Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Boudoir Experience

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about my personal experience with boudoir photography. In October, I was blessed by an amazing bunch of ladies to experience boudoir photography from the other side of the lens.

When someone invites you so see a hidden side of themselves (and I'm not just talking about what's hidden beneath the clothes...ahem...) it is a real honor and a mark of trust. All of us have things we would deem physical imperfections, whether it is stretch marks or ears that stick out, and those things create insecurities. They become barriers that stop us from being comfortable in our own skin. Once those walls have been built, we become so used to them that we forget what was on the other side.

Boudoir photography is an amazing tool for breaking down those walls, exposing our insecurities, and letting us see that what we thought were imperfections were really just marks of individuality that add to our beauty. We get to see ourselves through someone else's eyes and we find out that those stretch marks we thought were as deep as the Grand Canyon and could be seen from outer space are, in actuality, hardly noticeable badges of honor. In short, we get to see that that we are lovely, sexy creatures in all our individual glory, without the walls of insecurity to hide behind.

I partnered up with super talented photographer Olga Tenyanin to put on Captivate; A Boudoir Photo Marathon, and now you get to see a bit behind the scenes...

The Hotel Murano is gorgeous. It's located in downtown Tacoma, and filled with some very cool glass work and other really unique art. You could visit just to see that. The rooms are gorgeous, and the service was top notch.
We arrived early, began our set up (which is easily the LEAST fun part of the experience) and prepped the room. The makeup artist and hair stylist began their set up and before you know it, we were ready for our first ladies!

Once we settled in and got shooting we had an absolute BLAST.
Mimosas, gourmet cupcakes from Puyallup bakery Wanna Cupcake?  (which were EXTRAORDINARILY yummy) and some sexy tunes from the ol' iPod set the scene and helped everybody relax.

I was amazed with these ladies. They relaxed, they smiled and laughed, they SMOULDERED! I'm surprised my camera didn't start smoking! We got everything from bombshell and vixen to sweet and sultry from these ladies and the images really do speak for themselves.




We even shot some smouldering couples photos with local models Ryan Hollingsworth and MaryAnn Jones. I don't mind saying these are super sexy and some of my FAVs!





And as much as I loved the experience itself, hanging out with all these great ladies (and gentlemen) my absolute most favorite part of the WHOLE thing is hearing the what the ladies have to say after they see their photos. Jamie, one of the ladies who participated, wrote me an amazing testimonial and gave me her permission to share it with all of you. 
I don't think there is any stronger recommendation to try boudoir photigraphy for yourself than hearing strait from the mouth of someone who had done it. Here's what she had to say:


“Thank you so much, Nicole, for everything! You made my first boudoir photo session an absolute delight! All my nervousness and inhibitions faded fast with your reassurance and guidance. The shoot was a blast!

As a stay at home mom of 4, to a Highschooler on one end and a preschooler on the other and two in between, I somehow lost myself in the midst of baseball practices , home-schooling, and just the normal everyday rhythms of life.

This experience has played a pivotal role in rediscovering who I am and discovering the true me is not a separate woman from bing a mom and a wife, but she’s still the one underneath the baseball hat and apron; I had just forgotten I was till there!

When I see my pictures, I view them in celebration of who I am as a woman 36 years of age, a wife of 14 years, and as a mom of 4. You captured me, Nicole, and I am so thankful for it.

The icing on the cake was my husbands reaction! The pictures literally brought tears to his eyes and he said he didn’t know how to express how beautiful and stunning he thought I was, even though I’ve always been those things to him, seeing it captured left him nearly speechless.

For him, seeing me smile and enjoying myself is part of what makes the pictures so beautiful to him, although I now get teased regularly about being a “Victoria’s Secret” model and his “ultimate pin-up girl.”

Thank you again, Nicole, for everything. Had Captivate not been reasonably priced and inclusive, I wouldn’t have been able to give this extraordinary gift to my husband or receive the gift of myself. You are amazing. “

Jamie 


This STILL makes me smile. It's exactly what I hope to accomplish with every boudoir session.

