Category Archives: Pricing and Booking

Petticoat Junction – EXCLUSIVE LOCATION

This has been one of our most popular location sessions. In fact in a recent poll on our FB Group “I’m A Devilbliss Girl” it was overwhelmingly the spot most people voted for.

So what is it exactly?

Well a good friend of ours has this really cool property with several train cars on it. More than just that it’s the decking that is around it and the landscape all around. There’s no steam engine or anything, there aren’t passenger cars to really do anything in… but by the samples below, I am sure you’ll agree, it’s quite a setting for some great imagery.

NOW, the big problem with a location like this one…. look at the photos… we are at the mercy of the weather. In fact last year our scheduled visit was marred by rain and unusually high winds. We had to reschedule.  So how do we handle that? With a rain date.

So we are planning the session for Saturday May 13th with a rain date of Saturday May 27th. With this shoot being a location, and a prized one at that your deposit is only refundable if both dates have to be cancelled due to weather. There are added costs with location shoots and with this one, we are limited to the number of appointments we can take given that we do need daylight and can only shoot from sun up to an hour or so before sunset. SPOTS ARE LIMITED. This will SELL OUT so get over to the deposit form now (click here)! Total deposit is $150 with $75 to hold your spot and the remaining deposit balance of $75 due by April 13th.

And now for those samples. These are from our 2 visits to this amazing location that is exclusive to Devilbliss Studios.

It’s a terrific location for couples too!

We’ve even done engagement photos here.

Sneak your kids in for a few shots while you’re at it!

Go avant-garde if you care too:

Calendars

devilbliss-studios-promoo3
Devilbliss Studios produced over a dozen  calendars during 2016. Personal, Car Clubs, Businesses and Groups were all represented among those we created. Every facet short of the actual printing was done in-house. We provide custom layout and design with an emphasis on detail and originality most photographic studios would not take on. The photo sessions for these calendars were done at our studio in Pottsville PA as well as on location at several sites all over the state. In some instances our team executing 11-12 photo sessions over the course of a single day. Makeup and hair and photography for a that many individuals in that short a time is largely unheard of in our industry. Yet we manage it, and manage it very well. Flip through any of those calendars and you’d be hard pressed to tell who was the first client or the last during one of those efforts. With this sort of track record it can provide great peace of mind for choosing our studio to produce YOUR calendar.devilbliss-studios-promoo

We also boast more options and price points that make our services among the most accessible you’ll find. Complete packages begin at $599 with pre-season discounts available through the end of July for savings of up to $200-$245 off! See full detailed pricing below.

What’s more is that those clients who may shoot with us several times a year have the opportunity to integrate edited photos from any of their sessions into a calendar package with those images getting a credit off the calendar total. Take a discount session of $499 for example, say you did 3 other shoots throughout the year. From those sessions you decided to include 6 edited images total to use in YOUR 2018 calendar. You’d be able to take a $20 per image discount off the total calendar shoot price, so $499 less the $120 credit brings that session down to $379. It might be possible that you do several sessions over the course of the year and had 12 edited photos you wanted to turn into a calendar. There you’d be able to choose a layout only option and for as little as $125 have a fully customized calendar of your very own produced and have the included copy in your hands within 10 days of approving your proofs! If you don’t feel you’re ready for a whole calendar of your own you may want to watch for our group sessions which typically focus on hot rods and classic cars. Whichever way you wanted to go we’ve got more options, more opportunities and more price points than any other studio of our kind. Period.

caldescriptions

Camp Devilbliss

A few short weeks ago a question was posed on the I’m a Devilbliss Girl Facebook Group (if you don’t belong to it you should, it’s a terrific, supportive group of ladies, many of whom have shot with us) asking what themes members would like to see. One of the gals mentioned “camping”.  It struck us as a terrific idea. An initial thought was to keep it very tent focused but something in me got nostalgic (again) and I just had to see more “camp” than just tent. My own family never went camping together. Sure I did as a teenager as a means to join my friends in underage drinking in the woods… I digress…  My family did however vacation at a lot of iconic destinations in the 70’s (when I was really really young) and at that time there was still many many traces of those classic 50’s and 60’s sights you now only find on postcards. My memories of it all look like those postcards. A nostalgic slice of heaven is located very near my home. Roadside America, if you have not visited it, do so. It’s a treasure. Its walls are classically painted backdrops for the miniature village and have that feel I love. It’s not unlike the sort of treatment you’d find at a museum. Exactly the sort of look I began to imagine for this session. -Postcard_of_Roadside_Amer-20000000009354662-500x375 8333305861_30df227622_bHere’s Claire Marie at the AACA museum in Hershey PA, this was a display and that backdrop did the exact same thing for me.BANN0546e

