This is adding to the first vlog I posted. It’s a bit of a rant but it was important for me to share thing and I hope it can help at least one person out there.
Going to start taking Vlogging a lot more seriously and this is both a BTS and a first entry.
The last time Britany and I worked together was just about 5 years ago! Met her through a mutual friend and had recently bumped into her at her work place! We then caught up and reconnected which lead to us discussing about doing another photo shoot together for old times sake. These collection of images are the result of us collaborating and seeing each other again for the first time in 5 years. Hope you enjoy what we created together. It was an amazing feeling to reconnect with an old friend and working on creating some art work that I've had in my head for such a long time and she allowed me to express these looks, even after taking a modeling hiatus, she still killed it and is so talented at posing it was as if she never stopped. I suppose the saying is true, if you learn something well you will never for get how to do it, just like a riding a bike.
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Check out my kit link to see all the gear I used for this shoot! https://kit.com/mikebluephotography/photography-kit
What drew me to Shawnassy was her eyes, she has gorgeous beautiful blue eyes. Even though I sucked out all the color by making them black and white you can still tell through the images that she has amazing and clear eyes.
This was our first time working together and she was still in high school at the time but has now graduated and is now looking into some colleges and plans to move out of the city, possibly the state. It was an amazing time working with her, Shawnassy is an extremely talented model, she was able to pull off the exact look, mood and feel I was aiming for with ease, it's a rare fresh breath of air when I work with people who can model with minimal direction and nail what I am looking for.
These are the images we created, all were done with a Sony A7ii and 2 profoto d1's. Was tethering the images into CaptureOne which is my all time favorite RAW processing software. These are affiliate links and will help/support me immensely! I'll add a link to my gear list incase you are interested in purchasing something I own.
Fell a little behind on blog but I'm coming back strong with content!
I met Andrea somewhat by accident but at the same time not really, let me explain.
So I was in my studio collecting my gear for an on location shoot and then a producer stopped by and asked if she can use my common area space to prep the models for hair, makeup and wardrobe for a music video they were filming in the parking lot and I said yes. Then she walked in and later popped up on my people you may know and then it took from there. It's interesting how the world works, being at the right place at the right time is so true. So glad to have met her and work with her these are the images we produced together.
This has been one of my personal favorite sets. It was amazing seeing someone do something different from what she normally does and was able to add value to her portfolio by adding something that is a little closer to her and how she looks like and that sticks out in her instagram. It's a different look for both of us and I feel that we both needed this different change of pace so to speak.
Gear I use to create these images was 2 Profoto D1's - Sony A7ii - CaptureOne Pro - Photoshop - 2 PocketWizard. I will have some affilate links for some gear if you're interested in purchasing anything it will help me immensely!
For old times sake.
Carly has seen my photography literally when I first started. I use to attend the Art Institute of San Antonio to get a bachelors in photography. I've met some amazing people there, some that will be friends for life, Carly is one of them. She was always there to help me from the very beginning, in both portraiture and nudes. Any time I had an idea she was willing to help and this time we both had the same idea and put them together. What has always attracted me to fine art nudes is how real they can be, theres nothing left but the person and who they are. There is no clothes to judge how their life is or isn't, theres only the true, natural raw beauty and this is my interpretation of nude beauty shots and I love how real these feel, you just get lost in her eyes and her being nude comes second and it's these types of images that fulfill me. These are the images we created together.
Well, at least that’s what here tattoo says haha. This was my first time working with Ashley Tejeda and I must say she did an amazing job, I’m in love with the images we got!
This was also my first time doing bare bulb lighting, it’s a little different with Profoto heads because the bulb isn’t exactly exposed, it’s behind a frosted glass which is what made want to give it a try and I have to admit, I really liked the lighting. For the most part I use to hate seeing harsh lighting, but now I understand the appeal!
As I was telling Ashley during the shoot, I want to go back to being a photographer and not a retoucher. I hated myself with how much time I’d spend on editing an image or thinking that I “had” to edit an image. I don’t want to make it look as if I had to retouch the girls to make them look good, I want to women that they look amazing without photoshop. So now my retouching is just that, retouching, now I work hard to give the images a look as if there was no retouching done. I am now focusing on taking pictures of people being real, not extra posey or over doing anything just simple, original, authentic and raw beauty with a hint of sexy. In my eyes women are gods (or whatever your belief is) most perfect/imperfect design, only reason why I say imperfect is because we can bleed, die, hurt and break, and well I to photograph the beauty and turn into my art. So I’ll go as far as the people are willing to go with me as far as showing their bodies and expressing their femininity and Ashley allowed me to both push the limit and show her and who she is as much as possible and I thank her for that. These are the images we created.
