Category Archives: Portraits and Fashion

The Soulful Photographs of Majestic Casual

We first struggled with a mysterious black contraption. Buttons, knobs, and rings plagued us with their abstractness yet intrigued us with their potential. We experimented. We practiced. And eventually, we grasped enough of the basics to take decent photographs.

Then came a point when those buttons, knobs, and rings became intuitive. It became an extension of our own body. We wielded it blindly. We taught others. It was no longer a creative limitation.

Luis Rojas Contreras
Photo by Luis Rojas Contreras

Though we could manipulate this black box, we lacked style. We could create enough beautiful images to keep our passion alive, but half the time, our pictures were by accident or we were just at the right place at the right time.

Tammy C.
Photo by Tammy C.

We were determined to get to the next level. We looked outwards. We looked towards the old masters. The Ansel’s and the Annie’s. The Henri’s and the Terry’s. We took what we liked, and transformed them into our own. And we would be praised for what others came up with.

Viktor Vauthier
Photo by Viktor Vauthier

Yes, our photos were being published. Yes, the paid gigs were being lined up. We were being recognized. But our absolute narcissism continued to fight with our crippling self-doubt. Deep down, we still felt like frauds.

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Peyton Lake as “Harley Quinn in Los Angeles”

I’m not a huge fan of superhero movies. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight along with Heath Ledger‘s haunting Joker, and Christian Bale‘s anti-hero Batman pretty much defined superhero movies for me. It honestly was one of the best movies of all time.

I am not particularly looking forward to the upcoming Suicide Squad coming out in 2016. I’m not so sure about Jared Leto’s 30-Seconds-to-Mars Joker and especially not sure about Ben Affleck‘s effeminate nipple-clad Batman. However, I will definitely watch the movie for one reason and one reason only… Margot Robbie is the new Harley Quinn.

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Margot Robbie as the Joker’s girlfriend, Harley Quinn

There have been many visually iconic female characters throughout Hollywood’s history. Matilda from Leon/The Professional. Princess Leia from Star Wars. Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. They are arguably more memorable than the movies they appeared in. Okay, maybe not for Star Wars.

But most recently, the internet went berserk when Warner Brothers leaked behind-the-scenes images of their upcoming 2016 movie Suicide Squad. In it, is the gorgeous Margot Robbie who plays the deliciously devilish Harley Quinn.

Inspired by her character’s costume design and naughty panache, we set out to recreate our own Dr. Harleen F. Quinzel on the streets of LA with one of our favorite models, Peyton Lake. We bring you along our shoot in this photo essay.

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The Gritty Side of Beauty

I think I know why I really like boudoir photography and fashion photography.  I have always been a fan of fine art photography as well, but honestly, my work has never been fine art.  What I have wanted to get out of my photography is this, I am an artist, and I do require a certain amount of space to create my work as well as to ponder what it is I want to create next.  So I have what I call “The Average Jim’s Playground.”

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The Playground is my environment, this is where the magic takes place.  I am not one who wants a normal photography studio.  My first studio was a nearly vacant home!  My next was a commercial building that I was able to remodel as often as I wished.  I had that place for over 16 years!  I still have access to it, but my new Playground is in Palm Springs.  I really like it here too!

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Photographer or Pretender?

Okay, so I had said that I was no longer going to rant about the photo industry, but I kind of have to today.  I was on Facebook and saw a forum where someone was asking for advice about some photos they had taken, of course a bunch of photographers pop up and start offering their services to this person.  Everything from workshops to lessons to whatever else they could think of to try to get this person to hire them to be a better photographer.

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Here is the problem.  These people should not be teaching anybody anything! Their work is mediocre at best and they think they are the top professionals in the field.  I’ve talked with a few of them before, they really think they know what they’re doing but honestly their work tells a different story!

It just goes to show that social media can be used to build a name for a business but it doesn’t necessarily promote talent.  I have been told by many people that I should have a much stronger following on Instagram and Twitter, but I just don’t care.  I’m not going to post a ton of self promoting images on Instagram because I am not into it.

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Bridal Looks for the 2015 Wedding Season

It’s no secret that wedding season is officially upon us! Many have started receiving save-the-dates and wedding invites, which can sometimes be met with an eye-roll, followed by a “here we go again!” However, for bridal photographers, this is when the work starts to come in, and wedding season is finally a time to get out there and make some money.

The same goes for lots of hair stylists and makeup artists, who must prepare for chaotic weekends filled with bobby pins, blowouts and false eyelashes. To celebrate Hurricane Wedding heading our way, I teamed up with one of my favorite bridal photographers, Hannah Wahl, and put together a collection of bridal looks for this wedding season.

The Trendy Bride

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The Trendy Bride is a girl who looks to fashion magazines and blogs for inspiration for her wedding, rather than bridal ones. She’s modern and hip, her wedding venue could be at a cool bar with a live band.

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