So I began searching for the perfect camping backdrop. Luck was not with me. A custom one was needed. I also couldn’t find the perfect photo of a camp scene to use and the thought of something photographic was actually not what I was seeing either… I wanted a bit of kitsch and “camp” (how perfect?) with it.  SO… I decided to try my hand at it myself.  Years ago i actually experimented with airbrushing photos. Not photoshop airbrushing… real honest to god airbrushing which gave that tool in photoshop its name. I picked up a Paasche air gun like my father used at his concrete ornament business (the other was a DeVilbiss, not a coincidence) and got to work. I started with a sketch:2016-07-11 14.51.34I know, you’re thinking I could have just blown this up onto a banner and been done! But there needed to be a bit more… So Nicole and I unrolled and taped up about 22 feet worth of spent seamless paper to the wall of the big big space on the 3rd floor here and I began to get to work.2016-07-17 12.56.19Nicole looked at this and gave me the sort of encouragement a parent would a child with grand visions but questionable track record.  I kept at it.2016-07-18 11.14.17and kept at it…2016-07-18 14.33.27

In time it got to be pretty decent:
Then the details started:IMG_1213A few days ago we had the great opportunity to christen the set with the very lady who proposed it to us. The lovely Shelby Barnhart!

Here’s some samples from the session. As you can see a lot more detailing was added. Click the photos to see them larger. BANN0497e

Isn’t she classic?BANN0497ecrop

Shelby also snuck in with a terrific vintage rifle for her session. I will be getting another Red Ryder BB gun for the holiday Frageelay Sessions so it will be available for this set as well. You may also notice the perspective here. One of the things about this particular studio (we have 9 spaces in our 4000 sq foot 2 floor studio) is that the ceilings are 12 feet high. For this shot I was standing on a ladder very near the ceiling. This also lets you appreciate the sheer size of this set.  The shot below was edited but nothing added to fill in the set. It’s that big!BANN0257eAs you can see above there’s a lot of flexibility for wardrobe with this set. Lookout! Shelby is a dead eye with that thing… Below Shelby gets ready to turn in for the night.BANN0856eWith the help of the campfire (fake) and working vintage flashlight, Shelby is able to relax under the starry skies and take in a bit of a pulp novel. The shots below were made with multiple lights and gels to simulate a nighttime look.BANN0942eBut wait!!!! There’s a strange sound in the woods… what could it be?BANN0993eTurns out it was just a friendly bear who heard it was her birthday and brought her a fresh baked red velvet cake from Momma Millie’s just a block from our studio!13754704_10207063373131849_8117319727451669402_nIn reality it’s Nicole who was sporting enough to put on the fun bear costume we have at the studio. The cake was real and Shelby said she and her new hubby enjoyed it quite much. We had hosted 3 birthday girls in the studio and each was presented with a cake of their own baked earlier those very days!HR

We will have wardrobe in the studio for these sessions so you can arrive with nothing more than your street clothes. We do not however have any hiking boots among our 120+ shoe collection so that is something to keep in mind. You can personalize this with wardrobe and accessories of your own. Couples are most welcome though for any group sessions please contact us for additional fees.

We are offering this set on special the weekend of September 24th for $300 + tax. This includes full makeup and hair, every photos (several hundred) shot on an SD card the moment the session finishes. 6 Edits of your choice, or if you prefer, we will select them for you. You also have access to our wardrobe collection which includes several items perfect for this theme. Get a deposit in by August 13th and take another $25 off! Shot with us before? Then you get a $25 return client discount. Bring a friend who shoots and get a $25 referral credit, no limits! And if you get a $100 deposit placed by August 13th one of your edits can be transformed into a classic postcard graphic at no additional cost!postcard

Can’t make it during the discount weekend? Just let us know, and we can find a date to accommodate you.

