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Look Studios

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2014 North Shore Photographic Challenge

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“I Feel Like Flying”, was my entry for the 2014 North Shore Photographic Challenge. I have had the winning image at the Challenge 3 times in the past (1998, 2011, & 2013, twice with dance images). While my entry this year received one of the highest scores, it didn’t place in the top three. This year’s Challenge featured work from 300 photographers from BC and the Yukon.
The Challenge is hosted by NSPS (North Shore photographic Society) and sponsored by CAPA (Canadian Association for Photographic Art).

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Backless dress...

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Backless dress to the extreme, featuring black shiny PVC laced down the back. While conservative and stunning from the front, this dress makes a bold statement when viewed from the back.

This image is from a fetish wear ‘party dress’ photo shoot we did recently in the studio.

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Lingerie and corset

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There is something timeless and elegant with a traditional corset.

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"Lush Kittens" pinup magazine

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Lush Kittens pinup magazine published a two page spread from a recent shoot with Evilyn13 & Miss Dottie Squish (2 Vancouver pinup models). They are featured in the most recent issue.

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Makeup artist

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Working with makeup artists is great, they bring so much to a shoot and make a huge difference in creating great images.

Makeup artists are that gem behind the scenes who contribute so much. At a recent shoot, it was a great surprise when after the makeup artist finished her work, she did her own makeup, changed outfits and unexpectedly walked onto the set. For her it was a chance to get on the other side of the camera for a change. Spontaneity is always fun

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Merry Christmas

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Seasonal themed photo shoots are fun and popular.

Themed photo shoots are common around Christmas, Valentines Day, and Halloween and they bring out the festive.

These are two models who came to Look Studios wanting to capture something ‘Christmassy’ for their respective portfolios.

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Inspired by burlesque

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Having fun with peacock feathers for a flirtatious implied nude

A proud and flashy peacock

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The Ticket...

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At the end of doing some fashion photography for a model’s portfolio, she pulled out a New York City Police uniform shirt and hat for a few fun shots.

When it came time to sign her model release, she said “Hey, lets pretend I am writing you a traffic ticket!”.

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Vampires in the studio… Twilight or Dracula?

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Whether it is the result of the recent popularity of the Twilight series or such classics as Dracula, Vampires are popular!

Therefore, it was no surprise to have a request to do a Vampire themed photo session the week before Halloween.

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The Devil's Mistress

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Shooting around Halloween can be quite fun. While most lingerie and boudoir photo shoots tend to be pretty similar with the traditional garter, stockings, bra and panty look. For this shoot, the model brought a Halloween lingerie theme she called “The Devil’s Mistress”.

The “Devil’s Mistress” wore a red lingerie set, black garter, stockings, and thigh big boots. Then added a formal jacket, red tie, and top hat.

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Her eyes, they shone like diamonds...

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Creating images for a model’s portfolio often provides fun challenges for makeup artist and photographer. Models often bring unique concepts they want to us to help them to create.

For example, this model wanted her “eyes to shine like diamonds”. So the make up artist glued small diamonds to the end of her eye lashes.

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A dog's best friend

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Lucky Dog…

As a professional photographer, expect the unexcited. For example, when a brings her dog to a lingerie shoot to create new images for her modeling portfolio.

At the end of a boudoir lingerie studio session, the model asked if she could have a few photos of her and her dog. This implied nude portrait of a woman and her Chihuahua was the result.

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A Fallen Angel

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At the end of a portfolio shoot with an aerial hoop performer, we wanted to try something a little different by having the performer in an artistic angelic pose, but wearing lingerie.

The concept was to create an element of tension by mixing artistic circus performance art with lingerie and a hint of the erotic.

This image entitled “A Fallen Angel” was the result.

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Retro pinup / 1950's glamour

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Miss Dottie Squish is a new and emerging Vancouver model specializing in pinup. Miss Dottie came to Look Studios asking us to create new material for her modelling portfolio.

Her goal was contemporary images inspired by those of the classic Hollywood era (1940s and 50’s).

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Betty Page themed pinup shoot

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Recently I had the opportunity to do a portfolio photo session with a well established Fetish / alt / pinup model from Vancouver.

We did two looks and outfits, but the one that was the most fun was inspired by the work of Betty Page. It was amazing how well the model was able to portray that ‘erotic yet playful Betty Page spirit’ .

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Dancing in natural setting

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This photo shoot was to help a dancer create new images for her portfolio. We did this shoot out in nature near Squamsh. The concept was to photograph dance poses in a natural setting by a stream and waterfall.

This was the second time I have worked with this dancer. We had preciously collaborated on an urban dance project that we shot in and around the back alleys of Vancouver.

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Blowing in the wind

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This was the second time working with Ashara who attends the National Circus School in Montreal. We shot several concepts near Squamish, including with fabric blowing in the wind.

