Tuesday, December 27, 2011


The last blog I wrote was in October and I deeply apologize for dropping the ball on that one. I am in the process of having a new website designed by the Ashay Media Group (http://www.ashay.com/) and they are going to incorporate everything I do into a single centralized location (my photography, blog, workshops, e-commerce, etc.). So this, my dear readers, may be the last blog I write on Blogger.  Hopefully, I will be launching the new site in January. It’s been a good run here and I am happy that because of readers like you, I was able to flourish and grow as a photographer and writer as well.

As the year comes to an end, I always take a moment to reflect on the past year and I begin to make plans for future endeavors. I am still on my course and as I venture forward, each and every task that I perform moves me one step closer to the ultimate goal:  becoming a better photographer.

This past year was a busy one.  I shot for a lot of hair salons in the New York tri-state area.  I shot no less than three clothing campaigns.  In the month of October alone I had editorials in three magazines (Essence, Bleu and Hollywood Weekly, respectively) and recently completed the Fall collection of Adha Zelma jewelry (affectionately named "Solstice") (http://www.adhazelma.com), as well as their upcoming Spring 2012 campaign.  I have now joined the ranks of the "big dawgs" and acquired a Hasselblad H2 along with a Phase One digital back.  So now equipped to shoot like the big dawgs my one true love is still, and always will be, film photography. There is a magic that I cannot explain and unless you shoot film, you won’t understand it either.

There are a multitude of people instrumental in this endeavor and I wish to thank them one by one (in no particular order). Without these wonderful and influential people in my life, I would not be the photographer I am today. I normally write this blog on my anniversary (in April), but it seemed so befitting to do it now.

Mother Logan – Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you and every time I think of giving up, I hear your voice in my head and my heart telling me: “it is not an option.” You are sorely missed.

Butch Johnson (http://www.styledbybutch.com/) – To the brother that I never had and glad I do now. Without you in my corner, my work would’ve suffered immensely. Thank you.

Sidnie Johnson – For being with me from day one. Without you in my life, I would’ve never known that I could do this. ‘

Jordan Brown (http://www.fullcirclecounseling.net/) – To my soulmate. You make me a better person every day. I thank you for being in my corner and for being who you are. I love you.

Michael Maddox (http://www.dearmichaelmaddox.com/, http://www.michaelmaddoxrunway.com/, http://www.michaelmaddoxblog.com/ and all the Cali boys) – The true spirit of the definition of “twin”. Not a day goes by that I am not saying your name. You have elevated me to heights that I never would’ve dreamed possible. You taught me to win by using grace over conceit, love over hate and humility over brawn. You and all the “West Coast Posse” have made it possible for me to be a major influence from coast to coast. (Much love to B.J. Williams, Justin Shaw, Michael Calloway, Robert Dowdy, Brandon Rice, Broderick Hunter, Brandon Lucas, Billy Payne, Marcus Hill, Christopher "Kobe" Gray, Marlon Yates, Vince Allen, Nathaniel Hamilton, Norman, Quay Fields, Tarrance Gardner, Keith Carlos, Steph Jones, Terrance Gant, Anthony Gallo, Antonio Richmond, Kevin Calloway, Chris McCain, Zion Babbs, Melvin Diggs, Daimion Henry, Davon Brown, AnDre Washington, Mamadou Sall, Nathaniael Wade, Nathaniel Lamar, Stephen Cole - I know there are countless others, these are the only ones I could think of off the top of my head!).

Goldin Martinez (http://www.getfocusedfitness.org/, http://www.youngnationinc.com/) – To the “Little Gemini That Could”. I am a force to be reckoned with because you taught me all about perception. I may not be a million dollar photographer yet, but you made sure that I shot like one. I thank you for your friendship, your love, your support and most of all, your loyalty.

Yusuf Myers (http://www.getfocusedfitness.org/, http://www.yusufmyers.com/) – Thank you for letting me know that I am better than I am. For never allowing me to doubt myself and for pushing me like I push you. Together, we will make history.

