"Shards of Glass" post coming soon!!!! If you want to read the story and see more images from this amazing shoot please stay tuned. While you are waiting, please feel free to tell me what you liked most about the "Shards of Glass" video? Also tell me what inspires you comment below!!!!!!!!
To Be Continued......... #SOG
How this all came together was simply magical. I have come to the realization it was on God's time, and it is my belief everything perfectly aligned so that this project could happen. A year ago I set out on a quest to creativity combine my "Art" with my “Photography” Initially, I had no direction but I knew I wanted to make something great. The more I pondered the more the visions started to manifest themselves. I started to scribble down little ideas as they came to me, then suddenly my attention shifted to creating a painting. I grabbed up a 30x48in sized canvas of old B&W abstract painting that I disliked and begun to work. It bothered me to even look at that painting, I was so eager to paint over I just threw anything on the canvas and of course that did not work either because I ultimately painted over that as well lol. So after two failed attempts, It was time to go back to the drawing board, the premise of this project was to be expressive and experimental at articulating my story so I wanted to create a mixed media abstract piece that would reflect that. In retrospect, looking back it is my interpretation the primary reason why those other painting I attempted to do on the same exact canvas did not work because the actual art was waiting to be used for something very special to come.
I have never previously worked with glass, yet I sought it to be the appropriate medium for this piece. It was time to gather some bottles. I found it to be the most accessible ironically I kept coming across "Green" bottles. Boom there was the color scheme, green was also ideal because it is the color of the heart chakra, and it is said to be the color of balance harmony, and growth. Those were the exact qualities I was in search of in my life. I told myself I would take my time and I did just that tediously tinkering every rotating piece of glass. Weeks and weeks went by of me working and curiously scouring the streets for the green jewel. At least that is what I considered them to be mere trash became my treasure, it was such a vital element for the painting. I am sure my friends, family, and on lookers all thought I was going crazy picking up glass from the ground and putting it into my pocket, none the less the craziness served its purpose. Not that I used them all but I guesstimate I collected over 100 bottles for this piece all varying in size and shades of green. After I felt I had an abundance of glass it was time to break bread or glass I should say! The project was gradually coming together but I still had a long journey a head of me.
It was time search for the jewelry that was a journey in itself. I would come across pieces I thought looked cool but it didn't strike me, and I wanted something that was striking. I visited many customs jewelry stores in the Chelsea area of Manhattan and to no avail. I took the initiative to make the jewelry myself, with that trusty ole bucket of glass and few pieces I somehow managed to gather POOF!!! like a magician waving his wand over a black upside down top hat the jewelry magically appeared. I was pretty satisfied how it turned out, it contained many layers and full of different textures much like the painting. At this point in the project I was feeling very confident because things were coming along smoothly. Being pleased with the progression of the many phases this project undertook, it was time to move on to the next stage, “The Model” And just when I thought things were going to be a walk in the park it all came to a screeching halt! I have to be quite honest this is where I became discourage, If you could see my face it was screaming the word “Nooooooooo” it bothered me because I was so emotionally invested. Instead of going in a dark corner in sobbing over my frustrations, I made a conscious decision to literally put my best foot forward, put my emotions aside and reluctantly work on other projects while I waited I often remind myself that this had to get done.
Although I encountered many discouraging setbacks along my journey I remained persistent. Foiled by my failed attempts I reached out to my trusty and most amazing MUA Ariel to give me a hand at casting a model she knew exactly what I was looking for so she was more than eager to assist. Weeks went by and to my surprise she came up empty handed as well. I started to question myself, “What is going on, what am I doing wrong” It felt as if the only people invested in this project was Ariel and myself, no one gave “SOG” a chance, but I believed in it. I could have easily reached out to a modeling agency but I wanted this to be authentic, I was in search of a connection. Moving forward, I can vividly remember being on Instagram one day posting pictures, I noticed this particular user liking a lot of my photos it caught my attention and I wanted to investigate. Immediately upon skimming through her feed, I excitedly blurted out “She’s the girl” At that very moment I intuitively knew I was looking at my muse for the project, she ideally fit every criteria. I tell you this girl was gifted wrapped and handed to me from the universe. The only thing that stood between us was a simple direct message, and boy I was not trying hesitate! I sent her a message that basically said “I would love to make some magic with you, she replied “I love your work, let’s do it”
I am thinking to myself no way, this is a joke, is she serious, is she going to flake like all of the previous models!!!???? These were some of the many fears that stalked my mind upon conversing with her via Instagram. In the weeks following we communicated more and more through email. Although she showed some interest I still did not feel fully secure on the deal, all that change the moment I sent the Photo Treatment of the shoot to her, that changed everything! After reading the treatment not only did she have a new appreciation for “SOG” it resonated with her so much she felt compelled to participate. I want to add that I am not a believer in coincidence, this is just a term we use to describe the strange occurrences. Ironically, she revealed to me that her dad passed on in 2010, my dad passed in 1995, 15 years prior to her tragic experience, she also told me of a poem she wrote 5 years prior to “SOG” titled “Stained Glass” I do not know if you guys see it, but there was definitely a connection there. She believed in me, and in my vision, she handed over her trust and I can not thank her enough. During the shoot I can recall on a few occasions Noel state "Everything happens on God's time" there was a quiescence in those words that perpetuated in my head.
