Fashion Photography | Tracie Cotta Photo Shoot One - part 2

Video by Tracie Cotta


In part 1 of Shoot One we shot in Tracie's front yard, her bedroom, downtown Fullerton, Disneyland and at a local park. That left 2 days... which took us to San Diego and back up to the OC Fair for part 2.

San Diego "secret" location

Years ago I saw some photos on flickr that were really cool... they had very dynamic lighting... and the location was outstanding. I'm not usually a big fan of girls in bikinis just for the sake of showing skin... but these were really good shots otherwise. I was about to do our first photo shoot of Paul Dateh and I wanted a really cool place to shoot... so I contacted the photographer and asked about the location.

"It's a secret."

Oh. Well that sucked. I sorta understood because if you have a cool location that you use often you may not want it to be swarming with every kid with a DSLR and a cute girl at his disposal... sooner or later that will cause problems with the owners/tenants/neighbors... someone. But I couldn't just give up... so I plead my case a little harder... and he finally relented... but only after I promised not to share the locale with any other photographers. And I haven't. So... don't ask where these were done. I made a promise and I like to keep those. When I can.

We got to the location about an hour before sunset... we planned on getting through two outfits... I hadn't even seen the first one, but LOVED it. Tracie knows how to put together an interesting ensemble, that's for sure.

And she knows how to look fierce.

Tracie Cotta

Tracie Cotta

Tracie Cotta

Tracie Cotta

Tracie Cotta

Tracie Cotta

For the final shot, just after the sun dropped below the horizon, Tracie quickly changed and we took this final photograph... and then, like teeny tiny vampires... a flock (or is it swarm?) of blood-thirsty mosquitoes chased us back to the car.

Tracie Cotta

The OC Fair

In the 16 or so years I've lived in Orange County... I think I've only actually been to the fair like 3 times. Once to shoot a Noodle Scar episode and twice just for fun.

This year Tracie and I decided to go on the last day it was open... and we ended up having a lot of fun and not shooting very many photos... but two stood out as ones I loved. The fair really is a good place to capture color and lights... kinda like Vegas. But with barn animals and carnies.

Tracie Cotta

Tracie Cotta

Fashion Photography | Tracie Cotta Photo Shoot One - part 1


Tracie and I have been planning to shoot together for a couple months now... we were just waiting for the right project to start it for. We had decided to drive an RV across California for a week and shoot in various locations, and had 2 other people coming with us... one was an assistant and one was another model. Tracie, being a makeup artist and hair stylist as WELL as a model was going to do all the hair and makeup... and I'd have 2 models to shoot across California.

Unfortunately as the date approached the other two participants had to cancel... so we decided to change the scope of the project and relaunch it another day. Details about that will be coming... and there will be a cool one-on-one workshop opportunity for one person.

So... we decided to just stay home and shoot at a few local locations... and just try to keep it simple and get one photo done each day for the week. We ended up shooting for 7 days and came away with 20 photos that we liked... and here are the first 9 of them... shot between Sunday and Thursday. The video above has a TINY amount of behind the scenes footage... we actually did a terrible job of recording... but we are planning another shoot week coming soon and we will do a full behind-the-scenes-explain-everything "tutorial" series of videos then.

Sunday

Tracie actually needed a new headshot for something... and while the actual headshot is nice and normal and worked fine... this was our favorite of the 10 minute headshot session in front of her house.

Tracie Cotta

Monday

On Monday we went to the Disneyland employee theater to watch Beauty and the Beast... so we didn't actually have much time to shoot afterwards... we decided to set up a couple of small flashes and a ringflash for a vampirish shot in Tracie's room. I've gotten some interesting/cool feedback on the backdrop so far... what do you think it looks like / reminds you of / actually is?

Tracie Cotta

Tuesday

We wanted to do something with a slightly city feel to it so we decided to head to downtown Fullerton. There is a small street with some cool streetlamps that I thought would give the look I was going for... sorta city girl in the city at night. Then we walked to a little cement park with a bunch of benches for the next shot.

Tracie Cotta

Tracie Cotta

Wednesday

Having a Deluxe Disneyland pass means I can visit Disneyland almost any day of the year except Saturdays and holidays... which works out perfectly since I don't actually WANT to be there on those crowded days.

We started out at The Grand Californian Hotel at an interesting fireplace that just sorta exists outside at a patio.

