Life, Learning and the Photos taken in between.

Studio Photography

Faces Of The Bitter Cold Showdown #2

Sorry for the delay on the portraits, the whole domain switch screwed up up for a moment but the blog is back and working to to be better than ever. On February 23rd the fellas and myself took a drive out to Royal Oak Michigan for the Bitter Cold Showdown. For those of you who do not rollerblade this event is one of the biggest if not the biggest competitive event we have. The opportunity to shoot on the floor during the finals and semi finals is a position that many photographers seek. So while those photogs were busting their ass trying to get that one great shot I took to the sidelines yet again this year to capture some portraits of not on the competitors but those who were in attendance that wanted to get a portrait done. I have to admit that this year the attendance and the energy was blah in comparison to previous years but i still had a great time shooting and chopping it up with the fellas in Royal Oak. I chose to use the same setup as last year, with only my Nikon speed light and shoot through umbrella at 45 degrees to the subject and my Nikon D90 DSLR. Check out the Photos and if you like what you see, repost on whatever Social Network you like. 

Brandon Smith – Valo

Chris Haffey Sporting his Handle Bar Mustache – Remz

Jose Henriquez – Flatlines Skate Shop, BX

Montre Livingston – SSM

The Monster Jaren Grob, Definitely one of my favorite skaters and the only rollerblader to make it into Sports Illustrated Magazine.

Troy Dezeeuw : Rollerblader and creator of the Daily Juice Blog & Track Or Die NYC Logo.

Last but not least, My Handsome ass grill. 


Fixie Ride To Philly Fall 2011

I recently embarked in a 15 hour Bike Ride to Philly on my Fixed gear bike with 2 friends. This ride was definitely one to remember with all the bullshit that occurred along the way, Fixed Gear, no breaks and juiced up on protein bars…oh BTW Fk you Google maps!   Along the way we met up with some cool individuals who made the ride that much better.

Edgar caught a double flat (both front and rear) on a bridge and was pretty pissed, while fixing the flats, a cool dude by the name of Adrien drove by and saw the struggle  and without us knowing went home and got his high powered air pump, rode back on his bike to assist us. This dude didn’t know us from a hole in the wall and we damn sure didn’t look like we were from the nice suburbian area. while fixing the flats he spoke of a short cut that he takes that would take off a couple of miles and put us right back on the path to Philly. We made it across the bridge only to find Edgars front wheel begin to go low again. Adrien kindly invited us back to his home to fix it up, while there he offered us water, power bars and what tasted like the best apple ever. After all was fixed Adrien took a ride with us along the short cut for a few miles before heading back home. After dealing with assholes on a daily basis in NYC its a breath of fresh air to know there are genuine kind hearted people in this world who will look out for total strangers in need. Thanks again Adrien

The ride was going fine although Mike trailed behind which was pissing me off since I’m used to my pace, I will continue to throw it in his face although he gets much props for making the trip and not frontin like everyone else (yea you!). So we get to Trenton NJ which is the hood and Mike decides to not keep up when a local was giving us directions and he gets lost for about an hour. Trenton isn’t really the place where one would want to get lost and Mike being the genius that he is, didn’t put batteries in his walkie (dick head) Edgar and myself wait for him expecting the worse because, well IT’S MIKE. I get a call from a strange number and yes it was mike saying he was already across the bridge in PA.  At this point I was heated and really didn’t want to say anything to Mike  and the batteries on the phone was dying which was our GPS. it was around 10pm so we stopped at a WaWa to get some beverages and charge the phone. Finally we Arrive in Philly but by this time the cheese steak spots would be closed so we got a hotel for the night and rested getting ready for tomorrows city ride.

We woke up and checked out of the Hotel and made our way to McDonald’s for a Breakfast before mashing to the City. We passed through the Philly streets which reminded me of the hood back in the 80’s. I almost got taken out by the A-Team Van which took 3 years off my life.

