Friday, October 26, 2012


Photo above is the result of the detour. read on to see how I got to this

Last Friday night I danced on a table top, went on some crazy hike and blew up a car...okay maybe I didn't do all that. Something I did realize though was that taking a different path than your normal routine may produce something ... well amazing.

Starting out I did a shoot at Santa Rosa Plateau with my cousin and her family. They have three freaking awesome and cute kids. I can say it was definitely entertaining getting to do their shoot The little girl in red would go around acting like she was a plane super cute girl.
Okay I realize that I haven't gotten to the part where the detour comes in's coming and you'll see how it produced something I think quite beautiful. But after the shoot we went to dinner at Pat and Oscars. (BEST bread sticks ever!!) By the time I got home it was about 8:30pm where I picked up a few of my friends to go out to Dana point for a movie night. On the way home instead of taking the freeway I decided to take the side roads to Corona. Taking Ortega Highway home from Dana Point took almost two hours. It seemed forever!!!! but then again it was a nice curvy road so it was incredibly fun. Right when we were getting close to to being at the end of Ortega highway, we saw that car had fallen off the edge of the road so we stopped to see. Needless to say that there were 5 fire trucks nad 2 two trucks and I really dont know what else already there (pointless detail not needed to be said but yea) as we stopped we looked for about maybe 15 seconds realizing that there was absolutely nothing we could do so we over looked Lake Elsinore which was covered by a nice layer of fog. This fog covered the city lights so the stars were incredibly bright this night. Here is what the outlook looked like. 

So being that it was 1:30 am when we finally left the outlook I had to go back and get my camera. I drove home and dropped everyone off to get my camera and came back. I didn't get back till 2:30-2:45 and stayed out till passed 3:15 am. This is where I finally realized that detours can create something beautiful. Detours are beautiful! They are needed sometimes! I can say in every shoot I really try to make sure that I may have one detour and usually those are the times when I see magic happen. I think its in those times of uncertainty that something incredible can happen. So my challenge to you is embrace the change and uncertainty when it comes...I guarantee something beautiful will come out of it! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How i did it

This is the is the first of many how I shot it posts. I've been thinking which photos I should share with you for the first of these. So I chose 3 separate photos 1 with 1 light 1 with 3 lights and 1 with 5 lights. IF you have more questions about this feel free to comment or email me.

Before you read this I must put in a disclaimer in here. I am not a great artist..especially when it come to drawing or painting. So as your read this all I am asking is that you don't judge the fact that I am not great at drawing

So knowing that I was planing on doing this I decided to start doing some free shoots to some of my musician friends. This gave me the opportunity to shoot how I wanted to for them with out the pressure of what my clients needed. I was able to set up the different styles of lighting so I'd be able to show you. I will be adding in client photos in to these as well but since it was the first one. Free shoots it was.

This is one of my best friends Brandon Rohrer. A seriously talented musician. Put a ukulele in front of him and you'll see how awesome he is. For the last two years we have been talking about doing a shoot for him but it took for ever before we were finally able to get this set up. Since my camera was getting repaired I had to borrow a friend of mines camera for this shoot. Which was definitely interesting to say the least. She shoots with a Canon 5d Mark ii and well I shoot with Nikon. Talk about going outside my comfort zone for an entire shoot. Luckily for me this was a one light shoot mid day where I didn't have to worry about using any sort of TTL. I got lucky that it was a partly cloudy day so I could keep the flash power up pretty high with out going passed f/10. This was perfect for me seeing I was also using a light modifier for this shoot. I chose to use a shoot through umbrella for this shoot to diffuse and soften the light on Brandon's face. I chose to put the light around 3-5 feet from him on the camera right.

Here is the second shot. This is a good friend of mine Jordan Felix. incredibly talented guitar player. He has a ton of energy when he's on stage playing worship at church or a bible study. Let me tell you...he is gooood! This was a fun spot called the look out in Lake Elsinoire. You'll see a small beat up restaurant up there. It over looks the entire city and it a beautiful place. If you ever choose to go somewhere to overlook city lights here is my suggestion. Especially on those nights after the full moon. It'll rise while you are over looking the city lights. Great photo opportunity if you choose to utilize this! But for these two shots I ended up using only the restaurant. For these shots I had two modifiers (Shoot through umbrella and a 42" octabox) for the lights as well as video light. The first shot I used one light per modifier and the second shot used two lights per modifier. I'll explain why i chose to use two hot shoes per light modifier after the first shot.
So this shot well I was using a Canon 5d Mark ii once again. I can't say i enjoyed the trend of how this is going but none the less I loved the shots that I was able to get! So I chose to use a 32" shoot through umbrella as the main light because of how much contrast it could produce, as well as lighting up much of the scene. What was nice about this was how it spread the light just enough to light up the building in the background while still producing nice light on Jordan and guitar. I was lucky have ambient light coming from behind me to light up his guitar but it was not bright enough to alter the light produced on him. I used a 42" octabox as the back light to keep from over flow on the background. Lastly I used Scott Robert Lim's video light as a light to light up the benches on the photo left.

For the last shot I used 5 lights each of the modifiers had two lights going through it. I used two lights inside each modifier to save battery power. But I also used it to direct the light using hte same modifier. Kind of crazy idea if you ask me but sometimes effective. So with the umbrella i faced one flash directly at Jordan and the second flash was pointed toward the building to add a little bit of light to it as well as reflection off the bars in the background. For the 42" octabox I had two lights inside. One was pointed directly at the back of Jordan and the second one again at the bars to add a little bit of a reflection. The last light was a video light pointed again at the bars to add the final reflection off the bars. This was the final product.

I'm really hoping that this blog post was helpful for you. I'll try to start posting blog posts on editing as well as shooting while I am at this!

Keep shooting and having tons of fun doing it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Brandon Rohrer

This was a very long over due session with a great friend and musician Brandon Rohrer. One of the most interesting experiences I've had while shooting. To illustrate this I have a story of something that happened during the shoot. So while we were doing this shoot at skyline, these guys drove down the mountain and realized they were locked in skyline (We thought it was hilarious). To give you a picture of what this looked like for us, Think small truck driving really fast on a dirt road as if it were a 4x4, the guys dressed in pants 3 sizes too big for them sagging super far down (My guess is they were trying to, tall socks and a super baggy shirt. So they realize they are locked in see that we are like 30 feet from the gate ...and what do they ask? "Hey you guys....yea you guys right there taking pictures...did you lock us out?"
I wasn't really sure what to say to that but we continued to shoot for the remainder of the session. Here is a preview of my favorites from the shoot!