Experimenting with a Beauty Dish

Outgoing, energetic, and beautiful… that’s Denise!

Denise and I started our shoot in the corner of a brick wall in downtown LA just before sundown. I wanted to create an edgy look for her, almost like a “bad girl” look. I used dramatic lighting to emphasize the details of the bricks and asked her to give me dramatic positions to convey the look.

After dark, we did a photo session in my friend Andy’s studio where we experimented with various forms of  lighting. Andy had lighting equipment called the Beauty Dish, that creates a doughnut-shaped light ring in the center of the eyes. We positioned Denise between the white background and Beauty Dish, as we photographed her from the other side of the Dish. No wonder it’s called the “Beauty Dish” – it really made her eyes pop out!

During the studio shoot, we transitioned Denise away from the “bad girl” look, and into something much more feminine and soft. Here, we positioned the lighting from above her head, giving her a really soft look around her face. We used white cardboard to bounce the lighting from above her head to light up her face from below.

Denise had a really great, bubbly personality. I can’t emphasize enough how outgoing she was, and really funny! We would be snapping a series of “serious-looks”, and I would ask her to give me her “happy” look. She would quickly transition into a big smile, that made me smile along with her! How does she do it? I have no idea, but it makes everyone around her smile 🙂

Us, photographers, can look great IN FRONT of the camera as well. We proved it with our final shot of the night. 😉


I call myself a ‘people’ photographer, specializing in capturing the personalities of people through family, newborn and event photography. I’m originally German-Japanese and was raised embracing both cultures. I was raised in Japan and in many parts of Europe, until I finally settled in Los Angeles to call it my permanent home. My love for photography started at an early age. A fun hobby eventually turned in to a passion when I found joy in taking candid photos of my friends. Naturally, my love for photography turned in to a lifestyle and I was asked to photograph people’s milestones and celebrations. And so, my photography business was born in 2010.

Family: Eaton Canyon

There’s never a dull moment capturing three young children! We photographed the session at Eaton Canyon, a hiking trail in the mountains of Altadena, shortly past 5pm just before sunset, to catch the best light


Event: Barbie-themed Birthday Party

Capturing the essence of childhood wonderment, I had the delightful opportunity to photograph a Barbie-themed birthday celebration. From the moment I stepped into the venue, it was like stepping into Barbie’s dreamhouse – if Barbie