Fashion editorial: Gwen Albers

2 or so years ago, I met the lovely actress/model Gwen Albers at an Indieworks screening (if you love short films, it's the perfect place, trust me - and there's one happening tonight!) and she has come to be one of my favorite kindred spirits in the city. She so thoroughly impressed me when I saw her fantastic performance in a short film there that I immediately sought her out after, and the rest is history. Fast forward to now, and I'm excited to share some photos from our first official collaboration (hopefully one of many to come!), which I'm happy to say is also some of my favorite new work!

We spent the day working our way through Brooklyn, taking advantage of its fantastic street art, beautiful parks, and impressive architecture - a perfect hyper-saturated representation of New York City's creative culture. We roamed from the Williamsburg Bridge to Dumbo to Red Hook and everywhere in between, and had the most gorgeous sunset glow to work with during the golden hour (a photographer's dream!). Gwen was a natural in front of the camera, and her beautiful spirit inside and out definitely came through, which was wonderful to work with. Add in the beautiful clothing and pieces provided by Dutchess clothing, and I couldn't have asked for a better shoot that day, or better weather. Here are some of my favorites, and can't wait to shoot with Miss Gwen again!

24 Hour Film Race: Growing Over You

If you've followed my work at all, you know I love when I get to be the set photographer for film projects, no matter how big or how small. There's something very magical and unifying about working with a film crew, and inevitably the people you work with become an extension of your ever-growing film family. That's why the 24 hour film race is something I look forward to every year, and last year's was by far our best one yet.

If you aren't familiar with how a film race works, the concept is this: write, shoot and edit a film with several requirements (a specific line of dialogue, a chosen prop, and a theme) that are announced at the start of the competition. Given that all this would normally take weeks or months to complete, it's quite the ambitious undertaking. Despite the rigorous schedule, it's always fun and inspiring, and often brings out the best of our creative abilities. 

We may be exhausted at the end of it all, but it's the most fun I've ever had intentionally working myself to the bone and combating the sleep that threatens to invade. Many cups of coffee and red bulls later, I never cease to be amazed by what we've pulled off and how we've managed to bring it all together, and I think that's why I love it so much. Sometimes you need to do the work for the love of it and nothing else, and being able to focus on creating beautiful imagery without working through client concerns or deadlines or bottom lines is a much needed rejuvenating process as an artist. 

Headshots: Tommy Juliano

Back in the fall, one of the actors I had the pleasure of working with on Six Windows, Tommy Juliano, asked me to hook him up with some updated headshots. We had hit it off really well on set, and he easily gave one of my favorite performances from he project, so I was more than happy to oblige! 

Tommy is one of those very versatile actors with boundless energy and unbridled enthusiasm for his work, which is a large part of why I loved working with him. I wanted to make sure we captured that element in his images, and as he was showing me the various wardrobe options, I began to associate the outfits we selected with certain character archetypes; thus the approach for this shoot was born.

We traversed from the cute neighbor to the bad boy, the jerk jock to the suited up douche, back to the charmer and maybe even the hint of a villain. After spending the whole afternoon shooting (albeit a great deal of that was purely spent laughing), I couldn't be happier with the results. Here are some of my favorites from the day, hope you like them as much as I do!

The 2015 Drama League Awards

This past May I had the pleasure of rejoining the Drama League for their annual Drama League Awards ceremony, honoring the talented theatrical community members of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. It's always such a pleasure to work with the Drama League and their amazing crew, so needless to say this was one of my favorite events to cover over the spring (I also got to meet Joel Grey, a personal favorite of mine, and it easily made my day - I'm so glad he received the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award). 

Not only did everyone share wonderful speeches and anecdotes about their peers and coworkers, but there were enough jokes all around to fill the room with humor and enthusiasm the whole time. My personal favorites were when Nathaniel Parker started reciting Herman's Hermits lyrics and when Kristin Chenoweth decided to stand atop her chair to make up for her petite size; she had the whole room doubled over in laughter. Every person there had a special story to share, and it was lovely to hear so many heartfelt words of appreciation and gratitude for the theatrical community and their fellow actors.

Here are some of the highlights and my favorite shots from the day, and can't wait to be back working with the Drama League again soon!

 

New Portraits: Gabryal Rabinowitz

I always know it's going to be a great shoot on a day that I'm working with Gabryal; He's wonderfully charming, undeniably handsome, and one of the most genuine human beings I've had the pleasure of knowing. On top of all that, he's a truly amazing actor, so when he asked me to work with him on creating some new and improved headshots for him, I couldn't have been more excited. Casting directors, take note and check out his phenomenal website!

