Archive for the ‘artist portraiture’

“I think that life has plans and you only have to be awake and aware to follow them” – Alan Faena

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine on South Beach and Lincoln road.

 

Hmmmm.  My kinda of portrait subject.  How can you not be inspired to photograph Alan Faena.  He’s an Argentine hotelier and real estate developer who is creating and building a billion dollar arts district called Faena district on Miami Beach, Fl.  That’s cool!  But what I enjoyed most about meeting photographing Alan, was talking to him about his spiritually and yoga practice.  I also practice yoga and it’s my brief that a mindfulness practice is very important for an artist or in my case a photographer who would like to grow his art.  It’s pretty simple.  When you shooting a portrait or setting up a shot it helps put you into the “zone” by being present, in the moment.  Clearing your mind of yesterdays ghosts or debris and of tomorrow’s dreams.  Observe and embrace the moment.  You won’t always have a subject as charismatic as Faena.  But by truly embracing the time you have with someone, you will perhaps be able to find out what’s makes a person special.

 

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

I enjoy using a tripod.  It slows me down and helps in fine tuning just the right angle or viewpoint.  This carbon fiber tripod is the TVC-24L from RRS or Really Right Stuff.  Its rugged, strong and light weight, well suited for double duty, I take it  with me on my landscape photography trips as well as my commercial and advertising photography commissions.  Between the tripod and camera, is my favorite bullhead.  The Arca-Swiss Monorail Z1 dp  has a quick release, very fluid and precise adjustments.

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

For the opening photo we shot underneath a stairway that had a skylight which provided a nice soft overhead light.  The curved shape of the winding stairway created some nice shadows creating a wonderful flowing depth.  Those shadows worked well on the background, but Alan’s face needed a bit of pop.  My photo assistant John Karp, handheld a B1 profoto with an 36″ Octabank fitted with a grid.  This gave a directional crisp soft light which brought out Faena cheekbones and added a bit of kick to his eyes.  For this portraiture I used a medium format digital camera called the  Phase One IQ260 XF Camera with a Schneider Kreuznach 55mm LS f/2.8 .  The 55mm lenses is equivalent or has about the same angle of view as a 35 mm wide angle lens in 35mm DSLR format.  I prefer to shoot at a low iso, in this case I at iso 100 and the tripod allowed me to use a slow shutter speed to get the right amount of ambient light balanced with the strobe.

In terms of directing Alan, it was more about building a connection.  I did a bit of pre-shoot research and found out about a retreat his family has in Argentina, and I knew that he was very much interest in yoga.  I asked him questions and talked to him about my yoga practice.

 

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

 

The second set-up was in the Faena theater.  We had pre positioned the lighting so all Alan needed to do was sit down and immediately get to work.  When my team receives a photography commission we try to figure out ways to get the most set-ups in the shortest time.  The subjects are more likely be willing to do more looks if you they don’t have to wait around for the lights to be moved from set-up to set-up.

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

The dramatic curtains provided an excellent backdrop!  No need to bring out the seamless.  A profoto beauty dish as a key light  provided just enough pop to sculpt Alan’s face, combined with a large 74′ Elinchrome octabank behind the camera to fill in any shadows.

 

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

An important part of my digital workflow includes photographing while tethered to a laptop.  This allows instantly review of the image and is done using a professional capture and digital raw processing software called, Capture One, with its solid image capturing I have never lost an image on set.

 

 

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

 

Alan always wears white and with his trademark hat.  With this image I wanted to portray his grace and balance spirit. I think the blue color grade added a coolness to the image, but the straw toned hat manages to float, giving the image a three dimension feel.  It’s useful to  carry a small roll of seamless paper or neutral tone fabric and do a simple clean photograph, to give the  photo editor, in this case, Ronnie Weil of  The Wall Street Journal a cover option with room for type treatment.

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

The penthouse house glass balcony doors let in a beautiful layer of soft light for the seamless set-up.  My first assistant, John Karp stands beside me, keeping a watchful eye open and ready to make any adjustments to the camera or set-up.  A silver fabric on the wooden floor bounces a bit of pop into Alan’s eyes and blocked some of the brown spill from the floor.

