The Las Vegas Aces begin play in May
The WNBA announced in mid-December that Las Vegas is getting a professional women basketball team, the Aces.
The team was founded in Salt Lake City, Utah, as the Utah Starzz in the leagues inaugural 1997 season, then moved to San Antonio before the 2003 season and became the San Antonio Silver Stars, and then the San Antonio Stars in 2014. The Las Vegas Aces, as they are now called, will be playing their home games at the Mandalay Bay Events Center starting Sunday, May 27th.
This news is amazing, as I have been a fan of the WNBA since its start in 1997 and a fan of women’s basketball for even longer. I first started watching women’s college basketball in the mid-90’s and was a huge fan of the Tennessee Lady Vols. Pat Summitt was their coach and always had a powerhouse groups of players. One of my favorites included “the three meeks”, Chamique Holdsclaw, Tamika Catchings, and Semeka Randall.They led Tennessee to a record of 39-0 and won the national championship in 1998. It was spectacular team to watch.
When the WNBA started I became a fan of the Houston Comets. This team was loaded with talent. Some of my favorite players on the team were Tina Thompson, Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, and Janeth Arcain. The Comets was unstoppable. They won the WNBA championship the first four years of the league existence.
I loved watching the WNBA so much that I used to pay for a league pass on cable tv to watch every game. It was great. I continued the league pass subscription for a few years and truly enjoyed it.
Unfortunately, things started to change. I began to raise a family and and could not afford to pay for the league pass anymore. At this point in my life, every dollar mattered. Because of this, I did not have the opportunity to watch many WNBA games. Also, the Houston Comets lost some of my favorite players and were no longer dominating like they used to. Shortly after, I began to lose interest in the WNBA.
Luckily, I still had women’s college basketball and the Lady Vols to watch. They always had great seasons and seemed to battling against Connecticut for the championship every year.
However, things changed, again.
Pat Summitt, the legendary college basketball coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols, who accrued 1,098 career wins, the most in NCAA basketball history, stopped coaching in 2012 because of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The team lost their excitement and many more games after Summitt stepped down from her coaching duties. Sadly, Pat Summitt passed away in 2016. The team has not been the same without her.
I did find new excitement in women’s college basketball last year. The UConn women’s Huskies were blowing teams out and were on a 111 game winning streak winning streak until it ended in the Final Four by Mississippi State. Although I can not say I am a fan of the Huskies because they were rivals of the Lady Vols, I can say appreciate their undefeated streak and was glad that I had an opportunity to watch a few of the wins.
The photos in this blog post are a few items that I have collected featuring the Houston Comets from the WNBA. It is amazing that those cereal boxes are over 20 years old, yet a bit disturbing because the cereal is still inside. Yuck!
I welcome the Aces and look forward to you playing in Vegas. I hope that having a WNBA team in Las Vegas will rekindle the love I previously had for the WNBA and women’s basketball.
Every Woman is Beautiful
Alexandra Raisman, one of the most talented American gymnast and two-time Olympian, recently responded on Twitter about a body-shaming incident when a man actually looked down upon her in a humiliating and rude manner for not finding her according to his so-called ideal gymnast’s body criteria.
This was probably the last famous incident of such kind by the end of the year 2017 and was responded by Aly Raisman in the most positive and sensible way; ‘...end body shaming…we have to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves and each other!’ she also tweeted ‘I am hopeful that 2018 will be the year that abuse and victim shaming ends. Who’s with me?’ and there was a huge number of people supporting her which proves that the concept of all bodies- big, small, tall, short, light, dark, skinny or curvy are beautiful in their own way, is rising strongly now. Let’s break the notion of a certain number of shape, size, or color is pretty and acceptable.
In your life you must have heard and experienced many heart breaking phrases such as ‘That person needs to eat!’, ‘You are way too fat!’, and ‘Real women have curves’; All of these comments and phrases, along with many other with the inherent similar meanings are both prejudiced and limiting.
The rise of the use of social media had increased this craze of comparing one to other and making negative and nasty comments to those who don’t seem to fit in the society’s cliché of beauty.
