Relying on your photography community "Collaborating"

Sometime ago Kurt Von with http://kurtvon.com/ reached out to me via Instagram telling me that he admired my work specifically my lighting, and let me tell you I was Astatic. We have been following and liking each other's work for a while. I particularly admired his style, it is very commercial and clean, which is a great contrast to my work where as my style is dramatic and artistic. We conversed about many ventures, one of them pertained to me joining as a contributor on his upcoming project http://lightshapersmag.com/ of course I agreed it only made sense. I honestly despise Photographers who cling on the idea of keeping everything about what they do a secret. Your greatest alias are your photographer counter parts.  Inspiration: We all know that nothing new is under the sun, But inspiration is not copying, You can always look at the work of your buddy to gain inspiration, you may see something in their work that you can take from and make your own rather it be style, coloring, makeup, hairstyle, props, lighting, the list goes on! The point is one little thing is give birth to an entirely new one and that's the beauty of it all. Speaking of inspiration Steve Reid with http://www.steviereid.com/ and I met in an interesting way, a while back he emailed telling me how much he enjoyed and gained inspiration from the videos I post on YouTube. A few emails turned into phone calls and the phone calls turned into us meeting up. Can you believe he came all the way from Detroit out to NJ to hang out with me and man we had a good time not only did we shoot together we had dinner at one of my restaurant, might I add he feel in love with the food lol. Another thing to note about inspiration, "A grain of inspiration is enough fuel to travel through the universe" Reference: Asking questions, is probably one of the greatest assets of referring to a buddy photographer. I ask questions all the time and vice versa, I get countless Emails of photographers seeking advice. I may not have the answer to every question, but I try to answer them to the best of my abilities. If I do not know the answer to a particular question I will simply say "I am sorry but I cannot help you with that" and I will try to point them in the direction of someone who can. Interestingly enough I a lot of times I learn a lot from the questions I get asked. Cross marketing: Another great asset is cross marketing, chances are they are most likely to be exposed to a market or area they you may not be familiar, there is your indirect connection to models, locations, etc. The birth of possibilities are truly endless!

Sometime ago Kurt Von with http://kurtvon.com/ reached out to me via Instagram telling me that he admired my work specifically my lighting, and let me tell you I was Astatic. We have been following and liking each other's work for a while. I particularly admired his style, it is very commercial and clean, which is a great contrast to my work where as my style is dramatic and artistic. We conversed about many ventures, one of them pertained to me joining as a contributor on his upcoming project http://lightshapersmag.com/ of course I agreed it only made sense. I honestly despise Photographers who cling on the idea of keeping everything about what they do a secret. Your greatest alias are your photographer counter parts. 

Inspiration: We all know that nothing new is under the sun, But inspiration is not copying, You can always look at the work of your buddy to gain inspiration, you may see something in their work that you can take from and make your own rather it be style, coloring, makeup, hairstyle, props, lighting, the list goes on! The point is one little thing is give birth to an entirely new one and that's the beauty of it all. Speaking of inspiration Steve Reid with http://www.steviereid.com/ and I met in an interesting way, a while back he emailed telling me how much he enjoyed and gained inspiration from the videos I post on YouTube. A few emails turned into phone calls and the phone calls turned into us meeting up. Can you believe he came all the way from Detroit out to NJ to hang out with me and man we had a good time not only did we shoot together we had dinner at one of my restaurant, might I add he feel in love with the food lol.
Another thing to note about inspiration, "A grain of inspiration is enough fuel to travel through the universe"

Reference: Asking questions, is probably one of the greatest assets of referring to a buddy photographer. I ask questions all the time and vice versa, I get countless Emails of photographers seeking advice. I may not have the answer to every question, but I try to answer them to the best of my abilities. If I do not know the answer to a particular question I will simply say "I am sorry but I cannot help you with that" and I will try to point them in the direction of someone who can. Interestingly enough I a lot of times I learn a lot from the questions I get asked.

Cross marketing: Another great asset is cross marketing, chances are they are most likely to be exposed to a market or area they you may not be familiar, there is your indirect connection to models, locations, etc. The birth of possibilities are truly endless!

Here is an images shot by Kurt and retouched myself, I love this by the way!

Here is an images shot by Kurt and retouched myself, I love this by the way!

Here is my creative spin on the same image.

Here is my creative spin on the same image.

This was an awesome shoot Steve an I did together this image was shot and retouched by him!

This was an awesome shoot Steve an I did together this image was shot and retouched by him!

Here is another awesome image from that shoot that Steve shot! http://www.steviereid.com/

Photoshoot With DJ Mavric #BeardGang

In December 2014, I did this awesome shoot with a good friend and model Dj Mavric. The weather was increasingly getting cold, luckily the day we scheduled to shoot It was super sunny and semi-warm, In New Jersey to have 43-degree weather in December is not common trust me!! Anywho, we originally scheduled to do a studio session however, because the weather was so awesome I suggested to split the session and do some location and studio. I already had the location in mind, interestingly enough I always wanted to shoot in this particular area it was something about the all the trash and grunge that really attracted me. I believed it would serve as a great setting, and it most certainly did. When I pitched the idea to Dj Mavric he was down and so was I. Below is a short clip and some images from the session.

I shot this on the iPhone6 days prior to the shoot. 

I shot this on the iPhone6 days prior to the shoot. 

You wouldn't believe we shot this right behind a gas station 

You wouldn't believe we shot this right behind a gas station 

This is a BTS shot in studio. 

This is a BTS shot in studio. 

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"Could have been me, could have been you" Teaser

We were all moved and effected following the death of Travon Martin February 26, 2012. It stained the heart of the people of America all the way up to our very own president. With all of the turmoil and many travesties we are witnessing all over the country, Ibn and myself were not only inspired but compelled to put this piece together. I feel that it is vital that messages like these are shared among our communities. If this piece resonates with any part of you please feel free to share!!

To view the entire piece please visit the link below, "In loving memory of Trayvon Martin"

"Could have been me, Could have been you"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzPSZ3gUHQs&spfreload=10

Written and Directed Ibn Shakoor
Co-Directed Lorenzo. P.
Filmed: Lorenzo. P.


