Queen of the Nile

 

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.

Fun in the Beacon

 

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.

Portraits in Cozy Places

 
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During the winter, the weather doesn't make it easier for you or comfortable for you to shoot outside in the cold and sometimes renting out a studio could be a little out of your budget. So sometimes you have to improvise.

So I was reunited with my friend and fellow Photographer, George Arnaldo, who recently made a move to Puerto Rico to New York City and decided to shoot together and catch up.

Lately, I have been saving many places and locations through Instagram to find all the hidden gems around New York-New Jersey area. (RIP Foursquare). I stumbled upon this place located Le Labo Fragrance/Cafe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I love the warm chestnut colors of the interior and a bright window that let's just enough light into place. When I saw the hazelnut chair next to the window I ultimately thought of a good idea that area would be a great spot to shoot.

When I told George about this idea, he was entirely on board. I told him to bring some outfits that would compliment the mood I wanted to present the image. Also, he was a trooper by asking the people that work there for permission to shoot there.


The second location we went to is in the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. I did not find this on Instagram. I found this place last winter and been in the area a couple of times after that. I didn't know the name of the place until recently but thought it was another great place to shoot. It has the same vibe as Le Labo Cafe, warm interior with dim lighting to set the mood.

I definitely love the way how the photos turned out and once again George was great model for me. I hope this helps anyone out to find great indoor locations for crummy weather. One piece advice is to make sure to ask permission. 

Thanks to Le Labo Workers for letting us shoot inside.

 Make sure to follow George on his  @Georgearnaldo  and  @  Arnaldo.George

Make sure to follow George on his @Georgearnaldo and @Arnaldo.George

My Headshot Sessions for Acting/Business

 

Over the last couple weeks I had two Headshot sessions; one for acting and one for business. Both of these sessions took place where I based which in Northern Jersey, and there another style of Photography I do besides Portraits.

WHAT ARE HEADSHOTS?

Headshots are portraits where the subjects face is the focus of the photo. They are usually for Actors, Models, Author, Business, and Profiles for Personal Websites.

Just like my Portrait work, all of my Headshots are in an outdoor setting. Since I don't have a studio on my own, I have to accommodate by using the resources I have at my disposal, which is my reflector, my eye, the use of natural lighting and of course my camera.

HOW I APPROACH HEADSHOTS

Most of my clientele has been through Thumbtack website which gives me more detail what type of images the client wants.

When a client is looking for Acting Headshots, I usually tell them to wear neutral colors and to bring a variety of the types of casting they want to submit to (etc. Commercial, Television). I found placing a subject in a shaded or dark area with them facing towards the light creates a beautiful effect or even a wall that has a beautiful background that makes a person and their clothing pop.

For my Business or Profile Headshots I take a similar approach as my to acting one but in my experiences some of my past clients wanted to do it in their place of choosing (etc. homes, in front of lake, apartment) and they usually like to wear their own attire.

Headshots are taken from either from the waist above or head and shoulders. I particularly favor head and shoulders, but I shoot a variety of the client. My 85mm f/1.8 are my go-to lens for these types of sessions. I love the way it compresses the face, and the quality is impressive.

For these sessions, they usually run up to a half hour or less.

THE EDITING PROCESS

When it comes to the post-processing, it is best to keep photo editing to a minimum. You want the photos to be minimal and clean as possible. For Acting, the Casting Directors want the most accurate image of the person. So when the person comes to a casting they should look like exactly like that photo or else the Casting Directors would be disappointed.

I usually clean up the face if the client has any pimples, bumps, or wrinkles here and there that some clients don't want.

If anyone is interested in getting Headshots or have any questions about these sessions, please free contact me.

Photographers Who Inspired Me

 
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When I first started my photography, I had no stir in the direction of I wanted to take. I was interested in doing street, urban and Portrait photography mainly when I first bought my DSLR camera in 2014. I started to learn more about flattering angles, lighting and posing online and on YouTube and this is where I stumbled upon others photographer's work who inspired me and help shape my photography style and creative idea into my own.

 

5. DAVID URBANKE

I discovered David's work while looking at photography photos on Tumblr. I admire the emotions he captured in his Portraiture and the clean and bold style of his Fashion images. David started working professionally landing gigs for publications at the age of 16, which is impressive. He was a self-taught which is truly inspirational that you don't need to go to school for Photography.

Wesbite | Instagram

 

4. BENJAMIN HEATH

What I found interesting about Benjamin, he's not your typical head and shoulder Portrait photographer. His photography style consists people and the environment, giving them a sense of place. It tells a story, and it let you know what's happening at that moment, and provide more insight into that person.

One thing I learned from Benjamin is to take time to connect with people and get to know them more before whipping out your camera instantly.

Website | Instagram

 

3. HERB RITTS

I always loved Black and White photos, but Herb Ritts work makes me want me to produce more in the future. I think what I particularly admire about Ritts work not only made subjects (predominantly celebrities) look iconic and but an art sculpture.

 

2. GORDON PARKS

I remember when I started doing my photography, my Aunt told me I reminded her of a young Gordon Parks. I asked who he was and my aunt replied saying he was a famous black photographer. So I looked him up later, and I was fascinated by his images. I loved his wide range of subjects he captures (etc. Photo Essays, Fashion, Sports) and developed a new style in Fashion during his era that Photographers today (including myself) use, where he captures his models in natural movement.

Other than being a photographer, he was a writer, musician, and filmmaker.

 

1. EVERYONE & EVERYTHING

I am continuously getting inspiration from any and everything. At the beginning of my photography journey, every photographer's photo who I came across and inspired me. Even images that weren't portraits or fashion.

However it in time I wanted to branch out to innovate instead of emulating. So I started getting my inspiration elsewhere from Television shows, Japanese Animation, Manga, Cartoon shows, and everyday people. But I would have to say places and locations play a significant role in photography especially for me.

I wanted to thank the people who shaped and inspired me at the beginning of my photography. I believe this year I would be exploring with my photography by seeking other forms of inspiration (like I listed above) and creating work that is more of my own.

Studio Sessions With JR

 

I'm bringing in the New Year with new photos. This year I wanted to take my photography in another direction by trying to do more studio work. I had the pleasure of reconnecting with my friend, JR for this photo shoot. I still have a lot to learn about Flash Photography and Studio work, but most importantly I had a great time and will be doing this in the future.

Location: Studio in Montclair, New Jersey

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Eden Contemporary Art Gallery Exhibition

On October 14th, My artwork was featured in the Eden Contemporary Art Gallery Exhibition at the Caelum Gallery in NYC. I spent my summer working on these projects, scouting locations, and getting the wardrobe.  The event of the Gallery was a success and turned out to be a huge. I only regret not bringing my business cards.

Being apart of the exhibition made realize what direction I want to take with Photography work. I want to focus on more on my personal taste rather than just going out and shoot (which is nothing wrong with that) but I want to show my homegrown ideas from my third eye to the camera.

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My First Summer Wedding Shoot

 

Over the summer I did my first shoot for a wedding reception. The Bride and Groom previously tied the knot and we're going to celebrate the reception in Bergenfield. Here are the photos I took of them getting ready.