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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A look back on 2012: Haley Bohon - The Virginia Darling

Sometimes in life we actually enjoy being right about a person, meeting Haley was one of those times. A clever soft spoken mature teen from Bristol, VA Haley surpassed any preconceived ideas I had about a modern day teenager. Wise beyond her years she struck me as more a woman of 28 than the typical teen.


And that was of coarse confirmed once I actually chatted with her both on set and off set.  Sure she still does the Facebook thing and tweets pics of herself in the mirror like most young women her age (and older), but she certainly can handle an adult conversation regarding things like friendships, future goals and family more than most.
  We had a long day ahead of us, it was summer, it was hot and rain was expected that day.  Haley jumped into the first pose and we went right to work.  She listened to every pointer I gave her and never took her eye off my camera nor broke concentration from the task at hand, which was getting her awesome images before the skies unleashed hell on our less than cozy day in Richmond, VA heat.  I had the opportunity for Haley to shoot with a dress designed and created by a good friend of mine and up and coming fashion designer Alexandra Grecco.  The dress was perfect and Haley was perfect for the dress.  I did my best to keep both the dress and Haley as safe and cool as possible.  We picked a great spot under a shady tree and kept at it.  One outfit down two to go.  Second outfit change, Haley and the MUA (Makeup Artist) go back to the hotel to make some changes to her hair and face for the next outfit. 




 When out of nowhere the skies opened up and unleashed what I thought would be my last few moments on earth.  Lucky for me I was very close to a bridge and found a dry place to bring all my gear.  But for a few seconds though I thought I would wake up in the land of OZ.
See Video Here  Thankfully it soon past and we got back into the rest of our shoot and while it was still very humid out, the temps did drop about 20 degrees by dusk. 


 Shooting with amazing gals like Haley will always make me proud to shoot in the state of Virginia and keep me coming back time and time again.  It keeps me loving what I do.  
 Every job and model opportunity comes with its share of challenges, lets face it not every person had the same parents or interprets life and people the same way.  However, sometimes life throws you a straight pitch right over the plate once in a great while, where you almost have to feel fate was involved.  This for the simple reason to affirm you that you are on the right path and your work both as a person and a photographer is affecting other peoples lives, even if its in a very small way.
I will always cherish my shoot with Haley Bohon, or as I have nicknamed her "BonBon"




Monday, February 4, 2013

A Look Back on 2012 :Miss Virginia USA 2012 - Catherine Muldoon

Dare I go for broke and blog two days in a row?  Yes I guess I owe it to myself.  I do not assume I have any "fans" in the truest form following everything that I do...that would be quite scary.  Still after a long weekend it would seem more of a good idea to reflect than tackle the pile of things I have to do on a Monday....

So instead over the next few posts I will take a small look back at 2012 at just a few images and shoots which I have fond memories of.

The first I will start with is Miss Virginia USA 2012 : Catherine Muldoon.



Catherine was the first Miss VA USA queen to accept my prize being a sponsor of the Miss Virginia & Miss Virginia Teen USA pageant system.  Needless to say I was quite nervous.  Why? Well to start off let me just tell you, I'm always nervous before a shoot...I been told its these nerves that keep a photographer sharp and always looking to reinvent themselves.  A seasoned photographer of 20 years once told me, "The day I stop being nervous before a shoot is the day I stop shooting!"   And I am tending to agree with him everyday.  She was looking forward to my shoot because I was not the typical crown & sash pageant photographer. OK that made me even more nervous..so what do we shoot?  How do we come up with an idea.  Thankfully I have the mind of a small child and saw these gorgeous locks of blonde hair...blonde hair who has blonde hair?   Who embodies power beauty and well the American way...?  Super Girl was the obvious choice.  I sought out to find the most tasteful yet characteristic costume I could find.  Thankfully a new line of higher quality costumes came out last year and we were able to capture her in a comic book inspired theme.  Catherine was quite easy to work with.  She took direction well and left 90% of the shoot in my hands.  I am ever so grateful to her for trusting me with the concept of her shoot.

 We had a blast and she even went so far as to mention me in her farewell speak at the close of the Miss Virginia USA 2013 pageant as she took her last walk.  Not expecting it, such a small gesture yet it resonated with me in such a great way.

I will be selling this very costume on Ebay this year and donate the money to Hurricane Sandy Relief in Catherine's name. (I'll post it here once its up)



Thank you Catherine for an amazing day and such a tremendous memory.

Another year another blog post!

