Posts in Category: photography

Behind the Scenes with Pretty Little Liars

It was such a blast to be on set for Day 2 of Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars key art shoot.

An incredible team photographing these beautiful ladies… how could you go wrong? I spend quote a bit of time for my regular shoots in post, so it’s rather refreshing to just pull these straight outta Lightroom.

A few of my favorite BTS shots of the day…

  • Pretty Little Liars BTS by Jen Serena
    Pretty Little Liars BTS by Jen Serena
  • Ashley Benson - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
    Ashley Benson - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
  • Shay Mitchell - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
    Shay Mitchell - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
  • Shay Mitchell - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
    Shay Mitchell - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
  • Troian Bellisario - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
    Troian Bellisario - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
  • Ashley Benson - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
    Ashley Benson - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
  • Troian Bellisario - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
    Troian Bellisario - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
  • Ashley Benson - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
    Ashley Benson - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
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  • Ashley Benson - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
    Ashley Benson - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
  • Troian Bellisario - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
    Troian Bellisario - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
  • Ashley Benson - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
    Ashley Benson - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
  • Shay Mitchell - PLL BTS by Jen Serena
    Shay Mitchell - PLL BTS by Jen Serena

 

Brand Update: photography, website and graphics

Julie was approaching her 10-year anniversary and wanted her visuals to reflect the modern, tech-savvy clientele she’s recruiting. It’s not often that I get to create/update a brand identity with design and visuals, so I jumped at the opportunity.

We systematically upgraded her logo, website, social media channels and print materials to reflect her bold, clean, professional but personalized style. We blocked out a day to shoot 5 different setups as well as city backplates to incorporate quotes for a cohesive, bold look.

-Jen

  • BES Website by Jen Serena
    BES Website by Jen Serena
  • BES Website by Jen Serena
    BES Website by Jen Serena
  • BES Design by Jen Serena
    BES Design by Jen Serena

 

 

 

 

  • SerenaCreative 2016 03_JulieBallardLebe-0228-Edit
  • Julie Ballard-Lebe by Jen Serena
    Julie Ballard-Lebe by Jen Serena
  • Julie Ballard-Lebe by Jen Serena
    Julie Ballard-Lebe by Jen Serena
  • Julie Ballard-Lebe by Jen Serena
    Julie Ballard-Lebe by Jen Serena

 

 

Composer: Gray Bashew

Collaboration with musician/composer Gray Bashew.

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BEHIND THE SCENES note: I built the prism out of 3 small mirrors so we could visualize the complexity/multiplicity of the composer’s process. (And it looks pretty rad too.)

 

 

Will Work for Food

 

We’ve enjoyed many celebratory beers and tasty lunches at Tony’s Darts Away.

But one of the unexpected bonuses of setting up shop right next to your favorite bar (besides the obvious) is getting to know their amazing staff.

Their award-winning chef, Caroline, needed a professional portrait / headshot that she could use for publicity and personal work, so of course I was excited when she asked me to take them.

We wanted to keep it stylized but simple – to reflect her openly friendly, no-nonsense personality, and the tasty cuisine featuring simple elements that combine for an amazing meal.

 

  • SCI 2015 12_ChefCaroline-comp5
  • SCI 2015 12_ChefCaroline-comp6
  • SCI 2015 12_ChefCaroline-comp3
  • SerenaCreative 2016 01_ChefCarolineBTS-0591
  • SCI 2015 12_ChefCaroline-comp2
  • SCI 2015 12_ChefCaroline-comp4

 

The first setup (natural light with strobe fill) was shot in our back area and features the wood fence that separates our two properties. The second, brings in texture and depth. No hair and makeup, just fresh – like Caroline, and her food.

We had so much fun, I asked if I could follow her around the kitchen for an hour, so we could share some of her amazing food in photos as well. My first foray into food photography, my main job was to stay out of her way. (easier said than done in the tiny galley kitchen.) The results showcase some of her culinary skills in the unexpected environment of a local bar. And my mouth waters just looking at the food.

They do it right at Tony’s, as many of us can attest to… from craft California beers to vegan food options.. you’ll find lots to love there. Plus, they have the BEST CHEF OF BURBANK working hard for you.

