Sophisticloth: Commercial Fashion Shoot

Austin Fashion Bow Ties #4

Bow Ties she said, Fashion she said, See the world she said. Ok, Maybe not the last part. Val with Sophisticloth had a new challenge for us in shooting her new line of bow ties that incorporate vintage silk and organic materials. With these photos and video we wanted to show both close ups of the ties and the general look and mood of the guys that would buy them. We used the Long Center in Austin for it’s skyline view and for it’s glass and metal architecture. My favorite of the shoot is Ken against the dark green wall with a restricted light to set the mood of a modern upscale man.

We also utlized a friend’s condo in downtown Austin for a nightlife feel. I cribbed a light setup gleaned from reading Gregory Heisler’s 50 Portraits and used a green gel from below to anchor Charley into the scene with a believable light from below. My change to the setup was dragging the shutter significantly and adding movement to the photograph to give it more energy. I think I was around 1/8 of a second hand held and the motion is intentional.

Hope yall are enjoying our new website and expanded coverage of some of the work we produce. Let me know your favorites in the comments!

Austin Fashion Bow Ties #2

Austin Fashion Bow Ties #3

Austin Fashion Bow Ties #1

Modern Sophisticant: Lifestyle Shoot

JinxyJeanBlog#-2

Lifestyle Shoot for Jinxedaposed Clothing new menswear collection, “Modern Sophisticant”. Our Models for the evening included: Michael Steven Vail, Kevin Cloud, Logan South, Kalev Clawson and Jenny Lynn Larsen. We explored the area around 4th and Congress in Downtown Austin for its mix of warehouse, skyscraper, and alleyways, all areas that today’s modern Man navigates. Our inspiration for the style of the shoot was a cinematic take on James Dean and the duality of man. I think the first photo exemplifies this the best by showing who is turned on by whom and what turns our eye. Thanks a bunch to trusty assistant Austin for coming up with the blocking for this scene.

Visit Jinxedaposed and buy their clothes!

JinxyJeanBlog#-7

JinxyJeanBlog#-8

JinxyJeanBlog#-3

JinxyJeanBlog#-4

Underwater Extravaganza: Creative Portraits

UnderwaterExtravaganzaBlog#-13

Once or twice a year we figure is a good time to just go crazy with an over the top underwater fashion/concept shoot. This year’s event we dubbed the “Underwater Extravaganza” and boy did it live up to it’s name. I really feel as though this was the best day of underwater photography we have had. A bunch of talented, brave and creative folks came together to make this all happen. Let me start by naming our host for the day and makeup guru, Lecia Harkins with Austin Beauty on the Go for having a deep pool and a deep pool of fashion makeup knowledge. The second huge thanks goes to Robin Leddy at Gillded Petals for her jaw-dropping underwater set you see in the first photo. I mean, just wow, wow, wow. Thanks for your help in sending this day over the top Robin! Our support team of Kody and Austin kept me running smooth throughout the day and allowed me to photo torture our models who never had enough oxygen as I happily breathed through the scuba tanks.

The first photo at the top is an homage to a Midsummers Night Dream which is fitting because this was an end to the summer shoot as we prepare for a steady diet of client work (and a newborn coming in December) and colder temperatures. Robin created this amazing set with PVC piping and her florist talents. She also had the pink adult ballet dress custom made for us. So thanks again Robin. We wanted the feel to be soft and show Jenny Lynn, our model, floating through her dreams in an underwater garden. Pretty Epic, huh?

Our Second Photograph shows off Stacy and our concept of “Love is Lost”. We show her sinking to the abyss as she clutches a her heart in one hand and a dying bouquet in the other. Heavy I know.

The next set of three photographs is from my concept called “I Dream in Color” and we show different models dreaming and becoming the primary colors of Red, Blue and Yellow.

We finish off a few of the concepts with Katie behind the bubbles in her corset and bouquet, and then Ryan as he becomes the Wizard with his Staff and Crystal Ball.