We chose to try for a more GQ-eqsue aesthetic and stylized portraits, and I am so thrilled with how they turned out! We elected to experiment with using a ring light in some of the shots, and I think it worked wonders for bringing out the texture in the velvet suit he wore for the first part of our shoot. It was an adventure using a new light that is not a normal piece of my lighting kit, but I absolutely love the results it produced. My favorites by far however are the sunset shots we created at the end of the day after scaling to the roof of my apartment building. We couldn't have asked for a more vibrant and beautiful sunset, and it paired spectacularly with his wardrobe; serendipity at its finest.

It's always such a joy to work with your friends, and I am so fortunate that I've been able to work with Gabryal for so many years now; here's to many more in the future!

IndieWorks: Best of Fest 2015!

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of photographing IndieWork's Best of Fest 2015, and it certainly did not disappoint. A great event that allows indie filmmakers an opportunity to have a more personal interaction with their audience, IndieWorks gives up-and-coming directors a safe and inviting space to share passion projects, personal creations, and indie films with the local community. It's a sure bet that you can find me there every month to see the beautiful films being shown, and I love every minute of it. Not only is it a fabulous professional network to branch into, but it has also afforded me the opportunity to make many wonderful friends which I am forever grateful for. 

I was elated when one of my personal favorites from the past year, Q.U.E.E.N., written and directed by Brittany Fennell, won the coveted Golden Whiskers Award this year, and it could not be more deserved. The  talented Hye Yun Park took home the Audience Choice Award for her wonderfully funny web series Hey Yun, and there's no question as to why the audience loved it. Here are some of my favorite moments from the night, and be sure to come join us at the next screening on June 10th!

The VelociPastor!

If you read my blog with any regularity, it's no secret that I work on film sets often, and that it's one of my favorite places to work. I love my film-family, it's such a large and supportive community that I am unbelievably blessed to be a part of, and so I try to return the favor as often as possible. That's why I'm so excited to share with you news on the newest project some of my best friends are working on, The VelociPastor

 Illustration by  Wyeth Yates

Illustration by Wyeth Yates

The film is written and (to-be) directed by my fabulous friend Brendan Steere, whose previous feature, Animosity, not only received global distribution, but was also well-received enough to show at many film festivals in the last year, including Fantasia, where it screened alongside Guardians of the Galaxy and Boyhood. It also won Best Picture and Best Actress at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival in 2013; As you can clearly see, he definitely knows how to make a good movie.

Originally a spoof trailer of epic comedic proportions, Brendan's finally ready to develop VelociPastor into a full-length feature of dark humor, and I for one could not be more excited about it. If you want to see the concept's origin, you can check it out below.

Not only is it retaining Matt Ziegel from the original short as the lead and VelociPastor, but it also will star Alyssa Kempinski as his college educated and provocative love interest. I've also had the pleasure of working with her several times, most recently on the set of Six Windows! They were also both cast in Animosity, and I'm so excited to see them work together again. Not only are they both immensely talented, but they are both joys to work with on set, which I can personally attest to.

Along with Steere, two of my closest friends, Brandon Taylor and Gabryal Rabinowitz, have joined the teams as respectively Producer and Associate Producer. Not only have I known them for years, but had the pleasure of working with them on many previous projects including Six Windows, The Remembrance, and They Hunger. With a killer crew such as this one, I have no doubts this film will go above and beyond in the realms of creativity and craftsmanship, with a touch of insanity-bordering brilliance.

If you believe in this project like I do (which, in all seriousness, you really should) please check it out on Facebook, Like/Share, and Donate to help make this project a reality!

Headshots: Ellyse Burnett

As a photographer often working within the film industry, I get to meet a lot of fabulous actors and actresses, and many of them come to be my closest friends. The beautiful and immensely talented Ellyse Burnett is certainly no exception, and I was thrilled when she asked me to do her headshots for her. If you recognize her, it might be from the upcoming web series I worked on a few month ago, Six Windows. While she may seem a bit shy at first take, she's got a smirk and sense of humor that will steal the show, and I loved trying to bring those aspects of her personality through in these images. Which, if I may as so bold to say, I think I achieved fairly well. I can't wait to see where her career will take her, because it's definitely leading to bigger and better things!

-Hair & Makeup by  Jodi King Makeup-

Behind The Scenes of Six Windows, Round 2!

