Rich and I met randomly in the Apple Store over 3 years ago. He came over to me and assisted me with selecting a hard drive to buy that would fit my needs as a photographer. It just so turned out to be the start of a great friendship. You see, Rich told me that day in Apple he was a photographer also and we clicked right away and kept in touch ever since. I met Jenny about a year ago and she was a real joy of a person and I could tell why Rich loved her so much. We became instant friends.
In my time of friendship with Rich, I experienced a period in their lives where they were trying to start a family and I knew Rich was so excited to be the father of twin girls. Sadly, the twins were stillborn and were born silently at 9 months. I was heartbroken when I heard the news and tried to be there for my buddy. I didn’t know the pain they were experiencing as soon to be parents, but I knew how precious life was so in that regard I felt for my friends.
Time passed and Rich told me they were going to try again and when I knew Jenny went into labor, I was a little nervous at first but I was hopeful for the best outcome…a bouncing baby girl named Zoey. Oh man! Little Zoey Ortega was a pure blessing to Rich and Jenn and she became everything these two deserved. I was ecstatic for the two parents. I mean, really excited to the point where I mentioned to Rich that I was going to be in Orlando and that I wanted to be the photographer to capture their first family pics.
Of course Jenny was super excited, planning and re-planning, styling and re-styling before my arrival. Rich and I laughed over it, he mentioned how many times a day she planned the look of the shoot, what outfits they could wear and what emotions they could display…talk about a mom-ager!
Once I arrived in Orlando, I met up with Rich and Jenn and had the opportunity to meet little 4-month-old Zoey and she was the happiest baby I’d seen. She was the true definition of a “rainbow baby” which is a baby following a loss. She gave me the biggest smile the minute we made eye contact and from then I knew she would be great to photograph. The day of the shoot, Cypress Grove Park was amazing. The park was filled with these huge trees draped with Spanish moss, plush green grass and paved walkways. I was eager to begin shooting right away.
With Rich and Jenn, I gave very little direction. Their genuine love for one another and overflowing love for Zoey burst through my lens. The abundance of affection, Jenn’s official stamp of motherhood, Zoey’s first “on set” experience as a model and awareness of the camera or lack thereof combined with Rich’s signature “looking to the horizon” pose gave me great captures!!
For me, it was more than just shooting friends or a family; it was being able to freeze this moment for new parents and their true blessing in their daughter Zoey. What the images would mean to them and their lives. A photo can speak a thousand words people say but to Rich and Jenn, I think these images will speak an infinite lifetime.
“Thank you so much for capturing a special moment in time for us. After much healing for us we are celebrating the best 4 months of our life. Zoey is a dream come true and we are grateful for her and her sisters every day. Your photos are more than just photos… we have a big following of baby loss parents, and many tell us what hope our story brings to their life. There is life after loss and you did an amazing job at capturing that. We have embraced our loss and try to serve as support to as many families who will unfortunately go through this kind of pain. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being part of our journey.” - Jenny
Every time I meet a new couple, it seems like their imagination is already at its peak before I even have input into what the theme of the e-session should be. Phenton and Cutelle were set on doing a photo-shoot where we utilized Phenton’s love of flying with the couple’s love for traveling. The couple planned to do a two part shoot; one here in Nassau and the other in DC, so it was my job to capture them “taking off.”
Planes always excite me so I was amped from the initial planning stages. How was I going to shoot this couple in a private plane and make it romantic? I kept asking myself this but noticing the way Cutelle interacted with Phenton, I knew it wouldn’t be hard.
Shoot day arrives and we had set a call time of 3am prior to the day so that hair and makeup could be applied before we got out to the airstrip. The team was up early and on time and we arrived at the couples home to begin the process. The glam squad of Sarsha (MUA) and Shan (hair) had Cutelle glowing when they were done and we headed out to shoot the two.
Executive Flight Support was very cooperative with us allowing us to move our plane around and shoot with it right in front of the terminal. The light was very cool and allowed me to capture some great hues in my frames. The couple’s natural chemistry jumped through my lens and I no trouble directing the two. This was a great shoot. Here’s what the couple had to say;
Scharad and his team had us relaxed and caught glimpses of our true selves. The photo shoot was truly enjoyable and brought out Cutelle’s love for traveling, Phenton’s most loved occupation of being a pilot and our love for each other. Scharad, thanks! We loved it!
