California Dreaming - Black & White Moments

I have such love for black and white photography. Stripping color away makes you focus on form and depth and textures and something the simplicity of it is so timeless. I was in California for business earlier this month and couldn't resist capturing these little moments. I hope you find them as relaxing and uplighting as I do. 


Family Portrait Session

I don't work with families often, but this shoot was everything that makes a photographer's heart happy. A beautiful family, overcast weather (technically a little too overcast, it was cold and sprinkled on us the entire time), beautiful styling, and a visible bond of love between these 3 that makes me smile everytime I look at the pictures.

Enjoy a little glimpse into this wonderful family, it was such a joy to capture these moments for them!

WHISKEY for Lucy's Magazine

Jai Mayhew Photography
Makeup & Hair - Annie Heyward
Wardrobe - Carson Love
Model - Sophia

This shoot started with the idea of TEXTURE. Sophia's wonderful curls and full pouty lips screamed sensual, and we screamed back NEVER GLAMOUR!! Then decided to play up a gritty, hard feel with an urban city background, harsh light and textured clothing. 

The weather was overcast that day with a 60% chance of rain so the light was bright but muted (translation: PERFECT for this concept). We shot in an apartment (with a mixture of natural light and a beauty dish) and then outside with just natural light and a reflector. 

The result was a gritty fashion editorial with lots of variety that ran in LUCY'S MAGAZINE. Hope you enjoy!

West 2nd - Men's Fashion Photography

Jai Mayhew Photography
Model - Fets Benavides
Styling - The Dapper Tramp

I don't normally shoot men (I much prefer the softness and wardrobe options women bring to the table!), but this shoot was so fun and different for me and Fets' posing made it bring this downtown story to life.

We shot this in Austin, near the City Hall building. Funny story, halfway through the shoot the Occupy Austin protesters showed up and several of them (seeing my camera and apparently not the model, lights or clothing racks) assumed I was there to document their protest. It got a little awkward when it became obvious that I was not. 

I used a mixture of natural Texas light and later on a strobe to create the dramatic shadows and keep the tone consistent as the sun set. 

Beauty Shoot - Pre-Raphaelite Love

Photography - Jai Mayhew
Styling - Edith Henry
Makeup - Kelsey James
Hair - Jorge Buccio
Dress - Mysterious by NPN
Location - Pearl Snap Hall

I am so in loved with freckled skin! We shot 4 looks at this beautiful location (a wedding chapel in Georgetown, TX) and I took the opportunity to reallly play with different colors in each set. For this set - flaring reds showed passion, faded blue tones gave a vintage look and deep off-color whites to created drama in an otherwise low-contrast environment. Learning color theory has been a goal of mine this year and I don't think I've ever played so much in post with toning until now.

When I saw the leaves Haley is holding they were in a vase in the chapel, I handed them to her and asked that she keep them close to her face. The faded greens paired so charmingly with her red hair and creamy skin and the result was a Pre-Raphaelite beauty, that makes me think of the great Julia Margaret Cameron.  Loved this set!

AFTER HOURS - Shooting with a Speedlight

Photography - Jai Mayhew
Wardrobe Stylist - Edith Henry
Makeup - Kelsey James
Hair - Jorge Buccio
Model - Sabrina @ The Campbell Agency

What was supposed to be a romantic, by-the-water shoot turned into a mini Guess campaign when a torrential downpour covered Texas and refused to leave. As we were traveling and I had planned to use natural light, the only lighting modifiers I had with me were a speed light and 2 reflectors (fortunately we were granted access a  country club which gave us both shelter and some cool corners to shoot in). 

 I used the Speedlight (bounced primarily off the ceiling) and a slow shutter speed to capture the motion blur, then enhanced the different light temperatures (cool from the strobe and warm from the ambient light) in post. I also had adjusted my camera's white light balance to create a bluer tone in-camera. The mix of reds and blues created the mood and Sabrina's edgy posing made it a sexy, candid set.

Retouching Before & After - Adding Freckles

I love freckles. Like seriously love them.

They add such character and expression to a face, they're like skin's little exclamation points. But it's rare that you get to shoot a model with tons of them, so I started wondering - how hard would it be to add freckles in post??

Googling "how to add freckles in photoshop?" brought me to THIS Phlearn article.  READ IT NOW. It offers both a freckle brush download (GET IT!) and a video tutorial on how to use the brush. I won't repeat everything they explain, but here's how I took this image from the Raw state to the final state (as seem below).

Abby, the model, was so beautiful to begin with, her skin required very little retouch and the biggest thing I noticed was 1 - the empty space created by the wind blowing at her hair and 2- the under eye shadows that needed color correction. I used a chunk of hair from another image in this series to fill the empty hair space, then cleaned her skin using the frequency separation technique. I enhanced the highlights and shadows in both her skin and hair with dodge & burn contouring, filled her under eye shadows with curve adjustments, and then I was ready to start playing.


Now at this point the image was ready for Abby's portfolio, BUT I love to play with effects and colors (this is how I learn, I never stop playing, experimenting and asking 'what if i added _____') and her perfect skin with the clean lighting made for a great canvas on which to try freckles.

So using the Phlearn brush I created 5 different freckle layers (set to soft light) and painted them in where I thought they looked best.  Then because I was on roll with the freckles I decided red hair could be fun (hair color was masked in using channel mixers + selective color clipping masks), then I finished the whole thing off with a vintage filter, making the reds pop and softening the shadows.

In the end it was a very fun first attempt at freckle creation and I'm excited to try the technique again sometime.  Happy creating!