 

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine on South Beach and Lincoln road.

This is how it ran in the The Wall Street Journal.  Thanks to Ronnie Weil, the most excellent photo editor for this assignment.

Thanks for reading!  Any questions feel free to give me a shout.  I get most of my gear from the good folks at Capture Integration.


It’s always inspiring to photograph an artist, fashion designer or in this case world renown British jeweller  Stephen Webster for the Financial Times.  The London-based luxury Jewelry brand is internationally heralded for its exquisite and cutting edge designs.  Some call it Rock and roll chic.    The most creative people visit the Miami and Palm Beach area it’s great to talk to them about what inspires them and  what draws the artists to South Florida.  It’s added plus that I get to shoot some wonderful environmental portraits of them.

Stephen Webster likes to spend weekends with his family in Miami.  Especially the thriving arts district of  Wynwood  which used to be seedy factories but now has a cool mix of galleries, shops and cafes.  It was an easy choice to do the portrait shoot in Wynwood Walls that was started by Tony Goldman, who brought up buildings and got artists to paint them.  Webster is inspired by the street art and artists.

Miam Palm beach Florida advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed designer and artist Stephan Webster at the Wynwood Walls arts district

 

Miami Palm beach Florida advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed designer and artist Stephan Webster at the Wynwood Walls arts district

Portrait of British Jewelry Designer and artisan Stephen Webster at the Wynwood Walls in the Miami Arts District.

Miam Palm beach Florida advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed designer and artist Stephan Webster at the Wynwood Walls arts district

It was fun learning about what it takes to become a world renowned Jeweler. Webster talked about some of his latest designs using new materials such as ceramics in his latest line of jewelry.  We were able get private access to some of the most fascinating  street art to use as backdrops. He was so laid back it was not very difficult to get a great environmental portrait.

Miam Palm beach Florida advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed designer and artist Stephan Webster at the Wynwood Walls arts district

 

Photographer: Jeffery Salter

Camera: Phase One XF IQ260

Lighting: Profoto B-1


 

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine on South Beach and Lincoln road.

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine on South Beach and Lincoln road.

Great to work with the Mayor of Miami Beach, Philip Levine. We began the day photographing in his South Beach office where we had plenty of canine help from Earl the 1st bulldog of Miami Beach.  Afterwards onto to pedestrian and cafe filled Lincoln road to shoot at the unique architectural features and Art Deco style landscaping.


Keeping it real in Miami by photographer Jeffery Salter part 1.

I love photographing people. Good natured, modest, down to earth,  just like your next door neighbor who always has a cup of milk you can borrow. That’s why photography assignments to hang out and shoot portraits of reality television stars in Miami puts a smile on my face. Its always nice to see how “real” people live.

 

Sugar Divas | Laura Candeau + Iliana Lombardero | Miami Based photographer Jeffery Salter

 

I thought I knew what a diva was however, the icing on the cake was when Siempre Mujer magazine commissioned me to photograph Laura Candeau and Iliana Lombardero, a mother-daughter team who are cake makers to the stars. They are the “sugar divas.” They have made cakes for Kim Kardashian, LeBron James, Lil Wayne and Pit bull to name a few at their bakery called Divine Delicacies. Watch them on Las Divas del Azúcar airs on MTV Tr3s every Tuesday at 9 p.m.

 

 

Vanilla Ice | Bucky the Kangaroo | Miami based photographer Jeffery Salter

 

Speaking of icing on a cake….I had another slice when I received a call from the Tatler magazine in UK. The picture editor asked, “Would you like to photograph handyman and Rapper, Vanilla Ice, who has a reality show called “The Vanilla Ice project” with his kangaroo named “Bucky.”  I said, “What? Ice Ice with his Kanga?” I asked the editor if I could have the Kanga on a leash held by Mr. Ice looking all gangsta and flexing his tattoos standing in front of his West Palm Beach mansion like blooming royalty. She said, “Bucky wears a collar so that may work”

When I arrived to Mr. Ice’s estate. I told him my idea and he said, “You don’t get it”. You can’t photograph the Kanga in the in front. I replied, “Okay do you have a pool in the back? We can do a shot by the pool with you and the Kanga.” Then Mr. Ice says, to me “You don’t get it?”

