New England fashion and beauty photographer

Posts tagged “Josh Eskridge Photography

Cuba Medio Libre

Cuba Medio Libre (half-free Cuba)…  it’s a spin on the expression and drink name that serves as a pun, a paradox and a true statement all at the same time.  It’s also the best way that I can describe the country in 3 words.  Cuba is in a state of limbo.  It has one foot in the past and one foot in the present.  The relationship with the US has taken steps forward and steps backward.  Cuba is 90 miles away from the tip of Florida, and a world away in terms of culture.  I think people in the US have a tendency to create assumptions of a country based upon what they’ve seen in the media, the type of government that a country has, pop culture, etc.  But I challenge anyone to go to Cuba and see if those assumptions are not constantly warped as you dig into the seeming endless layers of culture, identity and history that this country will throw at you. Cuba is challenging and perplexing, but it is also invigorating.  An area that I see this is by the way that one can experience history in Cuba.  In the United States, we view history on a linear basis.  Decades are clearly defined by their style, architecture, cars, etc.  In Cuba, history is seemingly circular.  One can experience different eras all at the same time.  You can be walking down the Malecón, viewing the dusty eroded facades of 19th century buildings juxtaposed with 16th century Spanish forts while hearing the buzz from taxis, which are cars from the 50s and 60s, sometimes decked out in black lights and blaring reggaeton.  It’s a lot to see.  It’s a lot to hear.  It’s a lot to absorb.  It’s an assault on the senses, and also an assault on your sense of the world.

Despite the political climate, Cuba is also a very welcoming country.  I felt safer here than any foreign country that I’ve traveled to.  The challenges with technology and communication are real.  However, I felt that also added to the experience of Cuba.  There is a sense of interdependence that a traveler will feel there after a couple of days.  Challenges are best overcome by communication and building relationships.  I found myself in some very unlikely circumstances, but also found support in the most unlikely of places.  Those were seemingly difficult challenges, which turned into experiences… which taught me a lot about a the people of Cuba.  I will never forget them.

I want to thank Alejandro Peñalver and Cubamodela modeling agency for collaborating with me and providing the talent for the photoshoots.  I want to thank Nayvis Fernandez, Carla Guiardinú Reyes, Gina Martínez and Brenda Estrada Enríquez for allowing me to showcase your beauty and talent in the streets of Havana.  I also want to thank Havana designer, Jose Luis, for collaborating with me on the shoot with Nayvis.

Part of my goal for this trip was to network and lay the foundation to create the opportunity that other photographers can experience shooting models and fashion in Cuba the way that I did.  Photographers who are interested in possibly participating in a fashion photography workshop in Havana later this year or early 2018, please reach out to me through email via my website at www.josheskridge.com

Cuba survival guide

A couple of days before hopping on a flight to Cuba from Miami, Trump made the announcement that he would be scaling back the progress with opening relations and easing travel restrictions that had started with the Obama administration.  At the time of writing this, there has not been any legislation or policies defined as to the exact limitations that are going to be in place.  So needless to say, it is tenuous at this point.  The focus of Trump is that he wants to eliminate individual tourist travel, and he wants to prohibit the patronage of US citizens with companies that are owned by the Cuban government (e.g. large hotels).  Companies and airlines have begun scaling back their options and frequency of travel to Cuba.  If you travel to Cuba, it has to be one of the 12 acceptable reasons for travel.  I’m pasting a link to the website on American Airline below that lists those reasons.  I booked my flight through American Airlines.  When you book, you will have to declare your reason for travel.  A travel counselor will call you before your trip; mine called about a week before.  There is no need to buy a visa until you get to the airport in Miami.  At the Miami airport, they have a special check-in station for Cuba, where you can purchase your visa for $100.  I recommend getting there at least 2 hours before your scheduled departure time.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/plan-travel/destinations/cuba.jsp?anchorLocation=DirectURL&title=cuba