Here’s some vintage postcards to get you even more motivated to take part in this classic session.yosemite_national_park_vintage_tourism_travel_ad_postcard-r197b752fcc574c3184f8076adb8bc991_vgbaq_8byvr_324il_fullxfull.405999860_5mnwstock-graphics-vintage-North-Carolina-postcards-viintage-0371-700x484vintage-lake-postcarddbff2f8ab6905997047555ffb0bb75824d4ab122a58aebeb6b9fca1e2ee1da38

How soon do you get your photos?

If you got them to you any faster it would be because we figured out time travel and could get them to you before your session.

When you shoot with us you get your photos immediately. Michael/Victor uses a professional camera with 2 card slots. Pro camera bodies do this for redundancy. At some point photographers who rely on their equipment for their livelihood began demanding multiple data card slots in camera bodies. Michael shoots to a compact flash data card for his archive files as well as a second SD card for backup. This SD card is handed to you quite literally seconds after the last photograph is taken. (and you get them in these darling manilla envelopes we rubber-stamp the logo onto – people just love them and it’s nice to leave with something in your hands after you spent a nice bit of money on an indulgence)stamp2You go home with EVERY SINGLE IMAGE shot. All of them. None are kept from you. Michael doesn’t decide which images he thinks you’d want to see. That’s pretty fast isn’t it? Why do this? We know you want to see them as soon as possible. You also have full copyrights to the images. We share it, but this is rather uncommon as a lot of studios retain full rights and often have to be contacted if you wanted to make prints or submit for publication. Often they will want you to make prints through their service at marked-up pricing. We don’t do that. You hired us to create images for you, we think they are yours.  We’re pretty sure this is a popular aspect of our services too. How do we know? Well how about a session we just had in the studio where 10 ladies joined us for a day of laughter, shenanigans and photos and as we were still shooting during the day… models who visited earlier were already posting photos! Several even changing their profile images to photos we shot only hours earlier. We think that’s a pretty good indicator. Another part to consider is this… posting those shots from the data cards means they were sharing UNEDITED photos… they were proud enough to share the images as shot, not retouched. THEM.  That’s pretty powerful. It’s also a reason we offer group sessions in addition to private one on one sittings. We want to empower as many women as possible. Give more people the opportunity to get images they can share immediately with no re-touching. There’s only so many weekends in our lives and we know that’s when most of the rest of you (hey we’re in the studio) have time to get a session in.  Take a look at some of those very posts:

25080 25081 25082 25083

What are you waiting for? Certainly not your photos when you book a session with us. Check out our upcoming sessions here. And for the most up to date list and to book you session go here.

 

 

D’Lish-ious

This is a D’Lish-ious promotion we’ve come up with for those who want a more personalized, private shoot.

We’ve taken our Private Shoot Petite and for a limited time will offer a very special and iconic wardrobe item… BANN0013iga
Start your session in our deluxe vanity set where this extravagant Boudoir by D’Lish robe acts as a prop on its custom dress form. Then don this luxurious beauty and take your pick of studio locations for the most glamorous shoot of your life. This alone is certain to make many of our clients and fans excited but this next part will certainly cause some squeals… We are going to limit these sessions to 20 total with the robe we are obtaining … BUT, those 20 participants will be entered into a random drawing where they will win their VERY OWN, CUSTOM  Boudoir by D’Lish Cassandra robe. Winner could also opt to use that value towards any other Boudoir by D’Lish robe of their choice. It’s over $400 in value! Note: the robe shown is the type we are getting for this, color has not yet been determined, it will be neutral so it will work with any other color combination. Don’t want a robe of your own? If not and you win the promotion you can choose from a $325 Shoot Credit or get you session fee refunded!BANN0115e

The price for this session is $325 + tax when booked on a weekday. Repeat clients still get their $25 discount. Session includes full makeup and hair by Making Faces Professional, a 1 hour minimum shoot with Michael Bann aka Victor Devilbliss. EVERY SINGLE PHOTO on an SD card the moment we finish, you leave with your photos in your hand! stamp2The shoot also includes 4 edited images of your choice YOU decide. If you wish you can also remain in the studio post session and review the images with Michael, make your selections and watch him edit them right before your very eyes! Discuss what you like, what you want and get them tailored to your heart’s content. Go home with ALL YOUR PHOTOS AND EDITS ON THE SD CARD! We know of only one other studio that offers this. (Our friends at Atomic Cheescake Studios in Baltimore to be precise). IMG_9448Afterwards if there’s time and you wish, we can pay a visit to one of the several eating establishments within short walking distance of our new 4000 sq ft. studio for a late lunch or dinner.

