Deyvon and Jillian Jones along with their 3 boys, Luke, Dillan and Liam got dressed up to take family photos with team SL. Photographed, right in their own home, this large family brought out all the stops to ensure their photo-shoot was one to remember.Read More
I've always wanted to do a shoot inspired by fur clothing, so while I was in Toronto, I met up with stylist Aziza Brown to help me produce this editorial. Alina, our model had reached out to me on the popular networking site, Model Mayhem and Aziza and I agreed that we both loved her look. So after a few hours of brainstorming, I left it all in Aziza's hands to come up with the looks while I sourced local talent Joan Huang for hair and makeup.
The studio was booked, call time was set and my photo-shoot playlist was on repeat. Aziza laid out her pieces, finalizing the looks which we both went over, while Joan was at her station preparing for the model's arrival and once Alina showed up, everyone put their game faces on.
Alina was incredible to photograph. She moved effortlessly through each frame and her piercing eyes burned through the lens and they seemed not to be distracted by the surrounding fur which hugged her face. The looks were great, and combined with color gels, made for great compositions.
This series was recently featured in intl magazine Institue Magazine as well!
MUA/Hair: Joan Huang • Clothing: Print Vintage • Stylist: Aziza Brown • Model: Alina Pak
I got an email from Carolyn late one evening introducing herself saying that she was in The Bahamas and wanted to shoot lifestyle swimwear images for her blog. She told me that she connected with Alessandra Ambrosio, former Vicky Secret model who was now going into her own line of swimwear and that she had a few of the pieces to shoot with. I always jump at opportunities like these because it allows me to work with foreigners and ultimately grow my network.
Carolyn and I met a few days after to discuss a concept for the shoot and to look at the pieces that we would use to style her in. She was very easy going and assured me she could do her own hair and makeup, meaning that I would be working with a smaller team. Of course I didn't mind this as it would cut down on prep time and allow me to focus on shooting. We planned for a sunrise shoot, scouted our locations at Albany Bahamas and even secured a few four-legged models for the set.
My team and I woke up around 4am that morning to make sure we would be punctual on set. We arrived only to be greeted with a spread of deli meats, fruits, pastries and beverages which would surely provide us with fuel for the shoot...which of course we did not turn down!
The shoot ran great, particularly, the lighting. I love using natural light where I can and the lighting was almost perfect all day. I was able to diffuse the bright sun, bounce the light, which lit my model beautifully. Additionally, using my NIKKOR 85mm f1.4 lens created great flares and bokeh frames and awesome depth of field compositions.
See images from the shoot below.
I was nervous about this concept…at first. I wondered if I would go too far in getting a message across and if people wouldn’t relate or grasp what I was trying to say as a photographer. As a child I’d always seen the portrayal of “Eve” as a beautiful Caucasian woman so my imagination got the best of me and I decided to go against all the imagery I had previously seen in any biblical illustration.
I wanted to stay clean, within my style, conceptualizing elements that would add to my overall canvas. If Eve were a black woman, what would she look like? Would she be tall, short, skinny or fat? Would her hair be natural, straight, up or down? How would I show her creation, her temptation, her becoming more aware of herself and body?
To do this I put together a group of talented and visionary people in the industry that I felt would carry this concept like it was their own. Creative director, David Rolle pieced the looks together for Eve, orchestrating hair and makeup to follow.MUA, Mandisa Kerr worked her magic brush craftily added the right accents and contours to our models face. Hair stylist, Jameelah Thompson along with her assistant Lovena Magloire created amazing crowns of hair to place on our model that fit the theme.
As expected finding a model to play the role of Eve had its challenges. Because of the reptilian element, many models were skeptical about the representation or meaning behind a very recognizable prop. Selvinique Wright however was down the second I was finished explaining the concept to her. She was in and that was all. On set she moved her body and shaped her poses into works of soft and sultry sentences allowing David to form her into the character “Eve.”
In ancient Greek literature, an eidolon (plural: eidola) (image, idol, double, apparition, phantom, ghost) is a spirit-image of a living or dead person; a shade or phantom look-alike of the human form. – Wikipedia
Combining efforts with a killer creative team, photographer Scharad Lightbourne explores a new concept titled “Eidolon” where he attempts to model Clarisse Pelanne into an unknown being. His inspirations coming from fantasy, extra terrestrial life theories and his love of sci-fi, he creates a unique twist on beauty photography. This alien-like beauty shoot is a conceptualization of that. Working along side MUA, Italia Williams of Eye Candy Makeup, Scharad attempts to bring you “Eidolon: We are not the same.”
The entire “alien beauty” concept came to mind literally overnight. But with weeks of research and multiple conversations and brainstorm session with the style team, these images came together beautifully. Initially showing an image to people, their first reaction was that the model appeared “unreal” however, they also commented that you were still able to see the beauty in them.
