editorial

Creative Collab. - Nicole Andrea MUA by Victoria Lemos

This blog post is being published way overdue, but I need to get it up before the month ends! A few weeks ago I worked with my cousin and sister to create these fun portraits using a backdrop and natural light in my driveway. My sister loves doing makeup and recently went freelance, so she is now booking appointments for makeup sessions. We thought it'd be great for us to work together, so we had our cousin over, Nicole did her makeup, and then we took photos!

For the styling, we wanted something chic yet simple. I used a white backdrop and played with my edits in Lightroom to create a more vintage look. I absolutely love how all of the photos turned out!

Check out Nicole here for more of her work! 

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UW Campus Portraits w/ Ava by Victoria Lemos

The past few weeks have been pretty busy & stressful (LSAT studying is no joke) but I really want to get a few blog posts up before this month ends soon. I had quite a few sessions & I want to share my favorite images from each! 

A few weeks ago I was thinking about finally shooting creatively again since it's been a few months. Usually, I'll just look for potential models on Instagram & reach out. I was in the process of thinking about styling ideas when I received a DM from Ava who asked if I'd be interested to shoot! I immediately knew I loved her look so after discussing styling ideas we agreed to meet at UW Seattle campus & take some portraits. At this same time, I had found a Brandy Melville account specifically made for the new Washington location. I had contacted the account manager and she linked me a few potential models I could work with for the brand. Once Ava and I met up, I realized she was wearing Brandy Melville (coincidentally) so I knew right away I wanted to send a few images to the account. Here are a few of my favorites! We ended up being featured & that to me, is pretty cool. Brandy Melville is known for only advertising using white models so I'm happy we were able to bring beautiful diversity into the mix. 

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Enter the Studio w/ Vivian & Amanda by Victoria Lemos

I'm currently typing this blog post up at nearly midnight on the last day of March, but I wanted to publish it before the next month begins because my goal is to actually stay on top of my blog posts and post more during each month!

This one is a bit overdue, but I've been so looking forward to putting it together! I've never shot indoor studio/natural light portraits before, but it's always been on my priority list. I've shot with studio light equipment, but honestly, it's not my favorite. I prefer natural sunlight, the way it falls so perfectly on the face, hitting all of the right angles and neither hitting too strong nor too light. It always seems to fall perfectly if you learn how to position your model right. Besides, when it comes to my business and what I offer, it's all natural/outdoors. I've shot indoors with backdrop equipment but always with natural light. 

Recently I had found a natural light photography studio on Instagram called Enter the Studio. It's owned by a photographer I follow who rents it out for others to use right in the heart of Pioneer Square, Seattle. I immediately fell in love when I took a look at the account and gazed at the beautifully lit interior. I so badly wanted to shoot there! So badly that I actually participated in an Instagram contest that the owner hosted but unfortunately did not win. Thankfully, the owner ran a special Spring Sale a few weeks after that contest, and I scored an hour in the studio for only $35! WHAT? I was ecstatic! Right away I began contacting models I had been meaning to shoot with and asking them if they might be available. 

Since I only had one hour in there, I wanted to utilize my time wisely and decided to shoot two girls back to back. It was my first time meeting Amanda in person and shooting her as well. Her cool attitude and gorgeous features made shooting her such a breeze. Although we were in a time crunch, she was so well prepared and down for anything I spontaneously thought of. She kept giving me killer pose after pose without any direction (I later found out that she's actually signed in L.A.)! 

I also got to shoot Vivian once again. She's always such a pleasure to be around, and I was excited to see her since it's been awhile. I think the last time I shot her was for prom... and that was a year ago! Needless to say, we had an amazing time shooting in the studio, and I was happy with how excited she got every time I gave her a sneak peek of the photos on the back of my camera. The portraits we took of her sitting in front of a simple peach-colored backdrop I'm particularly proud of... simple yet incredibly gorgeous.

The hour ended quickly, but by the time we had to leave I was too excited and happy with what we all had created to feel sad that we couldn't have more time. We used every minute that was available to us and had a fun time during it all. I couldn't have asked for a better experience considering it was my first time doing anything like this. 

We all parted ways except Amanda had on a third outfit that I thought would look cool out on the sidewalks. We parked close to each other coincidently, so we simply took a few steps down the block and found some cool spots to take photos. They ended up being some of my favorites of all time. 

