Portraits inspired by Francesco Scavullo {San Jose Portrait Photographer}

In the recent workshop I’m taking with Donald Giannatti, up to this point, I have been inspired by (and we have studied) work of David Bailey, Gregory Heisler, Mary Ellen Mark, Francesco Scavullo, Albert Watson, Mark Seliger and Frank Ockenfels. Those names are some of the most influential portrait photographers of the last 50 years.

My head had been spinning, well, it still is, with ideas, inspirations, as well as frustrations and second guessing myself. All because this workshop has pushed me outside of my comfort zone on many occasions. Not to mention, I’d never been exposed to so much of studio work in my life as I’ve been for the past 7 weeks. And it’s a humbling experience.

Portraits inspired by Francesco Scavullo

Portraits inspired by Francesco Scavullo

When it comes to Francesco Scavullo, best known for his work on the covers of Cosmopolitan, I simply did not want to do any glamour/fashion shots. I ended up trying something he was very known for, and what’s called these days a clamshell lighting.

I used one soft box and a small reflector, which for the self portraits I was holding on my lap, or struggling to support it with my free hand.

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Someday, I’ll look back very fondly on those moments in my garage when I had to be my own model, photographer and an assistant. And at the end, I had produced nothing close to a clam shell lighting kind of portraiture. It wasn’t funny on that day, but even today, I have a smirk on my face writing about it.

Before I got in front of the camera, I had this awesome plan to use my kids (as in most of the assignments for this workshop). Well, you know how that goes when you want your kids to do something (or not to do). They do exact the opposite. In a time when I needed them to be still they decided to make it a dance, and a hugging party.

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And because this is such a rare thing between them these days, as they are more preoccupied with fighting over their toys and crayons, I started to “dance” around with them. Yeah, you might call it a dance…  However my dance was to somehow keep the reflector underneath their faces and take photos at the same time while they wiggled. Well, now my smirk is even bigger!!!

HA! Speaking about skilled photographer…. 😉

Portraits inspired by Francesco Scavullo
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And some behind the scene 😉

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Portraits inspired by Francesco Scavullo

Do you get frustrated when you have an idea in your head, have the tools to re-create / create the idea, but then things are not working for you.

Have you ever let it go then, and start being in the moment instead.

And then somehow you end up with things even better then your initial idea.

Because as David duChemin said today in his article, “we’ll all make much better photographs if we love our photographs more then we love our tools”.

Happy Monday!

Now off I go to think about our last assignment for this workshop: Greg Gorman

What do you have planned for this week?


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Pinkalicious {Newborn and Family Photographer, San Jose, CA}


5 months ago I met this family to photograph just born Little Sister. She was perfect in her sleepiness and calmness, and I loved every single minute I spent with the family. Beside me talking pictures we also talked about topics like “tabula rasa”…

newborn_family_session_palo_alto_silicon_valley_ewa_samples_photography_1While our second session was less intellectually interesting it was filled with kisses, hugs, smiles, and PINK! We had to work around mid-day sun light and dad’s injured back. For the mid-day, full of  beautiful shady spots Elizabeth Gamble Garden never fails. For the injured back, we limited my regular, throwing in the air fun, but we still did some swinging…

I can’t wait for our next session. Then, we will definitely do some more running around and throwing in the air! I promise that!



And can’t wait to add another sisters hugging picture to this collage!


Location Scouting for Photo Sessions {Kids Photography, San Jose, CA}

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Those two are my inseparable companions whenever I go location scouting.
When a potential client proposes a location I am not sure about or have never been to before, those two are the first models I take to that place and see if it could work or not.

In this case it was only a refresher, because it appeared I have been to this place and had done some shots there in the past. (Ugh, my poor memory!)
It is definitelly a YES for my future sessions and it got definitelly approved by my two models as a place to go and play whenever we are bored by our regular playgrounds and parks!

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