The fashion industry has already realized that the women that wear their fashion clothing and accessories are not all ‘white’ or ‘skinny’ but at the end of 2017 all the major Fashion Weeks and runways are featuring models with diversity, black or brown, plus sized or petite, short or tall, they all look beautiful when they wear their confidence embellished with their prettiest smile and walk on the runway in their favorite outfits.
The awareness of converting body-shaming into body acceptance is spreading among all the sensible people around the globe and they are realizing that it’s time to encourage the healthy life style and spread the happiness of positivity instead of clinging to old, dark and possibly unrealistic ideology of beauty. We can claim that the women have entered 2018 with the courage to defy the society’s fake standard of ‘perfect body’ and celebrating the body acceptance in various forms.
This is the year of the true women empowerment. Let’s make facts straight here; Real women have curves! NO, some have them, some don’t. Still they are all real and beautiful in their own way.
Don’t jump to conclusions however. The girl you called fat could be fighting with a serious health issue. Stop telling plus sized women to cover themselves or not to wear certain garments.
The iconic fitness and beauty concepts harped by the beauty and fashion industry are just forcing you to fit into an unreal standards, just to sell their products!
Don’t be fooled, be realistic.
Stop telling skinny women to start eating, as she may be going through some painful phase of her life.
Remember, the cruel things other’s say, represent their own misconceptions, fears and prejudices, it has nothing much to do with your body. Ignore the nasty remarks, take a break and LOVE YOURSELF.
Some of my favorite boudoir photos are also some of the simplest to create
There is no expensive studio lighting being used and no multiple light set ups. In fact, there is only one light source, the sun. Oddly enough, it is not placed in front of my clients to light their face, but placed behind them or to the side.
You may ask, how does a poorly lit subject become one of your favorite photos? Easily, I use a few dollars worth of accessories and I shoot in manual mode.
Here are the items I use to create my backlit window lit boudoir photos.
First, you need a sunny day, obviously.
Second, you will need a sheer window curtain. It does not have to be anything fancy. The curtain is used to soften the light on your subject.
Third, you need a reflector. Sometimes you can get away without having one on some side lit shots, but for the most part you will want to use one. The reflector will help fill in the shadows on your subject. You can also find a DIY tutorial on how to make a large reflector here, http://www.lasvegasglamourboudoir.com/blog/2012/10/how-to-build-a-large-reflector-for-your-photography-studio
Last, you need to face your fears and place your camera in manual mode. Use a light meter if you have one, or if not, use the cameras built in meter. Take your exposure on your subjects face and expose a couple of stops brighter. There is really no perfect amount, so just play with it until the photo looks good.
Now you can create some amazing looking backlit window light boudoir photos that your clients will LOVE!!!
Recently I was blessed with the opportunity to photograph an absolute beauty who traveled to Las Vegas to celebrate her 59th birthday
Rose was super cool! She was coming to Las Vegas for her birthday and wanted to do a vintage style glamour photo shoot. We spoke on the phone, sent emails, and text messages sharing different styles and photo ideas. Rose had some great ideas in mind and I loved them all!
Rose was an absolute joy to photograph. The entire photo shoot was so much fun!
After the shoot, I asked Rose a few questions regarding her glamour photo experience.
What inspired you to do a glamour photo shoot?
For years I have always wanted to do a Vintage Glamour Photo Shoot. I've always been inspired by the legendary Hollywood Divas of days gone by, but never really found the right photographer or motivation to follow through. Finally, my husband surprised me and decided to gift me a photo shoot for my birthday in one of my favorite cities, Las Vegas!
Do you feel that all women should experience a glamour or boudoir photo shoot. Why?
Absolutely! Every woman should experience a photo shoot at least once regardless of age, size, or financial status. There is nothing more empowering than to embrace your inner and outer beauty. All women deserve to feel beautiful and special!
Describe your photo shoot experience.
My photo shoot experience was amazing! Bryan made it very easy for me to feel relaxed and comfortable. He allowed me to be myself and just enjoy the process. Bryan is the most patient, friendly, hard-working, talented photographer I have ever experienced.
