Raffy put up a modeling agency some time back and has been holding test shoots for his models on a regular basis. I’ve shot for several sessions, and just decided to post some stuff up in an entry.  For those who are familiar with him, he’s been the fixture in all, if not most of our cosplay and creative endeavors. He’s the one responsible for building all the sets made and handling the locations too. So yeah… he also has access to all these models so there’s plenty to shoot during our down time.

This post is a compilation of several sessions so you’d notice the looks change between models. I got some notes on certain shots I particularly like.


Xeng did an amazing job in turning this idea of mine into an actual art piece on a face. My brief to her was to get inspired from those Japanese Kabuki masks, but with a softer feminine touch.  She airbrushed an initial layer of red that graduates back to Tia’s skin, then on top is a freckled black blast. She finished this one off with a splash of red on Tia’s left cheek, which wasn’t obvious in this  angle.

The lighting is an unconventional approach in doing beauty shots. Softer light is the usual preference since it’s more flattering for women, but this time around I wanted to accentuate the Japanese inspiration. So I went with the harsher light treatment I normally reserve for my shoots with Men’s Health magazine before. The highlights are somewhat intentional, but there’s no strobe directed towards her jawline. It’s from the excess throw off from the strobes hitting the white background. Just had to make sure the light hitting there was 2-3 stops stronger than my main, but placed the model a greater distance from the background. The bounce as just soft and just enough to give that very thin rim highlight.

I’d like to segway into a short discussion in studio construction.  These shots were all taken in Penthouse Studios, which lends off a particular flavor in the images because of how the studio was designed. Each in every space (studio) bounces light differently, so even if you’re using the exact same light formation and settings across studios spaces, there would be noticeable differences in the final output. That is with human error notwithstanding too.


This one of Janet’s is an experiment with recreating an old portrait with a contemporary treatment. And that mumbo jumbo simply meant I wanted to do an old-style portrait, that’s looking not-so old by lighting it in back-lit take.  This came out from a happy accident Dix stumbled upon when he modified my initial setup for this look.  We used the huge octobox in the studio (with the 10-feet span) and placed it behind Janet in a tilted down angle. Light was then bounced back with styrofoam panels flanking both sides and tilted back up.

Photo Gallery

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Took some behind the scenes video during prep time and while other photographers were also shooting. Special thanks to Chuck for helping me out with basic video editing.  Note to self, should re-learn how to use Premiere. Last time opened up the app was in its version 5.


Production Credits

  • Make-up: Xeng Zulueta / Jet Babas
  • Styling: Raffy Tesoro / Hannah Kim
  • Video Editing: Chuck Oreta
  • Shoot Production: Raffy Tesoro / Carlo Ocampo
  • Models (LVX Managment): Anthea Murfet / Chelsea Robato / Janett Jager / Maureen Schrijvers / Paula Borges

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