Some Double Dragon, and Some Fake Album Covers

Filed under : Extra, Portraits by Ben and Kirin on 21-01-2012

We’ve known the Williams brothers, Zealous and Lamont, for a few years now. They’re cool cats, and they also happen to be the local rap duo “Double Dragon.” We first met them about two years ago when they asked us to shoot some publicity stills for them. We shot more images of them for their marketing materiel, and we thought we’d share them with you.

Whenever I shoot publicity stills for bands, I always imagine how they would look framed as album covers. “Albums,” for those of you born after 1980, were how people used to store recorded music since the early days of the last century. I know that people dig digital music, but there was something about the physicality of a 12″ disk and its big, poster-like cover.

Anyway, I’ve always been a big fan of the cover art used by the Jazz record label Blue Note back in the 60’s. I thought it would be a cool little exercise to take some of the shots we have of Zealous and Lamont and create album art in the style of those old Jazz Albums.

Hey Lamont and Z, what do you think?

Vicky and Pedro

Filed under : Portraits, Weddings by Ben and Kirin on 15-01-2012

Never fails… Every time we have a groom who tells us that they hate being being photographed, that they never turn out well in their pictures–they always seem to end up looking great. I always think it’s because, for whatever reason, they are denying their inner-male-model.

Pedro is exactly like that. Despite his protests otherwise, I swear I could sense that he dug being in front of the camera. Vicky, on the other hand, was just like her good friend–and our former client–Jackie: relaxed, confident, and funny. We thoroughly enjoyed spending the day with these two. Here’s to you, Vicky and Pedro!

Our Friend Kristen

Filed under : Portraits by Ben and Kirin on 05-01-2012

Kristen is our buddy. She’s a local beauty queen who holds more than a few pageant titles, including the current Miss Asia San Diego title and Miss San Diego Cities. We first met Kristen back when we covered the Miss Philippines California pageant in 2010. She asked us to shoot photos for her portfolio early last year, and we had such a great time–and got to create so many great photos–she asked us to shoot some more for a possible magazine feature she had in line. Kudos to our friend and occasional collaborator, Ron Pareja. Check out his stuff.

Now unlike the last time we had a shoot, this time we shot in a very public place, Downtown San Diego. More than a few carloads of gawkers slowed down to look, and even a few creepy knuckleheads followed us as we wandered through the alleys shooting. It made Kristen a little uncomfortable at times, and I felt really bad. I should’ve anticipated that.

But then we had a costume change where Kristen wanted some shots of herself in her pageant gown and tiara. This also attracted crowds, but this time they were significantly less creepy and rude. All these little girls gathered around Kristen, wide-eyed and awestruck. “Are you a princess?” some asked her. Even the few adult males who came around were decidedly more sweet and respectful, asking to be photographed with her. Amazing what a difference a change of clothing can make. The next four shots are Ron’s. Wonderful!