Tag Archives: photography


So the latest in TV on my newsfeed has been America’s Next Top Model and the return of Tyra Banks to the show. The new season, cycle 24 just aired on January 9th and they got rid of Rita Ora to bring back Tyra. From what I’ve been seeing this was a smart decision. The only thing I am hoping for this year is that they are more responsible with the editing and treatment of the contestants. No slight to Tyra Banks herself because YAY! for girl bosses and her success with this show.  I figured what better time than now to share with you all my amazing experience shooting with and getting to know Binta who was on ANTM cycle 23 and if you watch I am certain that you remember her.

I first worked with Binta for the 2014 September issue of D-list, now Ville Magazine. As a photographer, she was a dream to work with and one of the best experiences I’ve had while working with a model. Binta really demonstrated for me what a working model actually has the skill to do while on set. I knew from her attitude and the way she held on to her passions and conviction I would like her as a person even more.


Producer/Stylist Jessica Delos Santos
Model Binta Dibba Model
MUA SK Artistry
Wardrobe Assistant Meggie Harris
BTS Video by Ryan Frey and Anca Maria

This gig was prior to her debut on ANTM,  I am already a skeptic of reality TV but I did originally follow ANTM to watch the photography aspect, but the cattiness and way they portrayed multiple women I knew of kept me away. When cycle 23 rolled around I  felt it was important to pay attention and support Binta’s social media throughout her season and that caused me to follow more closely. When I started seeing commercials featuring Binta upset and yelling at someone I knew immediately they had cast her as the “angry black woman” trope, there are far too many reasons why that is an issue.  As someone who is passionate about the rights of people in her country of Gambia, she was completely insulted and misrepresented in clips. Personally, I see this as a symptom of lazy reality TV that wants to create false drama than actual character development, how dare they reduce her to this stereotype in the face of her caring so deeply about social issues. I find these shows less and less interesting because they force chaos instead of connection.

I wanted to share my thoughts on what I perceived from the show because it ties into how we should be treating people in this industry. Despite what may be portrayed about someone on a television show we have to remember that these are still real-life people and should be given the benefit of the doubt. I define etiquette as; how you treat others, I am also selective about the people I trust in the industry,  my advice would be to treat people how you want to be talked about!

Aside from me just sharing my love for Binta I caught up with her recently and she answered a few questions for me so that I can share with you all what she has going on now and just how multifaceted and amazing this woman really is.

What are you up to/working on now?

Binta: I am working on doing things that are beneficial to me in an extremely healthy way. I’m searching for those amazing positive things I will dedicate any time left on earth here for me to do on a daily basis. I call it rebranding and am very happy and looking forward to making it even better!!!!!

What are the causes/movements you care about?

Binta: Right now I am all about causes/movements that are good and only good for the general public. I do not want to be a negative influence in anyone’s life, especially kids that might look up to me and I do not want anyone or anything to be a negative influence on me either. I know the life that I lived so far and I believed there is a better way of living that will make me happy and the people around me. I do have personal brands I did start before and will be expanding on while introducing new projects that are very special to me.

Do you have anyone who has been a support you want to acknowledge or share advice from?

Binta: My family members have always been my biggest support system. At the end of the day, they are the ones that unconditionally love me and no matter what, they have always and will always want to see me in a good light.

If you want to talk about your ANTM experiences feel free, my position is that I was appalled by their portrayal of someone with so much passion for advocacy and peoples rights.

Binta: I was extremely excited to be on ANTM as a model and I definitely did learn about reality shows and let’s just say, I am not happy about how reality show TV works and I am sure, any reality star, who isn’t in control of production would probably feel the same way. At the end of the day, as long as I am living in this world, I have availability to the same opportunities just like the owners of most reality shows and all I can do is wish them all good health and happiness on this earth.


