I had a fantastically fun photo shoot yesterday (9/13/2011) with two actresses: Natalie Mazzu Stone and Janice LaFlam.  To say that these ladies are boisterous would be an understatement! They’re fabulous and definitely not shy little wall flowers!

The shoot started with Natalie beautifully portraying a dark, conflicted woman in the Film Noir style. She’s drinking, haunted, plotting, all at the same time. Nat was great! These photos were not so much “portraits” in the traditional sense of the word, but rather a “portrait story”. The photos will hopefully make you wonder why she’s drinking, what’s going to happen next and what’s she going to do with that huge knife.  Can’t you just see Natalie in a gritty old crime film, with Bogie or Betty Davis strolling into the scene?

Did I mention Natalie is Sicilian? Seriously – she has a picture of Marlon Brando as the Godfather in her bathroom!  By the way, Natalie is also a chef who was recently on the Bravo reality show Rocco’s Dinner Party and she is an incredible biscotti queen.

Just as Nat and I finished up with this series of images, wonderful Janice arrived. Talk about an abundance of character! In addition to being an actress, she’s also been a model, a playboy bunny, a music rep, a waitress, amongst other things.  After pulling out her wardrobe, she transformed from a modern woman into a sassy burlesque matriarch (or maybe an old time madame?).


When we finished with these period shots, the three of us hit the road and went to one of many local lakes for some outdoor shots. We were out on a floating dock just getting going, when a breeze came and the dock swayed at the same time. It was enough to tip over my lightstand and send my flash and the attached radio receiver into the lake!!!  Janice and I both got our arms into the water to see if we could reach it, but the water was too deep. Janice saw where the bubbles came up and the logical thing thing to do was to jump in. So I did.I held onto the edge of the floating dock and lowered myself in.  Had I been standing normally, the water would have been just over my head, but I using my tippy toes, I was able to locate and retrieve the flash and receiver.  I pulled it up with my feet, handed it to the girls and then made my way over to the ladder at the end of the dock. After taking the batteries out and shaking some of the water off, I picked up my camera and asked the ladies if they were ready to get back to the shoot. We got some lovely photos, as shown below.

When we got back onto the beach, Nat made a quick call, which made me realize that my cell phone was (as always) in the front pocket of my jeans.  OOPS. Didn’t think about that before jumping into the lake! It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal except I don’t have a land line – I’m a cell only girl. Janice lent me a hand getting my battery and sim card out. That was the point where I called it a day. Natalie sent me home with a bag of biscotti and a bag of rice that we put my poor cell in. It’s sitting in rice, but fortunately my neighbor had an ancient old Tmobile phone that worked with my sim card. Whew! As a photographer friend later pointed out to me, I just don’t have very good luck with flash units!

All said and done, this was an incredibly fun photo shoot with two incredibly fun ladies! I definitely want to work with these two again!


Location of shoot: Medford Lakes, NJ