(And don’t forget to give a shout of thanks to Caroline when that delicious meal is served! )

 

Read more about Caroline in this LA Times article.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND POST WORK BY JEN SERENA

Kirsten Nelson: not just a headshot

For many working actors, the headshot can become outdated before you know it. Kirsten knew she needed that one basic look, but I wanted to give her more.

We discussed ways that we could maximize time and give her a variety of looks that she could use beyond the standard headshot… to be used for editorial as well.

We opted for

  1. Casual & Classic: A natural light white and wood background were the perfect accompaniment to her denim look (tech notes: natural light with fill from strobes & bounce card)
  2. Dark and sensual: Giving her a darker edge, the single light and darker color schemes help accentuate a different side.
  3. Pop of Commercial Color: Kirsten ended up having 2 outfits that we couldn’t decide between… so we shot both. (tech notes: By keeping the lighting the same, we could change out backdrop and wardrobe and create two different looks.)
  4. BONUS! Kirsten is such an easy-going person, that also knows her body in relation to the camera, so we had time for one more. This time, I had her bring whatever crazy props/wardrobe/ideas she could think of, and I’d roll with it and make something on the fly… thus “No Regrets” was made.

 

 

  • Kirsten Nelson shot by Jen Serena
    Kirsten Nelson shot by Jen Serena
  • Kirsten Nelson shot by Jen Serena
    Kirsten Nelson shot by Jen Serena
  • Kirsten Nelson shot by Jen Serena
    Kirsten Nelson shot by Jen Serena
  • Kirsten Nelson shot by Jen Serena
    Kirsten Nelson shot by Jen Serena
  • Kirsten Nelson shot by Jen Serena
    Kirsten Nelson shot by Jen Serena
  • NO REGRETS Kirsten Nelson shot by Jen Serena
    NO REGRETS Kirsten Nelson shot by Jen Serena

Cosplay Family Shoots

I don’t normally shoot family portraits, but when I do… it’s because they are awesome, crazy ideas.

For the past 3 years, I’ve been shooting the Thomas Family Portrait and since they keep adding more talent, the shoots get more and more “interesting.”

 

YEAR 1: GHOSTBUSTERS

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YEAR 2: INDIANA JONES

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YEAR 3: GHOSTBUSTERSSerenaCreative_2015 10_BTTF2-130

And a little love from the family…

My wife and I were very fortunate that Jennifer Serena agreed to shoot our family portraits. We have always really liked her photography, and while what we had in mind was, well, different, we knew she would make it incredible. And in the end, incredible is an understatement. Even though she was faced with working with a toddler and eventually a baby, and that she was asked to recreate or be inspired by famous movies, nothing fazed her. Jen captured not only the spirit of the movies, but also us as a fun family.  The final products blow me away each time I look at them.  I can’t wait to see how she brings the next movie to life in our 2016 family portrait…

I SCREAM for ice cream: photography campaign

 

“I SCREAM” was created for a Quenelle, a boutique ice cream shop that has been expanding their presence with new locations – and thanks to the quality of their product – has limited marketing efforts.

This creative commercial photography campaign would give them a high-end polished look worthy of their product, infused with the delight that ice cream brings. We were ultimately able to create a campaign over many different mediums from one half-day shoot. A delicious success!

 

THE SHOOT: We invited Quenelle customers (and brought in a few select models to round out the diversity) to join us for a day of screams and smiles in front of the camera. It was an infectious day of fun – and we added the element of animated GIFs to the setups to 1) expand the marketing usage and 2) increase the “fun” of the piece. The great side effect was that it helped the non-models feel instantly more comfortable as they had an action to complete.

2-girls 2Thumbs-up Updown Spin2

 

 

 

{click on the images to animate them}

 

 

 

 

 

 

We felt the GIFs captured the energy so well, that we used them to animate the main tiled images, which was an added benefit as so many of the shots were worthy of publishing, we needed 3 groupings to accomplish it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ON THE TECH SIDE: In order to quickly accommodate 32 people of varying ages and group sizes, we shot on white sic – enabling me to manipulate the color schemes more quickly in post for each setup.

THANKS: Huge props to Producer Pam Elliott for seamlessly scheduling model and non-model alike, and keeping the atmosphere fun and friendly. Thanks also to our intern Trevor Dalton and to Ric Serena who assisted on set, ran B camera grabbing some video footage of the fun, and were both forced to eat a few servings of ice cream as well. Kudos to Bobby Lory who quickly drew the Quenelle logo so that all participants could leave their mark .