Just an amazing, amazing day that left me sore for three days and a touch sunburn after 9 hours of shooting in the pool. Thanks to all who helped with this Shoot!
Let me know your favorites!!!
–JB
UnderwaterExtravaganzaBlog#-1

UnderwaterExtravaganzaBlog#-4

UnderwaterExtravaganzaBlog#-7

UnderwaterExtravaganzaBlog#-8

UnderwaterExtravaganzaBlog#-10

UnderwaterExtravaganzaBlog#-11

UnderwaterExtravaganzaBlog#-12

Alonda + Jinxy: {Style Shoot}

Jaded Lover

Jaded Lover

For those that follow blog know that I am a firm believer in personal and creative projects pushing client work to new levels. We get a chance to experiment with new lighting concepts and with other creative people all pursuing their passion. Yesterday’s project team included a new model, a new to us fashion designer and a stylist you have seen but in a new role. Lots of energy around in the prep time of the shoot, I blame the green tea and doughnuts.  Alondra is our fresh face rocking the Jinxedaposed Clothing line in front of our abandoned barn.  Alondra is a total trooper! Just as we started shooting a Texas Blue Norther rolled in dropping the temperature 20 degrees and producing sleet by the end of the shoot.  Flowers and sticks were from our friends at Flower Child Design, with first assistant Austin building a sweet rose thorn teepee thing.  Jinxedaposed has a bunch of cool projects in her hopper and we are looking forward to working with their designs more in the future. Our stylist for the day is  Jenny Lynn who has modeled for us extensively and is adding styling to toolbox.

Fates to the wind

Fates to the wind

Our theme for the day was a duality of expressions from Alondra, we wanted both the depressed, anguished jilted lover vibe counting rose petals in a loves me, loves me not phase versus an I am so over them fiery passion. Impressed with Alondra for emoting those emotions when conditions were getting tough.  My fingers were almost frozen to the camera when we were finished!

Alondra#-15Blog

 

We ran close to the same setup for the two different locations. A boomed silver beauty dish way up high coming almost straight down for our key light.  An AlienBee in a sport reflector provided the edge light from way back in the scene to highlight the fallen tree and give that bit of separation from the background. The files were processed in Lightroom4 and Photoshop mostly in Nik Color Efex. I have been really playing with tighter beams of light the last few weeks and really like having the boomed beauty dish or spot grid as a key light. Lots of drama without all the spill on the ground, less light reflecting back into the scene as well.

 

Beauty dish boomed up high and angled into the models face. The 20 mph wind and blue norther really made this light a challenge in the open field.

Beauty dish boomed up high and angled into the models face. The 20 mph wind and blue norther really made this light a challenge in the open field. Austin wrapped up to stay warm and Jenny Lynn looking on from the sidelines

Thanks again to all who helped out on this project, lets shoot on a warmer date next time!

–JB

Underwater Sirens BTS

LumoPro 160's fit inside Otterboxes for firing in optical mode underwater

LumoPro 160’s fit inside Otterboxes for firing in optical mode underwater

Ah, this post has been a long time coming. The “Underwater Sirens” Series was the culmination of a month long planning and preparation this past August. We tested and tweaked our settings and camera setups until we go to the point where we can express underwater in the same way we do above. This post is a slight departure in that it gets very technical very quickly, I will do my best to keep it readable.

Robin McShaffry appyling special underwater approved makeup. It sticks this way and doesn't run away and dissappear.

Robin McShaffry appyling special underwater approved makeup. It sticks this way and doesn’t run away and dissappear.

First, the question must be asked, why photograph underwater in the first place? The simple answer is that summers in Central Texas are hot, like cook an egg on the sidewalk at 7am hot. Pools are nice and cool. We can work longer in the water. The more serious answer is that water and the other elements have always fascinated me. Some years ago I became a licensed scuba diver and enjoyed seeing the earth from a new perspective which is a photographer’s job anyhow. This all combined to give us a series in the water. The crazy sirens/zombie/monster thing is just my brain playing around with ideas and notions. Partly inspired by the walking dead of Pirates of the Caribbean movies, partly by the sci-fi books I read.

