Sonny Lombardozzi: The Making of a Rock Poster

Recently, I had the pleasure of working again with my friend Sonny Lombardozzi. Sonny is a world renowned guitarist. He holds music workshops around the world, and is recognized globally as one of the world’s best metal guitarists.

Sonny has many sponsors, from V-picks to Morley pedals to Spider Energy Drink and more. For this session, we captured Sonny playing his guitars outfitted with EMG 707 and 808 pickups. Our goal was to produce a large poster which will be shown in music stores around the world, to promote EMG pickups and Sonny’s reputation as the worlds most brutal shredder.

We brought in some aluminum trusses from the Raven Sound warehouse, where Sonny and I both have our studios. Thanks again to Phil and Rick and the gang for the trusses, I think you will agree they add a lot to the image.

guitar promotional photography

We have here the trusses and a few of Sonny’s guitars including the famous double “Saw” guitar. I arranged the guitars to keep most of them in clear view, with the pickups prominently shown.

Once we composed the image, we did a few image captures with regular studio lights. Here’s a sample:

Sonny lombarozzi guitar emg pickups 2

Of course I would crop out the windows above. This shows the basic setup. We were pleased with the images, but wanted a bit more punch. So we tried gelling a kicker light red to provide some color impact. It was amazing what that red light did to the trusses!

EMG pickups Sonny Lombardozzi music photos

I had the fog machine going as well. I set up a second kicker for red on the right (actually I didn’t have red but I combined Magenta and Yellow gels to make red!). Here’s the pullback shot:

EMG puckups Sonny lombardozzi red

There’s a lot of red, and basically no other color of substance, so the poster will “glow red” and draw eyes to it. Additionally, we felt that the double guitar held was the best composition, so we chose a final image similar to this one:

sonny lombardozzi double guitar saw emg pickups promo

After post processing, titling and final edits, the poster is going to look like this:

sonny lombardozzi emg pickups poster final layout

We are very pleased with the results. Look for it in a music store soon!

Senior Portraits in Erie: Lizzie’s Horses

Thursday evening we had another fair weather night. It was a bit overcast and warm outside, but we actually had great light for Lizzie’s portraits.
Here are a couple of images with one of her horses:
We captured many great images outdoors at her favorite places. Then we headed indoors to our studio for more images.  Lizzie is a singer, so we captured this great image with a microphone:
Here is another great image in black and white:
And another in color:

Lizzie, great images. Many more are on the way!

Senior Portraits in Erie: Alyssa

Alyssa’s two loves are horses and guitars. We focused on these tonight, and ended up with some amazing images.
Here are some images at her family farm with her favorite horse:
I was in a “texture” mood tonight, so a couple of these images have some special effects.
This one is pretty much straight out of the camera. There’s the family farm barn in the background.
Then we headed downtown for some indoor and outdoor images. Here are a couple. I got into a Black and White/Partial Color mood:
This one has a nice dramatic BW finish. But the key is the pose, and the tunnel effect from the Sas underpass.
 A different treatment of my rusty wall. Partial color on the tye-dye shirt.

Alyssa, you have many great images. I dig the Les Paul!


Alex is a musician. He covers a wide variety of styles and instruments. We set out on Saturday to capture some great images.

The first image is near some abandoned properties along the lake. I creeped out the background a bit and brought through the “Night Terrors” T-shirt colors.
The next shot is a “shredder” shot. He plays in some rock bands, but doesn’t often rock out on this instrument.

Nice shots, Alex. More to come.

Calling All Angels

Tonight I played bass in a band for a wedding in Fairview for actor Marc Blucas and his new wife Ryan. A special guest at the wedding was Pat Monahan, a former Erie resident and leader of the band Train. He asked to sing with our band, and so we ended up the backup band of Pat as he performed Drops of Jupiter and Calling All Angels. He also performed a solo song to the wedding couple entitled “Marry Me”.

I helped the band leader work up the arrangements and we did a quick practice before the ceremony began. I am a huge fan of Pat and Train, so this was quite an honor for me.

Pat was nice enough to pose for a photo with me before we broke down the stage.

Playing with my new Christmas Toys!

I spent much of the last two nights playing with my new USB Midi keyboard which interfaces to my music mixing program, and my new Sennheiser headphones. What a hoot! I have access to great Steinway piano samples, Hammond B3 and even Moog synthesizer setups, and a bunch of music clips I can mix together. This is a lot of fun, and I can see I’ll have to use it as a reward for work done or else I’ll never get anything else accomplished. I’ll be posting some MP3’s of my compositions and mixes soon.

But hey, this is a photography blog, so I’ll talk about a couple other things that Santa brought me. One was a flash bracket for my camera which allows me to raise my flash off the camera to help reduce red-eye and improve lighting. The other toy is called a Lightsphere and is used to diffuse the light from the flash to soften the impact on the subject. This will really help some settings where I need to use the camera flash, such as sunset and shooting into shade.

This photo is of our trusty dog Emma, a german shepherd / yellow lab mix, to our best guess. We rescued her from the pound 9 years ago and she is truly a wonderful and smart mutt. She was my willing model today as I tested out my new gear. You can see very natural lighting here, with no sharp shadows or blown out highlights, even though I was shooting indoors in a basement lit only with overhead flourescent light. This was ISO800 f/3.5 and 1/160 sec exposure with my attached flash sporting a new Gary Fong Lightsphere.

Good Dog!

Senior Portraits on Erie Beaches

Many seniors request photos at the beach. Some of them want to use Presque Isle beaches, which feature wooded backdrops and sandy beaches. Others ask to visit some of the beaches on the East side of Erie County, such as Shade’s Beach in Harborcreek or Freeport Beach in North East.

This image of Joe was taken in North East at Shade’s Beach. On a warm but overcast afternoon, we hit this rocky beach for some individual and family images. The uniform cloud cover made for very even lighting.

Among other things, Joe is a musician and drum major in the Iroquois High School Marching Band. Here we featured Joe with his trumpet against a backdrop of Lake Erie.

A little bit of contrast enhancement with the Curves and Levels tool brought out the color of the clothing, the shine of the trumpet, and the transition from water to sky behind Joe.