Money – If you are a US citizen, you have to carry cash with you.  I contacted my bank before my trip, and they assured me that I would be able to use my debit card to access my checking account while in Cuba.  This was not the case at all, so please do not make the same mistake I did.  You will not be able to use any type of credit card or debit card if you’re a US citizen and you have a US bank.  Money transfer services, such as Western Union, are also challenging.  A US citizen cannot send money to another US citizen in Cuba, and even sending money to a Cuban citizen is challenging.  I suggest estimating the amount that you will need, and plan on worst-case scenario situations.  I always wear a money belt when I travel in foreign countries, where I keep my passport and money.  Do not keep your money all in one place, and do not carry it all on you at one time, unless you need to.  I would suggest making sure that you always have plenty of small bills on you.  It can be challenging, for example, when you need a taxi ride, as they will often say that they do not have change for your bill, which may or may not be the case.

Cell phones – It’s best to use Cuba as an opportunity to disconnect.  I have Sprint, and even with their “international plan,” I ended up incurring charges of almost $200 in 1 day.  When I found that out, I told them to cut my line.  I went to a Cuban cell provider and purchased a Cuban line and cheap cell phone for about $80.  This was necessary for me because I had to communicate with several people while in Cuba to arrange photo shoots.  However, if it not necessary for you to communicate with people in Cuba by phone, then simply contact your cell provider beforehand and see how much it will be for an international package or just limit yourself to using the wifi hotspots and minimal texting.  Also, I recommend downloading a Cuba travel guide app for your phone prior to arriving in Cuba.  You will want one that you can use offline.  I tried downloading one while I was in Cuba and was not able to due to restrictions.

Internet – Let me start by saying that the internet is not free in Cuba.  Internet access is restricted to certain wifi hotspots in Havana, usually parks and hotels.  You will need to purchase a card from ETESCA.  That can be from several licensed stores or bodegas in Havana.  It has also become a popular business for people at the wifi spots to sell cards, for a profit obviously.  The cost of getting connected will run you about $2-$3 USD per hour.  My suggestion would be to go to Hotel Florida in Old Havana and purchase a card in the shop, then have a nice coffee while surfing the web.  Below is a useful guide to the current wifi situation in Havana.

https://insightcuba.com/blog/2017/03/05/havanas-wifi-hotspots-and-getting-online-cuba

Where to stay – I highly suggest using AirBnb in Cuba.  It can be a great way to have an authentic experience, and the hosts are amazing at providing valuable information that you’ll need during your trip.  The main challenge that I found is that I was not able to book AirBnb through the AirBnb app while in Cuba.  Therefore, you will need to have your whole trip booked before you arrive or have another means of booking it directly while in Cuba.

I want to thank my AirBnb hosts, Lidia and Fidel, for not only being welcoming hosts, but for being my guardian angels in Cuba.  The link to their AirBnb is below.

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/9173931?wl_source=list&wl_id=219923559&role=wishlist_owner&adults=1&children=0&infants=0

I also want to thank my 2nd AirBnb host, Eduardo, for having an amazing place in Old Havana and providing so much help and answering many questions during my stay.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147271-d2436002-Reviews-Suite_Habana-Havana_Ciudad_de_la_Habana_Province_Cuba.html

Havana texture pack

Photographers are welcome to download and use the textures in the Dropbox folder below.  I only ask that you share my blog post if you do download them.

http://bit.ly/2v0FN22

 

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Morocco

My 2-week trek through Morocco in 2015 was a rich cultural experience where I got to see the various geographies and people of the country.  Morocco is a layered tapestry of history and cultures that have influenced the country over centuries, which include the Berbers, the Arabians and the Spanish.  There is something majestic about Morocco that draws its visitors in with a sense of enchantment and hospitality.  I started in Marrakesh and made a circle around the country, visiting Casablanca, Fez, Merzouga and the Sahara desert, and finished full-circle back in Marrakesh.