Up coming project "Shards of Glass"

In celebration of my 1 Millionth view on YouTube I will be releasing a project I have been secretly working on for months now!  I know some of my followers are probably wondering what happened to all of the painting stuff, because I have been so endowed with photography It has emerged to the forefront putting the painting on the back end. Although I have been busy with the photography end of things I always seem to go back to my roots which is "Painting" Stay tune this is going to be exciting, as always I appreciate the tremendous amount of love and support!!!! 

Quick Tips and Reviews

Qiuck Tip #1 Amazing DIY Reflector

I am super excited to announce the first installment of the quick tips and review section on the blog. In this video I show with just some simple items you can create an effective reflector that is useful for bouncing and reflecting light on to your subject. When using the beauty dish I personally like to place the this reflector approximately a foot under the models chin to illuminate any dark areas and bounce light in to the eyes. This is great asset to add to your lighting arsenal and the best thing about it "Its Cheap"   On a side note, if you want something less reflective just flip the board on the reverse side and that should solve your problem : )

Items
Form Core Board 20x30in
Aluminum Tape
Scissors

Quick Tip #2 Shootings with Gels DIY

This is the second installment of "Quick Tip and Reviews"
In this video I bounced around a bit, I wanted to share how I light my subjects with DIY gels, but before I addressed that I shared my story on how I got into photography, lastly I wanted to leave you guys with a positive message. As always I hope that this video was insightful and helpful! Listed below are links to the items presented!! The lighting banks you see acting as rim lights are the very same lights used in all of "How to achieve amazing catch lights in the eyes videos" I seriously love these lights, big shout out to Joe Edelman for the inspiration. As I always say, "A grain of inspiration is enough fuel to travel the universe"  

Hygloss Cellophane Sheets
http://www.amazon.com/Hygloss-Cello-Sheets-11-Inch-48-Pack/dp/B000K78HUI/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1426231139&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=cellophane+sheets

Clear Sleeve
http://www.amazon.com/We-Memory-Keepers-3-Ring-Protectors/dp/B004TTHU0Q/ref=sr_1_3?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1426231215&sr=1-3&keywords=clear+binder+sleeves

Hurricane Fog Machine
http://www.amazon.com/Chauvet-Hurricane-1100-Fog-Machine/dp/B001WM6WNE/ref=sr_1_cc_8?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1426231266&sr=1-8-catcorr&keywords=hurricane+fog

2Pac Airbrush Painting
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giOxHpw3qZ4&list=PLVXXfEqovM9rcGSuTIbMrEPcq_aqrSnuU
 

Sirui K-40X BallHead Review

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 Crafted to perfection The Sirui K-40X is an extremely well designed ball head. Suited for the professional and photo enthusiast alike. Aesthetically this ball head is beautiful, it is evident that simplicity rang supreme here. From end to end it is high end CNC coated giving it a nice professional matte-semi gloss finish. With reinforced rubberized grips, beveled groves at the mid-section, and base of the body providing the ultimate grip allowing for maximum tightening to your tripod. This BH has two main dial one function controlling the friction of the ball head, and the other the 360 degree panning rotation. I also admire the blue accent around the dial nob. Solidly built it feels hefty in the hand and with a 54mm ball head is it not shy to the more beefier cameras, averaging a height of 6.1in and weighting in at 1.2lbs this BH has the capacity to support a maximum load up 77.2lbs. It is primarily geared to medium to large format and DSLR's photographic cameras. Now I don't know of any camera on the consumer market weighting anything thing relatively close to 77lbs but just know this baby can support it.

Let’s jump ahead to some of the features, now I would not particularly consider this a “feature” but I am really fond of the overall smoothness of this BH. Everything from the dialing nobs to the articulating rotation of the actual BH is buttery smooth. The large nob contains numerical adjustable friction and a quick locking mechanism screw locking in the dial. What is cool about this once you have adjusted the dial to your liking, you can lock in the tension preventing it from ever budging. The Sirui K-40X has a 125mm expandable Arca Swiss quick- release plate style platform suitable for a variety of quick-release plates. Included on the quick-release plate platform is two bubble levels vertical and horizontal this is perfect for optimal composition, and balancing. Also included on the plate is a red safety button preventing your base plate from sliding off, I find this feature to be very useful because I didn't have this on my last ball head. Although it has never happened I was always concerned about my camera accidentally sliding off hitting the floor, and that would just be tragic so I was in need of a feature such as this.

My impression of the Siuri K-40X it is an absolute winner, this BH is the epitome of professional ingenuity. The overall build quality smoothness of this ball head excites my expectations in performance. As I mentioned in the introduction it is crafted to perfection and virtually indestructible. Aside from the awesome features it packs such as the quick locking pin, 125mm Arca Swiss style quick release plate, two bubble levels and the red safety button. Coming in at a fraction of the cost in comparison to its counter parts, I am sure you will find this ball head a bargain. It is well packaged coming with instruction, extra quarter inch small screw for the “QR” plate, an Allen key, labeled soft pouch, generally you will only see this in your higher end ball heads, and last but not lease a 6 year Warranty you heard that right!. Paired with my Gitzo G-2220 they offer the ideal support, balance and stability.

Sirui K-40X $165

http://www.amazon.com/Sirui-K-40X-Ballhead-Release-Capacity/dp/B004QC3CMG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433145594&sr=8-1&keywords=sirui+k-40x+ball+head

 



"The importance of using a MUA"

          I personally feel that It is extremely important and vital to have a MUA artist by your side when shooting portraits. I primarily shoot people and there are a host of benefits to reap when working with a MUA, just like you have an eye for your craft they do as well. They posses the ability to fine tune your model, and bring out the beauty in your work. Note I am not in anyway taking anything from individuals who do not use a MUA in their line of work, but I can tell you from my personal experience, working with a MUA gives my work that wow factor and that is all I strive for. Think of having a Toyota Corolla and upgrading it to a 911 Porch, and I am not even joking when I say this. It can be that much of an upgrade!