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Angel - aerial hoop

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This image “angel” is from a photo session with two circus performers who perform on the aerial hoop. The goal was to creature portfolio images for promoting their shows. Their repertoire includes an aerial burlesque show on the hoop.

As a photographer, it is amazing the wide variety of subjects we photograph and talented people we work with. The challenges in this shoot was similar to dance, which is to create a lighting setup in a studio or gym to give the appearance of a performance on stage.

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Heavy Metal

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Heavy metal music and trains. When I was asked to take photos of Susie Myers, lead singer of the heavy metal band “Over the Coals”, I wanted to shoot her in front of some heavy metal and chose an old steam train as backdrop. The image is for a fundraiser calendar featuring artists who performing in the annual Armstrong MetalFest this summer.


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Go Canucks !!!

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When it is Stanley Cup Playoff time, models shooting for their portfolios bring out the hockey jerseys. In this shoot, after shooting some high fashion and still wearing the fashion makeup), this model thew on a pair of jeans and an older Canucks hockey jersey for a few fun images. As it turned out, once again it wasn’t the Canucks year!

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Serendipity

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The consequence of serendipity is sometimes a brilliant discovery, or a happy bit of good fortune. On this photo shoot we were working on two completely different body paint projects. In between photographing each project we took a few minutes with both models together. They looked as if they were meant to be together as enchanted creatures in a mystical place.

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Black Magic Woman

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“Black Magic Woman” body paint project was the result of an amazing collaboration between Leah Cuff makeup artist, model and myself. Photographing black on black has it’s challenges but the results were stunning.

It had been a year since the last time we worked together as Leah has been doing a lot of work on movies. As for myself, it is always special when given the opportunity to collaborate with creative people photographing something creative, artistic, and unique.

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Award winning dance image

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This was the winning image at the 2013 North Shore Photographic Challenge. The Challenge is a large photo competition sponsored by CAPA (Canadian Association for Photographic Art) and hosted by the North Shore Photographic Society. This year’s Challenge featured the work of 285 photographers from throughout British Columbia and the Yukon. This year marks the third time that one of my images was the winning image judged as “best of show” at the Challenge, and the second time for one of my dance images.

The image is of a dancer from the Goh Ballet in Vancouver and was shot in a photo studio.

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Corset

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On location photographing several models in corsets was a refreshing change from being in my studio.

This was a fun and interesting shoot with the challenge of shooting in a different space from my studio where I do most of my photography. Also, this was an opportunity to try a different lighting technique and a new light modifier with great results.

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Prenatal photography

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For our two day fine-art nude photography workshops for photographers we try to incorporate something special or unique in Day Two. For our November workshop we were fortunate to have a pregnant model for the last couple hours of the workshop.

Photographing fine art nude images of a pregnant woman in the studio presents a unique lighting challenge for workshop participants to learn from.

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Crystal Skeleton


As part of a Halloween body paint project at Look Studios we did a Crystal Skeleton theme. Working once again with the very talented Viktoriya Kammaeva we transformed this lovely woman Kayla into a character from the night “Dia de los Muertos” with body painted torso and a sugar skull theme.

After 5 hours of makeup and body paint, we brought the model into the studio to photograph. We even happened to have a snake on set as part of another shoot we were also doing that day and were able to incorporate the snake into the theme.

contact us for info on our body paint and fine art nude photography.

Swan Lake, Ballet Jorgen

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Cristina Graziano, principal dancer in Ballet Jorgen’s upcoming production of Swan Lake, was recently in Vancouver promoting Ballet Jorgen’s tour of 11 communities in British Columbia in February 2013. Cristina had a whirlwind promotional tour of BC and managed to squeeze in a photoshoot early on Sunday morning before having to head back to Toronto.

It was a pleasure to work with Christina at Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver where Ballet Jorgen will be performing Swan Lake on February 19. Photos from this photo session will be part of a gallery exhibition from November through February in the lobby of Centennial Theater.

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Dance photography workshop


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Recently I conducted a dance photography workshop, a short 2 hour introduction to dance photography for a group of photographers from Vancouver and the North Shore.

Working with Hiroko, who is a dance instructor and ballet mistress at the Anna Wyman Dance School of the Arts in West Vancouver, we worked through basic lighting set up for dance photography.
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Intimate lingerie

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Photographing a product line is a very intense and busy thing to do. For example, this image is from a shoot working with 3 professional models, makeup artist, and art director for a company that produces very intimate lingerie products. In the end, we photographed more than 30 outfits/styles over a two day period.

Contact Us for information on our lingerie photography, or see what our clients say about their Look Studios experience.

Vintage pinup

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The goal of vintage pinup is to capture the essence and spirit of the era.

