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model portfolios . isabelle

it’s been a little while since i’ve shot model portfolios…2 minutes into this session reminded me of how much i love shooting them. isabelle just signed with heyman talent here in cincinnati and these are her first set of images that will make up her online portfolio for clients to see. this is really important as her images need to convey a range of looks, emotions and feel. also, since these are her first set of photos, they also need to be ‘clean.’ what do i mean by that. somewhere in the initial discussions i have with either the model/talent themselves, or their moms, i talk about the importance of  how their images need to market them for ‘this/our’ market~cincinnati. the midwest. it’s tricky because most (young) models want to jump right into higher fashion looks, which is fabulous and trust me, i love styling and shooting those too, but the reality is that our ‘market’ is made up more of p&g, banks, hospitals, etc. not that we don’t have fashion, but the bread and butter of our market for working models and actors is much more mainstream and i know this too well myself, as i’ve been a working stylist in our market for 25 years. so as an art director, director, photographer, producer or client is quickly looking through the multitude of head shots and portfolios through the talent agencies online galleries, they don’t want to work too hard in ‘seeing’ that ‘talent’ in their spot, ad, representing their company or product, etc. so, it makes complete sense to give them what they are looking for and help market the model/actor so that they can get work. which, is, of course, the goal.  as models/actors start booking jobs, they will add those new images to their portfolios as well as continuously testing with photographers for updated looks/spreads. testings are the most fun. photographer+stylist+model=creative freedom. now that isabelle’s first set of photos are done, i’ve already started thinking of the next shoot with her because she also inspired me. it’s a two way street.  i, as an artist/photographer, am equally inspired by the person i am making images of. that happens when both people make a connection, have fun and push themselves. isabelle is undoubtedly beautiful, but it goes deeper than that. she was not only ready to go on the first click, but  she also never stopped giving. i was immediately struck by the variety of looks she could give…which is so much harder than it seams. it’s also one of the goals when i shoot these sessions, as they are short and need to be as diverse as possible in respects to poses, angles, looks, emotions. she took directions on a dime, took control when i asked her to, and experimented freely. that happens when there is trust…on both ends. thank you so much isabelle for such a fun and fulfilling little session yesterday. i look forward to our shoot for 513{eats} later on in the month…which, of course, will be anything but ‘safe’ and ‘clean.’



May 3, 2012 - 11:57 am

jesszwo - Absolutely GORGEOUS work, Gina. She is such a doll.

May 10, 2012 - 12:11 pm

Christi Traster - Really beautiful, Gina. xo

twenty~six on friday {takes my breath away}

what? no… i am not turning twenty six on friday…i’ve already done that, a while ago. this is better.  i’ve been invited to participate with a group of phenomenally talented photographers in a collective creative group project called twenty~six on friday(s).
 i don’t have to remind myself how much i love creative projects and as i’ve been so consumed with our  513{eats} magazine, i have not had the time for my own as such. so the invitation had me smiling, thrilled, and then, honestly, a bit nervous as this group of photographers are amazingly talented…
as in there will be no just getting by. this is a good thing. it will make me push myself. we should all push ourselves.
it is to be our own interpretations of a given theme. this time, it’s {takes my breath away}. so many possibilities with this one. my children came to my mind first. moments with them that have left me speechless, breathless. i think those are the hardest to capture, as they are certainly not planned and are the parts of our everyday moments. how could you know when they will happen? or even be ready with your camera. it can happen, but i have found that i’m usually living those moments as they happen so i’ll have to remember them in my mind’s eye and heart forever. so, instead of witnessing a moment that took my breath away, i created one. beauty, a rose, a gentle breeze. these are always things that take my breath away because they are pure and they are simple.

{takes my breath away}

from here you can continue the circle and see what kristin rachelle brown’s artistic visions were for this theme right here.


April 27, 2012 - 10:10 am

Michael Carr - The image on my desk takes my breath away every morning. Children have a special way of doing that!

April 27, 2012 - 10:20 am

Kara May - Um – definitely breathless! Wow, so stunning – everything about it. Gorgeous post!

April 27, 2012 - 10:21 am

Beth Ross | Tyler TX Photographer - These are gorgeous! I love the soft light you used. I love how the wind blows her hair in the first picture. She is beautiful. Her eyes are amazing.

April 27, 2012 - 10:33 am

MrsFun - These are beautiful. Love her expression in the first one.

April 27, 2012 - 11:36 am

martha schuster - oh my goodness she is a beautiful girl!!! the gentle flit of wind is gorgeous, and i completely agree about the most breathtaking moments never being caught on film.

did i mention how gorgeous this gal is? is this your daughter? 🙂

April 27, 2012 - 2:26 pm

Kristin Rachelle - Wow, these are simply stunning and she is gorgeous!!! Beautiful work.

April 27, 2012 - 3:25 pm

jesszwo - She’s gorgeous. beautiful soulful images, Gina.

April 27, 2012 - 3:40 pm

Ilene - mesmerizing.

April 27, 2012 - 4:06 pm

Jessica Drossin - beautiful girl..

April 27, 2012 - 4:27 pm

gina - thank you all. olivia is a good friend of my daughter, sophia. she is as intelligent and sweet as she is beautiful and all of 13 years old.

April 27, 2012 - 9:48 pm

Life with Kaishon - Your daughter is exquisite!

April 30, 2012 - 12:24 am

aubry - i’m already loving you in this group. your daughter is beyond beautiful and you captured her perfectly!

