October 2018 Darkroom Chronicles is published.
The August 2018 Darkroom Chronicles is published and in your inbox.
The July 2018 Darkroom Chronicles is now published. Enjoy!
The April 2018 Darkroom Chronicles is published.
The daffodil fields are the first sign of spring here in the Skagit. As of a couple days ago, they were in full bloom. The tulips will be blooming by mid-April. In this issue we introduce our new and edgy series Efflorescence. Shot on location in the daffodil fields with local artist April Grossruck. Assunta continues her series – The Not So Secret Makeup Secrets with Lips. Russell gives some editorial advice on visiting the tulips. Ciao for now!
The Not So Secret Makeup Secrets – Lips
Hello Everyone!! We are going through a phase of duck lips and Angelina Jolie’s enormous lips as being sexy and admired. To each its own of course, and if you are one of the many who thinks needs bigger lips but is smart enough not to take it off the top, you will find my little “secrets” below interesting and helpful.
Today I am going to talk about Lips…The puckers that look awesome when puckered…and a way to make them “puckerer” without resorting to botox or aggressive enhancements.
Below, I’ve listed some easy to follow steps.
Brush off flakes. Because flaky lips reflect less light, a dry pucker could be making your lips look smaller. To get rid of flakes, brush them lightly with a paste of honey and brown sugar ( I keep a small premade amount in a plastic container in the shower, its ok to use everytime you shower, just be gentle when scrubbing). The scrubbing also boosts circulation, giving you a rosy tint sans makeup.
Dab lip gloss in the middle of your lips. Using clear lip gloss or a shade close to your lipstick color, apply a dab of gloss onto the middle of both of your lips. The shimmery product picks up light, making your pout look fuller.
Overdraw your lip line. Whether you believe Angelina Jolie’s mega lips are from makeup or special ~enhancements~, there’s no doubt that she uses lip liner to make them appear bigger. To try it yourself, use a lip liner that matches your lipstick, and trace just slightly outside your natural lip line. Fill your lips in with lipstick, or just use the liner for your whole pout. Use concealer to hide your lip line for an even bolder look.
Avoid dark lipstick. Rocking a nude or pale pink pout isn’t just trendy — it’ll make your lips look naturally larger. Dark colors flatten the appearance of your mouth.
Try a lip balm known for really maxing out your lips. That’s right: The proper product can go a long way with creating the look of fuller lips that are soft. As always, stay away from petroleum based balms, read labels or you might end up doing the opposite of what’s desired.
There you have it…not much of a brainer but they are my “secrets” to a poutier look. Hope you find this article informative and fun and that you will try out the above suggestions.
Thank you for reading and may the lip god be with you!
SKAGIT TULIP SURVIVAL GUIDE
The Skagit valley tulip fields are an amazing sight and one of the many photography opportunities in the Pacific Northwest. They are destination and tourist from all over the world come to see a display of springtime color. Once in full bloom, the fields are spectacular. This popularity does have a downside that creates frustration for the locals and tourists alike.
Here is a survival guide to make a day at the tulips more enjoyable.
A weekday is more relaxed. There will be plenty of tourists, but not the weekend mob.
Morning or Evening
Go early or later. These are the best times to photograph anyways. The light is diffused and dramatic. A sunny day is great for walking through the fields with the family, but not so for photographs.
The roads all around the fields are extremely congested. The freeway (I-5) even backs-up for 10 miles in both directions on the weekend. Check the traffic WSDOT app, plan an alternate route and bring a lot of patience.
The No Parking signs have gone up. Skagit County Sheriff’s Department loves to harass and give tickets. These are good-old boy country cops. Do yourself a favor and park in designated lots and avoid giving a donation to Skagit County.
Don’t stop or slow down in the middle of the road. Keep the flow of traffic going. Locals will instantly lay on the horn, scream some very colorful words and give you some non-verbal communication to back it up. As a reminder – rednecks carry guns.
Every year, there is less and less to see. Tulips are a crop, fields rotate and many have no access. This year will disappoint many. There are a few options. Most will be happy with the display gardens, but if you want a real field – the one on Beaver Marsh Road is your only real option.
Tulip Town display gardens
Rozzengaarde display gardens
Beaver Marsh Road
Feel free to give me a call, text or email if you need more information on visiting or to schedule a tulip field portrait session. Enjoy!
#skagit #tulips #roozengaarde #tulipfields #flowers #spring2018 #survivalguide
Skagit Valley in the Springtime
After a long, cold and wet Winter – We look forward to springtime and the chance to get out and shoot photos. Here are a few shots from our corner of the world.
Assunta Napoleone Makeup
EYELINER – The Eyes Have It.
How many of you wanted to create perfectly lined eyes? That task gets harder as we get older, but it can be made easy…read on..
Knowing how to apply the eyeliner is one of the basics of makeup, so if you love makeup, you eventually learn how to do it. I am no exception! When I feel lazy and don’t feel like doing myself up too much, I like going all out on my eyeliner. We’ve broken this potentially scary tasks into steps so that it’s easy to understand.