If you want to experience that feeling yourself, message me! I still have spaces open for the Enchant Boudoir session in January. Hey, it's just in time to surprise your love for Valentines day!
 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Conceptual Portraiture

There is something to be said for tradition. It's time honored, it's always classy, and it lasts because it works. Here's the problem...tradition can also become stale.

There are a million wonderful traditional portraits of people and families out there. You can see them everywhere from living room walls to Facebook. They are nicely posed, well lit, and filled with smiling faces that say absolutely nothing about the family being photographed.

Don't get me wrong, as I said before, a traditional portrait will never go out of style because it works. I take traditional portraits and I have them hanging in my home. They are wonderful for the family having them taken and also as a treasure to pass to on to future generations who will know us only by our image.
However, traditional style portraits, FAMILY portraits in particular, are becoming old hat. They don't show the spirit of a family. They show what the members of a family looked like at a particular period in their lives. For the most part, one family portrait looks very much like another. Switch the faces around, and one would never know the difference.

As an artist, that is what I would like to change in my approach to portraiture.

On a previous post, I shared some images from a zombie apocalypse style family photo shoot. The composition of the images is fairly similar in style to other family portraits, but absolutely different in content. The family that posed for those photos is fun, a bit quirky, and they like to take risks. They had a blast at the photo shoot (so did I, for that matter) and the images ended up very unique.
In conceptual portraiture, every image will be unique. It will showcase not only the particular character of the artist (that would be me *wink*), but also the irreplaceable combination of individuals meshing together tastes and talents and characteristics that no other family possesses. Each family is one-of-a-kind and their portraits should be, too.

I would love to be able to approach photographing families and individuals using conceptual portraiture. I want to sit down with people, talk about what their interests are and who they are as a family, and then come up with a creative concept to style the photos in such a way that the end results really speak to who they are as a unit.

Think of it like this:

Is your daughter a princess who rules the house like a tyrant? Let's create that!
Is your son a little monster who is on top of the fridge one minute and leaping out the window the next? Let's turn that into a photo!
When you read to your kids at night, does the fantasy come to life in the room around you? Let's capture that!
Does your family set off on adventures like the Swiss Family Robinson? Or does a simple game of Monopoly turn you all into monsters?
Let's take those metaphors that describe your family and turn them into pieces of art.
This way, when the photos are finished, you don't merely have a record of facial features, you have a piece of art that honors who your family is.

As an artist, I find it immensely fulfilling. As a mom and a wife, I would be thrilled to have my sons' wild spirits and my families goofy, good-natured affection captured and printed.

If you're interested in having a one-of-a-kind piece of art that features your unique family, check out my Casting page here on the blog. I've got a few ideas listed there, and if you think your family fits one of those ideas, or if you have a plan all your own, then get a hold of me! I want to take the "sit down and say cheese" element OUT of my portraiture and turn it into an experience that you and your family fondly remember every time you look at your artwork.

I would LOVE to create with you. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why Boudoir Photography is for you...yes, YOU!

I am a mommy. In the fullest sense of the word, I am a mommy, and I have everything that being a mommy entails; patience that is always right on the edge of deserting me, unknown stains on my favorite clothes, a harried look around the eyes, and kids that I adore despite it all.

I do have a few more "mommy" things that I could do without, however... like stretch marks, extra skin, and this saggy thing that used to be a belly button but now looks a bit like a sad face.

Being a mom, it's sometimes hard to find yourself sexy. Between taking care of a crying baby, fixing dinner, overseeing homework and trying to keep a house from falling apart, there isn't much time for deodorant let alone makeup and a nice outfit. Sexy seems like a far away land that only the young(er), firm, slim and single are able to inhabit.

That is why I had boudoir portraits taken.

Makes sense, right?

Hear me out...

For most women who aren't Adriana Lima, sexy seems like a term only applied to other women, models in magazines, or Angelina Jolie. It's not a word that is easy for those of us who are conscious of our imperfections to apply to ourselves. We have cellulite, stretch marks and love handles. Maybe our noses are a bit crooked, and our ears have the tendency to poke out just the slightest bit...and we can't reconcile the word SEXY to what we see in the mirror.We might be able to admit to ourselves that we are beautiful as human beings, in some abstract way, but sexy...that word just feels unattainable.