Model Binta Dibba Model
MUA Dan Homer
Photo JLD Imagery – Photography by Jessica L. Drake
Retouching Dana Cole Retoucher
Jewelry/top Se•lyn Boutique & Crystal Shoppe

Bonus: These images from our shoot are badass right?! Honestly, this wouldn’t have been so without the help of Dana Cole doing the retouching. This is actually the first time I took the plunge and hired a professional retoucher, I know how to retouch my work but there is just this sparkle I couldn’t get to, I have some more to learn, but being in front of the computer doesn’t have quite the same feeling as being behind the camera, I just knew Dana could bring out something in my work. I mean seriously click the link and check her out, she’s amazing! I honestly recommend to all photographers that if you have a project that’s amazing and need something to help elevate your work and give it that extra polish hiring a professional retoucher is such a wise decision.

Thank you all for reading and let me know about your experiences using retouchers or even ones that I should check out!

~Fenty Beauty Review~

Thanks to Lamain for these awesome sun glasses!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it yet, but I love makeup! So imagine my excitement when Rihanna released Fenty Beauty in September.

I had to try out the foundation…I love the premise of her line to include shades especially in darker tones, as we all know this is missing in the market.

Herkimer diamonds and Pyrite from Se•lyn Boutique & Crystal Shoppe

My first thoughts were that the foundation smells AMAZING! I was a little concerned with the tone when I first put it on, even with the warning its a bit lighter than expected before it oxidizes. Originally I used that and had bought a Unicorn match stick highlighter. (We can discuss my unnatural obsessions with unicorns another time…) I have since realized its really meant to be a base before using her match stick trio contour kits and I am in love with the make up routine, I may love make up but I am not really sure wtf I am actually doing, the Sephora MUA showed me how to use the trio and it was super simple and quick.

Because I loved the foundation (and Rihanna mostly to be honest…)  I was waiting for the release of the Galaxy eyeshadow pallet in October, shameless…

and I may have picked up a some STARLIT Hyper-Glitz Lipstick and COSMIC gloss to complete the look…

Between that and the new face care I picked up it put me into VIB Rouge for Sephora! So I guess that’s good…*self reprimands for money choices *also justifies…”it’s so preeeety! oooo sparkles!” SMH but just look at these colors!!


I also decided my makeup artist buddy Brittney Taylor of Brittney Taylor Beauty needed a few Sephora gift cards so that she could test it out and give me her professional opinion on the products!  She is a bit of a showboat and came with her review AND professional photos, I love her for it though lol!

Brittney: I was so excited about Rihanna releasing a beauty line because well, black girl winning! But honestly, after seeing her promo video I was like for real pumped about the release. Working in the beauty industry as a makeup artist, I know too well the woes black women have when shopping for makeup. Rihanna’s promo ad to me just really represented inclusion and diversity, I’m so here for that. I usually tend to use pro brands as my foundation but thanks to Amanda I was able to try a couple of these for my kit as well. What I purchased was a couple shades of the foundation and the lip gloss. I didn’t grab any of the highlighters because I am all stocked up on highlighters.

Just from her shade range alone that she had at the initial release makes me want to tell everyone to support this woman’s beauty line. I think that her packaging is super chic and clean but also practical and simple, no bells and whistles. The foundation bottle is very sturdy and the pump works well with the consistency of the product. This foundation blends like a dream and is very easy to apply even for someone that knows very little about makeup application. It soaks into the skin and will make you look and feel as though you have nothing on. My favorite thing about this foundation is how well it wears, I mean I did a models makeup at 8 a.m. and even after shooting for hours she was able to wear that makeup to dinner! No touch-ups were done and she still had her gorgeous, lifelike glow. Now as with most things in life there are a couple cons to this foundation as well. The first being that it is a silicon-based product and that is not always a bad thing but it can be. Dimethicone is a silicon and it’s found on the ingredient list, and it’s there a lot. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of consumer brand liquid foundations have silicone, however, Fenty beauty has more than most. For someone that is very acne prone this can cause a problem, simply put silicone can cause you to break out. With myself and the two models, I have used it on there have been zero issues with any breakouts after using it. The other con is that it tends to oxidize a bit after application and that is an annoyance of mine. The upside is that it doesn’t oxidize too drastically so without a trained eye you may not even notice it. So with that being said, I believe the Fenty beauty foundation is definitely worth a shot, (you can grab a sample from Sephora) I will continue using it throughout this season although it will not be a staple in my professional kit.