Enjoy the images and feel free to post any Morocco images or stories you may have!

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Horses at Dusk

 

I had just finished up a fashion shoot outside of Lexington.  It was just after sunset and I was cruising through the rolling hills admiring the scenery and landscapes, feeling grateful to be taking in such beauty after a successful shoot.  I had just topped a hill, and entered into a great patch of light which perfectly lit some beautiful creatures on the side of the road.  Kentucky is horse country; and while I had taken some images of horses before, there was something special about the setting here.  The light at dusk gave it an ethereal feel, and filled in every detail on their majestic bodies.  I knew that I had to turn around and least capture a couple of images.  What happened was moving enough that I started a personal project that would capture horses at this time of day throughout the year.   I called it Horses at Dusk.  Not only was it the lighting on the horses, but it was also the interaction that I had with them.  They were always communicating something with their body movement and seeming expressions.  These are magnificent creatures with complex personalities.  Some of those personalities are captured here.  I wanted to capture everything, the horses, the lighting, the mood, the small things that are easily recognized by somebody that works with horses, but new to somebody like me.

For the image editing, I wanted something that was raw and simplistic, but something that would match the lighting by capturing all the detail of the lighting.  I developed some custom settings that would give it dark undertones to match the mood of the lighting.  Since doing this project, I’ve used those same settings for several fashion images.

I did several shoots in the summer of 2015, and intended to capture horses during each season.  In March of 2016, I relocated to Hartford, CT.  Perhaps, I’ll have the opportunity to “finish” this project in the future.  For now, let’s just call it part 1.

I want to give special thanks to Emma and Le Tilghman for allowing me to run rampant with a camera with their horses.  Most of the images below came from that session.

Farewell, Kentucky…. I will see you again soon.

Cheers!

Josh

 

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Walkin on Wabash

 

Working with new people in new locations is creative fire for me.  The opportunity  to assemble a team of beauty and talent and simply walk down a street can be a wonderful thing, and one that I don’t take for granted.  There are many things to love about Chicago, but one of the things I love for photoshoots is the infinite number of lines and pockets of light that I can use for a photoshoot.  Glass buildings suddenly become huge reflectors casting beautiful light on a model.  Trees and objects cast interesting shadows that I use in the composition.  My mind literally goes into overdrive and sometimes I have to reign it back in, making sure that I don’t short circuit.

For this shoot, I had the chance to shoot with the beautiful Angelika Rol.  I had ran across her profile a couple of years ago, and knew that I would want to work with her at some point.  I was a fan of her unique beauty.  What I didn’t expect was the ease of fluidity and poise that she had in front of the camera.  It was pretty much effortless for me, and the shoot had a great flow from beginning to end.  This was also my 2nd time working with Joanna Boblak.  She is highly talented at hair and makeup.  And I appreciated her attention to detail and flexibility to help us create, but also leaving room for improvisation.  Last, but not least, I was lucky to have a styling powerhouse for this shoot with Kenya Sherron.  Once I saw her website, I knew that she was going to add the right kind of stylistic elements to this shoot.  We went for a minimalist vibe with a retro spin, complimented with pink and white tones.  It was perfect for the setting that we were using.  I highly suggest checking out all their pages and work.

Model – Angelika Rol

Hair and makeup – Joanna Boblak

Styling – Kenya Sherron

Photography – Josh Eskridge www.josheskridge.com

 

Chicago, I’ll be back soon!……

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Quiet Fury

 

James B. is one of the most powerful models that I’ve shot with.  When I say “power,” I mean in terms of ability to add dimension to an image.  This was a shoot where I wanted to get some solid male editorial looks.  I wanted to harness the power of natural light in an ethereal way on my rooftop.  We struggled with the elements for a bit.  The wind was fierce that day.  My 86-inch parabolic umbrella bit the dust in the wind.  As I was trying to clamp the canvas backdrop to the panel, the wind blew it loose and it started flying around everywhere.  I had a couple of seconds of frustration, then I realized that somebody wanted me to get different, better images than what I had intended.  Instead of battling the elements, I worked with them.  I asked Scooter to hold a light diffuser right over his head for each set.  This change of direction combined with the talent of James led to some of my favorite images that I’ve taken.  As I continually strive to “make images that matter” this set is part of that direction that I’m headed.