Shae Fontaine (http://www.shaefontaine.com/) – From stalker to friend to sister. I thank you for letting me know that I need to quit playing and making me realize that yes, I can play right alongside the “big dawgs”. Thank you for getting my book in front of the right people and for never letting me slack. Thank you for understanding my true Aries spirit.

Shawn Yon – Another person from another time and space. Thank you for revamping my eye every time I am in your presence. Thank you for opening up my eyes and my mind. And lastly, thank you for calling me out on every thing I SAY I am going to do and forcing me to actually DO it.

Jimi Sweet (http://www.jimisweet.com/, http://www.bigcitybaby.com/) – To one of the most under rated photographers I have ever met. Your talent humbles me, your wit floors me and your sarcasm keeps me on my toes. I look at your work and always say to myself: “really? REALLY?” Thank you for keeping me on the cutting edge of technology and not filling my mind with useless gadget chatter.

Greg Konop (http://www.gregjkonop.com/) – To one of my biggest supporters. You force me to become better with every photo shoot I do. Mud ducks included.

Marcus Gary (http://www.legendmanagementgroup.com/) – I thank you sir simply for just you being you and trying to make it a better place for models outside of New York and allowing me to help you mold them.

Kamran Khan (http://www.kamphotography.info/)  -  I thank you and all your talents, wisdom and patience for molding me into a better photographer and not allowing me to rest on any misconceived laurels I thought I MAY have had.  Thank you for the introduction to Marco Grob and thank you for never letting me settle for anything I do. 

Zenith Pimentel – To one of the most diligent and hardworking people out there. Thank you for being my homie, lover, friend! Thank you for pushing me when it was needed and thank you for being in my corner. Sometimes I don’t know what I would do without you.

Vaughn Jereaux (http://www.vaughnjereaux.com/) – When talent, craftsmanship and loyalty comes together, there is no other. I thank you for allow me into your sick and twisted world and allowing me to showcase your talent when so many others were trying to take you away.

Tim Johnson (http://www.timjohnsoninternational.com/) – With the talent and ability to shoot with ANY photographer around the world, you STILL decide to let me into your microcosmos. Thank you for training my eye as it pertains to hair. Allowing me to actually SEE hair as a character all unto itself. Thank you for ruining other hair stylists for me.

Steve Reganato (http://www.stevereganato.com/) – If nothing else, you will ALWAYS be my foray into the digital back world. It was YOU who allowed me to enter the realm of the big boys and allowed me to play with “big boy toys”. Without you, I would still be sitting in the corner playing with 35mms.

Sean Toussaint – No matter what ANYONE says, my life would never be what it is today without the famous words of “I cannot teach you photography” From every image I take, to every person I mentor, we ALL owe thanks to you. Without your artistic hand and no nonsense approach you molded me into the artist I am today. I thank you my friend, mentor and teacher. Thank you for making me LOVE film and TOLERATE digital.

Maya Guez (http://www.mayaguezart.com/) – Every artist’s obligation is to mold other artists (either deliberately or subliminally) and I thank you for that. You were (and still are) instrumental in my growth as an artist and photographer. I thank you for letting me into your world and allowing me to say: “Yes, I know Maya, and she is BAD ASS!” There is no one like you in the game and that’s the kind of status I want.

Rick Day (http://www.rickdaynyc.com/) – Thank you for producing the images that you produce, so I can go home and study what it is I need to study. There is nothing more thrilling to have my name mentioned in the same sentence as yours. You force me to stay on my toes and learn to develop myself as an artist and business man.

Stephen Eastwood (http://www.photographersportfolio.com/, http://www.stepheneastwood.com/) – My ultimate goal is to become a Master Of Light. Every blog, every workshop, every lecture, you are the go to man. You taught me how not to hoard information. You taught me how to share what I know. You taught me the true meaning of Light Is Light and without that, I would still be in the dark. Thank you.