After the birth of my youngest son, who is now 6 months old, I decided it was time to take a firm hold of my health and my figure. I wanted to feel good in my body again. Since the birth of my first boy, who is now 10 years old, my weight has hovered about 30lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight. The extra jiggle, along with my stretch marks and other unmentionables (like muffin-top and saggy tush), always made me uncomfortable. In fact, I preferred to be as covered as possible, even when alone. I wanted to hide everything that I felt ashamed of.

But not anymore.

I began to be more careful about what I put into my body. I began to carve out time to exercise. I began to see my body change.
I already feel better in my own skin. I can see a difference in myself, in my energy, in how I feel and how my body responds. However, that will never remove the stretch marks. That will never tighten skin that will always hang and sag. Since I am not a fan of going under the knife myself (because I am an enormous coward where slicing body parts is concerned) I knew I would have to try something else. I would have to learn to love my body the way it is. So I signed up for a boudoir session.

I know that seems counter-intuitive, but to me it made perfect sense. What better way to remind myself that I am a sexy woman? I would have my hair and makeup done, put on something daring and fabulous, and step in front of a camera with nothing to hide my flaws behind.

The experience was phenomenal.

As soon as we began, as the photographer walked me though each shot and guided each pose, giving me compliments and encouragement. I didn't feel like a desperate housewife whose t-shirt has spaghetti stains on it. I felt empowered. I felt sexy. I remembered the woman who walked out onto the dance floor and caught the man of her dreams. For about and hour and a half, I was a siren.

When I walked out of the photo shoot and towards my car, I felt an extra glow. I had done it! And, man, I felt GOOD about it! In fact, as I was walking, a stranger paused next to me and said, "You are a beautiful woman."
I was able to take the compliment graciously, instead of diverting it because I didn't feel as if I deserved it. He was right. I AM a beautiful woman. And I will keep telling myself that, repeating it every time I start to feel like that pooch in my tummy is really hanging too far over the edge of my jeans, or that my c-section scar is grotesque, or mourn for the loss of a perky chest. And guess what?

Beginning to feel sexy again isn't simply the work of a boudoir shoot, it's also a conversation that I have to have with myself daily.

BUT

The boudoir shoot was the catalyst, the springboard. And every time I see those photos, I am reminded that I AM a sexy woman. I am sexy because I realize that my body is beautiful. It's a body that has been the vehicle for bringing life into this word. I should feel confident in that.  And confidence is the sexiest attribute a woman can have.

And that is why I am recommending boudoir photography to YOU.

Not just because your husband will love it...which he WILL. Trust me on that.
But because it's time to embrace every part of your body, to realize that those unique features are NOT flaws, and to show yourself that your body is not something to be ashamed of.

Walk into the session with your bag full of fabulous outfits feeling a bit nervous, kinda self-conscious but hopeful-and place yourself into the hands of your makeup artist. Feel pampered while you get your hair done. Wear something daring, and let your photographer give you the direction, encouragement and compliments that will help you relax into a sexy vixen. Walk out of your session feeling confident, and knowing deep down that YOU ARE SEXY.

And any time you start to doubt that, have a look at your amazing photos to remind yourself.
____________________________________________________________________________________

If you want to dive deeper into learning to love and appreciate your body, along with the uniquely beautiful bodies of other women, go on over to the A Beautiful Body Project of Photographer Jade Beall. Her work is lovely, real, and spearheading a movement of women by women to take back the image of our bodies from the media and to remind ourselves and everyone else that no matter what shape, age, color or size...our bodies are BEAUTIFUL.

Because of this movement...I wore a bikini this summer for the first time since I was a teenager. Stretchmarks and all :-)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Senior Spokesmodel Time!

The beautiful, slow death of summer is fast at hand. Soon the morning air will be stinging our cheeks, a brisk wind will catch and play with fallen leaves, and bare branches will stand stark before a pale moon.

