Deep Ellum Pop Up Photography Studio

Last weekend, I photographed a High School Senior portrait session in Deep Ellum, which is east of downtown Dallas. In preparation for this outdoor shoot, I added a speed light to my kit, a Yongnu YN-568EX for Nikon. I selected this flash as it supports TTL and High Speed Sync and much cheaper than the Nikon flashes. I added this flash because I wanted four units that supported TTL and High Speed Sync. My plan was to use all four simultaneously. In addition, I added a Cowboy Studio 4 way flash shoe bracket, so that I can mount all 4 speed lights on to one bracket. 

It was an overcast day, so there was no harsh sunlight. My plan was to balance the ambient light, which was diffused by the clouds and off camera flash. I used this setup for the senior portraits and they turned out great. The portrait session lasted about an hour, so I decided to find a location and take some stranger portraits while I was down there. 

I end up shooting in mostly in one locations, the first spot didn't have much foot traffic, so I only ended up getting one stranger portrait, but it was probably the most interesting. After about 20 minutes, I moved around the corner, found something with a cool background and waited for strangers to pass.

I'd heard of other photographers do this, finding a location on the street and basically setting up a pop up studio, it was a cool experience and I look forward to do this again. 

Flight Status

Last week (April 2, 2016) I was flying from Dallas, TX to Tampa, FL. After boarding the plan, the captain announced there were storms in the Tampa area and there would be a possible 2 hour flight delay. 30 minutes later, we de-boarded the plan and went back into the DFW airport terminal. After finding a seat, I decided to take some photographs of the travelers passing by to kill the time. I was sitting near a flight status monitor and I noticed a steady stream of travelers stopping to check their flight status. I decided to take images of people looking up at the monitor.

I was seated on the end so I had an unobstructed view. I didn't want to be obvious, so i put my camera in Live View mode and balanced it on my knee. As people stopped, I would frame the shot via Live View and take the photograph. Most didn't notice what I was doing, and the ones who did, didn't say anything, they just kept walking. 

The flight delay ended up being only an hour. But during that time I took some interesting images. Here are some of the photographs. 

Game 2: Cowboys v. Texans (Preseason)

I got my first game as the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue photographer in the books. It was an great experience and I can't wait until the next home game. Here are some photographs from the second Dallas Cowboys preseason home game.   I decided for this game to rent a wide angle lens to experiment with getting some different shots. I heard about new Tamron 15-30 and the rave reviews, so I decided to rent it from Borrow Lenses for this game.  It did provide for some interesting angels (see the first 7 images below). Here are some shots from Game 2. You can view a larger version of the photographs below by clicking on the image.

Dallas Unplugged presented by Cosign Magazine & WGR Management

Video clip and some of my top photographs from the event Dallas Unplugged presented by Cosign Magazine & WGR Management at House of Blues Dallas back on June 19, 2015. Artist: Kirk Thurmond & The Millennials; Diva Sol & The Soulful Soundz; Judgmental & The Jury & Alsace Caricone & The 1's & 2's.

Fall for the Arts 2014

This past Saturday in Dallas, TX marked the annual Fall for the Arts, a celebration of all the arts in the North Texas/Dallas area. I photographed this free event last year and really enjoyed it. (Click here to see that blog post). If you're a photographer that enjoys photographing people, this is a great opportunity as there are people from various locations around DFW in one place. Based on last year, I figured it would be crowded so I took the Dart Rail to the Arts District station and proceeded to walk toward Klyde Warren Park (KWP). Last year I missed the Dallas Black Dance Theatre production that was held on the stage outside the Winspear Opera House. I decided to go there first, but when I arrived, there was no one there. So, I headed toward the Nasher Sculpture center because last year that's where the had the Asian culture performances and vendors along Flora St, but there was no one there either. I proceeded up Harwood St to KWP to where the main festivities were being held. I found a schedule and all the performances where only and KWP and not spread out like last year. This year's event was scaled back quite a bit. Previously there were four stages, this year there was only two, both located at KWP. I thought at first maybe the other stages are located somewhere else, but from the schedule, there are right here at KWP. I hung around for a few hours, walked around, took some shots and went home. Here are some of the photographs I took.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre

Dallas Black Dance Theatre

Dallas Black Dance Theatre

Dallas Black Dance Theatre


Open Mic

A few weeks ago, someone on Instagram posted that they will be performing at Opening Bell Coffee's (OBC) Open Mic. I was curious about that and went to OBC's website to see what this was all about. OBC has the longest running Open Mic in Dallas. Musicians sign up and play on a rotation for about 15 minutes which is normally two songs. Original music is preferred, but they do allow some cover songs as well. I decided to go to Open Mic night and see if I can photograph the artist as they perform. I spoke with the host and asked if it was OK if I photographed the artist, he said sure. I did offer the images for free for anyone who wants one. When I got there I was surprised to see one of the models I photographed at a works shop a few months ago. Below are some of the shots from Opening Bell Coffee's Open Mic, I also have some video clips on my Instagram feed.