I wish James the best of luck with kicking off his modeling career.  These images are for his portfolio and submitting to agencies.

Model – James B.

Hair, makeup and assistance – Scooter Ray

Photography – Josh Eskridge www.josheskridge.com

 

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Afternoon with Abs

 

“Abs”… not as in washboard abs on a stomach, but as in Abs, an affectionate name given to Abigail Garrett.  Abby is a model from Berea, KY, who has only been modeling a few months now, but has since taken the local area by storm, appearing in editorials in many of the regional publications.  She has such a unique beauty to her, that it is often difficult for me as a photographer to not be satisfied with capturing just that aspect alone.  But this was a shoot where it was laid back, and we would focus more on interaction with the camera and going through several sets with the styling going from a light summer look, to a hard-light, swimsuit fashion look.  The hair and makeup was done by the talented Scooter Ray.

Model – Abby Garrett

Hair and makeup – Scooter Ray

Photography – Josh Eskridge www.josheskridge.com

 

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Water and Rocks

 

This shoot was a low-key, relaxed evening shooting with Christen McAllister (Heyman Talent Agency) at one of my favorite locations in Louisville, KY, which is Falls of the Ohio.  It’s a popular location for many photographers, but the diversity of the location always plays to the unique style of who is creating and when.  I was going for results that were natural and elemental, and showed a harmonious beauty with the surroundings.  We shot against the jagged rocks with a perfect sun direction, which provided a crisp, colorful light, and then contrasted that with a softer look in the calm water after sunset.

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On the way up

 

My love for photography was borne out of my passion for travel and seeing the world.  Every once in a while, I run into somebody that has that same passion.  I was in Denver for a business trip a few weeks ago, and I was able to talk Cecilia out of her plans to go shopping for necessary items that day.  We hit the road from Denver and booked it down to Colorado Springs, where we drove through the Garden of the Gods.  We then began your climb 14k ft up to Pikes Peak, interrupted along with way with many photo opps.

“As we crossed the Colorado-Utah border I saw God in the sky in the form of huge gold sunburning clouds above the desert that seemed to point a finger at me and say, “Pass here and go on, you’re on the road to heaven.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

 

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A Morning with Miranda

 

 

I make it a point to go to Chicago at least a couple of times a year to do portfolio development shoots.  I’m fortunate enough to have made friends with creative talent there, as well as in other cities.  I think that it is important in one’s creative growth to step outside of your area and network with people from other regions.  I’ve worked several times with Andrea Pascalau of Corsei Photography.  She played many roles that day, from assistance to styling to location scouting.  She let me use her incredible space in Lacuna Lofts on the west side of downtown Chicago.  Our model was Miranda Berggren, who was amazing to work with.  Being a photographer herself, she was very intuitive to what I was looking for with certain looks and settings.  She has this ability to come up with unique poses, but still look fierce, yet graceful… bold, yet beautiful.  I highly recommend checking out her photography fanpage, Miranda Ann Berggren Photography.  She has an artistic eye, and I’ll look forward to seeing her creative vision grow in the future.

I was also lucky to work with Chelsea Blair of Chelsea Blair Beauty Artistry.  She did a phenomenal job with the looks, and was a blast to work with.  She is in the process of moving to Nashville, so I would recommend reaching out to her if you’re in that area and looking for quality fashion hair and makeup work.

