Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Lunar Eclipse 2010

Lunar Eclipse
Taken at approx. 2:45 AM EST December 21, 2010

So, I arrive home on Tuesday at about 2:00 AM and its freezing cold with strong winds. I have a dying hot water heater that I'm trying to keep alive, a sleeping girlfriend that has been only getting a few hours sleep a night because she works extended hours in retail during the holiday season, and three hungry and curious cats to tend to as well.

So the question is, should I make the effort to lug my gear out from the bedroom and set up on the porch where it looks like I might have a decent attack of it through some tree branches?

Well, considering that this event has not been seen for 372 years where there is a winter solstice and a total lunar eclipse and being in awe of this spectacle as I gaze up into the clear night I decide its worth the effort.

So, this was actually shot through some thin tree branches that were swaying back and forth in front of my line of vision. I was using a 500mm lens mounted on a heavy tripod, but the strong winds were still quite challenging to hold steady during the long exposure. With these challenges the image is not quite as sharp as I would have liked but it still came out quite acceptable I feel.

This moment is just as the Earth was about to completely shadow the moon, and you can see the remaining unblocked sunlight still kissing the very right edge of the moons surface, The orange and red hues are from the suns light filtering through the earths atmosphere causing these blood moon colors and effect. Heavy volcanic activity and ash in the earths atmosphere lends to this color.

In the end, the water heater was fired up, the cats were fed and happy, the GF got her sleep and has some images to see as viewed from our own back porch. And I got mine ;)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Darenzia Files

Darenzia in custom latex burlesque style outfit by Venus Prototype


Darenzia wearing a striped pencil dress by designer Lady Lucie

Darenzia Pinup

Darenzia Pinup
Darenzia pinup. Printed latex lingerie, with choker and gloves by Atsuko Kudo.

The fantastic (and sweet, funny and beautiful) Darenzia was here this past October for a half day of shooting. It was pretty much an open shoot meaning no real theme involved other than me asking her to bring along some pinup and Alt/latex fashion outfits. I brought in Julia Dalton-Brush and Masae Satouchi to work their styling magic on her.

We looked through the pieces that Darenzia brought with her and I was immediately taken with this printed latex lingerie. I just knew that would be an amazing piece shot in high key with the pinup style aesthetic I had in mind. The other two outfits chosen were the striped pencil dress by designer Lady Lucie, and the burlesque style latex dress which was custom made for Darenzia by designer Venus Prototype.

The team managed to pull off three fantastic looks looks for Darenzia in the time and really did a fine job. Most of the time goes into the styling during these shoots, with as little as 20 minutes of actual shooting done for each look. When Darenzia walked out onto the set for the first shoot in the printed latex lingerie, within 10 minutes I knew I had what I wanted and it was back to the girls for the next styling.

Darenzia is a blast to work with and I love her sense of humor. We look forward to having her back again in the near future.

Darenzia (model)

Masae Satouchi (Hair styling)

Julia Dalton-Brush (Makeup artistry)

Atsuko Kudo (designer)

Venus Prototype (designer)

Lady Lucie (designer)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shooting with Kerri Taylor

Kerri Taylor
Portrait of Kerri in the miltary uniform

Kerri Taylor
Full length portrait of Kerri Taylor in latex military outfit

Kerri Taylor
Portrait of Kerri. Love the styling by Julia and Masae

Kerri Taylor
Full length of Kerri in the stunning red and black latex

Kerri Taylor
portrait of Kerri in black catsuit

Kerri Taylor
 Kerri in a 3/4 portrait showing "open bum" castsuit by Madame S

Masae with some last minute touches on Kerri

MUA - Julia Dalton-Brush, Hair Stylist - Masae Satouchi

Kerri Taylor was here for a half day of shooting. Kerri is an exceptional fetish, erotic and alternative fashion model with a long list of credits to her name. She brings it all to the shoot and never seems to run out of poses and attitude.

Makeup artist Julia Dalton-Brush and Hair stylist Masae Satouchi came in to create a few different looks for Kerri to go along with the three different outfits she modeled in.

I liked the styling and really felt they went well with Kerri's outfits and her fantastic poses.