Natural Light Portraits

For the past year, I've exclusively focused on studio lighting when it came to photographing head shots or portraits. My goal was to learn the different lighting techniques and to develop my own sense of style in the studio. It has been a great learning experience and there's a lot more to learn. Over the last year I've made some great images and some not so great. But, that's apart of the learning experience. I found that I really like the look of beauty lighting or clam shell lighting styles. 

I recently attended a workshop called "A Models Workshop." This workshop consisted of models, make up artist, photographers and stylist. The workshop had classes for the models and one for the photographers. The photographer classes were on studio lighting and posing, both where very good. Once the class was over the photographers attending the workshop, found a location in the studio to shoot the models.

The workshop was held at Brown Lane Studios. I've photograph almost all of my head shots and portraits in this studio. There is a huge natural light studio with windows from the floor to the ceiling. I've always wanted to shot in that studio. Although I brought my lighting gear to the studio, I decided to shoot all natural light portraits (except for a few shots taken during the studio light and posing class). I found a spot close to the window, and got a couple of V-Flats a reflector and shot ONLY natural light portraits. It was a partly cloudy day, but there was plenty of light streaming through the windows. I used a small reflector to add just a bit of pop. What I loved about this workshop is that the models had a session with each photographer through out the studio. I had the opportunity to take plenty of natural light photographs. I will say I was tempted to get my lighting gear, but I resisted. Overall, I was  pleased with the outcome of the images, some of which I use in my portfolio. The great thing about natural light, you don't need a studio, just a good location and some shade. The best time is actually overcast days as the clouds act as a natural diffuser, softening the sun light. Below are some of my favorite natural light portraits from the workshop.


Latino Fashion Week® (LFW™), Dallas – 2014 Tour “Beyond Exceptional”

Back on May 1st, I had the pleasure of photographing the 8th annual Latino Fashion Week 2014 tour in Dallas. LATINO FASHION WEEK® |LFW™| is the only full week and tour dedicated to Latino Fashion in the United States, showcasing top Latino designers from Central and South America, the Caribbean and the U.S. In its eighth year, the theme for LATINO FASHION WEEK®, “Beyond Exceptional,” exemplifies those in the Fashion Industry that continuously push the boundaries of excellence.  LFW™ is a showcase of all that is fashion during the 2014 Tour in the cities of Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. 

The event featured local designers Binzario CoutureCaritoCaróElvira DíazHueso Outlaw by Anthony MuelleKHG by Krystle Holnes and Rulli Torres.

SISU Uptown Resort

SISU Uptown Resort

The event was held at SISU Uptown Resort. The fashion show itself was held by the pool, which created a challenging environment to shoot in. There was no runway, the models walked along the side of the pool, and walked over a platform that was placed across the narrow width of the pool, then walked back where they came from. There were quite a few photographers there, so space was tight.  I arrived early and I was able to get a decent spot to shoot from. It was interesting to see the late comers jocking for position, even getting a little pushy. Lighting at a fashion show is always a challenge, and it was no different at this venue, especially with an outdoor event. The lighting was uneven along the pool side and there was a spot light at the other end of the pool that caused lens flare, I just deleted most of those shots with the lens flare. Overall, I was still able to get some good shots and I met some really nice people. I big thanks to Delia De Avila from LFW for approving my press pass. 

Below are a few shots from the event, click "here" to view the entire gallery.

InfiniteLUXE Fashion Show | 3.22.14

Last Saturday, I photographed a fashion show hosted by Curvy Fox and Choices Boutique. The fashion event showcased spring and summer collections from local Dallas designers, Curvy Fox, Sade Wooten, Jaggad Hanger, Pink Sorbie, G3 Concepts, and Fly’ish Clothing. The event was held at Gilley's Dallas with sounds provided by DJ Dirty Rae

This is my 5th fashion show and I'm enjoying them more and more. However, It can be challenging shooting a fashion show, because you never know what the lighting will be like. For this event, there was a spotlight that lit up the runway, which made it easier to get the shots exposed and in focus. 

Here are some of the shots from the fashion show. Big thanks to Melanie Arango, Bel Flores and Mario Abad for the press pass to the event. Click here to see the entire gallery.