FALL!

My favorite time of year is almost here. Time to break out boots and scarves and sit in front of a warm fire with a book in my hands. Not that I have much time for reading, BUT I will still make it goal. I love fall.

Fall also means that school is back in session, and it's time to capture that first biggest milestone of the school journey... senior year.
There is something very special about the senior year of high school. You can feel your childhood coming to a close, adulthood is at the doorstep, and you're finishing a huge chapter of your life. It's time to move on, and move out into the world as your own person. This is a big deal! I would love to be the person to help you capture this milestone.

Senior Portrait sessions are specially tailored to each individual. I want to capture that unique thing that makes you YOU, that makes you stand out from the crowd; but I need to get the word out. I need someone to let everybody know that I'm here.

Enter, the Senior Spokesmodel!

A Senior Spokesmodel Representative is someone who will represent Nicole York Photography to their Junior and Senior Classmates. I'm looking for someone who is positive, friendly, outgoing, creative, active, and bright, who can let their friends see their amazing photos and tell them about their experience working with me!

What you get:

  • Free deluxe Senior Portrait session (a $250 value!)
  • An online gallery with password protection where you and your family can order prints
  • 40 rep cards with 3 of your favorite shots and my contact info to hand out to your friends
  • 5 low-res, watermarked photos, perfect for Facebook and other social networking sites
  • Featured spots in advertisements for Nicole York Photography
  • Be featured in a blog about our session
  • A Facebook Gallery of watermarked images
  • Any referrals who bring your rep cards in and book a shoot earns you credit towards prints, announcements, photo albums, etc...


What you have to do:

  • Have parental consent and sign a model release so I can use your photo in advertisements
  • Live within 25 miles of Yelm, WA
  • Be part of the Junior or Senior class of 2014 or 2015
  • Share your rep cards with friends at school
  • Use your low-res images online and show them off to friends and family
  • Agree to represent only Nicole York Photography as a spokesmodel

Interested!? Sounds like a pretty good deal, right?  Here's what you have to do:

  • email your contact information and a statement of no less than 100 words about why you would make an ideal spokesmodel for my business to: Nicoleyorkphotography@rockemtail.com
That's it! I will contact the selected spokesmodels (no more than 2 per school)

I can't wait to hear from the great Juniors and Seniors in the area!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Stress of Photographing My Own Kids

Have you ever noticed that no one ever looks like such a goober as when they are playing with a baby? Even staid and serious people will make faces, weird noises, and speak in unintelligible, high pitched, so-cute-you-could-vomit, voices.

I have to admit, I am one of those people.

If an innocent bystander happened to see my behavior and not notice the baby I am making goo-goo eyes at, they would certainly question my sanity. I make a general ass of myself and, to be quite honest, I don't really care. Baby's are cute, man! And, naturally, no mother thinks any baby is as cute as her own baby.

Thus, I spent an evening photographing my Jackson, who is 6 months old. Photographing a baby is like regular baby adoring behavior x2. Almost like hopping on a one way train to Goobersville and visiting every stop on the way. I think the silliness is compounded by the pressure to "get the shot." Even when the kid is MY kid, I still feel the pressure. That makes me anal, I guess, but I don't lower my standards just because no one is paying me.
In fact, it is almost worse because it IS my kid and I can imagine folks looking at the photos and thinking to themselves, "Well if she can't even get a decent shot of her own kid..."

So I have to shake myself and look myself in the eye and say, "Woman, these photos are going to be a physical reminder of what your last baby looked like, and what his personality was like. You aren't saving the world, here. Calm down. You love your kid. You'll love the photos, and that will show with the end result. Now quit talking to me, and start pressing the shutter."

Okay, that was a little dramatic, but my internal conversations can get fairly interesting.

With  no further rambling about my psyche, I will get straight to the mommy-bragging.

Isn't Jackson too stinking adorable!?





Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Captivate! The Boudoir Experience

Wow, what a crazy summer!! I've been all over Washington state with my family and it feels like we've been going non-stop for far too long. I can't even express how happy I will be to have everything settle back down into a routine. I will admit, a very large part of that has to do with the fact I will now have time to pick my camera back up!

