Leighton DaCosta

The Head Shot Intensified | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Photographer

Head shot captured by Amy Osborne of Ozzy Headshots in Mooresville, NC during the Peter Hurley Head Shot Intensified session

Head shot captured by Amy Osborne of Ozzy Headshots in Mooresville, NC during the Peter Hurley Head Shot Intensified session

I have always been a staunch proponent for the professional head shot. In a digital online world, the quip, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression;" couldn't be more true. Whether it is Facebook, your website bio, or your linked in profile, your head shot, should be your best presentation. Your head shot should go beyond just good looks, but be a window into your personality. 

I really enjoyed the interaction with Amy while capturing my head shot. It wasn't about all the technology and lighting, even though the tech and the lighting style was very effective and gave a look that we both liked. I loved how she was able to bring a side of me I sometimes rarely think I show, but yet, is so me!

If you are in the Charlotte, NC area and are in need of new head shots, I strongly recommend Amy of Ozzy Headshots. Not only is she a colleague, but she's my head shot photographer!

ozzyheadshots.com

 

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Charleston Wedding Week: The Designer Shows | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Wedding Photographer

Charleston Wedding Week: The Designer Shows | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Wedding Photographer

The Designer Shows was titled sponsored by jewelers, Diamonds Direct and Henri Daussi. The four showcases were from Mason Hosker Bridal, Lovely Bride Charleston with its 'Made with Love' presentation, Emily Kotarski, and Modern Trousseau

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Celebrating Good Times: Jacksonville Downtown Cigar Lounge

Welcome to the Downtown Cigar Lounge 11 Ocean St Jacksonville, FL

Welcome to the Downtown Cigar Lounge
11 Ocean St
Jacksonville, FL

For those in Jacksonville who haven't been to Downtown Jacksonville in a while, and love a great cigar, then you may not know of the Downtown Cigar Lounge (DCL), located at 11 Ocean St; around the corner from the Florida Theater, right off Bay St.

On Saturday, February 21st, the DCL had a dual celebration. Celebrating the one year anniversary is a very important feat in any business, but especially one in Downtown Jacksonville, as the Urban Core strives to recreate itself to a new future. 

I discovered the DCL around November when I was staying at the Hyatt Riverfront in Jacksonville. I asked a friend of mine, about a good lounge in Jax, and she mentioned about a new lounge nearby. I was instantly impressed. The look and feel, the intimacy, the "grown up" feeling of the establishment, instantly swept me away. 

There is a good mixture, of laughs, conversation, smoke, music, art, and dancing that fills the place, even on the slowest nights. Bringing back the feelings of a neighborhood watering hole, mixed with a 1930's feel. This ambiance provided a great backdrop for Saturday night's theme, 'Gatsby and Gangsters'

This themed also worked with the second celebration going on that night, Simone's 40th Birthday party. The celebration went well in the night with great food and laughs in the member's area. 

For more images from the evening's event, visit http://ldphotography1.shootproof.com/downtowncigarloungeparty

 

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Kenisha's New Head Shots!

Kenisha's New Head Shots!

Head shots are important tools for letting people know who you are before they even meet you. Consider updating your head shots regularly, and definitely with any major physical change. Remember, while a smile is pleasing to most people, it is more about the eyes and the engagement. Be yourself, and let that personality come through!

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January 6th 2015, Jessica + Maigan

After so many years together, finally able to say "I do."

After so many years together, finally able to say "I do."

When I got up this morning, I really had another blog scheduled for today. Normally I never place the date in the title, unless there is a significant reason. Today is a very special and significant day in Florida history. For the first time, statewide, same sex couples are allowed to legally get married. I have many friends who have had commitment ceremonies, but now they are able to be protected by the laws and rights that were never available before. 

Normally, I go down to a local courthouse once a week, to offer complimentary services to random couples, as a way of "giving back." People get married at the courthouse or other municipal center for different reasons. They could be financial, simplicity, speed, or maybe even a shotgun to the head. The courthouse wedding has always provided an effective remedy. My hope is that those counties in Florida who have chosen to NO LONGER PERFORM WEDDINGS at the courthouse for both same sex and heterosexual couples will re consider for the benefit of the public. But I digress... I believe that everyone should have great wedding photos. It is YOUR day. THIS will always be your anniversary, and as such, you should have something great to remember it by. 

