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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Children and pets

Admittedly children and pets are the most challenging subjects to photograph but they are also the most fulfilling once captured. 
So here are some tips for you folks that want to take great pictures of your kids and pets this holiday season.
I would love to hear from you on how you made these tips work for you so don't be shy and leave me some comments.  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Be patient
Don't expect to get the perfect shot immediately. Sit back and wait for the right moment, then shoot quickly.

Shoot at eye level
Eye-to-eye contact is as engaging in a picture as in real life. So try sitting on the ground and snapping some photos from the child's perspective. Expressions will look more natural, your flash photos will be more evenly lit from nose to toe, and the background will probably look a lot better, too. This also works great for pets!

Take candid pictures
Ignore the impulse to force your subjects to always pose staring at the camera. Variety is important. Take candid pictures to show them working, playing, leaning against a banister chatting, or relaxing.

Include friends
Don't forget to include your kids' friends in some of your pictures. In years to come, these pictures will remind them of happy times and the bonds that were so strong. "Look! That was right after Carrie tried to cut her own hair!" "Whatever happened to Sara?" "I wonder what we were giggling about."

Get close
Fill the camera's viewfinder or LCD display with your subject to create pictures with greater impact. Step in close or use your camera's zoom to emphasize what is important and exclude the rest. Check the manual for your camera's closest focusing distance.

Lock the focus
A picture of several people can come out blurry because most auto-focus cameras focus on the area in the center of the viewfinder. When photographing two people, this can spell disaster—the tree in the background will be in perfect focus, and your subjects blurry. To remedy this, lock the focus on the subject. Usually you do this by centering the subject in the viewfinder and then pressing the shutter button halfway down. Continue holding the button halfway down while you move the camera until your subject is where you want it in the viewfinder. When you are satisfied, press the button all the way down to take the picture.

Let kids record their world
It's a whole new world when seen through a child's eyes. One-time-use cameras and digital cameras provide easy ways to let kids take pictures of each other and to capture what's important to them. You might just be surprised!

Place your subject off-center
Placing your subject to one side of the frame can make the composition more interesting and dynamic. But if your camera is an auto-focus model, the picture may turn out blurry because those cameras focus on whatever is in the center of the viewfinder. Check your camera manual for how to use the focus lock feature to prefocus on the subject. Usually it is done by pressing the shutter button halfway down and then recomposing the picture while still holding the button halfway down.

Try pointing your camera at a cat or dog. Their inquisitive nature will drive them to come right up to the camera and sniff the lens. You move away and they'll follow. Sit them in a convenient spot and they'll bounce back. Frustrated? You will be!

Pet Tip 1 give the dog a bone
Give your pet something to take their mind of the camera. The only problem now is they will be chewing or playing around and are highly unlikely to look at you, let alone the camera.

Pet Tip 2 Squeaky toy
Use a squeaky toy to attract their attention. Place it behind the camera so they look in the right direction. The bone they're chewing will be more interesting, but at least they will look up long enough for you to fire the shutter. (act quickly and make sure you get the shot in the first or second take). They'll soon get wise or bored of your attention seeking activity.

Pet Tip 3 Wait until the right moment
Cats and dogs are easy to catch out when they are sleepy. Time for the squeaky toy again. Just as they're nodding off squeak the toy and you'll get a moment of alertness shot and relax.

Pet Tip 4 Get help
You could ask someone else to entertain the pet while you walk around taking the photos. Try to keep the person out of the frame and the shots will be more natural. Digital photographers could get the person to hold the animal in place and then erase them later, this is time consuming but good if you want great pet portraits.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Marketing and Designing for ads and web....new

So to add to my repertoire I have begun to design for an already existing photo client.  I am designing marketing ads, brochure and website for Mis Alas by Lisa Marie.  This natural beauty company is growing and is beginning to make people sit up and take notice.  Mis Alas is marketing their all natural hair care, facial care and cosmetic products on Facebook and elsewhere on the internet.  I personally use Lisa Marie's products and can tell you that no other products have done for my curly hair what her products Visit Mis Alas and find your inner natural beauty!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Well I had the pleasure of photographing Christopher's christening in NJ on Sunday, October 17, 2010.    Cute as a button.

He and his sister made for a great pair.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

1st Birthday

I really enjoyed watching little Simi during her 1st Birthday party on September 19.  At first she was quite fussy and seemed to follow me with her eyes in strange disbelief that this person was following her every move.  Simi felt most comfortable with her mom and dad because of all the comofion of friends and family wishing her well on her very first birthday.   She then relaxed after a moment of triumph when she stood alone on top of the table.  From that moment on it seemed like she gave me the ok to continue to record her special day.  Happy Birthday Simi! 

Friday, August 27, 2010

NYPhotoshoot Translated!

I just added the Microsoft Translator widget to my website. Now you can view my website in lots of different languages. Attached is the Spanish version. Check it out.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Model Portfolio shoot

This weekend I did a portfolio shoot for up and coming model Shivonne Hudson.