          There is a true beauty in collaborating with a MUA, the chemistry, the energy, and emotions are all the things that drives the shoot; they contribute to all of that that. I can remember during a shoot two of the talents I shot got a little emotional after seeing their makeup completed stated "I didn't realize I could look this beautiful!" Another talent had tears in her eyes in disbelief. Having the ability to do that for someone is powerful, you see I live for moments like these. I can honestly say I could not have achieved that without the help of a MUA. I also noticed that the MUA and talent end up exchanging contacts ultimately meeting up for future endeavors. You see this can create a revolving door for more business, so everyone wins! 

          In addition to acquiring a MUA, assure them that both parties can benefit from the collaboration, also let them know there will be a compensation for their time and work whether if its financial or with prints. You want to work someone who has just as much drive as you. Someone who intuitively understands your vision to where there is an unspoken communications, but this comes with time. Being talented in make up is cool but you want someone who brings things to life! If you can attain one of those he or she is a keeper. If you have yet you find one keep looking because they are out there. Use your resources, friends, family, aspiring MUA, Instagram, Facebook, Model Mayhem, local beauty supply stores, Macy's, Sephora, Mac and all of the above.

Things to keep in mind:  

.A makeup artist is your partner in crime.

.They are the overseer. 

.They can bring out the beauty in the work.

.They correct the imperfections.

.They make the work of a retouch-er so much easier.

.You can not do it alone.

."Team work, makes the dream work"

Now that I got that out of the way, I want to shed some light on Ariel Rivera and Michelle Silva! These two ladies are simply amazing at what they do, respectively they both have something special to bring to the table. They are both dedicated, energetic, charismatic, fun, loving, and great to work with. I tend to capture BTS video while the makeup is underway and each and every time I can see that spark of fire in their eyes. I can honestly say that I am truly grateful to have work with people who share the same passion as me. I can go on and on about them, but I will leave it here lol. Check out some of the work I have created with them!! 

 

Makeup By Ariel Rivera 

Makeup By Ariel Rivera 

Makeup By Ariel Rivera

Makeup By Ariel Rivera

Makeup By Ariel Rivera

Makeup By Ariel Rivera

Makeup By Ariel Rivera 

Makeup By Ariel Rivera 

Makeup by Michelle Silva 

Makeup by Michelle Silva 

Makeup by Michelle Silva 

Makeup by Michelle Silva 

Makeup by Michelle Silva 

Makeup by Michelle Silva 

Makeup By Michelle Silva 

Makeup By Michelle Silva 

Lorenzopphotography MakeUp by Michelle Silver 

All off my work is made to inspire and give people hope that they can do the things they want if they apply themselves, granted everyone one is not meant to be a superstar Photographer, model, or make up artist etc... But understand there is a place for you, if you are enjoying what you are doing and it pleases the heart chances are you are on the right path!

"Satisfy your urge to become better, but never to a point where you become complacent" Lorenzo P. 

 

"The Evolution"

I did not want to make this an elaborate post, it is simply designed to show the evolution of the work. Think of it a start to finish, enjoy!!! 

This is one of my digital composite titled "Time Shift" 

This is one of my digital composite titled "Time Shift" 

This image was shot by Kurt Von, Retouched and edited by Lorenzo P.

This image was shot by Kurt Von, Retouched and edited by Lorenzo P.

 

"Happy Father's Day"

          The start of 2014 was a little rough for me, I have encountered a lot of loss in the past four months six family members to be exact. I guess saying a little rough is a bit of an understatement. Throughout all of the heartache and pain so many things have been revealed to me, this is my personal intake. Although death is rather painful it is a humbling thing to witness. it communicates to us how special life truly is. Tragedy or not God has selected the perfect equation for helping the soul transition. Isn't it a beautiful thing to have the ability to reflect upon the many memories? Life is a continuous algorithm, the spirit lives on!

          I lost my dad in 1995 at the age of 9 at that current state things took a turn for the absolute worst. I felt like so much was taken from me, but in the same return so much was given it was a fair exchange of the bad and good. I felt lost without my dad, miserable, distort, and depressed, the list can go on for the rest of this paragraph but I will save you the agony.  In the midst of all the destruction I discovered my ability to draw. I did not ask to be an artist, it chose me. There was an increased level of propensity, my life begun to change at that very moment because I found hope, an escape, a little piece of solace. I felt like I was blessed with this ability, this was a gift from my dad, a way to reconnect, a way to remember that he will always be at my side. I vowed to always honor that by giving it my all when it came to using this talent.

          Shooting this past Father's Day was truly humbling, not only did I shoot someone who is a positive role model, advocate and supporter of our young Black African American Males doing positive things. He is a teacher, educator, and coach at the High School I graduated from. He is literally the epitome of what an amazing father is. Interacting and Shooting with him and his son 2 years ago on Father's Day was the initial blessing, because not only did I use my ability to capture those intimate moments, their relationship remind me of my dad and I. So you see this is really full circle for me. At times I would wonder how things would be if my dad was still here, then I  look at these two together and no longer wonder!!!!!

          Dear Dad thank you for helping me through life, and blessing me with this gift. I will always love you, you will remain apart of me until we meet again. May your soul rest in peace!!! 

Father's Day 2013`

Shot in Lincoln Park, Jersey City. 

Shot in Lincoln Park, Jersey City. 

Shot in Lincoln Park, Jersey City. 

Shot in Lincoln Park, Jersey City. 

This is actually one of the image on my home page, I put it there as a reminder! 

This is actually one of the image on my home page, I put it there as a reminder! 

Father Day 2014   

These images are raw and untouched

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Reading this was gratifying, I am honored!! 

Reading this was gratifying, I am honored!! 

"The Journey"

The Journey

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I am learning "Photography" is a field where you have to walk the journey to find your way. I am a huge proponent of educating yourself but it does not matter how many seminars you attend, tutorials you watch, books and magazines you read, none of that stuff will do you any good if you are not applying it. The true journey begins when you pick up the camera and start pressing on that shutter. Granted you must do all of these things if not most of them to grow, however, you will not see any growth if you are not making use of the knowledge in your own line of work. As Tony Robbins states, "Learn from the master." Study the photographers who you truly admire, adopt their practices and make them your own, do them so much that it becomes a ritual. It's been said that, "Masters immerse themselves", which is true. I believe this is a powerful way to learn, but please be aware when you copy there is no room for failure, on the contrary there is no room for improvement either so be mindful of that. 


