Category: Editorials

UNLV Bridal Shoots

People don’t think too much about the UNLV campus as a place for photo shoots because from the outside, it doesn’t look like it has much. However, once you walk around the campus, you suddenly realize how clean and well-maintained the campus is.

Spring is when the campus is at its most beautiful. All the flowers were in bloom, especially the small rose garden. The trees and grass were green and lush.

The UNLV campus also has an interesting desert garden near the library, with small bridges and a Spanish-style wall.

The most notable thing about both shoots with Savanah and Cristina (which were done on different days), was that I mostly shot with natural light (with the exception of a couple shots in this gallery). Because most of my better work in my portfolio has been shot with a strobe or off-camera flash, I wasn’t confident with my natural-light shooting skills until this shoot. In fact, it’s actually hard to tell if I used natural light or a strobe on some of these shots!

Credits:
Models: Savanah (Instagram) and Cristina (Instagram)
Savanah’s Hair/Makeup: Shawanda (Instagram)
Dresses: LV Bridal Boutique (Website | Instagram)
Bouquet: Jatcoia Floral Design (Website | Instagram)

Published in ELEGANT Magazine December 2018 Issue

I guess you can call this part 2 of my “Who Would Have Thought?” blog entry. At the time of writing that blog, ELEGANT Magazine has accepted my submission, but I could not release it anywhere until the magazine launched. Now that it launched, my team and I can now share it!

I first heard of Kristine and her Tale of Esther brand through mutual networks. I did behind-the-scene photos for another photographer in Vegas, and the model was wearing clothes from Tale of Esther. The stylist did a few pulls when she was in the LA area and brought them to the shoot in Vegas.

After the shoot, I contacted Kristine through email and then Instagram. We contacted each other for months before finally settling on a photo shoot date. Because I always wanted to do a shoot in Walnut (my hometown) or around, I thought of the idea of doing a rustic bride themed shoot. Kristine loved the idea, and we both ran with it.

I initially did a model call on Facebook and Model Mayhem, but I was scared of the uncertain (a.k.a models flaking), so I went with people whom I’ve worked with in the past. Ashley is my go-to model whenever I want to do a shoot in Cali (especially in the Orange County area). I’ve worked with Karenn when she was living in Vegas, but she moved to Cali and was available in the area.

We did hair and makeup at my parent’s house, which was also my childhood home, and then a 2-hour shoot at Snow Creek Park.

Kristine spoiled the entire team! She brought in sweets for us to snack on, and then treated all of us to a late lunch / early dinner, and then gave us gift bags. Because she spoiled us so well and was very generous with everything, I wanted to make sure the shoot was worthwhile. I’m very glad and happy that happened when ELEGANT Magazine picked up our editorial!

Credits:
Models:  Ashley (Instagram) | Karenn (Instagram)
Dress Designer: Kristine – Tale for Esther (Website | Instagram)
Makeup Artist / Hair Stylist: Irma (Website | Instagram)

Here are some images that were not submitted or did not make the cut.

Who Would Have Thought?

Although I’ve been living in Vegas for over 12 years (as of time of writing), Walnut, California has always been home. My parents are still living in the same house, and have been for almost 32 years. I’m very lucky I can always come visit them whenever I want to get away from Vegas.

One of my favorite spots in Walnut was Snow Creek Park. I would always visit this park whenever I wanted to get away from the house and go to a place to relax. I remembered it being a pretty small park with a baseball field taking up the majority of the park.

For the past few months, I was planning a rustic editorial shoot with an awesome designer. Originally, I was going to do the shoot either at Cal Poly Pomona or Lemon Creek Park, since I’ve shot at both places before. However, I threw in Snow Creek as a third option because I was very concerned with the harsh mid-day lighting of our shoot.

On the way to my parents house, I was able to quickly scout Cal Poly. With the construction and the fact it wasn’t “rustic” enough (even though we were going to shoot at some old horse stables), I quickly took that option off the table.

It was between Lemon Creek Park and Snow Creek Park. Because I never shot at Snow Creek Park and haven’t been there in awhile, I met up with an friend whom I’ve known since elementary school and did a quick shoot with her and her family. The minute I arrived, there were about 4 other photo sessions going on and learned that Snow Creek was a hot spot for photography!

