How Watching Soap Operas Made Me A Better Stylist!

We can all agree that styling a model can be a pretty daunting task, especially if you’re fashionably disabled like me. Hiring a wardrobe stylist is always an option, but sometimes that’s not feasible. One trick that has helped me to “keep up with the times,” has been watching soap opera’s.


When I first started watching soap opera’s I was immediately drawn to the lighting and styling, not to mention the awesome dialogue. Actors on the show are always dressed to the nine’s, from perfectly quaffed hair down to triangular shape tipped shoes (which I just learned are “in”). I also noticed that soap opera’s seem to be ahead of the current fashion trend and in many cases set the trend.


When watching the show be sure to write down what you see, like the main actress is wearing a tribal sweater or that the male lead has on a bowtie. Also take note of hairstyles and make up that you like, then apply to your next photo shoot.


Obtaining the wardrobe needed for your shoot can be costly, but here are a few tips that I use to significantly cut costs. First, check out consignment and thrift stores, often these establishments have what you are looking for at a 50% discount.


Second, ask to borrow clothes from large department stores. Certain department stores will lend a photographer clothing for a shoot for a small fee. You will also have to leave a credit card number incase the garment gets damaged. You will need to do a little research and call ahead, but that’s a way I’ve obtained clothing for a shoot in the past.


My third tip is to rent clothing from websites like or At times sellers on Etsy will allow photographers to use clothing and jewelry as long as you provide them with final images that they can then use.

Once your photo shoot is complete and your ready to share your photo’s, be sure to tag the designer of the clothes you used. Social media is HUGE and that designer might just see your photo and want to hire you for a future shoot.











The Power of Social Media

Yesterday I photographed BTS and The Runway at a Mercedes Benz Fashion Week show. This was my first fashion show and I had a great time! We now live in a time where nearly everyone has access to the internet and social media and networking is one of the best ways to promote your work! Photographers, make-up artists, hair stylists, wardrobe stylists, designers, models, etc… we all have business cards and we all exchanged cards at the show, there was NOT one card that didn’t have a website or Facebook or Twitter printed on them. Infact you can attach a QR code to your card, when scanned by your smart phone will automatically import the contact to your phone and sometimes take you to a social media site.

My personal example of the power of social media comes from simply posting a photo to a wall. Ian Ziering, actor from 90210 and Sharknado walked the runway and I got some great shots of him. When I got home form the show I uploaded the photos and posted 1 photo of Ian on my Twitter page (tagging him in the process) and also did the same on my Facebook book. I woke up this morning to find that he favorited my tweet and changed his Facebook profile picture to my photo! Which you can see here

I have already gained likes to my page  and have a feeling I will be getting many more!


Becca and the Headdress

My latest photo shoot was extremely serendipitous.  After I first picked up my model, Becca, from the bus stop to drive her to my studio we started noticing small things that made us wonder if the universe wanted us to shoot together.

1: Becca is from California, and hasn’t been back to NJ in 4 years, yet the mall she took the bus too, was the last mall she visited in NJ.

2: Becca added me on Facebook BEFORE she commented on a casting that I posted on When we were talking she has NO idea how she found my profile on FB or why she added me as a friend.

3: The MUA who was supposed to work with us cancelled on us the last minute! She was the one who was bringing the headdress. I put a call out to another MUA I know and she just so happened to live 5 minutes from my studio, and was available. The MUA who saved the day and shoot, her name is Becca! TWO Becca’s!!!


I was never one to fully believe things happen for a reason, but this shoot was destined for greatness.

The following photo is what Becca, Becca and I came up with. We were able to make the headpiece in about an hour. It was very messy to make, but a lot of fun!






Make Your Models ANGRY

Ok not really, but there are times during a photo shoot when you need to change things up. My favorite thing to do is ask my model to “give me the finger.” They usually giggle, or depending on how the shoot has been going will oblige. Either way this loosens things up and gets you some great images!

In addition I would recommend coming up with some phrases that you can say to get a natural reaction. Here are some of my favorites:

“Put your feet closer to the floor”

“Look right slightly, up, back down a little, clench your ball sack”

“Make love to me… I…I mean the camera”

Most importantly HAVE FUN!


Hair – with Elinchrom BRX 500 strobes

I had the pleasure of working with my very first model, my wife, Marina Foord. I also had the pleasure of meeting and working with the very talented hair stylist Karla Serrano. For this shoot I placed the Elinchrom BRX (B&H) with a beauty dish (B&H) and grid (B&H) up high, pointing down at a 45 degree angle in front and left of camera.

To get the smoke behind Marina, I used another strobe and aimed it at her back. Then I had Karla direct the fog machine so the smoke wound up behind Marina, but in front of the strobe.

Camera settings: 1/200,  F/9, ISO: 100

Retouched in Photoshop CC. Plug-ins used were Nik Color EFX and Alien Skin Exposure 5

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