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I Think I May Have Dropped The Ball

Just a heads up, this is a total rambling rant. I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head…

One of my favorite models stopped by the DMV on her East Coast Tour and hung out with me for a day — KHRIST!

Just a heads up, this is a total rambling rant. I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head…

Thank you to the amazingly awesome MUA, Tia, for providing the makeup and doing some light hair work. I don’t know what I’d do without you — besides spend countless hours in Photoshop doing what you do so effortlessly. You rock!

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I have to admit, I really had WAY too many ideas in my head. I suffered from a little paralysis during this shoot. I didn’t prepare a shot list and lighting diagram. I, for the most part, winged it. And I think it showed.

The fault was all mine. I had things I wanted to experiment with, but nothing particular to shoot. I knew I wanted a high-key setup for the magazine glamour submissions. But other than that, I just had no fuckin’ clue. I wanted to play around with a ring flash, a fisheye lens and leather bunny mask, but I had no particular rhyme or reason, and it shows me how much I need to grow and how little I actually know.

It was not until a few hours after the shoot, when I loaded everything into Lightroom, that I realized that was the last time I could get away with that. I need to do MUCH more thorough research and have my gameplan going into the shoot.

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I am chasing a brand identity and niche of being a glamour photographer specializing in sensual cosplay. None of the shots I took fell into that category. Khrist made some suggestions, and I ran with them, but I feel like I dropped the ball on a major scale. Some may say I am being way too hard on myself, but I can’t help but to really feel like I dropped an amazing opportunity.

So I am going through Lightroom, trying to salvage whatever shots I can find to submit to tattoo magazines everywhere, but I am realizing that it’s not really what I want to be known as. While I LOVE inked females, I love naughty nerds even more. And if I can find a gorgeous, fit, inked cosplay queen that wants nothing more than to have me snap away at her every costume, I am there. In the meantime, I need to be more decisive in what I want to shoot and ensure that the shoot I organize fit into that brand.

For any photographers who are starting out, here are my couple of words of wisdom. Shoot everything you CAN to begin with. Be it landscape or street photography, or flowers, or naked people. Shoot it all. THEN, figure out what it is you want to be known for.

If you could take 1 week and be flown anywhere in the world, all expenses paid — all you have to do is show up with gear — what would it look like?

What gear are you packing for the trip? Is it speedlights or is it ProFoto studio strobes? Are you in a helicopter taking overhead shots of a snowboarder in mid-air, or are you planted firmly on your belly shooting up at a lingerie model on a rocky outcropping with the ocean slamming against the rocks? Do you want to shoot high-powered automobiles at rest or catching gritty black and whites of celebrities on the run? Think about it. Then move.

I was always drawn to the scantily clad models.

I was always drawn to the scantily clad models. Photos that always get a LIKE from me are generally bikini-clad or nude photos of curvy models, or muscle women at their most sensual. But I LOVE cosplay photography and I will ALWAYS LIKE a sensual cosplay photo that was shot creatively. And with that little bit of knowledge about myself, I am on a mission to shoot exactly that.

My Instagram and my Facebook and my website and my portfolio and my magazine submissions from now on will be cosplay photos or glamour photos with anime or video game or comic book easter eggs.

I need to resist the urges to just shoot pretty women and shoot pretty women that fit my theme and brand.

Lessons learned.