Ektachrome Xpro with Samantha - Cabrillo

So… shooting my first roll of Ektachrome in a while and I messed it up. Honestly this year I’ve made a lot of rookie mistakes. I would like to blame it on shooting digital more and being careless but it honestly just the latter. I felt like I had royally over exposed my slide and was reading all the pushing and pulling debates when my friend over at Old School Photo Lab suggested that I cross process it. I hadn’t cross processed anything in a long time, I remember using Crossbird and not caring for the results.

That being said, I drop my roll of at my local lab that generally does one-hour C-41 service… and while waiting I was pretty damn nervous but over all I was surprisingly happy with the results.

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I was honestly expecting unusable images, wacky colors, warm tones, etc (cool tones are generally my jam). And while its true, those are the results, I feel it wasn’t too overwhelming to “ruin” the images. As one of my IG buddies stated its very “hipster” which may be both offensive and true. Still not mad.

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So I did bring these into LR to straighten some of the horizons and make the files smaller for site and something I never do but was curious about was how they convert to BNW, and we are talking simple conversions no teaks or pre-sets, but the tones and contrasts actually convert really well. Which makes me think if I were to do this gain, say for a campaign or something I may very well do the thing I hate and “edit my film”, still waiting for one of you to @me with a JUST SHOOT BLACK AND WHITE… *shrug emoji*

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Lomochrome Purple Holidaze with Emilia

and Fuji Superia, too.

Left: Fuji Superia 400 shot on Canon K2.

Right: Lomochrome Purple on Nikon F100

Last December I invited my friend Emilia up to Frederick, MD for some quirky holiday themed images for testing my first roll of Lomochrome Purple. I didn’t get my film scans back until it was practically too late to share. So I figure Id share some of my favorite images and show you the color difference. I’ll start off with the Fuji.


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The two frames were taking back to back and I couldn’t tell you what I did to get the inconsistency in color other than changing the aperture.

Looking back I see a few things I would do differently, mostly the backdrop, I have seen beautiful results outside among the greenery and getting the fun color shift. I do however like the near blood reds the film produces, if I were into gore or horror type work, this would be a fun film to experiment with. Also can we just take a moment and appreciate the under appreciated Fuji Superia 400. One of the easiest films to come by ( I think I snagged these at a Walmart in Alabama for $2.50/roll) and sure there is some warmth to the skin tones during low natural light; it looks really great with on-camera flash.

Conclusion here is mostly that I have these images on my computer and I needed to share them somewhere other than instagram.

Happy Holidays fam.

Burlesque Boogie Nights- TMAX P3200

A couple of months ago I was gifted a roll of TMax P3200. I had been wanting to shoot this film for a while and honestly after getting a roll I didn’t know what to do with it. I go to Sycamore Den in San Diego basically every month for Burlesque Boogie nights and when I first moved here I brought my DSLR as one does and ended up with photos like this.

So I knew the lighting of the venue was tricky both in color and black and white. However reflecting back I know the lights don’t move; they are all spotlights. Honestly know knowing what I know and looking at my past digital images and the TMAX results I maybe should have metered for the highlights instead of midtones. Was honestly just winging it.

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I shot this roll on the Nikon F100 for the most part I shot at 3200 at 2.8 and probably started at 125 and changed shutter speed at need when I had time if at all.

Developing and low-res scans via The Darkroom.

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I definitely learned a lot from this roll and well with this venue too. I’ll have another shot this coming Thursday as Burlesque Boogie Nights celebrates its second anniversary. Right now the plan is to some behind the scenes stuff with disposable but I may bring a couple cameras. We shall see.Just keep following on IG and you’ll see.

Garner Wedding - Silt, Co.

Recently I had the pleasure to be a part of a wedding that not only was a testament of love and family but also afforded me with a lot of new experiences. David and Lanette were married on a family ranch in the high desert of Silt, Colorado. After an odd morning of rain, the clouds and sky cleared for a bright and sunny, field ceremony followed by a flatbed ride over to the barn where the real celebration was to be had. 

