***Recently had 'Tartan Run'/Veronica MacIsaac Apparel image printed in British Vogue.*** (July 2013 issue)
- I am interested in meeting emerging designers and helping you establish your brand image. I have assisted a number of young designers achieve national and international recognition. This is what I got into photography to do, it's what I enjoy most, and it's what I can do for you.
I have an outstanding record in shooting for hair competitions - shooting winners in Goldwell, Contessas, Redken and other national competitions. I did my training in beauty photography in Los Angeles, and it's been a very smooth transition into shooting for hair competitions. I enjoy it a great deal, and every stylist I've shot for has placed in the top three of their competitions - and several have won outright.
If you are entering a national competition and want an excellent chance of winning, get in touch and I can help do that for you.
Follow Alter Ego on TWITTER - keep an eye out for last minute photoshoot opportunities! http://twitter.com/alteregohalifax
- Designers/MUAs/Hairstylists - please feel free to add me on FB, but do please add a note about what your focus is, so I can put your name in the appropriate contact list.
THE SHORT VERSION
Hi there, thanks for stopping by. My name is Brent McCombs and I'm the guy behind the AlterEgo lens. Check out the pics, and if you have time, let me know what you think. If you want me to shoot for you, or if you'd like to be in one of my personal projects, message me and we'll grab coffee to see if we can come up with something.
Know too that if we shoot, you will get a very limited number of images. Possibly as few as one. Most of the time, more - but not many. I believe strongly that there is a 'best' shot of any look - and that is the one worth showing. Everything else is second rate, and I don't want to show anything second rate, and neither should you. Also, it takes me, on average, 3-4 hours to finish an image, even if there's not much to photoshop. Asking for 20 would mean either a huge compromise on the quality, or a couple weeks worth of work. I refuse to compromise, and quite honestly, am too bloody lazy to do two weeks of work on almost anything.
So normally a shoot will produce 2-4 images. I retain copyright on all images I make, but you will get to use the images to promote yourself, in your book and such. And sometimes I'll do actual prints - but that usually takes a coffee or Stella bribe.
Anyway, that's the short version, and unless you're interested in flowery sounding media blurbs or background info, you might just want to skip to the images.
I am one of the two owners of Shadow House Studios - the largest professional photographic studio in Atlantic Canada. We are located at 59 McQuade Lake Cres in Bayers Lake, just off of Chain Lake Drive. Bus routes to the studio are the 52 and the 21.
(the makeup area of my studio)
THE LONG VERSION
There's no 'I' in TEAM (but there is 'me')
I work with an extremely talented team of creative hair stylists, makeup artists and stylists, most often led by the outstanding hair and makeup stylings of Mallory Glenn, who's website we recently reshot a bunch of images for, but which is taking uber long to get put up (gripegripegripe), but when it's done it will be awesome, and will be located here: (www.malloryglenn.com
THE STUFF ABOUT WHAT I DO & OTHER STUFF ABOUT HOW TO SHOOT WITH ME
I still try to shoot a TF project or two a month, but the project has to be very interesting to me, and the model(s) must be special.
Commerical work takes up most of my time, and in almost all cases (except occassionally for charity work) you'll be compensated if I ask you to participate in a commercial project. Essentially, if I'm getting paid, you will too.
Portfolio building work is rarely done TF* any more - but if you believe that you get what you pay for, and still want to work with me, let's talk.
For most models, I recommend doing TF work with at least a handful of photographers looking to trade time. There are a number of good photographers in town who will get you solid images. It will also get you some good experience in front of the camera. If you do some shoots and decide modeling is something you love, and you want to really take your portfolio to another level, and if you like what I do, then let's grab a coffee and design a shoot that fits your strengths.
Glamour, editorial, fashion, beauty, commercial - there are a number of directions your passion and career may take you. We can either play to your strengths or fill in gaps. Or best - do both.
If you want an AlterEgo portfolio makeover, we'll meet, design a shoot around you, and then give you at least three distinct looks, and get three (or more!) amazing shots.