- Eyeliner (with an eyeliner brush if required)
Before we talk about how to apply the eyeliner, we must go through the basics of the types of eyeliners out there that you can use.
Types Of Eyeliners
Although this may seem intimidating at first, this is probably going to become your best friend if you love those cat eyes. I, for one, swear by it. They usually come in pots, so you’ll need to use a brush for it.
A liquid eyeliner is best for precise application. These liners come in two types of packaging, a tiny vial-like bottle with an extremely fine and precise dipping brush, and a marker type pen with a felt tip. If you’re a beginner, then I suggest you go for the latter one. I for one do not care for this type and suggest it only if you have no lines around the eyes.
This type of eyeliner is usually the first one we all started out with. It’s best used to line the water line and also to create a smokey look.
How to create an even line;
Start with an angle brush, pretty much like a brow brush. Pick up some pigment from your eyeliner putty, gel, pencil, or eye shadow, start from the corner of the eye right above the top lashes, tap, tap, tap, all the way to the part next to the nose, adding more pigment as needed, then, again, from the outer corner to the inside corner of the eye, follow that tapping line with a long line of pigment, blending the tapping line together…Voila’…THE perfect line! Now if you are free of wrinkles around the eyes then anything will do, any technique will work, if you are not as fortunate like I am…well…where there is a will…the above step will work wonders.
This is a step that is quite overlooked, but is, in fact, the most important step. After cleansing your face, apply a moisturizer for the face and an eye cream around the eyes. The eye cream helps with premature wrinkles and evens out any redness or discoloration near the area.
To achieve an even and clean base, apply a small amount of eye primer on the eyelid, under your eyes, and around the general eye region where any kind of eye makeup would go. The primer’s main job is to make the skin smoother so that it becomes easier to apply makeup. This will give you a flawless finish and also keep the makeup in place for a long time. Apply a concealer on top of the eyelid and the under eyes. Blend it well, and make sure to set it with a setting powder.
Now comes the main part – the eyeliner. You can either use the brush that comes with it or buy one. Start with a line above your lashes. Make sure you use small lines and strokes. It’s always better to build it up. If you make it too thick, you might create a mess out of it, so keep the strokes small. Once you are satisfied with one eye, do the same with the other one. Try to keep it as symmetrical as possible.
Now you have your basic eyeliner done!
The Shot – Behind the Scenes
A look at what happens before the shoot.
We specialize in location shoot. Being stuck in a studio rarely fits into the style of our images. It’s a huge world out there and life is too short to create the very common and mundane high key, white backdrop photos. We scout out locations constantly and lucky for us – we have some really unique places in the Pacific Northwest. Creating compelling images is our goal and location shoots adds a sense of drama.
However, there is very little drama behind the scenes. It’s a fun and relaxing experience, no matter if it is a commercial, boudoir session, portrait or wedding. After a consultation and follow up – the gears start turning and concepts are established for the shoot. Gypsy themed boudoir shoot on a commune in the Cascades, Country Girl shoot on the farm or Fantasy Themed woodland wizard – all require props, wardrobe, sometimes set design and clearly thought out shoot plan. We take care of the details. Before we even press the shutter, there are permits, rentals and staff to organize. The day of the shoot we arrive on location and prepare for the session. It can take several hours prep time for an hour or two of shooting.
To start, we want you to look your best. Hair and Makeup are a transformative process. Sometimes simple looks can take more time than wild creative ones. Assunta does double duty if hair has not been hired. Makeup has its own consultation before the shoot. Ordering and using the correct products is based on skin type, wardrobe and concept. Wardrobe advice is given through the entire consultation and planning stage. On site, small alterations might be made to fit correctly. When we do a themed shoot, wardrobe is the showcase for a highly creative design.
Prepping the location can be quick and easy and sometimes a little pain and suffering. Removing distractions, litter or clutter before a photo is taken can make or break an image. You might be saying – take it out in Photoshop. That option does not apply in many instances. Branches may need to be trimmed, cars moved or curtains pulled back. Making the site safe for the client or model is a professional habit that means minimizing all risks. For instance -working with animals, fire and poor weather need to be a consideration before the shoot. While some of our shots might appear to be risky at first glance, they are well thought out. There are certain locations we will never use for safety – railroad tracks are not only redicoulsy amateurish and cliche, but lethal.
Props and equipment are then setup. Props are tested before the shoot and then again on site. Complicated lighting with many stands, strobes, modifiers, scrims and diffusers is held to a minimum. It’s also less gear to keep track of, and since its on the location – wind is our enemy! A six-foot softbox doubles as a sail. No army of assistants also means an intimate shoot. A natural light shoot is sometimes done to keep a soft feel to the images, but most often there is one main light. Occasionally, there are times when every strobe is used for unique and complicated lighting. Reducing the amount of gear means we can shift to another spot quickly and efficiently.
Once this is all done, we bring the client or model on site and start the real work – taking photos. In reality, it’s not taking – but making an image happen. The photograph is a creative process and pressing the shutter is a brief moment when it all comes together.