Very honored to have sequential covers of Grays of Westminster’s Nikon Owner Magazine. Unusual occurrence. Looking at them side by side, quite obviously you’d think they were shot by different photographers. I mean, one’s a straight up beauty shot, in a LA studio, with all the accoutrements of such a shoot–strobes galore, gels, fill the frame, no environment, glam makeup. The other is an unadorned environmental portrait on the plains of New Mexico.
Different covers, different subjects, different skills. But…same photog. In the studio (Thank you for the use of the studio, Gianluca!) we worked with the stunning Thais D’Lima, a Brazilian beauty, and luckily for us now based in California. Eyes that make the camera not want to look away. (Gorgeous makeup by Claire Piao.) Over/under beauty light combo. Complete control. Last year, I contrasted this cover with an available light shot that ran as the cover of Cuba Seen magazine. And here we are again…Thais on a cover. And an ongoing, wonderful relationship with the most supremely elegant camera store (and best service), Grays of Westminster.
And fitting for Nikon Owner magazine. Shot with a Nikon Z7, paired with the fastest lens I’ve ever used…the phenomenally sharp S series 58mm f0.95 NOCT. Wide open. A slight sliver of DOF dropped (manually) on the orbs of the eyes. Pinpoint focus assist in the AF custom setting menu.
And then, another cover comes round. This one of Nancy De Santis, one of the most effortlessly lovely people to step in front a camera lens, anytime, anywhere. So blessed to know Nancy and her husband Rick Iannucci, who together run Horses for Heroes in New Mexico. They pair retired and active duty members of the military who have sustained PTSD and/or physical injuries with the truly wondrous healing effects of being hands-on with a horse.
Sheila Welch, a consummate horse woman I worked with long ago in Texas, once told me, “There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a human being.” Portrait of Sheila below, a favorite from when I commandeered a men’s room at the Will Rogers Memorial Center during a Futurity cutting horse championship.
For the picture of Nancy, I observed that piece of the Hippocratic Oath, as it applies to picture making. “First, do no harm.” A beautiful scene presents, so don’t go into the trunk of the car and pull out a megatron of a light and blast that scene to bits. The lightest touch is called for, and in this case it was a Profoto B1-X with a 1×3 strip soft box, located to camera right. Barely felt. Barely there. From the lighting school of “just enough.”
Again, honored to once again have the cover of Nikon Owner. The issue with Nancy’s portrait is about to come out this month.