March Issue // Metro Magazine // Men's Fashion

The March Issue of Metro Magazine is FINALLY on news stands and I've been super excited to see the final product of a fashion piece I photographed for the magazine a couple of months ago! For this spread, we collaborated with an illustrator to bring in a little artistic flare to the project, which is the first time I have ever done this! It was so hard to hand over images, not knowing what they would turn out like! Our goal was to create a fashion editorial that showed great style, yet was light hearted and a TON of fun! Think well-dressed-men-being-boys. Lets face it, every single guy I have ever met has a boyhood dream of playing with guns! Shooting this spread was so much fun! Our models really got an incredible workout that day and our entire crew was phenomenal to work with! Make sure to pick up an issue to see this fun-ness on the glossy pages!


Photographer: Eliesa Johnson

Styling: Erick DeLeon

Hair/Makeup: Fatima Olive

Talent: Thomas Sellwood, Wehmann Models & Talent and Orlando, Vision Management Group

Post Production: Liz Hardt

Assistants: Brandon Werth, Louisa Podlich



Behind the Scenes // The March Issue!

Last week I photographed a super-cool fashion shoot for the March issue of Metro Magazine! The concept is SO much fun, I can't wait for you all to see the final product this spring!

We shot a Orbit Studios, which is an oh-so-lovely studio space! I fell in love with the giant sweep there and just HAD to use it for this shoot!

Special thanks to Louisa for taking these behind-the-scene photos from our day! If you want to see more, head on over to Fashion Editor, Mary O'Regan's blog!

As always, I couldn't have pulled off this magic if it wasn't for the help of one AMAZING crew:

Styling // Erick DeLeon of Modern Day Dapper

Makeup // Fatima Olive

Talent // Tom Sellwood, Wehmann & Orlando, Vision

Assistants // Louisa Podlich, Brandon Werth, Collin Hughes

Publication // Metro Magazine

Location // Orbit Studios

And we couldn't help but have a little fun on the side....


I am beyond happy with this latest test shoot! Testing is all about allowing yourself the freedom to create! I absolutely love film and wanted to go back to the basics. I wanted to create a menswear spread that was clean and authentic, without compromising quality and, of course, style! Erick DeLeon styled the shoot, and I had my heart set on using attire from BlackBlue. I absolutely LOVE this store. The vibe, the selection, the clientele - everything about it is beautiful and I just had to have them be a part of it! Lucky for me, they agreed and some pure magic happened!

This shoot was so refreshing for me, because it was truly so simple! In studio, all natural light, and since we photographed it with film, there wasn't any post production! The process was just about as inspiring to me as the final images!


Photographs: Eliesa Johnson

Attire: BlackBlue

Styling: Erick DeLeon

Talent: Jason of Ignite Models

Hair/Makeup: Margo Gordon

Film Development: Richard Photo Lab

Behind The Scenes // Winter Fashion Test Shoot

Woo Hoo!!! We just wrapped up THE most inspiring test shoot!

It was honestly, one of the simplest shoots I have ever put together. It all began when Ignite, which is an amazing agency in town, sent me over a photo of a new guy they had just signed on. This model had no experience - which is honestly some of my most favorite subjects to work with. Simply, because they have no idea what they are doing yet and they also don't have a pre-conceived-notion of what a model is 'suppose' to do. This particular model had the most amazing freckles, and I dreamed up this winter fashion spread all around his look!

Erick, once again, worked his magic on the styling and my current FAVORITE store for menswear, Black Blue lent us all of our amazing looks!!

The photographs were shot with all film cameras. We used both a 35mm camera - the Canon FT-QL and a Medium Format 500C Hasselblad (which, for the record, is like a little slice of heaven to look through that viewfinder!)

Our film was: Velvia 100F Fujichrome and Fuji Pro 400H

The best part about this shoot for me, and probably the reason it was so inspiring was just how simple it was! We didn't need to worry about downloading cards or even looking at the camera! It was just me, a window full of natural light, one model and an amazing camera! That, my friends, is what it is all about!

MOTO HIGH // Test Shoot!

It's done! It's finally done! I am SUPER stoked about how the images from my last test shoot turned out!

The concept was somewhere in between a Dolce & Gabbana ad campaign and the Drug, Sex, and Rock-n-Roll attitude! I wanted to have this juxtaposition of a trashy environment, mixed with classy attire. I wanted it fashionable, yet gritty. Polished, yet messy. Refined, yet questionable! I was super lucky to, once again, work with an AMAZING team! A. Michele Boutique let us use their gorgeous pieces to style all of the models! Seriously, this boutique had absolutely everything we needed to pull the shoot together and I really, really appreciate local shops who are willing to collaborate with us on these test shoots! Collaboration is what this is all about!  Now, onto the sexy car...I was coming into the studio a few weeks prior to this shoot and my friend, Betty - who is an amazing jewelry designer, drove by in this beauty of a ride! I literally chased her down and was like...BETTY! I MUST USE YOUR CAR!!! It fit perfectly in the setting and was the perfect pop of color to tie in the whole shoot!