May 10, 2012 - 12:29 pm

Christi Traster - oh gina, breathtakingly beautiful. all of them. but the bottom image? gah. I gasped. Perfect.

where in the world has my portrait business gone?

wow! did i really just write that? uhm, yes i did and for good reason. it occurred to me, yesterday in fact, that my usual ‘fills up pretty darn fast mini session time slots’ are still all open. i know that not too many business owners would choose to share this fact, but, i’m not average (ask anyone who really knows me;) and it’s ok because it’s my own fault.
it just didn’t really hit me until…yesterday. four years ago i stepped into this portrait boutique business arena as kiwi street studios totally unprepared for how fast it was to grow. not until the end of the second year did i choose to sit back a bit and review what and where my business was going. it was all good, but i started to realize i needed to add in some boundaries for my own sanity. i did and all went seemingly well until…i started accepting commercial/editorial work…and got really spoiled. i won’t go into the why’s except to say i loved it, it was fun and i wanted more. my energies started moving in that direction. somehow i was still able to maintain a comfortable place with my portrait business just on word of mouth, past clients and reputation. after a year or so of both, i started to get…well, burned out? sound familiar? i really started to think about what sessions i did and did not want to offer.  you may remember starting to hear the music starting with this post, this post, then this post and finally this post. i guess it’s been a theme and yes, it was a journey. i cut back, took some personal time. worked on more than a few personal projects that i both craved and needed. it gave me room to explore and frankly be a little selfish with my time. yup. that’s when it all started and that’s when i really stopped trying to grow my portrait business from anything more than the comfortable place i found it to be in. i’m not going to groan about the cycle of events. i absolutely believe what happens is completely meant to be. i know that i am exactly where i should be and in fact, i love where i am now creatively more than any other time in the previous 2 years mostly because i am doing exactly what i want to be doing. there is one problem. aside from where i find almost all my time being spent…with my huge baby of a project 513{eats}, i still hands down love making images of children. i’m not even flinching. there is nothing, to me, that tops the innocence and rawness of making portraits of children. and i miss it. so… i carved out time where there was no time for what i thought would be a fabulous day filled with giggles, smiles, jumping…even shyness (which i love almost more) but, instead, am looking at an empty schedule with less than a week to go. why am i surprised? i haven’t been around for over a year except for styled shoots that i have put together or a random session here and there. it’s been my choice, but i am sad about the realization that i basically lost that end of my business. there lies the problem. i am so busy with the food/lifestyle/editorial side of my business (which is so rewarding and exciting on it’s own levels) that it honestly leaves no room for the portrait side. i have passed on head shots, full comps, senior sessions, family sessions, an engagement session and two weddings to other photographers over the past 4 months. yes, all my choices,  but i feel a little sadness too.
listen up, this is not a please feel sorry for me plea…it’s simply an honest place of where i find the evolution of my business to be, that’s all. i have been so lucky to be able to do this thing that i do and where my business is heading, i have no room for complaints. i am beyond thrilled and blessed about where i have been for the past 4 years and more recently the thrill of these past 5 months as well as what the rest of this year holds. i just miss me some beautiful, real, honest, raw, genuine children in front of my lens! and that’s the truth.

let’s wrap this post up with some images from past mini session years.  good times.

all photographs ©kiwi street studios


April 14, 2012 - 10:42 pm

Brandy - Well, I saw your post on FB saying you were opening up a mini session and inside my head I said “if only she’d hurry up and move to Oregon like I told her a couple years back I’d snap a session up lickety split”. 🙂

April 15, 2012 - 6:04 pm

Ilene - I love seeing all the beautiful faces of angelic children that I know! Nobody captures the sweet innocence of a child as you do <3

April 16, 2012 - 12:10 pm

Natalie - Gigi, I have to say, “I too have missed those baby faces!” Nobody catches their heart like you do. How many times have I said, I want that picture of a complete stranger! Anyway, your commercial business is phenomenal. Love those pictures too, but I gotta say those babies steal my heart!

spring mini sessions

it is that time of year again and i am so excited to be photographing lots of little faces for one simple reason…
as much as i have loved, and i do mean love, photographing lifestyle and food related goodness for my 513{eats} adventure nonstop these past few months…
photographing children is my first love, hands down. and i miss it.
so, if you are a past client, a mom, dad, aunt or friend that has or knows a little one that needs to have some new or updated photos~i don’t have to tell you how fast our kiddos change~or if you just want to finally have a really really nice photo taken of your child, here is your chance! kiwi street mini sessions are a great way to tiptoe to the world of custom portraiture. they are fun, lively, fast and not run of the mill! i should give you a heads up that my philosophy is to let children be themselves. you’ll no doubt notice this as you look through my galleries. you won’t hear me ask them to say cheese or be all posey~stiff. i want them to relax and just . be . themselves. shyness and frowns are welcome…although i can usually always squeeze some laughter out of them.
i’ll have several backgrounds and areas set up, some fun props if anyone is inclined…or even think about letting your kids bring their own. do they have a favorite blanket, stuffed animal, a hat they refuse to take off…have fun, let your children be a part in picking what they bring or wear. let them be themselves. they will love it!
and if you really want to go all out, you could even hire awesome child stylist lindsay dewald to help you get your little one all fashionably decked out for their session. think outside the box!  it’s spring and getting pictures taken should be fun!

saturday, april 21st . 11am-4pm
the spotted goose in oakely
reserve your time with a $50 deposit (non-refundable)

book your session at the spotted goose or call/email 513.884.4417


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