It's been a while since I've looked though a lens, and there are some very exciting things on the way!

I'm teaming up with the super talented miss Olga from Olga Tenyanin Photography to host a boudoir photography session at the snazzy Hotel Murano in Tacoma this October. Head on over to Facebook.com/olgatenyaninphotography to check out more of Olga's work. You will be impressed, I promise.

Boudoir sessions are an absolute blast. As a photographer, I love being able to watch women feel sexy and sensual and gain confidence in front of a camera. They always walk away feeling more confident and comfortable with their bodies, and that's a victory!

Confident = sexy

We are hoping to make this session a real experience for the ladies and gentlemen who join us. Hair and makeup are included in the packages, as well as a disc with the print release.







Come out, have a mimosa and some chocolate, and show off YOUR sexy!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Portrait Retouching Tutorial #1: The Skin

Here's a simple truth; perfect skin is a myth. If not an outright myth, than rare enough that it could be classified as one. The proof is in the millions of dollars spent every year on makeup products, surgical procedures and airbrushed photos in magazines.

Sometimes the perfecting of skin is taken to the extreme and creates false notions of what real beauty is. Real beauty is strength, honesty, integrity of character, virtue, humor, and so many other noble characteristics. My intention in retouching a portrait is never to create an unattainable ideal, but to remove distractions. Let me explain.

When I meet a client in person, the first thing I notice is their expression. I watch their eyes and smile, and as we converse I try to get a sense of who they are so I can capture that on camera. Once the lights are in position and I'm pressing the shutter, though, I know that something is about to happen. The direction of the light and design of the  lens, meant to capture detail, is going to expose every little pore, blackhead, scar, imperfection in makeup application and uneven spot of skin tone.
While these are the furthest thing from my mind in person, when I'm viewing a portrait I can't help but notice those details.

Here is a before and after of the image I will be using in the tutorial, with only the skin edited. I hope it illustrates the point I'm trying to make.

                           Before                                                                   After




The purpose of a portrait is to capture the aspect of a person, parts of their personality, their expression and uniqueness. I want the viewer to notice those things and not be distracted by a pimple, or the fact that the light happens to cause certain wrinkles to look much more prominent on the screen and in print than it does in real life.

That and, let's face it, not everyone is confident in front of the camera. Sometimes the knowledge that certain aspects of their face or figure that they are uncomfortable with can be downplayed gives them enough confidence to have their portrait taken.

With that in mind, I wanted to share with you how I edit portraits. Every now and then I will try to post a tutorial that gives you the run down on the techniques I use to retouch portraits. Kind of a fun, behind the scenes look that will hopefully be instructive in case retouching is something you're interested in.

And...away we go!



Frequency Separation

Keep in mind that the image I am editing is a 16 bit image. If you're working on an 8 bit image, these are the steps while setting up the high frequency or texture layer:

Select the high frequency/texture layer in the layers palette

select Image> Apply Image> layer: low frequency/color> 
blending mode subtract> Scale 2> offset 128



video
 

If you've got any questions, feel free to ask!

Here is the link to the same video on  youtube: Portrait Retouching: The Skin

Monday, May 20, 2013

15 Steps to Looking Great on Camera; Tips from Makeup Artist Serena Cook

Applying makeup is an art. When it comes to portraits, photographers know that a great makeup artist is indispensable. Not only does well applied makeup help to bring out one's natural beauty, it also gives the kind of confidence that that shines on camera. More than anything else, it's confidence that creates a stunning portrait.

I was lucky enough to work with talented makeup artist Serena Cook of Esoteric Makeup in Yelm, Washington. Not only can Serena create anything from fresh faced to dramatic beauty looks,  but she's also responsible for the gnarly transformation of some cute kids into the brain eating zombies in my recent zombie apocalypse survival family portrait shoot. Talk about well rounded!

Here's the thing...the makeup you wear everyday isn't always the most suitable makeup for having your photo taken. Serena breaks open some trade secrets so that those of us who AREN'T makeup artists can learn how to look amazing on camera.