And it couldn’t have been possible without Quenelle, the models and John, who hand-scooped each artistic serving.

A delicious day!

Images that MOVE

Audrey K Boutique was chosen to be one of the vendors for the Disneyland Dapper Day Expo… quite an honor! And one that she needed to capitalize on.

We had a very short timeframe to create an image that would stand out amongst the competition to showcase her beautiful, retro, but somewhat edgy style. She chose a model that could pull off a retro look and her original clothing designs, and I suggested instead of making a single static image, that we create an animated GIF to pull the viewers’ eye.

 

(click on the image to start animation.) 

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Plus, we got a few awesome stills while we were at it.

 

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BEHIND THE SCENES NOTE: With our quick turn-around and limited pre-pro, we opted to shoot on white so we could decide the best dress & action on set and add background color and logo in post. Definitely a good choice!

PHOTOGRAPHER/POST-PRODUCTION: Jen Serena
MODEL: Winter Fate
WARDROBE: Audrey K Boutique

 

Contact Jen (jen@serenacreative.com  818.568.4976) for ideas on how to creatively tell your photography story within your budget

See more of Jen’s creative commercial work

Jazz Violinist: classical to modern Nora Germain

Truly honored to have Nora Germain – jazz violinist  – and already a sensation at the age of 23 ask me to shoot her portraits. She’s hip, yet grounded and wanted to get a range of images to showcase her versatility. Youth, talent and style all in one package.

It was a quick session, but we managed to capture 4 setups and 3 different looks. She’s such a natural beauty that we didn’t want to go extreme with any of the processing or setups, but wanted to share her youthful vibrance with bold color, her sleek style with bright white, her natural easy-going nature with an outdoor setting and the classical stage vibe to harken back to her intense training and serious passion for her art.

 

 

  • Nora Germain by Jen Serena
    Nora Germain by Jen Serena
  • Nora Germain by Jen Serena
    Nora Germain by Jen Serena
  • Nora Germain by Jen Serena
    Nora Germain by Jen Serena
  • Nora Germain by Jen Serena
    Nora Germain by Jen Serena
  • Nora Germain by Jen Serena
    Nora Germain by Jen Serena
  • Nora Germain by Jen Serena
    Nora Germain by Jen Serena
  • Nora Germain by Jen Serena
    Nora Germain by Jen Serena
  • Nora Germain by Jen Serena
    Nora Germain by Jen Serena
  • Nora Germain by Jen Serena
    Nora Germain by Jen Serena

 

(Side note: I was stoked to finally paint a wall in my studio for a session. So far, we’ve brought in backdrops that have sufficed, but this time I went for a bold purple wall that rocked. I fell in love with the stage setup so much that I ended up using it for a later shoot with Stephnie Weir for her 1-woman show poster image. More on that zany and awesome project later! )

Read more about Nora and give her a listen here. If you haven’t heard of her, no doubt you soon will.

 

Contact Jen (jen@serenacreative.com  818.568.4976) for ideas on how to creatively tell your photography story within your budget

See more of Jen’s music photography here.

Musical Muse

There are these amazing moments when capturing someone’s personality, or trying out new ideas, when everything is working, and you just don’t want to stop shooting.

This happened when I got the chance to photograph KOTOMI recently.

(This also makes it SO difficult to edit down your selects.)

When listening to her music, I realized that she is able to be both transcendent and approachable, synthetic and earthy, and this beautiful blend works throughout her music. Hoping to capture those different sides, we ran around on-location and in-studio to bring out her vibe. I still believe that the images could use more layering – as is shown in her music – but I was so captivated by her presence in some of the shots, I didn’t even do any post work on them.

Take a look, and a listen, and I think you’ll be drawn in as well.

 

  • Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
    Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
  • Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
    Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
  • Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
    Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
  • Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
    Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
  • Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
    Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
  • Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
    Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
  • Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
    Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
  • Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
    Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
  • Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
    Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
  • Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
    Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
  • Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
    Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
  • Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena
    Kotomi: music photography by Jen Serena

 

A little BTS note: All of the fog was captured in-camera: a great combo of luck and timing. And the flowers were quick snips from our garden pulled into a mesh headband. voila!

 

 

 

Contact Jen (jen@serenacreative.com  818.568.4976) for ideas on how to creatively tell your photography story within your budget

See more of Jen’s music photography here.