Tracie Cotta

The we took off into the park with intentions of shooting at the big blue staircase... but also happened upon some gorgeous light on the wooden bridge near Big Thunder Mountain while on our way. We stopped just to look at the water really quick and Tracie said "oooh, sun" and she automatically started posing as I automatically backed off with the camera at my eye. It was actually really hilarious. But you're probably not laughing. I guess you had to be there.

Tracie Cotta

Tracie Cotta

Tracie Cotta

Thursday

Thursday was a bit of a letdown... we actually planned on shooting at the OC Fair but the parking was closed by the time we got there... so we just went to a park and took this. We also witnessed some people doing some sort of cultish idolish thing while wrapped in a blanket... and ended up ruining the fun of 3 guys and a girl on the other side of the park who were doing who knows what in the big rocketship on the playground but took off when we started shooting right outside of where they were... too bad for them (though it was unintentional)!

Tracie Cotta

Friday we actually did our best work... so I decided to save that for the next post... coming Monday... and we revisited the fair after that for the final shots.

Comic Con 2009

Tracie and I were lucky enough to be offered tickets to Comic Con for a day by Steven Knuth... so we drove down in the morning and spent a half day there before heading over to the Jinx party at Tivoli Bar in Gaslamp.

I absolutely enjoy the costumes that people make and wear... even the terrible ones. We saw lots. We recorded some. We show only a few.

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Micah Lee Photo Shoot

Anyone who follows The Bui Brothers' photography at all has probably noticed that we don't really shoot many guys. We've done some headshots here and there and shot Schlomo earlier this year... but we're REALLY lacking in guy photos outside of wedding/engagement shoots. Apparently we do fashion photography of women only.

Tracie not only pointed this out... but also offered a start to the solution. Micah is her friend and she set up a shoot for us and came up with the theme for the day as well... a silent film actor. Never much one for using a shoot day for only one look... I decided on 3 we all liked... and environmental portrait of Micah in his "element", a fashion photography set, and the silent film set which was the point of the whole shoot.

The first was a simple environmental portrait. It shows Micah in his room... in front of a bookcase full of DVDs and small collectibles... and topped with a movie poster for Vertigo.

Micah Lee

We then went out to the yard-ish area for a few "post-apocalyptic" (if the apocalypse destroyed everything but a nice stash of clean clothes and a garden gnome) fashion photography shots.

Micah Lee

Micah Lee

After this we hopped out front of the house for an shot lit from the front by a street light... with backlighting of the telephone pole, satellite dish and tree provided by the security lights of the restaurant out at the main street.

Micah Lee

Then... for the main set... Micah changed into an interesting looking suit and Tracie applied a bit of makeup to create "creepy silent film Micah". He was a lot like regular Micah except for the extreme creepiness and eye liner. We went down to Old Town Orange for these ones... the architecture there fit perfectly.

Micah Lee

Micah Lee

Micah Lee

Micah Lee

The video gives a small behind the scenes glance (literally just a glance) at the shoot. This is Tracie's first video (she shot almost all of it AND edited the whole thing on her new MacBook Pro) and I think it does a good job (mostly due to the excellent choice of music) of properly creating a mood for the photos. Oh, and the video was shot entirely on the iPhone 3GS. Enjoy!

Drawing (wrestling) with Tracie

I have been wanting to learn to draw... well... pretty much since I was a kid. Unfortunately I've never had the patience for it... so I do no more than 2 or 3 drawings once every 5 or 6 years... and then drop it again.

This time I had "help"... though she wasn't much help at all. Tracie is actually pretty darn good at drawing, and although we didn't finish in this video we'll post her finished product very soon. I suppose we'll post mine, as well... but don't expect anything good. Or decent. Or ok.

Yes, this video has wrestling in it.

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Eating Fire for Independence

On July 4th I went over to Tracie's to hang out and enjoy the evening with her and her friends Ribbin and Dave. I had planned on picking up fireworks on the way over... just to light and enjoy a little... nothing big, loud or fancy... just some sparklers (which yes, are completely lame now) and maybe one of those spraying sparkly brick thingies.

Unfortunately all the fireworks booths I could find had closed already. What??? It was 9pm on Independence Day... surely there was one open catering to those who had procrastinated and not bought fireworks until the last minute!

No.

So... having failed my mission, I showed up empty handed. After we climbed down from the roof (we enjoyed Disneyland's fireworks show from the roof of the garage) I got a replacement idea. I had watched an episode of Scam School with Brian Brushwood where he shows some people how to eat fire with nothing more than cotton balls... and.. well... fire.

This is what ensued.

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