 

 

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Pretty in Penguin – Part 2

 

This blog post is the conclusion and the counterbalance to my earlier post, Pretty in Penguin – Pt. 1.  I had the opportunity to work with a great team in Cincinnati.  I reached out to Angelo Axel Culvert of Pretty Penguin Studios in order to get some ideas rolling on how this shoot would look and feel.  I wanted the day to have two distinct sets and two entirely different looks.  I was working with two models that fit the bill for that (Shannon Markesbery and Taylor DiazMercado).  Part 1 of the day would be a minimal styling, natural look, and Part 2 would be an over-the-top glam look.  I wanted to shoot the 2nd part in Angelo’s studio and make use of the space, working with clothes racks, windows, etc.  We wanted it to have a sense of controlled excess.  The confined space worked great.  It was just a matter of making sense of the chaos.

I had a great team with me on this shoot to make it happen…. Models – Taylor DiazMercado and Shannon Markesbery, Hair and makeup – Angelo Axel Culvert, Assistants – Natalie Darpel, Johnny Ritter and Kevin Kilpatrick

The image of Shannon Markesbery and I was taken by Angelo Axel Culvert.

 

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Hangin with Hayley

 

While I like shoots that involve a hair and styling team, sometimes I love shoots where it’s just me and the model and we just see what we can create….

 

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Pretty in Penguin – Part 1

 

I’ve made an effort to step outside of my geography of Louisville, KY lately in order to collaborate with creative minds and models in surrounding cities.  A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to work with a stellar team in Cincinnati.  I partnered with Pretty Penguin Studios for hair, makeup and styling.  The day was broken into two locations and sets.  I wanted these sets to be on completely opposite ends of the spectrum.  The first set would be a totally natural look using natural light, minimal makeup and very basic styling.  I was lucky enough to have Kevin Kilpatrick let me use his brand new studio in Covington for the first time.  I loved the rustic look of the floor and walls, which added a lot of texture and character to the images.

I teamed up with Natalie Darpel of Pretty Penguin Studios for the hair and makeup for this first set.  The models were Shannon Markesbery and Taylor DiazMercado.  They had really diverse looks and expressions, which made it a fun-filled, creative shoot.  I also had assistance from Kevin Kilpatrick.

As far as technique, I wanted to use the incredible ambient light in Kevin’s studio.  I shot with wide apertures on my 50mm lens.  I used a large reflector on some sets for fill light.

Stay tuned for the 2nd part of this series, which was shot in Angelo’s Pretty Penguin Studios boutique.

 

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Oneiric Reclamation

 

Oneiric Reclamation

 

What started out as a conversation among photographers over drinks materialized into the biggest collaborations of talent that I’ve seen in my 5 years of photography.  The concept and idea was simple…. 1 location, 8 photographers, 1 model each, 1 image each.  The concept revolved around 1 word, “oneiric,” which means “of or relating to dreams.”  The planning and coordination that went into it would take months.  Project Oneiric was a way that all involved could contribute and see each individual vision come to life.  For the complete story on the background and development of Project Oneiric, please check out fellow photographer Clay Cook’s blog post http://www.clay-cook.com/post/79418657163/project-oneiric

As the project developed, each photographer was paired up with a team that included a makeup artist, hairstylist and a stylist/designer.  I was excited to be working with all new people with my team (Christopher Caswell, Rick Bancroft and Dylan Kremer).  They are each talented in their own way, and using this combination of styles and backgrounds was something that was exciting for me.  Each photographer was able to choose their own model for the project.  As I thought about what kind of look and skill I would need for the project, I knew that I would need somebody with a diverse look.  It would have to be somebody that could focus on the moment and maintain composure in a difficult pose and setting.  The first name that came to mind was Brooke Taylor.  I had worked with her several times before, and I knew that she would be the perfect fit for the role.