Creative Collab. - Margo (@margodoesmakeup) & Dominique by Victoria Lemos

I finally got around to finishing up the images from my creative shoot with Margo and Dominique. This shoot was extremely fun. I had come across Margo and her makeup artistry on Instagram a few months back and had always kept her in mind for future creative work. Her younger cousin Dominique I had found on Instagram as well and she had done a few modeling gigs so I wanted us three to work together on something amazing. 

Once we had the time to schedule a shoot I collected inspiration on Pinterest (my go-to for all inspiration and photography tips), shared the images with both of them, and basically asked Margo to have fun with the makeup look! I trust her because she is so dang good! 

The day of our shoot it was raining but luckily our ideas called for a white backdrop using natural light so we were able to set up in an open garage while shielding ourselves from the rain. Before the shoot, I stopped by Albertsons and picked up a few fun props: Kit Kat, fun colored lollipops, bubble gum, and a vintage looking bottle of lemonade. 

Here are my favorite images from our shoot. I look forward to working with Margo again and I recommend her to anyone looking for professional makeup when it comes to any events or photo shoot needs!

City Rooftop w/ Rahima by Victoria Lemos

Wow. This shoot is probably my all-time favorite. Why? Because everything executed itself so smoothly... the shoot went fantastic because of the model, the editing process was quick and fun, and the final images made me so happy and proud because of how wonderful they turned out. 

Rahima and I went to high school together and I actually took both her prom and senior photos. Ever since then I've wanted to shoot with her creatively because I always thought she was gorgeous and so easy to work with in front of the camera. After awhile of us talking about potentially working together again, we finally made it happen this month (3 years later, but oh so worth it) and I could not have been more excited. We quickly bounced some ideas back and forth and decided to shoot in Seattle for a cool edgy styled shoot. The day we chose was set to be overcast but that's exactly what I wanted. One of the most important, yet underrated rules I've learned throughout my experience of being an outdoor/natural light photographer, is that overcast/gloomy weather produces the best lighting for portraits. I can't deny the magic of golden hour lighting of course, but for me, flat/neutral lighting helps contour the face so beautifully and smoothly. 

We shot on a now popular rooftop for my shoots as of late, and Rahima kept giving me pose after pose with pretty much no direction on my end. She was honestly such a natural. 

When I began to edit the images we shot, I was immediately blown away. The editing was just so easy for me because of the color palettes, composition, and lighting. Every component was just spot on.

I sent the photos to Rahima and she was equally in love and so excited. It makes me so happy to create with others and I'm so blessed to have something in life that I am so overwhelmingly passionate about. Suprisingly, Rahima actually doesn't model seriously at all but after this shoot, I encouraged her right away to go for it and she told me she felt inspired! Keep your eyes open, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see this girl on more than a few billboards one day. 

Creative Collab. - Aygin (www.beautycornerxo.com) by Victoria Lemos

Awhile back Aygin contacted me about shooting some fashion portraits for her fashion & beauty blog. She was envisioning something with a more edgy/city vibe and had actually noticed the rooftop I shot at for my last collaboration with Anna! She really liked the rooftop setting and I thought it'd be perfect for the outfit she wanted to shoot. 

This was my first time shooting a fashion blogger and I definitely don't want it to be the last! It was so much fun not only taking portraits of her gorgeous self but also close-ups of the different outfit components she wanted to showcase. Check out a few of my favorite shots below and browse her beautiful website at www.beautycornerxo.com

If you're a fashion blogger or blogger of any kind and are interested in a specific set of images for your website and social media, please contact me so we can create! 

Creative Collab. - Anna Nguyen (@annanguyenslife) by Victoria Lemos

Another video collaboration with Anna and this time she decided to film a New Year's lookbook video! It was my second time trying my hand at videography and this time I felt more comfortable, especially since I was shooting the same person during my first try. Anna is always such a sweet person to work with and the outfits she wore for this video were GORGEOUS. She even had her boyfriend join so she could have him in the video. I, of course, took the opportunity to take some quick shots of them together because they just looked so good. Here are a few of my favorite shots and the video that Anna edited and put together! 

By the way, we shot in 30-degree weather... I have absolutely no clue how Anna managed to work in such temperature but she did and with such a positive attitude! 

Creative Collab. - Anna Nguyen (@annanguyenslife) by Victoria Lemos

Another collaboration with a fellow creative that I met on Instagram awhile back and this time I was able to practice my skills at videography! 