Were you nervous during your photo shoot?
I can honestly say that I felt more excited than nervous because it was in Vegas.
Do you feel there is a difference being photographer by a male photographer vs. a female photographer?
I don't believe it matters whether you are photographed by a female or male, what truly matters is the person behind the lenses and whether they can see the inner beauty of whoever is being photographed. I also feel that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Bryan has been very blessed to have this quality.
Thank you Rose for the kind words. I had an amazing time working with you!
Las Vegas Glamour Boudoir selected as best maternity photographer in Las Vegas
Bragging is not something I like to do very much, but occasionally I just need to toot my own horn. Las Vegas Glamour Boudoir was just selected by Expertise as one of the 17 best maternity photographers in Las Vegas.
Expertise reviewed 135 maternity photographers in Las Vegas and scored each on over 25 variables across five categories, analysed the results, and hand-picked a list of the best maternity photographers in Las Vegas, NV.
Expertise based their selection criteria on these 5 key points.
1- Reputation - A history of delighted customers and outstanding service.
2- Credibility - Building customer confidence with licensing, accreditations, and awards.
3- Experience - Masters of their craft, based on years of practical experience and education.
4- Availability - Consistently approachable and responsive, so customers never feel ignored.
5- Professionalism - Providing service with honesty, reliability, and respect.
Because I am enjoying this moment of recognition , I would also like to mention the Take Your Best Shot 2014 award I received from Rangefinder magazine in The Ultimate Portrait Photography Competition for maternity photography.
This is the beautiful maternity portrait I submitted. It was selected as a winner and made the top 3. The portrait was printed in the August 2014 Rangefinder magazine and online.
I am very appreciative of these honors and look forward to creating some amazing memories for you.
Creating a realistic looking brick wall using faux brick paneling. Perfect for your home, apartment, or photography studio
Do you have a boring wall in you home or studio that could use some excitement? I know I did. This DIY faux brick wall project was easier to do than I expected. Best of all, it only took a few hours to complete.
Here is my problem. I have a gray wall located in my photography studio that drives me crazy every time I pass by it. There is really nothing wrong with it, I just felt that it was missing something. It was boring.
This gray wall has gone through a number of changes throughout the years. I was never satisfied with how it looked.
Many years ago I thought about creating the look of a brick wall in my studio but could not find the time to do it, the motivation to physically build it, or the best way to accomplish the overall project.
I searched online how to create a fake brick wall and got many different solutions. One actually used real bricks. Another suggested cutting pieces of styrofoam into brick size pieces and gluing them to the wall. Some said to dip a rectangle sponge into paint and then stamp a brick pattern on your wall.
Although all of the suggested ways to make a faux brick wall would work, there was one major issue that made me not want to do it and that was the thought of how time consuming this project will be.
Recently I was at Home Depot shopping for some Wainscot paneling to build a new set for a clawfoot bath tub that I have. Located next to the Wainscot was other paneling that looked like a brick wall.
A few months after building my bathtub set, I got started on the new brick wall set for my boudoir studio.
I searched online how to make a faux brick wall using paneling. There were many good suggestions on how to do it. Although most suggested a different way to paint their paneling. None of the recommendations really caught my eye, so I decided to do it my own way.
I knew when I created my faux brick wall I wanted to do it without spending more money than necessary. And guess what? I did it. The only thing I purchased were two brick wall panels. That is all.
Here is what I did to make a faux brick wall without spending a lot of money.
I purchased two brick wall panels from Home Depot. They cost around $28 each for a 8 foot by 4 foot piece. Fortunately, the remainder of items used to create the wall were items I already had from painting and building previous sets for my studio.
One item not pictured that you will likely need is a saw. I used a jigsaw. The paneling is not super thick so a sharp utility knife will probably do the trick. You may need to do some more cutting than you expect. I will explain later.
My ceilings are about 9 feet high so one panel does not cover the entire wall and leaves a foot of gray wall at the top. I am using this in my boudoir photography studio, so I will simply crop the uncovered gray wall out of the photos when I use it with clients (and for this post).
