Now Scheduling: Wedding Productions


The time is upon us! LuxShots is currently scheduling Cinematic Wedding Video Production for the 2018-2019 season.

We have a few remaining openings for this year and they are going fast! LuxShots offers packages for:

  • Large and small weddings.
  • Coverage of local and destination ceremonies.
  • High quality video production with optional 4K.

Call us today at 888.539.5530 to book your special day!

Casting Extras – Bad Decisions Scene 5

LuxShots is currently casting 10 Extras for Bad Decisions – Scene 5, which will be shot on Sunday, August 6.  Snacks are provided.
You have an opportunity to see how major films are made from a behind the scenes point of view!

Synopsis: Jade and Shawn are an upper middle class couple who fall from grace into a pit of despair! On their last dime, they must choose from a list of bad decisions that test their morality and their dignity.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see yourself up on the Big Screen!

Crew Call Time: 16:00/4pm
Cast Call Time: 17:00/5pm
Extras Call Time: 17:30/5:30pm

Scene Overview:
This scene is a bar scene.  The location of the scene will be provided to those chosen

Time Commitment: Extras must be available for 4 hours. If you can’t be on set for this amount of time, please don’t apply.
Wardrobe:  Men, suits or shirts and slacks. Ladies dresses or slack suits.
Paperwork: Must sign a LuxShots Actor’s Agreement.

How to Apply:
Send a headshots to
For additional information, call LuxShots at 888.539.5530


Bad Decisions Scene 1-4 Complete

Scenes 1-4 of Bad Decisions are complete! Last night we shot scene 3 and it was straight fire! Simply excellent performances from newcomers Mike Taylor and Mark Williams (go Army strong!), and the usual powerful delivery from veteran Dru Scott. Many thanks to Willie ‘Buddy’ Marshal doing double duty as grip and boom. And a super special thanks to my wife Bonita Starkey: What can I say, you’ve donned roles from Lead Actress, Casting Director, Executive Producer, Assistant Director! This production simply would not have happened if it weren’t for your tireless effort and dedication! Love ya for life baby 💙💜💙💜! Scenes 5 and 6 are a coming and we can wrap this!

Bad Decisions Casting Call


Title: Bad Decisions
Written and Directed by: Ed Starkey
Produced by: LuxShots Films
Location: Trumbull and Mahoning County
Category: Short Film
Budget: Indie Film, self funded. no pay.
Timeline: Principal shooting starting May 13th, 2017.

Synopsis: Jade and Shawn are an upper middle class couple who fall from grace into a pit of despair! On their last dime, they must choose from a list of bad decisions that test their morality and their dignity.

We are currently holding casting for the following roles:

Lead Roles:

Jade Hightower: Mid 30’s early 40’s. Sophisticated and classy.  (Role Cast)
Shawn Jackson: Mid 30’s to early 40’s. Intelligent, handsome and the fiance of Jade Hightower. (Role Cast)
Aaron Burrows: Mid 30’s to early 40’s. Arrogant and brash lady’s man. Ex-lover of Jade. (Role Cast)
Andre Young: Mid 30’s to early 40’s. A cold-hearted mid-level street pusher who likes he’s upper class(Role Cast)
Beauty Mi: Late 20’s to mid 30’s. A kind and witty stripper working at the G spot. No nudity or pole dancing, just wear a bikini.
Lady Diane: Late 40’s to Late 50’s. Owner of the G spot strip club. Money hungry and scandalous.
Joey Williams: Mid 20’s to mid 30’s. A street thug. Grimy.  (Role Cast)

Supporting Roles:

Home Owner: Late 30’s to early 50’s. (Role Cast)
Bodyguard 1: Mid to Late 30’s. Mean and intimidating. 6ft+ tall. 250lbs. Bodyguard of Andre Young.  (Role Cast)
Bodyguard 2: Mid to Late 30’s. Mean and intimidating. 6ft+ tall. 250lbs. Bodyguard of Andre Young.
Bodyguard 3: Mid to Late 30’s. Security officer for a mob boss. (Role Cast)
Bodyguard 4: Mid to Late 30’s. Security officer for a mob boss.

