Fashion Portraits with Martha

Model: Martha Bolt @martha_bolt
Makeup: Kerri Herlihy 
Wardrobe: Tara West @tarawestfashion


Local musician and UX designer Colin came to the studio for some editorial style portraits.  Long dreads and some ink make him look tougher than he is.  🙂

Beauty Portrait Color Series

With the cold drab days of New England setting in, I wanted to do something that had some spring colors.  I had my talented makeup artist Kerri Herlihy do some colorful eye shadow that I matched with colored paper in the background.  I loved the results and think it could be fun to do on a client shoot.

Thanks to Irene from the Maggie agency for her beautiful face and to Kerri for the makeup!

Deb’s Studio Session

Woman in gold dress with shawl
Glamour portrait
Smiling beauty portrait

Deb’s Glamour Session

Here are some outtakes from a recent modern glamour portrait session with Deb.  As usual, Kerri did an amazing job with her makeup.  We shot a variety of studio looks that ranged from something more formal to a more casual look.  Having a variety of outfits can really make the difference between a shoot that’s good and one that’s great.  

When doing these sessions I always try to get a variety of expressions.  With a big beautiful smile though, it was hard not to want every shot to look happy and upbeat.  We did get a few more serious ones like the middle one above.  

Interested in maybe doing your own glamour shoot?  Get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!


Shoot Inspiration: A Bed of Purple Flowers

Applying flowers

Behind the Scenes

This stylized fashion portrait was created in three steps. In step one, artificial flowers were taped down to a 4×8 piece of thin plywood. They were placed around where the model’s head and shoulders would be.  

In the second step the plywood was put on the floor with a cutout for the model where she would lay down.  There were two lights used; one directly overhead and a second smaller one (pictured) to fill in the model’s face. 

In the last step the flowers were digitally duplicated all over the empty plywood to give the illusion of a complete bed of flowers.  This resulted in about a 10x savings in the number of flowers used to create the image.

Although it’s out of the frame, the camera was mounted directly over the mode at exactly 90 degrees on a stand. This is what gives the illusion that she’s almost floating.
Floral portrait

The look was completed by using a matching colored dress with dramatic eye shadow in the same shades of purple as the flowers.

Would you be interested in a conceptual portrait like this?  If so, I’d love to chat with you about it!

A Fine Art Family Portrait

Family portrait
Brother and Sister Portrait

My friend Amy and her family recently came to the studio for a fine art family portrait. The shoot included coordinating outfits in a sophisticated style like you might find in a magazine, hair and makeup by the fabulous Kerri Herlihy, and multiple sets. Here are my two favorite images from the shoot!

Interested in your own family shoot? Drop me a note. I’d love to hear from you!


Vintage Glamour

Woman in long evening gown under spotlight

Because we’re entering 2020, I wanted to do a 20’s inspired shoot.  My friend Kayla came into the studio where we shot a few different looks.  

My favorite was this one with her looking up into the light.  It makes the viewer wonder where she is and what she’s thinking.  

With the emerald green sequined gown, she looks like some one out on the town.

Close up of a vintage beauty look

Here’s a closer look with the makeup.  A bold lip, rosy cheeks and winged out liner make for a great vintage feel.

Are you interested in doing your own vintage inspired shoot?  Get in touch.  We’d love to hear from you!

Six online uses for personal branding photographs (and they’re all free!)

Boating portrait

In today’s image saturated world of social media, relying on a simple head and shoulders portrait to communicate your brand message is no longer effective. You need to show your personality to attract people to your business. What are some ways to do that online?

1. Content for social media

LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, the list doesn’t seem to end. Some experts recommend posting to Instagram alone every day. Do you have 30 days worth of solid brand imagery for the next month? Show yourself working, your products, production methods, and anything else that would be of interest to possible clients.

