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Costilla Family Session – Dorchester State Park – North Charleston, SC

I shot with the Castillo family the same day I shot with Kayli & Emilio in Dorchester State Park. If you ask me, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my Saturday, because I got to deliver to two families something they’ll value for years to come — family photos. As Patricia and Marcos watch their daughters grow they’ll be able to look back and cherish the journey that brought them there. Their daughters, in adulthood, will be able to look back at the parents that raised them and be proud of where they come from. They’ll think back to the way their parents loved each other and loved them and they’ll be able to see it plain as day. I take my job as a photographer very seriously, I capture more than just moments. I capture thoughts, feelings, emotions, and visuals.

They say that pictures are worth a thousand words and believe me, they are. I’m just glad that people trust me enough to allow me to write those words.

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Throwback: Abby Normal – Model Shoot at Coney Island

Today’s post brings us back to my first year of photography. My shoot with Abby Normal was the second shoot I ever did with a model and I knew I wanted to try to give it a vintage look and feel. For the first year I did photography I actually delivered all my files in black and white. When I attended art school they wouldn’t even let us paint in color until the 3rd or 4th semester so when I got into photography I gave myself that same limitation. It was actually a very helpful exercise but I wanted to revisit this shoot and process the images in color for posterity.

Now, I just want to say…I shot these images way back in 2012 and because it was only the 2nd time I had every shot with a model I made a LOT of mistakes; many of which aren’t shown here but some are. I’d like to think that if I were shooting with Abby today that I’d make different choices in regards to composition and lighting but I think these images show a clear vision, though not executed perfectly.

I was fortunate to shoot with Abby as she was way more experienced than I was and she was truly comfortable in front of the camera. It was a sweltering July day in Brooklyn and I’ll never understand how she was able to get through it all with a smile. Not only that, but she also had a nice little collection of vintage clothing and even interacting with her was like talking to a girl from the 1950’s. There was something about her look, style and demeanor that was just perfect for this shoot.

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Nomad Yard Collectiv – Magazine Editorial – N.Y Ave. Washington DC

I’m a really lucky guy to be able to do the things I love. Sure, while most of my work in DC centers around headshot photography my first love has always been portraits. Even as a traditional artist, portraits were(and still are) the bulk of my artwork. There’s just something about being able to distill and capture someones personality through a single image that has always appealed to me. So when a good friend put me in touch with his connection at a small magazine, I jumped at the chance to shoot an editorial for them. Unfortunately, these images never made it to print, but these images are still amongst my favorite.

The subject was a young woman named Desiree, the owner of Nomad Yard Collectiv, a vintage clothing store in Washington DC’s NoMA neighborhood. As you’ll notice from her images, she’s a bit of a fashionista with a unique style. She did an incredible job of mixing and matching pieces to create one of a kind outfits for her photos. Her actual shop was also nothing short of amazing and featured a lot of decorative tchotchkes. While the 3600sq foot store looked like it had been there forever, forgotten by time, it’s a recent addition to N.Y. Ave.

My purpose for this shoot was to capture images of the space as well as Desiree. I shot as much as I could in natural light but because the interior of the store turned out to be pretty dark I did resort to some strobist photography for half of the portrait images. Overall, I think I was able to keep a consistent look and feel despite the different lighting conditions.

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Throwback Thursday: Irene – New York City Vintage Fashion Shoot

Believe it or not, of the hundreds of photoshoots I’ve done, this one was my favorite one ever. I can say that now because this shoot took place over 3 years ago in the early days of my photography career. I’ve worked with hundreds of models, actors and creatives and I’ve seen plenty come and go. This girl was one for the books.

On this day, December 1st, 2012, everything just came together. The model, the makeup artist, the clothing, the location….me. It was a chilly 40 degrees in Manhattan, but you’d never know it because Irene was channeling a warm summer day. I was still new to photography but I still managed to pull off a few great photos, thanks to a lovely model and a fantastic location. I actually had 4 photoshoots this day, but this was my favorite one then and it’s my favorite one now.

There’s not much more to say…just enjoy the pretty pictures, folks.