Experience and Inspiration are the greatest teachers in my book you will substantially learn from both, so don't fear the exploration. Understand that your journey is your foundation and foundation is everything. All of the blood sweat and tears, sleepless nights, sacrifices, joyous moments, investments, failures and, successes are all attributed to your journey. This is how you find your way, this is the very essence of becoming, it starts with your journey. When you are focused and your intentions and heart are aligned, your passion for the craft will propel you forward so fast some will not even begin to fathom. I guarantee, who you are as a photographer, your style, work flow, work ethic, how you engage with your subjects, clients, audience, etc. will all emerge as you walk your journey. You will find the very things that works for you, and the things that do not.  Realize that there is power in your journey, how well you can light a subject does not make you a stand out photographer, what you can bring to the table does. So don't be afraid to bring your journey to the table but you must first walk it. I will leave you with this one word "Believe"



"Creativity is not something that can be taught"

"My iPhonegraphy Journey"

Lets face it, the camera on your phone is probably the most convenient camera you will ever own, mine just so happen to be an "iPhone5/Currently iPhone7s" As much as I would love to lug my 5DMKII around it can be cumbersome, due to its weight, size, and lack stealthiness. On the other side of things you are guaranteed some low noise high res images, lets not undermine all of the other technical aspect of shooting with a DSLR. What is the deal breaker for you, high res images or convenience? For me the iPhone does the job when I am in a run and gun situation, or just need to take a quick snap of something. Despite the convenience of having the phone readily at your waste side, think about all of the other possibilities shooting with your phone offers, like geo tagging, having the ability to shoot and edit right from your phone, emailing as a back up, sharing with friends, and social media sites.   Believe it or not,  I use the iPhone to catch the reflection off of glass and those images are predominately used in my digital composite photos. I will do a post about that somewhere along the lines, until then behold my iPhonegraphy journey.  This post will be regularly updated so please stay tune!!!!

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"Here is a list of my favorite photographers"

Here is a list of my absolute favorite photographers the list is in no particular order, and it continues to grow. These are the very photographers whom I  draw inspiration from, each photographer inspires me in their own individual way. They are considered to be masters of their craft. 

Joe McNally http://portfolio.joemcnally.com/
Scott Kelby http://portfolio.scottkelby.com/
Jeremy Cowart http://jeremycowart.com/
Dave hill http://www.davehillphoto.com/
Bruno Dayan http://www.brunodayan.com/
Jaime Ibrarra http://ibarraphoto.com/
Baldomero Fernandez http://baldomero.com/
Frank Doorhof http://frankdoorhof.smugmug.com/
Dave black http://www.daveblackphotography.com/
Joel grimes http://joelgrimes.com/
Christophe Gilbert http://www.christophegilbert.com/
Lindsay Adler http://www.lindsayadlerphotography.com/
Aaron Nace http://aaron-nace.com/
Brooke Shaden http://brookeshaden.com/gallery/
Gregory Heslier http://www.gregoryheisler.com/
Joey L https://www.joeyl.com/
Joel Robinson http://joelrobisonphoto.wordpress.com/
Mark Sacro http://marksacrophotography.com/#/
Angela Marklew http://www.krop.com/fstopinertia/#/
Bill Jones http://billjonesphotography.tumblr.com/
Sue Brice http://www.inbedwithsue.com/
Bruce Weber http://www.bruceweber.com/#/
Julia Kuzmenko http://www.juliakuzmenko.com/
Alexia Sinclair https://alexiasinclair.com/
Oleg Tityaev http://www.tityaev.ru/beauty.htm
Glenn Prasetya http://www.glennprasetya.com/
Richard Dubois http://www.duboisphotography.com/index.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"How to achieve amazing catch lights in the eyes Pt 1, 2, & 3"

Want to know what inspired it all?
A Little over two years ago I came across photographer Peter Hurley, whom I've fell in love with. He is arguably one of the most successful and well known Portrait Photographers of our time. I was just marveled and intrigued at how he built a foundation and style off of head shots with such a simplistic approach. As my interest in his work grew, I learned about his style of shooting, workflow, lighting, clients,  pricing, etc, being a portrait photographer myself all of this stuff resonated with me. I was on the www.FStoppers.com site and saw that the guys over at FS linked up with Peter to create "The Art Behind the Headshot" DVD which was amazing, that can be found here http://fstoppers.com/peter-hurley-the-art-behind-the-headshot Watching this was like watching a magician expose all of their secrets. Not to dive into the DVD too much but this guy was working magic literally transforming people right before your very eyes. Granted nothing is new under the sun but the fact that he was showing you his techniques and engaging with the audience in such a fashion made you say wow!          

A few months after watching the DVD, I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Peter at the 2012 FStoppers Photo Plus Party located at Peter's Studio in Manhattan. There was food, drinks, and a tone of amazing people.  I went from doing a little research on this guy, to buying his DVD, to actually meeting him in person. Man it was truly a humbling experience to be around such a noted photographer. He was so cool and down to earth I felt as if I was hanging out with a good old friend. He even complimented me by saying I was by far the best dressed person of the night. You talk about a confidence booster that went straight to my ego just kidding lol. The ambiance of it all had me so pumped and excited. By the end of the night I was even more intrigued.

That interest led me on a hunt to obtain those magical fluorescent lights that Peter uses, which are Kino Flo Lights http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=258951&gclid=CLe_mMGWjL0CFQ8OOgoduTwAcQ&Q=&is=REG&A=details. I was quickly derailed when I discovered that those Kino Flo Lights were close to 3k a pop for a kit. Looking at those prices in lesser terms paralyzed me, because I knew they were way out of my budget. Instead of getting all depressed, my next best thing was to find an alternative, like my mom always says, "There are many ways to skin a cat." She was absolutely right, because I came across a photographer by the Joe Eldleman who did a fabulous DIY build with some fluorescent lighting banks that can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBPDSBCoN2c After watching his video over 50 times, I took note of everything I needed to do in order to build these lights, and I made it happen. My particular set up slightly varies from Joe Edelman's, however it shares the same principles and mechanics. It feels good to receive, but it feels even better to give back and that's exactly what I was set out to do. I was inspired to share my build and the awesomeness I was creating with it and this is how I came up with "How to achieve amazing catch lights in the eyes series."  You know it still amazes me what you can create with $350 and some appliances from Home Depot. I want to give a huge shout out to Peter Hurley and Joe Edelman for all of their "AWESOMENESS", it's people like these guys who give birth to people like me!  