With the creek, the bridge, and the horse trail, combined with plenty of shade to hide underneath in harsh mid-day lighting, I decided to do my epic editorial shoot at Snow Creek.

The day after my editorial shoot, I visited Snow Creek once again to do a shoot with another friend from my hometown. Since we were doing the shoot on Veteran’s Day (observed), once again, the park had a few photo sessions going on.

The lighting at Snow Creek, whether in the morning, mid-day, or close to sunset during golden hour, was absolutely gorgeous. Who would have thought such a wonderful place for photography would be in my hometown? Who would have thought that non-Walnut residents from nearby cities would have chosen this pretty small and obscure park for their sessions?

 

 

Published in Obscurae Magazine Fall Issue Volume 37

Credits:
Models: Megan – TNG Models (Instagram) | Francesca (Instagram)
Dress Designer: Carolina – Veteran Couture (Website | Instagram)
Makeup Artist: Michelle – Nu Reflections (Website | Instagram)
Hair Stylist / Assistant: Amanda (Instagram)

I met Carolina in a Los Angeles Facebook photography and models group. She was looking for people to collaborate with. When I saw how awesome her work was, I jumped at the chance and immediately sent her a message.

The shoot originally was going to be at The Smith Center, but when Carolina saw the mountains and desert landscape near my house, we decided to do the shoot in the desert, hence the name “Couture in the Desert”.

My favorite outfits were the final set with the pointy headpieces and flowy fabric. It reminded me of Chronicles of Narnia. I was amused that the outfits and the headpieces made our models even more tall, especially Francesca. With her 6-foot height, 2-inch heels, and 6-inch headpiece, Francesca stood about 6’8″!

View the digital magazine here. Purchase the print version here.

Here are the images that were submitted, but didn’t make the cut.

Double Published in Vegas Runway Magazine and ELEGANT Magazine

Credits:
Model / Makeup Artist: Katia (Instagram)
Stylist / Creative Director/ Jewelry Designer: Elena (Website)

To create content for Vegas Runway’s Spring Edition, we did a shoot all the way back in February 2018 during the China Lights Festival at Craig Ranch Park. Presented by Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc., it was the first year Vegas held such an event.

The lantern displays were beautiful and a great setting for a shoot. Throughout most of the duration of the festival, the weather was warm. Unfortunately, we visited the festival as the weather dropped down to its normal temperature for February. Katia was such a trooper dealing with the cold. Luckily for her, she wore a kimono between takes.

View Vegas Runway Magazine Spring Edition online.

Doing this photo shoot was an automatic publication for Vegas Runway, but Elena had other publications in mind. She submitted these images to ELEGANT Magazine, which had a much higher following with over 37,000 followers on Facebook and over 43,000 Instagram followers. Because of the higher social media following and therefore, more submissions, it is harder to get published. After many unsuccessful attempts by Elena the past, they finally accepted this submission!

View ELEGANT Magazine March 2018 Fashion #3 issue online.

Published in Vegas Runway Magazine’s “Golden Eras” Edition

After about a year of “schmoozing” and networking with her, I finally got to collaborate with IShinensparkle founder, Elena, and photograph her GORGEOUS statement jewelry pieces. She was setting up series of shoots with other photographers to fill the pages for the second issue of Vegas Runway Magazine’s “Golden Eras” edition, where she is the editor-in-chief.

Credits:
Model: Gissell (Instagram)
Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Janeth (Facebook)
Jewelry Designer and Stylist: Elena (Website)

Janeth has been a licensed makeup artist for a few years, but to help take her skills to the next level, she attended a special hair-styling and makeup school in California not too long before the shoot. She did an amazing job applying the skills she learned on this shoot!

We took inspiration from the 1910’s and 1920’s and gave them a modern 21st century look!

View full magazine online.

Dana Point Photo Shoot

Whenever I visit my family in Southern California, I always try to set up shoots during my visits just to break away from the usual locations I shoot in Vegas.

I put up a couple posts in a Facebook group for Los Angeles area photographers, models, makeup artists, and anyone in the industry. Not only I found a great makeup artist, but a hair stylist as well. By coincidence, the hair stylist is originally from my hometown and graduated from my high school!

I found my model through Model Mayhem via a casting call I posted on my profile. She was the perfect fit!

