Models make the best Photographers

Behind the Scenes Photographer: Hannah Ray Lighting Assist: Ron Khy

Behind the Scenes

Photographer: Hannah Ray

Lighting Assist: Ron Khy

Once again, I had the chance to work with the amazingly talented Hannah Ray - only this time, the roles were swapped.

Hannah has been shooting quite a bit lately, and after seeing more and more of her killer work show up, I knew we had to shoot. I had an idea in my head about a shoot I've always wanted to do, and I thought Hannah's style was perfect for what I had in mind.

The shots were done at the Salk institute in beautiful La Jolla California, and we had the pleasure of being assisted by Mr. Ron Khy of www.baitme.com. The shoot went without a hitch (aside from a slightly curious security guard), and good pizza followed soon after...what's not to love?

Click the photo to the left for the entire photoset.

Hannah's links:

IG: @captainhanski
Twitter: @hannahrayninja
Blog: captainhanski.blogspot.com
FB: facebook.com/hannahrayninja

No Models Were Harmed

Model: Hannah Ray Assistant: Charles Alejandrino

Model: Hannah Ray
Assistant: Charles Alejandrino

Had the most spontaneous shoot I've ever had in my career today with the absolutely stunning Hannah Ray. I was on the way to a dentist appointment (which I was 2 hours late to) when I got a text from Hannah asking me if I was free. I thankfully was (by rare occasion) and we decided to shoot together. Now I'm usually big on high-production, carefully lit shoots with predetermined shot lists and locations, but I was so excited to work with Hannah that we made due without all of that. I didn't even have Charles to assist for the first few looks of the shoot.

As always, though, new challenges are part of the fun. Hannah is definitely one of the best models I've worked with - and if you've never really grasped the concept of "making love to the camera," come on set with Hannah and you'll get a first-hand perspective on what it means. She's committed to the job, even when that means getting a 3-inch gash from a rusty chain link fence, or being a few feet away from a 12-story fall. (Seriously.)

After all that, though, shooting was a blast, and per tradition I took Hannah and Charles on a post-shoot meal of pizza and beer. Spontaneity pays off!

Click the photo to the left to check out the rest of Hannah's photos. (Still editing, so check back for new releases.) 

Check out Hannah's work below:
Website: HannahRayModel.com 
Facebook: 
http://www.facebook.com/HannahRayModel
Instagram: 
http://instagram.com/captainhanski

 

Don't Piss These Guys Off

Lead Assist: Charles Alejandrino Assistant: Malachi Levvi Client Rep: Shane Moise

Lead Assist: Charles Alejandrino
Assistant: Malachi Levvi
Client Rep: Shane Moise

Had a shoot with the OMBAC Rugby team today. Now, as skinny as I am, I usually feel pretty fit around most folk on the street. I used to work out a lot, and I played a lot of sports back in the day. So on a normal day, I'm pretty confident.

To say the least, these are not just your normal folk on the street. The guys on OMBAC as some big S.O.B's. As I scouted the location during their practice, the play came in our direction and I could have sworn I wet my pants a little. 

Anyway, the shoot itself was hugely successful. We shot a few team photos along with some of the girls from the Tilted Kilt (sponsors of the team), some headshots, and a few action shots. While the guys are rather intimidating in stature, they are a great group and are hilarious hang with. At one point, I was on one of their players shoulders in an attempt to get a good angle on an action shot.

OMBAC is headed to Pittsburgh this weekend for Nationals, so be sure to give them support.  

Click the photo to the left to see the whole set (still in edit mode, keep checking back for more photos) 

OMBAC Rugby: http://www.ombacrugby.org/ 
Tilted Kilt: http://www.tiltedkilt.com/

 

Horses and Jazz Clubs

Model: Jessie Rabideau MUA: D'nelle Almanza

Model: Jessie Rabideau
MUA: D'nelle Almanza

Had one of the most interesting weekends I've had in a long time this past couple of days. 

The shenanigans started in LA, where I met up with adorable Jessie (America's Next Top Model) to help her move to her new apartment in Hollywood. Contrary to most truck owners, I actually enjoy helping friends move. I enjoy putting in a little work to help my friends, and this move was relatively painless (aside from a dent I put in the side of my truck.) Afterwards, we used her apartment as a makeshift studio to do some simple body shots for her portfolio. The shoot offered some new challenges in the way of working in a small space, but the results were good. We were going for a simple look, and we got it. As payment for both the move and the shoot, Jessie offered me beer and pizza (which I gladly accepted.) The beer put me in an 8-hour coma in her living room, which worked out rather nicely because I had plans to head out to Norco early that next morning.

