Week 51: 52 Week Portrait Challenge

As part of my 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge, my Week 51 Challenge was to do a self-portrait session. I pushed myself to do this boudoir session. I have photographed hundreds of women, and I have absolutely loved making each one of them feel beautiful, but until about a month ago, I had never done anything like that for myself. Like many other women, I've spent a lot of time feeling down about myself and the way I look; the main reason that I love photographing boudoir is helping other women overcome those negative feelings and see how beautiful they really are. I was hesitant to do this shoot, but with the encouragement of my friends, I decided to just go for it. My talented friend Jessica Bosley took time out of her beach vacation to do my hair and makeup, and at the last minute, too. I set up my camera on a 10 second self-timer in my studio to get these shots. When I brought the images up on my computer, I was surprised. I was surprised to find that I liked them, and I think that they are beautiful. I've had so many clients that have had the same kind of reaction that I had, with the same question: "Is that really me?" And I always assure them that yes, they are that gorgeous person in the photos that they are seeing. I hope that I can continue to help other women feel amazing, and I am glad that I finally got to experience it for myself, too.

Week 49: 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge

My model for Week 49 was the beautiful Kilah. I wanted to use lace to create beautiful textured shadows using various lace types and by varying the distance and intensity of the light. It was very, very cold when we did this shoot in downtown Pensacola, but she did an amazing job of keeping her composure while freezing! I would love to know what you think of week 49!

Week 48: 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge

My subject for Week 48 was Brandy. Brandy is a local cosplayer and lover of the Lolita fashion style. My idea for this week was to partner with another artist who could take my photo and do her own reimagination of it, in an animated style. I commissioned my talented friend Danielle Caudillo, and I am thrilled with the image she came up with for me! I would love to know what you think of Week 48!

Week 47: 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge

My subject for Week 47 was the lovely Kelsea. She was more than 8 months pregnant when we did this shoot! My idea for her shoot was to portray her like a classical goddess of fertility. I think she and her cute daughter did an amazing job. I would love to know what you think of Week 47 in the comments!

Week 46: 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge

For Week 46, my subject was the talented journalist and broadcaster, Cassie. My idea for this week was to shoot Cassie in different editorial styles and then make her the cover of three different magazines, Vogue, Time, and Vanity Fair. I ended up only designing the Vogue and Time covers, but I included the image for the Vanity Fair cover because she looks awesome in that red dress. I'd love to know what you think of Week 46 in the comments!

Week 45: 52 Week Creative Portrait Project

This beautiful lady came dressed to the nines for her photo shoot! She got the 1950s look totlly right, and I was super excited to get a chance to work on these cute photos. I decided to take her photos and mimic the look of 1950s fashion ads, one for lipstick and one for eye glasses. Thank you Elizabeth for allowing me to photograph you! Let me know what you think of Week 45 in the comments!

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Week 44: 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge

My challenge for Week 44 was to create a manipulated image of my lovely friend Kim as the ringmaster of her own circus. Kim is an overall-amazing person and has one of the biggest hearts. She does a lot for the local animal rescue community and we love her commitment to promoting animal welfare. I decided it would be fun to do a photo shoot featuring a few of her rescue cats as part of her circus (don't worry, no cats were harmed making this photo!). I would love to know what you think about Week 44 in the comment section!

Week 43: 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge

My challenge for Week 43 was to create a sinister pumpkin character photo shoot in the middle of a brightly-lit day. A behind-the-scenes shot is the 2nd photo in the gallery below. My lovely friend Andi (who is also an amazing masseuse and photographer) kindly took a few hours to come model for me, and we found this gnarly old tree almost immediately. I was particularly happy to find it so soon, because my equipment can be heavy and I wasn't looking forward to dragging it around the woods! This tree was perfect because it had so much texture and depth, and I was able to experiment with moving the light around it to create different effects and lighting angles. I achieved my desired lighting configuration by pushing my Alien Bee B800 to full power and arranging my camera accordingly. The pumpkin mask was purchased from Spirit Halloween. I had attempted to carve a pumpkin for this shoot myself but I failed miserably. I would love to know what you think of Week 43 in the comment section!

Week 42: 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge

My challenge for Week 42 was to create minimalistic artistic nude photos. My lovely model Kat met me at the beach on a very bright, windy day. The wind was an unexpected element to this shoot because it was gusting so strongly that the sand was literally everywhere in the air. Initially I was annoyed that the sand was in all of my photos (and in my shoes, hair, clothes etc) but when I began to look through the photos on my laptop, I realized that the sand in the photos was actually quite beautiful. I have selected my absolute favorites to share with you. Please let me know what you think of Week 42 in the comments!

