Archive for ‘Video/Film’

September 5, 2011

Matt Adler (Behind the Scenes) + 5 easy tips for last minute photoshoots

I am blessed to be fortunate enough to work with musicians. Back in my earlier twenties, I was involved with music and never was able to fully chase that dream. Doing photographs for musicians allows me to live close to that dream.

Sometimes, an artist gives me a concept but sometimes they just give me a color scheme. It’s my job to closely match what they need in the photographs for the graphic designer to be able to do their album art.

When local singer/songwriter, Matt Adler asked me to do his photos, he gave me some color swatches and left the rest to me.

It’s no secret that I am from the self taught photographer generation and have always worked with what’s available to me rather than going out and spending a fortune on equipment. I appreciate more tools=more options. But what happens when we don’t have as many tools due to finances or availability? We improvise and still give our clients the best product. Sometimes having complete creative control can be intimidating but there are a few things I do when handling last minute sessions.

5 tips for last minute photo shoots
1. Choose a location with multiple backgrounds- By doing this, I am able to give my client many options. This is especially helpful for musicians who want to get the most life out of their photos. They are able to choose what’s best for their album artwork, their press kits, websites and profile photos; and all can be different.

2. Make the client comfortable first- By letting the client give your their perspective, they will be more comfortable in having their photo taken. Listen to them and they will be able to loosen up so you don’t waste time on the empty shots.
Tip: I ask my clients a lot of questions and take photos “while” they are talking so they get used to the camera.

3. Pay close attention to detail- Straightening hair, adjusting clothing, paying attention to the full composition of the shot will ensure that you don’t have to take the shot over and over or miss the “look” just because something was off in the photo.
Tip: Take your time in reviewing the photo’s composition and once you get the golden shot, move on so you’ll have time on your next location.

4. Engage your client- Just because you are the photographer and they are your subject, doesn’t mean you have to create a distance. By suggesting poses and helping explain how they can give a certain look, you will help them give the best in them. Remember photography is a recipe of the subject, your artistic and technical ability and how they mesh.
Tip: Encourage them; show them what each look shows up like on the camera. I always show my client the good and bad photo so they can adjust.

5. Have fun- I know from experience on being the subject on the other side of the camera, nothing is worse than a photographer who is not fun and engaging. You want your client to have a good “experience” not just a good photoshoot.
Tip: Ask them about their hobbies and likes and find some area to relate to. Keep your energy up and let them enjoy themselves.

Below is the “behind the scenes” of my photoshoot with Matt. All tips can be seen here:

August 26, 2011


What happens when you jump into something without knowing quite what you are jumping into?

It goes well or it goes wrong.

In this case, it went really well.

Over a year ago, I met Chris Pichado, a local photographer. He quickly became one of my best friends and like bffs do, we began discussing dreams of making movies and directing films. For a year now, we were not able to test those dreams to see if we could pull it off. Until Chris came to me and said we should enter the 48 Hr Film Project.

Now he nor I had ever directed a film before. I’ve shot client videos and directed a few music videos, but nothing like a film. And I had no idea what we were in for. 48 hours to come up with a short film with the theme and rules given to us, of continual thinking, brainstorming, arguing, executing ideas was what we were in for. We put together this short commercial to ask for help first:

We had hoped to get a few people to help out, but what we got was an AMAZING team. 28 awesome and creative people without egos and without attitude, all chasing their own dreams and ready to be a part of something new and bigger.

What a wonderful experience this was for me. Chris and I were co-directors and I was so nervous going in that we were in over our heads. As we got started though, I realized that we were exactly where we were meant to be, doing exactly what we were meant to do. I loved each and every minute of it. We all worked together as a team to come up with a story and pull it off in that short amount of time. There is no way it could have gone so well without each and every person’s input. I made some great friends and gained a lot of respect for myself, my husband (who acted and did production assistance) and my fellow artists.

We were given the Sci-Fi theme (one that I was not prepared for) and I was wondering how we would be able to pull that off. Especially since it was no where near the style I am used to filming/photographing. But, that’s what obstacles are for, to knock down and keep on moving to get to something amazing.

Nothing could have prepared me for what was to come out of it…

We won best film!

Not only did we win best film, but we also won:


I was blown away that we did so well. Each and every one of us deserved the outcome because we put our hearts into it. I want to thank the amazing team I had beside me the entire time and can’t wait to see what’s to come in the future. I  know which each project, we will all become better people/artists.

Here is our film:

This film was produced by the Hidden Track Films team as an entry into the 2011 48 Hour Film Project – San Antonio, Texas. For more information on this project, check them out at-​sanantonio/​

Required Elements
Genre: Sci-Fi
Character: Ross/Rose Gillen
Occupation: Upholster or Furniture Maker
Line of Dialog: “I wouldn’t count on it”
Object: Wrapped Present
Best Costumes
Best Sound Design
Best Directing
Best Editing
Audience Award – Screening Group B
Best Film – 2011 San Antonio