Friday, March 28, 2008

Modeling for Angela Cappetta

It was like my 17-year-old-dream-come true! Renowned documentary-style photographer, and dear friend of mine, Angela Cappetta did me the honor of photographing me. When I was in high school and in the beginning of college, I had always wanted to be model, but ended up pursuing a career behind cameras instead.

It was interesting to have a chance to be on the other side of the camera - you really do have to concentrate to be a model! Thank goodness I've been doing yoga, because you have to have excellent posture, and they ask you to stand in all kinds of bizarre manners. It really was tiring! I'm not just saying that to be in agreement with popular modeling reality TV shows.

We had great talent on this shoot in addition to Angela, and I want to thank Nan who did make-up, Emily the stylist, and Enrique the art director who helped round out a talent-packed collaborative team. I felt beyond glamorous, thanks to all of their efforts and skills.

Angela was as much a blast to work with as she is to hang out with. Her fun, easy-going manner and general hilarity kept me in good spirits as I was poked, prodded, belted, mascara'd, and glossed over and over. I loved watching her work with her personally-fangled camera-mounted bulb flash (with diffusive-cap). It was so inspiring! And, it is part of art school to have to model for someone else's project from time to time, so it fit right it with my endeavor to educate myself.

These photos are the copyright of Angela Cappetta, and may not be used in any way without express written consent. (Click on her name to view her website.) Thanks to Angela for making this whole shoot come together, and for letting me post the photos in my blog!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kids Fashion Test Shoot

My amazing friend and former roommate, Julian, let me and my crew take over his Manhattan penthouse for a test shoot with child models - in the theme of "Copa Cabana." We had so much fun!

I want to express my gratitude to Julian for the full run of the place for an entire day, to my assistants Dana and Victoria, to the kids' groomer Thora, to the assistant stylist Irem, and to all of the models. I also want to thank Amanda at Product Model Management, and Olivia, for connecting me with such fabulous child-talent! Fashion photography is truly a collaborative effort, and it was great to see all of this talent come together and produce good work. It made me realize how lucky I am to have so much good energy and so many gifted people in my life.

We shot the photos all over the colorful apartment, and decked the kids out in equally colorful clothes. Julian even let the kids stand on his tables and jump on his beds - I asked them if they got to do that at home, and they all giggled.

Another fun element was Julian's cats trying to get involved with the production. At one point, a cat jumped inside the softbox that I had just put on the ground and we could see her brushing up against the sides in little circles. Julian pulled her out by the neck, and all the kids thought that was hilarious. (I breathed a sigh of relief, assured that the equipment would be returned to the rental facility intact.)

It was an epic adventure in photo-making, with a lot of shots packed in. Next time, I hope it will be nice enough to shoot more out on Julian's terrace and roof-deck! Click here to view more photos.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

CD Design - for Sputnik Sweetheart

I was extremely lucky to be given the task of designing the new EP album art for Sputnik Sweetheart, with pretty much full creative freedom.

First, under the band's art direction, I took one of my shots from Vegas, and created the front of the album - the image was of the curtain in the hotel room at the Bellagio, with the pool dimly sparkling behind it. The curtain made a lot of sense because of the band's album, called "This Drama." (It refers
to a snippet of song lyrics that go, "This drama is just like a cop show.")

Next, on the inside,
I used the same curtain shot for the front of the actual disk. For the inside insert, I used a shot from the same Vegas series - this time a shot of the pool without the curtain in front of it. For visual continuity, I adjusted the color so that it was similar to that of the curtain shot.

For the back cover, I wanted to make a further play on the line, "This drama is just like a cop show." So I took the image of the curtain and burnt it onto a DVD. Then we took the DVD to our friends Caleb & Laura's very hip apartment, and played it on their flatscreen, and I photographed the shot on the screen in the living room with some fun props, including a globe, a can of Spam, and Caleb & Laura's cat, Fattie.

Finally, I used a font the band selected to add all of the album details to the layout. I had to give myself a refresher in Illustrator, but it was a lot of fun, and I am proud to say that I have officially conceptualized and designed a CD! (In addition to shooting the photos.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


In a highly -- well -- experimental experiment, I decided to buy some disposable cameras in Honduras, and see what would happen if I stuck them into the ocean.

Lo! Some crazy things happened! First of all, I could hear little bubbles glub-glubbing up into the camera, and amazingly, I managed to press the shutter a few times while bubbles were passing through the frame.

Second, the salt water must have swirled the emulsion all around, because the images recorded came out completely abstract. I got big, beautiful swirls of color - some colors that weren't even in the frame at the time!

I used parts of the rolls above water, to see what effect the salt water would have on the rest of the film in the canister. The results were pretty funky - they ranged from bordering on abstract to very grainy to having a reddish tint like an old vacation slide that wasn't stored properly.

The abstract batch is online at this link to my flickr site: Abstracts. You can see the rest of the funky shots in the mix with the Honduras photos on my flickr site under Roatan.

P.S. If you decide to try this experiment for yourself, do NOT use a disposable camera with a flash! I found out the hard way, that, while you likely won't be electrocuted, you definitely will short circuit the flash and not be able to use its function. Also, odds are that you would encounter a small but very threatening POPPING sound - like a Barbie doll with an automatic - which is not fun, particularly if you are in a kayak in the middle of the ocean at the time.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Kids Slideshow

I created this slideshow of my "kids fashion" portfolio to promote my work online. It was through a great little flickr-oriented device called "flickrSLiDR." If anyone happens to know how I can get this to show up on my myspace page, I would greatly appreciate your input!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Roatan, Honduras - Field Trip

A Most Glorious Field Trip

Kyle and I just returned from an amazing journey to Central America - specifically, one of the Islas de la Bahia off the northern coast of Honduras called, Roatan. It sits out in the Caribbean, protected by one of the largest reefs in the world!
On the morning before we left, we saw a starfish that was more than a foot across - it was deep, deep orange, with a funky yellow design on the front of it. It had washed up on the shore of our resort from the beach. I am describing it to you because I had already packed my camera, and I didn't get any photos.

I did, however, photograph the iguana farm, our glass-bottom boat ride, and lots of other beach adventures. The island was hilly and lush, and we had such a peaceful, wonderful time there. One of my favorite things were the mangrove trees; mangroves are salt-tolerant plants, and Roatan had lots of these trees growing densely right out into the ocean. Kyle and I took a kayak out to look at them.

When I went for my scheduled massage, I arrived at a
little dock, where I had to speak into an intercom to call for a boat to take me across to a little island where the wellness center was. We took a water taxi to a quirky, little restaurant called, "Hole in the Wall." We watched a lot of wonderful sunsets, swam in the pool and in the ocean (where I demonstrated my ability to do a handstand), and drank the local beverage - a Monkey LaLa. It was a perfect winter getaway!

I did not try scuba-diving this time, although we were so close to the reef that it was very tempting! But it made me think that it is a long wonderful life, and I will look forward to the day
when I am brave enough to try breathing through that strange equipment so that I can experience the unique perspective of the underwater world. It seems a lot like flying in the way you can move through space without having to have your feet on the ground. I like that! For now, I'll enjoy just pondering it, and looking at my shots from the glass-bottom boat.

You can view all of the photos (about 200 in total!) by clicking here to go to my Roatan flickr page.