Whenever you work with new people and ones you have never met before, it’s always a hit or miss, but my team was terrific! We worked very well together. It unfortunately rained in Dana Point, but my team stuck it out with me. I was grateful they were such team players!

Credits:
Model: Ashley (Website)
Makeup Artist: Karla (Facebook)
Hair Stylist: Rilesha (Instagram)
Dress Provided By: Staysi Lee Bridal (Website)

Published in Fisique Fashion Magazine’s June Issue

The yellow blooms in Death Valley is a very rare occurrence. The last time these blooms appeared was in 2005 and may not come again for a long time. To show there is beauty everywhere, even in a hot and arid environment, the dress and headpiece signifies royalty and beauty.

Credits:
Model: Denise (Facebook)
Makeup Artist: Gina
Dress and Headpiece Designer: B. Darricks Design (Facebook)

Get your copy of this issue here!

Published in Fisique Fashion Magazine’s Eras Issue

For Fisique Fashion Magazine’s Eras Issuse, I did an editorial based on androgyny from the 80’s, called “Androgynously Powerful 80’s.” The 80’s was a breakthrough period for gender-bending, with icons like Madonna, Annie Lennox, and Grace Jones embracing the look. Each model selected played their character very well.

Credits:
Models: Edith, Skye, and Bernadette
Skye and Bernadette’s Makeup Artist: Stacy

Get your copy of this issue here!

Published in Pump Magazine’s Bridal Edition

“Two Become One Wedding Dress” features Staysi Lee’s unique design of two-piece wedding dresses. In her experience as a wedding dress designer, she would find that her clients only liked one part of the dress and not the whole thing. To give the illusion of one dress, usually a jeweled belt is added.

Credits:
Models: Danielle and Morgan
Makeup Artist: Michelle (Facebook)
Designer: Staysi Lee Bridal (Website)

Pump Magazine Bridal Tearsheet

Staysi’s two-piece dresses are very versatile and can be worn at any other occasions as well.

Get your copy of this issue here!

Published in Fisique Fashion Magazine’s “Heat Wave” Summer/Swimwear Issue

With the help of two amazing and talented twins, I submitted to Fisique Fashion Magazine’s “Heat Wave” Summer/Swimwear Issue and it was accepted! The concept was pin-up

Credits:
Models: Cambry and Carly (Facebook)
Hair and Makeup: Cambry

Fisique Heat Wave Tear Sheet

Here are the rest of the shots from this editorial that did not get picked up. This was the girls’ first time doing a swimsuit photo shoot and I’m glad I was the photographer!

Get your copy of this issue here!

Published and Featured in Fisique Fashion Magazine’s “The Raven” Feathers Issue

I submitted a very short autobiography to the editor-in-chief in order to become the featured photographer for the Big Hair issue. She didn’t use my autobiography for that issue, but instead, she offered me a featured spread in her next issue, Feathers. When I mentioned collaborating and camaraderie in my writing, it obviously resonated with her because she wanted to feature my creative team in that issue as well.

When I thought about feathers, I immediately thought about Cheryl and her Best Showgirls in Vegas (BSV) Models. We spent a few hours on hair and makeup at the official BSV house/headquarters, which was full of beautiful and elaborate feather costumes.

The theme was “Phoenix Rising”. I used 4 models – 2 to represent “dark angels” and the other 2 to represent the “phoenixes”.

Because the theme was a bit more darker, I had the models wear the feather “backpacks” with only a bra and laced panty. I was trying to emulate the Victoria Secret Angels.

Credits:
Dark Angels: Cherish (Instagram) and Eunice (Instagram)
Makeup Artist: Michelle (Facebook)

Phoenixes: Esonica (Facebook) and Nicole (Instagram)
Makeup Artist: Constance (Website)

Hair Stylist, Wardrobe, and Models’ Manager: Cheryl of BSV Models (Website)

Feathers Tearsheet

Feathers Tearsheet

Feathers Tearsheet

Feathers Tearsheet

Feathers Tearsheet

It is always fun catching the makeup artists and models off-guard with candid behind-the-scenes shots! LOL

Get your copy of this issue here!

Published in Fisique Fashion Magazine’s “Teased” Big Hair Issue

With the help of an awesome team, I submitted this editorial to Fisique Fashion Magazine’s “Teased” Big Hair Issue and it was accepted! The concept was 1960’s Mod and Hippie Flower Child.

