Shooting my brains out (photographically speaking)

Sometimes weeks go by without me picking up my camera, then other times it seems like the view finder is attached to my eye.

Wednesday, I clicked off a number of shots for a casting call and Thursday I did a 2 hour session with model Chiyo.  A Korean model, born in Japan and going to school in New York.  Chiyo and others will strut their stuff for Art Day Celebration music, art and fashion fundraiser on June 20th at 1OAK, NYC.  Friday, I pounded the streets of the city.

Next step – the arduous task of editing through two 4GB cards.  Chained to my monitor, thinking of how nice it would be to have an assistant for this stage of the game.  I really need a hair and MUA, a stylist would be nice too, maybe someone to hold a reflector too.  But I’m a poor fine art photographer without the means to pay a staff so I do what I can.

Chiyo came in street attire without any wardrobe changes.  Luckily, I had a long black skirt (about 6 sizes too big for her) and scarfs so that’s what we went with.  She is looking for work, to be signed with a modeling agency.   Chiyo brought her portfolio which contained some beautiful images by a Japanese photographer with hair and MUA on hand.  Stunning images!  She has some experience but needs to work on having more than 1 look –  Demure isn’t enough of an appeal for selling a product and that’s a quality that agencies look for.  I want to work with her again, to see if I  can bring out more expression in her face/eyes.  Part of it, is getting her to be comfortable playing a part.  Feeling her own sensuality. anger, joy – whatever.  Expressing through her eyes, a viewer needs to see what’s going on inside.   We had a little fun and I got a number of images that I really like.  She is lovely and I hope I can get her to come out of her shell.

She certainly has the height to be a runway model, all she needs is a little more attitude and swagger.

Fashion is not what I normally shoot but I’ve been hanging out with a few models these past 2 weeks and I think I’m getting caught up in this hectic realm of beauty.  Maybe I’ve been watching one too many episodes of Tyra Banks “Top Model”, for what ever reason, I’m getting a kick out of it.  It’s a whole ‘nother world and there certainly are more then enough great fashion photographers in NY.  Not that they would shake in their boots with my attempts, but without the production teams they have, I think I did pretty well for myself as a newbie.  This was my first attempt using strobes, other than my off camera speed light.  After clicking off a couple of lighting test shots, I moved the beauty dish around and changed a few settings.  I shot with an overhead modeling light, a soft box to the right of the model, on the left used a grid and then the beauty dish in front of and to the left of Chiyo,  Later I turned off the grid and turned on my Canon speed light which was positioned about 3 feet off the ground – just played around.  This is when I love the cost effectiveness and instant viewing of shooting digitally.

I made a video/slide clip from the session, using one true media’s templets.  I like the result, although I wish I had more control of the number and length of the “set” effects.  I can shorten the music but can not make it run longer.  Oh well,  I will work on mastering my limited abilities.

I hope this link works…  Chiyo

Friday, while Jene was working up at the Beacon Theater on The Tonys, I roamed the streets of NY.  Trying to catch the store window mannequins with the perfect reflections that make them appear as though they are outside.  Disappointed that Macy’s windows were blacked out as they were working on something special that promised to thrill us all.

The men are stepping out for the day…  the big apple captures my imagination where ever I roam.   😉  Enjoy your day!

Mary Durante Youtt


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Filed under labor of love, lights, photography

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