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SJL Collection New York Fashion Week Lookbook – Washington DC

Recently I had the awesome pleasure of working with a Washington DC based fashion designer, Jabari Lake, on his new collection. SJL collection was chosen to be presented at New York Fashion Week and as a requirement a lookbook was neccesary for all participants. These images were shot on a white seamless at my Washington DC photo studio and lit with two lights. We shot 10 outfits total and I’m happy to show off of a few my favorite images.
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Behind The Scenes: Lisa – Washington DC Corporate Headshot Session

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Behind The Scenes: Greg & Lauren – Washington DC Headshot & Engagement Session

Howdy, howdy, y’all!

Now earlier this month I posted my shoot with Greg & Lauren. It was supposed to be a typical Washington DC headshot session. I do a lot of these. However, in actuality the shoot was simply a vehicle for Greg to propose to Lauren on camera. While I posted a few images here, I’m now happy to release the video of this event. To protect Greg’s privacy I’ve muted out his actual proposal but the emotion that comes from Lauren is what makes the video. After she got her ring and the couple hugged it out there was NO way to get her to stop smiling. The result was an engagement session where I didn’t have to try too hard to get the couple to be happy. They were truly happy.

This is actually one of my favorite shoots, simply because of the deception and the true human emotion. Lauren had been suspecting Greg would pop the question but her guard was down because this was supposed to simply be a headshot session, which they both needed. It was incredible that at the time of the proposal there was a group of cyclists who all stopped and stared and congratulated the couple. I, of course, was smiling ear to ear because I’m a big ole softie.

Now, while I’m very happy with how the video and the photos turned out — it was honestly one of the hardest shoots I’ve done simply because I had to pose the couple for the engagement session, shoot the video, shoot the photos and also be hilarious. I pulled it off though, because I’m a professional and that’s how I roll. Enjoy the video!

Venue: DC War Memorial- Washington DC
Camera: Nikon D300, Nikon D5200
Lenses: Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D,Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
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Kaylynn – Washington DC Actor Headshots & Portraits

Kaylynn is a lovely young model and actress from the San Francisco bay area. You’d never know that she was still a fresh face to the industry and still looking for her big break, because she acted like a total professional. I started off with a beauty shot of her, got a couple LA style actor headshots and moved on to a few black and white portraits.

I’m happy to have taken these images at my studio with an amazing makeup artist, Doris Elias. I look forward to working with her again in the future on upcoming projects.

Location: My Studio, Washington DC
Camera: Nikon D300
Lenses: Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
Makeup Artist: Doris Elias

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Greg & Lauren – Washington DC Headshot & Engagement Shoot

I met Greg & Lauren through a series of emails…actually, that’s not true at all. I didn’t meet Greg and Lauren until the engagement/headshot shoot.

Here’s the true story – I met Greg via email when he reached out to get a headshot session done at the DC War Memorial with his girlfriend, Lauren. It was over email that he detailed his plan to propose to Lauren during the middle of our shoot, after their very short headshot session. The headshot session was a cover for his sinister scheme and I was both excited and nervous to cover the event.

As I mentioned, we met in DC for the headshot session, and the first 20 minutes were spent on headshots while I watched Greg for some signal to let me know that he was ready to propose. I captured the whole thing on video and hope to get something edited soon to show the way it went down. [NOTE: I just posted the video HERE] It was a beautiful sight though and several passersby stopped and congratulated the happy couple.  That smile on her face…the most genuine smile I’ve ever had at a photoshoot. Of course. When you’ve just been surprised, and she was, by a proposal and a diamond ring you’re likely to be ecstatic.

I wish the very best to this crazy couple. They were a joy to shoot, we got some amazing photos and I was happy to have shared that experience with them.

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Dave – Musician Headshots & Portraits

Dave is a musician here in the Washington DC area, and he contacted me to get some headshots for personal use. He also expressed some interest in pursuing modeling so I was happy to help him out with both. This was my second headshot session for the day at my studio in Takoma and I had a ton of fun.

Believe it or not, Dave never did tell me what kind of musician he was. We had a long conversation about camera gear when he was in my studio and I guess it slipped my mind. We shot about 100 photos in the 45 minutes we shot together but I think we got some nice moody images for promotional purposes and for modeling purposes as well.

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