Category Archives: Photoshoots

Fanime 2013: Where Perverted Virgins and Artists Collide!

Ah, Fanime… the only time of the year when you can walk around downtown San Jose wearing a lolita dress and
not have people suspect that you’re a hardcore weeaboo. But alas, Fanime was today and it brought out all of the
bay area’s nerdiest and most creative minds under one wet blanket. Being the cheap ass that I am, I just roamed
the halls and outskirts of the convention looking for cosplayers with some pizazz. Oddly enough, I actually wasn’t
too thrilled to be shooting there.

You see, ever since I transitioned into film/polaroid photography my shooting style has changed. So while nerd
1, 2 and 384 were all photographing the same girl, DSLRs click-clacking faster than Michael J. Fox in tap shoes,
I pretty much had one chance to get it right. Equipped with 1 pack of Fuji FP-100C color film, 1 pack of fp-3000b
black and white and one roll of Portra 400 in my Olympus Stylus Epic, I had to be very selective with who I
photographed and how. Take this shot for example:

First off, I thought her Catwoman was fantastic. The stitching looked legit and the expressions were
pretty damn spot on. She was even hanging out against the wall like one of those stray cats you might see
in an alley. However, due to the low speed of film (100 ISO) I was forced to really grip down on my camera
and stabilize it as much as possible. A bit blurry for my taste but the silver lining is that popping red against
the blue hazed tones. I also bleached the negative which has a very 80’s-ish vibe – no?

It totally reminds of those thin, outdated hairstyle booklets that almost every Vietnamese barber shop owns.
Gerri curl, anybody? Digressions aside, the con was a little disappointing to be honest. Everyone seemed to be
dressed as the same damn thing and no one really went there. It was all just a bunch of Lolitas, obscure
characters who look like they could be from any damn anime — I mean seriously, how original do you look wearing
an Asian schoolgirl outfit? — and even more annoying was the bukkake of Princess Zeldas and Links gossiping
around their makeshift deku tree.

This was one of the few Zeldas that I actually bought into. She totally stayed in character the whole time and had
demure hand gestures as if her hand were a dolphin skipping away.

See what I mean? This kinda shit is cool. Squatting over a bird shit-stained light post just to give your fans a
good shot? BALLIN! And the black chick has that confidence that bodes well with Black widow.

Being the only polaroid photographer that day, I got quite a few compliments and questions about my camera.
After taking a photo of miss Pochahontas over here, some dude popped out of the trees like Slenderman and
was like “cool camera!” We chatted for a bit about film photography, he told me about his film background
and he eventually gave me his business card. Check out their fantastic work!

One of the moments that truly stuck out to me was when I saw Zero Suit Samus. When I came up to take a
picture of her I noticed this Super-Cholo dude with his hood lookin’ buddy asking to have their photo taken
with her. Arms around her shoulder, they cheesed as the other brother snapped away on their camera phone.
Now, I’m not going to say they were out of place since who knows, those guys could be closeted weeboos,
but what I did take note of was her expression.

Her face was cringing when they were touching her; it was as if she were 5 years old again and her parents
were trying to feed her vegetables. Maybe other people didn’t see it, but I know I did. It was subtle, but it
was definitely there. I guess when you do street photography you end up training your eye to notice
microscopic moments: a bright red high heel on cold pavement, a little child dancing in a pocket of
sunlight or the forced smile of a woman trying to maintain her composure. Which brings me to my final
point of this drawn out post: IS Cosplay consent?

I love how much dynamic range is restored when you scan the negatives of fp-3000b. Pro tip: DON’T keep your unpeeled pictures close together or they will magically warm up and somehow get sticky, leaving this weird pattern that you see.

Oh, what the hell am I saying? Of course Cosplay isn’t consent! Yes, some of these women are dressed more
minimalistic
than your average hooters girl, but the outfit a woman wears should never dictate whether a man
(or rather, a boy) has the right to touch her in any way. Come to think about it, most of the photographers that
were there seemed rather pervy. I kinda just took my shots and walked away while these other peeping toms
looked like they were completely getting off with their camera lenses. WHY DO YOU LADIES EVEN COME
HERE?! SAVE YOURSELVES! LEAVE, NOW!