My portfolio building fee starts at $400, and includes hair, makeup and wardrobe styling. Frequently, hair and makeup will be done expertly by Mallory Glenn, who's work is featued in many of my images here on the site, and who has worked on a number of feature films, tv shows, music videos and is (in my opinion) a local superstar (though she'll cringe when she sees that I wrote that here!).
I have also begun bringing a dedicated stylist into my shoots, which I believe adds immensely to the overall quality of the images.
I also will often have an assistent working with me on set. Assistants are generally advanced photography students from one of the local community colleges. Because I believe in a hands-on learning style, students will be given shooting time during a shoot after I am satisfied that I 'got the shot'. This will always be treated as 'bonus time' for the client, and can add some fun and awesome shots to the day.
In planning Portfolio work, you get to have as much input into the shoot concept as you want. If you have a wild idea that you're dying to do, we can make it happen. Or, if you just want something awesome but don't know exactly what, we'll sit down together and come up with a concept tailored that fits your personality, strengths, interest, carreer goals or wild side. All your choice.
I like to listen to music while we shoot. So bring some tunes to the shoot that really fit the mood of the concept. If you don't bring tunes, we'll be listening to my collection.
THE STUFF THAT INTERESTS ME
Shooting with me is a bit more challenging than some other photographers, and I like it that way. If all we can come up with is 'stand over there and look pretty', we ought to just go out and have a few martinis instead. After two or three, we'll be more creative anyway.
I'm open to a lot of concepts, and styles, but will try to avoid the biggest of cliches. I don't want to shoot you just standing their with a cigarette, guitar, sword or gun. Props are cool, and goodness knows I have a prop-room full of them, but we have to find something interesting to do.
THE STUFF ABOUT PHOTOSHOPPING IMAGES
I believe that when you press the shutter, the image is only half finished. I spend a great deal of time working with photoshop to finish my images. Each images is unique, of course, but generally I believe in maintaining skin texture and a more natural look. That said, I will shoot my images a little flatter than is ideal, and add contrast and saturation in post production. In these aspects I tend toward a more dramatic feeling and punchier image.
Further, and most important to understand if you think you may want to model for me, is that I try to make the most idealized version of the image possible. This means that I may well tweak a chin, lift an eyebrow, remove blemishes, enhance the life and twinkle in an eye - and generally alter the image to suit what I think is most appropriate for each image. This is not necessarily to everyone's taste. There are strong arguments against doing this - the most obvious is that to do so creates an unrealistic ideal for young women. To that argument I say, I agree - it is unrealistic. But so too is having perfect lighting, an expert makeup artist on hand to blend and contour, a pro hair stylist to work a 2 hour up do and then stand just out of frame to put everything back into place. Add to that often outrageous or unaffordable wardrobe and unnatural posing and we're not fooling anyone that this is a 'real' image. We are *not* making a documentary. It's fantasy, it's an ideal. My ideal, to be sure, but only one ideal. If you don't like this, speak to me about it. But at the end of the day, I take my cue from the image.
THE STUFF ABOUT WHAT ITS LIKE TO WORK WITH ME
I take photography seriously and try to conduct everything in a very professional manner, but at the same time, a shoot with me will be fun. I'm laid back by nature, and at the end of the day, we're not doing brain surgery, so no one will die if we take chances and get a bit goofy. Life's short, have fun.
THE PRE-SHOOT COFFEE MEETING STUFF
To help make everything in a shoot go smoothly, I prefer to meet a few days before the shoot over coffee or tea. This way both of us have time to go over ideas/concepts for the shoot, outline what our goals and expectations will be, and just generally both get comfortable around each other.
THE STUFF ABOUT HEADSHOTS
Are you an Actor, Musician, Model, Performer, Executive or someone who needs a great headshot? If so, I offer a one hour (ish) session where we we do your hair/makeup (and even wardrobe if it needs it) and we'll get you a selection of great headshots that capture who you are and what you're about.
THE STUFF ABOUT FRIEND REQUESTS
Friend request are cool, but if you could leave a tag or a message as well, I'm far more likely to accept. I just like to know why you're making the request. Do you like my work? Do you want to work with me? Are you selling something? Are you coming to Halifax and want restaurant recommendations?
You're welcome to contact any model or creative in my portfolio and ask about what it's like to work with me.