Showing off that head shot intensive pose!

Showing off that head shot intensive pose!

"How to achieve amazing catch lights in the eyes Pt.1

Big shout out to Emm for posting my video on his Blog http://cheesycam.com/ this is an excellent source for photographers and videographers. I can not say enough good stuff about this site, please go check him out!! 

These photos were inspired by Joe Edelman's video Big shout out to this man for posting this video and helping us all out!!!  DIY Fluorescent Photography Studio Lighting" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBPDSBCoN2c

Photographer: Lorenzo Pickett 
Model: Eliza L
Music: "Fell Apart" Produce by Lorenzo Pickett 
Slide Show: Animoto 
 

Light It Magazine published one of my images as the closing shot in their November's issue, they also used it in the December best of 2012 issue!! Super excited about that!! What a way to end off the year! Go Check it out, and you will see it in there!! 

This is some what of an unofficial BTS of my last shoot with model Eliza. 
As I mentioned in the video I don't have the resources to give you guys an actual walk through of how I achieved these shots. 
So I put together a short clip then added some photos and explained my layout!! 
This set up is dummy proof you really can not go wrong shooting with this particular lighting setup, each and every time you will get consistent results. 

Camera: 
5D MarkII Lens 70-200mm is f2.8

Camera Settings:
F2.8, Shutter 1/1000, ISO100  200mm    
Lighting:
I constructed the two 4ft Fluorescent banks myself with appliances from Lowe's 120w each 
18in Diva Ring light 500w
I had the ring light for a while but never really used it. I wanted to use the ring light on this shoot but I wanted to use it in an interesting way so I got the idea to pair it with the 4ft lighting banks and it worked so well.

Post:
Bumped up: contrast, and vibrancy
Spot healing: to remove unwanted spots.
Clone stamp: blemishes and even skin tones.
Vignetting: darken the outer perimeter of the photo.  
Color Adjustment: to get a bluish tint in the color photos. 
Sharpen and Clarity: I used this mostly on the eyes to give them definition. 
Dodge and Burn: to lighten and darken areas of the photo

RightLight $165
http://www.ebay.com/itm/140674273995?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649

BackDrop $8 a yard http://www.amazon.com/Rosette-Satin-Blue-Munsell-Fabric/dp/B006ERRPLK/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=37Y5XY1Z7IEBC&coliid=I38U3EHDSF49DZ

"How to achieve amazing catch lights in the eyes Pt.2

Photographer: Lorenzo Pickett 
Model: Julius 
Music: Produced by Lorenzo Pickett
 

This video was shot handheld using the iPhone5

I explained how using a ring light with some fluorescent lighting can get you some great photos. In this BTS video I show how I achieved the #poundsign catchlight in the eyes. I've seen photographers such as Lindsay Adler use this technique. Achieving interesting catch lights in the eyes is not as hard as it appears to be, it just takes a little of experimenting and tweaking. I thought to use a male this time around for my subject just to show you guys this look can look great on almost anyone. 

This setup is dummy proof you really can not go wrong shooting with this particular lighting setup, each and every time you will get consistent results. 

Camera: 
5D MarkII 
Lens 
70-200mm is f2.8
Camera Settings:
F2.8, Shutter 1/320, ISO100 Focal length 200mm. Subject distance 1.5m

Lighting:
Two 4ft, 4tube Fluorescent banks
Two 4ft, 2tube Fluorescent banks

How to achieve amazing catch lights in the eyes Pt.3

So here it is guys pt3 to "How to achieve amazing catch lights in the eyes. 
To see more photos from the session just swing over to my website!! 

Photographer: Lorenzo Pickett 
Model: Odemarys Olavarria 
Music: "December 10th" Produce by Lorenzo Pickett 

Shooting Settings

White Balance: Auto 
Shutter: 1/100
F/Stop: 2.8
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 170mm

Camera Gear
5D MarkII 
70-200mmF/2.8 USMII
64GB Transcend CF Card
Tripod Gitzo G 2220
Avenger D520L 40" Extension Pole 
http://www.amazon.com/Avenger-D520L-40-Inch-Extension-Chrome/dp/B00127U9X8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393418750&sr=8-1&keywords=avenger+d520
Avenger D200 Grip Head
http://www.amazon.com/Avenger-D200-2-5-Inch-Grip-Chrome/dp/B001B1G3IK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393418789&sr=8-1&keywords=avenger+d200
Avenger E650 Baby Pin 8"
http://www.amazon.com/Avenger-E650-6-Inch-Collar-Silver/dp/B001AXKY70/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393418929&sr=8-1&keywords=avenger+baby+pin
Manfrotto Super Clamp
http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-035RL-Super-Clamp-Standard/dp/B0018LQVIA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393418984&sr=8-1&keywords=super+clamp
 

Lighting
18' Diva Ring Light 500w
http://www.amazon.com/Photo-Video-Fluorescent-Ring-Light/dp/B00B64G2A6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1393418673&sr=8-2&keywords=diva+ring+light
Lithonia Lighting Shop light: 
4' Fluorescent lighting 2 Tube Housing 64w 
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lithonia-Lighting-2-Light-White-T12-Fluorescent-Shoplight-1233-SHOPLIGHT/203081577
4' Fluorescent lighting 4 Tube Housing 128w
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lithonia-Lighting-4-Light-Grey-Heavy-Duty-Shoplight-1284GRD-RE/202968125

"The Beauty Dish"

The Beauty Dish is one of the most versatile and essential lighting modifiers in my little arsenal. Using the "BD" has dramatically improved the quality of my images, It is used on 95% of my shoots. I acquired the Beauty Dish in 2011 after my good friend John David Pittman, who is an amazing and talented photographer http://johndavidpittman.com/ ,highly recommended I immediately get one.  I was in limbo on making the investment so I called him up. He said to me, "Dude, don't think about it, just buy the 22" Beauty Dish...I promise you will not regret it!" I came to realization he was telling me to get one for some really beneficial reasons. I have to secretly admit I was not sold on it initially, I guess that can be contributed to my previous lack of knowledge on how to use it. I actually tucked it away for some time while I educated myself on its uses and functionalities. It was now time to experiment and put it to the test.

