Category Archives: Fashion

Model Shoot with the Fuji X-T1: Part 3

In this set I’m including some black-and-white shots along with the color ones to show what the Fuji can do. I used the b/w+R setting (the equivalent of using a red filter when shooting black and white film). I don’t know that this is as extreme as actually shooting black-and-white film with a red filter in terms of the contrast and look, but I like it.


Mustafa showed up to the shoot in a tux, which is hard to work around if that’s not what you’re aiming for. It’s a good look, and a very elegant one, but not necessarily fitting a pool hall. I tried to shake things up a bit with the kaleidoscope glasses, the steampunk welder’s goggles and my own vintage leather jacket. Tip to models – unless you are told wardrobe will be provided, always bring at least two different looks to a test shoot with you so you don’t get stuck looking out-of-place on the shoot.


Mustafa has a great face – he looks good from lots of angles. When posing a model or a portrait subject, you want to make sure that you’re not doing anything un-flattering. If you’re turning the head away from front-on, you want the nose to either obviously stand back from or break the contour of the cheek so you don’t inadvertently flatten it by having it by having the tip of the nose meet the outline of the cheek. At the same time, pay attention to the eyes – you want to see whites on both sides of the iris. If you turn someone’s head in part profile and then have them look back at the camera with their eyes, the irises in the corner of the eye make them look like a psycho-killer. In these shots it works because he’s looking the same direction with his eyes as his face is pointing.



Ok, well, two duos and a single. I couldn’t leave well enough alone and stick strictly to the article title, as there was one image left that needed to be used.

Trevor, Grayson
Trevor, Grayson
Trevor, Grayson
Trevor, Grayson

At least the odd single is in the same location, same lighting, same film. So it kinda-sorta fits. All three are, as tradition, shot on my Rolleiflex 2.8E, with Kodak Ektar 100.


Model Shoot, Georgetown – the Film Edition, Black-and-White

I squeezed in a roll of Tri-X in my shooting with the models. I wish I had had the chance to shoot some frames of Trevor, the other model, in black and white, but such is life. Another time.


Grayson has a very commanding gaze and makes for a great portrait subject. He uses this to compensate for an otherwise willowy physique (not that there’s anything wrong with willowy).


We shot all of these down under the Whitehurst Freeway where it runs parallel to the Potomac River on the edge of Georgetown. Despite the deep shade it creates, it makes for some beautiful, soft light.


The tank top reads “I like bad boys” in French. It was Grayson’s own choice of wardrobe – very fun and cheeky.


The last shot was at a boarded-up building tucked away under the freeway. I’m surprised given the value of real estate in Georgetown that such a place could exist. Whatever, it makes for a neat backdrop for models. The bottle of Fat Tire was found en-situ, and trust me, nobody drank from it.


More Model Photos from Sunday’s Shoot

Too often you only see models with that vacant, fashion-model stare, or the “I’m trying to seduce you” gaze. I think it’s important to show a range of emotions in a portfolio, so potential clients can see you giving different moods.

Bo is a pretty serious guy, but he does know how to relax and laugh (but you have to catch him between official shots – otherwise he reverts back to staring directly at the camera).



A few more from the underwear series – he looks really good in red.





Another from the plaid shirt set. Actually, he looks good in anything! I suspect you could put him in a Soviet potato sack and he’d make it rock (although good luck trying to get him to do that – he wasn’t crazy about trying on my ex-Soviet Army surplus winter hat with the red star insignia on it).


Here are some more candidates for the headshot –


On this one, especially because it’s a horizontal shot, I wanted to emphasize the face, so I selected it in Photoshop and masked it out, then applied a little bit of blur to the rest, so the face pops out more, like I had used a much wider aperture (my lights are actually at times TOO powerful and it’s hard to not stop down too much).




I really like this last one because it gives great shape and definition to his face – his previous head shot, although it was square on, was basically lit flat from directly in front, and had no contouring, so it made him look like an Asian chipmunk. He actually has a very shapely face, and I think this does him justice.


Headshot for Bo, Revisited

This is what happens when you shoot two days in a row, then go work at the office for a full day, then come home and edit photos until 11pm. Your judgment gets a bit off. I posted the original version of this headshot with the studio background intact (well, minus a broom handle I cloned out). Looking at it again in the clarity of new morning light, I realized that the background stuff, while cool, was a serious distraction from the goal of the photo – getting you to focus on the model’s face. So I got rid of the background altogether in a remake – What do you think? Much better, no?