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Friends and family all pitched in on the little details to ensure that the Garner wedding was special and went smoothly. Most people will tell you a DIY wedding is no small feat, but when you have an army it certainly helps. 

The midday sun beamed down after heavy morning showers. The mud dried before the high desert ceremony. Friends and family gathered in the field to watch the union of love and commitment.

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As a photographer and generally fun loving person, the reception is always my favorite part. After the ceremony we head down to the barn, where friends and family have worked together to cover the cake, catering, decorating and entertainment. Now to say this is one of the most fun and interesting wedding I’ve attended would be an understatement. At some point in the evening, I may have been coaxed into dancing and barreling riding. I failed at both with a hilarious quickness and am thankful the photos of that reside soundly on my personal phone.

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Thank you so much to the Garner family for letting me be a part of their celebration of love. Congratulations to the happy couple.

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Comic-Con Cosplay Battle at Urban Mo's

So I finally made it out to my first San Diego drag/variety show. I can't believe it took nearly six months. Of course this comes the weekend of Comic-con. Cosplay and advertisements have taken over the city! Events fill the weekend, including this cover charge- free show with a costume contest to win $500. The contestants went hard not only on their costumes but also their dance moves. Death drops, flips, wigs...gone... after all $500 was up for grabs! And the show was phenomenal. I will throw 10 of my favorite shots here, as always the full album is on FB: Starla Dawn Photo. 

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Thank you to all the performers and contestants for letting me flash your eyes and put my caera in your face. 

Baltimore Drag Awards- Fuji Natura 1600

Shooting my first roll of Fujicolor Natura 1600, I decided to save it for a special occasion. At the conclusion of the Baltimore Drag Awards, performers, friends and families pour out of the Creative Alliance theater to wait for their cars to take them to their respective homes/after parties. I attempted to grab as many portraits as I could in those few minutes. I shot the film at box speed on Nikon F100, most at 1.8 not recalling the shutter speed but I try not to go below 125.  Developing and scans:The Darkroom

When I bought the roll it was about $20/roll. I bought one for me and one for a friend. Now I am wishing I had purchased more because I love the colors, and the price per roll has since increased (at least on amazon). I decided to share ALL portraits taken, the underexposed, the overexposed and the il-cropped. The good,the bad, and the ugly. FEAST YOUR MFing  EYES. 

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As always thank you to the drag community of Baltimore for always stopping to let me snag a photo. You all are the best! 

Becoming Baby- Baltimore, MD

You all know how much I love behind-the-scenes work. While I didn't do the official behind the scenes photos at Baltimore Drag Awards this year, I did get to hang out with friend and Drag Queen of the Year nominee Baby (IG: babysnotalright) and watch the make-up process of Bryan becoming Baby. We also had a quiet observation of watching his boyfriend Dieringer go gold with glitter beard gorgeousness. 

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Thank you to Bryan and Dieringer for letting me be a part of your evening. Congratulations Baby on the nomination! 

Crissy Kay at Belmont Park

So I know I said I would take the year "off" and concentrate on my family and household, but its really hard and actually sucky for depression. I really enjoy working, and while I am not "actively working," I still very truly have the need to be photographing. While many of my images this year will no doubt be my family, I will sporadically be working with models, festivals and musicians. #sorrynotsorry

Crissy Kay is the first San Diego model I have had the opportunity to shoot with. I took three cameras, which I know is excessive but I had like half a roll in two cameras that I needed to shoot off before being able to use the film that I planned to use. Everything was really low-key. I rented  few dresses from Rent the Runway, had Crissy bring some sneakers, and she found a long board online because nothing I love more than a good juxtaposition.

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The roll I needed to "finish off" before I could free the Nikon up again was a mystery roll I received in a grab bag from from iam100.co none of my film friends were 100% clear we all had many guesses that it was a test film. Image were shot on Nikon F100 at Iso 200 and 100 (we were unsure of the film speed and it didn't automatically pick up. If anyone is interested, I may do a separate post with all the results)

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It was also my first time shooting the Canon Elan IIe. I used a basic 50mm lens with TMAX 400 and had it pushed one stop. I had mostly shot family on this roll but had some frames to spare.