Anna and I have shot before for creative purposes and I loved working with her. This time around she contacted me asking if I could help her out on a fashion lookbook video for her YouTube channel. The trade off included creative shots that I could style and the results were everything that I could've asked for and more. She really made my vision come to life with the set of photos I had a particular look in mind for. I loved shooting her lookbook as we hit a few cool spots in Seattle, even one that I had never been to before (parking garage rooftop on 3rd & Stewart). 

Anna herself is an amazing individual. I appreciated our time together not only for the creative purposes but for our talks and reflection on what it means to both of us who have undying passions for artistic mediums. We discussed the joy we both feel when creating but at the same time, the uncertainty that creatives often feel when it comes to future success and accomplishments. Along with this, the importance of not distracting yourself with those around you who try to be just as creative, and unique as well, is something that should always be remembered. Sometimes it can be hard, especially for those trying to create something that has personal meaning and creativity, to not compare with the work and success of others. But in doing this, you lose sight of why you do what you do. It should never be for other people anyway, you should be creating for self-enjoyment and skill. The admiration and positive feedback you receive from others is just a pleasant add-on. 

This is especially hard to keep in mind during a time when most young people are submerged in social media: sharing art with others and measuring personal success on the amount of "likes" and comments we receive. It's not about that in the end. It's really about keeping your passion alive and focusing on self-improvement. Everyone is different and unique. That means that whatever we create has our own individual touch that can never be duplicated no matter how hard someone tries. 

All in all, it was a very splendid time and I appreciated bonding with Anna over something we both have a passion for.

Now onto what we created! The images below are from the set I styled. Check out more under +Portfolio > Portrait to view shots that I took of Anna during our other shooting locations for the lookbook video. Also, check out Anna herself @annanguyenslife on Instagram and scroll down to the bottom of this blog post to view our final video creation on her YouTube channel! 

Photography Collab. - Linh (@thelittlerabbit) by Victoria Lemos

Awhile back I finally met someone in real life for the very first time. Linh and I had only known each other online. I followed her on Instagram because of her creative eye and we talked a few times through the app trading feedback on each other's work and discussing the possibility of working together sometime.

After a few months (probably closer to half a year) we finally made it happen. I took a bus to Pioneer Square and we spent half a weekday walking through the city, talking about our love for photography, discovering new photoshoot spots, and taking photographs of each other (of course). It was SO. MUCH. FUN. It's the most enjoyable time when you hang out with somebody who has such a strong passion for the same things you do. Linh was such a sweet person altogether; we definitely plan on meeting up again soon. 

I was so happy with the photographs I took of her, she definitely has a versatile look because every cool spot we came across I had to get a shot. This last one was completely unplanned too, we were on the rooftop of her apartment complex, I took in the beautiful views and yelled, "Linh, quick! Can I get a shot of you here?" She was so cool to work with. 

These next shots are the ones Linh took. I was completely blown away when I viewed them for the first time. She made me feel like a model, which is definitely something I'm not used to. Check her out on Instagram @thelittlerabbit!  

Beto & Mebe Co. by Victoria Lemos

Finally, I can reveal what's been secret for about a month now! Earlier this summer I was asked to take headshots for a couple who have decided to start a business together offering makeup & hair services. Beto does hair, Mebe does makeup, and combined, they create stunning, classy, yet edgy looks for a variety of different events. 

This shoot was definitely something new for me. I was familiar with headshot work and have even used my paper backdrop a few times but this was something I was excited for because I was working with a hair & makeup team for the very first time. I specialize in outdoor, natural light portrait photography so I was thankful for an overcast afternoon on the day we decided to shoot. The sun was hidden behind clouds which provided a beautiful even lighting situation for these portraits. All in all, I used my Canon 85mm 1.2 lens, a simple silver stool, my Savage Universal seamless paper backdrop, a stand for the backdrop, and a light diffuser to diffuse any harsh sunlight that managed to peak through the clouds (which thankfully, wasn't often). 

Beto & Mebe were awesome to work with that day and made the entire shoot a really enjoyable time. The shoot was pretty much a Beto & Mebe Co grand opening as well, with snacks, balloons, pizza, and lots of music. Here is a photo recap of that day. Make sure to check out their new website at www.betoandmebeco.com and check out more headshot images under +Campaigns > Beto & Mebe Co 2016.