Greek god

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So far for our calendar this year we’ve worked as a seamstress, a veterinarian, and played with a few dogs. I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted and we’ve only shot 2 scenes! I think it’s time for a coffee break, which conveniently brings us to our third scene, join us now as we continue behind the scenes of the 2015 #Disneybound Calendar…

The inspiration for our next look comes from a princess who loves to read, and what better place to get some reading done than while sipping a delightful hot beverage. We knew we wanted our next scene set in some type of cafe, but one of the biggest challenges on this calendar was finding local businesses to partner with us.

We originally started looking for a coffee shop to shoot in. Not a huge corporate commercial chain type place, but a cute local shop that would give a nice homey feeling.

We met with one or two that while the location was perfect, weren’t interested in helping us for various reasons. Feeling rejected and almost nearly at the end of the yellow pages. We started brainstorming and thought that perhaps we might have more luck if we started looking into cafes instead of coffee shops.

Our answer came right down the hill from my studio in Port Chester, NY. Not even 3 blocks away, is a lovely little cafe called Zeppoleme. And let’s face it no one can argue that reading a great book with a delightful hot beverage is significantly an experience that is significantly elevated when you add some amazing homemade zeppoles!

Zeppoleme in Port Chester, NY

Zeppoleme in Port Chester, NY

In addition to the featured pastry, proprietors Marc and Robert have filled their menu with all kinds of yummy food. Everything from salads to paninis to pastas and trust me when I tell you, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried one of their savory zeppoles!

Marc and Robert were kind enough to let us set up in their space one Friday morning to shoot our next calendar scene. Our model Caitlin arrived from CT after stopping off to let our Production Sylist Samantha Dugan expertly take care of her hair and makeup. Carlos, one of the baristas was very accommodating in helping us to set up at a table and prepare for the shoot.

Before we knew it, he had whipped up an expertly prepared cappuccino and plate of delicious zeppoles. Caitlin definitely picked the right scene to model in as our other locations were not as tasty.

Zeppoles prepared by Barista Carlos

Zeppoles prepared by Barista Carlos

Some quick setup of the lights and we were off and running. A few patrons came in to sample the delightful fare Zeppoleme has to offer while we were setting up. Understandably they were a bit surprised to find a princess sipping cappuccino and reading a book but they were all very accommodating and we were able to shoot the scene in record time.

Metering the lights

Metering the lights

We lit the shot with a mix of Einstein studio strobes and speed lights. Placing an Einstein outside the window on a high light stand to simulate nice directional daylight coming through and lighting the model with a Nikon Speedlight in a 36″ Octabox for a nice diffuse interior lighting.

Unfortunately, I don’t have too many behind the scenes photos from this shoot as it was just me and the model on set so there really wasn’t anyone else around to take additional photos. It’s times like this I wish I had one of those flying photo drones, if anyone out there is listening…Christmas is coming up, just saying.

Want to see the final shot? Well you’ll just have to buy your own calendar or planner to check it out! The 2015 #Disneybound Calendar and Planner are on sale now at the Dengrove Studios website, click here to order. Can you guess which character inspired Caitlin’s wardrobe?

A very special thank you to Zeppoleme in Port Chester, NY and proprietors Marc and Robert and their staff for allowing us access to their awesome cafe and providing some appetizing treats for us to photograph.

Zeppoleme is located at 321 North Main Street in Port Chester, NY, 914-481-5900. Definitely stop by when you’re in the area because as they say on their website when you have zeppole…you’re one bite away from the perfect day!

On to our next scene. Thinking up the perfect location and setting for our next scene was a bit of a challenge. After all if you were representing a character inspired by the wife of a half mortal – half Greek god known the world over for his superior strength what would you be up to in modern times?

A lot has changed since Ancient Greece and in today’s world there are countless women who are well known for their strength and fitness abilities. It seemed only natural that our modern princess would be into fitness and working out and probably teaching her husband a thing a or two about staying in shape.

But where would she work out? In a gym? A YMCA? Nah…we needed a natural setting, how about the beach?! Of course, by now we had hit the middle of September and really had to step up our production schedule in order to get everything photographed and off to the printer on time. So we needed to move quickly.

