Rakeem-Andre Chapman, Gospel Artist | A Fujifilm XE-2 Shoot | Boston Music Photographer

Gospel artist Rakeem-Andre Chapman reached out to me a few months ago to do some press/promo and album cover art for the release of his new album, "Soul Revelation".

Andre expressed his desire to be outdoors in the beauty of nature for the majority of the shoot. He wanted the images to convey "introspection, highlighting the soul". And that's what we did! The shoot took place last month, starting off at the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, and then moving to an indoor location afterwards, for variety. 

We were incredibly fortunate to get a warm, sunny day for the shoot. The sun played a significant role in backlighting Andre - along with my lights, of course! - to give me that dreamy, etherial, glow-y flare. 

Once we were satisfied with the outdoor portion of the shoot, we broke down the lighting gear and continued on to our indoor location - a small room in Andre's apartment - to knock out some solid indoor portraits. 

©Sarahmica Photography | Chapman-3256.jpg

During the pre-production planning, Andre also expressed a desire to, if possible, incorporate the Christian symbol of a cross into a few of the images. I really wanted to try and do this in a more creative and unique way, avoiding obvious cliches such as shooting in the sanctuary of a church, or using a church steeple, or life-size cross or crucifix in the background. So I ruminated over the possibilities for a few days...and then I got the idea of somehow hanging miniature crosses over his head, kind of like a baby crib mobile (ha!).

Once we had our safe portrait shots in the bag, I pulled out the little crosses (which I found for very cheap on Amazon.com) that I'd hung with thread on a wire hanger. The contraption looked laughably heinous and totally unimpressive to the naked eye. But this little prop added a cool, new element to a few of the portraits. These are my personal favorites from the shoot.

I get these "what if" ideas a lot and I plan them out as best I can. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. But I have to at least try them out. Always try them out. If they fall flat, it's no biggie and I usually learn something. If they're a success, it's icing on the cake!

Many thanks to Andre and his wife for choosing me to create these images! Best wishes on your new album release, Andre!

Check out Andre's website: rakeemandre.com

Photo geek notes: This entire shoot was done with my Fujifilm gear (XE-2 camera, and 23mm 1.4 and 56mm 1.2 lenses), and was my second "Fully Fuji" shoot to date. My first "Fully Fuji" shoot will be coming up next on this blog:  a child lifestyle shoot, which I'm very excited about, so stayed tuned. 

Intensity & Drama with an Entrepreneur...and My Fujifilm X-E2 | Boston Editorial Portrait Photographer

Entrepreneur and visual artist, David Williamson, contacted me to create some special portraits for a new venture. He wanted "dark, mysterious, intense, dramatic" and sent me a few inspiration images he found on the Internet. I took a look at the images and knew right away that this was right up my alley. Dave arrived in Boston from out of town, and we did the entire shoot in his small hotel room.

Using a simple two-light set up (one bare flash with a CTO gel attached and another flash in a 46" gridded softbox), I was able to create the dramatic lighting David wanted within a very small work space.

I brought both my huge and heavy Canon 5D MII DSLR and lenses and my very small and stealthy Fujifilm X-E2, working the shoot with both cameras. (At the time of this shoot, which took place in June, I only had one Fuji lens: the 23mm 1.4. I've since acquired Fuji's 56mm 1.2.)

 

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography   Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4.5, 1/180, ISO 200

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography

Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4.5, 1/180, ISO 200

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography   Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4.5, 1/180, ISO 200

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography

Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4.5, 1/180, ISO 200

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography   Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/5.6, 1/180, ISO 200

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography

Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/5.6, 1/180, ISO 200


The image below is the one image shot with my Canon 5D that was selected as a final.

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography   Shot with my Canon 5D MII and 85mm 1.8 lens:  f/4, 1/100, ISO 100

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography

Shot with my Canon 5D MII and 85mm 1.8 lens:  f/4, 1/100, ISO 100


The following two images are actually outtakes. I was doing some light tests and caught Dave in relaxed, candid moments where he wasn't playing the part of the "mysterious, intense character" that this project required. I love these images precisely because they are un-posed, natural, honest. I really dig the contrast between the two personas of "Mysterious, Intense Dave" and "Natural Dave".

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography   Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4, 1/180, ISO 200

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography

Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4, 1/180, ISO 200

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography   Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4, 1/180, ISO 200

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography

Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4, 1/180, ISO 200

I am incredibly happy using my little X-E2. It makes me darn right giddy with delight knowing that I can use this compact, light-weight camera on a professional shoot. As I mentioned in a previous post about slowly making the switch to Fuji, my plan is to eventually get one of Fuji's more top-of-the-line cameras, relegating my X-E2 as a backup camera. 

Steve Oundo, Bassist & Singer-songwriter | Boston Singer-songwriter Photographer

First things first. The title of this blog post is a bit misleading. So let me clear this up for you: Steve Oundo is a MULTI-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, arranger and producer who hails from Uganda, but now lives here in Boston. I couldn't put all of that in the title.

Steve is a humble guy, so he'll blush when I say this, but anyone who knows him and has played music with him will tell you that he is a KILLIN' musician. He plays keys and guitar, but his primary instrument is electric bass. And singing? Yeah. He's equally skilled there, too. I'm gushing about Steve, because I know him personally and have played with him myself. I can attest that these things are true. 

His new album, "The Traveler", drops on May 23rd. It's world/fusion/R&B.

Check him out! Have a listen!


The shoot.

I work on location, as opposed to in a studio. This means that me and my (wonderful & amazing) assistant are constantly lugging around my lighting gear to different shoot locations. Most of the time, I won't know exactly what I'm walking into before hand at any given location. I won't necessarily know much about the space or the quality of the ambient light before I arrive. As such, my shoots tend to be very think-on-your-feet type situations. 

We started off indoors at a home that Steve shares with some roommates. I looked at a few different rooms within his home, but I really liked the color of the walls in the dining room; Steve's skin tone and white clothing would look nice against that color, so I decided to do the indoor portion of the shoot there. It was a small space, but we made it work.

When we were finished with the indoor shots, we packed up all of the gear except for one light and one soft box on a stick.

We wanted to change it up and get an urban look for some of the images. I'd spotted an office park close by on the way to Steve's home, so the three of us walked the short distance there and came across a loading dock that wasn't in use. 

Congrats on your new album, Steve! See you at your CD release party!



Ada Ruiz, Boston Hip Hop Artist | Boston Hip Hop Artist Photographer

Ada Ruiz reached out to me to create some press & promo images. The entire shoot took place in her apartment on a very cold, snowy Boston winter day.

Here are some favorites:

Shot in Ada's living room.

Shot in Ada's living room.

Shot on the balcony porch.

Shot on the balcony porch.

Shot in the basement.

Shot in the basement.

Shot in the basement.

Shot in the basement.

Shot in the basement.

Shot in the basement.

 

Towards the end of the shoot, we had some time to play and experiment...and this is what happened: 

Shot in the basement.

Shot in the basement.

Best wishes in all of your endeavors, Ada!

And many thanks to Cinthia Espinal for the amazing makeup and hair. 

The Dads, Part Two | Boston Portrait Photographer

I'm finally getting around to sharing more images from 'The Dads' project, in which I make portraits of my father-in-law and my dad. Check out Part One to see the portraits of my father-in-law. I also expound a bit on how I went about creating these portraits, in Part One. 

And here, finally, is Part Two:  my Dad. 

 
© Sarahmica Photography | Dad1.jpg
© Sarahmica Photography | Dad2.jpg
© Sarahmica Photography | Dad3.jpg