While I was in the parking lot waiting to go in, I happened to see a group of people walking out and two beautiful young ladies just GLOWING! There I met Jessica and Maigan. I explained to the newlyweds, what it was that I was doing, and they were all too happy to participate.  

Jessica and Maigan with close loved ones on their wedding day!

Jessica and Maigan with close loved ones on their wedding day!

I hope you enjoy these photos of Jessica and Maigan. To see more of these images and other sessions, visit the Client Photos section and go to 'Sidewalk Sessions.' Thank you!

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Photographing a Piece of the Milky Way

The Milky Way Captured with a Sony NEX-6 16mm f/2.8 at f/4 ISO 3200 25s

The Milky Way
Captured with a Sony NEX-6
16mm f/2.8 at f/4
ISO 3200
25s

I just wanted to share my very FIRST Milky Way shot. I have always wanted to get this shot, but have always lived in the big city. I watched Melissa Wu's course on KelbyONE training. To assist, I used an app called "Star Walk" to help find when and where the Milky way would be. Using a wide, fast lens, along with an 'UltraPod' mini tripod, my first attempt was much easier than I thought it would be. 

Things to consider:

  • Light Pollution. This will probably be the number one thing that will stop you from getting a great shot. The spill from the lights that you see are about 8 miles way.
  • Focus points. The hard thing about focusing on stars, are getting them to a point that makes them in focus. What I did, was find one of those lights on the hill and focused on it. 
  • Air temperature. NO, the temperature wont really affect your shooting, but if its too cold, you may be really uncomfortable. 
  • Time and location of the Milky Way. Be aware of the Milky way is and at what time of night the Milky way will be rising and setting. 
  • The Moon. The more full the moon is, the less stars you will see. 

Do you have a great shot of the stars? Post in the comments, I would love to see!

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Nicole's Test Shoot

Model: Nicole Snyder Hair: Shameka Wilcox MUA: Davianne Rivera Photographer: Leighton DaCosta

Model: Nicole Snyder
Hair: Shameka Wilcox
MUA: Davianne Rivera
Photographer: Leighton DaCosta

Model: Nicole
Hair: Shameka Wilcox
Makeup: Davianne Rivera
Photographer: Leighton DaCosta

Last month I had a great opportunity to work with international Hair Stylist and Educator, Shameka Wilcox of the Kimberly Clarke Salon located in the heart of San Marco in Jacksonville, Florida. The purpose of this session was not necessarily for a client, but as a test session. 

Normally when we hear the phrase "Test Shoot," normally it is in reference to a model having a session testing her "camera presence" for usually an agency firm. I have always felt that when working with new people, when possibly, to have a test run between all the players. This allows for a more efficient process for clients. The Makeup Artist, Hair Stylist, and Photographer are all on the same page, which allows us to provide the client an UNBELIEVABLE experience. 

Model: Nicole Snyder Hair Stylist: Shameka Wilcox MUA: Davianne Rivera Photographer: Leighton DaCosta

Model: Nicole Snyder
Hair Stylist: Shameka Wilcox
MUA: Davianne Rivera
Photographer: Leighton DaCosta

I routinely work with new MUA's and Stylists for the first time, but there is something special when you walk on set and it there are familiar faces and voices. The energy is there. Our model, Nicole, had worked with Shameka before, and as of late, I have done several sessions with Davianne previously, but this was the first time that all three of us had worked on a project together. With each one, the energy gets better and better. Can't wait until our next session. 


Hair Stylist, Shameka Wilcox tends to model, Nicole Snyder's hair between frames.

Hair Stylist, Shameka Wilcox tends to model, Nicole Snyder's hair between frames.

In the Fashion, Beauty, and Hair industries, test shoots are crucial for all participants as they grow within the industry. It can be anywhere from an agency/firm testing out a model's presence in front of camera, a photographer's ability behind the camera; or even serve as a pre-shoot of sorts to act as a rehearsal before the actual shoot. In a business where time is money, I have made it a staple to get as much practice as possible in between assignments, so that when the actual assignment comes up, it is handled in stride. 

Thank you ladies!



Technical talk. 
Nikon Df with 50mm f/1.8 lens and one Profoto B1 with a 28" Beauty Dish. 
ISO 100; 1/160s; f/8 for most images

 

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