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End of the Year Review: Lost Project

Every photographer has a list as long as their arm of personal projects that they are working on. Some are shot and waiting to be finished, others are sketched out on a sheet of paper stuck in a day planner. But whatever state they are in, the personal project is the first thing to be put aside when other things arise.

I started such a project with Lydia Catherine and Amy Schaming as model and stylist, looking for a classic beauty portrait, a throw back to an Old Hollywood glamor photo.

Amy and Lydia did an outstanding job with everything, hair, makeup, wardrobe, the works.

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Lydia-101Alas, when all was said and done, this project got pushed back as weddings and portraits came up, but I kept coming back to it because of the exceptional look that Amy and Lydia put together. It really captured the look and feel I was going for. See what they can do for you at The Color Amber Salon at the corner of Senate and Marion in downtown Columbia, a block from USC and the State House.

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Family Portrait: Dawn Carver

Family photos are a funny part of a photographers list of subjects. You might have 2 people or 30, new born to 90 years old. You never know what you are going to get. But of all the sessions you have, this can be the most important.

In some cases it is the only time the entire family is together, the first time a grandmother meets her first great grandchild, and is the family photo of record as the years go on.

Dawn wanted this for her family. The formal portrait of her with her four boys. Brett, who is on his way to being an adult, Van, as sweet and precocious as any little boy, and Eli, the baby who knows he is the center of the world.

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I loved her images and all the fun the kids where having, but I also loved the “outtakes”, those shots that wouldn’t make the Christmas card but show more of who the boys are, the look that only a parent recognizes but is the essence of who they are.

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Fresh Face: Karen Tenise James

I am running back through my work over the last few months, and it dawns on me that I have these incredible shots of Karen Tenise James I shot for FFS that I had loaded and ready to go and kept forgetting to post. Karen was wonderful to shoot with and her shoots just jumped out at me. The hardest part of the whole shoot was deciding which I liked best.

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Fresh Face: Madalyn Hair

Introducing Madalyn Hair, the newest model to sit for me. She is great and I can’t say enough about her enthusiasm and professionalism.  Ultimately the images speak for themselves.

Started out in the studio working up a classic headshot.
Started out in the studio working up a classic headshot.

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Madalyn pulled Audrey out of the ether and made it look natural.
Madalyn pulled Audrey out of the ether and made it look natural.

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Madalyn finished with what was my favorite look, her London shopper look.

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Impromptu Fashion Shoot

I have been combing back through my images from Columbia Style Week, Recently renamed Columbia Fashion Week, and grouping images by designers, models, hair and make up artist so I can find things quickly should someone call. Better then putting someone on hold as I try to look through 3000 images. I ran across these, which had fallen through the cracks the last day.

As we were winding down to the finale of Style Week, we had our designers coming in for one last sit down with the press, each bringing a model to showcase a look they would have in the show that evening. I was there as I was most days to get images for PR and to check that we were running smoothly. Being a Saturday afternoon, there was a lot of running around, especially at a place as busy as the Sheraton. People checking in, checking out, wedding parties waiting in the lobby for the last person to get ready. You get the picture.

Add to that, a bevy of models dressed for the runway, hair and makeup people doing touch ups, and it was a little chaos. But the good kind.

The kind that creativity germinates from.

So we grabbed a few models and made our own event, an impromptu fashion shoot right there in the Vault at the Sheraton.

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I was in a lucky spot because the designer and model that are in these images are both women I had worked with before, Jennifer Ghelardini from the Ghelardini Collection, who just recently had come back to Columbia after studying and working in New York, and Emily Hammond, an amazing model and true professional. They were both up for doing something fun while we killed a little time.

Emily especially is a joy to work with. She knows her stuff and moves fluidly, knows when to stop and when to transition. And she brings a lot of energy. Most of these poses are her playing with the space and trying different things.

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We wrapped up by taking it outside onto Main St where we did a few

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Featured Designer Tsvety Fashion

One of the benefits of being Director of Photography for Columbia Style Week this year was being responsible for the promotional spreads and getting to work with all the amazing people that went into making these images come together.  We shot our promo images in and around the Sheraton Hotel on Main St. A beautiful place and they rolled out the red carpet to let us get these great images.

Tsvetelina McAuliffe, of Tsvety Fashion, came down from Charlotte with her collection and worked closely with us to get some incredible shots. Brittany Carr and Sabrina Lecera, our models, came early and stayed late, as did our hair and make up team led by Victor De Leon.

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Tsvety’s designs looked great in Columbia Metropolitan Magazine’s summer issue. The rest of her line made its appearance to close out Friday night of Columbia Style Week.

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Wedding Season! Duck Season! Wedding Season!

Wedding season is in full swing. Consultations, engagement shoots, bridal shoots, more consultations, this is a busy time of year. All the new work will be going up in the coming weeks, but I was going over the final album for a couple I shot a couple of months ago and thought it would make a perfect post.

Matt and Samantha are about the sweetest couple you could find. And full of surprises. From the classic Chevy coupe in fire engine red to the candy table at the reception, they celebrated their day in their own style.

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Matt and his brother are cutups and could not help having some fun before the ceremony.
Matt and his brother are cutups and could not help having some fun before the ceremony.

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Headed to the reception in style!
Headed to the reception in style!

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The Ghelardini Collection – Part 2

This week is the second set of images from the Ghelardini Collection. As I have been going through these trying to pick my favorites, and keep marveling at how much wonderful work came out of a short afternoons shoot.

Not enough can be said about having the designer on set to make tweaks and adjustments, and an amazing make up artist there to make sure the last images looks as great as the first.

I posted this image in part one, but kept coming back to it. In black and white it has a much more raw feel, like she just stepped out of a pulp novel.

Without a doubt, one of my favorite images from the whole day. The pose, the look, the color, all just came together.

Felicia looked amazing in this window light.

This image jumped out at me as a classic beauty portrait. Flawless skin and bright eyes.

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The Ghelardini Collection Part One

Several months ago I had the privilege to work with dozens of local designers, photographers, models, hair and makeup artists, and local businesses during the first annual Columbia Style Week.  I am lucky enough to have stayed in touch with many of these individuals and was able to work again with them a few weeks ago. Below are some of the images from the Ghelardini Collection, designed by Jennifer Ghelardini who is from Columbia, and is currently in New York working on becoming a household name.

Amy Schaming,  a hair stylist at The Color Amber Salon in Columbia, did hair and makeup and worked in the August humidity to make the last shot look as good and the first. Felicia Myers and Rachel Koprowski modeled the collection.

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Bridal Portrait or No Bridal Portrait… Is That A Question?

More and more often during my consultation with a bride, the question of whether they would like a bridal portrait comes up.  Some absolutely do, some don’t, most are unsure.

I tell them of my experience.  My grandmother lived in her house for over fifty years.  In that time it was remodeled, repainted, new floors, carpet, cabinets, and just about everything else you can think of.  The one thing that never changed throughout my life were three portraits of her children when they were little, and her daughters bridal portrait.

It was a formal portrait, classic lighting on a master painted background, what most people think of as a bridal portrait.

And that is usually where the question of “Do I want a bridal portrait?” comes from.

The answer is, “Yes, but maybe not that portrait.”

You can have a portrait that says something about you, that reflects your style and even a sense of whimsy.

The images here range from a classic style all the way to showing an inside joke between a bride and groom. All of them are bridal portraits and I hope they all hang on the wall for 50 years!