Third Ward (http://www.3rdward.com/) – I thank you for allowing me to have a home away from home. I wish I could list everyone’s name individually, but each image I photograph, I love with people say “you shot this HERE?!!!” Oh yeah…

Luqman (http://www.luqmanfotography.com/) – From the very first day I met you, you have been quietly pushing me towards the realm of “that’s where I want to be”. Though you may not know it, you were one of the quiet influentials that have helped me grow as an artist. I thank you Luqman. I thank you very much.

Brian Mann Nance (http://www.mannatwork.net/) – ARIES ARIES ARIES ARIES. Thank you for being an ARIES. Thank you for the phrase “mud duck” Thank you for teaching me the difference between salon hair and shoot hair. Thank you for coining the phrase “illegal cable” and lastly thank you for never abandoning me when you are surrounded by some of the greatest talent in the world.

Damion Gerardo – My heart swells every time you post an image. Regardless if you painted a face, curled a wig, or photographed an image. The growth in your artistry is staggering and it makes my day when I get the text from you: “when are we going to shoot again?” It let’s me know that I am still a viable force in the industry.

Marcus Turner (http://www.marcusturnerphotography.com/) – Oh young Skywalker. You force me to take a hard look at myself and realize my true talent as a teacher, an artist and a technician. You counter everything I say with a “why” and it forces me to learn to say everything I say clearly and concisely. Though your ego is big, your heart is bigger and thank you for making me a better teacher with each passing day.

Stacy Etienne (http://www.stacybephotography.com/) – I see myself in you. I see my eye in you. I see my passion in you. I see my artistry in you. Above all, I see my Love of Photography in you. You teach me as well as show me grace in the arts. You show me where I’ve come from and realized that it doesn’t get EASIER, it gets HARDER, because WE become harder on ourselves. Never change who you are, because you are destined for greatness.

Angel Colon (http://www.steadyhandphotos.com/) – To my soldier boy with disposable income. If nothing else, I thank you for your support and I thank you because every image you take, you become more and more like a beast and you let me know one thing: “yeah, I am a pretty decent teacher.” Light Is Light.

Ivan Hicks (http://www.ivanhicksphotos.com/) – To one of the biggest supports of Light Is Light. I thank you for believing in me when no one else in Philadelphia would. They will see the light one day.

Lamonte Gwynn (http://www.lamontegphotography/) – I thank you for being a supporter of Light Is Light. The constant growth in your work lets me know that I am doing the right thing.

George Favios (http://www.georgefavios.com/) – Thank you to the man that has ALWAYS been in my corner even though he is half way around the world. You let me know that I am better than I am and to keep striving to become even better.

Isaiah Richardson – Of all the models I have ever shot, you have been THE MOST supportive in my career. I thank you. Every job you get, every shoot you do, every movie you make let’s me know that if you just keep grinding, you will be there.

Bruce Weber (http://www.bruceweber.com/) – Thank you for recognizing my talents. That means the world to me.

Lesley Pedraza (http://www.lesleypedraza.com/) – Thank you for just being such a fan and thank you for allowing me to be your friend.

Alva Page – From the runway to the studio, I want you to know that I love you and thank you for helping me mold models.

Rick Crank – To my NC connection. I want to thank you for your support. You’ve been there for me when I needed you the most.

Amy Dresser (http://www.amydresser.com/) – Your retouching skills astound the world. Thank you for allowing me into your vortex and making me a better retoucher.

Jill Greenberg (http://www.jillgreenberg.com/) – With you ramming lighting down my throat, how could I NOT give you a shout out. Thank you, Jill.

Joel Grimes (http://www.joelgrimes.com/) – Though we haven’t met face to face yet, I feel a connection that goes beyond lighting, beyond photography, beyond art. Thank you, Joel. You are an amazing talent.

Adha Zelma (http://www.adhazelma.com/) – Cherise/Sheanon thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to grow with you. You force me to grow and change every single time you walk into my studio. Each time becoming more magnificent than the time before. Rock on, girls.

Thank you to all the endless agencies, models, stylists, makeup artists, hair stylists, designers, bloggers and fans… Without you, there would be no me.

