Tuesday, September 02, 2014

LACP First Annual Gala and Print Auction Fundraiser.

Saturday 13th September marks the Los Angeles Center of Photography's first annual gala and print auction. As a regular summer teacher for the schools the teen program, I am proud to announce that I have a lovely print of the fabulous Kate going for auction at the event to be held in Bel Air in just over a week. 
"Kate", (see picture below) will be featured along with 163 other wonderful pieces of work up for grabs at the auction.

Anyone is able to attend the event, information about the auction is below as per the LACP website. 

"Kate" available as 24 x 16 print with 2 inch border and frame
© All rights reserved Jasmine Lord 2014

"The Los Angeles Center of Photography cordially invites you to our first annual gala and print auction fundraiser in the Bel Air home of Hayley & Michael Miller.

Our goal is to create a community of dedicated visionaries by providing education, scholarships, grants, encouragement, and exposure through classes, focused programming and community outreach. We strive to shine a light on significant social issues and also to foster individual growth of photographic artists.

If interested in attending, please see details at the link below:

$75 per person prior to the event
$100 per person at the door
(Limited capacity, so purchase your tickets soon!)"

Thursday, May 29, 2014

DIY Reflector & Scrim

I'm a huge fan of the Westcott Scrim Jim. I use it a lot when I'm on location shoots. Although, I haven't purchased one yet. Sometimes I use different sizes depending on the room I have access to and the gig itself might not call for the larger frame. Like the California Sun Bounce, the Scrim Jim is easy to assemble and transport. I like the Scrim Jim for its ability to mount onto a C stand, and I like the silk. California Sun Bounces are great if you have an assistant and you need to follow the talent. Both cost between $350-$500. Considering a lot of things cost about $300 it's easy to start to wonder where you should be dropping cash first. And let's be honest, it doesn't stop.

Upon hearing that Calumet Photographic Inc were closing its doors, I finally trekked into Hollywood to see if there were any bargains left for me to grab. With 9 days left till closing the store was already heavily picked over, but it never hurts to check thoroughly.

Right at the front entrance was my gold. Some black, silver, translucent & zigzag panels for bounce and diffusion. Granted the translucent material wasn't silk, but I had an idea. Calumet had  a range of sizes. I quickly found some 42"x42" and 42"x78". Alas, no frames, but at $4.40-$9.80 per piece I wasn't leaving that behind. Add a purchase of a couple of filters and a clamp, I had spend a whopping $60 and left feeling rather stoked and bittersweet. I'm happy to score a bargain but it's sad when it's due to an closure of an institution.

Next stop: Home Depot to build a frame. I was torn at first between aluminium or PVC. I like the look of aluminium, it's clean, professional but more expensive and the sizes I was after would need to be special ordered. PVC was cheaper and they had all the parts. At the advice of Fred (our friendly neighbourhood Home Depot professional) I stuck to PVC.

I headed to the plumbing dept and picked up some PVC piping, elbows and a PVC cutter. Enough to make two full frames with at both 42" x 42" and 42"x 78".

I measured my piping accurately only to discover that the fabric wasn't quite at the specifications listed. In fact, the facric was shy on the measurements by 3-4 inches on all sides. This is where the PVC cutter came in handy. I little tweaking & before you know it, I had my first frame. 

It was perfect!!! And done in the Home Depot parking lot. 

Now to the long frame. 

It worked too but felt a little flimsy on the long side. I thought back to the California Sun Bounce & decided to add a handlebar.

A few extra elbows and PVC & I finally did it.

I needed to cut the long edge in half and add a T section which ended up giving me more stability. I also purchased some glue to keep some elbows and t-parts fixed. Be sure not to glue all pieces, it's nice to be able to pull the frame apart for easy storage.

Having the handle now enables assistants to manoeuvre the bounce as needed.

The PVC, elbows, T sections, glue and cutter cost me about $25.

Granted its not a Sun Bounce or Scrim Jim, but for a total of $60 for all materials (taking out my clamp and filters), it's a handy tool for my kit and it's pretty damn close to the real thing. 

Now, what was next on my list of things to buy...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DIY Save The Dates- Some Cannes Inspiration.

Last year, coconspirator, Sarah Ledesma told me of an idea she had to recreate the Cannes Film Festival Poster for her wedding Save the Date postcards. The original poster was shot by Melville Shavelson in 1963 and features Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. The poster for 66th Festival de Cannes was brilliantly conceived and executed bThe ★ Bronx Agency (Paris)  Sarah works in social media marketing for a film conservatory here in LA and her fiancee writes for a major animation network. Both lovers film & old Hollywood, they plan to tie the knot in Malibu. Wanting to honour and pay tribute to something that is dear to their hearts, they wanted to recreate the poster and sent the image as personal save the dates for guests invited to their up-coming wedding. This was all for personal use in no way shape or form used for commercial purposes. If you love the poster as much as we do, you can always purchase it on Amazon. 

I was incredibly tight for time so most of the planning/producing was done by Sarah, but I really want to demonstrate how much it takes a team to create something. (keeping in mind, this is a re-creation, all the original concept and execution was done by  The ★ Bronx Agency (Paris).)