Back in January, many of my good friends and I were hard at work filming the second block of Six Windows, a web series exploring six people's different experiences dealing with the challenges of New York City. Despite a blizzard or two trying to interfere with our last few days of shooting, we successfully wrapped in a little over a week, with a lot of fantastic footage. While the series won't be released until this coming summer, I have a few images from behind the scenes of the project that will hopefully hold you over until it's finished! Directed by my inspiring and deeply talented friend Brandon Taylor, this series is sure to remind you of the growing pains of life, love and loss. Starring such pretty fabulous actors, including Tracy Willet, Shannon Terrel, Gabryal Rabinowitz, Ellyse Burnett, Cornelius McMoyler, Susan Moses, Hamza Zaman, Nicole Im, and many others, I'm positive this series will turn out wonderfully, and I can't wait to see the finished project. So without further ado, here are some of my favorite moments behind the scenes on the set of Six Windows!

"Not Our Living Room:" Promotional Stills

This post is long overdue, but I am happy to say I am finally getting it out to you all! Back in August I was finally able to work with the immensely driven and talented director Christina Raia on one of her two upcoming shorts, Not Our Living Room , written by her fabulous partner in crime  Kelsey Rauber. I also was lucky to reconnect with fellow Penn State Alum Adam Jepsen, who stars in the short alongside Rob Ceriello, both of whom nailed their parts as brothers dealing with unusual and unexpected circumstances. While I've had the Behind-The-Scenes images out for a while now, the editing process for the promo stills took a little time, so I am happy and proud to finally unveil them to you! To see more of Christina and Kelsey's projects, as well as great indie film events, make sure to check out CongestedCat Productions, the producer of Indieworks (where you can find me almost every month!).

Side Note: A few promo stills have to wait due to some pretty substantial spoilers, but as soon as the short's premiered, I'll be sure to share the ones still under wraps. Hope you all enjoy these as much as I do!

A Night for James Earl Jones

Near the end of January (where has the past month gone!?) I had the immense pleasure of working with the Drama League photographing their annual Gala Fundraising event. Every year, the League honors someone with their Lifetime Achievement award, and they selected none other than EGOT winner, Mr. Darth Vader himself, the larger-than-life James Earl Jones. Not only was I honored to be part of such a prestigious event, but I also had the opportunity to meet and photograph many prominent members of the theatrical community, which was truly an amazing experience. From the star-studded list of guests, to the fantastic live performances, it was a night I'll never forget, and hope to have the opportunity to attend again. Everyone had only words of the utmost respect and admiration for Mr. Jones as an artist, peer, and human being; Kelsey Grammer's near outburst of tears stood as a testament to the genuine and heartfelt words he expressed about James, and he was not alone in that night full of emotion and support. The Drama League put on a flawless event, and I am so proud and happy to have helped support all the important work they do for aspiring actors and actresses, as it is both necessary and progressive. Congratulations to them for hosting such a successful fundraising event, and may they have many more in the years to come.


Boy Code: Behind The Scenes!

I love getting to work with new people, and this film was certainly no exception. Not only was it my first experience working with talented director Christian LaMorte and his fabulous crew, but it was also the first time I was fortunate enough to work with Elijah Trichon, an up-and-coming actor who plays the lead role in Boy Code. A witty yet critical film that explores the difficulties of growing up in the hyper masculine world of teenage adolescence, this coming-of-age story not only appeals to me artistically, but also culturally. I was thrilled to put my skills to work helping bring this film to fruition, and I can't wait to see the finished project when it premieres at the The Dusty Festival, hosted by the School of Visual Arts in NYC. 

Boy Code: Promotional Stills!

December was a big film month for me, one of the projects being a short film titled Boy Code, directed by Christian LaMorte and starring Elijah Trichon. A story about the pains of growing up in a hyper-masculinized environment, Boy Code follows a young man through his last days of senior year at an all-boys Christian Academy, and reveals the pitfalls of trying to live up to his peers' expectations. It accurately portrays the pains of adolescence, but also explores the awkward nature of our first romantic encounters. 

I wanted to be a part of this film since I first heard it was in development, and am so glad I was able to contribute to a story I found so valuable and necessary. It not only shines a justifiably-harsh light oh the sex-obsessed, macho bubble young men grow up in, but it also brings into question why our culture has these unfortunate and detrimental societal standards in the first place. 

I was only able to be on set for one day of shooting, but I can't wait to see the finished product of what I truly believe will be a fantastic short film. 

