DELEPHOTO: Blog en-us (C) DELEPHOTO [email protected] (DELEPHOTO) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:27:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:27:00 GMT DELEPHOTO: Blog 106 120 Hello From the Other Side I was shoved way outside my comfort zone when I agreed to model for photographer Pedro Marenco. I figured an endeavor like this could only help me become a better photographer by seeing first hand what a photo shoot looks like from the other side of the camera. Overall it was a great experience I learned a few things and had some fun in the process.
When I asked Pedro about the style and theme of the shoot he said that he wanted me to do sexy. After the laughing subsided, I told him that I haven’t done sexy since the digits in my age were reversed and I wasn’t all that good at it back then either. He said I could show off my hard work at the gym. All I can see is how much more work there is yet to do. We agreed that we would do a more natural, slightly glamorous shoot and transition into a somewhat tribal look. We found some inspiration through Pinterest and went to work.
I found it very challenging to just let go and trust. I also had to resist the temptation to add my creative input and let the other artists simply fulfill their vision. I feel like I must have broken every rule in the model handbook. For example, I may have been just a tad resistant. Pedro requested red lipstick. Lip ColorRed?? I guess I CAN pull off red lipstick. Who knew?
RED?? Me? The Bolder the better he said. But I don’t do red! Truth of the matter is I rarely wear any lipstick at all. 
I have never really had makeup professionally done to this extent before. Sheila DeGrace is both a very talented make up artist and an aspiring model herself. She's a natural and has a great touch. I was very comfortable with her. Well, for the most part... having her working that closely to my face had me a little self-conscious. I asked for some gum which, surprisingly, she actually had. It was really good gum; it was the ice cube type. Here is a testament to Sheila‘s professionalism. She asked me to hold still while she quickly grabbed a tissue and whisked away at something on my chest. She later told me that it was a spider crawling on me. I admire the way she prevented the work that she had done so far from being ruined by either of us freaking out over stupid spider.
It was finally time for the photography to begin. Being on the other side was pure comedy at first… I was unsuccessful in my effort to conceal the ice cube gum which Pedro quickly discovered. Ooops!
Then I had a fit of the giggles when Pedro started directing me. He was requesting the open mouth. He wanted me to do something called the model's look. He said, "you know the one with the mouth slightly open..." Sadly, I had no clue. But I guess I must’ve gotten it right at some point because I actually liked it  when I saw the final image.  
The open mouth / parted lips / model look
I noticed Pedro doing some of the things that I sometimes do during a photo session and was able to see how strange it might look up from the other side.  For example, I could tell when he was grabbing focus or composing in camera. The camera was aimed at me then away, back and forth, up and down.
As the shoot went on, I was finally able to relax, let go and have fun. This may or may not have been evident after one particular wardrobe change. I put on a purple outfit and Sheila suggested updating the lipstick also. Well, I always want to be considerate, but I audibly gasped when I saw the orange lipstick. Orange? Really? Yes! It complements the purple outfit that you’re wearing. Well, ok then.
Yikes! Ok, It's growing on me...
The styling transitioned from a natural/Glamorous/urban look to a more exotic tribal look. At this point, I was truly comfortable and down for whatever. Therefore, when the glitter and face paint came out; it was no big deal. I was ready to rock it!
Bring it!
Having the Pinterest inspirational shots available helped immensely with posing. I was able to get a little more creative and free with my movement.
Now we're posing
The shoot was a great learning experience and lots of fun. Another highly valued perk is that I have received images of myself that I absolutely love! Trust me this, this is a very rare occurrence.
I am grateful for Pedro‘s patience and mastery of light and Sheila‘s audaciousness. Her impeccable makeup application made retouching a snap! Thank you! You guys Rock! I look forward to our next creative venture!
Talented Team
Photography - Pedro Marenco
Makeup - Sheila DeGrace
Model/Retouching - Debra Ledsinger
[email protected] (DELEPHOTO) delephoto lighting model photography project Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:57:51 GMT
100 Nappy Hair Stories 100 Nappy Hair Stories

100 Nappy Hair Stories is a photographic collage and compilation of 'hair stories'. The women and men participating in this project graciously share their beauty, style and self-expression via images and in the narrative of their own personal 'Hair Stories'.