I kid, I kid. But in all honesty it does make me wonder: during these types of conventions where you have
women dressed up as characters, is there something about the environment that makes guys feel like it’s
okay to touch women? Or should we just learn to expect this behavior from virgin boys who claim to have
reached first base when in reality, an elderly German lady simply patted down their jeans during a TSA
inspection. It really goes to show you that both nerds and jocks can be assholes.

Oh, and I also saw Ironman.

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Filed under Details, Models, Out And About, People, Photoshoots, Polaroid, Rants, Street Photography, Summer, Women

Kevin Osmond Photography: Winter 2011/2012 Video Shoot (Behind The Scenes)

Why am I so dumb? I can’t believe I forgot to blog about this video. For the shoot,
I actually drove out to San Francisco (an hour drive), spent hours in the studio
doing video, and a couple hours in front of the screen snipping video clips to make
this awesome creation. But hey! Think of it as my present to you. This is the latest
fashion video that I’ve done, and boy oh boy is it swell. So check it out while drinking
hot chocolate, or simply enjoy within the comfort of your empty room while wearing
absolutely nothing at all.

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Filed under Details, Featured Fashionista, Men, Models, Photoshoots, Scenes From, Special, Videos, Winter/Fall, Women

Downtown With Necia Whitmore: My Super Awesome Make-Up Artist

Many Moons Ago, On The Set Of My First Shoot

Necia: Hey Ranier
Ranier: Yes?
Necia: I’m updating my website and I was wondering if you could do some
headshots for me.
Me: Sure!

And that my friends, was pretty much the entire conversation. There really
wasn’t any convincing left because honestly, I love doing shoots. But from the
description, it seemed as if Necia wanted regular headshots. Hell, I was even
concerned that she wanted such regularity that they were borderline mugshots.

But as always, I had to put my spin on it.

One of the things that I loved about this shoot was how organic it came about.
Sure, there was some posing involved but it never came to the point where I
was monopolizing her entire body movements, telling her which pinky to
stick up. I just spewed out general directions, and she churned out greatness.

The wonderful thing about portraits is that, if done right, you can see an
entire landscape of who your subject is. You can pin-point certain emotions,
certain expressions, and various tones of their personality, all hidden
underneath. What are they like? Are they heart-broken? Madly in love?
Or are they simply a young, fragile soul, still blossoming at every corner?

What’s impressive was that, as we were shooting in downtown San Francisco,
we couldn’t go ten minutes without someone throwing compliments at her,
left and right. From “You look gorgeous, by the way” to “DAYUM, work IT!”
But hey! I can’t blame em! She did indeed work it – and she looks so elegant
and refined. She possesses the kind of beauty that only comes from classic
stars: Rita Hayworth, Julie London, and Billie Holiday. She has a look that
makes you say “Now that is a Woman.”

Hailing from New York, Necia started doing make-up out of pure interest.
As one job lead to the next, she managed to work on T.V shows, fashion
runways, and just about every kind of production you can think of.

Wanting a change in scenery, she moved to San Francisco in the hopes of
finding new business. Unfortunately, the fashion biz in San Francisco ain’t
as boomin as New York. But no worries! She’s a very talented woman who
we will see much more of in the near future. But if you can’t wait, feel free
to contact her for business by visiting her website yourself ;)

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Filed under Featured Fashionista, Photoshoots, Special, Spring, Women

My First *REAL* Photoshoot! (Designs By Justin Jamison)

Over the past six years I have been a part 20 or so photoshoots. Now,
by “photoshoot” I actually mean my friend and I, in a park, with his mom’s
digital camera (on full Auto), trying to take pictures of me doing model-like
poses. These weren’t even amateur photoshoots, but rather, two kids
taking pictures for their Myspace profiles.

Even though I’ve spent a decent amount of time behind the camera, I’ve
never had the opportunity to work with real models, in real designer
clothes, with real hair and makeup. So when my designer, Justin Jamison,
and I decided to collaborate on a shoot, I was completely over the moon.