In closing, this photo shoot wildly exceeded any and all expectation I had. I am truly humbled by this entire experience, all of the disappointments, mishaps, what seemed to be failures, were all in preparation for what was to come. All of the indifferent things that took place meant absolutely nothing in comparison to the day of this shoot, it was nothing short of utter bless. I am proof that through undoubtedly believing, hard work, and just being plan old persistent you can reap the fruits of your labor and man did I reap them abundantly!!!!!
Created in March 2015, shooting with Kaylah Raquel was an absolutely pleasure. I have to say this shoot had the perfect chemistry for some super awesome imagery. Sometime ago my good friend and MUA Robert Porcelain suggested that we shoot with Kaylah, prior to this i have not heard of her, but he went on and on how gorgeous and spontaneous she was, when I saw her picture I thought she would make a great subject. Any who we all chatted via text to set a date and the rest was history. I was very fortunate, because another a really good friend of mine allowed me to use his luxury condo in Hoboken, N.J. to do the shoot in and I must say man oh man, I can not thank him enough. On the day of the shoot I arrived a little early to set up and scale out where I wanted to shoot, Kaylah and Rob arrived 45min after. Upon formally meeting Kaylah she was a really sweet down to earth girl, after we exchanged some small convo it was time to get busy. As Rob was setting up I casually made my way around the condo filming the "BTS" They pretty much had creative control over the shoot and I was completely fine with that, and because of the whole sexual ambiance of things hence the name "Night Cap" When it was all said and done we were all blown away by the images. As a disclaimer, please be advised this shoot is more on the sexual/provocative side and is not suitable for the younger eyes, enjoy!!
Curious on what to buy? I was once in your shoes in search of what to buy I nearly reviewed and investigated many items when it comes down to photography. Along my journey I own, have owned, reviewed or used the items referenced in this post. Time after time, I get asked for recommendations and suggestions on what gear to buy, so I hope this hits the spot for some of you. As a disclaimer I am far from an expert and I am not super "techy", although I may not know all of the specifications of each product, what I can attribute is that they work incredibly well.
Personally, I love the Canon DSLR and Elinchrom system, but I am not at all bias to any particular brand I use what is comfortable and what works for me. I will suggest staying away from buying photography gear that states "Bundle Package" only invest in them if you seek the help of a professional or if you are fully knowledgeable on all of the products listed in its description. The majority of the times they throw in all these really cheap items that you will almost never use or will eventually end up replacing. I want you all to make the best investment you possibly can. Spending the money right the first time around will prevent you from spending it later, so do not be afraid to make the investment. If you are in the market of purchasing any type of gear, here are a few of my recommendations. These items address my over all things to look for when buying gear. These are the 3 essential elements for me when making my investment!!!!
Affordable- It must be in my budget otherwise I wouldn't be able to afford it! Quality, has to be the best in its class for the price point. How Much are you willing to invest?
Durability- The life and longevity is highly important because this determines how long you are able to hold onto your gear. Aside from some minor things most of my gear has lasted for 5 years plus. Can your gear take a licking and keep on ticking?
Portability- For me, this is highly essential because I love to shoot on location and I want to be light and nimble as possible. I had my days where I would lug all this crazy gear and let me tell you it wasn't fun. Yeah having a ton of gear on a location looks awesome but it can become a hassle when it is time to put it all away. Do you prefer a light travel or a heavy one?
Please note this is not the end all be all list, it is simply what I would recommend to people seeking to purchase or upgrade their gear. If you guys out there have any personal recommendations that you feel people can benefit from please email them to me so that I could add them to the list, Lorenzopphotography@gmail.com!!!!