I had an up coming on location shoot I was preparing for and as I was loading my gear something just clicked. I scraped all of the soft boxes I packed and brought along a single Gridded Beauty Dish accompanied with a battery powered 600w Bowens strobe. My goodness, I was simply marveled at the quality of light I was able to produce with it. Not only did I have enough light to over power the sun, I had the perfect tool for sculpting it. I quickly caught on and now I'm using the "BD" on almost every shoot both on location and studio.

Mixed lighting became a thing of mine. Playing around with the "BD" I would mix and combine ambient, gelled, bare bulb, diffused, and gridded light to shape my subjects. I Once used only the modeling light from the "BD" at it's lowest power, to produce a dramatically lit low key image. Literally over night It became one of my "go to" lighting modifiers. The "BD" is infamously used throughout the fashion and beauty industry, hence the word "Beauty Dish." Some of the world's leading professional photographers such as Scott Kelby, Lindsay Adler, Joey L., Jeremy Cowart, Joel Grimes, and many more use the "BD" to create some absolutely stunning work. Your very own Kurt Von http://kurtvon.com/ ,founder of the "Light Shapers" website and fellow photographer also uses the Beauty Dish.

The "Beauty Dish" can be summarized as to providing 3 type of light sources:

1.Bare Bulb- Which is very intense, punchy, and dramatic

2.Diffusion Sock - Produces very soft flattering yet sculpted light

3. Gridded- The grid can be wrapped up as being very controlled and tightly focused light that ultimately has a fast fall off with little to no spill

Here are a some images I produce with the beauty dish:

Model: Casey. S.

Model: Casey. S.

Model: Dalilah. 

Model: Dalilah. 

Model: Teriana.

Model: Teriana.

Model: Latrice. 

Model: Latrice. 

Model: Casey. S.

Model: Casey. S.

Model: Amarie. S.

Model: Amarie. S.

Model: Casey. S.

Model: Casey. S.

Model: Angie. T.

Model: Angie. T.

Model: Eliza. L. 

Model: Eliza. L. 

Rapper: Serious Jones 

Rapper: Serious Jones 

Selfie lol 

Selfie lol 

Here are some great "BTS" videos using the Beauty Dish

Lindsay Adler 

http://www.lindsayadlerphotography.com

 

Andrea Belluso

http://www.belluso.com/

 

Now understand that I am not at all trying to advertise a product, or force anyone to go run out and purchase one, however if you are in the real estate of portrait and beauty photography I recommend taking the dive. I just wanted to share my experience and info on one of my favorite modifiers. Photographers who already own a Beauty Dish will concur with it's wonders. Hope you guys enjoyed!!! 

“Approaching Talent”

I would like to give you tips on how to approach talent, but before I do that allow me share with you a little background info about myself. My name is Lorenzo Pickett. I am a New Jersey based artist and photographer. I started my photography career approximately 5 years ago. I've been published in renowned photographer and author Scott Kelly's “Light IT” Magazine and more recently “Photoshop User Magazine” as the feature photographer. I am extremely excited about the publications big shout out to Mike Mackenzie and his creative team for making that happen. Back to the subject, on a quest to advance my art portfolio I wanted to take better photographs of my art work. I went to the camera store to purchase a digital camera.  A rep there asked to assist me, when I told him what I was looking for he proceeded to say "Why don't you just invest in a DSLR" At the time I didn't even know what the hell a DSLR was, that demonstrates how oblivious I was to photography, all I knew was art. He pointed me to the DSLR's, it was there I picked up my first DSLR Canon camera and I fell in love, my world literally changed at that very moment. .

How do you get your models?

My way of approaching talent is pretty simple. I first greet myself, hey listen My name is Lorenzo Pickett, I am an artist and photographer, based etc….. I do a combination of things but my focus is creative portraiture, beauty is the basis of my work. I will then proceed to show my work, not taking up too much of their time I quickly flip through my portfolio. As I am flipping through my work I pay attention to their reaction. Based off their reaction you can tell if the individual is interested or not. Majority of the time I get really good reactions, but that can vary. I come across a lot of talent that say "I always wanted to model" but on the contrary I get "I don't know if I can do it, I am really shy" Actively practicing this you will learn how to approach things accordingly. Also you want to give them something they can leave with (lasting impression, business card, even a polite smile will do in some cases. I tend to end things by saying "Here is my business card,  my work can be found at Lorenzopphotography.com. I hope you like what you've seen and I look forward to working with you in the near future"

You must make kick ass work  

Referencing what Chase Jarvis stated in an interview with Oren Klaff Author of
"Pitch Anything” which by the way was a phenomenal interview, be sure to check it out here  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXavS_IY42A#t=137

He stated "You must make kick ass work" Reason be when you make kick ass work it flat out speaks for itself, people will be compelled and drawn to work with you. I know this to be true because, I come across so many emails, contacts, and on social media networks where people say “I saw your work and fell in love, I cannot wait to work with you” Here are a few examples!! 

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Getting back to the point, people will be drawn to work with you. So making kick ass work will kick ass for you in the long run when it comes getting talent. No one is going to work with a photographer if they are not sold on their work.  One female I approached to do a shoot, I showed her my portfolio and a particular photo stood out to her, she said quote “If you can make me look like that, I will shoot with you" It was a done deal, the hard part was done! If you have trouble approaching people, play it safe by saying something along the lines of. "You have a particular look that suits my style of photography" As you show examples of your work, casually ask "Would you be interested in doing some modeling, I would love to work with you" It's as simple as that. Also don't just simply give up so easily on people, some talent you may have to work hard at getting. Some people may play hard to get, some people are shy, some people are iffy and some people flat out are busy. Don't be afraid to follow up, and to check in periodically. If it makes you happy to know, It took me a little over a year and a half to work with this particular model. Talk about patience, never the less it was well worth the wait.  

