Spring Beauty

According to the calendar, it's late spring, and according to my thermostat, it's around 50F and cold.  I'm over it and all I want is some sunshine, so to help with this dreary weather I got together with some friends and had a fun shoot that was inspired by spring.  Simple, clean beauty with some flowers in the hair - refreshing.

I have plans to start shooting more beauty, so keep a lookout because soon enough I'll have a gallery just for that.

 

Ms. Alison Wright

The best compliment a photographer can receive, in my book, is to be rehired.  Back in April of 2014 I photographed my first client from Mona Loring, Alison Wright.  Despite the small, but beautiful apartment we shot in, the rainy weather coming down in TriBeca that day, we got some great shots.  Fast forward a year later, Alison asked if I could photograph her again, being extremely flattered, with pleasure, I said yes.

This time, we shot at my studio in Brooklyn and had a blast.  It was a quick shoot, only three looks, and we all were laughing the whole way through.  There is just something that I truly enjoy when working with someone to get their portrait.  Obliviously, I love clothing and fashion, but it's always more about the person for me.  I listen to the client and find out what kind of feeling/message they would like from the portrait, and I create it.

After years of hopelessly tiring to forecast my future, I have retired from that, and I now go with the flow of life, try my hardest and see where it will all take me.  I don't know who I'll photograph next, but I'm looking forward to it.  

The Morris Effect

Today I'm here to introduce you to my dear friend, occasional colleague, and family member from another coast, Ryan Morris.

As long as I've know him, he has always been true to himself, and making sure to express it in every way possible.  Personally, I have always been a fan of his style  [[ wearing three piece suits while skateboarding, low riding shorts with semi-high cut shirts, and his hair in a slight state of disarray ]] so I asked him to come over to my studio and let me capture it all.

When I propositioned him about this portrait session, he asked 'What clothes should I bring?', to which I replied 'Your favorite.'  I wanted to capture him being him, dressed as himself.  I will never meet anyone like Ryan, and I wanted to document that.

Nothing makes me happier to know and see people being themselves - not conforming to what advertisements tell us to like, or going with the flow and following that heard of sheep which makes up today's society. 

Take no shame in who you are, and if you aren't that person yet, set him or her free.  It might take some time, and might dent your wallet with all of the new clothes you might buy, but none the less, do it.  I did, and I'm extremely thankful for it.

A break from the strobes

Many moons ago, I was hired for one of my first editorial shoots, a local Connecticut Magazine called 203.  I was in charge of everything, from planning the theme of the shoot, finding the location, hiring hair, makeup, wardrobe and talent.  With luck on my side, I found Ms. Danielle Ricci.  Since working together on that cold winter day, we have kept in touch and have shot many times since.

If you know my work, and myself, I adore shooting at my studio in Brooklyn, New York.  I set up my lights, angle them just right, dial them up and down to the right exposure and create my world.

When I went out to Malibu, I wanted to change things up - rattle my brain - do something different.  I wanted to shoot with natural light - using absolutely no light modification.  I wanted to test myself, know my flexibility and remind myself what it is like to not have control - to be a servant to the sun.  It was up to me to bend and mold it's light by shooting at the right angle, perfect time of day and instructing Danielle to turn her face ever so slightly up and to her right so that I may get that classic loop lighting.  [[ shown in the image above ]] 

I call this body of work, Day into Night, because that is exactly what it is.  It is currently located [[ as of June, 2015 ]] in my Moto section. 

It's Good to be Round

Growing up, both my mother and school put great emphasis on being a well rounded person.  Study hard, partake in the arts, play an instrument, engage in sports, do ballet, go to sleep away camp [[ starting at 8 years old ]] and join Girl Scouts.  Looking back, I don't know how that didn't stress me out, I was always doing something [[ which can probably help explain my constant desire to always be busy and lack of desire to sit and watch TV ]]  but I enjoyed every moment of it.  I was a happy, B+/A- kind of student,  I loved all of my extra curricular actives, and the school year couldn't go by fast enough for me to return to summer camp and bunk mates.   