This pinup project involved working with model Kristina Armstrong and her collection of vintage clothing. Having a vintage WWII B-25 bomber as a prop pulled it all together. The B-25, part of the Historic Flight Foundation’s collection, was at the Abbotsford International Air Show.

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Shalimar Blanchard & HSDA

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Look Studios most recent dance photo shoot was with staff from the Howe Sound Dance Academy.

Shalimar Blanchard, director of Howe Sound Dance Academy, has built a great dance program in Squamish over the past 15 years.

It was a real pleasure to work with Shalimar as she was going for a non-traditional valley look as she was on point and wearing jeans.

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Howe Sound Dance Academy

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Look Studios most recent dance photo shoot was with staff from the Howe Sound Dance Academy.

Shooting dance in a controlled studio environment to capture the dynamic movement of dance is a real challenge. Working in the dance studio with Shalimar and Alicia Kinsman (HSDA jazz dance instructor) was a pleasure.

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pregnant with twins

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This most recent pregnancy photo shoot was with a young couple who were so very excited as they are expecting twins. We did a series of portraits with the couple and finished off the photo session with some fine-art prenatal portraits.

Over the past dozen years Look Studios has done many fine-art pregnancy photo sessions.

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contact us to book a fine-art prenatal / pregnancy photo session.

boudoir for real sized women

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Recently a woman contacted Look Studios about doing some lingerie and semi nude photos as a gift for her partner, but was unsure of booking a photo session wishing she was skinnier. She said “because I would like it not to be an issue so that I am able to use the photos as a gift”.

Most of my clients are not young and slim as presented in magazines or popular media. Most are women in their 30‘s and 40‘s and are real women with busy lives, careers, and often children. They choose to do a lingerie / glamour photo session as something special. Such as a gift for a partner or simply to treat themselves similar to a day at the spa.

We use creative lighting to capture any woman in the best light in a tasteful and our goal is to provide every woman images she can be proud of for years to come.

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contortion artist

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A portfolio photo shoot on location with Circus West contortion artists/performers in a Vancouver Park.

It is always fun to have opportunities to photograph something a bit different. This recent photo shoot was with contortion artists who train at the Circus West training facility in Vancouver. Working with 2 contortion artists in a lovely park on a stunning spring day produced some great images.

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Retro glamour portrait

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A recent client wanted to have a retro glamour black & white portrait done in the style of classic 1950’s Hollywood.

Retro portrait is much like classic pinup, it requires attention to detail including period style makeup, hair style, fashion, and props. Classic studio lighting and working in traditional Black & White is also essential for that classic look. Over a couple of hours we worked together to create a series of classic portraits.

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shoot, cricique, reshoot - how to improve your work

2012-04-Trapped-conceptThe two images above are an example of ‘shoot, review and critique your work, then reshoot’. At one of our recent photo workshops, we were working with a model inside a tube of fabric exploring the concept of ‘one’s inner self trapped and trying to express itself’.

On Saturday (image on left) we experimented with the basic concept and were pleased with the results. After reviewing and critiquing our work, we re-approached the concept on Sunday (right) with small lighting changes and new direction for the model. Same concept, same studio, same photographers, and two different effects. The end result was two sets of images that have a distinctly different look and feel. Shoot, review your work with a critical eye and don’t be afraid to go back and reshoot to improve/change it.

Contact us about our studio photography workshops for photographers.

zombie body paint project

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Zombie pinup themed body paint project was the fifth collaboration between Look Studios and Viktoriya Kameneava, a wonderful young body paint artist from Russia now living in Vancouver.

The Zombie theme has been present in popular culture for sometime. Zombies were featured in Michael Jackson’s thriller and are common in may films, books and video games. It was inevitable with the recent increased popularity of Zombies in pop culture that Look Studios was involved in a Zombie photo shoot. Body paint is such a fascinating creative and collaborative process.

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Award winning dance photograph

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This image entitled “a dancer’s dream” was tied for third place at the 2012 North Shore Photographic Challenge. The competition featured images from 280 photographers from throughout British Columbia and the Yukon.

It was an honour and thrill to have another one of my photo entries judged to be one of the top images in the North Shore Challenge. On two previous occasions, my images have been the winning image at the North Shore Challenge and awarded the CAPA gold medal.

The Challenge is hosted by NSPS (North Shore photographic Society) and sponsored by CAPA (Canadian Association for Photographic Art).

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photographing male fitness / body builders

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Photographing men presents its own unique challenges requiring a different approach then photographing women in the studio.

When photographing women the goal of lighting, posing, editing and retouching is to capture femininity in a manner that is tasteful and elegant. Photographing men, especially those who want to focus on fitness, muscles and tone, requires grittier lighting technique and photo editing to bring out the masculinity the client is wanting to portray.

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