The lip-gloss is amazing and everyone should have one in their collection. It is so easy to apply and effortless to wear! I mean just look at it on these models pictured wearing gorgeous head wraps and accessories from Shop Fe-line.

Jessica: Thanks so much for all the info and I am loving these gorgeous shots! Dream goals is an epic collaboration photo shoot one day with Brittney, her skills and knowledge are exceptional, she is constantly expressing and challenging herself!  Going to be crying when she gets too busy for my make up Q&A’s!

Come back soon! We have plans for the PERFECT MU kit every photographer needs for their studio staples, talking about industry etiquette, the importance of diversity and representation and our influences in the world around us. I can’t wait to share my favorite women businesses that inspire me to move forward everyday!

Let us know if you have any questions or what you want to know about in the future! Hope you are having a magical fantastic day!

Chance Encounter


Have you ever had a chance encounter that turned into something so magical and necessary? That’s pretty normal here in the Seattle fashion scene so it’s to be expected but meeting Dawn Mastow, creator of Dawnamatrix, at the 2016 Ville Magazine Seattle style night awards was definitely a more spectacular encounter than the norm. I had of course known of Dawn from seeing her work in and around the Seattle so I was so ecstatic to meet her at this event. Once we started to chat we soon found out that we had more in common than just a love for fashion and the fashion industry; like the fact that we both attended Ringling College of Art & Design down in Sarasota, Florida! Soon after we were able to work with each other on a project for her web content…

Max Dernoll
Max Dernoll
Max Dernoll
Max Dernoll
Max Dernoll

I am so excited for all the incredible adventures and accomplishments this amazing woman is creating! She recently had two pieces win award at WOW World of Wearable Art! I was honored to shoot the images for her Red submission.

Rachel Dooley
Rachel Dooley
Rachel Dooley
Rachel Dooley

Recently I photographed her for the cover and feature editorial in Ville Magazine. This editorial spread was nothing short of magical to shoot and I loved every bit of it. The looks were so good and totally fashion editorial which is definitely my style. Dawnamatrix wrote a really wonderful blog about our shoot, so be sure to check out what this project meant to her. I am huge on working to bring awareness to or in support of great causes and this was one of those times. “Funding conservation with the voice of fashion” was the purpose of this project and I am so happy to have been a part of it. Special thanks to The Falconer for sharing your incredible birds with us! The property (Dunn Gardens) we used for the shoot was absolutely breathtaking and all of the moving parts really made for an interesting day of work! Check out the photos here (starting on page 30) and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Ville Fall Cover Dawn Mastow
Ville Fall issue editorial Dawn Mastow

Ville premiered the issue on The Seattle style night Awards for Ville magazine! An associate of mine and brilliant designer Deyonte was our incredible host for the evening! I’m sure you’ve seen him on this season of Project Runway displaying his amazing talent. Keep an eye out for a blog post coming up about the pieces I’ve shot of his in the past.

Jessica, Deyonte’ and Rachel Dooley

I also had the opportunity to present the photographer of the year award which was amazing. A huge congratulations to all of the talent that won, it was a great event to attend. There was so much talent in the room and I was so excited about Ville premiering this issue, it feels really good to see your work magnified around a room of such amazing individuals.  I am so looking forward to continuing my journey in the fashion scene of Seattle and doing what I love to do. Be sure to comment below and let me know what you think about the magazine spread!! Until next time…