Session With Melissa

I love doing sessions with models. They are so laid back and fun. As much as working with clients is wonderful, those sessions are way more stressful than just being in the studio with beautiful people. We don’t have any deadlines or restrictions.

One of these great people is name Melissa, not too long ago we did some great images in and around my studio. She was great to work with and had so many things to add to the session. I love when models come prepared, and she was prepared. It will be great to work with her again.

Kim Kardashian Reveals Why She Doesn’t Smile

,Recently, Kim lets us mere mortals know why she never smiles. Simply, it is bad for the complexion and creates wrinkles. But did you start thinking, why didn’t people ever smile in old photographs or paintings? (

Some had theorized it was because of their bad teeth or even due to long exposures needed at the time. These hardly hold up. First, everyone had bad teeth before modern dentistry; so they would not have been ashamed of the way they looked. Also, some people had great teeth yet they still did not smile. Secondly, the exposure times needed for a proper exposure were under 30 seconds by the mid-19th century. They no longer needed to hold the pose and smile for long.

Basically, the answer comes down to nothing having to do with beauty or technique. It had everything to do with decorum. It was considered foolish and stupid to smile. Therefore, everyone gave the mean face: “by the 17th century ‘it was a well-established fact that the only people who smiled broadly, in life and in art, were the poor, the lewd, the drunk, the innocent, and the entertainment.’” (Jeeves, Nicholas)

The next time you smile for a photo, please don’t take offense, but our ancestors would have thought us stupid or the entertainment. So, smile with a broad grin because what did they know? They thought the plague came from a pile of old rags.

Every Model is a Boy Scout - Always Prepared

What should you bring to a photo shoot?

To be a great commercial model you have to invest in a great commercial wardrobe. When you are asked to come to a shoot, especially a test or stock shoot, models are often requested to bring their own wardrobe. But what really do you need to bring? Should you just empty out your closet? Below I have a list that will make any photographer happy and will not break you back.


• a few business suits
• a little black dress
• a few skirts (Current style is best, not too short.)
• scarves and accessories (Cheap costume jewelry is fine—the more the better. A ring to look like a wedding ring often comes in handy.)
• nice black slacks and tan pants
• 5 or 6 tops (Colors are fine, but no black, no crazy colors or prints, and no logos.)
• a turtleneck
• jeans (no holes, not too worn-looking)
• black and tan low-heeled shoes
• tennis shoes without prominent logos (obvious branding)
• black high heels (not too stripper-looking)
• sandals
• shorts (not too short)
• ball cap with no logo
• strapless bra, nude
• nude undergarments
• tube top
• socks
• a one-piece bathing suit and a two-piece if you have the figure for it
• a jean jacket
• a blazer, current style
• push-up bra and cutlets if you are small on top


• a nice suit (not cheap—This is a good investment in your career.)
• jeans (not too worn-looking)
• black shoes
• tan shoes
• tennis shoes (no obvious branding)
• socks—black, tan, and white
• dress shirts for suits (4 or 5 in different colors)
• 2 or 3 ties to coordinate with shirts
• polo-style shirts (3 or 4 in different colors)
• Dockers-type pants in navy and khaki
• belts (dress and casual)
• swim shorts
• shorts, cargo in tan or khaki and one dark color
• T-shirts (white, black, a few colors, no logos)
• dress slacks, dark and light (no white)
• turtleneck
• pullover sweaters in a few colors
• dress and sports watches
• ball cap with no logo

Once you have everything, make sure you keep it in excellent condition. You don’t want your stuff to look faded. So, take it to the dry cleaners and keep everything clean and pressed. I personally hate wrinkles. I like to see models bring their things on hangers, not waded up in a duffel bag.

Obvious branding should be avoided on all clothing. If you can recognize a brand, we probably cannot use it on the shoot. Small logos on polo-style shirts normally will not show up, but anything larger may.

Small Business Helping Small Business

Saturday, November 29th is now becoming an annual event called Small Business Saturday, sponsored by American Express. It is a national campaign to encourage people to support small business instead of the big box stores.

In support of this I was hired to take candid, photo booth style photos to show some of the customers of a local barbershop named Royal Razor. It is a great break for me from the hustle and craziness of formal studio sessions. I like just having fun and seeing some crazy expressions from the customers. Special Thanks to Royal Razor Barbershop in Baltimore, Maryland.

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