Monday, December 9, 2013

Allure: 5 Questions With Cameo

When I wanted to explore a marriage of graphic fashion looks and expressive fine art emotion, with just a touch of exotic flavor, I knew Cameo Hopper was our gal. She not only brings a beautiful balance of these aesthetics to the stage, but, she also brings a high level of creativity to a shoot. I knew she would be the perfect collaborator for our creative visual exploration.

My influence for this shoot is drawn from two main sources. In addition to a continuation of my Herb Ritts influence of graphic shapes and high contrast, I also injected some 2000s beauty looks, loosely influenced by Kate Moss, one of my supermodel heroes.

After only 10 months experience under her belt, Cameo has already become a sought-after presence on the SW Missouri modeling scene. But, modeling is only part of the Cameo equation. In the winter of 2013, she graduates from Missouri State University with a double major in Biology and Psychology. After a brief break, it's off to grad school.

We sat with Cameo for five hard boiled questions to get right down to the bottom of things.

AB: What excites you about a photo shoot?

Cameo: During a photo shoot I'm most excited about getting to be creative. I think creating a picture is like painting a picture. Wardrobe, makeup, poses are like selecting colors to paint with!

AB: What is one stereotypical modeling myth you'd like to debunk?

Cameo: I would like to debunk the myth that a model over age 21 has no future in this industry.

AB: Where do you find creative inspiration?

Cameo: I find creative inspiration in people. Emotions are the most beautiful thing a person has to share. I find inspiration in the triumphs and success of others. Their happiness makes me happy, their joy lifts my heart, and etc.

AB: You are given $100K to spend in a day, what is your first purchase?

Cameo: The very first thing I would buy with 100k is a plane ticket to Italy! I want to travel the world and that's first on my list!!

AB: What is one thing people don't know about you?

Cameo: Most people don't know that I was a major tomboy growing up. I was the girl who played in the dirt and beat the boys at sports!!

There you have it! Be sure to follow Cameo's modeling page on Facebook for all the latest stops on her journey:

My deepest gratitude to Cameo for a wonderful creative collaboration.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sculptress: 5 Questions With Celka

If you have your eyes on the Springfield modeling scene or your ears on the area music scene, you have probably seen or heard of Ms. Celka Ojakangas. She is a lovely southwest Missouri-based model and talented musician and violist.

I was very fortunate to secure Celka, who channeled her inner Grace Kelly, to help me explore some looks inspired by fashion photography icon, Herb Ritts. Mr. Ritts was active during the 1970s until his death in 2002. Aside from some of the world's most iconic fashion photographs, he directed evocative commercials and music videos, including Madonna's, "Cherish," and Chris Isaak's, "Wicked Game."

Celka's beautiful statuesque features embodies the "sculptural elegance" look I was after, so, I knew she would be an excellent collaborator for an afternoon of creative exploration. We were fortunate to also partner with Cindy Rhodes for Celka's lovely hair and makeup, which further evokes the clean lines and sculptural feel of our theme, with just a dash of old Hollywood glamour.

We sat down with Celka for 5 piercing questions, in order to help the world get to know her a little better.

AB: How long have you been modeling?

Celka: I have modeled off and on since 2009, but only started pursuing it seriously last November in 2012.

AB: Where do you find creative inspiration?

Celka: I take creative inspiration from every type of art. I am a musician and like to draw off and on. I believe there’s beauty in any medium. Modeling is the same – it’s not just about fashion, it’s about art.

AB: What is one piece of modeling advice you wish you received when you started?

Celka: Modeling isn’t about being as rigid as possible. Open up. Don’t be afraid to try unique poses. If the photographer is any good, they’ll tell you if it’s too strange.

AB: Beatles or Elvis?

Celka: As a musician, the Beatles, of course! Their music encompasses three decades. The same can’t be said for Elvis.

AB: What is one thing people don't know about you?

Celka: Quite a few know this about me, but for my followers who only know me for modeling, I’m actually a giant dinosaur enthusiast. If I wasn’t a musician, I would be a paleontologist. Can you say “nerd?” Haha.

You may find Celka on Facebook at: Be sure to give her page a like to keep up with her latest endeavors.

A special thanks to Cindy Rhodes for Celka's beautiful hair and makeup, and many thanks to the lovely Celka for a most wonderful collaboration.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mother and Daughter Session: Mary and Melodie

Melodie has grown in front of the camera with me. In 2009, I placed a search for models to help with my illustration work. Neither of us knew what we were doing, photographically, but she was game to go along with any idea I wanted to try with my camera -- four-mile hikes at dawn, nighttime jaunts through a crowded neighborhood, and an epic six-hour illustration session complete with theatrical period costumes and props, to name a few.

In return, I had the good fortune of photographing many milestones in her life, from opening night with her band to her wedding and new baby.

Now, I'm very excited to be including photography to my creative services. When the time came to add the Mother/Daughter session to my repertoire, I knew she needed to be involved.

As you can see, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Melodie's mother, Mary, was a bit apprehensive, having never truly spent time in front of the camera, but she was an absolute natural. Most importantly, the beauty of this relationship beams in their images. It's the documentation of a very special bond, unlike any other, and one I'd love every mother and daughter to experience.