A photo shoot can be intimidating for any of us, even those that are used to being in front of the camera – or on stage. In my studio, I’m aiming for a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere – this helps in creating engaging and natural images. Recently I had the pleasure of shooting with Alisson, a very lovely and accomplished actress. Alisson was kind enough to offer to write up her experiences of the shoot:
“A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to sit for Blake as a model. While I had done some “modeling” before (it’s kind of a stretch to call it that—I had lots of photography major friends in college who needed someone, anyone, to take pictures of), it had been years since I did more than a casual shot for Facebook.
Blake and Maria Dominici, a fabulous makeup artist, made the process fun and stress-free. The three of us and Sam (an 8th grade student who was shadowing Maria as part of a career mentoring program at her school) talked through the ideas for the shoot—what Blake was hoping to accomplish, what I was looking for, and what Maria could bring to the table. Blake started prepping the studio, and Maria started working on my face.
I’d never had my make up professionally done before, and now each morning is a disappointment at my own abilities compared to Maria’s. But she gave me some great pointers, and after Maria worked her magic and I looked in the mirror, I could not believe what she accomplished.
Once I was made up and outfits were chosen, the shooting began! Blake’s studio is neat, welcoming and only slightly intimidating (I had seen those big lights before), with big windows and beautiful natural light.
By connecting his digital camera to a laptop, we were able to look at the images as we went along – shown immediately on a big 17-inch screen. Not only was that helpful to me as a model to get the right pose (“Ok, I see—I need to keep my shoulder low”), it was also very reassuring—“Wow! That’s a great shot!”
It helped me feel more involved in the process. I felt like the photos were something Blake was creating with me, not of me. Additionally, I got to choose the satellite radio station!
The first order of business was to create a headshot I could use (as a community theater actress, I always need new headshots), which Blake was happy to provide. It was a great way to ease into the day, as the photos were mostly me sitting and trying to keep my head straight. Easier said than done at times. But Blake was very patient with my crooked gazes.
Then came the beauty shots. The straps of my dress pulled aside for a classic bare shoulder look, and these amazing lighting effects Blake created—I looked flawless. I was shocked, truly shocked, at how I appeared on the computer screen as he flipped through the photos. Maria stayed in the room to reapply powder and help however she could, which made me feel quite comfortable and supported.
Another change of outfit, beautiful red lipstick applied by Maria, and a green background—now some fashion work. The idea of shooting fashion style
photos terrified me (um, no one is about to mistake me for a runway model), but it was nothing like I feared. A cute dress and encouragement to smile and make funny faces ensured I had a blast. And some absolutely beautiful shots came out of it.
A final outfit change and more fashion full-body shots. For this last look I refluffed my hair and got to work. Spinning, laying down, sassy faces, and playing with my skirt ended the day with a final round of fun photos.
My day with Blake was filled with lights, lipstick, yummy cookies, hairspray, music, beautiful photography – and fun. Blake and Maria were professional, patient and casual yet focused. We were chatting and laughing throughout our time together. It was a great day. I cannot wait to go back for my next shoot!”