One thing I always notice about LA is how busy it seems to be. People are always running around, car horns are always honking, and there never seems to be a break in the action. This was a stark contrast from the day I spent with one of my favorite models to work with, Jessa Cygan. She is an extremely accomplished horseback rider/trainer, and she took me out to ride my first horse in her hometown of Norco, CA. The country life is definitely something I could get used to. The living there was very relaxed, and it seemed that no one was on a strict schedule. We went out riding for a few hours (which was a blast, and I think I did pretty well - not as good as Jessa by any means, but good for a first timer :P) and we followed that up with hanging out on the ranch, taking swigs of whiskey out of a reused Jack Daniel's bottle and talking about pretty much anything that came to mind. To wind down the night, a bunch of us headed out to a local bar and had some delicious food. It was such a great time and everyone was extremely friendly. Looking forward to going back in the near future.

Click the image to the left to see the rest of Jessie's photos. 

Old Spaghetti, New Look

Model: Ryann Torrero Lead Assistant: Charles Alejandrino Assistant: Marci Pascua Assistant: Joni Marie MUA/Hair Stylist: Veronica Moreno

Model: Ryann Torrero
Lead Assistant: Charles Alejandrino
Assistant: Marci Pascua
Assistant: Joni Marie
MUA/Hair Stylist: Veronica Moreno

Had the pleasure today to shoot with LA model Ryann Torrero. Our shoot location was a very unique and beautiful restaurant - the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown San Diego. We had a few hours to shoot in this prime location, and we made use of the entirety of the space. The crew for this shoot included regulars Charles Alejandrino (Lead Assist) and Veronica Moreno (MUA/Hair) and newcomer assistants Marci Pascua and Joni Marie. 

We had 3 looks to shoot through, including a beautiful gown by Badgley Mishka. Ryann looked absolutely beautiful with each look, leaving us with some gorgeous photos.

After the shoot, we couldn't resist leaving the restaurant without having some of the delicious food we smelled throughout the morning. That paired with a little wine made for the perfect end to a great shoot. 

Click the photo to the left to view the whole set from today (images still in post production, so check back often!) 

Saddle Up

Model: Jessa Cygan Asisstant: Charles Alejandrino Makeup:Stefanie Iacobelli Hair: Stefanie Iacobelli Wardrobe Stylist: Sydnee Thrasher Designer: Noma Jewelry (headband): Deepa Gurnani Jewelry (necklace): Danielle Stevens Jewelry (bracelet): Rosena Sammi PR Showroom: Rapparound PR

Model: Jessa Cygan
Asisstant: Charles Alejandrino
Makeup:Stefanie Iacobelli
Hair: Stefanie Iacobelli
Wardrobe Stylist: Sydnee Thrasher
Designer: Noma
Jewelry (headband): Deepa Gurnani
Jewelry (necklace): Danielle Stevens
Jewelry (bracelet): Rosena Sammi
PR Showroom: Rapparound PR

For the entirety of the week leading up to this shoot, I had a bad stomach flu. I rested up for a few days, hoping I would be at a 100% by showtime.  

I was not. 

Come Saturday (the day of the shoot), I was still a mean wreck. I couldn't even focus on getting my inspiration photos together. But as always - the show must go on, so I loaded up my truck with gear (cramping the entire time) and my assistant and I headed out to Wildomar, CA.

First things first - San Diego is SPOILED with good weather. I opened up the door to 114 degree weather as soon as we arrived. The heat was insane - I could barely talk during my walkthrough of the location. The location itself, though, was absolutely gorgeous. It was a beautiful home on a small ranch, with plenty of livestock to fill the place. 

I've modeled with Jessa a few weeks before that day, and I knew that we had to work together again - this time with me as the photographer. Jessa has a beautiful, fresh look and is an extreme pleasure to work with. Our on-set as well as off-set chemistry lends to an incredibly energetic shoot that almost made me forget about the blazing heat. Jessa was amazing with both posing for the traditional fashion shoot and with the horses - she somehow knew exactly what to do to get the horse to do just what she wanted. It was definitely amazing to see her in action.

The team was complemented by fashion stylist Sydnee Thrasher, who helped keep us on track for the 4 looks throughout the day. Her eye for styling was critical during the shoot, and was impactful on our final product. 

All in all, the shoot was a great success, and the images have been sent out for publication. You probably won't see much from the shoot for a while, but keep an eye out for the photos when they do come out! 

Click the image to the left for some teasers from the shoot. 