OK, I'm guilty as charged folks...I haven't blogged at all since last March.
Its been a crazy year to say the least. Some months better than others. I had my last Al Salerno Photography Tour last summer thanks to cooking myself and my models alive in 100 degree weather. (NEVER AGAIN) But at the same time made great strides in my "Sweet Home Virginia" by the end of the year to connect with even more amazing pageant people (Miss VA USA...WOOOP!). 2013 is already gearing up to be a much more sane year simply with the addition of my new home at Union 206 Studios. (more to follow on that)

If I could sum up 2012 in one word it would be "thin". The lesson that is I learned in trying to reach farther in my goals and life. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to spread yourself out thin, because it leaves you more vulnerable to disaster and disappointment.
And in many ways that's exactly what I was......disappointed. But with disappointment usually follows clarity. Clarity to see your own faults and where you went wrong. Clarity to realize you need not make more friends, when the ones you have probably aren't the right ones anyway. To trust yourself more and the love from others you don't really know, less. To still be out going, but learn when you overstayed your welcome. To still be charitable, but not a doormat. To appreciate the ones you love, who also show you everyday that they love you too.

So in closing for my first and hopefully not last blog post of the year...I can never regret anything I have done in the past, because its is after all now in my past. And without our pasts we can not learn to move ahead forward.So what about photography you ask? Well like Sinatra used to sing "The best is yet to come".

 For all my tried and true fans, I thank you for all the love support and praise...it helps on those days when you feel like no one really gives a crap. For the people I have yet to work with, congratulations...you are going to get the better version of me than the year before. The upgrade, the 2.0, the next chapter that will prove to be better than the last....Now lets get back to doing what I do best....YOU!!!

-Al


Friday, March 2, 2012

Well its almost time to start things up again....but before I move forward a little preview of my upcoming book, AL SALERNO PHOTOGRAPHY: YEAR IN GLAMOUR 2011 Vol. 1
I made a small highlight reel from my travels last year.  Ill be producing a book which will be sold to help the 2011 JAPAN TSUNAMI victims.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What is the Price of Technology?

So I'm noticing this new trend in ultra slim camera bodies with standard SLR lenses you can use. Sony has sunk a ton of advertising into their new NEX-5 and NEX-7 camera systems (MSRP 1999.99)....  Now don't get me wrong I love gadgets especially new ones,  and this new smaller form factor is a great convenience for people who are tired of lugging around huge SLR cameras out on casual day trips just to capture some decent images. That being said it also further opens this huge hole by which no more talent amateurs with access to an expensive camera such as this, can further their cause of cranking out more home made porn and badly composed well taken photography. So what is your take on it? Either as a general hobbyist or a semi pro or professional photographer? Do you think technology has it's disadvantages to it's cause as well as it's advantages?. Much like texting has been the death of the modern phone call, does technology also remove from that which it tries to improve?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Years Resolutions...

So whats your resolution for 2012? Are you going on the essential diet like I am? I gained a whopping 40lbs last year due to pure laziness. Or are you dropping the major vices like smoking or drinking? For some it means a clean slate, for others it's just a year beginning tradition that only lasts about two weeks.
For my photography a new years resolution means taking the time to step back and examine my work and decide if it isn't time to try something new. I'm one of those people who is rarely content with the same thing over and over again. (Except maybe sushi 6 days a week).
The world has become so content with mediocre photography. While digital photography has made so many advancements one thing it hasn't advanced is it's ability to teach people the concept of basic composition and design. This constant immediate gratification of just because the magic 8 ball LCD in the back of the camera made an image appear that it's automatically worthy to post to the worked as a finished work has completely ruined almost all types of photography, but it's most obvious in the digital glamour realms.
Now for some, I come off as a very cocky self proclaimed "God" among mortals. On the contrary, I may take pride in the things I have accomplished but this by no means translates into knowing it all. As it stands what I believe and what I have been taught by photographers better than I; is when the nerves stop and the constant need to self improve sis to exist, it's time to hang up the camera straps. So here is to a new year filled with a new perspective, new enthusiasms (40lbs less photographer to lug around)

What are your thoughts? What are your photographic ambitions?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Beginnings in 2012!

So since I skipped a year I decided to start things off this year actually posting things. (One thing helping my iPhone app for Blogger) One day I'll get around to back logging my 2011 year. So here is to things to come and things to be explored! So far my only disappointment is I had planned on going to Hawaii in Feb. I had a connection and a plan, unfortunately you can only plan so much by yourself. My hat goes off to Miss Hawaii Kai 2010, for screwing up my plans. It is quite a shame that some people can't say YES when they mean YES and NO when they mean NO. Today's norm is just ignore the person and the problem will go away. Here's hoping this approach isn't applied to our nations leaders or we'd wake up with troops storming the Jersey shore, and it won't be to see Snookie. But none the less my travels will be taking me to LA to reconnect with a childhood friend whom I haven't seen in over 15 years, and this will prove to be a better more meaningful experience than a few amateur bikini models on an island full of the same amateur bikini models.