How to Put Together a Modeling Portfolio
By DaniaDenise, eHow Member

Things You'll Need:

Outfits and Accessories
Portfolio Case
Getting Pictures

Portfolio images increase your booking chances.
How to Put Together a Modeling Portfolio When it comes to modeling, your portfolio serves as your resume and showcases your body of work. Whether you are signed to an agency or are a freelance model, putting together your portfolio is one of the most important aspects of your career.

Step 1

Commercial/print images: Before even attempting to put together a modeling portfolio, it is important to know what type of modeling you can do. Freelance models have greater flexibility in this area but should focus on a main category they will receive the most work in. If you do glamour or swim wear, then those are the types of photos you should have in your portfolio. High fashion models should have high fashion images in their books (another term for portfolio). Be realistic. If you are too short for fashion, stick to commercial/print and lifestyle images.

Step 2

High fashion images: Use magazines and other publications as reference guides for the types of images you'll want to include in your portfolio. This will help you get an idea of the type of shoot you'll need to set up.

Step 3

For models signed to agencies, your agent will have a sit-down with you and advise you as to what types of images should be in your portfolio. They will also recommend photographers for you to work with that the agency trusts. It is in your best interest to go with the photographer referred to you by the agent. If you go outside the channels, your agent may not like the photos, resulting in a waste of time, effort and a portfolio your agent can't use.

Step 4

Freelance models can turn to online modeling communities as well as other outlets to find local photographers to work with. Be sure to look at the photographer's work and choose one who specializes in the type of images you want to include. If you are satisfied with their work, shoot them an email or give them a call to set up a meeting or shoot.

Step 5

Pick a photograph specializing in the type of modeling you do. Once you have found a photographer you want to work with, meet with him/her before your shoot to discuss the themes, concepts and/or looks you are going for. Explain what types of photos you'd like to try. From here you two can agree on locations, outfits, date, time, etc.

Step 6

Make sure you have everything you need packed before your shoot so you don't forget anything. You should have your hair and makeup professionally done as well to guarantee the best images. Agency represented models often have the comfort of having a makeup, hair and wardrobe stylist present during the portfolio shoot, while freelance models may have to do it themselves or get it done somewhere prior to the shoot.

Step 7

Once you have taken your photos, it's time to review them and pick the best. Out of the bunch you'll want to make sure to have the following among your images: headshot, ¾ body shot, full body shot. You'll want different outfits and locations to show diversity as well. Play with poses and give a variety...if you have the same poses over and over your portfolio will be boring.

Step 8

Portfolio CaseAfter the key images have been selected, you can purchase a portfolio case (if your agent doesn't provide you with one). You can find them at any office supply store and the prices range from very affordable to very expensive so you'll be able to find on that fits within your budget. It's best to buy one that can hold between 15-20 8"x10" photos.

Step 9

Tearsheet Example As your modeling career progresses, update your images in your portfolio to reflect your most current work. In addition to regular modeling photos, include any tearsheets you get. These are pages taken directly from the published work you have appeared in. Tearsheets are vital to a model's portfolio because it showcases actual work, which is very impressive to clients.

Tips & Warnings

One way to get photos without paying money is to arrange a TFP or TFCD. TFP (time for prints) and TFCD (time for CD) are a free exchange of services: the model gives his/her time and the photographer provides them with images from the shoot. No money is involved, although a model release form may need to be signed.

However, if you want to guarantee top quality, there is nothing wrong with paying a photographer. This ensures that you get exactly the types of images you want. Money is a great motivator to get things done in a timely fashion (not to say that doing TFP/TFCD produces less than stellar work but if you are paying for the services, there is less of a chance of a mishap occurring where you don't receive your images or wait forever to receive them). Many photographers put paying gigs as priority over free shoots.

When putting your images in your portfolio, be sure to only include your best images. They each must have the "WOW" factor. If you have any doubt about an image, do not include it. Put the best images on the right side of the book (if you choose to put images on both sides of each page). The eye is naturally drawn to the right side when looking at a portfolio layout so you'll want those images to be seen immediately by whoever is looking at it.

Include both black and white as well as color photos. Don't include too many images in your portfolio. A safe number to stick to is between 10-15...20 max if you have done a lot of work.

Agency represented models usually have their portfolios completely managed by the agency so there is less to deal with on that end. Freelance models act as their own agents so it is your responsibility to maintain and update your portfolio.

If you need to, freelance models specializing in more than one type of modeling category can put together a separate portfolio for each and show them to clients accordingly.

While you should show diversity in your looks and poses, don't go overboard. If you have too many different and wild images that don't relate to the type of modeling you do, you can confuse of overwhelm a client.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Some common questions

These are some common questions that I am asked when signing contracts.

What’s your primary style? Posed & formal, relaxed, photojournalistic, candid, traditional?
My style is photojournalistic and candid with posed and formal added.

Do you shoot in color or black and white?
I shoot in both color and in black and white.

Do you use an assistant? Is there an extra charge for this?
I do use an assistant most of the time and there is no extra charge for this. When two photographers are requested then extra charges apply.

Will you have backup equipment available? And what happens if you get ill?
I always carry backup equipment and I have a backup photographer to call if I should be unable to fulfill my duties the day of the event due to illness.