As our team planned the shoot, we knew we wanted something that would fall within the general theme, but made use of the location.  I had shot in the Icehouse before, so I had a couple of general ideas.  Members of the team also contributed their ideas.  We wanted it to be ethereal, but still grounded in reality.  We didn’t want us to lock ourselves into one idea in the case that we wouldn’t have the setting or circumstances to make it work.  We would leave ourselves open to improvisation.  This is something that I’m familiar with, and the creativity style that I’m most comfortable with.  Within our arsenal we had picture frames, smoke bombs, antique clocks, etc.  We refined our ideas up until the day of the shoot, and had a general idea of what the look of the model was going to be.  Christopher Caswell pulled some connections in order to get us a vintage dress and cape that we could use.  The hair and makeup was going to be dramatic, but not overdone.

Finally, the day of the shoot came.  Excitement, energy and anticipation filled the main venue of the Icehouse as teams started working on their concepts.  I think that everybody was in awe at the amount of planning and the visions that were going into each individual set.  I had the time to walk around a bit while Brooke was getting her hair and makeup done.  Sets were being created here and there….. mannequins, carousel horses, beds…. it was apparent that we were all stepping up in a big way for this.  It was a truly impressive sight.  However, I knew that I needed to get my own set figured out, so Michelle Patterson Gleckler and I started scouting for our spot.  I was somewhat disappointed that the massive hole in the wall one of the floors had been covered over.  I had a vision in my head to do some levitation shots of Brooke floating out of the hole.  This goes back to my improvisation comment, and why I almost never lock myself into one idea unless I’m sure of the setting and circumstances.  We climbed floor after floor up the spiraling staircase, and each floor seemed to look the same…. big columns, dusty floors, little ambient light.  Then we got to the 6th floor.  The first thing that I noticed was the floor.  The Icehouse is currently being totally gutted and renovated for loft condos.  The concrete floor had just been jackhammered with the jackhammers still laying on the floor.  This created a scene that I will probably never likely see again.  Additionally, there was a large opening in wall, that was letting in just enough ambient light that I could use for my exposure.  I’m a big fan of mixing ambient light and strobes on location, and this played especially well to our ethereal, dreamy theme.  The next thing was…. what were we going to do with this floor?  How would we incorporate it into our image?  Thoughts ran through my head.  Somehow I wanted to the floor to show action… like something just happened.  It honestly looked like it just got struck by an earthquake, so this was perfect.  I remembered seeing an antique chair in the hair and makeup room downstairs, so Michelle and I lugged it upstairs 6 stories along with my equipment.  We placed the chair in the rocks and at an angle with one of the legs buried in the rocks.  I would have Brooke falling out of the chair, which would require some assistance and the use of multiple exposures.

The team had finished Brooke’s look.  Cell phone pics were taken; selfies were made.  It was now time to rock and roll.  I had let Brooke know what the plan and concept was going to be, and she didn’t seem to be scared away by it.  We had her stand in the chair and Dylan caught her a few times.  They were good images, but didn’t have quite the feel I was going for.  I also wanted the dress to fill more of the frame, so we brought in a fan and placed it directly under the tail of the dress.  That helped somewhat, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with the flow of the dress.  With Chris’ ingenuity of tying the dress to the fan with a piece of fishing wire, we were now very close to our final image.  We changed our strategy a little bit and had Brooke leaning to the left and Chris was behind her holding her up so that she wouldn’t fall.  I reminded Brooke that we only needed one image, and she had to look totally in the moment.  We counted to three and she ripped off 3-4 unbelievable poses; they were so good, it was hard for me to decide on which one we would use for the final image.  Nevertheless, I knew that we had our shot.  The rest would be the easy part.  We had bounced around ideas of melting clocks, floating chairs and beams, etc.  I had Michelle hold these items in several spots so that I could use them to create a composite afterwards and blend them into the final image.  My camera remained on my tripod in the same location and settings for each shot.  At the end, Michelle had a great idea to use a broom to kick up the dust that was on the floor.  This ended up being a key element to the image.  In the editing process, I spent several hours using several layers to create what I thought would be the final image.  There were floating chairs, beams, etc, just as planned; however, I had to step back and question that.  To me it was a cool effect, but totally unnecessary for this image.  I started deleting the layers.  I even photoshopped the clock out that I was going to have melting or exploding.  What I did end up using was the dust.  This gave the image texture, and also made it look as if the floor had just collapsed.  I used 2 different layers to brush it into the right spots.  I used a base layer of the setting to photoshop Chris, Dylan and Elizabeth out of the frame.  Beyond that, the editing was pretty simple.  I used some curves layers and sharpened in certain areas.  It was much simpler than I had anticipated, but it was just right.  We had our image with much less.