In conclusion

Speaking up has lead me to work with some great individuals. Three of the talents I approached and worked with got published!!!! The art of meeting a complete stranger and creating beautiful work with them is an amazing experience. Trust me, initially this was a bit challenging for me because I am a bit shy myself but you will see, the more you begin to actively practice this it will gradually become a breeze. Remember first impressions are everything you want to make that connection, if you can effectively do that while applying the tips your chances of working with that talent will be very likely!!!!! 

Pointers:
1. Don't be scared to speak up: If you see someone you want to work with move on it don't let an opportunity get away from you, you never know where things my lead. The silent are left to be silent!!!!!
2. Be polite: I shouldn't have to speak too much on this, being polite will take you a long way!!!
3. Be honest/straight forward: Remember you are not only trying to attract possible candidates, but you are also building a reputation and relationship with the talent based off of trust. If people feel they can trust you chances are they will work with you.
4. Be prepared/be concise: Have what you want to say at the tip go your tongue, speak your peace and move along. Keep in mind less is more, people don't like to be inconvenienced!!!
5. Have a portfolio readily: Grab their attention by showing your work as you're conversing with the talent. It's a great way to stir up a conversation, (I typically use my phone as my portable portfolio)
6. Have business cards: Having business cards shows professionalism, and it is much quicker than writing your information down on a piece of paper. (A website is always a plus)  convenience is key!

 

"Photoshop User Magazine" Featured Photographer

Super excited to announce I am the Featured Photographer in July's issue of "Photoshop User Magazine" If you know the "Photoshop User Mag" you know it is a big publication. I have a nice 3 page spread going on! Hard work, determination, passion, drive, and my blessings are all the things that have lead me to this point! I want to thank everyone who has ever supported me, also I want to give a big shout out to all the individuals who took part in this creative process!! This issue hits new stands July 29th

 

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Featured Photographer2_MG_5314.jpg
Featured Photographer1_MG_5314.jpg

Sylights Diagrams

Description: "Great Catch Light For The Eyes"

Items:

 

Ring Light
Light: 500w 18"  Diva Ring Light Continuous. Positioned directly in front of the subject.  

Vertical Strip Bank
Light: (2) 4ft fluorescent lighting bank (4) "T8" bulb housing 128w. Positioned on each side of the subject. 

Backdrop
Green flower textured background

Woman
Subject is comfortably sitting on a stool.  Looking straight through the ring light directly at the camera.

DSLR
Camera: Canon 5DMarkII
Lens: 70-200mm IS F2.8
Shutter: 1/1250
F-Stop: 2.8
ISO: 800
Focal Length: 100mm

 

Check out my video on YouTube where I explain how I achieved this shot. 

 

Beauty shot.jpg

Description: "Beauty Wrap" 

Items:

Lighting: 

(2) 400w Bowens strobes

22" Beauty Dish

60" Octabox  

Octabox:

60" Octabox  serves as the a white background set at half power, positioned  2" behind subject. You want the Octa close enough to where it is almost touching your subject.

Beauty dish with diffusion: 

22" Beauty Dish with diffusion on a boom  placed  approximately 5' in the air above the subjects face positioned camera center.

Woman
Subject is comfortably sitting on a stool, looking straight at the camera. Subject distance 1.8m

 

DSLR

Camera: Canon 5DMarkII
Lens: 70-200mm IS F2.8
Shutter: 1/125
F-Stop: 14
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 105mm

Untitled-1.jpg

Description: "Color and Fog"

Items:

Black backdrop
No description for this item.

Red gel
No description for this item.

Woman
No description for this item.

(D)SLR
Camera: Canon 5DmarkII
Lense: 70-200mm IS F2.8
Shutter: 1/160
F-Stop: F9.0
Iso:100
Focal Length: 70mm

Monobloc
400w Fotodiox strobe with purple gel set at 1/4 of it's power. The blue gel is represented as the purple fog.

Octobox with grid
50" Octa  with grid set at 1/2 power, positioned  left of camera, right side of subjects. The Octa Serves as the main light.

Blue gel
No description for this item.

Monobloc
400w Fotodiox strobe with red gel set at 1/4 of it's power

 

 

 

Color and Fog.jpg

 

Description: "Face Forward"

Items:

22" Beauty dish with diffuser
On boom raised approximately  6' feet in the air facing the model.

Black backdrop
10x20'  Back Drop

Woman
Subject distance 1.4m

Elinchrome D-lite RX4
Set at half power.

(D)SLR
Camera: Canon 5D MarkII
Lens: Canon 70-200mm IS F2.8
Shutter: 1/125sec
F-stop: F13
ISO:100
Focal Length: 200mm

 

SD_MG_4965.jpg

Description: "Shooting Outdoor with a Strobe"

 

This shot was taking in the outside waiting area of the train station in Orange New Jersey!  It was a bright sunny day so I wanted to place the model in some shade,  placing her in the shade resulted in losing a lot of light . This is where my little one light setup came in handy. I have a 580exII mounted to at 32x48in softbox using a T- Bracket.
I positioned the SB in a horizontal orientation, angled  at 45 degrees, and raised about 4ft in the air. I would normally raise this set up higher but being that the subject was about 2ft below ground level I didn't have to bring it up too high. After getting  the model in the desired pose, I had her to look sightly into the direction of the light then let it rip.


Items:

Woman
No description for this item.

Speedlight
Canon 580EXII
Settings: Half Power

Softbox
Fotodiox 32x40, locked in a horizontal position.

DSLR
Camera: Canon 5D MarkII
Lens: 70-200mm IS F2.8
Shutter: 1/160 sec
F-Stop f/4
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 100mm

 

Diagram.jpg

Description: "Colorize Your Subject"
 

Achieving this shot was not at all an easy task, but like everything thing else that requires work it reaped it's rewards. Shooting with gels can add some creative flavor to your images, besides that they are just fun to work with. When implementing other elements such as gels, ambient light, and slow shutter it adds a great deal of drama making your work more appealing. I now want to dive in on how I actually achieved this shot. After adjusting the power settings on each strobe. I then set my Canon 580EXII up as a master flash placed it to rear curtain sync and dialed the power all the way up, (please refer to the video below on how to put your flash in rear curtain sync) Doing this gave me the ability to fire off the strobes when the 580EX commanded them to. Without setting up the speedlite as a commander the strobes would fire as soon as the shutter release defeating the purpose of rear curtain sync. Now that that's all said and done, it was time to adjust my camera settings. This took a bit of experimenting along with trail and error, ultimately it all depends upon your personal preference. The key is to drag your shutter to capture movement before the flash freezes it. After I found my sweet spot there was nothing else left to do but shoot. When the shutter released I had 2.5 second to capture the movement. I direct the talent to hold still as I slowly pivoted the camera from left to right. With the slow shutter in conjunction with the rear curtain sync I was able to capture some of that blurred movement you see in the photos. Here are the exact camera settings I used to nail this shot.

