Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from elena-dee and Trix Morgan!

My lovely model friend Trix models for this website called Zivity, which I believe I've mentioned before.  They had a Thanksgiving contest and Trix came up with an amazing idea of what she's thankful for.  The shoot set was titled "What Makes Me Beautiful."  She put on things (shoes, makeup, etc) that women use to make themselves beautiful and I wrote on her.  Then we circled some of her imperfections (scars, scratches) and wrote those.  It isn't just the usual things that make us beautiful - flaws are part of who we are and you better love us for them!!

River Runs Scarlet - Unhealthy Dose release

Last Saturday, November 27, was River Runs Scarlet's CD release party.  The 5-track EP is titled "Unhealthy Dose" and the cover was shot by yours truly.  My first CD cover!!!  It will not be the last.

Actually, all the pictures for Unhealthy Dose (back cover and band shots as well) were taken by me.  Cover model on the front is the lovely Trix, and the guy is either my cousin David or his friend Ricky.

The CD release party was held at The Venue at Harmony Ridge, where I took some pictures recently.  As a child, when it was still the Ambridge Country Club, I went there to play with my best friend Whitney.  As an adult, I've gone there first to work and now to celebrate the work done by me and my friends.  Work we did, and celebrate we did.

I attended the show with my fellow Cool Kids Colored Hair Club member Emily.  We'll be getting a house in the spring that actually isn't too far from Harmony Ridge and are super excited!!  My friend Kym, who I met through the previously mentioned Whitney, also came to the show so we all hung out.

It was a pretty great show.  Even DoRn, who rarely moves around, rocked out.

 McDade's drum kit looks pretty!

I love this picture of Aaron.

And Zosia, of course!  She looked lovely as always and has some mad hair action in this shot.

Guitarist Floyd Karma, Jr. works his stuff with a ghostly Zosia in the background.

Producer extraordinaire Bill even came all the way from California for the show!  Ok, that's not true, he actually came for Thanksgiving but definitely for this too.  Oh, and it's a bit hard to tell, but all the staff at Harmony Ridge wore River Runs Scarlet shirts.  It was definitely a nice touch!  Amazing show, amazing CD, and I'm very proud to have been a part of it.

If you want to see pictures from the recording process in Orange County this summer, you can check them out here.

And here's a special little extra for you RRS fans:  A sneak peak picture from the photo shoot we did the day after the release party!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Promo shoot - Starving Hysterical Naked

erich, my ex-boyfriend but still good friend, called me last week asking if we could do a shoot for his new dj/producer persona - Starving Hysterical Naked.  I personally prefer the old name (dj birthday!) to shn, but ok.  I got some ideas at 5:30 on Saturday morning as I was going to bed, texted him, and because he has crazy sleeping habits too, he texted back.  We discussed ideas for half an hour and he came over Saturday afternoon to make some of them come to life.

The best course of action for this shoot seemed obvious - make a play on the name.  He's a DJ/producer, which means he doesn't just mix other people's stuff, he makes and plays his own electronic music as well.  I wanted him to have a fork and knife, eating his iPod or some records.  Naked would make sense, but he's going to use these online and such so shirtless works just as well.  He thought it would be funny to have plates set up like record mixer and draw a mixing board on a napkin between them.  We tried both.

We also did some portraits with (and without) this panda bear hat/scarf/gloves fuzzy thing he got for his birthday last week.  It's pretty adorable.  This first one with the panda hat I took into Photoshop and tried out a technique Cryss taught me to get rid of color casts on black and white.  I really do have some amazing exes.  You can see a difference between the first and second shots below, so I was pretty excited that it worked!

We took a look at all those images on my computer and I realized, hey, you're wearing sunglasses in every picture.  erich was pretty ok with that, but I talked him into taking a few where his eyes were visible.  Because I'm me, he allowed it, and the results are beautiful.

I tried out my new fancy font on these last images because they're more...proper?  More high class than some of the others.  It fit better, just like the black and white conversion.  We took these in my hallway where the light from my living room window was shining in.  The sun was starting to go down and despite erich squinting a lot, it was a really awesome quick little thing to do to finish out our shoot.  You check out erich's music at

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Werewolf Pinup

A few weeks ago, my friend Emily and I decided to continue my supernatural pinups series and attempt a werewolf.  I've been wanting to try this for awhile, and we were bored, so it was a great idea.  Now, I've never made a werewolf before.  Zombies, yes.  Vampires, yes.  Werewolves?  A little trickier, especially to create a sexy female one in half-were form.  The makeup took a few hours, especially since we had to attach fake hair (which I've never used before) to Emily's chest.  It was definitely a learning experience!

We did some studio shots and some in the kitchen.  They turned out fairly decent, in my opinion, what do you guys think?

Then the crazed and hungry were-model tried to eat my cat!!

We might want to try this shoot out again at some point (with someone who can do better makeup), but it was definitely fun!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Seniors 2011 - Briann

Today I photographed a girl from Moon, where I went to high school, Briann.  She and her mom were both super cool and brought all sorts of fun things to take pictures with - pillows, a doll and teddy bear, and a blow dryer and brush because she's going to school to hair.  Her first outfit matched the pillows which was awesome!