Is money an issue? Why not take advantage of an installment plan with us. Put $75 down to secure a spot and choose a monthly amount that we can set you up for automatic payments. $25 – $50 monthly is manageable for most and before you know it you’re ready for your private session!

Want an additional look while you’re in the studio? That’s just $50 more. Weekend sessions for this promotion are possible but they would carry an additional fee. We also have the obstacle of having many many great weekend specials coming up where the time this promotion takes would not be feasible to achieve. While it is possible to do this session in as little as 2 hours time, it’s also likely you’d want to allow around 3. If you opt for edits while you wait factor in another hour and a half. Michael does each edit one at a time and each takes 15-20 minutes at a minimum. If you are new to the studio we also encourage you to pay us a visit for a consultation. We’ll show you around, you can inspect the rest of our wardrobe and props and see ringed samples of our warm on our wall… and after your session take your place there as well!

Ready to make your deposit? Use our handy deposit form here:
Devilbliss Deposit Form – This session is called D’Lish-ious Weekdays and it’s near the bottom of the list. In the comment area let us know possible dates that work for you and we will get right back to you to schedule.

Are you new here? Never worked with us before? Read what other’s say about their experiences with us on our testimonial page, or click Ray’s review below:Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 12.42.47 PM

Old Hollywood – What a great group of ladies!

What a wonderful stretch we had here in the studio between Thursday and yesterday (Sunday). In all there were 17 shoots in those 4 days.  We were re-visited by Cherry Von Sweets on Thursday who travels around 2 hours to work with us. She did another private session where she actually got in the Old Hollywood special we hosted this weekend as well as another look that we love so much we’re actually going to do a special for it as well. The graphic for that shoot links to the event page for it. All images in this post can (and should be) clicked for a larger version. Not every model is shown here as some were doing the sessions to surprise a significant other.BANN0180e BANN0938e CrimsonBoudoir

Friday saw 4 session in the studio, 3 for the Old Hollywood special and two very special little visitors who did our Bunny Basket Kids. The first model for the day was someone who was doing their very first shoot. She told me she was super nervous but I couldn’t tell. In short order she was moving so fluidly I knew she was having fun. Later that night she already picked which shots she wanted edited (like every other client of ours, she went home with all her images and saw them immediately) and I got to work on them right away getting her a link to gallery within 12 hours of her making her selections.  Here’s one in the classic black and white style with her very own signature added:BANN0478ecropbwAs I was working on another edit of hers, there was something about the wardrobe that bothered me… (the first image is a crop)BANN0098eThe strap between the robe and the pearls. Once I saw it I couldn’t un-see it. I tell clients all the time that I take a lot of photos for several reasons. One, it gives them plenty of options as far as how they look. It also keeps the shoot flow very casual as we aren’t posing for 5 minutes to take 5 shots and hope they have that “something”. Another benefit is that in cases like this, odds are good I can find an image nearby that may have some element about it that I can use to easily “fix” something that bothers me in another shot. Just like it worked here.  I looked around this file and found one where the strap was more in line with what my head wanted to see. So some grafting later and this is what I had:BANN0098ebQuite often I will do work on images that most clients will never see. Things that when summed together, produce what I find to be high quality images. It’s almost like that old saying “I don’t know if it’s art, but I like it”.

Next we had a gal who first shot with us during one of our seamless specials. This made me happy that now I could get some images for her using my more dramatic lighting. Kelsey was a treat and I loved the hat she added to her wardrobe.BANN1032ebw

Our next sessions were with some ladies who came up from Fredericksburg and Richmond Virginia. Mary Padgett who formerly lived nearby in Jim Thorpe PA and Sheri Baby who was crowned Queen of the 2015 Rockabilly Rumble which we attended and did a super quick session with her there.  I shot Mary and her guy Jay at Sled Fest in Duncannon last year. Prior to that Nicole had worked with Mary via Relentless Photography some time back. It is always such fun to meet new people and get to know them through a shoot, or as in this case catch up with friends you’ve known for some time.BANN0725eAnd then came our pinup queen. Come to think of it I believe I have photographed more Rumble Queens than I haven’t. Of the 2015 Queen though, Sheri was divine in her outfit. The colors were killing me.BANN1462e

Saturday was the biggest day of the bunch. 6 ladies joined us and again some from states away.

