BE KIND

stephen okamoto

Matsunoki Fine Skin Art and Adam Schlegel

Posted on April 2, 2013

Matsunoki Fine Skin Art and his client-and-friend Adam Schlegel. Adam is getting a sweet tribal piece across his upper arm. Although the pictures don’t do justice, I love the range of blues across the tattoo. I don’t have a tattoo, but if I did, I’d want something pretty vibrant too. I just took these photos quickly at the end of a long session–but the main reason I had my camera out was to create a time-lapse video of Adam’s session in the chair. I’ll put that up when I have it–but it’ll take me some time because there are a total of like 2,500 pictures! Even as jpegs, the files take up 13.4 gigs of my hard drive! Crazy! 🙂

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The Garage Portraits

Posted on August 8, 2012

So, just for fun, I had wanted to do a set of portraits juxtaposing a Roman Centurion with a red-plumed galea helmet against a modern punk rock warrior with a full-scalp mohawk. I envisioned the battle scene taking place on a rocky ridge cutting across an open field, with a dramatic, blood-red sunset in the background. Although a bit anachronistic, I decided to arm the Centurion with a battleaxe to create a metaphorical counterpart for the punk rocker’s guitar–the modern battleaxe. Now, it is worth mentioning that the metaphor isn’t all that deep. Unlike the punk rock vision of fighting the “system” with their guitars, the Roman military machine was, in fact, the “system” of their time. So, in reality, the scene would really juxtapose a modern rebel against the ancient “man.”

Unfortunately, not only were we unable to come up with a galea, but on the evening I borrowed two flashes for the shoot (a 580ex II and a 430ex, both Canon speedlites) from Life Story Photography, an unexpected storm rolled into the area. By the time the storm dissipated, it was dark. So, we ended up shooting a bunch of silly portraits inside the Okamoto’s garage. Thankfully, the white garage door provided a nice ceiling for bounce flash. We had to use the space creatively, but we ended up with a handful of good portraits–I especially like the one’s showing off Stevo’s Japanese tattoos with him holding his samurai sword.

 

 

 

 

 

After the storm, we did end up trying the original shoot idea on the driveway. The wet pavement created a kind-of-cool effect. Certainly it wasn’t my original vision, but it was a fun shoot nonetheless.
 


 

Special thanks to Life Story Photography, the Okamotos, Stevo Okamoto in particular, Jesse Stratton, Daryl Gochnauer, and Nick Kienzle.