Granted, not a kid anymore, I believe it's important to maintain that same lifestyle of being well rounded.   So in addition to my photography, I do yoga, run [[ love you Zombies, Run! ]], play violin, and now I'm getting into graphic design.  This new venture with graphic design was totally unseen by myself, but I'm really liking it.  

I've been working with IMG, designing Apps and branding concepts.  In a way, I use the same 'muscle' in my brain to envision my photography shoots - I'm given an idea and I find a way to make this text into a real piece of 2D design.  I get to create this digital world - find out how to make this text into a clear, straight forward picture.  It's a fun challenge, and it's even more rewarding to use my brain in a different way.  

Below are some Apps that I've designed for Cadillac, Uber, Star Trek, and GoPro.

Queen of the Night

A few months back, in the dead of winter, the stars aligned, and I was brought on to photograph the show 'Queen of the Night'.  Needless to say, having not seen the show prior I was not sure what to expect.  Having been given the only discription of 'Actors/performers will be all around and multiple things going on at once.' Okay, got that.  I've photographed [[ and attended ]] some crazy scenes - Ground Zero the day of Osama bin Laden's assisination, Gay Pride Parades and extravagant parties - this show was a whole different realm. 

The lights dimmed, a count down started and the doors to the audience opened.  The Queen, engulfed in a cool blue light, 'casting spells' on the performers, the 'butlers' pulling people aside, taking them into different rooms and doing whatever they do behind closed doors.  This scene was truly one of a kind, and I was loving every moment.

It was a challenge to capture everything going on at once - having the limitation of just seeing through my view finder, framing up my shot, and then to be alerted to turn around and photograph the pole dancing and balancing duo.  Actors softly and swiftly pushing me aside, with my eye still behind my camera, so they may get to their point in time.  Controlled and organized chaos.  [[ my favorite kind ]]

I have uploaded my favorite shots from that crazy night - under my photojournalism section.   

Alright - I'm on set with the NY Daily News and need to get back to work. 

PEACE!  

Oh hey!

Check it out!  This is an image from my New York Daily News photo shoot with Peyton List from the Disney channel's Jessie.  I'm pretty busy this week, but hopefully I will be able to post the rest of the images soon - until then!

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JK

Wow - so much has happened since my trip out to LA, and also my reason for not posting, OR reaching out to my reviewers to say thank you [[ not cool ]], but today that'll change.  First up, this blog.

Where to start?  Since this is a blog that relates back to my photography, I'm not going to get too personal on here, but one of my biggest distractions this past month was moving - finding a place, packing up my old apartment, carry stuff up and down stairs, and all the rest that goes with it.  Then there is the joyous season of early April, aka, TAX SEASON.  Oh how I dread this time, especially as a freelancer.  No need to go into detail as to why I don't like doing my taxes, I'm sure most of you already know.  Throw in some other personal stuff on top of it all, and whallah, here I am today.  

Now that the personal stuff is out of the way, it's on to my love, photography <3.  

My first time behind my camera after LA was to shoot part of the Jersey Boy's promotional poster. [[ WHAT! ]]  A photographer that I used to work with, and one I truly admire, Warwick Saint, reached out to me to help him with a job he was shooting while in NYC, and that was the posters for Jersey Boys.  Warwick needed to get a image of the car the boys use in the movie, so that it can be stripped into one of the posters, and asked me if I would be able to do it.  I, of course jumped at it and said yes.  Granted I was just to shot the car, but this is a step in the exact right direction of where I want to go.  

The details to my assignment was to go to set and wait until they were done shooting video, then run on, with my tripod, camera and measuring tape and photograph the car at a certain focal length, aperture, height of the camera and distance from the car.  Then once I get that shot, get different angels and heights, so they have multiple options to chose from - Warwick telling me to get around 100 photos.  

As the video set comes to a close, they start going into over time - which is no good for me.  The director screams out for "STILLS!", I rush on set, set everything up, and since it was night time, and we were shooting outside, under HMIs, I also had to shoot with a long exposure.  From assisting on natural light/food sets, to help eliminate motion blur, I learned it's to your advantage to shoot on self timer.  