Overall the trip was amazing, I cant be mad at those who never showed up because they missed out on the great scenery and epic ride, Sucks to be you Dude. We rode to the Musuem steps, saw the rocky statue, Love Park and the cheese steak spots on Main street. I cant wait to do this ride again in the spring regardless if its with a larger group or alone. It was definely what I needed to clear my mind. Check out the rest of the shots from this adventure.

I’m back

I have taken a break from blogging to handle some personal issues and regain my sanity. while regaining My sanity is a lost cause I havent stopped shooting content.  I have some amazing shots from from the 1st annual drink Olympics, photos from my bike ride from NYC to Philly and shots of the sit in from both wall St in NYC and city hall in Philadelphia.  So bare with me while I get to writing,  you won’t be disappointed and if you are…..Oh well, FK it!

10 minute Photo Shoot with My Bubbles.

This past weekend my daughter Rhayne was treated to a hair and nail session from someone who used to be a really good friend to me. As much as I do not mind sitting in the Salon while she gets pampered as I normally do, this was a day that I avoided being the only guy sitting in the salon. Fellas if you have a daughter take her to the salon, it means more to them then you think. After the hair and nils were done we spent the weekend hanging out and doing Daddy-Daughter stuff. Time flies when you have a child  and I often wish I would have started photography when I was younger to have shots of her growing up. Now standing at a little over 5’1 my little girl isn’t so LITTLE anymore. I decided on Sunday before I took her to her other home that I would shoot some photos of her just so I can have and seeing as she always wants to see what goes on in a photo shoot I decided to make her the center of attention and turn her into the model for the day.

It haven’t shot photos at home since I moved into the new apartment and my living room isn’t as big as my previous so I had to get a lot more creative with my lighting setup. I decided due to limited space to run a 2 point lighting setup and see what I could create as far as lighting as concerned. I broke out the impact collapsable black backdrop, setup my light stands and umbrella and since I don’t own a light meter, started making guesstimates. This shoot took all of 10 minutes with setup and. These photos were a Birthday Present to myself which I will have printed and framed in my apartment (minus the water mark of course).

I shot these with my favorite lens the Nikon 50mm 1.8 and 2 Nikon Speed lights. 1 shoot through umbrella to camera left for a softer main light and and one set behind the subject (My Baby) to try and make somewhat of a hair light but due to my limited space it didn’t really work how I wanted it to.  Either way the photos came out great although she doesn’t like to smile just like her daddy, I hate taking photos unless I really have to. Check out the shots and leave feedback if you want.

My favorite shot .

Switched to only one light for more of a dramatic shot.

Can’t go wrong with Black & White.


Not bad for a to minute shoot in my living room, Rhayne is excited to have her own page on the Blog and told me she checks the site everyday. What more could a father ask for? Next shoot with be using a 3 point lighting setup with more space to shoot and the whole shabanger.

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I have a few more projects that I’m working on and I will be hopefully doing a video entry by August. My Birthday is this Thursday the 21st so you better wish me a Happy Birthday If your reading this.  Oh and By the way, my sweet logo was designed by Troy DeZeeuw, thanks a lot Brothaman..

Until Next Time……

2011 Puerto Rican Day Parade with (En Sap where available)

Since I have been trying to learn this damn 35mm Nikon SLR, I haven’t really been shooting digital as much as I used to. I received a text or FB message that the Puerto Rican Day Parade was a go and we would be doing a massive skate mob through the parade. Photos, Rollerblading and Beer or Cerveza for my latin speaking readers. Ray Mendez  arranged this spur of the moment skate mob with John Leguizamo who was voted as this years global ambassador of the arts. I hadn’t been to a Puerto Rican Day Parade since 2000 when there were women who were attacked by Groups of men in Central Park after the parade. I don’t know but that kind of made me lose the urge to ever want to go, 11 years later that urge came back. The meet up location was 48th and 6th ave and Jigs, Merchi and myself arrived around 10:30am to link up with Jon Ortiz, Ray Mendez and 2 other bladers (forgot your names, my bad) to get our wrist bands and tee shirts to gain full access to the parade. The streets were flooded with culture pride and Latin women wearing minimal clothing. Seeing as i’m half Puerto Rican it was pretty sweet to be in the middle of the festivities and and madness that the PuertoRican Day Parade offers.  I wish I could understand what people were saying though (I don’t Piki Pani).