In these last few shoots I had been using a large 30x60" softbox with grid as the key light, but am considering going back to a smaller 32x40" box as it allows me to get a little more creative with it in this modest space that I'm shooting in currently. The larger box is certainly great for the full length shots which I most likely will continue using it for.
I am loving the strip box (10x36")that I have been using of late and mounted to a Manfrotto wall mounted boom arm. It gives me great rim and hair lighting as well as some background light. The Manfrotto wall mount boom is a huge plus in that it gets another light stand off the floor freeing up some more space.

Three of these images from this shoot were given a sweet spot and mention in The Fetishistas online mag.

Julia Dalton-Brush

Masae Satouchi

Kerri Taylor

Soon again. . . .

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jade Vixen photoshoot

Jade Vixen
Aviator Vixen in a metallic aviator style outfit. MU/Styling by Jade Vixen

Jade Vixen
Aviator Vixen in a metallic aviator style outfit. MU/Styling by Jade Vixen

Jade Vixen
Aviator Vixen in a metallic aviator style outfit. MU/Styling by Jade Vixen

Jade Vixen
Jade Vixen pinup MU/Styling by Jade Vixen

Jade Vixen
Jade Vixen pinup MU/Styling by Jade Vixen

Always a pleasure to work with Jade. She's great a putting together a look with outfit, styling, pose and expression. . .the whole package.

Simply shot against gray seamless, and of course white for the pink bubble-gum pinup shots.

Three images from this shoot were awarded "Showcase Status" by the powers that be over at One Model Place. Showcase Images

Monday, September 27, 2010


troll doll
Troll Doll Narcissa


These are a couple of images from a shoot with Narcissa a little while back. Narcissa has an extensive collection of latex outfits/wardrobe . . . and she shows them off well.

A large 30x60" softbox was used here for main light.

The image "Troll Doll" was set up on white paper as Narcissa layed down on her back. Hair spread out with a single large light source above her head and behind.
The MU/styling was done by Narcissa.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Colorful Artist Masae photo shoot

Masae Satouchi

Masae Satouchi

Masae Satouchi
Masae Satouchi

Masae Satouchi is a woman of many talents. She is a model, makeup artist, hair stylist, belly dancer, fire performer, and the list goes on. Go to Colorful Artist to view her work and many talents.

I know Masae for about two years now. We met when I was photographing a dance performance and she was performing with the Temple of Jehan. I did not know she was also a model at the time, and , I was not shooting portraits and pinups anyway but we kept in touch somewhat on Facebook.

I recently discovered her portfolio on Model Mayhem and was pleasantly surprised to see her as a model, and a great one at that. I contacted her and she liked the work I was doing and so we set a date, scrapped together an hour or so and did some quick pinup shooting. She is a lot of fun. While we were heading over to my studio, she told me she had an Ice cream bikini (her english is fine but a bit broken here and there with a delightful Japanese dialect) I'm scratching my head not knowing what an Ice Cream bikini could be. . . she wanted to stop and get a double Ice cream cone and so we did. :) When we got to my studio I then found out what was an Ice Cream bikini!

She also brought along an elegant black dress with long gloves. I was amazed at her quick transition from girl in bikini eating ice cream to an elegant red carpet extravaganza.

Masae does her own styling and also gives seminars on hair and makeup styling.

We had a great chemistry between us and are excited about getting together again, with a bit more time, and working on some other ideas.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Photo shoot with Jessamyn

Maj. Trouble
Jessamyn "defying gravity"
Here are some images/photographs of some of the work I had created with model, Jessamyn Rose.

Jessamyn is an international full time model. She has graced the covers and content of many magazines and has worked with many photogs over the years. Having recently moved to NYC from Australia, I was fortunate to hook up with her for a day of shooting at my studio.

Here we did some pin-up style photography. I have not got around to processing some of the other images from the shoot, but these are some that I'm very pleased with. I like the look and sinplistic focus on the characters such as the art works of Alberto Vargas, Rolf Armstrong,Edward Runci, etc.

I'll certainly be working with Jess again in the near future with some more specific ideas and concepts in mind.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Jade Vixen Nurse series

Jade Vixen Nurse 1
Jade Vixen Nurse 1

Jade Vixen Nurse 2
Jade Vixen Nurse 2

nurse vixen 3
Jade Vixen Nurse 3

This is a 3 part series that I had shot with Jade Vixen. Jade is not only beautiful, but she is great at portraying characters. She can be very emotive as seen here but also is very skilled at doing her own hair and make-up which she applied differently for each of the various characters we shot of her during our shoot.