This list will be constantly updated and I am sorry for anyone I have left out. I want you to know I will do my damnedest in the upcoming year to make all of you proud.

Until then, shoot beautifully… Or go home…

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


 Babygrand in Film

Art can inspire. It can make you think. It can make you angry. It can make you transcend. From the early years of the Neanderthal man beating on trees to producers making beats using digital instruments, art will always be here to stay.

This blog is an accumulation of things both past and present and being an artist, sometimes it’s about going back to the basics in order to truly understand why I love what I love. I shoot beautiful models, beautiful clothing, beautiful scenes. I use high-end $20,000+ cameras and equally expensive lights. I teach others to go into themselves in order to bring the best out of them. But guess what makes me the most happy? Taking out a dusty old Mamiya medium format film camera and walking the streets capturing a moment in time and when a someone says: “thank you for showing me the way.”

Because of the digital era (be it music, photography, movies), we are constantly (and sometimes violently) moving forward at such an incredible pace for instant gratification that we take the learning curve and toss it aside.  We take the craft and theory and throw it out the window and we let our friends tell us just how wonderful we are and we sit on a cushion of self importance thinking “yeah, I’m the shit.”

I remember when I decided to take the professional plunge. I was snapping my photographs with the confidence of Peter Lindbergh, the eye of Helmut Newton and the savvy of Richard Avedon. My friends and family would praise my work and tell me just how wonderful my work was and in my little artistic vortex I believed them. But then I would show the same images to my teachers/mentors and with each photograph, they would chip away at my superego just to let me know that “Dallas, you AIN’T the shit” and after being knocked down a notch or two, I would go back to the drawing board in order to make it better the next go around. This practice continues even today (well not with the friends and family so much, they love me and now are even harder on me) but with my esteemed colleagues and professional peers, because I learned something recently:  you will always be better than those who can’t do what you do.  It’s when you enter an arena with like-minded equally talented individuals where you realize if your artistry and craft can really stand on its own.

I preach the gospel of “this is YOUR art and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,” however, there is another side of that coin: “you can always make your art better.” Be it taking a class (or taking a beating), because it forces you to sit back and evaluate who you really are, what you are and why you are the way you are. It doesn’t matter if you are a painter, a singer, a model or a brick layer. It should always be your destiny to be the best you can possibly be, because a better you will make a better me (you may not get that right now, but one day you will).

I don’t know a lot about life, I just know enough to where it made me the person I am today, and because of that, I am able to help the next person become the better person they are today. It may be as simple as listening.  It may be as simple as showing.  It may be as simple as knowing all the answers and being smart enough to shut up and let them figure it out for themselves (and offering that helping hand when needed).

My quest for today isn’t about being better than you. It’s about being better than me.

Think about it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Couple in Brooklyn

Second blog in the month of September and the month isn’t even at the half way mark. This is pretty good for me. Fashion Week is about to wind down in a couple of days, so that means shortly thereafter, I will be back into full-swing again. Nice vacation (if you want to call it that).

The reason for this blog (which is another one geared totally to photographers) is about what we do as it pertains to the industry. When it comes to working (be it a bus driver, a pastry chef, a teacher or a judge), we do one of two things. We either provide a service, or we provide goods. In some instances, we provide both.

And photographers, that is we do, we provide a service (photography) and lastly goods (photographs).

So what separates you from the next photographer? What makes a client decide to shoot with you instead of going to a competitor, and lastly, what makes that client become a repeat customer? The bottom line is: YOU.

My friend and world renowned runway coach Michael Maddox said something to me one time that he tells models all the time and it’s stuck with me: “get it right the first time and they will come back.”

If you provide shoddy service, and a substandard product, trust me, they will not come back. It’s the simple difference of going to a restaurant and in Restaurant A you have to always ask for water, and in Restaurant B, your glass is never empty. Guess which restaurant will get the repeat patronage? It’s the little things and attention to detail that will keep the client coming back.