First up was Dottie Mae Divine. Dottie took part in our first Classics Recreated session and turned in some adorable re-creations. It was nice to have her back for this more glamorous theme. She was like a different lady!BANN0039e

Next we had one of our favorite Latinas from New York City visit us and I am always amazed at her transformation. You can even see this in the two examples here, the first with such an elegant look contrasted against the feline temptress of the second outfit she chose (all from our collection in the studio).BANN0101e BANN0840eNext we had another first-timer. Ruby Red. She opted to pay homage to I Love Lucy and the dress and apron combo certainly pulled that together.  She too was nervous but that quickly passed.BANN0017eBWOur next client was another first timer. She too claimed to be nervous but it sure didn’t show. Joline is a friend of another repeat client of ours Devyn Dixon Pinup. Joline told me Devyn talked us up so much she did feel a level of comfort she might not have had walking into someplace completely foreign. What I like about her session is that her look was not decidedly “pinup”. Yet her styling and wardrobe were no less spectacular in this setting.BANN1318e BANN1754eSunday we still had 5 sessions and kicked off with a gal we shot some time ago, Kara Kupcake. Kara is quite animated and has one of the biggest smiles and contagious laughs you’ll find. Again it was like a party catching up with old friends, oh and photos too…  Even though the Old Hollywood sessions are themed for black and white I still edit and shoot in full color and provide both versions. A bit of a bonus really. But seriously, the color shots are so rich, you just can’t not share them too.BANN0007e BANN0007ebw

Next up we had a gal who recently shot with us, in fact she was one of the first models to take part in sessions in our new 2000 sq. ft. studio. Ki Ki Vengeance also attended our open house last week which permitted her to pick up her “I’m a Devilbliss Girl to shirt”. I have to admit I was really excited to see her walking into the studio wearing it!!!  You rock lady!!! BANN1467e

Our next to last client came from nearby Berwick PA. Kaye Von Davis stopped by the old studio last year while some friends of hers were there. She immediately took to my furniture collection and I learned she has an affinity for the stuff as well. We had a great conversation and then later, the day after Pinup Prom 2015 she and her guy and quite a few others met up at a shop where I get a lot of my items. Some weeks later I became kinda obsessed with Schaeffer Beer… recalling how they had a brewery outside Allentown PA (later owned by Stroh’s and now Sam Adams) well anyway, I learned someone was brewing it again and on the website searched for distributors… the closest listed was in Berwick PA…  so I sent Kaye a message asking her if she knew of the distributor … of course she did. About a week or so after that I met up with her and her family at an auction near my home and had a fresh case of Schaeffer in the back of my car. It nearly felt like being a rum-runner or something. So all this long winded build up for this, as she was with Nicole in makeup I ducked into the dressing room where some remnants of the Open House we just had were and proceeded to offer her a Schaeffer Beer on the antique Schaeffer Beer tray I just got at a shop Ki Ki Vengeance (above) turned me on to. How wild is that? So I am posting a few shots of Kaye here because they’re pretty swell, and not coincidentally so is Kaye.BANN0768e BANN1005e BANN1057e2And last but not least we have The Batlady! I love this shot because I was telling her how in Studio-C we have a photo of Steve  Buscemi on the ceiling that I ask people to look up and laugh at. Something about that head position, the eyes looking up. Batlady and I were discussing furniture because she has some fine pieces herself. I am still not sure if I forgive her for painting a vintage shadowbox all black, then again in my youth I did that to an old cabinet radio. Another interesting point. This was the first time I shot Batlady, but Nicole has worked with her before and as a matter of fact once at my old studio, Shangri La for the visiting photographer Va Va Voom who was in from Florida shooting at my place.BANN0312e

SO, I hope you enjoyed this peek into several busy days in the studio. If it’s something you’ve been thinking about, don’t wait, you have no idea what you are missing out on. There’s a lot of community at work here and if you want to stick your toes into that a bit, send us a message on FB and we’ll point you to a group that’s been started that might help you decide it’s time to do a shoot of your own.

 

HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR SHOOT

HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR SHOOT

First of all, take a deep breath and relax! This is WAY easier than you think! We are going to make the whole experience pleasant, fun and easy.

These are just a few things for you to do before you arrive!

