Tip of the Day … Facial Expressions dominate a great Portrait – don’t be afraid to Experiment !!!

Helen’s Comp Card is a great example of how a variety of wardrobe and expressions really contribute to a super collection of Portraits. Whether you are working with your Photographer on a simple headshot or a full Modeling Portfolio it is still important to bring plenty of wardrobe. The smart model will put together several complete outfits days before their photo sitting to make sure all the elements are included in the “look”. This includes the shoes (boots, heels, kicks, etc), accessories like jewelry, hats, belts, scarves, and also any Props that might add energy and interest to the Portraits.

Another great tip that I learned a long time ago from a few of my favorite NYC Supermodels is for the model to practice expressions at home. Simply look into your big bathroom mirror and experiment with a variety of expressions. Sure a nice smile is great but there are also some powerful expressions with small smiles, closed mouth, open mouth, big eyes, looking over your shoulder back at the camera, and more. Grab a handful of fashion magazines and look to see what expressions the models are doing – then you copy their expressions in the mirror. Don’t be afraid to try these in front of the camera. You might be surprised at how great you look with an expression you never would have thought of on your own.

Another super tip is that if you are posing for the camera and start to feel like you are doing the same expressions over and over – try mouthing vowel sounds for the camera. Hahahahaha … I know you might feel a little silly but it works.  Sounding out vowels (a, e ,i,  o , and u) puts your mouth and cheeks in positions that often make for great expressions. The key to expressions is variety. Practice them and then try them for the camera. There are supermodels that don’t look good smiling but look awesome with an open mouth pouty look.

Lastly… don’t forget to experiment with how much you open your eyes for the camera. There are times when big eyes look fantastic and other times when squinting works best.

The good Photographers are going to be excited that you are working your face through a full range of expressions. You will discover that you have your own “look” with a handful of expressions that work best with the shape of your face. Have fun and enjoy your photo session… I guarantee it will pay off big time !!!

Live – Love – Laugh

All My Best,


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Props Rule !!!

Great portraits and modeling portfolios are about more than a beautiful face and some nice clothing. One of the most fun ways to really make a photo “pop” with energy is by adding a Prop. The prop is simply an object that enhances the look of the model or the scene. I love props that my model can hold in her/his hands. By holding onto an object it gives the model a ton of options to add life and interest to the scene.

The Umbrella in this beach photo is a perfect example of a prop adding energy to the scene. Not only does it give the model some extra options to her posing but it also provides some shade that enhances the lighting. Plus the umbrella’s fun color and pattern adds a little surprise!!!

Very cool… So when you’re choosing your wardrobe for your photo session don’t forget the extra elements like PROPS – jewelry – plenty of shoe selections – and maybe even a little touch up make-up.

Yeah … Now Live Love and Laugh

All My Best,


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Tricks of the Trade from the Age of the Dinosaurs !!!

Professional Photographers use all kinds of specialized lighting equipment, crazy expensive camera lenses, and countless formulas of  “darkroom” trickery. A few years back Photography became more about pixels than about film and chemistry. However even today the world’s top photographers and film directors still rely on the awesome “look” of film.  Sure … digital is often sharper and more true to what we see in real life. But there is still something magical about the look that we used to get when all Photographer explored film. I know that a lot of my younger models, and even my youthful clients have never used a film camera. In the past 10 years those cameras have become dinosaurs. Never-the-less the techniques and the looks that used to get from film cameras is still all over the place in the digital world.

Today’s Model of the Day is a superstar named Dimona. We clicker her super cool portrait with all that crazy curly hair and those big blue eyes on a 35mm Nikon film camera. Then had our old Lab process the film in the wrong chemistry. Yes… we did that on purpose.

The “look” is stunning… a little off and yet very cool. The really great Photographers never sit still and never do the same things over and over again. I adore working with new fresh faces and trying something I’ve never done before. It makes life exciting and far from “ordinary”. If you’re one of those people looking to stand out from the crowd then call me. We’ll create something bold and fresh …. even if it does involve a camera and some film from the days of the dinosaurs !!!

Live Love Laugh


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Why Choose Studio Sparks ? Maybe it’s for the Studio !!!

Other Photographers call me to ask – “how in the world do I create so many amazing photos so often”?

Of course there are lots of reasons with experience leading the list. However in all honesty one of the reasons is our actual studio space is huge and set up to make great portraits.

We have a ton of sets and dozens of backgrounds. If you have never had the pleasure seeing and actual Hollywood Studio Warehouse then you probably have no idea of what all goes into creating the surroundings for great photography. As much as I love going on location for the shear variety of backgrounds I also have to admit that a really “BIG”  studio is awesome!!! Our Studio is 3200 square feet and  offers the opportunity for perfect fashion style lighting – toasty warm climate on those freezing winter days and a luxurious cool environment on the days when Atlanta is so so so hot!!!

Our Studio is in Midtown Atlanta near the oh so hip Atlantic Station Shopping Area (can you say Ikea – hahahaha). We are just across the street from Georgia Tech University. Parking is free and right in front of our front door. Sparks Studios faces a new restaurant called Six Feet Under that opened up a short while ago. The calamari tacos are to die for !!!

Like I said… we love to shoot outdoors and on location but there is nothing like having a BIG Studio. Check out the photos below. The next time you talk to a Photographer… ask them about their studio. If they say they only shoot outdoors or in their basement then I’d say bye bye… “I’m just sayin”…

Enjoy Life – Laugh – Have Fun



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