Here is a faux brick panel leaning on my drab gray wall. The panels are kind of on the heavy side (the Home Depot website says they are 32 pounds). The panels are more awkward than they are heavy because they are so tall. I was able to hang the panels up by myself, but it would have been much easier with an extra set of hands.
First, I lifted the panel and set it on top of the baseboard then slid it over to meet the edge of the other wall. I did this to see if the panel lined up straight on the wall. Luckily, it did.
Next, I laid the panel down on a table and spread adhesive around the edges and center of the brick panel.
Then, I basically repeated the first step. I slid the panel to its proper position and then pressed all over to give it firm stick.
After that, I hammered nails randomly into the panel to make sure it that it will not fall off the wall in case the adhesive fails.
Now the fun part. I am joking. This part was a pain in the ass, but only a small pain.
As you can see in the above photo, I have a cable outlet and a power outlet. I do not watch cable television at my studio, so that outlet was covered up.
I repeated step one again with the second panel. I wanted to see if the brick pattern matched up perfectly with the panel on the wall. Unfortunately, the pattern was off by a quarter of an inch, so here is were the more cutting part comes.
I used a jigsaw to cut off a quarter inch from the bottom to make the brick pattern match perfectly. Then I needed to measure where the power outlet would be and cut a hole out for it.
After all the cutting was done, I laid the second brick panel down, spread adhesive on it, stuck it to the wall, pressed and nailed it just like the first one.
I was surprised how fast things were coming along.
Once the faux brick panels were mounted to the wall, I mixed up some drywall patching compound and filled in the excess hole area near the power outlet that was cut out. I also applied the compound in the center where the two panels meet, and over most of the wall to give the bricks a textured look.
During the time that the patching compound was drying (I had a fan blowing on the wall so it dried fast), I grabbed a paint brush and the charcoal colored chalk paint. I wanted to have some dark accent marks on the wall, so I randomly painted a few.
While the charcoal color dried (again, very fast), I watered down a very light gray colored latex paint then randomly brush stroked the paint on the brick panels. This color filled in many of the unpainted areas, as wall as lighten up the dark accent marks.
Next, I watered down the white latex paint and painted over the majority of the brick wall. This mixture was about 50% paint to 50% water. Since this paint mixture was very thin, it allowed some of the paint below to show through.
Finally, I added some random brush strokes with the pure white chalk paint. I did not notice at the time, maybe because the paint fumes were getting to me, that I did not like how the white chalk paint looked. The brush strokes were very bright.
This project was so easy and quick. It took me more time to write this blog post than it did to get the brick wall done.
I have to say, I absolutely love how my faux brick wall looks. Most important, my clients love taking photos in front of it.
I have since rubbed the brick panel down with a wet rag to mute the bright spots from the white chalk paint and let some of the red brick color show through. It is looking much better now!
Can I purchase all of the unedited photos from my photo shoot?
This is a question that gets asked frequently from some customers when inquiring about a photo shoot.
If you take a look at our pricing page you will not find a price listed anywhere on it that says: All Unedited Photos From Your Shoot.
Any guess why?
Because WE DO NOT OFFER IT!
Here are a few other questions that are similar in nature and get asked A LOT.
“Instead of getting only 3 edited photos from my shoot, can you just give me all the unedited images for the same price?”
No. Besides, why would you want all the images anyway?
Let me explain.
As a photographer, my job is to take amazing photos that you will love and want to proudly display or share with other people. I take a handful of shots in each pose because the slightest movement can either make or break a photo. Every photo may look good, but there will always be one that stands out as the BEST!
For example, below are five portraits that I photographed of my daughter. Four of them were not edited, and final photo that I selected was.
Each of the five shots look pretty good by their self. However, when your start looking at all of them together, you will notice that some of the portraits really could look better.
This first photo is cute.
If it was the only image shot in this pose I would be satisfied and purchase the photo.
But.... When I compare it to the second image, I see immediately that I do not like how she is holding the football in the first image.
So now, I like the second image the best and would purchase this photo instead of the first.