Camera Ready Makeup: Portrait Photography

 

 

When you decide to get a portrait taken, whether it's a head shot for business or a family photo to cherish forever, you want to make sure that you're looking your best. My honest recommendation is to hire a professional makeup artist; even if you're going for a simple, natural look a professional can be that extra bonus that makes your portrait shine. A pro will know how to apply your makeup to make it look amazing for the camera, match your skin tone, and pick the right colors and the right technique for your individual features. Your time in the chair can also help to ease any nervousness and make you feel more confident that you're going to look great on camera. The better you feel, the better your pictures will to look!
There are a myriad of reasons why hiring a professional makeup artist can't happen, though. Finding a reliable, talented artist can be difficult, budget restrictions might mean it isn't feasible, or maybe you're just not comfortable with someone else doing your makeup. All of these are totally valid reasons; especially the last one since I'm the same way! Your next best option is to do your own makeup but sometimes this can be tricky. When Nicole asked me to share some tips on makeup for portraits I thought it would be a great opportunity to guarantee you can get good pictures even if someone like me can't be there.
  1. Properly hydrated skin is a must. Drink plenty of water in the days prior to your portrait session. Cleansing and moisturizing appropriately, gently exfoliating and trying to eat well can have a huge effect on the texture and condition of your skin. Even if you decide to hire a professional I can promise they'll be thankful if you walk in with hydrated, clean, well taken care of skin.
  2. It's a good idea to keep everything you used on hand so you can touch it up if necessary throughout the length of the session. That should include things like hairspray and extra bobby pins if you've got your hair styled.
  3. Lighting matters. If you're in a studio you will want to avoid anything with an SPF in it. The ingredients in an SPF can cause a white cast across your skin and reflect light at the camera when the photographer's flash is triggered. If you're going to be outdoors, make sure you wear an SPF but apply it before primer/foundation and give it time to soak in. This is a good tip even for everyday; makeup containing SPF doesn't provide enough coverage. You would have to use several times the normal amount of foundation or powder to get the sun protection listed on the label. It's far better to just use a separate product under your foundation.
  4. Studio lighting can wash out your makeup, so your application should be heavier. The opposite is true for outdoor portraits; apply your makeup with a light hand and in natural light if at all possible. Natural lighting can be unforgiving so keeping your makeup light and fresh will give you a much better result.
  5. Don't be afraid to ask your photographer for a test shot. It's a fantastic way to make sure everything looks good on camera with the exact lighting conditions in use.
  6. Prime! Prime your eyes with something like Urban Decay's Primer Potion to keep your eye makeup in place through your session. Prime your skin with a product appropriate for your skin type; key words for dry skin are luminous and radiant, for oily skin look for anti-shine and mattifying, for normal or combination skin a primer that is pore perfecting or ultra-smoothing should do the trick. These buzz words are also good for finding an appropriate foundation for your skin.
  7. Keep your eye makeup simple and do your eyes first. You can avoid removing foundation while cleaning up eyeshadow fallout if there isn't any foundation there yet!
  8. Fill in your brows with a pencil or powder unless they're naturally dark. Brows can get lost in studio flash and bright, sunny days. Since they help to frame your face you don't want them disappearing in your pictures.
  9. Make sure your foundation color is a good match that doesn't oxidize after application. Use your finger to dot your foundation on your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin then blend with a buffing brush similar to the Expert Face brush from Real Techniques. This will provide a streak free, photo ready application! Blend it well past your jaw and down your neck to prevent a line of demarcation. Also, avoid mineral makeup; it's great for daily use but can be too shiny for photography.
  10. Up the intensity of your blush for studio portraits as the lighting can wash it out. A well blended peachy-pink with subtle shimmer looks great on most skin tones while multitasking as a highlight and blush in one.
  11. Exfoliate your lips and apply lip balm prior to starting your makeup. This gives the balm time to sink in and ensures even application of lip products.
  12. Use a lip color similar your natural one or something in the pink family; whether its a pencil, lipstick or gloss is completely up to your preference. Layering products will make things last!
  13. Stick to matte textures, but if you love shimmer use it sparingly because it can cause a glare in your pictures. Good places for shimmer are the bridge of the nose, top of the cheekbone, the inner corner of the eye and the center of the mobile eyelid.