So I pulled back a bit and followed Ice to the backyard, where I saw  Bucky in a Kangaroo mansion…. A very big pen. Mr. Ice explained  that if I wanted to photograph him and Bucky it would have to be in the cage. I said, “Cool.” It wasn’t going to be this regal statement, but I still was going to get the best shot of Ice and Bucky cage be damned.

I had my assistants set-up a couple of profoto strobes with magnum reflectors for a bit of edge light, and I put a profoto ring light on my IQ260 digital back and Phase one DF+ camera.

Then Mr. Ice gave me the ground rules, this is not a trained kangaroo:

When you go into the cage avoid eye contact.

Never stand up, or be taller then Bucky the kangaroo (who at 13 year old was five feet tall), otherwise he will box you. I have been on my hands and knees before, but never out of fear of getting punched out by a kangaroo. I crawled in. Mr. Ice came in carrying a bunch of bananas. Bucky the kangaroo hopped towards the bananas. Vanilla started to feed Bucky and I made a few nice frames. Then I asked Ice to give me a serious rapper pose, flex his muscles, display his tattoos and give me a “Straight out of Compton”  kinda look. He replied, “If I stop feeding Bucky bananas you might not make it out of the cage” Noticing that he only had two bananas left, I dispatched my assistant to go to a store and bring back another bunch of bananas.

 

 

Bucky the Kangaroo | Miami based photographer Jeffery Salter

 

After all the drama….Ice didn’t make the final cut….it was all about the “Bucky’.  Reality Note to self. Never be taller than a kangaroo, avoid eye contact and they love bananas.

Luckily my next assignment didn’t involved kangaroo boxing.

 

Phase One IQ260 | RRS TVC- 24L tripod | Fish Tank Kings

When I was little we had a few gold fish in a simple round glass tank. They were always jumping out. No worries, “Squeaky” my pet Chihuahua was always around to “rescue’’ any “Free Willy” minded gold fish. This most definitely isn’t the case with fish who live in the luxurious aquariums made by the “The Fish Tank Kings” a Nat Geo WILD’s reality TV series . Fish don’t ever want to escape these elaborate sized aquariums, some are large enough to drive a car or two into. The first part of the assignment was to shoot an opening portrait of the Living Color Aquariums President & COO, Mat Roy. On the show he does the big reveal to clients whose custom aquariums have been finished. The second part of the assignment was environmental portraits and reportage photographs of the designers and craftsmen at the factory.

 

Reef makers | Fish Tank Kings | photographed by Jeffery Salter

 

Although the picture editor wanted me to concentrate on the cast or on air talent of the show. What really touched my heart were these two beautiful ladies who labor away off camera making the most colorful, vibrant and super saturated reefs. They are the true stars.

 

 

Fish Tank King | Mat Roy | Photographed by Jeffery Salter Miami based photographer

 

The portrait of Mat Roy was a bit of a challenge. The editor wanted him to be inside a living aquarium. Luckily they had designed and installed an cylindrical aquarium at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in which you could step inside a hole in the middle. This shot took for ever, in order to light it without reflections I had to put the camera on a tripod and do multiple frames each with the strobe at different angles then layer the images together in photoshop.
Real Housewives of Miami star, Joanna Krupa | Miami based photographer Jeffery Salter

 

After doing a star turn working with fish tanks. I was ready for the big league. Next up Real house wives of Miami star Joanna Krupa who has appeared on over 100 covers world-wide including Cosmo and Shape has been named the sexiest swimsuit model in the world by magazines GQ, Maxim, who listed her as part of their “Hot 100” ranking of the world’s hottest women several  years in a row and Playboy.

The location was a beautiful Miami Beach home that had a wonderful wooden dock with views of Miami’s city in the background. We had a full production team, hair, make-up, stylist, two photo assistants and one digital tech. The magazine needed five set-ups with different outfit on Joanna at each spot. In order to accomplish this in the four hour time allotted for the shoot, my team set up lights at all five of the scenes. Working with a super model like Joanna was great. She relaxed very quickly and knew how to work the light.