Monday, February 17, 2014

Thanks Thumbtack!

I recently joined, a preferred service provider website where potential clients can request quotes for their photography jobs.  Thanks to, I have been able to make a lot of new client contacts and open up new lines of services for my business.

Check out my profile: Wedding photography

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Photographing for a Modeling or Acting Portfolio

Moody Casual
As a former professional model, I often work with aspiring actors and models to build their portfolio.  Most of my clients are brand new to modeling and need to be coached through the entire process of the photo shoot, including posing.  No problem.  That's my specialty.

I try to meet with the client briefly before the shoot to discuss their needs and to work out details for the shoot day, such as outfits, hair, and makeup .  It also gives me a good opportunity to "eyeball" them in advance of the shoot and to assess their natural talent, looking for things like poise and confidence, while mentally noting their "best angles".

I advise my clients that they will need a minimum of four "looks" to start their portfolios.  It's important to show the art director or talent scout that you are versatile and are capable of pulling off various looks or playing several different characters.  My best advice to clients is don't do anything that is totally "not you", but be prepared to stretch your limits to the edge of art and creativity.  Translated, if you are a shy young lady, don't try to pull off the "vixen sex goddess" look, but aim for more of a "glamourous seductress" look.  At a minimum, I try to achieve a casual look, a sophisticated look, a wholesome look, and a playful or sexy look. 

Serious and Professional
During the shoot, I photograph the subject at as many different angles as are suiting for them.  Some models can only be shot from one or two angles, minimizing their potential, while others, like the young man in these photos, can be shot from virtually any angle with good results -- a photographer's dream!

For more information or to book a session, contact me at or visit my website at


Cool and Sophisticated


Romantic  and Wistful

The Comedian


Boy Next Door

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cat Show Photography Schedule

Below is my current list of cat shows that I will be appearing at as show photographer. If you would like to have me photograph at your cat show or cat-related event, please contact me at:

June 30-July 1, 2012 Kudzu Cat Club, Newton, NC (TICA) September 1-2, 2012 Ocicats International, Buford, GA (CFA)
September 15-16, 2012 Cattyshack, North August, SC (TICA)
October 20-21, 2012 Kudzu Cat Club, Newton, NC (TICA)
November 10-11, 2012 Volunteer Cat Club, Signal Mountain, TN (TICA)
November 17-18, 2012  Skyway Cat Club, Largo, FL (TICA) 
December 29-30, 2012 Nashville Cat Club, Nashville, TN (CFA)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mother's Day Portraits

Guys, at a loss at what to give your wife for Mother's Day? Kids, need a cool idea for a gift that Mom will love forever?  Why not book a professional studio portrait session for Mom and kids?  Thinking you can't afford it?  Think again.  

I am offering a special Mother's Day promotion portrait session for $50 an hour.  You choose how long the session lasts (one hour minimum).


NO package requirements.  You decide which photos you wish to purchase (no minimum), professionally finished at reasonable print prices.

Prints ranging from all standard print sizes to custom sizes and framing.  Also available in canvas, gallery wraps, or metallic prints.

Additional portraiture includes couples photography, corporate, lifestyle, glamour, boudoir, fashion, pets, equestrian, and special events.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mood Lighting

When I try to explain to clients that I shoot in RAW format so that I can have total control over the editing and processing of an image, most of the time, I'm met with blank stares.  Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Ever been in the right place at the wrong time?  As a travel photographer, that scenario happens on a regular basis.  Sometimes, I'm on a busy schedule and can't linger another 45 minutes to catch the right angle of the sun, or wait for that big rain cloud to move away.  But I just know that the shot I want to capture will be cherry with just a little more sun glow and darker, richer shadows. 

Wait for the light or create the light?
What makes me different than other photographers is that I see the completed "picture" in my mind's eye, even in less than perfect conditions.  I shoot the scene "as is", knowing that I will take that image into my digital darkroom and develop it to meet my vision of what the scene should look like, or -- with a little imagination -- could look like.  Is that cheating?  Not at all!  It's similar to layering stacks of filters on a camera like the photographers did in the film days and tweaking the development in the darkroom. But now, in the age of digital, we can go even farther in our image processing, commonly referred to as "post- processing".

In the post-processing stage of photography, the typical photographer may adjust the contrast or sharpen the details of the photo, maybe even touch up a zit or two. Perfectly acceptable.  However, what sets my style of photography apart from other, even more experienced, photographers, is a high emphasis on post-processing and creating special effects to a otherwise "not so special" photograph.

The photo to the left was taken in Oakland Cemetery in the late afternoon, just shy of "golden hour".  I was with a photography group and had wandered off to take a few photos before the shoot began and had to get back to the group for the start of the shoot.  I saw the mausoleum and almost didn't photograph it, because it wasn't quite what I was looking for.  After reflection, I decided it had enough "bones" to work with in Photoshop and build the type of effect that I was looking for.


I gave the photo a low key lighting effect, changed the light blending mode, boosted up the reds, and brought in a dark glow to give the photo an air of eeriness, appropriate for a cemetery.  Lastly I brought down the darkness of the corners and edges to draw the viewer's eye toward the mausoleum as the key focal point in the photo.  This final effect is what I saw in my mind's eye and is why I decided to snap this photo.