Right before we hit the parade we were able to link up with John Stepehens and his 9 year old Nephew Damian which added 2 more heads to the group. There was a quick Skate session on this marble ledge to get the day started but much like any other day, Security came and kicked us out. Parade pooper!

So what roll did we have in the parade you ask? We captured that energy of the parade from beginning to end and being of the blades made us the most mobile media of the day.  We skated from 46st to 80th and captured not only the floats and performers but also the crowd celebrating their Puerto Rican heritage (yea i saw some of you Dominicans out there too but ill keep that Shhhhhh).

To be involved in something this awesome was an honor in itself but to have my photography put in the mix made this day and experience one that I would never forget. Although the skate from 46th to 80th st was no joke and I haven’t done a skate like that in a long time, we went back and did the round twice. All the positive energy was motivation to keep going. Every time i went around someone with the camera they came alive, screaming and whistling yelling things like “Yo soy Tu Bano” or something like that. I was determined to either learn to whistle with my fingers or speak a solid sentence in espanol before my day was over. The whistling attempt just led me to spit all over my hand…FAIL!

If you think this was an easy task i’ll break it down for you. Shooting moving objects while you are moving in the same direction, on rollerblades and you have to get in front of the objects your shooting. I wound up skating backwards  to get most of my shots. On the second round through the Parade I threw on my Fisheye lens to try and capture more of the parade and give it a weird look. There was no time for anyone to stop and pose for the camera, we was moving the entire time.

Overall the parade was a blast and I had a great time shooting it. Merchi, Ray, Jon, Damian, Jigs and the two other dudes whose names i cant remember to save my life. We got some MTA love and was able to shoot this photo on the bus, met some cool ass people and just repped Rollerblading. I had a great time doing the 3 things I love the most. Skating Photography and bugging out through NYC streets. Check out the other photos from the Parade and share the link to those who may have been at the parade. Maybe I took a pic of them without knowing.  Oh yea I saw Geraldo Rivera woooo hooooo.

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School of Visual Arts Shoot with Ryan Loewy

Seeing as my shoot for this morning was canceled, I figured why not update the blog with some new content. Before I get into this blog I want to inform everyone about  an upcoming project that I’m working on. Saturday April 16 is having its 1st Photography meet up. The location will be central park, the concept is to have photographers of all backgrounds and formats meet up, network and capture some shots share info and tips and have a chill day in the park. I will have some models attend this event if you want to do some portrait work. Central Park has enough to scenic views to shoot if portrait work is not what your into. The event is free and all you need is a camera and a passion to shoot and network. With that being said Hopefully I’ll see you there. Bring your Business cards, pen, paper and last but not least YOUR CAMERA. Here’s the link to the event page on FaceBook to RSVP. 2011 NYC Photography meet up

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I’m the type of mammal that gets bored easily and does not enjoy a repetitive lifestyle. This trait affects my photography and motivates me to always step my game up.  With that being said, I was offered the opportunity to shoot in one of the sweet studios located in the School of Visual Arts. I jumped to the opportunity and tried to come up with a theme that would work for this shoot, however I had no idea what to expect at this studio so I drew a blank.  Ryan attends S.V.A and was transforming himself into a daisy or some type of flower for a self-portrait project that he was working on. I’m more of a cactus man myself, less maintenance and they look cooler but that’s getting off the subject.