Week 41: 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge

My idea for Week 41 was to create a complete look for a shoot using only the color red. My beautiful model for this week is Sherry. We shot this outdoors on a sunny day, using one of my red gowns and a piece of red velvet for the backdrop. I used my trusty Nikon D7000, pocket wizards and Paul C. Buff Alien Bee B800 and beauty dish. Let me know what you think of Week 41 in the comment section!

Week 40: 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge

My idea for Week 40 was to create a fortune-teller inspired look. I'm pretty happy with how these turned out, especially since I had an unexpected challenge for this particular week; the winds were so strong from a nearby hurricane that my equipment was knocked over repeatedly and there was no chance of doing the full set that I had originally planned.

My lovely model for this week was Marina, who is an amazing local fire dancer. Her incredible makeup look was created by Alyx Adkins, a beauty advisor for Dior in Cordova Mall (Pensacola). Marina rocked this shoot, and despite the diffuclt weather and lighting conditions, I think we made something pretty beautiful. I would love to hear what you think about Week 40 in the comment section!

 

Week 39: 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge

My inspiration for Week 39 was those popular Snapchat filters that you see everywhere. I decided to take a few of them and create their real-life equivalents. Desiree was kind enough to model for me for Week 39 and put up with my less-than stellar crafting skills ;)

Let me know what you think of the IRL Snapchat photo challenge in the comment section!

Week 38: 52 Week Creative Photo Challenge

My challenge for Week 38 was to create a look using minimal equipment and lighting. My lovely model for this week was Dawn. To get this red-light look, I triggered an Alien B400 (gelled red) with my regular flash. I wanted it to create a sort of pop but edgy look for this shoot, and I think that we accomplished it for sure! Thanks to Dawn for stepping in at the last minute, and for letting me take her house over for this shoot. Let me know what you think of Week 38 in the comment section!

Week 37: 52 Week Creative Photo Challenge

Week 37 was so much fun! I wanted to test out these cool-burning smoke bombs, and this challenge week was perfect for it. My sweet model for this week was Olivia. She did a great job posing within the 30-60 second time frame for each smoke bomb, and she braved the rain that morning for these photos. Even though this shoot was pretty quick, I loved seeing the effects of the smoke bomb. I will definitely have to add this effect in more often to my shoots. What do you think of Week 37? Let me know in the comment section!

Week 36: 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge

When your drop-dead gorgeous friend asks you to make her look like a Grecian goddess, you really can't say no. This challenge was hastily put together after schedule conflicts with the original model for this week, so my sweet friend Erica stepped in for me.

We got up super early and drove out to the beach to catch the sunrise. We were surprised at how many people were there so early, and I am sure that they were surprised to see us, too.

Erica was of course absolutely stunning in this killer Victoria's Secret piece. We played with the sunrise and ocean waves and got some amazing shots.

Let me know what you think of Week 36 in the comment section!

 

Week 35: 52 Week Creative Project

“Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”
― Oscar Wilde, The picture of Dorian Grey

My inspiration for Week 35 came from the novel, The Picture of Dorian Grey, by Oscar Wilde. 

If you're not familiar with this book, I'll summarize for you: A young man named Dorian Grey has his portrait painted by an artist. Afterwards, Dorian expresses a wish to sell his soul, and that his portrait will age rather than himself. His wish is granted and he becomes reckless and immoral, but stays looking young because his portrait is aging for him.

My challenge for this week was to create an aged look for my model Drake (26 years old) and to stylize the photo so that it looks more like a painting. Let me know what you think of Week 35 in the comment section!

Week 34: 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge

My challenge for Week 34 was to create a surreal underwater photo shoot using rose petals. The pool was unfortunately not clear enough for the type of underwater shoot that I had planned, but I worked around it and reconfigured my original idea to work. My lovely model for Week 34 was Bonnie. She was amazing and very poised, especially given how difficult this type of shoot is. I owe a HUGE thank you to Ann Mangum Photography for assisting me AND letting me take over her beautiful house and pool for several hours. Also thanks to Drake, Elizabeth and Cameron for assistance and behind-the-scenes photos and video, which you can see below the photo gallery Please let me know what you thought of my Week 34 challenge in the comment section!

Week 33: 52 Week Creative Portrait Challenge

My challenge for Week 33 was to challenge my technical skills by doing a photo shoot inspired by this shoot by legendary photographer Benjamin Von Wong. To do this shoot, I asked my friend Cherie to dust off her ballet skills and pose for me. Her parents kindly let us set up in their yard. I also borrowed their rotating sprinkler to create the water droplets and set up my backdrop and portable strobe lights. I was super impressed with Cherie's compsure while water hit her in the face repeatedly. Cherie did an amazing job of posing and looking totally cool in all of her shots. I have chosen my favorites from this week below. Let me know what you think of Week 33 in the comment sections!