Can other people take photos while you are taking photos?
Yes. I am always graciously aware that family and friends want to snap photos and give equal time to accommodate them, but there should be no other professionals at the event unless otherwise agreed upon under contract.

Will you accept a list of specific photos to be taken?
Absolutely. I encourage it because it will make for better planning.

What attire will you and/or assistants wear?
Unless otherwise requested I/we will wear black shirts and black pants.

What time will you arrive and how long will you stay?
I normally arrive about 30 minutes before and stay through till the contracted end time.

Should the event last longer than scheduled, will you stay? Extra charge?
Yes. There will be an extra charge. It would be at my hourly rate.

How long after the event will the proofs be ready?
They will be ready within 7-10 business days after the event.

What type and how much assistance will your provide in planning an album?
Albums are optional and as such will be provided upon request.

Is this your recent work that I'm seeing on your website?
I always have my most recent work available on my website.

Do you provide a written contract and guarantee?

Is a deposit required? If so, how much?
Yes. I require a 50% deposit upon contract signing.

When is the remaining balance after deposit due?
The remaining balance is due the evening of the event or photo shoot.

Are there any additional charges not mentioned? (i.e. travel)?
IF there is travel required there would be an additional charge to be determined based on distance.

What are the refunds/cancellation terms?
If the event should be cancelled the 50% deposit is forfeited and will not be refunded. If I should cancel then the deposit will be returned. If a refund is required and my customer is not fully satisfied, I will refund their money after all other options after discussion are exhausted.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Quintessential Wedding shot list

One important tip I can give engaged couples is that you should let the photographer know what you want to see in your photos. What I mean is what is important to you, who are the important people in your life, family, best friends, etc. Remember the photographer doesn't know who they are. You should give them a list of important people and a copy of your seating chart so that they can easily identify them.

Below are the most popular shots taken at weddings. Remember these are only suggestions you may add or delete as many as you would like, but you should try and give the list to your photographer so that your day will run smoothly and you will be sure to have the memories you will cherish.

50 Most Popular Wedding Photography Shots

Prep Shots – Bride & Groom
The Dress – Hanging or Draped
Bride facing out northern most window

Bride walking down stairs
Bride looking out (window or door)
Maid of Honor & Brides Mom – Zipping Dress
Bride Applying Make Up
Groom Fixing Hair
Grooms Father & Best Man РAttaching Boutonni̬re to grooms lapel
Groom Checking the Time
Groom with Grooms Men & Fathers
Bride with Bridesmaids & Mothers
Bride with Mother & Father (also grandparents)
Groom with Mother & Father (also grandparents)
Bride Limo – Groom Limo
Bride & Groom – Exiting Limo (Bride being helped out)

Groom waiting at altar
Church Wide Shot (with & without guests)
Bride walking down aisle ( Side Profile & Front )
Father giving away bride
Groom over the shoulder shot of bride ( & Vis Versa)

Holding hands – Bride and Groom
Bride & Groom Kiss
Bride & Groom Leaving Church ( Receiving Line)
Bride & Groom – Inside Limo Shot
Reception/Banquet Hall Outside shot
Food Shots (Cocktail Hour, Drinks, etc.)
Shot of each table full of guests
Shots of Bride & Groom with & without family
Bride and Groom Portraits
Bride & Groom with Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
Bride and Groom Hand & Ring Portraits
First Dance
Bride & Father Dance
Groom & Mother Dance
Bouquet Toss
Guarder Belt Toss
Cake Cutting, Bride and Groom Feeding each other
Misc. Guests Dancing
Bride & Groom Eating
Best Man & Maid of Honor Toast/Speeches
Bride & Groom Toast/Speeches
Centerpieces & Flower/Decorations
Guestbook Signatures
Small Children Dancing with Bride & Groom
Bride & Groom’s Parents Dancing (Plus Grandparents)
Venetian Hour Photos (Coffee, Ice Cream, Etc)
Bride & Groom giving away wedding favors
Groom Giving Coat to Bride

Bride & Groom “Just Married” Vehicle – Driving Away

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Product shots for Natural Beauty!

I have been working closely with Lisa Marie of Mis Alas Beauty products.

Not only working with her on her product shoots but using the products as well. They are wonderful! My hair has never been shinier or my skin more healthy and glowing. Check it out.

Mis Alas by Lisa Marie
Skin * Hair * Body Naturally!
The salon is located at
114-09 Jamaica Avenue
Jamaica, NY

Davids Bridal for Prom 2010 on your mobile

Hey all. I know its been a while since I have posted. I have been ultra busy. Anyhow in between my many shoots I try to keep abreast of the cool happenings in fashion and technology. Check out the cool marriage of these two things for your best prom pics of 2010. Now you can shop for your hot prom looks right from your mobile phone with Davids Bridal new mobile prom site http://m.davidsprom.com/

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


So this weekend I covered the election for Colombia congress for the candidate Dr. Jairo Casas. You can view the web gallery at http://picasaweb.google.com/nyphotoshootphotography/JairoCasasFotosDeMarzo142010?feat=directlink.