  14. Use a finishing powder to set everything, but silica powders like Make Up For Ever's HD powder should be used lightly because they can show up in an unflattering way with the use of flash.
  15. Blending is essential for all stages of application. Buffing brushes for foundation and fluffy, blending brushes for the eyes like the ever popular MAC 217 will prevent any harsh lines while guaranteeing your makeup looks more natural.


Correctly applied makeup can enhance your portrait but don't forget that your session is supposed to be fun! Try not to let yourself get so stressed out over your makeup or hair that you're stiff and uncomfortable during your session. Discomfort will show up on camera more readily than any level of makeup application. When in doubt, ask your photographer for a pro makeup artist or find one yourself before the shoot!

__________________________________________________________________________________

Head on over and check out Serena's work at Esoteric Makeup!




Image courtesy of [Marin] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Friday, May 17, 2013

The Zombie Apocalypse

Not too long ago, I had an idea. I wanted to do something a little bit out of the box. I love to photograph families, but it was beginning to feel as if I'd taken, and seen, too many of the same "cookie cutter" photos. Something unique had to happen.

A concoction of uncommon proportions that would explode into fabulousness. 
I thought I'd share the recipe.



Start with a few cute kids.







Add one talented makeup artist, a la Serena of Esoteric makeup (check out her work, she ROCKS) to turn those cute kids into rotting, walking corpses...







 Bring in an awesome family with the guts to do something brave and unique for their family portraits. Mix in a couple tablespoons of ingenuity (and one WONDERFUL assistant who is willing to sacrifice her comfort to keep my equipment dry in the rain) and you get...



 Zombie Apocalypse Survival Family Portraits










I have to say, these two little sweethearts are a couple of the most adorable kids EVER.





 









I can't even tell you how much fun this was. Despite the rain (thanks again for keeping me safe and dry, wonderful Kortni!) despite the way the light flattened out due to the copious cloud cover, we managed to pull of a really fun series of shots.
I honestly hope this isn't the last chance I have to do something so fun and creative for some brave family. This is what I love to do. The chance to get down and dirty with an idea, to plan it out and see it come to life, gets my creativity working on overdrive.

Have a great idea for some family portraits? Want to get creative? Let me know! I'd love to work with you.




*for piece of mind, I just thought I would add that NO, we did not give real guns to those little sweeties. They are airsoft guns with no magazines. I removed the orange tips (that were on during the photoshoot) in post processing.

Monday, May 13, 2013

What I wrote because I had NO idea what to write.

How does one decide what to write in a first blog post? It's like standing in front of a classroom on your first day in a new school and being asked to introduce yourself.

"Hi...I'm Nicole. I'm a photographer. Please like me."

I don't know if it's the same for everybody, but I find it hard to introduce myself in any detail without feeling like a narcissistic boob. Therefore, I gave up on the idea of sharing my life story.
With no life story to fall back on, I sat in front of my computer screen completely intimidated by the perversely large size of the white space I had to fill with words...preferable interesting and clever words.
I knew I needed words that would draw my readers in and make them stare at the screen in wonder, capturing their imaginations and making them slaves to my will, thereby creating an army of rabid fans who would help me further my evil machinations to take over the world!

Or, just something that would bring people back to check out my new work, learn a few things, and maybe even help me get a job or two. That would be nice.

In the end, I gave up on the whole "rabid-photography-fan army" thing, and decided to just admit that I had no idea what to write and leave it at that.
I just hope that if you're reading this, you'll come back every now and then to check out what I'm working on, and maybe leave an idea or comment to let me know you're out there.Of course, if you want to join my army, we're always welcoming new converts.

Yes, I just used the royal "we." A girl can hope, right?

Just to start out on the right foot, here's a photo I took. If you want to see the rest of this series, head over here.