Now, when I look at the third image, I notice that I do not like how she is leaning back in the second image. Her posture looks much better in the third.
So now, I like the third image the best and would purchase this photo instead of the second.
Ok, image three looks great because the football is properly placed, her posture is good, and her legs now have a little space between them. They look much better now, than when they were posed together.
So now, I like the fourth image the best and would purchase this photo instead of the third.
Finally, the fifth image. When I compare it with the fourth, I immediately notice the lack of eye connection in that fourth image. The fifth image has all items that made each shot better than the previous.
So now, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the fifth image the best and would DEFINITELY PURCHASE this photo!
Every photo purchased includes FREE standard editing to enhance the portrait.
So what is the point in wanting to have every UNEDITED photo when only the BEST will be displayed or shown to everyone?
“Can I have all the pics from the shoot without editing and how much would it cost?”
If you would like to purchase every photo from the shoot you can. Each additional photo that goes over the included photo amount in the option package you select is only $50 and comes with FREE standard editing. It would be hard to predict the final cost ahead of time, because the number of photos taken in each shoot can vary, but it could get very expensive if there is 100+ photos from the shoot.
“How much for a CD of all the unedited pictures?”
Unfortunately, I recently upgraded to new computer and it does not have a CD drive located anywhere on it. So it would be impossible to burn you a CD. Besides, every purchased photos come with FREE standard editing and they are delivered to you in a modern, convenient method.
Hopefully this blog post answers your question about buying all unedited photos.
Is premium photo editing right for me?
That is the question asked by many of my clients while they view their photos after a boudoir photo shoot. I try to remain neutral because everyone has different reasons for their photo shoot.
I live in Las Vegas and in the summer it is pool season for all the casinos and that means lots of cocktail and pool jobs. Many of the casinos request to have a printed head shot submitted at the time of the job interview or audition. A friend of mine that does the hiring at one of the pools told me that the competition for these jobs are fierce. Thousands of women apply for only a handful of jobs that they have available. He put it into perspective for me when he said, why should we settle for a 9 when we can hire a 10?
When they compare photos at the end of the day, the better looking photo is the one that usually lands the job.
Some women that I have photographed want to look a little slimmer or larger in certain areas, other women say they want to keep a natural look, but most choose the premium photo editing because they want to see the reaction on their significant others face when they see how amazing they look in the photos.
In the before and after photos below, you will see the before image shot directly from camera and the premium photo edit side by side. Most edits are subtle. Thats how I believe photo editing should be. I do not go extreme and make you look like someone you are not. Instead, I correct problem areas that would make a better looking photo.
When comparing the side by side edits, pay special attention to the areas of the stomach, stretch marks, veins, tattoos, side rolls, arms, legs, underarm, splotchy skin, and ankles. These are generally the areas that most women I photograph say they would like to have slimmed down or as they say, "fixed".
7 tips for creating breathtaking images with a new trend in boudoir and maternity photography
One evening I was watching television when a commercial caught my attention. I can not recall what the ad was for, but I remember seeing a claw foot bathtub in it and I thought, wow, that would look amazing in a boudoir photo shoot. The following day I did and internet search and found an awesome looking claw foot bathtub at a great price, so I purchased one.
My studio has a bathtub in it already and I had no intention of swapping it out with the new claw foot tub. Instead, I was going to build a completely new set for it.
I was happy with how the set turned out.
Now it is time to try out the tub.
I wanted to create some beautiful milk bath photographs in it. Milk bath photos are all the rage and extremely popular in maternity photography and boudoir photography. Perfect!
Initially, I thought about using fake flowers in the photos, simply because they can be reused. However, after some research, I learned that fake flowers will sink to the bottom of the tub, making them useless. So real flowers it is.
I went to the grocery store and picked up three bouquets of flowers. I selected bouquets that had flowers with soft colors and would compliment the milk bath boudoir shoot I was doing.
I also picked a container of non-dairy creamer. I chose the non-dairy creamer instead of actual milk mainly because I thought the milk would smell funny during the shoot or even after the shoot if the client did not want to rinse it off.
