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  • Digital SLR Photography Magazine Publication

    Earlier this year, I was approached by UK's Digital SLR Photography Magazine to do a few features that would explain, step by step, some of my lighting concepts. After a few months of conceptualizing, shooting and reshooting, last month's article featured one of my favorite styles to photograph in. They referred to the set up as Painterly Portraits, so that's what I'm going with.

    To think, it all started when they spotted this image of the lovely Katie Brill when we just messed around in the studio after a last-minute cancellation.

    Naturally I was stoked to be able to re-create this look for an editorial, so I immediately accepted and got right to work. Casting played a huge part in this, I wanted someone with features that would embrace this sort of painted, subtle yet dramatic look. The lighting was simple, I turned my modeling lights up and my PocketWizards off and got to work with my trusted Profoto beauty dish. The highlights on her face were becoming too intense with just a bare silver beauty dish, so I added a diffusion sock over the top. 

    (I know you all love the hand-drawn skill of this diagram, I tried real hard.)

    The rest of my set-up (for those of you that can't read the tiny type in the tearsheet) can take a look at my diagram above for the general idea behind it. I used my Profoto lights because I simply didn't have any other source of controllable light that I preferred, but one can easily achieve a similar effect with Home Depot bucket lights to be honest (shoutout to Greg Heisler for showing us the Home Depot way at Hallmark!)


    None of this could of been done though without my killer team with Melissa Aprile as our lovely model, Jose Perez on makeup and Leonor Dosanjos creating such a soft & romantic hairstyle that translated perfectly into what I wanted/needed for this shoot.

    Until next time, 

    Cassidy

  • Week 20 - Modern Day Medusa - Extras & Behind the Scenes

    Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays (for reasons that are quite obvious, CANDY). I was bummed this year because I came down with a nasty cold and was rendered to shuffling around my house feeling all achy. Halloween was no exception, the universe really just did not want me to have any fun. So I decided to use all that free time to work on an idea that I'd been holding onto for awhile. 

    Medusa. 

    Check out which one was the final for my 52 Week Project over on Facebook!

    I decided to take a modern spin on it, I also didn't have enough snakes as my local craft store really let me down in that department. What?? You're not stocked to the brim with plastic snakes on Halloween?? Ridiculous. I also got real hyped on the glitter hairspray I found (throwback anyone?) and was disappointed to see it didn't translate as well in my images (I promise it's not just some serious dandruff.)

    One of my favorite stories in Greek Mythology as a child (for whatever reason), it always frightened me to no end. And of course growing up, whenever I got a bit (well okay, more than a bit) cranky, my dad would always exclaim from some corner of the house, "DON'T LOOK AT HER EYES." Thanks Dad. 

    The story also always made me sad, this poor chick was just looking for someone to love which ended up being the wrong person, so she gets punished and turned into this awful creature. Everyone forgets that she didn't start out as as bad. 

    Hope everyone had a great Halloween and got some serious candy (that I'd be more than happy to take off your hands, you know, if you need.)


    XO, 

    Cass

  • Found Project

    Initially as my Found project progressed, my weekly posting of old images I've collected, that I would run out of material. It seems to have quite the opposite effect, either I have become more aware of left behind images or people have stepped up and shared some of the ones they have personally held on to. 

    Recently I had a friend ask for my address to send me something all the way from California. Without any sort of idea of what it may be, I sent it over and completely forgot. A few days later, a small envelope appeared in the mailbox and immediately I knew what it was. Clarita had sent over two of her own found images along with a handwritten note. Now these were gems, one dating back to 1927. Found in the heart of Brooklyn when she first moved there after Hallmark a few years ago, she had held onto these this whole time. 

    Without typing out the entire letter (which, by the way, handwritten notes are a great way to my heart. Something about someone taking the time to think of me, write something out, and stick it in the mailbox means a great deal.) I wanted to share an idea Clarita had left me with:

    "These images generate a sense of moodiness and mystery that we may never comprehend. But in my efforts to relate, I believe the mystery beneath could be their glowing inner-peace, which radiates to the surface, and allows the subjects to exude such admirable elegance. With that, true beauty can only come to life because of the sublime courage and bravery that comes within. It would be a crime to deny such a fact."

    If you haven't had a chance to check out my Found project, head on over here to take a look at what I've posted so far. Ranging from images I've discovered in a small town in Western Massachusetts to the sidewalk in Brooklyn to right in my own neighborhood thriftstore book. I have a fascination for things left behind and usually images are the most heart-breaking for me to stumble upon.

    I've chosen to bring these once-important enough to photograph moments back into the spotlight where you can either choose to admire the subjects' composure or furrow your brow in disgust at the not-so-sightly ones I've come across. Every Sunday is a new set, so I'll post the rest of this week's here as well as a few other favorites from the past few weeks. 

    Some oldies:

    Until next time! 

