A Very LuLu ChristmasHAVEN HARTMAN
In junior high, I first became interested in photography, but really embraced portraiture at Brooks Institute of Photography, starting in 2002. I love connecting with people and telling a story. People can be so camera-shy (me included)! I joke around and try to make them comfortable. When children are particularly difficult, I'll let them shoot some frames so they get to be the photographer. Great portraits are about sincerity, fun and character. The LuLu family are my favorite clients. They're fun and creative people. We always collaborate on their Christmas card. This was the first frame we shot—it just came out perfectly.
Equipment: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 17-40mm ƒ/4L USM, Calumet Travelite strobes
Blending ThoughtJEAN FRANÇOIS SEGUIN
I've been in the business for over a year now, and shooting portraits is something I find magical. I like portraits where the viewer can read the subject's mind and understand where she/he comes from or is going. We were doing a fashion shoot for a young new designer, and this model's hair and features captured my attention. For a moment, I wanted to forget about the clothes and focus on what I felt from the model herself. I took another camera and worked my way to create this frame. After I achieved the image I wanted, we went on with the fashion shoot.
Equipment: Nikon D80, AF-S Nikkor DX 16-85mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR, two Lightrein 1200ws monolights with large softboxes, one Lightrein 1200ws monolight with grid, white reflector
Portraits are always a challenge. You need lots of expression, mood and attitude. You want to tell a story and make people wonder. And every good portrait needs a visual "punch." I wanted to shoot a steampunk portrait with some crazy headpiece. I told sculptor Mark Silka I wanted something bizarre with the feeling of pain and anger, something beautiful, but at the same time ugly. We chose human elements like the "eye" and a few photographic elements like the lens to incorporate. We were looking for an old-school industrial look like "the mechanical brain," as if it was the future of the past. Silka nailed the design. It's a piece of art.
Equipment: Hasselblad H4D, Hasselblad Normal 100mm ƒ/2.2 HC Autofocus, FOBA studio stand, Broncolor Move 1200 L battery power pack, Broncolor Para 88 FB reflector
Song of the SamuraiJOSHUA WILCOXON
I enjoy finding hidden traits in people, almost a more fierce side to their nature. Lately, I've been expressing myself through more of a fantasy/character type of photography. I had this vision of a great samurai warrior in death dancing for the heavens to open up to let her warrior spirit enter, somewhat like Valhalla. Whenever I shoot women, I always prefer to shoot beauty and strength as if they were one and the same. I know that samurais were mostly warriors of male dominance, but I have a place in my heart for strong women. Knowing only death and war, I wanted to make something beautiful that still had a hint of sadness, hence the flowing kimono, that reacts like the flow of blood from battle or that of the chains that bound her to her life.
Equipment: Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF 28-70mm ƒ/2.8L USM, Paul C. Buff AlienBees B800 monolight
TinsletownSUZETTE TROCHE STAPP
I love stories, and I dream people. Taking the images of the people that come in my dreams, and making them tangible, is like therapy. "Tinsletown" was from a series of photos that I created for Margi Kent Couture. Both of my daughters are actors. One night, I dreamed about Hollywood being solely run by women and wanted to integrate that dream into the project. Margi dresses many Hollywood celebrities, so it was a perfect fit. In this image, from right to left, the characters are the insane demanding director, the singer, the actress and, of course, the diva! Each image was shot separately and then brought together in Photoshop.
Equipment: Nikon camera, AF Nikkor 85mm ƒ/1.8D, Dynalite 2040 monolight, X-Small Chimera softbox and grid, reflectors
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