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!

Clair de Lune - Fashion Editorial (Ellements Magazine)

Jai Mayhew Photography
Styling - Edith Henry
Makeup - Kelsey James
Hair - Nancy Rankin
Models - Lily & Cristen @ The Dragonfly Agency

I have such love for this shoot! Not b/c all the technical aspects are perfect (looking back I see several things I wish I had done differently), but this shoot was a work of love. I built the set by stocking up on white curtains at IKEA (God bless cheap) then stringing thin ropes across my studio in an L shape and tacking them into the walls. I threaded the curtains onto each line and put down black seamless paper to create a floor I could get messy with. After light testing (a large soft box was aimed towards the Left and acted as my main light then a fill light was aimed towards the right to soften the shadows) I started throwing handfuls of tapioca powder all around (at which point my black kitten snuck into the studio, darted into a pile of it and trailed it ALL over the rest of the studio. for months afterwards I would find white paw prints in places I didn't even know a cat could go.) and smearing it with a broom to get that textured effect.

Edith, the wardrobe stylist, did a truly amazing job with bringing this concept to life. She brought in a few pieces (vintage tops, a white tutu skirt, etc), but most of the wardrobe was hand sewn onto the models the day of the shoot. The makeup whited out the girls faces and we smeared their arms and legs with the flour. The hair was an artistic endeavor by Nancy, she worked bits of linen and white hair and fabric into the updos to create something truly wonderful.

Looking back I wish I'd added negative fill to each side to deepen the shadows on the edges and create a natural vingette. I wish I'd shot at a lower apeture to create more DOF and blur. But mostly I wish I'd taken more pictures b/c this was a never to be re-created moment that I still love to share. I 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!