During the shoot of the nurse Vixen character we had run through a bunch of various takes with different looks and expressions, getting a feel and building up on it as we went along.

Towards the end of this set I started to have a strong idea of what I wanted from her character. To try to bring that out front, I asked Jade to act out as though the Doctor she was working with had just cut off his patients head! She took a few seconds to think about it and then just broke out with these expressions. . .she was amazing. I had to keep from laughing actually because seeing her through the lens with that look was outrageous!
It was perfect and she nailed it within minutes.

The studio light set up was White Lightning X1600 through 24x32" photoflex softbox as key. Speedlites through smaller boxes overhead and as fill, as well as some bg light.

Post processing through LightRoom and Photoshop CS4.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Big Hair Shoot

Vanessa Freedman

Liz Freedman

Liz Freedman
Liz Freedman

Liz and Vanessa
Liz and Vanessa

Liz and Vanessa are sisters. We hooked up by way of a mutual friend who thought they would be great subjects for me and that they could benefit from my style of photography.
Liz and Vanessa were amazing. They were so delightful to work with and be around. They are an awesome presence to behold in person. Both are over 6ft tall and with natural hair that can fill up another foot or so. Stunning beauty as well.

We started our session late due to transportation difficulties and wound up with about an hour to work with. In that time, we were able to get much done and here are some of my favorite photos from the shoot. More to work with and I'll be getting to a few more, but this is what I have started with.

The set up is pretty much my norm consisting of a white Lightniong X1600 head into 24x32" softbox and about 4 speedlites shooting into smaller diffusing boxes.

Post processing done in LightRoom 3.0 (love the latest version) and Photoshop CS4. I'll be looking to get CS5 since it has been given so many major improvements, but most of what I do is in LightRoom and so that upgrade took priority.

The hair was backlit with one of the strobes to really bring out the volume and magnificance as well as side lights for rim and more "hair care". Definetely want to work with them again.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Motion Portrait

Reeja, originally uploaded by garyhellerphotography.

In this portrait, I was experimenting with a concept involving a long exposure while the subject is in motion. During the exposure I fire off the strobes manually. Each strobe burst will capture the subject in motion giving the effect of a layering of images in a way that depicts movement and action.
The technicals in this paticular take involves setting the camera on a tripod and fixing the shutter duration to 1 second. During the time the shutter is open, Ree Ja is moving in a somewhat predetermined and orchestrated series of movements with the key emphasis being that she look straight to the camera at the final moment. Easier said than done. . . While she is moving about during the exposure, I am firing off the strobes remotely trying to time them so the last burst is just at the final moment and when Ree Ja is looking straight at me.
Many of the takes were quite interesting and I like them all for various reasons, but this particular result really made the impact that I was after. Face is sharp, hair is flying, arms are shown in various stages of movement and of course there is a strangeness about it. I find it looks as though she is removing or replacing her head.
Ree Ja had contacted me upon seeing the result to commend me for such a successful execution and as I was answering her to thank her as well for pulling it off it struck me that her role in this will most likely go unsung and the skill and experience on her part, unnoticed.
What most viewers will not realize is the composure and awareness of concept on her part. Having experimented with this idea a few times in the past I can tell you that its very difficult to move around as much and as fast in a short period of time as was done here and maintain composure in facial expression and body position.
A lesser model would have wound up with a contorted and odd facial expression and/or had eyes half shut, etc.
Simply by looking at her hair flying in this image and the various positions of the arms during the course of 1 second we can determine that Ree Ja was moving quite a bit and very quickly as well. To maintain composure in body positon as well as facial expression is incredibly difficult. I could not have asked her for better results.

Shot against a dark gray paper background with colors adjusted a bit to bring a hue of green behind her.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ree Ja Fetish Fashion

Here are a couple more from a shoot with model, Ree Ja.


Reeja (Go-Go)

This is Ree Ja in her latex Go-Go outfit complete with Hot shorts and Big boots.

Reeja  Blooper

My cat, Iki was trying to see what was going on and we caught him in the act! Could not throw this one out as it was quite endearing. . .

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ree Ja fetish 2

Ree Ja fetish 2, originally uploaded by garyhellerphotography.

