5th Annual Emerging Pro

First Place—Fashion & Beauty
Neil Norman Laroya
Neil Norman Laroya

What is your age?

Where are you based?
San Francisco, California.

Where did you attend school?
I'm currently in my final semester at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

What equipment do you use?
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm ƒ/4L USM, EF 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L USM, EF 85mm ƒ/1.2L USM, EF 50mm ƒ/1.2L USM, PocketWizard Plus IIs, Sekonic L-358 light meter, Profoto lighting kits, Paul C. Buff lights, Creative Light softboxes.

What's the most important lesson you've learned either from a teacher or mentor?
To just keep on shooting even if it's not your best work and to make images of what you love!

What do you think it takes to be successful in today's challenging and competitive marketplace?
Be consistent in marketing yourself and put your name out there. No one will know who you are unless you show them. Keep on shooting and joining contests like the Digital Photo Pro contest.

About This Photograph:
This image was done for my Fashion and Beauty class at the Academy of Art. I had never done a dated shoot, so I thought it would be fun to do one that involved the Victorian era. I had to rent the dress and find the right model and makeup artist. We found a furniture store that gave us the permission to shoot in, and it turned out to work well with what we were doing. Although the photo incorporates a Victorian dress, I felt like shooting it in full color and having the model do a pose like that created this interesting contrast. I find it interesting that ideas just come to you at the most random time and find it even harder when you set time to try and think of a concept. Then preparing for the shoot is an adventure because you have to scout locations and put the right team together. By the time the shoot is done and the images are refined, you feel relieved but want to start a new project again. It's an addicting cycle.


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