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Reconnecting with Vita Devoid

With The HDR Book 2nd Ed. written, it gives me a chance to come up for air from my immersion into the world of HDR.  Photography can suffer greatly from atrophy – a general lack of mental fitness in a specific style.  My first love will always be shooting in a studio.  I remember when I first came down to Kelby Media, seven years ago (ouch!) – musing with Scott about how much of a studio rat I was.  I’ve missed having a space – four walls and a high ceiling.  A counter with a coffee maker and adapters.  Stands, softboxes, and lights, ready to investigate and play – music blaring as a auditory compass.

What i’ve missed more is trying to make pictures with people. While there is a whole subset of HDR portraiture that I am really enjoying playing with- I’ve missed working with lights to just squeeze out an idea stuck in my head.  When I am in a creative rut, I gravitate towards other artists. They too spend their time pushing their boundaries creatively.  I don’t think theres a woman pushing herself harder artistically in the Tampa area than Vita Devoid.

Fire Breather, Actress, Burlesque Performer – she’s a vaudevillian explosion, wrapped in a circus, wrapped in a model who time travels between I Love Lucy and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas.  John Wayne Gacy to Sweeny Todd.  In the random moments of “Yeah, I’ll give that a shot” texts she and i have shared, she’s become a friend and a person I look forward to seeing for a creative pick me up.

As it turns out – she got a call from a casting director to submit some pictures for the next season of American Horror Story.  I guess this upcoming season is called Freak Show – with the setting being Jupiter, Florida (That said, they’re taping in New Orleans.  That be a killer time right there.. shoot Freak Show artists in New Orleans…  But, I digress.).  Im sure if anyone meets her – they’ll see she’s a great fit.

Vita needed some headshots – and we were able to knock those out pretty quickly.  I just wanted to try something a little different.

We have this huge rolling door at the back of our sets at the office.  Thought it would be a good idea to try to make a picture of her there.  I liked the lines on the garage door – hated that they were grey.  I also wasnt all that excited to haul a bunch of lights into the back of the soundstage, hunt for power, and try to make a shot.

Ran back into the studio and grabbed the Profoto B1 Air kit.  Set one of the lights up with the beauty dish.  The second light got a gel in front of it.  I really appreciated being able to wheel the lights around and not have to worry about where they were getting the power from.



Shot the picture with a 5D Mark III on a 70-200 lens .  In about ten minutes we were out of there, with a couple of ideas in mind.  After that, lunch time!


Wanted to say thank you to Vita for coming by – exactly when I needed the pick me up.  Its always great to go try something new and work the kinks out.  Wishing you the best of luck with AHS casting – i’d hire you in a second if it were me!


  1. Hi RC About 4 yrs ago you had a tutorial on Mpix on how to create a trypht ,using Photoshop .what I’m trying say is one photo in three parts like a spilt wall canvas or cluster ,I seen plenty tutorial on YouTube now one does the way you show on Mpix. If you have a tutorial please give me the link,also I’m a Napp and Kelbyone memeber. User name johnbryantphoto.

    John Bryant

  2. Great stuff RC. I will be seeing ya at the Expo tomorrow in Atlanta .

    Martin Boss

  3. Im inspired by your work, i will try to make some HDR sesions my self.

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