A huge part of the small success that is Brunette of Vantes is my fellow content creator, my best friend, my boyfriend, Joey.
Joey is a 27-year-old Medical Assisting graduate who is currently pursuing a new career while honing in on his passion for photography, comics and impeccable storytelling through @JoeyfulMaverick, his toy photography page.
And so since it's Valentine's Day, I decided to focus on my love, Joey, who has been one of my greatest supporters and partners in creating material that brings me and so many others joy.
Christina: "How are you enjoying being my photographer?"
Joey: "I enjoy it a lot because I'm able to craft my skills and work on my technique when it comes to lighting. And helping you pose."
C: "What's the most fun part about doing photoshoots with me?"
J: "All the pictures that people don't see-"
C: "Like which ones?"
J: "Like when you derp! I don't know just like going on locations and you coming up with ideas. Going to different cities to take pictures or going to events too."
C: "How do you feel when we're in a setting or there's an event but you don't know what to expect or what's expected of you? Sometimes I don't know what to expect or how to guide you, so how do you prepare?"
J: "I just expect everything to go bad. I expect it all to go bad that way when they don't, then I'm like, 'ok, I did something right.' If I don't know what I'm gonna do you can't really prepare. You just hope it's not all crazy, and that the lighting is good, and that you can get the pictures you want."
C: "What's the most difficult part of doing shoots with me?"
J: "The lighting. Finding a place that has good lighting. I don't have the best equipment, that's the only thing that bugs me. I can't always find good lighting. Or you wanna do a shoot where there's no good lighting but we gotta get the picture. Or sometimes when it's spontaneous. Like when we have one spot in mind and we get there and it doesn't look good. Sometimes it's not even the lighting, you'll be like 'this dress doesn't go with this setting, " and then we don't have a plan b."
C: "Can you pinpoint one of the most difficult shoots we've had?"
J: "I can think of two! One was at the beach because the sun was in your face and you kept squinting (pictured above). Besides that, the time by the post office-"
C: "The Christmas shoot where I was wearing that green dress?"
J: "Nothing worked. I don't think you used one picture from there."
C: "Nope, none."
J: "And then after that we went to the fountain-" (pictured above)
C: "A location I didn't want to go to-"
J: "Yea, but the best shoot was the one right before that, the Christmas one."
C: "Yea, we were just passing through this place-"
J: "The lighting was perfect. And the setting too." (pictured below)
C: "What have you learned about photography through this process?"
J: "Lighting because I had to research. Like having the sun behind you and then using the flash from the camera to create like a glow on you. And taking shots by zooming in to make sure you and not the background are the focus."
C: "What have you learned about yourself?"
J: "That I'm not that patient sometimes. That I'm ok at taking pictures. I mean I've never taken people's pictures like this before, but I learned that I like doing it, even though it's not the same as taking pictures of action figures, but it helped me because I use some techniques on you that I use on the figures and it works."
C: "What have you learned about me?"
J: "You don't know how to pose. And that you have ideas that you see in your head but if they don't go through, it's like, now what? But you can come up with a good outfit. The background may not always be what you want it to be, but when it comes to you and your outfit, you have a good sense of style. All the outfits you come up with look good!"
"Do you think this has affected our relationship as a couple?"
J: "It's been a good thing! It's something we both do. It mixes my photography hobby with your fashion hobby. I'm taking pictures and you're displaying your sense of style. We both learn from it. It's also taught me that we need to keep learning to communicate. I don't think it's changed us a couple because we've each gotten better at what we do. But we've gotten better at communicating. Like when you show me how you want a picture. It's helped us."
C: "I agree."
"What do you hope to learn or improve on?"
J: "I just want to get better. I wanna take pictures that are almost like paintings. When someone sees it, I want them to notice the details, perfect or not. It's kinda like when someone draws something; anybody can draw a house, but if they make mistakes, they can just paint purple on top and now it looks like it's a house in Alaska with a view of the Northern Lights. It's like something that you thought wasn't pretty, but when you step back, you think it looks better that way."
C: "Are you referencing Bob Ross here?"
J: "Yes, because there are no mistakes, just happy accidents."
C: "How have I improved as you've photographed me?"
J: "Your style has actually improved. I think you've shown more of your creativity when it comes to what looks good on camera. More cohesive ideas. You've taken more thought into what you wear. Like instead of just thinking of how it's gonna look together, you think of how it's gonna come out in a picture."
C: "Do you see photography as a career?"
J: "If I ever got into movies, you know, it could help me develop a shot because photography is like cinematography without the emotion. So in terms of that, it can help me with visuals, lighting, composition, creating a mood. In that case, yes. But besides that, I don't really see it as being a career. I just see it as a serious hobby. I mean if someone wants to pay me, I'll do that!"
C: "How do you prepare before taking picture, whether it's for me or your toy photography? Any rituals?"
J: "The sides of the camera, the grip on my right hand, I kinda stroke it like a guitar string. I don't know, that kinda helps me get ready when I do that. It's kinda like when you're asleep and the sun hits your face, you know it's time to get up. When I do that it's kinda like warming up a car and it gets me ready."
C: "How does toy photography differ from these photos?"
J: "I can suggest to you what to do but I can't move you and tell you what to do or add things around, or edit things out. I mean I can, but it wouldn't be a good picture. With toy photography there's different angles. I mean, they are toys. I can get really close, under them, jumping over the camera. To me the only difference would be positioning and the backgrounds."
C:" Did you ever think that you would ever be taking pictures of me and focusing on fashion and clothes and learning about bloggers and poses and helping with outfits?"
J: "Nope. I did not. I wasn't really taking pictures before I met you. I've always liked it, but never got seriously into it until you."
C: "Well thank you for always helping and being patient and coming up with some really cool ideas. I really appreciate all of it."
J: "You're welcome."
-The B of V