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Model Monday: Aiden | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Men's Portrait Photographer

Model Monday: Aiden | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Men's Portrait Photographer

Model: Aiden
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Photographer: Leighton DaCosta
Lighting Assistant: Quintin Carson (www.Q88Photography.com)

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Back To Business Basics Workshop Recap & 3 quick lessons | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Photography Instructor

Back To Business Basics Workshop Recap & 3 quick lessons | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Photography Instructor

“in my quest to help photographers solve these problems, we learned that we have to do more than just take “pretty pictures” for clients but solve their core problems, wants, desires, and needs while always striving to provide additional value.” ~Leighton DaCosta, Photographer

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Ankara Miami 2018 Takes Over Miami | Leighton DaCosta, Miami Fashion Photographer

Ankara Miami 2018 Takes Over Miami | Leighton DaCosta, Miami Fashion Photographer

SUNNY ISLES BEACH, FL. For the 7th year, Ankara Miamihas taken over the fashion scene in South Florida, bringing the freshest in African and African inspired fashions. Produced by Evelyn Onyejuruwa (@EvelynO11), Ankara Fashion Week has grown to be a semi-annual event, with a fashion showcase during Miami Swim Week in July.

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#TBT Real Bride: Ebony | Leighton DaCosta, Savannah Wedding Photographer

The finished shot!

The finished shot!

Autumn 2010, a few months before her wedding, one of my brides, Ebony, decided to take part in a formal bridal dress session. I've always loved seeing large, fine art prints of brides. There was just something majestic and regal about it. 

This was my first time working with the amazingly talented, Timothy Cabell, of Savannah, GA. Timothy is an award winning and internationally competitive Hair and Makeup Artist. The session took place at the SCAD stables, located just outside of Savannah on the South Carolina side of the border. My wonderful lighting assistant was Hair stylist and educator, Shameka LeCounte, of Jacksonville Florida. Dress and accessories provided by David's Bridal Savannah.

Timothy adds the finishing touches to Ebony's makeup

Timothy adds the finishing touches to Ebony's makeup

Behind the Scenes, Shameka holds the light above Ebony's head

Behind the Scenes, Shameka holds the light above Ebony's head

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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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#TBT Model: Menakshi | Leighton DaCosta, Dubai Boudoir Photographer

With any portrait, I've always felt the emotion of the eyes reveals everything about the moment. I loved how the natural light from the window, just fell on her face, and created a moment in the eyes that just captures you!

With any portrait, I've always felt the emotion of the eyes reveals everything about the moment. I loved how the natural light from the window, just fell on her face, and created a moment in the eyes that just captures you!


Back around 2014 I had the pleasure of meeting Menakshi while visiting Dubai. A lovely British model, Menakshi was just absolutely amazing to work with. 

I had sent here a vision board for doing a boudoir themed photo session with the details that I wanted to emphasize at the time. Items from metallic flash tattoos, to a loose-end fishtail braid. I wanted to emphasize not only the beauty of the subject, but also how the subject embraced the light. 

Like with most of my boudoir shoots, I've never posted them online, because they are intended to be printed in an album or an image display box, but I am sharing with you on this throwback Thursday.


Menakshi as the subject, beautifully framed by the window light around her, with the light in the room reflecting on the metal tattoos enough to make them stand out.

Menakshi as the subject, beautifully framed by the window light around her, with the light in the room reflecting on the metal tattoos enough to make them stand out.


As a photographer, you want the subject to have fun during a boudoir shoot and to be able to capture it. It is beautiful when the subject becomes comfortable in their vulnerability. 

As a photographer, you want the subject to have fun during a boudoir shoot and to be able to capture it. It is beautiful when the subject becomes comfortable in their vulnerability. 

Tips for your boudoir sessions:

  1. RELAX. Don't force the session. This is a vulnerable time for some, but really should be fun. Boudoir and fine art should not be about the sexuality of the subject,but the ESSENCE of the subject. That "hidden room" of their personality that very few are able to see, masked by the physical facade.
  2. Conceptualize and plan. One of the things that makes awkward situations more comfortable, is a sense of familiarity. Knowing the intended looks, direction, themes, props, accessories and other things will make the time not only fly by, but make it more fun for the subject.
  3. The light is in control. Whether artificial or natural light, the light should set the mood. Use as much, or as little as needed to set a mood. Find ways to shape it, bounce it, color it, and let the light do most of the work for you.
  4. BONUS: Remember, the photographer and subject are teammates working with the light. 

Also, don't be afraid to experiment. While I was loving the braid, by the end of the session, I wanted to try a "messy" look with her hair, and I think it worked. What do you think? Please leave your comments below!

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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!

LD

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