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Lastly shooting Lomography 100 on the Nikon F100. Developed and standard scans by Nelson Photo in San Diego. A little excited to have one hour photo since I have yet to set up my scanner. 

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*shrug emoji* Lomo 100 is one of my favorite films. Its something I haven't heard anyone say but I'll say it. 

#tbt Womens March on Washington

I actually can't believe I never made a WMW blog post. I guess I just made the facebook album and just never go around to posting on the blog.

I wont make it wordy. 

Had a friend come stay from Colorado and she brought another Denver marcher with her, and of course my local friend Rachel who actually had to leave a couple hours into the march to make it to work, which made me nervous because the sea of people was intense. But she made it!! 

I think we left my house around 5:30am and we booked parking on Parking Panda so we were only about three blocks from the March center. 

We got there pretty early to get as close to the main stage as we could. We go to be about a block away, not so bad considering the crowd went on for miles. 

We got there pretty early to get as close to the main stage as we could. We go to be about a block away, not so bad considering the crowd went on for miles. 

Loved this woman's leggings.

Loved this woman's leggings.

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last one just for fun. 

last one just for fun. 

The long road home

A visual journal of our move from Maryland to California. 

This post contains only 35mm images shot on Canon AE-1 Program

First roll- Lomography 100

Second Roll- Lomography 400, metered as 100 (overexposed) and pulled one stop. 

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Chloe hates looking at the camera. 

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Elijah dealing with the heart break of saying goodbye to his friends as we wait across the street from his school. 

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If you are wondering about the light leak and this "first of the roll" image, I opened the back of the camera because I couldn't remember what I was shooting.

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This is my childhood basketball court in White Plains, KY. 

White Plains, KY

White Plains, KY

Little Rock

Little Rock

Our hotel in Little Rock

Our hotel in Little Rock

Abilene, TX

Abilene, TX

Abilene, TX

Abilene, TX

Texas

Texas

Texas

Texas

El Paso Museum of Art

El Paso Museum of Art

El Paso, TX

El Paso, TX

Sonoran Desert National Monument 

Sonoran Desert National Monument 

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Arizona?? Wanted to capture the strange brown cloud, was surprised even with the overexposure, you can still see it. 

Arizona?? Wanted to capture the strange brown cloud, was surprised even with the overexposure, you can still see it. 

Salvation Mountain, Niland, California 

Salvation Mountain, Niland, California 

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Hubby taking a photo of me at Salvation Mountain because I have waited like 8 years to go.

Hubby taking a photo of me at Salvation Mountain because I have waited like 8 years to go.

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San Diego

San Diego

La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove

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Glitterball- NYE in Baltimore

Sadly the Glitterball would be the last drag show I photographed before leaving the east coast. Got to see my friend and amazing queen Baby co-host a show with Venus. It was a fantastic show in a small Italian venue. The five queens gathered in a tight bathroom for a dressing room, proving something we have always known and that is, the glamorous side of show biz is often created in the least glamorous places. Or that glamour is a state of being, not so much a lifestyle to be obtained. 

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From small bathrooms to large stages, and if there are no stages we will make our own. The thing I learned about Baltimore is a show can happen anywhere, I also should have learned this in my fashion show days. A restaurant, a bar, a night club are all fine stages so long as the crowd came to have a good time and be entertained. 

And entertained they were. 

These bitches swang from chandeliers, dropped splits on the concrete floor, and gave strip teases to resurrect, give you life and then slay. you. again. 

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The real reason I fell in love with Baltimore Drag and Burlesque and really all things Baltimore Variety is really at the heart of what I consider Baltimore. Its gritty, and dirty, fabulous and flirty, raw sexuality and political commentary. There is always something new to be seen, new song to be heard, a new way to perform a routine, another envelope to be pushed. 

Thumbing through 2017s photos of performances, I know one thing: I will be back. 

And as if Baltimore needs any help being gritty, I will bring along a disposable camera to provide pop flash and 90s nostalgia. 