(D)SLR

Camera: Canon 5DMarkII

Lens: 70-200mm IS F2.8
Shutter: 2.5sec (This gave me the best results in terms of exposure and movement]
F-Stop: 14 [Shooting at F.14 gave me a very sharp and focused picture]
ISO: 100 [When shooting strobe you want your (ISO) at its lowest for a clean image]
Focal Length: 200mm [I wanted to zoom all the way in for a nice tight shot]
Subject Distance: 1.4

Items
Backdrop
10 x 20 Deep Grey Savage backdrop. 

Deep Blue gel
8-1/2" x 11" Transparent Cello Sheet

22" Beauty Dish with diffuser
The Beauty Dish is located camera center 5' away from the talent,
raised approximately 5'5"  in height attached to an Avenger C stand on a boom.

Circular silver reflector
43" Silver reflector clamped to a light strand acting as a fill.

Monobloc
600w Fotodiox Strobe with a orange gel set to 1/2 power. Because this gel is much lighter in color it requires less light in comparison to the blue gelled strobe positioned camera right.

Reddish Orange gel
8-1/2" x 11" Transparent Cello Sheet

Monobloc
600w Fotodiox Strobe with a red gel representing purple. Power setting 3/4. This strobe is positioned camera left aiming directly at the right side of the talent's face.

Woman
The Talent is comfortably sitting on a stool looking directly into the lens of the camera.

Monobloc on boom
400w Elinchrome D-Lite4 RX set at  roughly 1/4. The light from the Beauty Dish acted as a main fill light. I intently kept the power of the "BD" really low to preserve the richness and vibrancy of the colors from the gels. 
 

Speedlight with grid                                                                                                                                                               Canon 580EX II with a purple Rosco gel and grid  set at full power 1/1. I wanted to get as much punch as I possibly could from this little guy. The flash is on a boom positioned camera left also aiming at the left side of the talent's face.

Blue gel
 8-1/2" x 11" Transparent Cello Sheet

Monobloc
600w Fotodiox Strobe with a blue gel power set at 3/4. Typically when shooting with darker gels, it requires much more light to effectively project through. This strobe is positioned camera right acting as a rim light on the talent.

This is a red gel represents purple
8-1/2" x 11" Transparent Cello Sheet

These awesome Cello Sheets can be found on Amazon for $8, it's a great value. http://www.amazon.com/Pack-8-1-Transparent-Cello-Sheets/dp/B000K78HUI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387516387&sr=8-1&keywords=cello+sheets

YouTube user FStopArmy shows how to put your Canon Flash in "Rear Curtain Sync"

Colorize your subject.jpg
 

"Improving Your Photography"

I get asked often by beginning photographers "How can I improve my photography"

I love sharing the information, so I thought to comprise some great
material that will help them along their journey.

http://fstoppers.com

Is a phenomenal website to see what’s going on in the photography world, also it
is great for just pure inspiration. I literally go on this site every day of my
life, it's truly sad lol

Check out the following links they have a ton of awesome
photography tutorials. "FIY" some of this material is free, but there are others tutorials that requires a cost.

"Adorama Digital photography 101" http://www.youtube.com/user/adoramaTV?feature=

"The Grid" http://kelbytv.com/thegrid/

"GavTrain" http://www.youtube.com/user/PhotoGavin

"Phlearn" http://phlearn.com/

"KelbyTrain" http://kelbytraining.com/ 

"LyndaTrain" http://www.lynda.com/

"CreativeLive" http://www.creativelive.com/live1

Spend some time going through these sites (try NOT to just read or watch what only

appeals to you) because you may miss out on some good stuff.

Scott Kelby is a renowned photographer who I absolutely admire. Following him has
made my life as a photographer so much easier lol. He has a ton of great
material out there to help you become a better photographer. Aside from the Kelbytraining media I just mentioned, he has a series of Digital Photography books.  I actually learned of Scott when I read his book "Digital Photography" which can be found here http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Photography-Book-Scott-Kelby/dp/032147404X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366269602&sr=8-1&keywords=the+digital+photography+book

His series of "Digital Photography" books are all absolutely fantastic!!!!! And for all you Apple lovers out there, he has apps that I find very, very useful, and I own them all lol. Go to the App store and click that download button please!! I am not sure if these apps are available on the Android Market.  

“Scott Kelby's: Lighting Recipes"

“Scott Kelby's:10 Essential studio techniques"

"Scott Kelby's: Photo Recipes Live Behind the Scenes"

"Scott Kelby's: Photo Recipes Live Behind the Scenes Part2"

In conclusion, always remember you cannot rush the process of getting better, it takes a lot of time, patients, and dedication. Don't be afraid to experiment and make mistakes.
Improving your photography is not only about shooting, you have to educate
yourself. Research other photographer’s see how they light, check out their
work flow, etc.... I promise after reviewing and apply all of the material presented you will begin to see a transformation in your work. 

 

"Light It Magazine Publication"

#Winning #Publication 

The "Light It" magazine is a popular digital photography magazine. This mag Is an amazing photography resource founded by noted photographer and author Scott Kelby. This magazine is also highly acclaimed for, bringing you the top demonstrations and how to's on getting professional looking work from the world's leading photographers!!

A few weeks ago I read that they were excepting submissions. Being wishful I submitted my work to the "L.I. Mag" I got an email back stating they admired my work, followed by another email with a gallery agreement. Long story short, they ended up choosing my image for the Closing Shot!!! Super Excited!!! 

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Source: Lightit Magazone Publication