I want to thank my incredible team for coming together and each adding their own element of creativity in creating this image.  I also want to thank all the people that came out to support the Project Oneiric event.  Your support means a lot to all of us.  And I’d like to thank my fellow photographers who all came together for the shoot and the event in order to create, support each other and to share this experience.  It’s something I will not forget.

Model – Brooke Taylor

Styling/creative direction – Christopher Caswell

Makeup – Rick Bancroft

Hair – Dylan Kremer

Assistant – Michelle Patterson Gleckler

Assistant – Kylie Rhew

Assistant – Elizabeth Morrison

 

Technical details:

Lighting – Einstein shot into octobox, camera right, 1/8 power.

Camera settings – f/6.3, 1/40, ISO 1250

 

Black and white behind-the-scenes images courtesy of Michelle Patterson Gleckler.  Group shot at the Oneiric event courtesy of Tina Smith.

 

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Amie and Rusty wedding

 

It was a rainy day in October, and it couldn’t have been better….

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A Labor of Fashion

 

There was an evening in early summer when I was sitting in Matthew Tyldesley’s backyard discussing future photo shoot concepts.  His backyard was in the process of being re-landscaped.  I mentioned that it would be a great idea to do some type of fashion theme in his yard.  Matt hesitated because he said that his yard was not finished.  My response was that it was perfect, and that the concept would be that the models were doing actual yardwork, but with a very editorial and glamorous style.  That is how our concept began, and the wheels were set in motion….

Photography – Josh Eskridge

For the photography and look of the shots, I wanted to do this set in the middle of the day with harsh sunlight.  I would use high-powered strobes to match the power of the sun.  For all of the sets, I used either a Paul Buff Einstein with a white beauty dish or a ringflash.  This would give me a very spectral light that would provide good detail and contrast and that I could really bring out in Photoshop in a stylized way. As far as composition, I shot wide for most of the sets in order to stay true to the theme.  I didn’t want to disregard the setting by shooting close-ups.  There were plenty of compositional challenges with this….  yard ornamentation, power lines, etc.  I did not intend to photoshop these elements out.  I loved the challenge of harmonizing the model in their settings, but still composing in a way that boldly drew attention to them.

Hair – Matthew Tyldesley

“For this project I wanted to create a look that I thought would work, given the unconventional nature of the editorial. The look was soft, clean and with minimal volume and with soft waves using a 1-inch marcel iron using an off-base placement. The male model’s hair was styled with volume straight back using a Denman brush and gel.  I hope the viewer feels excited, energized and seduced.  Thermal heat-Stylers, as well as a lot of finishing hairsprays were vital for sustaining the shape of the hair, especially when dealing with the heat and humidity on that day. We had a great set of models for this collection and hairstyles were created to compliment each model’s features.”  Matthew

Makeup – Isidro Valencia

“I approached elegance and simplicity in these looks, focusing on the intensity of color. I used dark eyeshadows and dramatic eyelashes, then I used nude lip colors and a touch of blush followed by bronzer all over the body, thus creating a radiant look.”  Isidro

Wardrobe and styling – Matthew, Isidro and Josh

For the outfits, we wanted the swimsuits to be very styled, one-piece suits, that would match our editorial look.  We created a Facebook group page weeks ahead of the shoot and collaborated finalizing the looks.  The swimsuits had to be special ordered, as you would not find these at your local mall.  The shoes were by Steve Madden and Vince Camuto.  For our finalized look we wanted the models to have a very pristine and polished look that would contrast with the manual labor theme that we were going to be portraying.