If the energy and enthusiasm exuded by Travelista TV’s Teri Johnson (NYC) via email was any indication of what was to come, I knew I had to prepare myself for a bundle of energy and nothing less. Teri contacted me to produce new images for her amazing and informative travel brand, a task she would complete during a visit to Nassau, Bahamas. Needless to say, I was not disappointed as I met Teri and she told me her goals for what she wanted to achieve. Teri already had close connections to The Bahamas as her good friend Latoya Moxey, (who happens to be a friend/client of mine) told her of my work initially and recommended me for this project. Teri stated that once she saw my portfolio, she felt compelled to contact me and bring her vision to life.
To capture the full essence of what Teri envisioned, I put together a team and called on stylist, Lavonne Alexis of ShoptheCC to assist me. Of course with Lavonne’s extraordinary energy and work ethic, we created looks for Teri that combined Teri’s southern background with her jet setting lifestyle and love for fashion.
I chose the beautiful Love Beach in Nassau on which to photograph “The Travelista” and with my team behind me, she rocked every look highlighted with jewelry from DVK and Jason Fish (NYC) as well as sponsored swimwear from Allure Swimsuit Boutique and designer Rich McCoy.
Teri took some time out to do a short interview while on set. Here’s what she had to say:
1. How did you come up with the name Travelista™?
When my friend and business partner Andrea and I decided to create our own travel web video show seven years ago, we called ourselves “The TravelGirls”. We were using that name for a few years but we were forced to come up with a new name because there was already a magazine called TravelGirl and we would never be able to trademark TravelGirls and use it commercially.
After a few months of racking our brains to come up with a better name, I happened to be on a flight from Los Angeles toNYC reading a magazine where words ending in “ista”, kept popping up like Fashionista and Barista. I knew immediately that we should call ourselves “The Travelistas”and operate using the Travelist TV platform.
2. What does the brand represent?
A Travelista is a woman who loves to travel and explore the world. She is curious about other cultures and people, she enjoys speaking other languages, sampling various cuisines and meeting interesting and fascinating characters. She is open minded, a global citizen, and loves to look good, especially when she travels. A Travelista combines the style and grace of jetsetters from the 60’s with a fun, adventurous twist that makes her stand out wherever she goes.
3. What brought you down to the Bahamas?
I came to the Bahamas to visit Nassau, write about my experience and to learn more about what’s in store over the next eight months for Paradise Island. I was amazed to see how much growth and expansion is taking place in the real estate and resort market and what this means for US and international tourism.
I also decided to come to Nassau to do a photo-shoot with photographer, Scharad Lightbourne. I needed to update images for my Travelista Teri brand and I felt as though the Bahamas was a perfect backdrop for me because I feel at home here and have an immense love for the Caribbean. Although born and raised in Houston, Texas, I happen to be an island girl at heart who is used to the heat, friendly people and good food, all which are plentiful in the Bahamas.
Prior to last year, I had never had my own web presence apart from Travelista TV and the shows I’ve done for BET, TVOne and Huffington Post. I knew I needed to create my unique web presence that reflects my passion for inspiring people to live better and travel more. From tips on how to look like a rock star when you travel to how to correctly pronounce French wine, I strive to provide my audience with tools, tips and destination highlights in an entertaining video format.
4. Tell us about the shoot?
My dear friend Latoya Moxey, a Bahamian swimwear designer and entrepreneur, referred Scharad Lightbourne and after seeing links to his work; I was determined to shoot with him. I believed in his ability to capture my personality and the essence of Travelista.
The shoot went amazingly well. Scharad’s team of professionals made my job very easy. As a director and producer of my own show, I am usually in charge of production in almost every project I do, but for this photo-shoot, I was able to relax and let Scharad and his talented team run the show. I was extremely comfortable and felt as though I was working with people I’d known for years.
Prior to our initial phone conversation, he watched a few of my Travelista videos and had detailed branding and style questions for me to answer. I knew he got it when he sent a Pinterest Inspiration board with looks that were perfectly in alignment with my brand.
6. How do you think the branding and new images will enhance you as a travel personality?
With my new images and branding, I am confident that I will get a boost in my profession as a travel host and spokesperson. My new look will not only translate well for travel and tourism brands, but for fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. I was fortunate enough to have been selected as the pro-bono client for the Studio NYC, a digital and animation company, whose summer interns are using their creativity to do a brand overhaul for me. The combination of their work on my logo, color scheme, and animation combined with my new photos by Scharad, I know I am truly blessed to have a powerhouse behind me. With my series on the TravelChannel.com launching later this summer and my current role as the spokesperson for Hampton Hotels, the timing for my new look could not have come at a better time.