I had a client come to me a few years ago for a photoshoot. She never had a photoshoot before, and it was a treat to herself. I provided hair, makeup, styling and of course photography. All she had to do was come through, relax and have a good time.

Even prior to shooting, I gave her the information of my crew so they can get her prepped for whatever items she may need, so when time came for her photo shoot, she walked into the studio as if it were a party and she was the guest of honor. In all, she received “The Dallas Experience.” To this very day she says “I’ve never had a photoshoot like that in my entire life. When you are served filet mignon, how the hell can you go back to baloney?” When people ask her my rate, they balk, and she replies every single time: “you get what you pay for.”

And it made me think.  That is what I have that separates me from the next photographer and that is what separates the good photographers from the great photographers and ultimately, that is what keeps them coming back.

It doesn’t matter if you produce stellar images, but the experience was awful. By the end of the day, the only thing the client will remember is the bad experience. If you produce a stellar product AND give them an experience that they can remember, they will do two things:

1. Become a repeat customer; and
2. Tell others about their experience with you

And in the end, that is what you want.

It doesn’t matter if I shoot a model, a family portrait or a corporate executive. They come to me to have their photograph taken, they leave me having had an experience.

That is ultimately what you provide as a photographer: an experience.

Always make it a good one.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Model:  Kate Moss
Photographer:  Mario Testino

My first blog for September, my dear readers. The air is getting that nice little crisp feel. School is about to start and before you know it, we will have little children running along the streets screaming “trick or treat.” I love the fall. It’s the start of the new fashion season. I have my September issue of Vogue and admiring the work Anna Wintour has put together for the upcoming fashion year (by the way, Kate Moss must’ve made a pact with the devil, she looks AMAZING on the cover), and in a few days, New York’s Fashion Week will be upon us. I can’t wait.

When Fashion Week comes around it is honestly a rest period for me. I am not one of the photographers that frequent the events. I am certainly not a runway photographer. I like to sit at home, tune in to the Fashion Network from the privacy of my home (in between bouts of retouching) and recap the day’s events.

Today’s blog, however, isn’t about Fashion or New York’s Fashion Week. It is about the rights and wrongs of a model’s portfolio.

In previous blogs, I’ve discussed the importance of choosing the right photographer, the importance of not being a photowhore, and lastly understanding yourself as it pertains to branding. Today we will discuss the importance of your hardbook portfolio and why.

When people actually see my book for the first time, they marvel at the fact that I don’t have a lot of men in my book. What I mean by that is this: if you Google me, or look at my photography on Facebook, lots of times it is inundated with scantily clad men, in various states of undress, most often wet, most often in various forms of sexual arousal. So upon meeting me, they open my book and are amazed that none of those images are in my hardbook portfolio. Then they asked why.

“I am a primarily a beauty and fashion photographer, shooting these guys do not benefit my book.”

I will repeat that. Shooting these guys do not benefit my book (however, it does benefit THEIRS).  If you learn nothing else today, being a model, when you decide to shoot with a photographer, how does that benefit YOU?

As I stated before, there should be a handful of reasons why you should shoot with any photographer during your modeling career.

A. Portfolio building

B. Magazine submission

C. Work related (commercial usage, campaigns, etc.)

D. Payment

E. Development

There are lots of times I have come across models’ portfolios and I see beautiful artistic work, where the model is not featured, their face is hidden, or the model just isn’t showcased properly. The first question I always ask is this: “What was this shot for?” If your answer is “I shot it for my book.” Then you need some serious evaluation.

Your portfolio is a representation of you. It should always show you in the best possible light. Your book should be photograph after photograph after photograph of photographic wonder based on you. A lot of models have this undying need to want to do couples shoots. Why? Does it benefit your book? Unless it’s going to be used for something, it is honestly useless to you. What if the other model is better looking than you? What if the other model is more dynamic than you? What if other the model is awful? All of these factors play in the aspect of bringing down your modeling stock. Therefore, is it honestly worth it?