Busy Weekend – Two Model Portfolios part 2

Sunday was my shoot with Bo. Bo is also a trainer and a bartender. I know he works VERY hard to keep the body he has but I still get jealous. Bo already had a bit of a portfolio so we were expanding his look. He needed new head shots first and foremost, so I concentrated on getting good full face images in each of the looks we did.

These are the prime candidates for head shots so far.




See what I mean about a body to be jealous of? It’s like there’s not an ounce of fat anywhere to be found.


Here’s body movement for you – Bo is quite good at shaping his body to give it natural visual dynamic.


Several from the underwear series we shot.




What I was thinking when I put Bo against a black backdrop I’ll never know, as he has jet black hair that wants to disappear into the black velvet. Keeping the hair light on the top of his head to pick it out from the background was a constant fight. But I think we got some very useable shots out of it in the end.


For the first hundred or so shots we did, there was an issue with his forehead being much darker than the rest of his face in the photos. He’s got naturally very even skin tone but for some reason, the forehead was photographing darker than his face, which made it look like he had a sunburn, or he was wearing big ski goggles while outside that kept his eyes lighter. But as the shoot progressed, the problem went away.

For the fashion look, we did a bit of a rock-n-roll styling with a leather jacket, jeans, unlaced boots and a belt with a spinner in the buckle.





Yes, that belt buckle actually spins.

We did another casual look with a red checkered shirt – I do have more of these but I haven’t edited through all of them yet – this was just one that popped out for the pose as well as the splash of color.


I thought I’d play around with turning a couple of the underwear shots black-and-white. I’m not terribly fond of digital black-and-white conversions – if I’m shooting personal work, and I want black-and-white, there’s no substitute for real film. Here is the one I’m happiest with so far.


In this case, I think the black-and-white conversion does add something to the sensuality, and it could be a nice touch to diversify his portfolio. I have even more images to edit through from this shoot – I think the grand total was 489 in three hours. This is the time you do thank god for digital.

Busy Weekend – Two Model Portfolios

Among the many things I do photographically, I shoot model portfolios. I did back-to-back shoots on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. This is one where you do shoot digital because of the volume of shots required, the usual turnaround time, and the delivery methods. It would be beyond a pain in the ass to have to get the film back from the lab, edit the shots, then scan, then edit again, then do post-production clean-up. So I brought out the Canon 5D and shot away. All images were made with either the Canon 50mm f1.4 or the Canon 135 f2 L lens. While zooms have their convenience, when you’re working in a small studio, there’s little call for something very telephoto, and you can always take a couple steps back or forward if you need.

My first model is Bucky. He’s a professional trainer at a high-end gym here in DC. The goal was to get him a decent headshot and a couple different looks to flesh out his portfolio and modeling card. I’ve got a couple prime candidates for his headshot:



This could also be a head shot, but in a horizontal composition, for something a bit different.


Which one do you like best? Don’t worry, I shot around 350 images of him, so there’s plenty more to choose from if these don’t cut the mustard.

Then comes the formal look. The shoot stylist pulled together a suit and tie look for him from the studio’s stock wardrobe. That was a hoot because someone had mismatched the pants with the jacket and at first, there was a size 36 waist with a 38 short jacket (that should have had a 30 inch waist pant to go with it). We were afraid he’d have to wear the pants pinned up with binder clips and gaffers’ tape, but shortly the proper pants were found and we were off to the races.



I snagged a candid of the stylist adjusting his shirt for a series of somewhat more casual shots.


These two are showing winter styling with a sexy twist. The first shot shows off his ability to shape his body, as well as the shape his body is in.


This one is about giving a different mood to the same outfit.


We also shot the obligatory underwear shoot. The underwear shots are as much about showing off a model’s ability to move and sculpt their body in poses as they are about underwear – after all, there isn’t very much to underwear itself, is there?




You want to make sure a model looks as good out of clothes as in them because it’s about their ability to SELL whatever it is they’re wearing.

And last but not least is a bit of a crossover – we paired a tuxedo shirt with red underwear to add a different kind of sexy to the shot.