The 3 Second Session

Mitch Jackson photographed by John Ricard


I was photographing friend (and author) Mitchell S. Jackson in Langston Hughes’ home in Harlem. We did quite a few setups in a couple of different rooms. I used the natural light from the large windows in the brownstone, and I also used a few portable strobes.  At one point I was using the natural light to create a dramatic author portrait when I noticed Mitch’s son standing nearby.  I asked him to step into the frame and, according to the EXIF data, I spent exactly 03 seconds photographing them together.  I used my Leica T -a camera that I have set to B&W jpeg mode with no color back up file.

Back in the day, I never used to take different or extra shots. I was so focused on the “real” shoot that it didn’t even occur to me that I might create something special by photographing a scene that was not going to be featured in the magazine that I was photographing for. My mindset was that if the image wasn’t going to be published then what’s the point of creating it? These days I always take the opportunity to create or capture a special moment even if there’s only one person who will care about that image. Right now, the photographs that matter the most to Mitch will be the images that he will use as branding images.  Those are the images you will see in his author profile on a website or in a magazine. Those are the images we spent hours creating.  But 15 years from now, the image that Mitch will value most, is this one right here. The unplanned photograph that I decided to create on the spot.  The image that I would not have taken 10 years ago.  The image I look for every time I pick up a camera today…

By | 2018-10-21T19:32:54+00:00 October 21st, 2018|Photography|0 Comments

Finding Your Outer Voice with Helen Little

Helen Little is a broadcaster.  Not just any broadcaster, but in fact, the most heard non syndicated broadcaster in the United States.  She’s heard on 106.7, Lite FM, here in NYC.  She came to me for some branding portraits and our intention was to show the both her fun side and her professional side.  Since we were shooting in the studio it was important that we use wardrobe and emotion to communicate these different aspects of her persona.  Hala Moroc, who hosts montly, “Bad Ass Bootcamp” workshop/networking events, assisted with the styling.  Things go much smoother when you allow the shoot to be a collaboration between people who all understand the intention of the shoot.  I actually met Helen through Hala, so I knew Hala would be great to have on set.

After the shoot was completed Helen, we filmed a quick clip of Helen speaking about Finding Your Outer Voice.   She offers some nice insight about important it is to listen to your inner voice first before you can find your outer voice.

After Helen finished speaking about Finding Your Outer Voice, we started speaking casually about the photo session we had just completed.  Since the camera was still running, that conversation is available for you to hear.  As you can see, this branding session was a new experience for her despite her having been in front of the camera many, many times over her fabulous broadcasting career.

By | 2018-08-20T19:09:06+00:00 August 20th, 2018|Photography|0 Comments

Whitney Tucker, Yoga Instructor

From a recent session with Whitney Tucker. I try to make her class every Thursday morning at 10:30am at the Marcelo Garcia Academy. The class is a bit challenging. I’m always joking that it should be called Submission Yoga (after Submission Grappling). But the class is has a more pleasant tone than other Yoga classes I’ve attended. She seldom uses the long “official” names for the poses. No, ShavaPradaAsuana or whatever. Instead, there’s a playful back and forth between student and teacher and there’s a lot of instruction from Whitney about who is doing the pose “correctly” and what various students need to strive for in perfecting the poses. It’s a lot of fun.

She never let’s us meditate, but I guess nobody’s perfect 😉

Whitney also teaches a free yoga class on Saturday mornings at Athleta in NYC.

By | 2017-04-25T18:57:52+00:00 April 25th, 2017|Photography|0 Comments

Sparkman Clark, Actress

Sparkman Clark on Instagram

Sparkman came to my studio to update her images.    This was an easy shoot because she’s so comfortable in front of the camera and she has an ability to bring out different aspects of her personality visually.

She says, “There are so many actors I’ve admired over the years but its the obscure ones like Stanley Tucci that I really love.  I loved Johnny Depp because I loved how in every movie was a completely different person to the point that you didn’t even know what he looked like.  I wanted to do totally different characters and completely change my look each time.”

According to Sparkman, what brought her to me was her desire for, “Photos that you knew were by a professional photographer in a real studio.  Photos taken by someone who has been doing this a long time.  I wanted to be photographed din great clothing and have a real, authentic smile.  I wanted people to be able to see these images and envision me in a storefront window, selling their clothes or their product.  And that is what we accomplished.  We got so many great photos.”

By | 2017-04-20T01:32:55+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Glamour, Photography|0 Comments


Makeup artist Teddy Williams breaks his approach to creating this sultry look for Jordan

“The look I was going for was stark, but I also wanted to give definition to her eye,” said Teddy.  “I applied a burgundy, shimmery shadow from Mac into her crease to create definition.”  Product: Mac Cosmetics, Amorous Alloy.

Creating more definition with a smokey effect by using a pencil brush below her lash line.

Setting the makeup with a translucent powder.  “That keeps the look matte, and prevents shine on camera.  I wanted shine, just not all over.  I wanted the shine to be strategic,” says Teddy.

Applying a neutral color lipstick completes the look.

Carving out her brows to give definition and shape to them.  “Basically, I am perfecting them,” says Teddy.

Going under her eyes to clean up the under eye shadow.  “I want to make sure it is smooth and not messy,” says Teddy.

By | 2017-02-14T15:34:48+00:00 February 14th, 2017|Photography|0 Comments