You’ll want to arrive with a clean, moisturized face, and clean, dry hair. If you can manage, day old hair is best! Decide on a manicure! To paint or not to paint…that is the question! We like it all, painted, natural…BUT, please pick one! Chipped nails might show in your final shots.
BANN0001 While we have a great and ever growing selection of wardrobe (over 500 pieces, 100+ pairs of shoes), we always ask that you bring one thing that you really love and feel comfortable in, so that we are confident that you have something to work with that makes you feel great! Assorted bras, panties and stockings are also helpful! Forget something? We have a courtesy basket in our second dressing room filled with nail polish and remover, nail files, tampons, deodorant and body spray…you name it!

HOW IT WORKS
People always want to know how we accomplish so much in one day! Organization is key! When you arrive, you will be shown back to the very end of the hall to our hair and makeup room. We have 18ft of wardrobe double stacked, so arrive a little early to take a look. You’ll meet with Nicole and discuss your looks and get started having your hair set. While your hair sets, you’ll have your makeup applied. Fear not about having your shade…she can custom blend foundation to meet your needs. False eyelashes are also included in your package! Once your makeup is perfect, it’s back over to the hair station to create an amazing vintage style! When you are done, you can head  to our second dressing room to put on your first look in privacy. There’s a rack for wardrobe you may have brought and a steamer to whisk away any wrinkles.  There is room to store your belongings here too. You can also choose some jewelry while here.BANN0004Then you’ll head down the hall to start your shoot with Michael. For some discount sessions there may be multiple clients in the studio, your privacy is always respected, and your time is one on one! When your shoot is over, you will be given an SD card with every single image that we shoot on it. These are yours to do with as you please. Take these home and view them, share them…get opinions! From these you will choose your edits.

Cherry Von Sweets’ Private Session – the differences in our sessions.

I recently had the pleasure of working with a model for the second time. Cherry Von Sweets first shot with us in August of 2015. It was during one of our super specials we run where it’s all traditional studio style pinup shot on paper backdrops of various colors with props from our collection. The shorthand for this sort of shoot is “seamless” because the paper has no seams. The lighting is what is known as high key. Or in everyday terms fully lit. Big soft boxes for the lights and even lighting all around. Classic. This sort of style of shoot means virtually anyone can walk onto the shooting area and nothing from the first photo to the last will need to be adjusted lighting-wise. It means if we shoot a few people in a timeframe an economy of scale allows those shoot prices to be greatly reduced compared to other styles of lighting. These shoots have been wildly popular for a number of reasons like pricing which means people who always wanted to try it aren’t risking nearly as much as if they booked a private session. It’s not so stressful. With basic props and keeping it simple clients don’t have to wonder if they are “doing it right” (something we hear a lot). It’s easy for ladies to find something appropriate from our ever expanding wardrobe collection. It’s also a great way for them to see how they feel working with us. With as many return clients as we have we like to think we are doing something right. These basic shoots are also supported again and again by those return clients. Why? Well because it’s the best way to add fresh images to your portfolio for a fraction of what a private or themed shoot can cost. These are so popular that right now in our studio there are 5 rolls of different colors permanently mounted on the wall ready to be pulled out for these or any session where they are the foundation of the look.  Cherry’s first shoot with us was one of these sessions. She traveled 2 hours to do it too.
cherry many

During this special Cherry ended up with four different wardrobe changes and as you can see above she had unique backdrops and props with each.  This shoot was one where over the course of 2 days we shot 21 clients. Cherry was early on the first day but if you take a look at this entry talking about the session of our 20th client we’re sure you’ll agree that person’s photos have no less attention to detail or quality than these here. If you read that model’s story you can also see her experience was exceptional to her. We do budget shoots like this to give people a chance they might not get otherwise. Yes we have bills to pay but this art for us isn’t just about the money. Uplifting people is why we can justify what ends up being low wages compared to most professions. These group shoots let us share it with more people than would be cost-effective to do otherwise.

Now this isn’t the only sort of shoots we do. We also shoot on location where we have some amazing backdrop that’s perfect for the sort of imagery our clients love most. We also do private sessions where we spend the better part of a whole day with just one model. With these we will plan the shoot weeks and sometimes months in advance.  Cherry saw some sample images from a shoot we offered where we recreated some classic pinup paintings. She reached out to us about doing a specific one and she  booked a weekday session.12510133_10102681120714504_1920541200_o

This is what Cherry wanted to recreate. Balloons are easy enough. We have chairs even though not exactly as in this painting by Elvgren but the helium tank, those are not a standard studio prop. We’d have to rent one. I made some calls and got some prices. When I went to pick up the tank I mentioned why I needed them and noted I didn’t need all the gas for the limited balloons we needed to fill and the rep offered to rent me a large empty tank and another smaller one for my actual gas needs. Awesome, that saved $25 I could deduct from the shoot total.