There will be times when a photographer may want to do some “over the top work” with you. Outrageous costumes, dramatic lighting, “avant-garde” makeup. The photos are fabulous – but for the photographer. This won’t benefit your book, unless, of course, it is going to be used for something, so when the question comes up “what was this shot for?” you can proudly give the answer. So can you see where this is going?

There will be times when you will have shoots, and your agent will not use at all. You may like them, they may be hot, but they may not be a good photographic representation of you, or it may not be a “look” in which the agent wants to market you. So therefore, these photos will not benefit you.

If you were to look at a photographer’s portfolio, every single image in that book should be there to showcase THEIR work, THEIR lighting, THEIR concepts, THEIR angles, THEIR photographic prowess, because the bottom line is, they are trying to get booked. So the next time you see me and get a chance to look at my portfolio, now you will know the reason why my book is not filled with a bunch of naked male models.

Because it didn’t benefit my book. Think about it.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Rivers of Re:Quest Model Management

Can you believe I am writing yet ANOTHER blog? I know, I know. But I do have one thing to say. Do NOT get used to it. It is a paranormal activity that should be passing very soon, but enjoy the ride now while you can. Now on to the blog.

A lot of us want to be famous. A lot of us want to be rich. A lot of us want to be recognized for our talents, looks and gifts and a lot of us want it NOW. I remember when I first picked up my camera and realized this is what I wanted to do, I was ready to grace the covers of Vogue and wanted to see my images on billboards that littered the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France. I would look at my images and imagine to myself, “yes, these images are JUST as good as Ritts, Weber and Meisel!” (God was I a lofty one!)  But as I matured in my craft and artistry, I looked back on those images, and they compared to Bruce Weber like a child’s coloring book rendition compared to a Picasso.

But I digress. Right now with more than 5 years in the professional game, I am JUST starting to make some noise. I am JUST starting to see the fruits of my labor and I am JUST starting to make a name for myself. It took five years. FIVE LONG YEARS and even though I have influential art buyers looking at my work and making major decisions based on the images I place before them, I am STILL a ways off from shooting Kate Moss for the cover of Vogue or Jon Kortajarena for a billboard for Tom Ford and you know why? It has nothing to do with talent, skill set or know how. It just isn’t my time yet, hence the title of this blog.

Show business is a tricky industry (yes, fashion photography falls under show business). The race is paced differently for each and every individual. Just because you’re a vocalist that sounds like Mariah Carey with the looks of Eva Mendez and the talent of Missy Elliott doesn’t mean that you should pop on the scene the moment you laid a vocal track. It doesn’t work that way.

The same holds true for models. Just because you’ve done one test shoot, got signed to an agency, you think you’re ready for the big times. It doesn’t happen like that. If it did, everyone would be a supermodel and there would be nothing “special” about you and since you didn’t put any sweat equity into your career, you won’t appreciate the rewards.

The reason for this blog was recently I had a couple of conversations with a couple of models. Model A at the moment appears to be on a meteoric rise. His face is getting known, he is getting snatched up by agencies from coast to coast. He is making a little bit of noise, HOWEVER, he isn’t a superstar yet. He hasn’t done any major work, and he hasn’t walked his first fashion show. Could he be an international star? Maybe. Only time will tell. He hasn’t paid his “karmic” dues yet, and the only thing he suffers from now is the agony when he gets dropped from a job. Sometimes I am glad he gets dropped. It humbles him a little bit and it tells him something. It is not his time yet.

But Model B has a completely different story. Beautiful man, uprooted his life and made his way to a metropolitan city from a small town in the South. He thought he was going to step off the plane, walk into a modeling agency and then step onto the billboard with the ranks of Tyson Beckford. Never mind that he was new face in a new city. Never mind that he didn’t have a secure place to live or a steady income. Never mind that his book needed to be worked on and built so he can compete with the likes of Model A or better. He just thought that he was going to come take the world by storm and why hasn’t it happened? I can tell you why. It is not his time yet.