Okay, so let's reset this scene - around forty people on set, including one agitated director, going into overtime, watching me precisely set everything up, hit the shutter, my camera bleeps twice for the timer, and 'click', one shot done.  I now need 99 more.  I start to slowly move around the car, making sure its all in focus - "beep.........beep........click", is heard two more times.  The director yells at me "Are you almost DONE?!?", to which I comely reply, "I need to get different angels and heights." "beep.........beep........click" is heard five more times.  The whole crew watching me, and the director then says, "How many more?", I informed him that I was told to take around 100, and not to my surprise the director yells "WHAT???!!!!!?????!!!!!"  

Now, I get it, they are in overtime with a whole crew and lights, every minute is very expensive, and lets be honest here - stills on a movie set aren't anything but an annoyance.  So my response to the director was to please give me a time frame, and all the director sais was, "A minute ago.".

And that's my first time doing stills for a national ad and on a movie set ; )  [[ but honestly, I loved it, and I smile when I think of the story - life is all about experiences ]]

In addition to that, I also got to have another PR shoot with an actor.  Last year, on tax day, [[ ironically ]] I photographed my first client of Mona Loring's, Alison Wright.  The shoot went very well, and we all had a ton of fun.  Fast forward a year later, and Alison reach out to her PR, asking if she could schedule another shoot with me! I of course, was very flattered and excited.  So on April 7 we had our second shoot in my studio, and the images we captured were fantastic, no one could be happier and I can't wait to post them.

Last Thursday I had a shoot with the New York Daily News, and this time, instead of shooting the usual fashion story, we got to photograph Peyton List. Oh man, so much fun.  Peyton was a sweetheart and a joy to work with.  When the story launches, I'll repost here as well.

And that's it  [[ I think ]], time to write those thank you emails!!

ps - jk about moving to LA, I'm still in NYC!

Ok, I'm doing this

It is final; I can't see my life without this choice, and it needs to happen.  I'm moving back to Los Angeles.  I've been lightly thinking about it for the past month, and ever since my trip out here the idea can't leave my head.  "To move or not to move?  Is this a good idea for my career, or am I just currently bored with my life and I need to shake it up?  Will I regret this is three years? Studio, I'll need a studio, but where?  I want to live on my own, but is that a good idea for such a large move?"  And so on.  Well I've come to my decision and I'm making it a reality.

After my review, I meet up with a friend and actress from New York, Danielle Ricci,  that relocated to LA two years ago.  Not only was it so great to reconnect and hang out, she was truly inspirational and the perfect person to ask about moving across the country.  Amidst all of the great advice one point truly stood out - she planned, to a 'T', how much money she was going to need for the first six months of living in LA.  To some, this might of been an instinctual step in relocating anywhere, or perhaps part of their daily lives already, but for me, sadly, not my case.  Of course I've been watching my money and making sure I don't over spend, but I'll admit, sometimes that one [[ two, three...or four]] pretty dress[[ es ]] on Asos wins.  Not any more, that has got to change, and I need a budget.  Which brings me to my next stop in California - Santa Barbara.

I'm here, on The Mesa, hanging out with my good friend, her husband, and their son. [[ Oh the memories ]] Having gone to college in this city, I know it well, and each turn on the road brings forth an old life.  Upon my arrival [[ on train, and this was my view from my seat ]] I was 43% no for moving and 67% yes.  

[[ When a big life decision is made, for me at least, when I know it is final, I feel it in my heart and soul, and I can't see it not happening.  All of my major choices sprung from that strong feeling.  I believe, full heartedly, if every cell in your body feels that its the right choice, that it is your destiny to do something, make a move [[ literally and figuratively ]], then you should do it - as long as it's a good thing.  ]]

When speaking to my friend, I mentioned how Danielle made a budget and that is exactly what I wanted to do.  My friend in turn suggested that I looked at Numbers and at this template designed for budget making.  It does all of the math and graphing, and all I would have to do is plug in the numbers.  Genius.  Well I plugged those numbers in.  I know what I need and I am feeling good, one step closer to...............it all.

So...

Los Angeles and Fotoworks was a great experience, and I will report on that this coming week, but right now I'm on vacation in Sanata Barbara and loving it.

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...I will be moving out west soon.... 

