Posts Tagged: conceptual portrait

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.

HoMEGRoWN: KleanSpa

We’ve been pretty busy around here, but there are still more businesses to share from our HoMEGRoWN photo series! So, in honor of National Small Business Week, here’s the latest… this time on Jennifer Hardaway at KleanSpa.

First, I have to admit, I’ve been dying to make my own scent ever since I stepped into the shop. That DIY attitude, helped by a scent mixologist (I think I just invented a title) could only mean great things.

Jenn is an incredible salesperson. Not because she’s big on sales, but because she obviously LOVES her products. And they actually hold up to all of the excitement! From innovative scents in perfumes, colognes, soaps and lotions, KleanSpa puts you in the scentual driver’s seat.

I asked her for a word of advice on starting your own business, and here’s what she said:

 

Our conceptual image features a blending of Orange Blossom and Sandalwood.  Makeup artists had fun gluing on earthy materials onto our model, and the finished product is full of tiny details that beg to be found.

In her tiny workroom, it was a great challenge to keep everything as light, airy and colorful as she, and her business are. I think we absolutely got it! all the way down to incorporating her orange & green colors in the concept image.

 

KelanSpa_SmallBusinessOwner_ConceptualAd

 

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PHOTOGRAPHER:  Jen Serena, Serena Creative

MODELS:  Elle Jane Hounsell &  Chris Pavlik

HAIR & MAKEUP:  Alexandria Storm & Miss Cassanova

WARDROBE STYLING:  Drelyn, Beyond Image

CONCEPT & SET STYLING:  Jen Serena

Learn more about the HoMEGRoWN project here.

The Beat Goes On

When Canadian drummer Jeff MacPherson contacted me to create stylized music portraits, I asked him to send me some of the images he was drawn to, so that I could get a sense of his style preference and offer up some ideas for the shoot. We knew our time was somewhat limited as he was in the Los Angeles are touring with Book of Mormon, and as always, wanted to maximize our time for the shoot at my Burbank photo studio and on location.

Together, we honed in on several concepts, (I love to provide a wide range for my clients so they can have multiple uses and campaigns,) that would show him in action, with the drum kit and as an artist, aside from his instrument. And then I threw in one more (the flaming drumsticks… just for fun.)

Jeff has a great look. He’s definitely a rocker. So, for some of his images we concentrated on a classic cool. In studio, we shot on a grey on grey set for a monochromatic feel with dimensions in corners and angles.

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This drum set is a personal favorite of his, so it only made sense to show them in action and keep them on set for his headshots as well. Even with a single setup/props, we were able to create 3 different looks thanks to our light sources: 1) bright contrast in studio lights, 2) moody fog with constant lights, and 3) natural light streaming in through the doors. Plus, he’s sponsored by Zildjian so we highlighted the cymbals in another quick shot right outside.

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Finally, we moved on location. Lines were even more important to me in this shoot as they helped echo his drumsticks and bars of music. We were again able to focus on one of my favorite things: just go for the cool.

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At the end of the session – From bright, poppy, white, commercial images, to clean and personal headshots, to moody creative portraits – we gave Jeff a diverse set of music photos for his portfolio. And the icing: we had a great time doing it.

Creative Collision

How do you capture a creative soul that spins in many directions?

Making creative, conceptual portraits (and a headshot) for Bob Dassie was precisely that challenge. He’s a writer, an actor, an improv performer, and a true family man.

After brainstorming several different concepts, we struck upon two that resonated.

 

Modern Man:

depicting the many facets of Bob’s selves (is that a word?) through a composited image of wardrobe, changes, props and expressions.BOB DASSIE

The Writing Process: 

This image represents pieces of the writing process as one image: 1) writing can be messy and sometimes you just feel like you’re throng things out, hoping something will stick 2) It can feel precarious and down-right scary to put your work out there for everyone to judge. 3) Bob wanted to remind us that you need to stay “grounded” as you compose. It’s literal here, but figurative in meaning.

BOB DASSIE 2

And lest you feel Bob doesn’t have  a serious side…

BOB DASSIE 3

I like to take headshots because you have a chance to help actors feel good in their own skin, but I love to shoot creative portraits because we allow more than just the person to do the talking. We create a story that brings people in and, hopefully, makes them want to know more.

 

And maybe I just wanted Bob to have to keep grabbing handfuls of tomato soup & alphabet noodles.

 

 

Don’t forget to check out Bob Dassie and his equally talented wife, Stephanie Weir, in their hilarious web series, Eleven Year Itch. Directed by our very own Ric Serena. My teeny tiny addition: I shot the title cards, which were then made beautiful and interesting through the talents of Chris Kneller. (And they could probably use me as a laugh track, because no matter how many times I watch them, I still laugh.)

 

A little more behind the scenes tidbits…

1)    I had 3 large plastic shower curtains positioned to protect me and the studio from flinging alphabet pasta.

2)   Those are Isola’s sweet hands in Modern Man.

3)   Please be careful when using rat traps in your shoots.