31 Jul Freeze, In The Name Of Coffee
Another round of punch card photo shoots for Smokin’ Hot Espresso, one of my regular clients. Bikini baristas have been around for a while now, kinda almost old news, right? Everyone went the extra mile to dress up and keep their customers guessing with fun outfits when the bikini barista stands hit and were all the talk. As the controversy over the coffee stands slowly fades to a mild “eh, whatever,” the girls themselves who work the stands slip into lack luster effort with their themed “costumes,” giving away to simple swim suits most of the time. This is not the case any longer with Smokin’ Hot Espresso. They are bringing themes back AND sexy back (take that Justin Timberlake). This means your nurses, maids, cowgirls, cops… the list goes on of sexed-up outfits, you’ll see them all at Smokin’ Hot. This is one thing that there is not a lack of at this business, they really like to keep there customers happy with the themes, the punch cards, the calendars. They understand it’s more than just an eye candy experience for a lot of their customers, and they want to make it fun by doing the little things for everyone who stops by. I’d imagine it is quite the expense for a business to keep a team of baristas in coordinated costumes so that they have copies of every costume and are in unison.
One of the more interesting reactions I get from people after they see my work produced with businesses like Smokin’ are guys commenting, “man, I’d love to have your job,” or “you get paid for this!” or “gee it must be hard taking pictures of girls in underwear all day.” Quite honestly, it couldn’t be further from the truth. I guess just like anything else in life, when your work is putting food on the table, it’s not exactly “sexy” in your mind, you’re purely focused on producing great work to keep the food on the table. Sure, it’s definitely better than digging ditches all day, but being so into photography, the concept of enjoying photographs for the subject matter is not nearly as fascinating to me as the execution of the photographs themselves. It has kinda ruined that for me. I crack open a Maxim magazine, and instead of going “man, she’s hot,” my focus is on the photographer’s lighting and composition technique. It’s kinda screwed up, but I’m obsessed with lighting technique and how other photogs out there are rockin’ lights nowadays. So, no guys, I see lighting, highlights, shadows, checking for unflattering angles, and framing, not a skimpily-clad girl. Sorry, it’s not as rockstar as you’d think.
With Smokin’ getting back to wearing themed costumes every day at the stands, we wanted to make sure we incorporated that into the photography this time around. Costumes are fun for a multitude of reasons, but I like them as a photographer because they are the perfect prop for my subjects. It makes my job easier in that there is now a character, a mood that goes along with each costume, and it’s not just a person standing there with no direction.
The cop costume was by far my favorite of the set, and allowed me to get a little more bold with the lighting. We worked a lot of different costumes in the same general area in and around my studio. So aside from changing outfits, I wanted to give the environment different feels with each costume. The cop outfit, easy… blast red and blue lighting colors around the room while also hitting the subject, instantly providing a more natural/projected environment for a cop character.
Spending time in the studio for some outfits, and others that were more suited in some of the spaces that exist in the same building as my studio. I’m sure if you have seen my work in the past, you’ll at least recognize the library space. It’s fun, and applies well for both complimentary and contrasting subject matter. I really love where my studio is located, I have more options than you can shake a stick at.
Enjoy the photos, costumes, and if you ever are in the Tacoma area, stop by a Smokin’ Hot Espresso stand and pickup your very own punch card with photography by yours truly.
July has been insane, lots of travel, jobs, and photos, hence the reason for the quiet blog. Events, product, branding, portrait, and aerial photography and video are among the last couple week’s projects. Now it’s just a matter of getting some of it up on the blog, along with a few coherent sentences. More coming your way soon!