I mean come on! This was it! This was my big breakthrough! My debut as an
aspiring editorial fashion photographer! In order to prepare, I spent days
looking through Vogue editorials, trying to figure out what made their
pictures so great. Why were their photos so distinct, so amazing, and so right?

The initial plan was simple: we photograph 4 outfits outside The
Contemporary Jewish Museum, and we finish in less than 2 hours.
Bada-bing-bada-BOOM! Done and done! But as the shoot came closer and
closer, giant obstacles started to rise from the ground.

First off, instead of shooting 4 outfits in 2 hours, I had to shoot 10 outfits in the same time frame. Mission
Impossible or Mission HELLA Impossible? PFFT! Whatever, bro! I have my external flash with me, so even
if it gets dark, I’ll light up that building like a Christmas tree, so we’re good to go! With my camera in hand,
I fired off like I was Rambo shooting down a helicopter *SNAP-SNAP-SNAP-SNAP*

But then I realized something that would change the entire shoot: the
building we planned on shooting at was a total black-hole. In other words,
the building wasn’t reflecting light from my external flash, instead,
it was sucking it in. What this meant was that now, I couldn’t rely on my flash
to light the building, I actually had to work faster than the sun was moving.

To make matters worse, a security guard came over and stopped our shooting, claiming that the Museum
managers prohibited our photography, even though they approved us the day before. This set us back
another 30-45 minutes. *tick-tock-tick-tock*

“The Models are getting cold!”
“We’re hungry!”
“My ride is coming soon.”
“The sun is going down!”
“We still have 2 more outfits!”

It was insane. I was moving around back and fourth like a line cook in a
busy restaurant, trying to cook dishes quickly while still maintaining quality.
I was moving around so much I felt like I was doing a session of P90X!

At the end of the shoot, my mind and body was completely empty. Not only did I go 8 hours without food,
but my ass cheeks started hurt, and my eyeballs felt like they were gonna jump out of my head.

As I look back at the shoot, I think about all of the set-backs we had, and
then I looked at the final shots… and ya know what? It turned out pretty
damn good. I mean, I have quite a ways to go before I get on Mario
Testino’s level, but with time and experience, I’m confident I’ll get there.

In a way, I’m glad all of that happened. The screw ups inspire me to become
perfect; to improve and hone my craft. But most importantly, this
photoshoot taught me to never dwell on current obstacles, but instead,
push them outside the window, and keep shooting.

Designer: Justin Jamison
Hair: Kao Vey Saephanh
Make-up: Necia Whitmore
Models:
Hugo Lopez
Gregory Vaughan
Ethan Wood
Joy Mann

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Filed under Featured Designer, Men, Models, Photoshoots, Special, Winter/Fall, Women

*Exclusive* Effie’s Heart: Fall 2010 Collection

As I paced around in awkward circles, I started to repeat to myself “I’m screwed. I’m screwed. I’m
screwed..” I mean seriously! How could I possibly take a decent photo with such bad scenery? How
can I photograph the outfits of this collection when there are over 4 dozen people walking around?
Then a lightbulb went off…..Why not take the models outside and photograph them on the balcony?

I AM A GENIUS! After the fashion show, all of the models fled to the balcony to take a group shot. A
crap load of family members/photographers came swarming in like a pack of zombies on a fresh corpse.
But while everyone was shooting fast enough to break their trigger finger, I just stood there; quiet as
ever and not taking a single shot. As the fog of premature paparazzi cleared the floor, I made my move
and grabbed the models. And the look on the photographers faces? PRICELESS!

“Aww crap! Why didn’t I think of that?”
________________________________________________________________________________

One of the things that I like to do when I look at a collection is to determine what song would go well
with these outfits. So, ladies and gentleman, what song goes well with the Effie’s Heart Fall 2010
collection? Initially, I had my eyes set on Etta James’ “Story Weather”, but as I looked at the
photographs more and more, I started to see a very different story…A story that was much more
delicate…

Although Etta James’ “Story Weather” is a beautiful song, it really doesn’t resonate with my image of
the typical Effie’s Heart woman. To me, Effie’s Heart is about being youthful. It’s about living a
carefree, simple, and full life. A life of good food, warm friends, and great lovers.