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You can probably hear my heart-break and mourning in my words. San Diego is truly beautiful, but I haven't been here long enough to meet "my people" yet and there is something about Baltimore that made me feel like "these are my people" with almost everyone I got the chance to meet. The blood through that town is dark and riddled with history that hurts and the life is creative and bent on creating a new history that heals. 

So blessed to have rang in the new year, watching these creative do their thing. 

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Elysium Marketing Group

Recently I was really excited to book my first double exposure commission. The job took me up to the suburbs of Philadelphia where I got the chance to work with an all female marketing team. Elyse, the president and founder, reached out to me after previewing my website. She had the amazing idea for the team page of her site.    

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She had the idea for basic head shots, with edits in black and white and in color, and when you click on an image of a team member the image of the double exposure would show up along with the member bio underneath. 

I loved the idea! 

Armed with my Canon 6D and my Nikon F100 and two rolls of Portra 400, I sat out to do my best to make this happen. 

As I do all my double exposures "whole roll" style, we shot our digital images first, toward the end of the digital session, I switched cameras and got the portrait layer on the film. After our portrait layers were shoot on the Portra, I struggled a bit with my film leader and then each team member curated a grouping of things they identified with and we shot the second layers. 

The items ranged from sports memorabilia to art supplies. 

Here are some of my favorites:

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I strongly suggest going over to the Elysium Marketing Group website to check out their head shots, favorite images and learn more about their awesome team of women! 

 

 

First Annual Baltimore Drag Awards

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to cover the first Baltimore Drag Awards. I was both excited and nervous because I didn't really know what to expect. It was my first time photographing a red carpet/ step and repeat set up. I like to think I operate best as an observer, but with so many beautiful queens, and entertainers its was pretty hard to end  up with a bad photo. Everyone was so elegant and simultaneously humorous.

I pulled a few on my favorite images both from the red carpet and the show. As always with events like this you can find the full album on facebook.   

Femme Fatale DC opens a Pop-Up Store

Thursday night I had the honor to attend the Femme Fatale DC Pop-Up opening party as a special guest. I brought my camera along because....well, its me. I love going to the Femme Fatale DC events because like the opening party, many of the events are female only. Like the events the store represents female artists, and business owners from/in the District. The pop up is open Thursday-Sunday until July 30!

While I was there as an attendee, I of course took that as an opportunity for candid shots. Catching pretty faces in the crowd and a couple details, and portraits as well. 

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Betty & Whiskey Present: Variete 5

This past weekend I was invited to photograph a variety event of burlesque and drag performances in Baltimore at The Crown. Forever grateful to the performers for letting me hangout in the green room and capture preparations before the show. As always here are a few of my favorite shots from the evening. 

A Special thank you to Whiskey Joy, Betty O'Hellno, E-Cleff, Shaunda Leer, and Maria Bella. 

 

Pet Portrait Session with Mai-ly

A couple of months back I met makeup artist and animal lover Mai-ly  through makeup artist pal, Rachel Lane.  In two different sessions we shot her with her pet guinea pig Sweet Pea, and then her with her ball python Mowgli. The first shoot was around Halloween time and was a basic natural light portrait session but at some point I learned that guinea pig costumes are a thing. The second shoot was about two weeks ago and we did a pet portrait session but emphasized on body-positivity. 

No worries, no pets were harmed or stressed during either session. 

Fall Maternity Session- Susquehannock State Park

A few weeks back I was stoked to hop in the car for a quick day trip to Pennsylvania to be with family friends, The Zook's. We had met the family when we lived in South Carolina, and shortly after they moved north, we followed. We get together from time-to-time to celebrate birthdays and just kind of make it through this life. So when Tahlor (mom of three) was soon to become mom of four, I was really excited she had asked me to shoot her maternity photos. They had gone location scouting a few weeks before and stumbled upon this beautiful waterfall right off of the Susquehanna River. This became the perfect autumn backdrop for our session.

Now as Tahlor approaches her due date, we send a warm congrats to her expanding family. We look forward to meeting the new baby girl!