About an hour before the photo shoot I cut off the majority of the stem from the flowers. Then I placed the flowers face down on the floor so they can keep their shape and hopefully open up a little more.
The claw foot tub is not connected to a faucet, so when it was time to shoot, I had to fill the tub with multiple buckets of warm water.
While filling my first bucket of water, I stirred in about 1/3 of the container of non-dairy creamer and mixed it until it was completely dissolved. I then dumped the bucket into the tub and added about seven more buckets with only water.
The amount of creamer I used gave a great looking, soft milky color. The thing I enjoyed most about using the non-dairy creamer was the smell. It gave off a pleasant, sweet scent. I loved it!
I had window light available for the shoot, but I decided to use a strobe with a large softbox pointed towards the ceiling. The softbox gave me an evenly lit image versus the window light that had more shadows.
Before I placed the flowers in the tub, I had my client lay in it first. This allowed me to see if the color of the milk bath is desirable, and to adjust the water level in the tub if needed.
After the water level was perfect, I then posed my client and had her lie still while I placed the flowers around her. Once everything was all in place, I climbed up to the top of my step-stool and took a few shots.
I had her change poses a few times.
Each time her pose changed I would have to rearrange the flowers and add/remove some depending on how much open space was left by the pose.
My first milk bath boudoir photo shoot was a success! I am very pleased with the images.
The following day I had a maternity shoot and she wanted to try the milk bath for a few of her photos.
The milk bath maternity photos looked equally beautiful.
Here are 7 tips for a successful milk bath maternity or boudoir photo shoot.
1. Have lots of towels handy. The client will need to dry off and you do not want her to be cold or dripping water all over your floor while you search for extras.
2. Carry a dry washcloth in your pocket. You will need to dry your hands each time you arrange the flowers and you do not want your camera getting wet.
3. Keep your clients clothing minimal. During the first boudoir milk bath shoot, the client wore a bra and panties and they looked very out of place in the photos. If they are not comfortable being nude or hiding what they do not want shown under the milk bath, suggest wearing something sheer.
4. Use real flowers. You can also buy the ones that are marked down because they are “older”. They may not look great standing in a vase, but when they are laying in a milk bath it is hard to tell. Also, the real flowers can be used again within a few days.
5. Poses are somewhat limited in a tub, especially depending on the size of the tub, the client, and her flexibility. Milk bath photos are a great add-on to an existing boudoir or maternity shoot, but not so much as a stand alone shoot.
6. Place a non-slip bath mat inside the tub. The milk bath can be a little slippery and the last thing you want is having your client slip while trying to get out of the tub. Help them out, literally.
7. Have fun and make some beautiful milk bath photos for your clients to love forever!!!
Are you a football widow?
Oh football. Although the season is halfway over, you seem to be on television all the time. For some of us, it is an opportunity to hang out with friends and cheer for your favorite team. For others, it is a boring time spent alone as a football widow.
A football widow is a wife whose husband spends the majority of his free time engrossed in football during the football season.
It is not too late to get his eyes off of the game or fantasy football stats and back on to you.
Want to know how to do it? Easy. Experience a boudoir photo shoot while wearing a jersey of his favorite team (he will also love some photos in lingerie too).
Finding a football jersey to wear for your boudoir shoot may be a challenge, especially if their favorite team is not located in your home city. I am a Detroit Lions fan, so it is pretty much impossible to find a Lions jersey here in Las Vegas. So where do you go? I looked at the NFLs online store and they have a great of selection for every team, however their prices were extremely high. Probably not be the best value for something you will likely wear only once.
I searched some more, and was surprised to find that Targets website has a great selection of shirts and jerseys for every team. Just search under the teams name.
Targets prices were awesome. In the photos here, the gray shirt is $7 and the blue jersey is $11. Plus, they ship it free to your local store. Also, another thing I love about the jerseys on Targets site is that they have styles fit for a woman, not just a bulky mans jersey.
The playoffs are right around the corner, as well as the holidays. Give him an amazing gift that will get his eyes back onto you.