I was nervous about this concept…at first. I wondered if I would go too far in getting a message across and if people wouldn’t relate or grasp what I was trying to say as a photographer. As a child I’d always seen the portrayal of “Eve” as a beautiful Caucasian woman so my imagination got the best of me and I decided to go against all the imagery I had previously seen in any biblical illustration.
I wanted to stay clean, within my style, conceptualizing elements that would add to my overall canvas. If Eve were a black woman, what would she look like? Would she be tall, short, skinny or fat? Would her hair be natural, straight, up or down? How would I show her creation, her temptation, her becoming more aware of herself and body?
To do this I put together a group of talented and visionary people in the industry that I felt would carry this concept like it was their own. Creative director, David Rolle pieced the looks together for Eve, orchestrating hair and makeup to follow. MUA, Mandisa Kerr worked her magic brush craftily added the right accents and contours to our models face. Hair stylist, Jameelah Thompson along with her assistant Lovena Magloire created amazing crowns of hair to place on our model that fit the theme.
As expected finding a model to play the role of Eve had its challenges. Because of the reptilian element, many models were skeptical about the representation or meaning behind a very recognizable prop. Selvinique Wright however was down the second I was finished explaining the concept to her. She was in and that was all. On set she moved her body and shaped her poses into works of soft and sultry sentences allowing David to form her into the character “Eve.”
When a NBA team wins a championship two years back to back, they call it a “repeat,” and that’s exactly how I felt getting a second opportunity to shoot the new summer collection from BAHARI Bahamas. The young but already iconic brand burst onto the scene only a year ago but already they have been operating at full speed and are now releasing their second collection.
When Bahari first launched, people fell in love with the vibrant colors, patterns and styles and felt like finally, this was truly a brand that stood out and accurately represented Bahamian people. This Summer 15 collection proved to be no different. I got a first hand sneak peak at the new lines months before we photographed them. The brand’s creative director Morgan Fernander was very open to my opinion and suggestions on what type of campaign could we create to truly capture the summer line.
Working with Scharad on our summer 15 campaign was even more exciting than we had imagined. The stakes were much higher this time, our company grew tremendously since we first worked with Scharad; so everything about our Summer campaign had to be Bigger & Better.
His enthusiasm and receptiveness to our big ideas, and grandiose concepts made for a memorable experience and campaign. The end result was an Ad Campaign filled with pure, unadulterated BAHAMIAN EPICNESS! -Morgan Fernander
Seeing the multi colored polos, dynamic print body con dresses, tanks and bodysuits increased my excitement. I couldn’t wait to shoot the new products! Freeport, Grand Bahama set the scene once again and we locked in a private location, complete with a personal yacht to use at our disposal. Our models were equally as excited about the pieces and our team of hair and makeup were ready to hit the ground running. We shot nearly a full day but it was so worth it!
Images: Scharad Lightbourne
Creative Direction: Morgan Fernander
Styling: Bennae Beneby
Models: Kylie Shenique, Rosetta Cartwright, Nisham Davis, Benniko Beneby
Hair: Olympia Lightbourne
MUA: Gail McIntosh
Alithia has been a big supporter of my photography when I first jumped onto the scene almost 10 years ago! She was always one of those admirers in the shadows she said but one day she was perusing my website and sent me a Facebook message saying;
“Scharad!!!!! I’m engaged! You KNOW I can’t let anyone else shoot my engagement photos but you right? Can we meet today?”
I laughed and replied “Sure,” because she was so certain that I’d had time to meet her on the spot. Nevertheless we met up at Avista Longue, downtown and had a long conversation about love, life and her big day. She was so excited, I think we talked for almost 4 hours!
She told me about her fiance and how she wanted really nice photos for their save the date and wedding website and she didn’t want it to be too stuffy with props and unnecessary things, she just wanted their engagement images to be about “them.”
We had a site inspection and I went crazy over this location and its surrounding landscape. So many intimate spaces with great natural light and so on the day of the shoot, I only used a diffuser and reflector to cast light onto them. Hair, makeup and wardrobe were really simple and clean and my team as always performs well. I enjoyed shooting this couple and their engagement images portray that.
MUA: T’s Artistry
Hair: Aline Charles
Grips: Kenton Ferguson, Malik Smith
Keith’s Accessories: The Pico Brand