My 'Snow Day'

When booking this trip, I wanted to make sure that I would be at my first review no matter what, and since it is winter in NYC, I booked my flight out to LA two days before the review started, just incase my flight got canceled due to a blizzard, or anything else.

So here I am, in LA, in the awesome loft space that I rented out through AirBnb.  I got very lucky when booking my stay - the loft is extremely close to the review, got a great price, and on top of that, the people I'm staying with are awesome.  The building itself, and the people living in it, remind me so much off the building that my studio is located in, an artist space - very Brooklyn.  [[ so obliviously, I love it ]]  The space that I'm staying in is occupied by three very cool guys - two brothers and one of their best friends.  Immediately after meeting them, I liked them.  Very welcoming and friendly.  I couldn't be happier with my choice to stay here.  

I flew into LA yesterday, so that means today is my 'snow day' - a day off to do whatever.  At first when planning this trip, I wanted to make my way out to Burbank to check out this store I found on Intagram - Pinup Girl Clothing.  [[ If you like vintage 50/40's style, check it out, I fell in love instantly. ]]  but also when booking this trip, I made the decision of not to rent a car.  I used to live in downtown LA, so I know the area, and I know how to get around without a car.  [[ you can thank my unemployed skateboarding days for that ]]   When I punched into google how to get from downtown LA to Burbank, it was going to take me two hours - flop.  Not going to do that.  So instead I walked all over DTLA, having lunch at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant, and then doing some light shopping in the fashion district.  Now I'm back at the loft enjoying a black iced coffee and writing this all out.  Soon I'll pour a glass of La Crema wine; that I bought at CVS - oh California, you are so different.

Well, I'm looking forward to tomorrow - until then!  

Bet on Yourself

As the date approaches closer for my review, my feelings of excitement and nervousness get bigger and bigger.  First off, I love meeting new people, and when the chance arrives where I can meet a new person, and show them my work, I light up.  For example, in one of my photography classes in college, during a final review of our portfolios for the class, we all had to, one at a time, get up and explain what we have shot and why, and if the teacher liked what he saw and heard, he would 'hire us for the job'.  

Being myself, I walked to the front of the class, and with all of my pride and excitement from all of my work, I jovially explained what I did, and why it tied into who I am.  Within a minute, the teacher announced 'You're hired!  With your personality, work and style, this is what I want to see in qualities of a photographer.'  He then went on to explain why those three points are important - even as shallow as it sounds to put emphasis on style and looks, I do believe it is important as well, especially in the entertainment field .  

Also, from my assisting days I've learned so many things, and from the photographers that I've enjoyed working with the most, and have had the kinds of jobs that I would like to be shooting one day [[ cough, Warwick Saint, cough ]], not only do you need to create amazing work, you need to be a character, you need to be yourself, put on a show, be outgoing and having no regrets about it.  [[ Thank you Mr. Saint, you have taught me so much ]] 

So from that lesson in college, in conjunction with the lessons learned on set, I know it's important to be true to yourself, and from that, your work and personality will shine, and that will help you stand out from the 'pack'.  Okay, so the point of this all comes back around to my review that I'm attending in LA.  Like all of my reviews that I have taken part in, I dress how I feel most like myself - which, if you know me and my style, is very different then most of the photographers attending theses reviews, and I love that.  

I attended the NYC version of this review last fall, and despite the big price tag on joining the review, I have managed to make all of my money back and more.  I'm in the green, and I'm looking forward to another chance to do the same thing from my LA review.  So going into this review, I have to ignore how much I've spent, and just focus on delivering a great presentation and enjoy myself.  

Oh man, I'm so excited, slightly nervous, but nerves are good - because of those, I will make sure I'll be ready for anything - work and fashion wise.  I mean, take a look at some of my top choices for the reviewers, who wouldn't feel the same as me?

LA Bound

So at this very hour next week I will be in LA for a portfolio review and I couldn't be more excited!  I have so much new work to show and I'm also interested to see how LA is going to react to it.  [[ If you haven't seen my work yet, head to the 'Portrait' button to the left of the screen (computer and pad devices) or to the top 'Menu' button on your phone.  ]] 

Most of my work are portraits of creative types - actors, musicians, designers and anyone else I find intriguing.  What I'm getting at, is that it is my dream is to work with these types and one day photograph movie posters, TV ads and album cover art.  So naturally I need to look at LA at some point, which is why I signed up for this review early this year.  So excited!!  