#1 - Seleta's Story


This is my second set of locs. I cut off the first set because I thought I had "good hair" but that changed after the first wash. It balled up like a sheep that hadn't had its wool cut in years.
I tried getting it braided for a while, then one day I decided that I couldn't do it any more and wanted my locs back. I had my daughter's friend start them. I took that set out because I didn't want to go through the stage where they(the locs) do what they want to.
Then I found the lady with the magic touch Akilah Hatchett-Hall who has been doing my second set for less than year and I'm loving it! I know this time I won't be cutting my locs off because they are for me.
[email protected] (DELEPHOTO) Tue, 07 Apr 2015 22:54:21 GMT
Westcott 2013 Lightapalooza: The Journey  

Debra Ledsinger of DELEPHOTO with Westcott Top Pro Eric Eggly




I spotted the cutest little girl tooling around on her bicycle with training wheels. Something about her confident demeanor and fashionable attire demanded more than the concrete sidewalk and suburban setting provided. With a little imagination and some compositing experimentation, I made this image. When Westcott asked to see my most creative child in costume, ‘Four Wheelin’  was my response.

Debra Ledsinger - Lightapalooza Winning Photograph

Debra Ledsinger’s Lightapalooza Winning Image


After a very close Facebook face-off, this image was selected as the winner of Contest #8 in the Westcott 2013 Lightapalooza Contest. My prize was a uLite Green Screen Kit and one of the coveted Golden Tickets. I placed my golden ticket on the mantle over the fireplace. Week after week, I followed the contest and marveled at the entries. I surfed the Westcott website and created a ‘wish list’. I also read and reread the prize list all the while imagining “what if…”???

When I got the call telling me that my name had been drawn, I was ecstatic!  It was like I had won the Super Mega Lotto Jackpot! My dreams of actually owning all of that Westcott gear were becoming reality! One of the most exciting aspects of the prize package was having the opportunity to visit the Westcott headquarters in Ohio and receive training from one of the Westcott Top Pros.

Debra Ledsinger at Westcott HQ

Selecting one of the Pros was one of the toughest choices I’ve ever made. It’s like choosing which super-hero you’d like to have assist you in developing your own super powers… I did my homework. I researched all of the Westcott Top Pro photographers. I visited their websites, watched their videos, looked at their photo galleries and read their tips. This highly inspiring and educational exercise, in and of itself, was quite a prize. I knew that I couldn’t go wrong with any of the pros.  I would have been thrilled to spend time learning from any of them; I chose Eric Eggly.

Eric Eggly Teaching Lightapalooza Winner

I’ve been in awe of Eric’s work since I first saw the composite image of the guy dragging a van and a car behind him. That photo won Eric the Best of Show Guru award at Photoshop World. I probably choose Eric for some of the same reasons that his clients chose him. Based on what I saw in his instructional videos, I was certain I would like his personality and demeanor. He seemed like he would be pleasant and easy to work with. He appeared patient, thorough and very creative. Just looking at the images on his website, I thought, “He seems like a really fun character.” Ultimately, I felt that Eric’s work is similar to what I want to create.

Lightapalooza winner Debra and Brandon Heiss

On the eve of my marathon photo experience, I enjoyed a delightful seafood dinner with BrandonHeiss, Westcott Marketing, Education and Top Pro coordinator, Eric and his beautiful wife, Sandy. Since winning the opportunity to spend time with Eric was already like hitting the Super Mega Lotto Jackpot, also being able to spend time with Sandy was like having the power ball number too! Sandy is a wealth of knowledge and experience with the business and marketing side of photography. Though I was a little anxious and giddy with excitement, I managed to eat, drink and discuss plans for our upcoming back-to-back photo sessions.