(Special thanks to Dynamite Editorials for organizing!)

Beach Day

Model: Elizabeth Barraza Assistant: Charles Alejandrino

Model: Elizabeth Barraza
Assistant: Charles Alejandrino

Shot today with always beautiful Elizabeth today at Windansea. It was a gorgeous day all day, and it was no different at the beach. We had actually planned out this shoot a few weeks ago, and I had lots of prep work go into this shoot. My good friend and assistant Charles and I scouted the beach 2 weeks ago and took some reference photos, which I used to prep a shot list.

Fast forward to today, and we had a totally different beach. Rocks I had planned to shoot on were completely underwater. (The surfers out there are probably like - DUH. Tides!) So, we had to scrap the shot list and wing it. No worries though - that's part of the excitement of photography. Overcoming these kinds of challenges is half the fun. 

Throughout the shoot, Liz was a trooper. She was getting blasted by waves in between shots, but when you have a good model, you're gonna leave with some good shots.  And there were definitely some great shots.

Click the photo to the left to see the rest of Liz's photos.

Also, vote for Liz in Maxim's Hometown Hotties contest! You can vote once per day. 

Man's Best Friend

Model: Thor

Model: Thor

Today, I had to drain some power out of one of my portable power packs, so I thought I'd have a little shoot with my buddy, Thor. This was Thor's first shoot with lights set up, but I have to say, he did an awesome job. For anyone who's met Thor, he's kind of known as this crazy black ball of energy covered in fur. For the shoot though, he was very well-behaved. He sat where I wanted him to sit and stayed there, and he even knew how to move forward a few inches when I said "Just a little bit more - right there!" 

Have to say, he's quite a charmer on camera.

...except for the smile in the photo to the left. 

Click the photo to the left to see his whole shoot. 

Simplicity Over All

Model: Amber Luzano

Model: Amber Luzano

I had the pleasure of shooting with my good friend Amber today. I've wanted to shoot with her for a long time, and I think the photos show why. She has a great look to her, and I always tell her she could definitely pursue modeling if she wanted.

For this shoot, I wanted to keep things very simple to showcase the fact that sometimes you don't need a whole set of lights and an elaborate location to produce a great image. Sometimes, when your subject matter looks great, well...that's all you really need. 

Click the photo to the left to see the rest of Amber's photos.

A Memorable Memorial Day

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Had a terrific day off this Memorial Day! Weather was beautiful here in San Diego, so we spent the day at the beach. A friend lives in the top floor of a building right next to the beach, so we started the day there and had a great view of all the action.

After a few drinks, we headed down to the beach to participate in beach-type activities and just happened to run into half of the international singing group Elevé. A few minutes later, I had a guitar in my hands and we were treated to some of the best voices I've had the pleasure to play with.

They are great girls, check them out on Facebook and stay tuned for (hopefully) a shoot with them soon!

www.facebook.com/elevesing

Running is Hard

Model: Rolland James Slade Assistant: Charles Alejandrino

Model: Rolland James Slade
Assistant: Charles Alejandrino

I had to opportunity today to shoot one of the athletes from the 2012 Olympic games - my good friend Rolland "Jay" Slade. I brought out all the gear to the San Marcos track and field, and we were able to grab some great shots. Jay was a trooper throughout the shoot, even after the 20th time I said "Ok, this is the last shot" as I had him explode from the blocks.

We even took a little video of him and I racing in the 40m dash.

I'll let you guess who won that one.

Click the image to the left to see the whole album from today's shoot.

You Can't Repeat the Past

The-Great-Gatsby1.jpg

I saw The Great Gatsby today - terrific film, in my opinion. The cinematography was gorgeous, though a large part in 3D.

The purist in me is kind of nostalgic for the days of huge set design, perfect lighting, location scouting, special effect work, etc. Nowadays, all that is done in CGI. While it makes for better cinema, part of me misses the old way of doing things.

But, entertaining nevertheless. I recommend it if you haven't seen it already.

A New Season

Model: Jennifer Bordon Assistants: Genevieve Calpito and Andrew T

Model: Jennifer Bordon
Assistants: Genevieve Calpito and Andrew T

Recent months have been EXTREMELY busy, and extremely exciting. I got a chance this weekend to play with some new gear, so I took it upon myself to do a shot I've been thinking about for quite some time.

This shoot meant a lot to me, because it was the first production quality shoot that I've ever done under my own creative control. This wasn't a job for a client, it's wasn't someone else's vision - it was mine. 

A couple of exciting shoots coming up - stay posted!