In preparation for my trip I'm also trying out new curling patterns and roller sizes for my shorter hair.  Let's just say right now I kind of resemble a poodle - not what I was going for.  Back to brushing. 

 

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What Blizzard?

Today I had a photo shoot, in Manhattan, in a blizzard, on a rooftop, in a pool, in a bikini and it was amazing.  

What is the sweet without the sour?

Fifty Shades of Yey!

I have wanted to be a photographer ever since I was eight years old.  It was the summer of '93 and I was in my camp's photo shack where I rolled my first roll of film and saw my first image develop. [[ and yes, if you click on my camp's link, we all had to wear those amazing green uniforms ]] From that moment on I was hooked.  I took photography in high school, spending all my free time in the darkroom, and then went to a college strictly devoted to photography - The Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California.  [[ how I miss California right about now ]]

Well a lot has happened since Santa Barbara and as I get more clients and more work I see my work in different media forms and it is so exciting.  In celebration of the movie "50 Shades of Grey", the New York Daily News hired me for a fashion shoot inspired by it - needless to say there was no shortage of fun toys that I wanted to get my hands on.  

I got some great images along with a three-page spread, and it's fun to see the Daily News still use my images, as seen below.   [[ Fifty Lashes! ]]

Keep your eyes out, because tomorrow I should have another story in the New York Daily News as well :-)  

 

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It's about that time

Whenever March roles around, it's ironically always the same time of year I start to get sick of winter.  It has snowed around a thousand times and the streets are covered in icky, cold, lumpy slush.  I'm over it, and this winter has got to go.  On the other hand, it still is pretty before it goes nasty.  Photo below is of me standing in about two inches of hail tonight [[ which is my weather by the way, but that's a story for another day ]]

 

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Follow Your Heart (as long as it wants good things)

A quick little note - I'm 29, turning 30 this summer.  For so long I've been saying I'm "young in the photography world", well, that time is soon to end, and I am actually excited.   

Excited, yes; why?  because I'll finally feel like I've entered the years of true adulthood, but also because I've always felt that people will finally stop looking at me as a young girl playing in the big boys world of photography.  So many people don' t believe me when I say I've felt discriminated upon when I was [photo] assisting/trying to find assiting gigs, but let me tell you this - I've experienced it first hand.  Seeing at the bottom of of forward emails saying "will a female assistant be okay?" or when I was changing a light, a male assistant almost literally pushing me out of the way and taking over.  Sure I can't lift as much weight or sweat or smell as much as men on set do, but I know light - and I can mold that shit like Play-Doh.  Photography [[ right now ]] is a mans' club, and a lot of them in America oddly containing foreign accents.  

Let me lay some numbers on you...since graduating college in 2007 I have only worked with three female photographers and one female assistant.  Ladies, we are lacking here, and I'd love to see that change.

At first I saw these numbers as a disadvantage, but as I got older, wiser and better at my craft I now see it as an empowering gift.  I am an educated, classy, talented women who knows what she wants - I sport my backseam stockings and garters daily, and with all of that pettily packaged up into one woman, that my friends, that can make a man cower.  Being different is a strength  [[ said the high school photo and orchestra geek inside of me, and the 29 year old endlessly agreeing ]]. I know who I am, I know what I want and I'm not here to fuck anyone over.  I'm in this game for the long run and burning bridges isn't in my blue print.

Get ready photography world, this vintage styled female portrait photographer is following her heart, being herself and I've got enough fire under my belt to take me to the moon and back.

Be yourself, go against the tide and always follow through with your word.   Love your life and be true to yourself, because it is that, that makes you, you.  <3

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So it begins....

Alright - so after the help of friends and the hours spent on SquareSpace, this beautiful new website is up and running, my email is working, Instagram is connected and I am now breathing easier.  

I've also decided to keep up this blog, so you can get to know me better, keeping my entries short, just like this.