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2012 started off quite a bit differently than I had planned. I thought I’d be able to start shooting portfolio work right away… wrong… I wanted to do some test shoots before starting the portfolio work, and I somehow forgot to figure in those shoots in overall time. Because I want to be as prepared as possible going into the portfolio work, it made sense to do some tests ahead of time. This is when I can test different lighting, work with new makeup artists or hair stylists, and get used to how the model works. He/She can also get used to my working style.

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Jenna and I had been talking about working together for quite a while. I wanted to do 3 looks, and I decided to have hair and makeup as well. This was also the first (and last) test shoot that I had hair and makeup for, but more on that later.

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I worked with a hair stylist I had never worked with before, Samantha. The first thing that impressed me about her was that she knew my work. She mentioned that the majority of my work I used loose curls for the hair look. She was absolutely right, I did ask for loose curls on a fairly regular basis (I guess I just really like loose curls…).

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Why did that impress me you ask? Well here it is… the most frustrating part of the work I do, is finding people to work with who are as passionate and focused as I am. The mere fact that she had researched my work and wanted to push me in a new direction sold me on her right away. We haven’t been able to work together since this shoot, but hopefully soon. I put a lot of work into my shoots. I do many many hours of prep and research and it doesn’t always happen that I’m able to work with people who have that same passion and drive.

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We had a blast on this shoot, I think we laughed almost the whole way through, but when it was time to get to business Jenna locked right in. I wanted to try a few different lighting techniques and also wanted to try and push Jenna as a model. These test shoots help me decide what kind of look would work the best for future shoots.

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These images were shot in early January, and I have a few more test shoot since. So you’re probably thinking: “what the hell took you so long to post them?”. Well, first of all: get off my back would ya… haha, secondly: I ended up getting busy with client work (no complaints there) so the personal work had to take a back seat for a bit. While it hasn’t been easy not editing the shoots, I have to be smart about my business.

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Oh right, I was going to tell you why this was my last test shoot with hair and makeup. Because… look at it, look how wonderful it is. So you’re probably thinking “what’s the problem, doesn’t he want it to be wonderful?”. Well, of course I do, but here’s the thing.

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With the portfolio work I’m currently working on, I want to have a flow through the shoot. I want to have a cohesive concept, or a “story”, if you will. As I continuously reasearch in fashion magazines, this is how spreads are published, and this is my goal. I want to try to start having my work published, so I need to be working with this in mind. While I could do this for test shoots, I need to be  smart about my time, and others’ time as well.

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Jenna was fantastic to work with, and I’m extremely happy with how the hair and makeup came out on this shoot. When I’m able to give an idea to a hair stylist or make up artist and they take it and make it their own, that is priceless for me as a photographer.

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So keep an eye on the blog as I have quite a few shoots I’m hoping to post over the next couple of weeks. My tests shoots have been extremely successful and I have already started planning concepts for everyone I have worked with so far. Sometimes it’s good when things take a little longer than expected as it allows you to put more care and thought into it.

Hair by: Samantha Kirkpatrick

Makeup by: Bonnie Dilag

If you want to see previews from the shoots, before they’re posted to the blog, be sure to “LIKE” my Facebook page here.

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