Santa Cruz Post Cards

The first rolls of film I ever shot were of my friends bodyboarding in Del Mar and the La Jolla reefs. I had a blast this weekend being a tourist in Santa Cruz. I've never been to this part of Santa Cruz before and was so pumped to see these two different waves working right out front of where we were staying.  

Studio Portrait with White Background with Two Lights.

Studio photography can be challenging, you may not know what the light is doing or where it's bleeding out to but luckily we live in the digital age and experimenting is practically free. I've always liked the clean crisp white backgrounds and they can be shot in a number of ways. You can get very complicated set-ups and use multiple lights to light the background but then you run into spacing issues and a lot of the time you are left with light bouncing off the background creating a cloudy look in your photos that is impossible to hide in PS. 

Recently I tried to use one huge umbrella with a white cover over it to make the white background, to my surprise it works perfectly. So long as your subject is small enough to fit within the umbrella, and large enough to cover the flash head you can do away with the background and additional lighting it takes to light that background effectively. 

The image below is two lights firing, one serving as the background and one light in a silver beauty dish to create a crisp look for this BW portrait. It was a pretty standard looking image of my friend until I told him to brush his hair back the wrong way for one shot. 

You can see that the white background is actually white and evenly lit. This is an effective way to light people if your space is limited and the results are going to be a close up headshot. obviously this won't work if you are looking to photograph a three quarters look or a full body but it's a nice compact set up to get the headshots you want without all the extra gear. 

Questions? Let me know in an email on the Contact page and I'd be happy to answer any questions. 


Sacramento Kings Instagram Takeover by Kevin Fiscus @fiscusphoto

Sacramento Kings fans showed up last night despite the intense rain storm pummeling the area. DeMarcus Cousins had a stellar game and rained down a few key three pointers to help seal the win late in the game. All this with continued chants from the crowd, "M V P!"

At this game we celebrated Equality Night in partnership with the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. The Sacramento Gay Men's Chorus performed the National Anthem, and Special guest Jason Collins was in the building who was named of one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2014.

A big thank you to the digital team that just won the NBA's Digital Innovator Award. I was honored to host the Instagram takeover. The Golden 1 Center is amazing and provides so many opportunities to photograph the space. My favorite moments always have action or some type of energy. I only wish I could share more so I put together some of my favorite moments below, I hope you enjoy. 

Go Kings! Vote Boogie for MVP!

Follow us: @golden1center | @sacramentokings | @kings_dancers | @fiscusphoto

Sacramento Mural Fest 2016

Film is dead to me, wait no it isn't. It burned me again thats for sure. My carelessness plus some malfunctioning camera equipment led to a blank roll of film with one frame in the middle of the roll but the rest had nothing on it. Not sure what happened. 

 This roll should be filled with portraits of all the Sacramento Mural Fest Artists.    

This roll should be filled with portraits of all the Sacramento Mural Fest Artists. 


This roll was stacked with only portraits of the Sacramento Mural Festival artists and what makes this sting is I put all my eggs in this basket. I shot zero digital images for the Sacramento Mural Fest. This was a personal project of course, I dedicated a week to get portraits of all the artists. My approach was using old film in an old 35mm film camera and I only wanted portraits. At the end of the week spent scouting, waiting, talking, and photographing some very cool artists from Sacramento and across the Globe, I aimed to have a unique portrait project.

Come Friday, I'd worked with all the artists. We finished shooting with Nate Frizzell in the afternoon with enough time to get the roll processed. The purest form of anticipation was coursing through me unlike any shoot for awhile. Film doesn't let you have any insights, I let that feeling burn so strong the whole week and when she handed me the roll she said, "We aren't going to charge you because there's nothing on the roll." I was devastated, I had worked with a lot of people I respected and just met, many of which allowed me to direct the brief shoot. Irubiel Moreno even insisted we switch hats for the shoot because I was wearing a local company's hat. Guilt and embarrassment washed over me and I was reminded of the fire that burns for film and sometimes that fire burns you. I remembered losing a special roll of film in high school and having the same feeling. It hurt, bad.

I let the artists down, and felt terrible. After steaming about it for a minute, I looked at the photo that made it, frame number 14. It's unlike any other image in the entire roll, which is strange. All the other images were close up portraits done in direct sunlight, and this was more candid and in open shade.

I enjoyed meeting all the artists, and thank them humbly for their contribution to our city. I apologize, I don't have the pictures we took together. I'm sorry to waste your time.

I monitored the progress on the Diogo Machado (Add Fuel) mural throughout the week and kept coming back but realized it wasn't going to be hit with sunlight. Jose Di Gregorio was helping fill in some sections for Spanish artist, Diogo Machado. His technique of stencil and free hand aerosol was incredible to watch. 

Diogo Machado (Add Fuel) and Jose Di Gregorio starting work on the last day of painting for the Sacramento Mural Festival, 2016.

When I say film is dead to me what I really mean is there's another fire lit that continues to burn and push me to explore. Pure eagerness to pick film back up and put it to use. People ask me why I bother with film and my response is that it's a feeling. It's a slower, more deliberate action and it changes the portrait sitting. I love the action of it. That, and nostalgia for waiting to find out about your pictures. Maybe I'm just a sucker for punishment. Who knows, maybe I have a funky film project in the works.