Canon 70-200mmIS F/2.8 USMII $2,100
Canon 70-200mmIS F/2.8 USMI $1350
Canon 70-300mm $639
Canon 24-70mm2.8 USMII $1,900
Canon 24-70mm F/2.8 EF-L $1,000
Canon 24-105mm $1,000
SIgma 24-105mm F/4 Art DG OS HSM $900
Canon 28-135mm $380
Canon 135mm EF F/2L $1,000
Rokinon 135mm F2.0 ED UMC $550
Canon 85mm F/1.2 II USM $2,000
Canon 85mm F/1.8 $350
Rokinon 85 F/1.4 $270
Canon 50mm F/1.2L $1,500
Sigma 50mm F/1.4Art $950
Canon 50mm F/1.4 $330
Canon 50mm F/1.8 II $125
Sigma 35mm F/1.4Art DG HSM
Sigma 24mm F/1.4Art DG HSM $700
Elinchrom BRX 500 $695
Einstein E640 $499
Elinchrom D-Lite RX 4 $407
Neewer 600w Dual Power AC/DC $330
AlienBees B800 $280
AlienBees B400 $225
Fotodiox Pro M400A $200
Canon 600EX-RT $500
Canon 430EX II Price Varies
Yongnuo YN568 EX II $104
Yongnuo YN560 III $66
PocketWizard Pluss III Transceiver (2) $289
Yongnuo YN622C ETTL Transceiver (2) $79
Yongnuo RF-603 II Transceiver (2) $32
28" Beauty Dish white interior+Grid $172 Without Grid $108
22" Beauty Dish white interior $90
Circular Umbrella style
EZ-Pro Octa 5' $97
EZ- Pro Octa 36in $82
Pro Parabolic Umbrella 16-rib 72in White interior $80
Neewer 43in 5 in 1 Collapsible Disk Reflector $18
WestScott 2334 28in Medium Apollo $136
EZ-Pro Strip Box 12x56in $87
EZ-Pro Softbox 32x48in $82
Avenger C-Stand A2033LKIT $225
Matthews 40" C-Stand $206
Kupo 40" C-Stand Turtle Base Kit $200
CowBoyStudio C-Stand $152
Linco Deluxe Heavy Duty Boom Stand $78
PBL Pro Heavy Duty SC Stand 10' set of 2 $72
Linco Pro Heavy Duty 8' set of 2 with Carrying Case $61
Gitzo G2220 Explorer 3 $350
Manfrotto MK190XPro3-BH3+ Q90 Ballhead $300
Vanguard Abeo Plus 323AB + BBH-200 Ballhead $297
Manfrotto MT055Pro3 055 $240
Mactrem Q666C Carbon Fiber Tripod+Monopod+Ballhead $160
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT $150
Koolehaoda B-Q666c Carbon Firber Tripod+Monopod+Ballhead $149
Sirui T005KX 52in+C10x Ballhead $136
Neewer Carbon Fiber Lightweight Portable 66in+Ballhead $99
Induro Alloy 8M AT-013 $96
Really Right Stuff BH55 $550
Acra-Swiss Mono Ball Z1 SP $389
Manfrotto MH0550-Q2 055 $200
Sirui K-40x 54mm $165
Sirui K20x 38mm $129
Sirui K10x 33mm $118
Giottos MH1000-652 $95
Manfrotto 496RC2 $90
Fancierstudio 6664H $39
Xcsource BH $36
Wacom Intuos Pro Medium $350
Wacom Intuos5 Medium $350
Wacom Intuos4 Medium $225
Wacome Intuos Pen&Touch Medium CTH680 $200
Huion H610Pro $77
MonoPrice MP1060 HA60 $56
Check out camera bags from the following companies
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.
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`
Father Day 2014
These images are raw and untouched
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!
"How to achieve amazing catch lights in the eyes Pt.1
"How to achieve amazing catch lights in the eyes Pt.2
How to achieve amazing catch lights in the eyes Pt.3
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:
Here are some great "BTS" videos using the Beauty Dish
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!!!
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
If you ever wondered if my photos were rendered or not, the answer is "Yes" Typically after a photo shoot is done I do whats called "Fishing" I spend roughly an hour fishing through the photos, looking for what is usable, and discarding the ones that are not. After that process is done I then look for the absolute best photos out of the batch, and those are the photos that make it to the rendering process!!!! The amount of rendering varies, sometime the work is extensive and other times it can be something as simple as adding a little contrast and brightening up a photo!!! Anyway enough blabbering on, here are some before and after photos of my work!!!