It's always interesting photographing new faces. I love meeting people and hearing their stories and aspirations in life. It both humbles me and reminds me I'm doing well in life. I get to do what I love and sharing that with people is amazing to me.
This shoot unapologetically boosted my confidence in myself and abilities simply because this was her first shoot ever and I was able to couch her into these looks and poses. It felt fulfilling and exciting to see that my 7 years of both experience and investment is paying off. Not trying to brag or anything but I sometimes have to remind myself, "I'm not the best nor the worst." Only thing I can do is advance from here and its nice to see it. I've invested 7 years and about 50 grand in my photography journey, I'm ball parking going to college, equipment and studio rentals.
Tori has her hopes and dreams of becoming a fashion model and I see so much potential in her, as long as she keeps practicing and doesn't give up, I know she'll make it. That being said if you'd like to book her for a shoot let me know and I'll link you guys up! Hope you enjoy the photos we created we were going for naturally sexy and beautiful.
Gear: Sony A7II with a 28-70mm lens. 2 Profoto D1's, one with a 4 foot softbox and the other overhead with an umbrella for fill and a Alienbee as the hair light with a westcott 1 foot softbox with a grid.
This is one of my first full on, black and white only photo shoot. Where I set my camera to black and white and set up my lighting and posing from that starting point. Personally I've noticed a lot of black and white photography is primarily done with one light, I've been using two. I have my main profoto d1 either to the left or right of the model with my Fotodiox 4' Softbox and a second d1 behind me high above and over my head with an umbrella, I'm thinking about adding a third light as a hair light to get that more cinematic 3 light look.
This is Estephania, this is her first shoot exploring herself and her comfortability. We first did a simple white over the shoulder sweater with no bra on so she can get the feel of being somewhat topless and not show anything. Then we gradually moved on to completely topless and we used her hair to further cover her and help her feel more comfortable. She did amazing for her first implied nude shot and these are the results of that shoot.
My father passes away when I was around 9 years old so growing up my mother, aunt and grandmother were basically the ones who raised me. My grandfather and uncle were never to fond of me so the never really engaging in my life, also my dad's side of the family stopped talking to me when I was around 12 so I never really had much family growing up and it was difficult for me to want to socialize. The little family I did have always spent Thanksgiving and Christmas making fun of my height and weight and as a result from it I felt very self-conscious just for being alive, I would always feel alone and like I didn't matter. When I turned 21 I switched gears, I needed to care and love myself without the approval of friends or family. I matter to me and that's all that is important now. When my mindset changed so did my confidence in being myself and talking to people. I feel that because those 3 women were basically the only family and people who cared about me, I now predominately photograph women, I want to do for my clients what my little family did for me. To show them they are beautiful, they are awesome, they do matter and it's an amazing feeling to watch them come out of the session with so much confidence in themselves. That what I do this for, to show how beautiful they truly are and don't even need something like clothes do define them, just their character and their soul which is also why I shoot more on the implied/nude side when I can, to really show them.
Getting away from color photography.
A lot of new and old is coming into play here. When I first started attending photography school I was in love with the fine art side of photography, I still am, but, I remember I wanted to do nothing but black and white photography. Then I discovered the fashion side, then came commercial, boudoir, senior, etc. I got a little lost in the photography world that I ended up for the most part sticking to color.
Now that I'm exploring and discovering my style and preference I want to go back to shooting primarily in black and white at least for a good while. I want to refocus on what made me fall in love with photography in the first place. What occurred was a sense that I needed to produce images I thought people would love to see. However, I started losing myself and knew it was time to create for myself.
This set I did with Isabel is my segway into exploring the art of b&w photography once again. We used Holi Paint to go out with a colorful bang and this same set is when I did the switch to black and white.
For this shoot I used my Sony a7II with my 28-70mm lens and for my lighting I had two Profoto D1 Air 500. I placed my large Fotodiox Pro Softbox 32x48 on my main light, which was set up camera right and an umbrella on the second, behind me, over my head.
"All of these are affiliate links. If you're interested in purchasing any of the items I used for this shoot please feel free to use these links for it will help support this shoot!"
I'm not 100% sure if I'll stick to black and white, but I know everything finally feels right and I will continue to stick to my gut, whether people like it or not. I want to focus on my art first and foremost. Like several quotes I've heard, "When you try to please everyone, you will please no one, so please yourself first."
To wrap everything up, I'm sticking to black and white for personal/social media work. If someone hires me to shoot in color, of course I will! However, for the most part I'd love to stick to black and white, until my gut tells me to go back to color.
Thanks for reading to the end! I will definitely be posting once a week, but that being said I will post as frequently as I can. Heres the link to my full photography gear https://kit.com/leonbluestudios/photography-kit which as also affiliate links, anything you purchase from this link will help immensely! Thank you -Mike.