Photoshoot: Me

My older sister put the idea in my head, “Monica, you should do a photoshoot of yourself before you get old.”

In the house of every old woman is a photo of her when she was young. Her beauty displays the time she lived in and the person she once was. I wanted a photo of myself for this very reason. I want my children and grandchildren to know who I am. I want them to look at my picture and wonder about the young woman I once was.

The hard part was figuring out what style I wanted to do. I enjoy things that are vintage but felt it wouldn’t display who I am now.

I then saw the perfect dress with a pattern that reminded me of my culture. I then remembered Joshua Tree. How beauty and peace it was. It was all coming together. The theme would be, “nature, spirit, and earth.”

The interesting thing was that this photoshoot comforted me with the questions, “How much do you value yourself Monica?” From the choice of lens, to getting my make up done by Dez, to the awesome location of Joshua Tree. I even felt embarrassed to ask my photographer friends for help. I finally asked Michael who I have known for years. I told him how I felt vain, he then answered, “Its not vain, its art.”

Though I kept directing Michael and even called him my human tripod, he ended up taking some of my favorite photos when I let him do his thing.

Thank you to the two Ayala brothers that helped me. The conversation during the long drive was delightful.

Some extras we took cause we’re having so much fun:

Everyone should have a photo shoot of them selves.

Not sure which photo of these I will display in my house when I’m 60 years old until then I will enjoy my youth.

Monica Briano, video editor. photographer. dreamer

Chapter 1: Portrait

<<back to tutorial Archives

A friend and I were hanging out at the local book store when I said to myself, “I want a photography book that isn’t just about great photos but tells me how to capture my own.”  I then picked up a book “The Complete Photographer” by Tom Ang.  The moment I picked it up I knew I had to buy it.  After reading the first chapter I dramatically saw the difference in my photos.  I have also started a photography club with some young girls from church.  I want to impart in them creativity and to inspire them to capture some of life’s greatest moments.

CHAPTER 1: PORTRAIT

A Portrait: When the subject is the center of the universe they can be anyone and anything.

Here are some photos where I used different techniques.

Storytelling: To kick off the photo shoot I told my friend a story and explained the character she was going to play.  I told her to pretend she was a servant girl who had been working all day. When she sat in a pile of rocks she quickly began to role play. Her facial expressions began to come alive right before me.

Peeping Through: This creates a dramatic effect which conveys a sense of alienation.

Back lighting: In this pose that was created I noticed the great light that was behind her and told her to stand where her hair captured the glow.

Soft Focus: I used the technique Soft Focus for the Panda Mask so the viewer’s attention would see her reaction before they saw the mask.

Capturing Action: Even though the focus isn’t sharp, I didn’t disregard this shot. Her running added great energy to this fairy tale image that I wanted to display.

Lighting Character: I noticed the sun was peaking through the bushes so I had my model run over and stand right where it was hitting. It created this great dramatic look to her and bought out her eyes.

Unique Mannerisms: To deliver a sense of character and personality, I used body language and played with some unique poses.

Here is my favorite photo that I made into a poster and now hangs on my wall.   I love the purity and beauty that it displays.

I left the shoot feeling very proud knowing that I put into practice some of the new information that I had gathered from this amazing new book.

You can check out the complete set on my flickr where I used other techniques.

<<back to tutorial Archives

Share