VERY IMPORTANT: For consideration, send a headshot, the role your applying for and a contact phone number to Call LuxShots at 888.539.5530 for more info.

Bad Decisions in Pre-Production!!

Been working on this for most of the year, and now were ready to get this ball rolling! 


It’s really incredible finally getting this project off of the ground! There is soooo much left to do, but that’s what adrenaline is for! To keep you focused on the task at hand such as set design, lighting, blocking, table reads, costume, location scouting and casting. Did I forget to mention something? I’m sure I did!


Synopsis: Jade and Shawn are an upper middle class couple who fall from grace into a pit of despair! On their last dime, they must choose from a list of bad decisions that test their morality and their dignity.


Ashley and Jared

Having done a fair amount of wedding photography and videography, I can attest that video is the medium of choice for reliving the client’s most important moment of their lives. But the ability for the medium to have such power comes with the price of increased difficulty.

Although the full deliverables to the clients were around 40 minutes long, weddings are one of the most personal, private and sacred events between a couple, and they should be cherished. Thankfully, with the couple’s permission, I bring you their wedding trailer.

Getting Ready For Corporate Clients

This stock image has a simple 2:1 ratio with key camera left. It invokes confidence in her and her teams abilities.

Although I have done plenty of narrative projects that worked out really well, I didn’t have the equipment to handle the demands of corporate clientele. This is primarily due to the differences in the intent of the subject matter and the messaging direction to the viewer.

Narrative drama and thriller works can have an edgy, gritty feel to them which plays well with:

  • Hard light sources, like open face and Fresnel.
  • Creative use of colored gels to complement the story.
  • Handheld camera use of un-stabilized shoulder rigs to jar the audience in action sequences.
  • Most talent upstage lit for better modeling.
  • Plenty of time to do lighting setup (relative to the time afforded you on corporate shoots).
  • Freedom to stretch the truth to support the story!

Corporate works have very different requirement that result in very different equipment needs such as:

  • Soft light sources, like Kino-Flo, or diffused LED light panels. Looks good on the subject.
  • Diffusion panels to turn hard lights soft.
  • Accurate color is highly desirable when representing products.
  • Present honesty and trustworthiness about the subject, which usually means downstage lighting and traditional three point with a background light (possibly cookied).
  • Invoke action in the viewer so they can buy the clients products and services. This is quite possibly the hardest part, but that has to do with the client wanting to do the writing, when they aren’t professional script/advert writers. The last thing in the world you want is this beautiful visual you’ve sculpted to be marred by corny narration!
  • Setup must be slightly longer than instantaneous but no longer than the time to grab a cup of coffee! These clients are really busy, and they don’t have twenty minutes to sit in place while you get your lighting ratio’s dialed in. You must come in the room quickly asses lighting placement. From rolling in to setting up for rough placement needs to take 15 minutes or less.
  • Next is some equipment you must have, but you can’t rent it or buy it. You must present assurance and confidence to the subject so he can deliver the same to the public, even though they aren’t the trained talent your used to working with. If this point fails, its no matter if you nailed all the previous points. You will never, ever get hired by the client again, and very well may have your name dragged through the mud, thus losing future clients.


Avoiding Shoot Day Nightmares

The greatest day after a photog starts his business is when he actually gets a paying gig. Although, technically this is not my first photography business (I closed a successful Keystar Photography business around 8 years ago. Long story for another post…), I got the same chill up my spine when the phone rang to schedule an on location shoot. This particular client is definitely upscale, and providing my best work is not only a must for them, it could really give my business a boost with referrals.