I wrote a blog called “It Takes A Success Team to Build A Successful Model” (http://dallasjlogan.blogspot.com/2010/09/it-takes-successful-team-to-build.html). The reason for the blog was, by the time you’ve seen these models (or actors, or singers, or writers, or photographers or, etc. etc. etc.) reach the level of fame that they have achieved, there is a lot of behind the scenes negotiations that are taking place. You don’t just take a photograph and appear on a billboard. There are castings, meetings, focus groups, lawyers negotiations, agents negotiations, manager negotiations, photographer selections, the list is endless. There are late night phone calls, clandestine meetings, sometime even arguments and strong discussions of persuasions, because every model is not for every body. Just because I took a beautiful photograph of you doesn’t mean that the powers that be are going to think you are beautiful, too (please read “Who the Fuck are You?”  http://dallasjlogan.blogspot.com/2010/03/who-fuck-are-you.html).

Patience, faith and loyalty are a far more paramount equity in this business than a beautiful face, abs and a great smile. It takes time to rise up the industry ladder. It takes times to develop those relationships in order to make the good things happen. And while you are sitting there wondering why it appears that Model A is getting all the play, and you’re not, I can answer it in one simple sentence. It is not your time… yet.

Think about it.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Tiana Young for Emerald Essence Makeup

There is a lot of malice in the world today. Most of it is intentional. People hating on you for whatever reason. Spreading lies, gossip and ill-will. Unfortunately you cannot control all the bad publicity that may come your way, when a person hates on you it let’s you know one thing. You MUST be doing something right. So guess what? Continue doing it.

But there is that second type of malice that comes under the radar that if you don’t pay attention you just might miss it and sometimes that malice may even come innocently enough from yourself, and that is the reason for this blog.

Today’s world is built on a phrase known as “branding”. And for the neophytes, a lot of people misconstrue branding as just the “image” of themselves. As long as a good photo is floating around out there about them, then you would seem to guess that that is the only thing you need to worry about, right?


In my previous blog “Stop It!” (http://dallasjlogan.blogspot.com/2011/08/stop-it.html) I discussed the importance of not being a Photo Whore and producing the best possible images with the best possible photographers. If you go through my blogs you will see a history of me discussing doing the best possible image of you that can possibly be done. But in this blog I am going to discuss the “whys”.

True Stories

Story One: A friend of mine came to my studio for a fun shoot. We were just killing time and she got in front of my lens and we took harmless photographs. She was playing in a tee-shirt, big smiles, great images. She posted them somewhere on the internet (this was 4 years ago). Fast forward, she applied for a job in Finance. They ran an internet search on her and these images came up. Needless to say she didn’t get the job. Why? They felt that “she was not a good person to suit the representation of their company.”

Story Two: A model is applying for a television show. She got in contact with all the photographers that she worked with because the network wanted to use her images. During the time of shooting her, I was featured on a retouching blog which showcased her image. This time she did an Internet Search which brought that blog to light. She begged me to have it removed. Fortunately there was enough time and we got the blog changed. She did make it to the television show, but things could’ve went a completely different way if I didn’t have that blog pulled. We will never know.

Story Three: A male model was trying make some extra money before he decided that he wanted to become an actual legit model. He was featured in some underground pornographic videos. It didn’t take long for them to surface. The major modeling agency he was signed to had to drop him immediately. A major company is not going to have you represent them and you are tied to activities that can sully the name.

All three instances above ALL have to do with branding. The public’s perception of who you are. It didn’t matter that the girl in the first story was doing something on her own time, in a time of her life that she wasn’t thinking of even joining a finance company, but her “brand” was viewed in a negative light. The second story the girl simply had poor skin at the time of the shoot, the third was a simple case of “you do what you have to do to eat.” I get it. I don’t hold judgment, however, the major populace does.  Even with me, there are times I have to step away from projects, because they may be viewed in a negative light (no pun intended). 

