I’m back on FIVE O!!!!

I'm back on FIVE O!!!!

Yo!  Danno!  You looking at my photo?

So I’m Back.  Well, I wasn’t exactly acting, but Hawaii Five O wanted me behind the camera this time.  I guess my acting from before was so good, that no one could really replace the irreplaceable, no?

Me and “Jesse’s Girl!”

Production hired me to photograph the beautiful actress Tania Raymonde, who plays a suspect in a murder scene during HI Five O’s second season show, “Ma’ema’e.”  Tania is famous for playing Alex Rousseau on ABC’s Lost.  Since I never really watched Lost I can’t tell you more other than she was Benjamin Linus’s daughter.

My photographs of Tania would be used as EVIDENCE on the show.

Tania, who plays a college volleyball player, is suspected in the murder of her coach when racy photographs of her are found in her dead coach’s possessions.  Melanie, as her character is named, takes erotic photos during an ad campaign and her coach is trying to sort out the problems.  With a few twists and turns, Five O finds that Melanie wasn’t romantically involved with her coach; however, the coach was linked to…well…just watch the show.

My very difficult job was to photograph the very good looking Tania in a very unsubtle yet tactful (and tasteful) sexy way.  As the photos would be on network television, the photos couldn’t be that provocative but the art directors needed to push the envelope until the photos bordered on the fetish.  The art direction called for the actress to be in several different costumes including a skin tight volleyball uniform and a cut up halter top that would make any college boy sweat.  The ripped, collegiate uniform, her sweaty body draped in a bath towel…bada bing!…all found as evidence.  Talk about coaches behaving badly!

So as McGarrett and Danno case the casa where the coach lived, they find the racy photos and quickly point their suspicions towards Melanie.  The photos are displayed all over the episode as the projected on their computer screens, snapped on their iPhones, etc.  But as the episode pointed, out the coach wasn’t the photographer and the photos were a red herring.

Danno snapping pictures.  I wonder if he saved them?

Daniel Dae Kim over looking all the evidence on the big screen.

As Tania walked onto the set (gray seamless, Elinchrom Octabank, Profoto 7a 2400ws pack) I had no doubt photographing her would be easy.  It is never hard to photograph a good looking woman.   Yet the actual posing and positioning proved to be fairly difficult.  As I’ve said earlier, it became a struggle to find the right type of poses, lascivious enough to arouse the Five O viewers, yet tame enough for the network to give the green light.  The art team, hair and make up, and the rest of the crew helped create the right balance and feeling.  Tania looked more like a supermodel with her hair and makeup but she played well with the camera.  We had a great rapport. During our lunch break, the crew and Tania all sat on the floor eating pasta and salad all the while talking about Hawaii and LA, acting and really nothing more.

I have to say I enjoyed seeing loads of my images being used all over network television Monday night.  The images are not the proudest part of my career but whattya gonna do?  Its a job but anytime I get a chance to practice my craft, its a great day.  Especially when its all over the television, and when its a good looking girl.

The martini shot

The martini shot

The past few weeks have been slightly tough with work and personally.  My father in law sought refuge with us after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  He lives in Tokyo so there was no damage to his house or anything around him.  Minor broken dishes and the likes but life went on.  However, with dwindling food supplies, continuous aftershocks, and the fear of a radiated Godzilla returning to strike Japan, it was best to have him come and sun in Honoruru.  Having a third person in our condo isn’t bad but its not holiday time so work must go on.

As far as the tsunami is concerned, I must say its been tough not going and documenting the drama unfolding has overpowered my desire to travel to the wasteland.  We figured its best not to have a retrospective on my life after going.

Before and during all of this I had a hectic shooting schedule which had me shooting numerous jobs and as it always seems, all at once.  One of the most intensive jobs shooting a travel piece for Delta Sky magazine.  Sky assigned me to travel to several islands and I got to shoot everything from horseback riding to a celebrity chef. The spread was published in their April 2011 issue. I’ve already had a few flying friends send me notes they are seeing the Delta line across the friendly skies…no wait that United.

The pdf spread can be found here.

Sky tasked me to document multiple locations around Hawaii within a short time and lots of freedom.  I got to pick and choose from a list of locations and venues and decide which would make great art versus what could be picked up from hotel stock.  We figured there would be very little value in shooting hotel rooms and beautiful sunsets because most hotels have libraries of that stuff.  So I concentrated on the unique, rather, the more editorial view of most of the locations.

One of my favorite images came out of the Halekulani Resort in Waikiki.  The Resort has numerous gorgeous stock images of their hibiscus signature pool but the images sell corporate beauty, not what its like to actually see it.  You see an idea, a concept, not the reality of a pool filled with tourists.  I scouted the pool before I realized dusk and above would get me a great shot.  I asked the hotel to get me a room above with a balcony overlooking the property.  It didn’t take long to see the images I wanted to capture.

The mag loved it.  They actually wanted to use it as the opening spread but the higher ups wanted a different type of image showcasing Hawaii a bit more.

The opening shot of the spread ended up being, again, at the Halekulani.  I got a really nice room at the hotel and tried to shoot the model, Cindy, slung sexily over a lounge chair with Diamond Head in the background.  Sadly, the sun decided not to cooperate.  We had NO sun…the entire day was cloudy.  At the end when we gave up, we popped a bottle of wine and Cindy went out onto the balcony to enjoy the view from the $7000/night sweet…errr…suite at the Halekulani.  Diamond Head, the night sky, and the beautiful girl drinking wine on the balcony all lined up into a perfect martini shot.  Delta was extremely happy as was I.  This is the second major spread in their magazine in so many years.  I’m fond of this shot and all the work it took to make all of this work out…actually what little work we did to get this shot.