Credits:
Model: Brooke (Facebook)
Makeup Artist: Michelle (Facebook)
Hair Stylist: Jenny (Facebook)

Fisique "Teased" Big Hair Issue

We had such a fun time, just grooving to the music and making magic happen. During the shoot, we pulled some inspiration photos of models of the 1960’s Brigitte Bardot and Twiggy to help Brooke with her posing.

Get your copy of this issue here!

I would like to dedicate this post to the memory of Jenny King, who passed away on August 2, 2015. Her creativity and warmth will be greatly missed!

Avant-Garde Balloon Editorial

Credits: Models – Melynda and Keith (Facebook)
Melynda’s Makeup Artist – Sheena (Model Mayhem)
Keith’s Makeup Artist – Tatiana
Hair Stylist – Brittany (Facebook)
Balloon Dress Designer – Marie (Website)
Balloon Collar Designer – Chris (Website) and Marie

Final Images: Melynda | Keith

I originally set up a rocker/futuristic avant-garde shoot for my submission to Jute Magazine, but when I saw that Marie was looking for photographers to take pictures of her balloon dresses, I quickly changed the direction of my shoot. Because Marie’s creations takes a few hours to create and only lasts one day, doing a TFP shoot with her one of her balloon dresses is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Marie’s dress was inspired by a Maya Hansen corset, but it was made into a mini-dress instead.

     Balloon BTS

I gave the makeup artists and hair stylist freedom to do whatever they wanted, since it was an avant-garde shoot.

Balloon BTS     Balloon BTS

Balloon BTS

Lighting test with Keith and Tatiana. I guess they were trying to rock out with the devil horns.

Balloon BTS

Balloon BTS

I believe it’s a must to do a blooper shoot whenever I can during these editorial shoots!

Balloon BTS

A couple days later after the shoot, I put the balloon collar around my pugs. Because Percy is blind, he didn’t know what was going on when I put the balloons around his neck. As for Penny, she tried to wiggle out of them.

Percy

Penny

Unfortunately, my editorial did not get picked up by Jute, most likely because there was another editorial with balloons. Oh well, it was a fun shoot!

 

Published in Pump Magazine’s Men’s Issue

I am very pleased to have my photography published for the very first time ever in Pump Magazine‘s Men’s Issue.

The title of the editorial is “Can’t Take My Hands Off You”. Many GQ magazines have inspired me to do my own similar shoot, especially the ones with Hollywood action stars like Jason Statham or Michael Fassbender. I selected men who are not only handsome, but have some ruggedness as well. These men proved that you could look dapper in business attire or suit with a 5 o’clock shadow.

Credits:
Couple 1: Giuseppe and Dulce | Makeup Artist: Michelle (Facebook)
Couple 2: Justin and Alissa (Facebook) | Makeup Artist: Annvi (Website)
Couple 3: Keith (Facebook) and Cherokee (Facebook) | Makeup Artist: Rachel (Website)

Pump Magazine

Pump Magazine

Pump Magazine

The most fun part of shooting editorials is including blooper shots, which are always hilarious!

Giuseppe and Dulce

Justin and Alissa

I think Keith was trying to be a vampire in this one!

Keith and Cherokee

Get your copy of this issue here!

“Beauty in Culture” Editorial – China

Credits: Model – Catherine (Facebook) | Makeup Artist – Danielle (Website) | Hair Stylist – Tiffany (Facebook)

For the fourth day of shooting, Catherine was a perfect match not only because of her heritage, but because of her title of Miss Asian Las Vegas 2014. Danielle did an incredible job on the makeup, adding some gold to just make things stand out against the white powder.

China BTS

China BTS

China BTS

China BTS

I loved the fan that Tiffany selected for Catherine’s hair. It worked very well with the shot, especially when I used a yellow gel as a back light. In these couple shots, it looks like she was wearing a yellow fan.

Catherine

Catherine

Ultimately, to keep things consistent with the rest of the shots which used a black background, I selected this shot because Catherine looked powerful and regal.

Catherine

I’ve had an amazing time working with such talented people during all my shoots. I was also relieved to get all the shooting finished before my Rio de Janeiro trip, which left me more time to edit the photos after my trip. Unfortunately, Jute Magazine did not pick up the editorial. If I don’t first succeed, I must try and try again!