2. Your Google identity

Did you know your face follows you around the Internet with Google’s help? Every time some one reads an email from your Google account, they’re seeing an image of you (assuming you uploaded one). Just seeing that single image can generate thousands of impressions every month. Make sure it’s a good photo.

3. Your email signature

Like your Google identity, your email signature gets read constantly. Did you know you can put an image in it with the help of a third party service? By making it a strong image with a call to action, now you’ve got a lead generator being sent out with every email.

4. Gravatars

What’s a gravatar? It’s a globally unique avatars introduced a few years ago. Although not quite as popular today as it once was, it’s a way for your image to follow you when commenting on blog posts. Make it the same as your digital presence on other sites and you’ll be recognized as the same person.

5. LinkedIn profile

It goes without saying a great LinkedIn profile picture is an absolute must. But do you post about your business? What are the images you’re using for that? Sure you can post without an image, but it’s now very well understood that posts with images attract more attention. And if you’re posting regularly on Instagram you can use the same library of images because now you’re reaching different audiences.

6. Website about me

What does the picture on your “About” page say about you and your business? Most websites will only have a single image, but why not post several and tell a story? Potential clients love looking behind the curtain to see your process at work, so why not show them?

Analog Marketing

There are also a plethora of other uses for personal branding for print collateral ranging from business cards, brochures, and direct mail to full magazines. So if you’re thinking about a shoot don’t forget about all the offline ways you can use those digital photos.

Modern Glamour Photography

One of the things we get asked a lot about is glamour photography. The word glamour is synonymous with the 80’s studio chain Glamour Shots. The hallmarks of the look were big hair, bad makeup, and even worse poses. And if you grew up when going to the mall was the highlight of your weekend, then you probably have your own Glamour Shot photos.

What’s missing from that kind of photography is the beauty and personality of the subject. It’s not just teasing your hair and overdoing the makeup. For us, being a beauty photographer is all about making you feel gorgeous on the inside as well as the outside. Your photos should make you look strong, confident, and beautiful which is why every glamour shoot we do is done in a Vanity Fair style.

The look is sophisticated and elegant with a lot of emphasis put on the design of the shoot. That includes paying close attention to scene setting, wardrobe, and makeup so that they all come together effortlessly. The photographs should look as though they’re magazine quality. So for some clients this means a bright, colorful, glossy look while for others it’s something softer and more muted. Ultimately you get to play art director by helping to plan the look of your shoot.

Below are a few photos for inspiration, including some recent ones that were featured here on the blog.

Vintage floral hair style

High key glamour portrait

Client wearing sequined blue dress

Eyelash skirt

Interested in doing a glamour shoot of your own? Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

Experimental Portraits with a Floral Theme

As a creative and business owner at the same time, it’s really important for me to stay inspired to create beautiful portraits for clients. Without that inspiration it’s easy to fall into a routine. Creating new personal work is the key to innovating and growing as an artist. I’ve learned that it’s simply something I have to do regularly to keep the desire strong to create.

I’ve been experimenting with some stylized portrait work that is a blend of beauty, fashion, and portraiture. One idea I’ve wanted to try for quite awhile is a floral look that is soft, feminine, and sensual. This idea isn’t new; it’s existed in the art world for thousands of years so it’s certainly not anything original on my part.

Going further, I wanted to take the look and make it a bit bohemian and vintage. I’ve done some floral portraits in the past, but I either wasn’t happy with the results or it featured tones that were bright and colorful. This look I ended up with for this shoot is very different for me as I tend to work with black and white for most of my personal work.

So together with Martha, a model friend of mine, and my partner Kerri, we spent an afternoon playing around in the studio. For the wardrobe we went with a simple wrap of tulle as well as some ribbons to provide some added sensuality and femininity. Kerri did some magic with the makeup and hair, including placing the flowers. Overall I was especially pleased with the two shots below.

If you think a look like this would be fun for your glamour portrait shoot, we’d love to hear from you. Part of the fun of doing a shoot is being creative so we’d love to hear your ideas!

Vintage floral hair style