 

“A Labor of Fashion” was published in the 2013 “Indian Summer” Issue of Vigorè Magazine.  The issue can be accessed by clicking the link below.

http://issuu.com/vigore/docs/vigore_magazine_september_2013   

Vigore

 

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Shades of White

 

 

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Shades of White is the result of an intricate collaboration and melding of talents into one creative statement.  The concept started with a general idea, an “all white shoot.” White is the sum of all colors combined.  It’s an absolute. Our goal was to take that absolute and break it apart to show the power of nuance, yet remain bold in expression.

Each individual on my team for this project is each masterful in their own right….

Hair and styling – Matthew Tyldesley – Matthew is an integral part of any shoot that I do with him because of his level of creativity with anything that has to do with hair, and his level of engagement with anything that he commits himself to.

“For Shades of White I wanted the hair to be as diverse as the wardrobe and to really showcase contrast within the theme established by our team.  I spent a month making custom hair extensions to build the shape of the models hair and used pastels extensions placed in varying placements to create dimension.  I also used two of my custom-made wigs that showcase both styling and design.  Hair was coiled around varying styling irons to create texture and form for each look.  I hope the viewer is taken to a place that is dream like, surreal, beautiful and unique.”  Matt

Makeup and styling – Isidro Valencia – I have worked with Isidro Valencia for roughly two years, and I’m always impressed by the unique ways that he can combine colors and his careful attention to detail.

“Sometimes it is hard to match a dark skin just with one shade. The secret is to mix two or three shades to come up with the perfect tone.  Before foundation I applied primer to the models face to help the concealer and foundation glide on smoothly.  The goal in this photo shoot was to push my makeup skills over the top… to make it unique, distinct and bold.”  Isidro

Wardrobe, styling and accessories – Genna Yussman – Genna was the perfect artist to fill this role.  She is known for her ability to create fashion out of any material, which really took this shoot to the next level.

“From the windows, the walls, the ceiling to the floor Shades is a clothing line of Amor!  The ingenuity of producing this series consists of using textiles that can be found in any modern home, but has to have that certain je ne sais quoi.  In creating these very unique garments, stepping outside the box is a must as a designer, and remembering to not stay inside the lines is also important in the evolution of any artist.  Ideas for art come from everything, everywhere, at any given time, and it is only our imagination that allows us to open up that window to let people see what it is that we see.”  Genna

Model – Aubé Jolicoeur – Born and raised in Haiti until she was 9, Aubé has been featured in Vogue Africa, Marlene Haute Couture fashion lookbook, etc.  She has walked in Derby City fashion week and Dayton fashion.  She is known for her runway walk and creative poses.  Modeling is a part of who she is, and it’s a way to express herself.  She will be moving to NYC  later this year to pursue her passion.

Model – Anita Mwiruki – Anita was born in Tanzania, and moved to the US when she was 7.  She recently started modeling and has discovered that it is a way to express herself.  She’s very diverse, and can fit the commercial look with a smile, but also likes to get crazy with hair and makeup with shoots that tell a story.  She also loves fashion, and has started her own fashion blog.  She will be walking in her first show in NYC this year.

“Style is more than just clothes that you wear, but it speaks to who you are.”  Anita

Special thanks to Chris Diaz for assisting with this shoot.

 

Shades of White appeared in the summer white issue of Vigore Magazine, an international fashion publication, based in New York City.  To access the issue, click this link…

http://issuu.com/vigore/docs/vigore_magazine_summer_2013?e=3235647/3990738

Vigore

 

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