In order to get a feel for the client, I planned to do some event shooting of them prior to our scheduled shoot. This helps me identify their mannerisms, which side is their good side, what is their true persona, so I can work to bring about all these amazing attributes in a stunning photograph. This is where I have unfortunately received inspiration for my post!
Photographers use technology to make their job easier all the time. We are quick to try new things when we have found that our current workflow has some sticking points. For instance, some have sworn by EVF technology, allowing them to see exposure before the shot. And most have dumped light meters and depend on camera body exposure, or simply use the LCD display and histogram. I have tried EVF tech way back when I first bought a Minolta Diamage 7, and it worked great, when scenes have a low dynamic range. I have also dumped light meters and color meters are the way of the Kiwi with RAW file formats. I was excited to get the opportunity to use the +Peak Design capture 2 system to improve the carrying experience of my camera when I needed my hands free. Excited really isn’t accurate, as stoked would be more fitting.

Capture Clip 2

The Capture 2 clip (they had a previous version…) is designed to quickly secure you camera with a quick release mechanism to any strap or belt. This is invaluable when trying to adjust light stands, reflectors and clients during a shoot. When you try to do this with your camera strapped around your neck, it will somehow find a way to swing like a medieval ball and chain clobbering, equipment, people and itself in the process.
Now I used the capture clip previously when I first received it. That ended with my gear crashing to the floor! WTF!?! Of course, I blamed this on my error (which it was) and corrected that and never had another problem. Until Sunday. So now, I am shooting at this event, and there was a prayer before the event started. So its time to put the camera away, since the system makes it so easy to holster right? Click, the camera is secure. I am praying with everyone else when I could feel my camera launch itself from my hip, carrying my Sigma 17-70 along with it! $%#@%! Oh my God, I’m in church, and this brand new technology almost made me say F#@K out loud!
Thank GOD, it landed on very plush carpet and no damage occurred. Did I have it secured properly? Yes. Has this happened before? Yes, but it won’t happen again! I have yet to discover what caused this to occur, but I just can’t trust thousands of dollars of photo gear to a clip that has failed on me twice. It’s quite possible that I just have a faulty unit, but more than likely, I did something wrong. Peak Designs team is an awesome company, and I am confident they did their level best when their engineering this product to prevent the very things I experienced. Either way, I won’t be using it during my upcoming shoot, no matter how much I’m in love with the concept.

Youngnuo YN-622C

This customers shoot requires the use of radio triggers. The distance between the strobes and I are too great to use optical triggering, and I also need to incorporate my YN-500ex hot shoe flashes with my studio strobes. It’s great that I have three YN-622Cs as they should fit the bill nicely. They give you up two 100 meters of range and provide TTL flash metering for Canon compatible speedlghts as well as dumb triggering for studio strobes. Perfect right? Well almost.
The triggers work really well with the YN-500ex speedlights, but the range is far from 100 meters. Matter of fact, the range is only about 50 feet! Luckily, that is about all I need for this shoot, even though if I had not tested this capability beforehand, I would have been in a world of hurt!

Go With What You Know

Until you can prove a new work flow extensively, integrating it into your process is a risky endeavor.  Everything will have limits, and you must work until you can instinctively find the boundaries and know that everything within them will work in your situation. New tech that many photogs get into and should test to death include:
  • Radio Triggers: Make sure you test the heck out of these so that you know their maximum range and that they work with your strobes. And when I say your strobes, I mean your personal strobes as RFI (radio frequency interference) may cause either you triggers you strobes or both not to work as expected. On more complex triggers like Pocket Wizards, Radio Poppers and the Youngnou YN-622C/N triggers, this testing is a must.
  • Tripods and Heads: The newer tripod systems that have individually adjustable legs and turn into monopods or invert their center column for macro shots are great. But the simplicity of these great tools often require you to RTFM (read the freakin manual)!
  • Photo Backpacks: This is the greatest thing ever invented! A backpack designed especially to hold all my gear perfectly and in a flash have it ready to use. Or, this could be a backpack that dumped all my gear in the Grand Canyon because I didn’t RTFM!
Surprises are for birthdays, not shoot days. Using the heck out of your gear before using it on paid gigs keeps your blood pressure low, and your customers happy.