Photography // Eliesa Johnson

Production // Chelsey Paul

Hair // Micah Savage

Makeup // Margo Gordon

Talent // Kristina & Elle – Ignite Models, Ewalt & Siddiqee – Vision Management

Assistants // Jonny Bennett, Louisa Podlich

Post Production // Liz Hardt

Clothing // A Michele Boutique

Car // Betty Jager


The beauty of testing is that anything can happen! While getting ready for the MOTO Shoot, which I know you are all DYING to see and will be released in the very near future, I took some images to simply warm everyone up to the camera! There is something about these images that I am totally digging, so I decided to actually use them for my portfolio!! With every series of images that I put together, I like to compile a story, in editorial form. This series is titled Renegade Romance, for, I think, a pretty obvious reason!


Photography // Eliesa Johnson

Production // Chelsey Paul

Hair // Micah Savage

Makeup // Margo Gordon

Talent // Kristina & Elle - Ignite Models, Ewalt & Siddiqee - Vision Management

Assistants // Jonny Bennett, Louisa Podlich

Post Production // Liz Hardt

Clothing // A Michele Boutique

Moto Test Shoot // Sneak Peek!

Yesterday's test shoot went SOOOOOO well! I've just narrowed the final image picks down and I am THRILLED with the outcome! Now begins the post-production-process, which is going to be a little complicated for us! We are really pushing the limits with this shoot, not only with the lighting and concept, but also in our editing process. My creative vision for this goes far beyond the actual shooting and I'm sooooo excited to dig into this! Obviously, I will show you all the end result, but while I was culling through everything, I came across this image that I fell in love with! The tone of our shoot was quite serious and I absolutely love this photograph, because it shows the tone of our crew and the actual set that day! There's a certain amount of acting that is necessary to make a good model, but these are genuine smiles and I'm so drawn to the energy of this photo!

Below is an image of yours truly, which I also love! Collaboration is KEY to a successful shoot and this totally captures my feelings about everything that is going on right now!

And last, but not least, our oh-so-fabulous crew shot! A SPECIAL thank you to absolutely everyone who helped out with this! I'll talk more about these people when all of the final images are released, but they deserve a little love:

Jonny - Assistant

Louisa - Assistant

Liz - Digital Tech / Post Production

Margo Gordon - Makeup

Micah Savage - Hair

Chelsey Paul - Production

Ewalt & Siddiqee - Vision Management

Elle & Kristina - Ignite Models

A Michele Boutique - The Sweet Clothes

Betty Jager - The Sweet Car

Flashlight Photo Rental - The Sweet Gear

Moto Test Shoot // Pre Shoot!

Tomorrow marks yet another test shoot for my commercial portfolio! I've had much critique about the new site over the last few months and the #1 word of advice was to test shoot just a little more before starting to send out my books to the big boys! I absolutely love to test, simply because it brings me back to playing. When I test, it's only for me. When I test, I get to collaborate with the people I love to work with the most! When I test, I have the opportunity to shoot...and be able to show the world...exactly what I would love to photograph for future work! There are no limits, no boundaries and no one to answer to! The possibilities are endless with test shoots!

I wanted to take a minute to show you all how much effort we put into these! For the first time ever, I am working with a producer, Chelsey Paul! This has been THE most fabulous experience. I am trying to pull this together during the busiest time of the year, so her help is beyond necessary! Photographers: working with a producer will change your life! Maybe you don't have the time or money to find/hire someone? Shit, find a friend to fill that role! Chelsey has been coordinating the models, location, clothes, food, and literally all communication with the crew! I've learned from working with her that my job is really to focus on being the photographer. I love being a part of the creative process, but to have another person who understands the concept and just helps me carry out all of the final details has been an amazing experience!

Below you will also see an example of our creative brief! When you are working with so many people...stylists, models, agents,'s important that you keep them all in the loop! Part of our re-brand for ELIESA was to create a solid set of these sheets, so all of our shoots from here on out can be super well as look cool! Creative briefs can be as simple or elaborate as you would like, just as long as all of the imperative information is in there!

Here are some stellar iphone images showing how we compile looks together! We documented each look and wrote a final document, noting each and every little piece that is used in each look! Why? This will help us move swiftly between changes and also keep us super organized! We are always super lucky to work with amazing boutiques around town and we want to make sure and keep their attire in tip-top shape!!

After all of this planning, the last thing I needed to focus on was lighting! Now, again, this is a test shoot, so I have the opportunity to play with new equipment, concepts, etc! As most of you know, I am one of the most non-technical photographers in the world! My brain knows what I want and how to create it, but do I know what the exact piece of equipment is called? Not so much....luckily, we have the AMAZING Raul of Flashlight Photo Rental close by! I discovered flashlight last year and I am thrilled to have such a wonderful service in our community! I stopped by Flashlight today and Raul already had brainstormed on what equipment I needed to pull off my concept, helped explain it to me annnnnd, we even did a little test to make sure it will give the effect I'm looking for! I can not tell you enough how utterly important it is to surround yourself with the best people in your industry! The refreshing thing about the Flashlight team is that they are truly here for photographers and they want nothing more than to see our industry thrive!