Branding covers everything that is publicly known about you and it only takes a single indiscretion about you that can put you in an unfavorable light. So when you are being cavalier with the attitude of "I don't care" realize that it may come back one day. You must be aware of yourself and your image and how you are portrayed at all times. In the world of instant information, anyone can do a simple search on the internet and find anything they want about you, without your control, or your knowledge.  So when information/photos/stories/interviews/blogs are released about you, you should know at all times what is going on if you have control over it. There is an old saying “you are only as good as your last __________________” [I will allow you to fill in the blanks].

So when I come along and tell you about shooting with bad photographers there is a reason why. If I tell you not to associate yourself with a project, there is a reason why. If I tell you not to release something about you, there is a reason why.

There is also a reason why Google exists. Use it and use it often.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Marisa of Fenton Moon

Hey Blog followers. It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I have to apologize for that (yeah, I know. You don’t want to hear it). For real, though. It’s hard for me to just right a random blog.  My blogs have to be inspired (or I should say triggered from something that I occurred in my life) and it affects me so much that I am compelled to write about it.

This blog may come across conceited and that is sooooooo not the case, but lately (well honestly it’s been a while). I’ve been noticing a really poor trend. Photo whores.

Photo whores? What’s that you asked? Well a photo whore is a model (or “model”) that likes to amass lots of photographs of themselves for no apparent reason. They are constantly shooting and “building their book” when there is no need to do so. They stalk photographers in hopes to get shot so they can get bragging rights, or if nothing else “hot” photographs (please see previous blog: “Don’t Shoot With Me” http://dallasjlogan.blogspot.com/2011/04/dont-shoot-with-me.html) I never really understood the mind of the photo whore, but I guess it’s no different than the GWC (Guy With Camera) trying to get as many “models” in front of their camera for no apparent reason (except I guess to get them naked - that's ANOTHER blog for another time).

Well there are two types of Photo Whores. Those that amass quality photos from quality photographers. They want to build their book with the best possible images that they can. They are constantly testing upward and constantly looking for better photographs and constantly trying to keep their look “fresh” in the public’s eye and then there is the “model” that just doesn’t give a damn. And guess what “model”? This blog is just for you.

When you are running around and jumping in front of every Tom, Dick and Harry’s camera without the understanding of how it is going to benefit you, you produce poor photographs. Because of the poor photographs, you develop a reputation which tells professional photographers to steer clear of you, because you are not considered serious. It also lets quality photographers know that you have no idea what you are doing and you don’t know quality, so why should we waste our time with you.

I am constantly approached by “models” wanting to shoot with me, and I look at their track record of photography. When I see their photographic line up and it is full of poor photographs, bad retouching, awful, unattractive angles, inexperienced lighting, etc., I then ask “why do you want to shoot with me.” The usual retort is “because you will give me quality images (aka “hotness.”) I always wonder to myself: “then why did you shoot with all these bad photographers?” At this point I honestly do not wish to shoot with you, because you wouldn’t know “hotness” if it landed on you in a RangeRover SUV.

True Story:

There was a beautiful female model that I shot for a hair campaign. I always wanted to work with her. She was new to New York and I was one of the first photographers to work with her (this time I am bragging). We produced beautiful photographs and she proudly displayed me in her book.

Whenever she want to castings, my photo was usually the opening image shortly followed by a series of photos that could not compete. She never got called back. Why? “Her photos are inconsistent. She looked great in one set of photos, but the rest turned out to be garbage” This is the words from the Casting Director’s own lips. “We can see that she is beautiful, but we cannot tell if she can PHOTOGRAPH beautifully, because she was only photographed well one time. The rest of her book is garbage.” So in essence, my photos of her, though good, was killing her career, because the other images could not compete. This is not a bragging right situation. This is a wake up situation. CHOOSE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHERS WISELY.

Good photographers like to be in the company of good photographers. It tells us that you value our work, and the work of our peers and that you wish to produce the best possible photos for your portfolio. Like I said in the previous blog: If our photos are not doing their jobs, then we as the photographer are not doing OUR job.

Again, “models,” this is YOUR career. If you don’t want to take it seriously and want to shoot with inept photographers keep doing so. I guess working at Hollister is all you'll ever want to do.

Think about it.