The shoot day came and we all arrived at the studio. As Cherry and Nicole of Making Faces Professional began the styling I went to work blowing up the balloons that Cherry hand picked and brought. She and I got some ribbon and the ceiling of the studio soon looked like a birthday party would erupt at any moment. As I studied the original painting I was happy the tanks I got were gray. But noticed the yellow stripes. I then recalled that among the rolls of ribbon I had on hand there was some yellow/gold. I snipped off some pieces and taped them to the tank and thought “score”.

When Cherry was ready we got her into general position. We then began positioning the gallons and ribbons to follow the painting as closely as possible. A red ballon was caught under her heel so we got that one into position. She was holding a red one too. We tried for a color mix with the others that got us into the ballpark of how they were in the painting.  After we were set I began some test shots. Each time comparing it to the original. Then something struck me that bothered me. As I looked at the “scene” with Cherry I noticed the balloons were doing what helium balloons will tend to do… they were all bunched up trying to go straight up. Often with classic pinup paintings the artists will exaggerate things or make them look a certain way to be more appealing than what happens naturally. If you look at the example above you’ll now see how those balloons fan out. It isn’t like they are windblown either because they aren’t all “leaning” in the same direction. It makes for a great “balance” in the image but that particular arrangement wouldn’t happen naturally all too often (if ever).

It really bugged me.

I also knew I would not be able to do this well enough in photoshop to be satisfied. So… some time tested studio accessories came out of the drawer. Fishing line and painters tape. I can’t tell you how many times these two items saved the day.  They, gaffers tape and clamps are like duct tape to any handy person.Line2It may be hard to see the line here but you can see the tape still visible on this balloon. They’d be retouched away in editing.

LineHere’s another view where you can actually see the lines off the edge and over the one red ballon. There were so many that at one point I went around Cherry and ran into a few of them even though I thought I ducked low enough.

So now that the balloon issue was addressed it was time to shoot.

Below is the final image with the original inset. I did treat this with a painterly quality to the balloons and backdrop to give it the same feel. For this my own watermark is modified to mimic the original. You can click on this for a large sample.BANN0016e1Cropped

Of course we didn’t just do that one pose. Cherry has a great smile so I actually like this shot even better:BANN0086e2cropped

The recreation wasn’t the only thing planned for her private session. We also did some shots with our 10,000 silk rose petals ala American Beauty. This crop is my favorite from those images. I put it on the FB page as our banner for a time actually.BANN0522e2aCrop

While Cherry was here she walked by the giant Bunny Basket we just finished for some upcoming Easter themed sessions. She couldn’t resist and asked if she could add that while she was here. Of course! And for a fraction (nearly half) what we are offering that shoot alone for she got her hair redone and in short order we were shooting!BANN0105e

When we finished I ventured to my editing area to begin downloading all the files. Cherry was instantly handed a duplicate SD card with every single image, I shoot to two simultaneously in my camera. My clients get all the files. Every one. Her session included a dozen edits and normally the model checks out her files and in a few days will send me a list of requests.

While I didn’t have these cute little envelopes when Cherry was here, these are what every client gets when a shoot finishes. It’s nice to have something tangible to go home with when you just splurged on a luxury.stamp2

After Cherry got back into her street clothes she asked me if we could review the images and make her edit selections while she was still here. Since I blocked off the whole day for her I said of course.IMG_9448

We sat down and went through her photos, marking those that jumped out at us. We narrowed it down and she was on her way. Her session was on February 10th. She got here at about 8 a.m., we made those selections by noon and less than 24 hours later I was uploading the bulk of the edits for her and sending her a gallery link (private, password protected).

Cherry had such a good experience that the same day I gave her the link to her files she booked another private session.

So, join us and a whole bunch of other great women for one of our budget sessions or block off some me time and let your imagination run wild where it is just you and us, you can even get the edits while you wait. You choose. Message us on FB with questions or to schedule your session.