    - Cassidy

  • V23 Gallery Showcase | What I Learned About Showing Your Work To The World

    Last month, I had my very first gallery show in New York City. Through the magazine I've been published in a few times prior, they had asked if I would like to be a part of their showcase of artists. Of course I accepted. Technically, I couldn't get into my very first venue (being 20 and all), but who cared! This was it.


    Me being suuuuper awkward as always. 


    Anywho, what I learned in the process is just how quickly things can go from grand ol' time, to "oh crap I have to prepare for this- and now."  What event of mine would be complete without things needing to be done in the eleventh hour the night before? (I really need to work on that.) While going through the process of getting everything ready, I discovered a few things I thought I'd share.

    What I Learned (and should of realized long ago):

    1. Print everything waaaaay ahead of time. Due to the nature of my work, a few of my prints came back to me way too dark to show. They looked great on screen, but in real life it sucked. I didn't end up having enough time to re-order them, so it was super-frustrating. This brings me to my next point..

    2. Don't wait until the week before to do giant retouches. It sucks and you may not get everything "perfect" in time. You would think this is a no-brainer by now.. 

    3. See the space beforehand. I went ahead and did a walk-through with the manager and editor of the magazine to see exactly what I'd be dealing with. This way, I was able to come up with a game plan as far as how I would display everything. The walls ended up being not-so-great to hang things, so easels it was. Again, no brainer, but splitting the space with another photographer friend that hadn't seen the layout & lighting was saved last-minute by a stray bucket light in the space that he was able to use to illuminate his prints in an area that was essentially pitch black. 

    4. Have a transport plan. This saved my butt when we decided to pack all the frames into suitcases with plenty of stuffing to keep them all in place. Instead of having 10 opportunities to smash up a frame while carrying them in, they were all tucked safely into two giant suitcases that I could easily wheel & carry on the small streets and down a flight of stairs. 

    5. Ask a lot of questions. Sure, it may come off as slightly annoying, but it's better to know beforehand that drinks aren't included and food was limited to an hour. These are the important questions everyone attending, including myself, want to know. When the heck is food coming and will there be enough. We ended up making a giant cheese & cracker plate just in case, which people ended up making full out sandwiches out of (you know who you are).

    6. Don't piss a lot of people off. This one may seem silly, but hear me out on it. I used to have no problem cutting people out of my life and went by the motto of "may the bridges I burn light my way" for a few months there. Let me tell you how wrong this is. I find people constantly, that I would of never guessed, from my past that still look at my work. Now of course there's a time and a place to distance yourself from someone, but I've found keeping a light, friendly connection with as many people I come into contact with as possible ends up benefitting the most. I appreciate each and every person that came out to support me and my work, each of which I took the time to thank for being there, whether it meant a five minute subway ride or hour and a half train from Connecticut.

    7. Most importantly, have fun. Despite last-minute changes, worry that no one would show, or a too-tight dress that left me walking up and down the stairs sideways (which Jill promptly laughed at me for), I had a lot of fun. It was great seeing old and new faces, interacting and explaining various pictures, as well as just being in the moment. It was great to step back and see how well everything came together. 

    Shout-out to Nicole Mago for the images as well! 

    P.S. - Don't forget extra business cards! This one's tooootally not from experience or anything..

    XO,

    Cassidy

  • Kristy & Dave's Wedding

    Continuing on from my last post about Florida, the whole reason I was down in Jacksonville was for Kristy & Dave's wedding.

    So, I'll give you a bit of the back story to all this. Not only was I asked to attend, but also to be a part of the wedding. Uh oh. Fortunately, the dresses Kristy picked out for us were beautiful and everything was peachy. Until I found out I would have to be an usherette. Let's just say I spend a lot more time photographing weddings (well, not so much anymore) than I do partaking in them, which meant I had absolutely no idea what that meant.

    I found out later this meant actually interacting with people and seating them. So pulling up my figurative cowboy boots, in the world of weddings, you could say this was my first rodeo. Boy, was I not cut out for this. My former shy, 8th grade self emerged and I completely forgot which side the bride's family sat on for starters. The other usher was of no use at this point (I'm looking at you, Krisjon) as we both went down in history as the worst pair of greeters and seaters ever. 

    Fortunately, I was able to distract myself by grabbing my camera whenever possible. You'll have to bear with me here, I haven't shot a wedding in over two years. As things came back bit by bit, I found myself focusing on the emotional part of the wedding. Of course, this was a lot easier when I wasn't the hired photographer and worried about the set shots. So what I did get to see were my second cousin's nerves as they were lacing up her dress to David's genuine expression seeing her walking down the aisle towards him. It reminded me of why I used to love to shoot weddings, so here's to hoping I can get back into it this year. 

    Oh, if you guys only knew how incredible this woman is.

    Love you both and thank you again for letting me be a part of the wedding! Not only did I get to grow closer to one side of my family, but I met a lot of cool people along the way. Congrats guys!