She did her hair and put on a hat for yearbook headshots.  I should probably have taken some fliers or something to the high schools at the end of last school year.  Maybe I will this year, maybe I'll just do the senior portrait business card thing again.

We also went outside for a bit and to the park, where Briann played in some leaves.  Super cute pictures from that.   I have a shot on my facebook page where she looks kind of like a Final Fantasy ad, her eyes are glowing so beautifully.

I just a day or two ago got a rabbit fur coat from my aunt, and HAD to make use of it.  Old Hollywood, yes please!  I asked Briann to model it and a vintage hat for me, so after the park we came back to the studio and set that up real quick.  Quite pretty if I say so myself!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Seniors 2011 - Jason

My "first" guy senior portrait session!  "First" is in quotes because my first senior session, like 3 years ago, was a guy.  This was before I started shooting as elena dee photography and I wasn't as good back then, so Jason gets to be the first official guy senior portrait for me.  He goes to Freedom and is the boyfriend of Cheyenne, whose pictures I did last year.  He's a sweet kid, just joined the Marines, so of course we needed some shots of him in uniform.

We did some of those inside as well, and then he changed into his formal outfit.  This kid takes the BEST headshots!  Seriously gorgeous.  I was excited to be able to use dramatic lighting - it doesn't work as well on girls and they tend to prefer the soft all over sort, but Jason specifically told me (and his mother) that he wanted to look "badass."  Dramatic lighting for the win.

After the studio, we hit up Hopewell Park.  I really gotta find a new location - the park is tried and true, but I don't want to over use it.  It's fall now though, which is new and exciting, and we photographed in a couple spots I haven't used much.  Again with the amazing headshots!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

10/10/10 - Wedding favors and the undead

10/10/10 was, in Pittsburgh, World Zombie Day.  You know how I love zombies, so of course I had to go.  But first, there was a wedding.  I didn't actually shoot the wedding though, just the set-up, for The Venue At Harmony Ridge.  My dad is friends with the people who run it (Greg and his wife Ricki) and Ricki wants to advertise my photographic services to her wedding clients.  To do so, I took some pictures for her to put on their website.  Most of the images were of the venue set-up, but I did some portraits of the bride and her mother as well.

After all that, I was able to go to Zombiefest with my friend Emily, where we ran into all sorts of interesting looking people.  A photo I took of my friend Kym and the group she was with even ended up on the news the next day!!  Go to 2:15 to see the clip on Zombie Day and my image!  As for the other pictures I took, they're pretty sweet too.

 This is the one that ended up the news, most likely because Kym (on the far right) used it as the default for a group she made on Facebook to share photos from zombie day.

 There must be brains in that cup.

 These guys really played it up!

 Child zombies are the best.  Child soldier zombies?  LOVE!

 Look at the sign!  It makes me giggle.

 Her eyes are so big and wide, it's scary

 Where's Zombie Waldo?

ELVIS IS ALIVE!  Or at least undead....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

As a member of Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, I've learned that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.  I don't have any children, but I know people who do, as well as others who have experienced miscarriages and photographed two session for NILMDTS.  Just because a baby doesn't get to grow up doesn't mean they weren't a significant part of their parents' lives.

The infants I photographed were completely different situations and, sad as it was, I'm glad I could help their families even a little bit.  The first was a beautiful baby and photographing him was an experience I will never in my life forget.  His parents are amazing people.  The second was a tiny fighter whose family and doctors did all that they could.  Both children were, and still are, loved.

My heart goes out to these families and all others who have lost a child.  The gift of memories in the form of professional photography was one I am glad to provide, despite the sorrow that comes with such a job.   I feel that if I can help people with my talents, I should do so.  The photographs I and other NILMDTS photographers provide are reminders to parents that even though their child may not be with them anymore, their memory lives on in their hearts and in ours.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


LIQUID BONEZ: Elena Dee: "Went to watch 7718 and crew perform @ The Fallout Shelter in Aliquippa, Pa. Struck up convo with the bartender about a pile of notebooks on..."

Elena Dee Photography from DARIAN STANSBURY on Vimeo.

I was interviewed for Liquid Bonez blog a couple months ago - our conversation is finally up!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Maternity - Katie

One of my good friends, Katie, is having a baby!!  She's 8 months along, so last week she and her boyfriend, Ed, had me do some maternity shots for them.   SO CUTE!  When baby Cody arrives, we might do some family portraits as well with all their kids, but these were about Katie and Ed and their coming child.  Ed is SO excited to be having a boy!

I LOVE this picture.  It's so freaking adorable, from the way he's kissing her belly to the way her hand is resting on his arm.  Just adorable.

Of course, I had to get a few shots just of Katie - this silhouette of her in front of the softbox is definitely a favorite.  You can still see the outline of her arm and hands touching her belly and the softbox is slightly tilted to give it an interesting sort of framing.  I dig.