I wanted to get a clear plain shot that would be easy for Paul (Sarah's brother and graphic designer) to comp and play with in post production. Sarah and Peter arrived at my place dressed and ready to go. I set up a 3' roll, bright white paper backdrop along the floor rolled out to fit my two stars. We used a step ladder and shot directly down our bride and groom using a speedlite and ceiling to bounce light. Charles (Charlie) McIlvain directed, paying attention to the details that would make a balanced image. Unlike Joanne Woodward who was 5'4", Sarah is over 6', as is Peter, so Charles was sure to direct them so they matched equally. If you notice in the poster, Joanne Woodward has Paul Newman's head cupped in her hand, almost like she is slightly propping his head up. Charlie paid attention to those finer details so Sarah and Peter had a close match. 

For me the process was very simple, shoot a crisp and clear image of the couple to pass onto Paul. It was Sarah and Paul who then worked on the efforts to match the poster. It was a time consuming process as both Sarah and Paul have their own work to do, but the aim of sharing this with you is that work, big or small, takes a team. That team can be two people, it can be twenty, but it is always rewarding. I recently had a photographer friend who was feeling in a bit of a rut, ask me my opinion and thoughts on creating work. Does someone do it on their own or is there a team? TEAM. Always a team. Every magazine ad and editorial has a team of wonderful creatives who put that work together. It is important at times of frustration when you feel that your work hasn't changed or grown to recognize that. To go easy on yourself and to keep exploring, keep learning. Meet new people and create with friends. This applies in film making too. It takes an army sometimes but the rewards are well worth it. 

Just recently Sarah received the postcards to send to her guests. We are all stoked. It was a great match and captures Sarah and Peters love for film. 

Here is our little re-creation. For a budget of nothing, we had fun and didn't do so bad. 

Producer: Sarah Ledesma
Director: Charles McIlvain
Photographer: Jasmine Lord
Designer: Paul Ledesma
Groom: Peter Diccico
Bride: Sarah Ledesma
Hair/Makeup: Sarah Ledesma

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Still Life Challenge

In an effort to truly study light and composition, I have decided to set myself a challenge. A still life challenge. Everyday over the next month, I will shoot a single still life image on my trusty Rebel G. Yes! Film camera.

A study I did while at the Global Cinematography Institute 

My rules:

*I can not shoot the same object twice. 
*I must find a new lighting setup every week
*can be both colour or black and white.
*natural light only
*only 1 recreation each week, (for the purpose of studying and achieving a look in lighting) BUT...I have to build on it

Cup of tea, a study of still life while at the Global Cinematography Institute.  
I will update you when my first roll has been shot, from there I may look at extending the challenge. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Food Gallery Images

Naked Foods Cookbook Images
When it comes to stills photography, I have found myself to be shooting more and more food. To be honest, I'm loving it. I love working in a team environment trying to perfect a shot that best shows how a dish can be presented. I feel very fortunate to have worked with some incredibly talented nutritionists both here in the USA and back home in Australia. I love working with stylists, I always feel that I have so much to learn from them. I also enjoy shooting for restaurants and foodies who have blogs. Every shoot is different because the person who I shoot for has their own flavours, style and taste.

LEFT: Wholesome to Go RIGHT: Malibu Food Shoot 

I have recently up dated my Food Photography section of my website, and it's always nice to reflect on how I have grown as a photographer and see where I would like to develop my skills in the future. One of the many wonderful things about working in film, TV and photography is that there is always room to grow, always more to learn and new challenges presenting themselves, no matter your experience or age.

LEFT: Wholesome to Go RIGHT: Pizzeria Ortica

Where I feel truly lucky is that I have had the pleasure of working with some very talented and wonderful nutritionists, caterers & restaurants. I consider myself to be very fortunate to have a good working relationship with the teams at Eat NakedWholesome to Go and Eat Yourself Healthy. Although not all images are out yet, as time rolls along and I'm able to share other work in the food domain, I will. For the time being, enjoy.

Wholesome to Go 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

[ri-frak-shuh n]

Keeping in with my love and profession of working with the moving image, I recently created a new abstract video called [ri-frak-shuh  n]

[ri-frak-shuh  n] is an audio and video instillation designed to be viewed on a flat screen TV turned into portrait mode (aka on its side). It would be then mounted at eye level onto a white wall (preferably in a small empty room). This would enable the viewer to not just see [ri-frak-shuh  n] but feel it as I, the artist intended.

[ri-frak-shuh  n] is a study of surface phenomenon and transmission media.

Artist: Jasmine Lord
Sound design by: Flying Penguin Sound and Big Room Sound

Monday, April 07, 2014

New Works in the Fine Art Gallery

It has been a while since I had time to do some work for my fine art gallery. This year got off to a flying start but a last minute change to my shooting schedule meant I was in LA this past weekend instead of Australia. Turns out, everything happens for a reason. I have recently found myself painting again and while I paint purely for myself, it has helped unleash a new exploration for my fine art works in photography. I recognize that I love geometric shapes and patterns. Squares, triangles, perfect circles, straight lines. Sometimes I like the contradiction too, the organic, crooked and messy lines that are presented to us in nature. It appears to be something that I keep coming back to, heck it's even in my tattoos. Hard lined symbols, geography and constellations. Not very original but I'm drawn.