The Effie’s Heart woman is free spirited, independent, and loving. She can play the violin, sing you a
few Jazz songs, and she’s also one hell of a dance partner. She’s a smooth talker who not only can walk
the walk, but she can do it in heels.

She’s not cute. She’s not sexy. Hell, she’s not even hot. To me, the typical woman of Effie’s heart is
eternal. Her beauty is the beauty of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Natalie Wood – which is
to say that her beauty will be remembered for years to come. The kind of beauty that you
photograph and store in your wallet so at a moments notice you could take it out and shout to the
world “I am in love with this gorgeous woman!”


I think Kimo (the owner and designer of Effie’s Heart) said it best: “These clothes will never go out of
style, and that’s because they’re already old fashioned! They’re timeless. The same dress can be worn
by a daughter, a mother, and even a grandmother.” For the past few days I’ve been looking at these
pictures for hours on end and I can say with complete conviction that this is a very romantic
collection. It’s sweet, loving, caring, young, old, timeless, trendy, and completely and utterly beautiful.

Putting all of that into perspective, I think I’ve finally found the perfect song for this perfect
collection: Julie London’s “Fly Me To The Moon”. Why that song? Well, if you listen to it and look at
these pictures at the same time, you’ll see and feel why. Happy Holidays everyone.

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Filed under Fashion Shows, Featured Designer, Photoshoots, Special, Winter/Fall, Women

The REAL Gucci Man[e]: Union Square, San Francisco

I was walking briskly through the city when I saw this man speed across the corner of my eye as I said to myself “hmmm, looks like he’s wearing Gucci….HE’S WEARING GUCCI?!” Now boys and girls, there’s a big difference between the Gucci you know and the Gucci this man knows. The Gucci you know is shown in his bag, while the Gucci this man knows is actually everything from his shoes to the entire suit itself. Yes, he’s wearing ALL Gucci.

It’s weird seeing this, ya know? I’ve been keeping up with Frida Giannini’s work (Gucci’s Creative Director) for many years and I can honestly say that I have never seen an entire outfit on a real person, in person. I feel like a giddy school girl when I saw this but I was actually pretty excited seeing him wear this. Coincidentally, this man added me on Facebook and it turns out he’s a Gucci connoisseur! With most of his wardrobe consisting of Gucci products, he wears these luxurious clothes to work, parties, and even the supermarket.

Even though I think he would look much better in a 2 button suit as opposed to the 3, I still believe that this man has some pretty good style. I like the way he discreetly tucks in his scarf and I especially admire the level of break in his pants (which is none at all). So here’s to this man, a wonderful walking advertisement for Frida Giannini’s incredibly work. Molto Bello!!

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Filed under Men, Photoshoots

Blueberry Breakfast: Araceli Photoshoot #1

A few weeks ago Araceli approached me on Facebook asking if I could help build up her modeling portfolio. In a split second I was already thinking of ideas. Spellbound by this new opportunity to create art, I immediately thought of Karl Lagerfeld and Baptiste Giabiconi. Lagerfeld, notable for being the lead designer of Chanel, discovered male model Giabiconi and proclaimed him as “The new IT man!” Baptiste was now chained to Lagerfeld and basked in the fame and glory. My inspiration for this photoshoot with Araceli was this picture of Karl and Baptiste.

There’s something about Araceli that made me think “I can make something great out of her”. Like the picture of Karl/Baptiste – where Baptiste is wearing Lagerfeld’s clothes – Araceli is actually wearing my shirt. Well, to be more specific, we went shopping for her yet found a shirt that I wanted and decided she could wear that instead. But hey! It’s a good looking shirt, and it looks damn good on her.

I think every man fantasizes about the image of a woman wearing his clothes. It’s almost like a temporary branding – a way of saying “she’s mine”. But of course, the purpose of Araceli wearing my shirt was strictly for fashion. Seriously though, I love how well this fit her. Sure, it doesn’t fit like a woman’s shirt, but it fits in a more flowy/pajama way which still works. It’s smooth, it’s light, it’s fun, and it’s casual. So here’s to Araceli, the Baptiste to my Lagerfeld.

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Filed under Photoshoots, Women