Photoshoot with a lovely Vacouverite from Austria feat. Maja

Maja is a creative and artsy young lady of Austrian descent who was referred to me by a friend. She had some experience in modelling when she was younger. She very much still dabbles in the art of photography herself as she showed me her Instagram during our interview. Essentially this was a test shoot to see how we do in collaboration. She's both very pleasant, open minded, down to earth and rides a Ninja! That's just awesome cause I ride Ninjas! While we were photographing we really got to know each others background. It's great to work with exceptionally friendly people now and then.  We shot around Kits beach but boy was it busy and hot that weekend.  We had trouble with parking so we ended up parking close to her home which also happens to be 20 minute walk from Kits Beach.  The sun was high and was giving me harsh shadows especially since I didn't have a reflector to work with. My assistant wasn't around since we just finished another shoot earlier the same day. Fortunately, we're able to find a few good spots with some soft light to work with and we made some beautiful results! 

Photoshoot with Hairlicious Studio feat. Model: Tessa Blaiklock

This is a continuation of the post regarding the Collaborations with Hairlicious.  The third model of which Fahmed had driven all the way to Langley to pick up is Tessa. Normally Tessa isn't out that far but on the day of the shoot she happened to be in Langley. She's a model from London, England and originally represented by an agency named Sapphires Model Management. Of course after hearing that from Tessa I was more than excited and very relieved at the same time because it was getting late and sunsets at 7:20PM. Fahmed had arrived with Tessa at about 5:30PM and both Taiseer and her partner began work on Tessa right away. None of us had any lunch yet. Luckily Tessa brought a couple granola bars and shared it with the ladies. While they were working on Tessa I took the time to pace around the area seeking ideal shoot locations.

We did two hair looks with Tessa, straight hair and curled. We also had her in three out fits that she brought herself. Tessa was comfortable  with her body and was able bang out pose after pose, her composure really showed her experience. I directed her only enough to get the composition down while making lighting adjustments with the quickly dwindling sunset, my only source of light. She was fluid as expected and shooting with her was a breeze even though I had very limited time. We managed to many poses and a few locations. Overall, we were all satisfied with the results and I gave many thanks to Tessa for her splendid performance. It was a wonderful collaboration with Taiseer and Company!

You can check out Hairlicious' Facebok page HERE.

Now here are some pictures!

Photoshoot with Hairlicious Studio & Models feat. New Talent: Keely & Sumaysa

Taiseer and her business partner are both lovely makeup artists and hair dressers who contacted me for this opportunity to collaborate with them. They run their online & local business Hairlicious (Spa, Beauty), a studio which specialises in hair extensions including exotic Virgin Russian Hair Extensions.
I was excited as they already had models lined up and ready to go. Of course no shoot ever goes perfectly with out some challenges, the first time we set a date both the model and I arrived at SFU, Surrey as per directions but we were suppose to be in SFU, Burnaby, so there as a mixup in communications and that cancelled that shoot for that day. I was very disappointed as I took the transit that day. On the way home, there was an accident on the bridge, a 2 hour 1 way trip became 5 and the bus driver didn't want to complete his route because he was delayed past his shift. Instead he dumped the remaining passengers at Richmond Centre and had us wait for another bus.

Moving on, we finally got things going on the second appointment, but one of the models cancelled and another was way too far out of town to make it on time. Langley to be exact. So Taiseer's boyfriend Fahmed had to drive all the way out to pick her up while we were working on the models we had(Keely and Sumaysa). Another problem that came up was that the hair extensions we needed that day was not immediately in Taiseer's possession but all the way in Surrey, so we had to go there and pick that up before we head back to Burnaby where we did our shoot.  Our effective 12PM shoot started at 130PM. I was getting anxious because it was cutting in to our shoot time and we all know what that means!  If a photographer doesn't have enough time and is forced to work in a rush, it is more challenging to produce good work, not that I haven't worked under such scenarios before where I literally only had minutes to complete a shoot. But, I do prefer to work at a comfortable pace in order to produce the best work possible.