It would be fitting then, that in my love for space science and geometry (I have been ingesting way too much Brian Cox and Neil Degrasse Tyson) that I have created the following works. I am exploring a simplicity. I present to you three new pieces; Planetary Eclipse, Untitled and [ri-frak-shuh  n]. Enjoy!

Planetary Eclipse. 


[ri-frak-shuh  n]

Monday, March 03, 2014

From the Trenches, Life of a NYFW Videographer. (A delayed post from Feb 2013)

Until a couple of a days before I fly out, I tend to forget how excited I am to see my "Fashion Week Family". 6 times a year, for about 7-10 days at a time,  I live with a group of people who have become my home away from home. We travel to New York, Toronto, Miami & Sydney together. Some of them continue onto London, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Moscow, Amsterdam and Aruba.

We are many cultures but some how we perfectly fit into a mix of stress, joy, happiness, tension and fun all in one. There are two parts of the family. The immediate: The crew of the company I work for and my extended: those other photographers, event planners, lighting directors, videographers, security to name a few, we all see each other for hours upon hours over days in different cities, showing that town the best of their local talent.

This season we were down a senior operator from Milan who contracted chickenpox. He is currently quarantined in his New York apartment. How frustrating for him. His duties are mixed in with the remaining crew, which means everyone is working long hard hours. My days consist of getting picked up in a car at 7:30am and finishing around 10pm, I'll be home depending on who is traveling in the car with me between 11-12 midnight. There are a few exeptions i.e.: shooting house on a major client meant a 5:30am pick up for a 6am call, I got home at midnight. However the next couple of days will be a little different. Whilst busy during the day, the 7pm show should be my last and I can enjoy a few more hours of sleep. Yay.

My Italian, French and UK counterparts fly into London the day Fashion Week NY finishes and start immediatly on London Fashion Week. From there they go onto Milan and Paris. No rest for the wicked.

There is a fashion week somewhere in the world every day of the week, and if not, a fashion related event is there in its place. Haute Couture was just on in Paris, but New York kicks off the fall season.  

This fall season was a lot of fun. I shoot the runway and I love it. It's the closest thing in fashion I have to being on a film set. Back stage is filled with a cluster of models, photographers, make up artists, hair stylists, back stage managers, PR, security, A listers, designers, assistants and egos. Lots of egos. Some good, some I would rather not deal with.  I find that patience is often a virtue, with the exception of one PR man who shall not be named. If you let people do what they need to do, they will make time for you.

With that said, the cluster of backstage is not my favourite thing to shoot. I also refuse to hound celebrities, I get my shot & I get out. Chasing celebrities is tacky and I hate it when people blur the line between media and paparazzi.

The show itself is fun to shoot. The media pit is something else. My first experience in the media pit in NYC was not my most favourite experience either. However, I have found that over time, getting to know everyone and learning who shoots for who, there is a heirachy. Those people get priority and as I shoot for the house, I often get a good position. I like all the house photographers and videographers. We work together to ensure everyone gets to where they need to be. With that said, some people can be a little forceful. Move your tripod or physically be sitting or leaning on you while you try to shoot. I've coped my fair share of lenses in the head. Moving is difficult and once the media are in the pit, getting in and out can be often impossible. The bigger the designer, the bigger the pit and the bigger the cluster.  The begining of the week is when people flex their muscles, it sets the heirachy for the week, but come the last show of the week at the tents, people are a little more forgiving and willing, unless it's Marc Jacobs (as per this week) and the media interest is beyond huge.

When the lights go down, the audience settles, a voice from the middle bottom of the pit will call out "ladies and gentlemen in the front row, please uncross your legs" (this is done because on camera having a random foot of a crossed leg from a size 11 mens shoe belonging to a member of the audience floating on the runway looks hideous and ruins the shot) The sound begins and so the show starts.  

Then the magic happens (mostly). The media pit quietens and everyone get's into a rhythm of zooming, paning, floating and clicking. There is peace in the pit, until a model walks in the dark (it's actually amazing how many models don't know where the light is, no light, so picture) or turns the wrong way so the accessory he or she is carrying can't be photographed. I'm not sure if this is not communicated with the models back stage but it should be if it isn't. Well then, you'll hear the disgruntled cry from the media pit. Videographers and Photographers alike are shooting for the whose who of Fashion. From Vogue to Style.com. Everyone wants to deliver the best possible image they can of the look.

The Lincoln Centre tents boasts between 8-10 shows a day, there are almost as many off site too. We do this for 8 days straight and can you believe, that London Fashion Week starts on the last day of New York Fashion Week. London & Barcelona have Fashion Weeks on at the same time, Milan is next and last... is Paris. Glorious Paris which everyone who works it appears to love.

There is always more to share but I could end up writing a novel. My colleague was shooting a show when someone died in the front row, we've seen designers come and go, models rise, some slowly disappear (figuratively). I've even lost my cool during wrap up once a few years ago. It happens. But I wouldn't change it or the wonderful people I work with for the world.