Elijah Trichon as William Coleman in Boy Code; © Alyssa Meadows

Elijah Trichon as William Coleman in Boy Code; © Alyssa Meadows

Elijah Trichon as William Coleman in Boy Code; © Alyssa Meadows

Elijah Trichon as William Coleman in Boy Code; © Alyssa Meadows

Six Windows: Behind The Scenes!

This past month held one of my favorite projects from the past year; working as a Unit Stills Photographer on the set of the web series Six Windows, directed by one of my wonderful friends, Brandon Taylor. Not only did I get to work with some of my favorite people again, but I also was fortunate enough to meet some fabulous new cast and crew members that were simply amazing to work with. We spent a whole week shooting 3 of the 6 episodes that will encompass the first season, and I can't wait to see the finished product. Not only was the cast absolutely solid in their acting abilities, but the amount of love and enthusiasm invested in this project by everyone involved was undeniable. Starring Ellyse Burnett, J.W. Harvey, Alyssa Kempinski, Michelle Jones, Lauren A. Kennedy, Gregory James Cohan, Zach Sciranka, and Carolyn Blair, this project is sure to reveal the challenges and growing pains of navigating New York City. 

Here are some of my favorite moments behind the scenes  of this fantastic production; I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Behind-The-Scenes: Not Our Living Room!

About a month ago I had the pleasure of working on a new project from Congested Cat Productions, titled Not Our Living Room, a short about two brothers getting ready for their mothers' anniversary dinner. However, things take an ominous turn when they try to leave the living room.

Not only was there an overabundance of talent and enthusiasm on set, but I was also fortunate to get to work with an old theatre friend of mine, Adam Jepsen, who I had previously photographed at Penn State! We filmed the whole short in one day, an impressive feat, and I can't wait to see the finished product. Getting to work with a new crew was wonderful, and I can't wait to work together with them again! 

Jersey Shore Massacre Premiere!

Last night was a brand new experience: shooting a red carpet premiere! I was fortunate enough to be the in-house photographer at last night's unveiling of Jersey Shore Massacre, a horror & comedy rolled into one, with Jennifer "JWoww" Farley as the executive producer! Written and directed by Paul Tarnopol, this film takes the Jersey Shore stereotypes we love to hate and adds in a deranged killer, where no amount of GTL can save them from some pretty gruesome fates.

I had so much fun working at this premiere, and met some pretty wonderful people. Here's looking forward to doing another red carpet event soon!

"Ella" Production Stills!

It's been a little while since Hollow Tree Films finished filming for the 24 hour film race, but I wanted to share some of our official promo stills! Starring Michelle Jones, Ellyse Burnett, and Brandon L. Cabrera, "Ella" explores how the choices we make can have huge ramifications, and how tenuous relationships can become. While we only had one full day to develop a story and bring it to fruition, I think we did a pretty solid job and produced something we could all be proud of. Already counting down to the next Hollow Tree Films production!

Animosity @ Fantasia Film Festival // Available for Pre-Order!

Last month, Animosity was selected to premiere at Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, one of the largest genre film festivals in the world. While I wish I could have attended, I know it could not have gone any better, and I'm sure it was a fabulous showing!  A huge congratulations to the rest of the cast and crew on how all our hard work and dedication has paid off!

Animosity Production Still with Actress Tracy Willet, © 2012 A. Meadows Photography

Another fabulous bit of news regarding Animosity; it's now available for pre-order at Alternative Cinema, which you can purchase here! It's also being listed through FYE and Barnes and Noble, if you have a membership with either store. Please support our film, so that we can make more wonderful ones in the future, and I can hopefully have more fabulous photos to share with you all soon!

"They Hunger" Proof of Concept Production Stills!

I've been waiting to share these images for a little while now, but I just received the green light from Hollow Tree Films, a co-producer of the project, and am so excited to finally unveil a few of the production stills from the Proof of Concept project we shot! Not only did I have the pleasure of working with such talented actors and actresses, but I was also fortunate enough to work with some of my favorite crew, and I am already counting down the days until the next project. Starring Alyssa Kempinski, Lauren A. Kennedy, Russell West, and Gabryal Rabinowitz, I can't wait to see where this project goes and hope to work on more of it soon!

Actress Alyssa Kempinski as Parker  in "They Hunger" Proof of Concept                                                     © 2014 A. Meadows Photography

Actor Gabryal Rabinowitz as Ezra in "They Hunger" Proof of Concept                                                   © 2014 A. Meadows Photography    

Actress Lauren A. Kennedy as Robin in "They Hunger"  Proof of Concept                                                 © 2014 A. Meadows Photography