my poems. For some reason whenever I wake up in the middle of the night my mind takes my hand, grabs a pen and just let it guide through the pages which resulted in this poem I wrote four years ago.

12 A.M. where I talk all night 
Nobody there but myself and I 
Wondering where I'm headed tonight 
The man in the reflection takes my hand and takes flight 
 
As we go out of space 
And out of time 
Floating as my soul divides 
The fear of falling is a no surprise 
 
Down the rabbit hole again I go 
Out of place, a place that's not home 
Trapped in a maze with thee unknown 
Just me and myself 
Never fell so alone 
 
What happens when you let your mind wonder? 
Staring at the reflection of a man who don't slumber 
With everything in the room comes to life 
Desires and fears comes of the wall 
Become alive 
 
What happens when it becomes too much 
Thoughts too loud and ear starts to clutch 
Controlling me like a puppet as it takes me high 
Wishing I had wings to break free and fly 
But it only leaves me numb like a ghost 
So watch me now as I overdose.

Being A Published Writer

 

There's no feeling I can describe when I see my work in print in hard copy, that I can hold in my hands and see my name, the title, and the words on the page. Even though my story is not novel, it still means something. My short story is a part of an Anthology book with a collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Stories from other fellow writers.

 It was two years ago when I was on Indeed.com looking for job opportunities to escape my hellish retail job. While looking at the site, I stumbled upon an AD that was accepting submissions for Science Fiction and Fantasy short stories. It caught my attention, but I was conflicted if I should submit one or not since I didn't have anything too solid but my mind told me "What do you have to lose?"

So I sent a short story within a few days of the AD, and sometime after the submission, I got an email back from the publishing company saying they would review my work for further submission.  Almost a year passed by and I did not hear from them, so I let it go and put it behind me. But in February 2016 I received an email saying they want to publish and give me contract to sign for future publishing. At that moment I knew "holy shit" this is real, this is not a dream, this is happening.

On June 2016 my short story was published on all the leading online platforms (Amazon, Barnes, and Noble, Google Play, Ebook). For years my writing inspiration went dormant, and now it has finally awakened and in full effect. I wanted to become an Author when I was seven-years-old. I remember folding and stapling papers together to emulate book. And now I'm doing it and have the greatest opportunity to show the world creativity inside my head.

I'm currently writing my second short story.

Coffee Shop & Writers

 

I can't express my love for cafes and coffee shops. Besides doing photography, I'm also a writer. Coffee shops are sanctuaries for writers, just as the Fort of Solitude is to Superman. 

Anyone who is a writer can relate that writing at home can be a distraction and detrimental to the creative process especially when you suffer from two major factors; procrastination and writer's block. I notice when I'm not home, I am more productive and get progress in my work. I am not only productive; it is fun. When I'm around people and noticing my surroundings gives me a muse for my writing. 

There are two places I like to write; Starbucks and the Kuppi Coffee Company. I would usually get a coffee with a pastry or actual food depending on how hungry I am. I always end up bring my headphones and listen to music on Spotify through my phone. I mostly read before I write because it gets creative juices flowing. I'm currently reading Green Mile by Stephen King.

Now the downside to coffee shops is having wifi, which can be a good or bad thing. Having wifi can cause a distraction for excessive web surfing but could be good for doing researching especially for your work. For someone like me, I need a wifi and outlets.

I'm always on the lookout to discover more coffee shops and cafes. If you are a writer looking for a great coffee shop, Kuppi Coffee Company is a great spot.

The Ultimate Skin Spa System

 
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I know the beauty skin care industry are more towards women, but us guys are just as conscious of taking care of our skin just as well. For awhile I have been searching for a perfect skin brush after my $40 one died. I have been searching for favorite brands like Clarisonic but spending that amount of money on one skin brush was an investment until I discovered The Ultimate Skin Spa System by Vanity Planet.

Vanity Planet's Ultimate Skin Spa System is an all-in-one cleansing, exfoliating, and massage facial brush, giving better benefits to your skin. It aids all skin types and does an excellent job to remove dead skin cell and dark spots. 

What I like about the brush is it comes with a cleansing brush, exfoliating brush, and silicone brush. The cleansing brush is the one you can use daily but if you have dry skin like mine, and need to exfoliate the silicone is perfect. Using the silicone brush feels like a massage, and it leaves my skin smooth and hydrated. It also does a good job of suctioning excess oil and cleaning my pores.  Another bonus, the brushes doesn't get build up with bacteria. 

I have been using the Skin Spa System for about a seven months and already see a difference. I would recommend The Ultimate Skin Spa System by Vanity Planet as you have three different spin brushes for all skin concerns.

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