Debra Ledsinger, Lightapalooza winner, and Eric Eggly

The morning of my big day began with a mini crash-course on lighting. Eric challenged me to be aware of light and to look for it everywhere.

Feeling inspired and enlightened, we headed over to Eric’s well-appointed Point Seven Studio. What immediately caught my eye was the display of Eric’s multitude of awards, which was backed up by his beautifully-presented photography gracing the studio walls.  The huge cyc wall inside the spacious studio was still painted chalkboard-black from a previous photo session. The open-concept studio area also housed comfy white leather couch and a kitchenette stocked with snacks just for us. We met up with Sandy, Ronda the talented hairstylist/makeup artist and our model for the day, the lovely Seattle. Ronda was creating an Alice-in-Wonderland look with a slightly dark twist for Seattle. Westcott’s Brandon, Ashley (photographer) and Joe (videographer) rounded out our little photo entourage. We gathered up the gear. Any shoot that takes place at a scenic location like the Toledo Botanical Garden and involves the use of a fog machine, a Bowens Turbo-Fan, and Westcott gear is bound to be epic!

Lightapalooza Photoshoot Model

Once on location it was like an invisible director yelled “Action!”  The lights, a bare strobe and a strobe modified by Westcott’s new Zeppelin Parabolic soft box, were plugged into the generator.  The plan was to turn day into night to add a little drama and mystery to the scene. Seattle arrived on set fully made-up, wearing a fun, white, feathery frock and with sprigs and twigs entwined in her curls. Eric set up a tethering station and the most massive tripod I have ever seen. I pretty much stood there in awe but now it was almost go time. About 1:30 in the afternoon. Yes, 1:30 on a sunny, Tuesday afternoon.

Eric Eggly's Final Image

Eric Eggly’s Final Image

Eric and Debra at the Toledo Botanical Gardens

Debra Ledsinger - Lightapalooza Grand Prize Photo

Debra Ledsinger’s Final Image

Back in-studio for the second photo session. The plan was for Eric to assist me in lighting a challenging product. The product was a floral headpiece that I created myself. Based solely on a photo that I emailed the day before I arrived, Eric had already come up with a clever concept. He retrieved a vintage plant mister and a pair of pruning shears from his extensive prop closet. Once we dialed in the lighting, the now fresh-faced Seattle held the props as if she were pruning her hat. The lights were set. The model was ready. We took a few successful test shots and then… I froze! Now what?? Just like a photo super hero, Eric directed Seattle, who then produced a variety of facial expressions. We wrapped up the photo session, and my final treat for the day was getting to take a look at Eric’s exquisite portfolio. His beautifully bound books, filled with his current cast of characters perfectly printed on gallery-grade paper set a benchmark to which I will strive to achieve.

Behind the Scenes at Westcott HQ

Debra's Final Lightapalooza Image

Debra Ledsinger’s Final Image

How do I sum up this magnificent Lightapalooza experience? Well… I’m still trying to decide which piece of Westcott gear is my favorite. It was certainly a fabulous experience meeting the Westcott team, Westcott CEO, Kelly Mondora and host extraordinaire Brandon. I admire the Westcott lean, mean, efficiency and Go Big attitude. I plan to keep in touch both with my new friends at Westcott and the Point Seven dynamic duo, Eric and Sandy. I am grateful to everyone who contributed to the most exciting contest ever! This life-changing experience gifted me with new friends, great memories that will last a lifetime, and awesome lighting gear, which will serve me well.  My signed and framed golden ticket is now back in its place on the mantle, always reminding me of the wonders of life.

Lightapalooza Grand Prize Crew

You can win lighting gear by participating in Westcott contests hosted throughout the year. To enter in the latest, please visit

[email protected] (DELEPHOTO) contest delephoto lightapalooza lighting photography westcott Tue, 03 Feb 2015 23:13:00 GMT