Shooting one handed with a scuba torch underwater near the surface of the water. The Einstein triggered as well.

Shooting one handed with a scuba torch underwater near the surface of the water. The Einstein triggered as well.

Second, how did we make these photographs?
Let’s breakdown the process. A camera has to go underwater to take underwater photos, well, most of the time. We use a housing from Surf Housings to secure our Canon 5d II under and around the waves. This housing is light and agile enough to be used to depths of 33 feet and the pistol grip is superb for one hand shooting, more on that in a bit. Most scuba housings are rated for depth much deeper and need more bulk to seal the camera securely. I have rented some of them and just too bulky for my needs and workflow, and too expensive! For focal length simplicity I either use a 24-105 zoom and tape down my preferred focal length or use primes to continue my one hand shooting. Gaffer tape for the win.

Ryan taking his first of 5 full nestea plunge jumps into the pool. This is when we switched to the softbox for protection of the flash unit

Ryan taking his first of 5 full nestea plunge jumps into the pool. This is when we switched to the softbox for protection of the flash unit

The next thing we have to overcome is the control of light underwater, and this is where things get interesting/tough/pull your hair out. My initial thought was to get a strong enough underwater flashlight thing and then cover the top layer of the water with black material to kill ambient. That was a non-starter because you need a good working distance and the underwater torches lose their power very quickly. The next thought was my normal radio frequency trigger, the Paul C Buff CST and CSRB’s. They do work underwater, all the way out to 18 inches. We have found that an radio + optical is the way to go for us for now. Is that enough qualifiers?

I use the camera in the surf housing in my right hand with a stripped down CST in the housing connected by pc sync. In my left hand I have a battery powered flash inside an otterbox pointed towards my second and third lights which are set to receive in optical mode. The second light is a LumoPro 160 held underwater by my assistant and the third is a Einstein 640 sitting on the edge of the pool boomed out over the water pointed down into the water. This was my basic setup for the entirety of the shoot. I did change a sport reflector to a 24×36 softbox to protect against splashing once we got more crazy action going. And then at the very end near darkness I used a scuba flashlight for my main light.

Huddled around the LCD. The great part of the Essex Surf Housing is being able to this screen during daylight, not shooting blind is a real plus

Huddled around the LCD. The great part of the Essex Surf Housing is being able to this screen during daylight, not shooting blind is a real plus

The sailor sinks to the depths of the ocean. The einstein is the main light you see firing in the background. The "on camera" flash is giving exposure to the Fallen Siren.

The sailor sinks to the depths of the ocean. The einstein is the main light you see firing in the background. The “on camera” flash is giving exposure to the Fallen Siren.

Third, what did we learn from all of this?
Underwater takes 3x as much time to make decent photographs and a crew twice the size of our normal routine. Please plan your shoots accordingly. Sandbags are vital for anchoring down lightstands above water and people underwater!

Finally, thanks again to all the models, makeup artists and venue hosts that made this shoot and others like it possible. We all have a little whimsy in us and I appreciate those that let me express mine! And thanks to Jan and Austin for taking some of the behind the scenes photos

To see the full gallery of photos you can visit our Gallery
–JB

80’s Style – Creative

Funning in the Sun

Always a fun day when we can push our limits a bit and do an 80’s inspired shoot. Yes, we channeled our early Run DMC and Cyndi Lauper to think breakdancing, awkward angles and Reaganomics. Been wanting to test out this location as well. It’s an art project on 10th street in Austin in the Castle Hill neighborhood. You can see the top of the castle in a few shots. Our models for the day were a mix to me. Jenny Lynn and I have worked together a good handful of times, but Shellie and I just met on Sunday and did this shoot on Tuesday! Fast friends, imho.

We braved the late spring Austin Sun that was pushing temps into the 90’s already and we were working towards a desaturated, hard sky look with a bare beauty dish (without the center reflector) pushing a sharp edge of light around. For the top image, the sun was shining directly onto Shellie (in the leather Jacket) while Jenny Lynn had her features brought up with the light from the beauty dish.
Continue reading