Happy to have my portrait of Dr. Carl Lavie feature in a recent article in The Times over in the UK. Shame Ididn’t pick one up while I was there. Here’s a PDF of the article.

Shooting Personal Work

I LOVE shooting personal work. It’s the best opportunity to try out something new. 

I’ve been wanting to shoot something with a simple ‘set’ feel but still very minimal and suggestive to it for a while now. So I decided to just go ahead and build myself something! After lusting over backdrops from Oliphant Studio based in New York for some time, I set out painting my own canvas backdrop. The folks over at Oliphant create the most amazing simple textured surfaces on which to shoot. The one I painted might not be up to their standards but I was really happy with how it came together. 

I also decided to build a wooden raiser, which I stained and weathered to go along with a new stool and some crates and other bits I’d modified.

Everything was stained the same and then I used a hand sander to work everything over, trying to give it a beat up look. 

I’d been looking at getting a ‘Softlighter ii’ by Photek for a while so I picked one up and tried it out on the shoot. I spent some time beforehand playing around with it and looking at different ways to use it. I was careful to pay attention to the fall-off and how the modifier behaved when feathered. 

I went with the smallest one (36”). I found it controllable but still very soft light, and I really loved how it helped the tones blend across the face. Happy to have it in my arsenal of modifiers. I think on the next shoot I’ll try it on a boom high above the subject as more of an accent/hair light. Lots of possibilities. 

The shots came together wonderfully. Connor O’Shaughnessy sat for me and  Rebecca Penton styled the shoot. We shot three looks altogether but I really felt good about this one in particular. 

Huge thanks to Connor, Rebecca, and special thanks to Giancarlo for assisting me on the shoot - couldn’t have done it without you guys! 

CAPA Pictures

Last month I received an unexpected but most welcome call from CAPA Pictures over in Paris, France. They were working on behalf of LAFARGE, a large french cement company. They were looking for new, vivid and crisp images to illustrate their recent communication strategy: Building better cities.

They required a photographic illustration of classic New Orleans spots, French Quarter, Jackson Square, the River Front as well as images highlighting city infrastructure, transportation and the interaction between urban and green spaces. 

So after agreeing to the usage and terms I looked over the LaFarge written campaign and examples of work done in other cites, signed the contract and headed out into the city for a weekend of exploring and shooting. Can’t argue with that! 

Really excited to be featured along side some great photographers in this blog post by Wonderful Machine’s Craig Oppenheimer. Craig talks about Verizons ‘How Sweet the sound’ event that I shot for them last year.

Go check it out! 

I had a ton of fun doing a recent editorial assignment for an international, niche magazine which I’ll be able to share more about when the next issue goes to print. While photographing Kickboard's CEO Jennifer Medbery for this high quality periodical, I was faced with a welcomed but unfamiliar challenge: strictly no strobes

The magazine has a really great visual style and aesthetic. Very design-driven with great photography. The photos themselves are all naturally lit, preferring to avoid post production.  

Anyone who knows my work knows that usually my first thought when I approach an assignment is ‘How am I going to light this?’ Well, it was really fun abandoning the strobes and working with what I had. 

I’m really excited to share the final set of images in print, but for that we’ll have to wait just a little while longer.

Congratulations 12 Years a Slave!

Happy to see Lupita Nyong’o along with the cast and crew of ‘12 Years a Slave’ win Oscars last night. I wanted to share some pictures I shot during the New Orleans Screening of the film. 

“They have an intentionality that is imposed by the maker rather than received from the sitter. This is perhaps why his photographs invoke the sublime.”

Peggy Roalf speaking about the work of Richard Learoyd. 

“It’s a partnership. It’s up to the person in front of the camera to be honest and create an honest image of themselves. You really have to drop your guard. That’s what the best portraits are about. You let go for that instant and are not trying to put up a front or pose. You forget yourself.”

Melissa Cacciola

Right at the end of 2013 I had a great assignment from Forbes Magazine to shoot a portrait of Hollywood Trucks owner Andre Champagne. 

My brief was fairly open. Forbes needed a portrait, possibly including one of Hollywood Trucks new ECOLUXE trailers. We shot at Second Line Studios in New Orleans so that we’d have enough space to bring the trailer in. 

I decided I’d shoot a classic head and shoulders portrait then capture a variety of images incorporating the trailer however I could. I wanted to provide the photo editor with some great options so I made sure I covered  both wide and tight, sometimes pulling back to allow negative space incase they wanted to overlay and text. 

These are two shots that I felt drawn too. 

The first shot was set up with a gridded beauty dish to the right and a large on axis fill. I also had a hair/rim light set up initially but turned it off about half way through to vary the look of the shots. 

The second image here was shot with a large soft light source to the right and a soft box as fill on the left. 

First off, we have a new image. I played around with some lighting ideas that have been rattling around in my head. I really wanted to shoot something with a heavy hair light and wanted to toy around with the amount of lens flare. This is probably a little too much to be honest, but maybe that’s ok. I love the overall effect. 

It’s shot with a gridded beauty dish as the key. A large soft silver PLM as fill and then just a standard reflector for the hair light. It’s nice because the beauty dish and hair light provide lovely accenting of the outline, and you can dial up and down the fill to change the contrast and mood of the portrait. Also by moving the gridded beauty dish around the subject I can choose to wrap the light on the face more or less as I see fit. To really get some good flare I had the hair light just out of shot. If I was getting too much I could have moved the light higher as to not directly strike the front element on my lens, another option would have been to control it a little more by adding a grid to the reflector. Over all it’s a very dynamic set up with lots of room for tweaks and adjustments to greatly alter the mood and contrast.

Next up with have some additional headshots that I’m thinking of adding to my website edit. These are older shots but I keep getting drawn back to them. Pretty simple lighting, Just a beauty dish and large fill light. (not including background lights, which I actually possition in such a way as to add a tiny amount of accenting on the subject) It’s nice to know that you don’t have to do something crazy to get wonderfully lit portraits. 

Having a collection of lighting set ups like this that are tested, and being able to play on the variations within that set up are is so useful and  essential in creating a lighting safety blanket that I feel everyone should have. 

I’m a huge fan of photographer Nadav Kander. Here is a great interview where Nadav offers some great insite into his working process and thought process surrounding his photography. Enjoy. 

“I’m not where I need to be, but thank god I’m not where I used to be.”
— (via expiry)

(via wadegriffith)

I seem to have been shooting a lot of events and corporate work recently here in New Orleans, so it’s nice to get back in the studio and shoot some portraits that are in more of my personal style. I love testing, experimenting, crafting my work.  These days it seems that it’s really only through working that I feel I’m growing… I’m always analyzing my work, looking how I can improve for the next shoot, the next sitter.