This is model Ree Ja looking fantastic in the red rubber hobble skirt.
Same session as the prior post, lights camera action,

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ree Ja fetish

Reeja fetish 1

This is model/ performer, Ree Ja posing for one of many latex fetish shots that we worked on over the course of a few hours.

Ree Ja brings alot of character to the viewer and in my opinion gives us a sense of vulnerability, fear and yet a certain strength and sex appeal at once.

Shot on white seamless with a white Lightning X1600 studio head shooting into a 24x32 box from Photoflex. Additional lighting done with Speedlites in smaller softboxes. Back lit with two vivitars 285 hotshoe flashes.

It was no doubt difficult for her to work into various poses with those heels and rubber hobble skirt, but she seemed to have it down and made it look effortless, which I know it was not.

All post processing work here done in LightRoom and Photoshop CS4.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Roller Girl

Roller Girl, originally uploaded by garyhellerphotography.

This is a character I had been wanting to do for a while. I had found a model who was a very good sport about it, so I got the supplies ( huge turbo jet rollers, clips, nightie and hairdresser to put it all together)and set it up.

I wanted attitude, some sex appeal, and in your face expression teamed with a post processing to bring the almost caricature/cartoonish aesthetic I was after.

Shot with studio lights against a white seamless backdrop.

Probably the funniest part of the whole deal was seeing me walk into an African beauty supply store and asking for the largest rollers in da house along with aligator clips to go along with it. Oh, and do you have any sheer pink/purple nighties around for sale. . .?

"No, oh no, not for me, I'm doing a photo shoot"

"Yeah, sure, whatever your into you crazy white boy" I can hear the very polite staff thinking to themselves. . .

So, here it is. . ."Roller Girl"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jade Vixen Pinup 3

Jade Vixen Pinup 3

Here is another pinup style photograph of the wonderful Jade Vixen. There are a few more from our session, but these latest three struck me first.

This was shot in a very modest sized studio on a white seamless paper background.
Background was lit by two vivitar speedlites. Three softboxes illuminating the subject. Two small square boxes (approx 20x20") lit by Canon 580 EXll speedlites proving fill and kick/rim, and a 24x32

Photoflex box lit by a White Lightning X1600 studio head used for key.

Post processing of course done by Moi to give it a retro/vintage look.

Processing done in LightRoom and Photoshop CS4.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pin-Up photography

Jade Vixen
Jade Vixen 1087

I had the pleasure of shooting with model, Jade Vixen. She is such a pleasure to work with and as interesting to talk to as she is to look at. She is a Penn State grad with a degree in computer science. She also shoots much of her own photos in her studio and does most all the post processing herself. Needless to say we spent a good bit of time talking shop and photo editing.

I had wanted to do some Pin-up style photography that was popular in the 30's-50's.
She brought along some costume changes and did her own hair and make-up.

This was shot against seamless white paper with a White Lightning studio head as Key and four speedlites providing backlighting, fill and kick.
All lighting shot through softboxes except the two backlights which were on either side of the background and about 5ft away.

All work here was imported into LightRoom and then more extensive processing done in Photoshop CS4. The intent was to have a somewhat old retro look with warm creamy tones.

It was much fun and there are other good ones that I have not got around to post processing yet. . .stay tuned.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Photo shoot with Mehru



These are a few shots from a recent photo shoot with model Mehru. Mehru is a beautiful young woman with interesting features that I felt would make for a great set of portraits. She has a child like innocence about her with a touch of shyness and naivety, however she is very well educated having graduated from Columbia University and has a extensive background and work history.

I wanted to focus on her "shy and innocent" qualities as well as her interesting features, especially her great eyes. I thought she worked particularly well against the high key (white background). Her skin tones and form stand out very nice off it.

We had make-up artist and hair stylist Michelle Lagalla in the studio to prep Mehru and help bring out her best. I thought she did a wonderful job with the makeup and hair, and Mehru was very pleased with the look as well. I had asked Michelle to put her hair up so that we can emphasize her neck, shoulders and great face (love the eyes and ears!)
I must add that we had a very hot and extremely humid day on the shoot and Michelle had a tough challenge with Mehru's long and thick hair on this "bad hair day". She did great. The A/C was running trying to keep things under control. . . so thank you Friedrich Air Conditioners ;)

Mehru was pleased with the session and would like to come back with a specific look and idea in mind, so we are looking forward to her return.

Here are a few photos I snapped while Michelle was working with Mehru prior to shooting.