Keely with the long black hair was one of the intended models.  She arrived at 12PM on location with her friend Sumaysa. Fortunately, Taiseer's business partner also got there on time to keep them company. Keely had to leave by 3PM to work downtown and by the time they finished their hair and makeup on her it was 2:50PM!  So, here we go again.  I literally had only minutes to shoot Keely in her two out fits and she had to have her hair curled in between! Keely was also relatively new to modelling and had a couple shoots prior so I had to do some posing warmups with her and some directing. She was receptive and cooperated nicely, she picked things up real fast. By the end of the session we're happy to have some pictures to go home with! I was impressed and happy with Keely's performance overall.

Sumaysa, originally from Bangladesh has never modeled before and was purely there to keep Keely company.  Since Sumaysa could stick around, I had her model a few shots while we wait for our model Tessa coming from Langley. Sumaysa had glasses, no makeup and had an innocent look, but when they were done with her it was a transformation! WOW! Her pictures got quite the attention from her Facebook friends and so did Keely, so I'm satisfied with the results.

It was great experience at the end of the day as we moved passed our trivial challenges and was a pleasure to have worked with Taiseer and Company!

You can check out their site HERE and show them some support of you like their work. 

Models: Keely Sullivan & Sumaysa Tahsin

I'll talk about Tessa and her pics in the next update.

Summer Shoot with Model feat. Christina Lange, CK Personal Styling & Dora Lee

Not all shoots go without hiccups. Hitting record highs of 31 degrees celsius here in Richmond, BC (Vancouver), what else can we ask for other than a beautiful day for a nice bridal themed shoot!  It was really on the hot side but at least it wasn't raining. Originally I had scheduled a shoot with the lovely model Christina Lange and local makeup artist (whom I shall not name) who was going to loan a wedding dress from her contact and collaborating boutique Pure Magnolia Gowns. With less than 15 hours notice, I was told the shop had unexpectedly closed early for the day and she wasn't able to pick up the dress on time for the shoot. She would cancel or reschedule instead. I was furious as it was disappointing news to both Christina and I as I had to book a venue for the shoot and I was looking forward to working with them both. I told Christina to stay on hold with the clock ticking I fall back on my contact list of makeup artists who were willing to collaborate!  Dora Lee an aspiring student studying at Blanche Mac Donald for makeup artistry was a life saver. Out of a whims notice she was able to make it to the shoot the next day to work her magic on Christina's hair and makeup. Fortunately Christina had brought with her two lovely formal dresses perfect for the summer themed shoot! One of the dresses was provided by Casey Kauffman from CK Personal Styling. With that set and the fury still pulsing in my veins I wasn't satisfied. I contacted another model Maja and setup another shoot the same day right after Christina except it will be done around Kits Beach instead. Maja is another spontaneous one! Just like Dora, she was able make the shoot on such short notice! Maja's shoot will be for another blog entry! 

On shoot day everything went as planned. Everybody came on time!  WOW! As far as photo shoots go, if you ain't punctual, you ain't serious, and if you ain't serious, you ain't gonna make it. So I was rather impressed with everybody's efforts including my lovely assistant(girl friend) who booked the venue for me and carried my reflector. Thank you Dearest!

Enjoy this set with Christina in two beautiful dresses.

-Dustin H.

Model: Christina Lange

Makeup: Dora Lee

Wardrobe: CK Personal Styling by Casey Kaufman

Many thanks to Casey for the dress, you can visit her Facebook Page HERE.



"Chasing Nostalgia"- A Photo Shoot of Grunge and Romance

She wanted an anarchistic location of historic significance, one that whispers hardship, pain, and sacrifice, a dark place that would complement her shy character. A calming sensation of peace envelops us as we venture in to this miniature community. A historic heritage with deep roots dating back to 1880's when the first Finnish settlers arrived here in Richmond. Dark clouds of rainy grey can be seen creeping towards us while the sun finds an opening and peeks through. A gust of wind passes through the little slough while droplets of rain dashes through the air.  "Let the wind style your hair!" I exclaimed and so it begun. 

Here I had the opportunity with a very special model who wanted a unique shoot. No, not the typical preppy shoots where stylists spend hours on the models and the photographers deploy intricate lighting just to achieve the right look. None of that. No makeup, no stylist, no wardrobe, no lighting equipment, all natural and two cameras with a 35 mm and a 50 mm lens. 
I wanted to progressively reveal the characteristics of her and this archaic haven and so I present to you this set in the same chronological order of how it was shot.