We found a lovely beach in CT and scheduled the shoot with our model Laura for September 13th. You may recognize Laura from her stage work in NYC and from several tv shows on the small screen. She was kind enough to make the long trip up from NYC to Norwalk to appear in our calendar.

As the day of the shoot rolled around naturally our usual luck with outdoor weather held true. All morning we had crazy thunderstorms with driving rains and stormy skies. What were we to do? We were running out of time and this scene HAD to get photographed today.


Turns out the nasty weather actually worked to our advantage. We realized that perhaps the rolling storm clouds out over the Long Island Sound could make a really cool background for our scene. There was only one thing…would the rain stop long enough to allow us to shoot it?

After all, safety is always our primary concern when photographing these scenes and having Laura standing out in the middle of a beach with thunder and lightning all around was totally out of the question.

So with Laura making the long trip from NYC to Norwalk and everyone needing to coordinate schedules to get the shot done how could we ensure that after all that time and effort we’d actually get a chance to shoot?

Enter the ACCUWEATHER Mobile App. This amazing App claims to give you up to the minute super accurate hyperlocal weather. And you know what? It really does!!! After consulting the App it showed that there would be a 2 hour lull in the storm which would be just perfect for grabbing our shot.

We were all a little skeptical but as I said before the shot had to happen! So I picked up Laura at the train and off we went to Sam’s house for hair and makeup.

It was still raining even while Sam was expertly applying Laura’s makeup, but the App said it would stop in 30 minutes. We were this close to placing bets.

We piled into the car and off we headed to the beach. Naturally with the rain, wind, thunder and lightning we were the only ones crazy enough to visit a beach. When we arrived there wasn’t another sole in sight, which made for a great wide open landscape, and there was something else, the rain had stopped!

Never again would I doubt the AccuWeather Mobile App. We quickly setup the equipment and started shooting. The scene was lit with a single Einstein Studio Strobe from the Paul C Buff company outfitted with one of their 64″ PLM Umbrella’s.


As you can see from the photos that’s a pretty huge umbrella, which when combined with the wind could either make a lovely sail or a dangerous flying object. We made sure to not only dig the legs of the light stand deep into the sand but also to place 20 lbs of weight on the bottom in order to anchor it down.

Notice that although we are shooting with only a single light we positioned it off to the side of our model to give definition and detail to Laura’s toned physique. Once the lighting was set up we decided to take a few test shots. This seemed to anger Laura as she appeared to be more like The Incredible Hulk than a Princess.

Laura taking a test photo

Laura taking a test photo

After a few minutes Laura calmed down and started to practice her poses. Perhaps she felt more comfortable since Sam jumped in to help stabilize the light.


Laura practices her poses

Next thing you know, she breaks into some sort of calisthenics routine..what’s going on here?!

Calisthenics on the beach?

Calisthenics on the beach?

Eventually we managed to get the shot. Just look at all that detail in the finished photo. It’s certainly due to the fact that I had some very talented people working with me that day.

The Final Shot

The Final Shot

Special thank you to our Production Stylist Samantha Dugan for her hair and makeup expertise and of course getting some great behind the scenes photos, and to our Model Laura A. Feder who was a really good sport to stand out in the middle of a cold windy beach in a sports bra and take some crazy fun shots .

Before we knew it our 2 hour window was up and just as we loaded the last of the gear into the car it started pouring again. We got very lucky that day the photo gods were smiling on us with the weather, it truly made for an amazing shot…perhaps they’re Greek?

Want your very own copy of this amazing photo? Well you’ll just have to buy your own calendar or planner to get one! The 2015 #Disneybound Calendar and Weekly Planner are on sale now at the Dengrove Studios website, click here to order. Can you guess which character inspired Laura’s wardrobe?

Scott Dengrove is a professional photographer from the NYC area. Scott’s work has been featured in many national photography competitions and published in several magazines and newspapers. In addition, his work can be seen on tour in various exhibits at Cosi® restaurants in New York and Connecticut and a traveling exhibit entitled “America: Coast to Coast”. For more information, and to see more of Scott’s work visit his website at and connect with him on his Facebook page at follow him on Twitter at