When I linked up with Ryan most of his makeup was removed which gave him a creepy zombie look which the way fashion and trends go, could be the next look. If it happens then i want a percentage of sales because you heard it 1st here.  So since this was going to be the 1st shoot we kept it relatively  simple with some basic head shots using Profoto strobes, beauty dish and bounce cards.  For this shoot i had the chance to shoot with a light meter which made my life so much easier. Basically if you do not know what a light meter is, it’s a device that measures the light and gives off the proper settings to dial in your shutter speed, aperture and ISO. You can then tweak it to make your image look the way you want it.  Here are some of the shots taken from yesterdays session with Ryan. You can also check Ryan’s shots and work from viewing his tumblr page and Flickr account. I’ll link them at the bottom of the blog.  Shots taken at Low 1 ISO, between f20-f22 and shutter of 125th of  a sec. All post production was done in Adobe Lightroom 3.

Ryan’s Tumblr

Oh yea I received my 2nd Photo Journal for One Magazine Featuring Evan Grimball. Check it out

Portraits with the Fellas

As with writers, Photographers (myself particularly ) also suffer from writers block. Since I am doing both writing and photographing I will use that as the excuse for my absence from blogging last week. However I am back this week with a freshly squeezed serving of “Your Daily Juice”. Today I had some friends come over to the Casa De Jugo, for numerous reasons. First I was getting a house call for this small tattoo I was going to receive.  Second would be a therapy session to release that inner stress that we all have in side.  My apartment or shall I say my reclining sofa has held some of the best therapy session for not only myself but my friends also.  A beer and open minded conversing always does the trick for me. After my tattoo was finished I decided to pull out my Impact collapsible backdrop and convert my big living room into a small studio. Now as far as lighting goes, I was missing a light stand and flash so I only had one light stand with a sb600 flash and shoot through umbrella.  Now since I am using the black backdrop I usually would  have a separation light between the background and subject  but for today I will make due with what I have. I GOT THIS!!!

So what was the concept and motivation for this shoot? I had none, I just wanted to shoot and had two “Models” at my disposal who are always looking for new Facebook default photos. So here we go, My camera setup for these Images were ISO 200, F 2.8 shot at 70mm  shutters 1/500 of a sec.  I did a few test shots to get the right shutter speed and this was the result I felt most comfortable with.  I pulled out my Rosco Gel Filters and added  2 red strips over a light to give off a reddish neon look.

Probably my favorite shot of the night. It came out pretty sweet if you ask me. I mean yea the second light probably would have made this a great photo but like I said, I am working with what I have. I focused in on my subject (Edgar) and once all my settings were dialed in and lens was in focus, I shut off the over head lights and used only the flash to provide light. Also when using this backdrop, I usually ask the subject to stand at least 2.5 to 3 feet away from the backdrop to prevent any shadowing from the flash on the background. It will give you a solid background providing you have enough room to do so….Next

If you look at the lower portion of the photo you will see the Rosco get strip illumination. Not too shabby.

These Next two shots I removed the umbrella and used the Interfit Strobies Mini Beauty Dish (B&H $29.95) with a mount for my SB-600 ($7.95).

Now it’s been said that a picture says 1000 words so i’m sure you can tell what Sizer (Toy) is trying to say. His facial expression says more than words could ever express.

I will call this one “Thoughts of Cuffing”. Totally candid shot that I chose out the set because I felt it showed true feeling. Like I stated earlier, this photo shoot started out as a therapy session.  What can I say about today’s shoot? Always good to chill with my peoples and even better when they tolerate me shoving a lens and flashes up in their face.  Edgar and Toy have so much character in their facial expressions that I always produce great photos of  the two. Hopefully I am off this writers block and I can get some more blogs in here and there.  My next post will be of some shots I took at DJ Neo’s “2nd Sunday NYC ” event that I shot a week ago.

P.S. I am leaving you with this awesome Project that was shot during the night of  A photo class that I had taken. Photo editing by none other than FETUS ( If your looking for a inexpensive introductory to photography course contact me Via Email . The instructor is great, knowledgeable (not me) and teaches a hell of a course.  I even learned a few things that I didn’t already know.

Until Next Time