I rarely show a client the pictures in my camera at the shoot.  Firstly, it takes away from our shoot time, and often times, clients can obsess about looking through the 3.5 inch viewfinder of my camera, worrying about this or that being too light, their thighs appearing too large, or a myriad of other distractions.  Secondly, I know what I am looking for as a photographer, and I know from experience what is a workable photo when I review it in the camera while taking the shots.  Often times, I may have limited lighting equipment or space to work with, so I shoot the scene with good exposure knowing that I will add the appropriate lighting that lines up with my vision in the post-processing stage.

Have you ever watched a movie being filmed and are surprised at how brightly lit or lackluster the ambiance is?  It looks as if it's being filmed as a daytime soap with no character or personality.  Later, when you actually see the movie in the theater, it is bursting with color and rich, deep shadows with a delicious atmosphere.  This process is known as "grading the light" in the movie industry.  The filmmaker actually applies the lighting effects on a separate layer of the film and can add or detract the effect per his vision.  This is the same technique that I apply in my post-process editing stage. 

Look at the photo on the right in the "before" stage.  It is a well-exposed image that just lacks atmosphere and interest.  It is a lovely pose, but maybe not a "seller" for me.  When I shot this photo, I told my client to look wistfully up, as if you are looking toward an open window.  I had the idea of making this shot dark and shadowy with the effect of a few light rays cutting in through a window, dappling the subject in light.

In the final image to the left, I added a dark shadowy layer to the photo and just erased part of it with a brush with varying levels of size and opacity to give the effect of light rays cutting through a smoky, dark room.  Va-va-vavoom, right?!  Now we have a photo that matches my vision and is much more appealing to the client.

Now, we have a work of art.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Boudoir Photography

What is Boudoir Photography?
When I tell people that I am a boudoir photographer, that comment is usually met with either furrowed eyebrows or raised eyebrows.  To those with the raised eyebrows, I quickly add that I do tasteful boudoir shots with no nudity.  To those with the furrowed eyebrows, I explain that boudoir photography is a form of glamour and fashion photography, usually photographed in an intimate setting such as a bedroom (hence "boudoir") or other elegant, romantic surroundings.

OK, sure, boudoir is typically photographed with the lady in her underwear, but it is not to be confused with pornography in any way.  I tell clients that my style of boudoir photography resembles something you may find in a Victoria's Secret® catalog with a little Glamour Shots® thrown in (minus the big hair and shiny makeup).

The goal of boudoir or glamour photography is to portray the lady at her most beautiful and sexy self in a manner which flatters her best features and projects mystique and romance. While I think the human body is beautiful in its nude form, for artistic reasons, I never photograph nudes or even partially nudity.  I believe more mystery and anticipation can be created with just hints of nudity rather than full exposure.  All of my models remain fully covered, even if they appear to be nude under a throw or a pile of feathers.

Boudoir photography is intimate and personal and is typically a "for your eyes only" portrait, and it is important to establish trust and build confidence with the client, as she is most likely somewhat intimated about posing nearly nude in front of a stranger.  The outcome we are trying to achieve cannot come off as lacking confidence, being shy or showing nervousness.  I remind her that she is not posing for me, but for her husband or fiancĂ©.  Having a female photographer is very important to the majority of my clients.  As a former professional fashion model and ballet dancer, I am able to help coach my ladies into flattering poses with artistic and elegant lines so that they look like experienced models.  The final results are transformative and a treasure to be privately shared for all time.

The boudoir/glamour mood is created with lots of soft, flattering light in the studio and a good bit of post image processing in the computer.  The goal of this type of photography is not photo realism, but to achieve a Hollywood-style glamour with a bit of fantasy (without the plastic surgery).  Typically skin is softened and any blemishes or other imperfections are removed or reduced, depending on the client's preference.  I tend not to totally remove wrinkles, but to reduce them to where she still retains the character, but age lines are not a focus or distraction in the final photograph.  I want my client to look like "them", but a slightly refreshed, more perfected "them".  My editing techniques also includes reducing double chins, de-plumping cheeks, and the ever-popular digital liposuction.  All of my results are believable and natural looking.  I am realistic and upfront when booking a boudoir session.  I tell my clients I cannot give them the body of a supermodel, but I can trim down unwanted bulges and whittle middles and trim thighs for a more appealing body line.  Which brings me to an often unexpressed question: "Is boudoir for me?" 

Who is Boudoir Photography For?
The short answer is: anyone and everyone -- even guys!  I believe that every woman (or even a man) should have at least one permanent record of her youth, beauty, and womanhood.  It makes no difference as to your age or your body style.  There is something beautiful and sexy about all women, and it is my job as the photographer to bring that out.  Many women stop having pictures of themselves made after forty.  Pity.  All stages of life are beautiful and worthy of being kindly documented. 

Most of my clients are brides-to-be who want to present a very special gift to their grooms they day before their wedding night. Brides, if you want a sure-fire solution to insure the groom doesn't get cold feet, a tasteful boudoir photo book presented to him the night before the ceremony will do the trick! 

Another popular inspiration for booking a boudoir or glamour session is for a wedding anniversary gift.  Many women like to get a boudoir portrait done every year, and others opt for every ten years, or "just that once".  Young women who anticipate starting a family soon, often want to have photographs taken of themselves at their peak.  The reasons and the occasions are limitless.  Be warned: boudoir/glamour can be addictive!  My clients leave my studio feeling exhilarated and often book another session and are always thrilled with the results. 

*I maintain complete confidentiality with my clients and I never use their photos for marketing purposes or display without their approval.