Tag Archives: los angeles photographer

Event Photography | mix celebs, many margaritas & me for a fun shoot

Wanted to share some images from a fun shoot I did at the American Music Awards gifting lounge. My rough job assignment was to hang out with celebs at the Sauza Tequila bar and capture the fun. Sometimes I can’t believe I actually get paid for this kind of stuff.

So the AMA took place at the Nokia Theatre where there were plenty of mighty fine musicians as well as actors from movies and such shows as Glee. There were many delicious sparkling margaritas to be had too–for free even. My fave I highly recommend is the Wild Berry. Did you know the average celeb, a B- or even C-list, is given over $100K in free stuff annually? Not bad, huh?

Here are a dozen of my favorite images and included among these are: Lance Bass, Jenna Ushkowitz, James Durbin, Jordin Sparks, Ali Fedotowsky, Lacey Chabert, Aubrey O’Day, Xander Singh, Passion Pit, Dot-Marie Jones, The Lylas, Danity Kane. 


Los Angeles event photographer



Event-Photography-Los-Angeles-American-Music-Awards-celebrities--The Lylas with swag-photo-by-Los-Angeles-event-photographer

Event-Photography-Los-Angeles-American-Music-Awards-celebrities–The Lylas with swag-photo-by-Los-Angeles-event-photographer

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Photography | my favorite summer images

As this summer heads into its seventh inning stretch, I chose my favorite summer images that I shot this year and years past. Got a fave summer poem too.

hiking,-Yosemite-falls-LRadjust Continue reading »

Websites | Earthporn – ultimate landscape & animal photography collection

Earthporn is a series of breathtaking pictures that capture the brilliance of our magnificent planet, nature and life.

Earthporn---landscape-and-animal-photography-collectionThe Earthporn photos originate from various sources at Imgur, Tumblr, Flikr, and Reddit and are compiled at the Earthporn facebook page. I’ve collected two dozen of my favorite animal and landscape photos for you to feast your eyes upon. There are several excellent Earthporn videos I found too.

Here are some beautiful Earthporn videos from three excellent photographers.

Earthporn Video – The Water

The Water from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

This was filmed during August 2011. This is my interpretation of the fjord landscape in western Norway. Having spent countless days here, I really enjoy even the smallest parts of this landscape. Like hidden streams or dwarfish waterfalls outside of the beaten track that offer a great deal of solitude. This movie was editing “on the road” and uploaded over 3G network from southeast asia. I have decided to spend the next two years creating a 60min blu-ray/dvd. As a landscape photographer, I have visited some really amazing places over the years, and now I will be revisiting many of them for this movie. It is a full-on project, and as a result I have now sold my apartment, print-studio, car and other belongings.

I thought Beethoven´s Moonlight Sonata would be appropriate, and asked my friend Marika Takeuchi if she could record it in a studio. She made a fantastic version which I love very much. Thank you! Press/licensing/projects contact: tsophotography@gmail.com  Music: “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven performed by Marika Takeuchi http://on.fb.me/kOezbO

Earthporn Video – Landscapes

Landscapes: Volume Two from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.

Planet 5D Blog: http://blog.planet5d.com/2011/10/dustin-farrells-landscapes-volume-two-another-canon-eos-5d-mark-ii-timelapse-masterpiece/ Continue reading »

Photography | Wet & Wild – LA fountain & fifteen minutes

I can’t resist moving water. A few drops. An enormous wave. Doesn’t matter. Mix in sparkling sunshine and I just can’t resist. My brain’s visual cortex gets hyper hypnotized and stops me in my tracks. Gotta stop. Gotta stare.

Fountain los angeles photographerSo I was rushing from a shoot inside one LA building and on my way to the inside of another building. No time to spare. But there was a fountain along the way. There was sunshine behind it. There was me stopping in my tracks.

Here are a few shots from my fifteen minute pause.


Top ten best Los Angeles fountain photographs shot in LA by corporate photographer Greg Mancuso - 1

Top ten best Los Angeles fountain photographs shot in LA by corporate photographer Greg Mancuso – 1

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Photo Essay | Cancer Can’t Catch Her – she peered into death’s eyes, spit in its face and lived happily ever after

A Los Angeles cancer survivor struts her stuff for a photo shoot, tells her touching story to the photographer, and brings about a rare occurrence–he’s inspired to write a poem. And the fair maiden is living happily ever after.

Los Angeles photographer shot these photos of a cancer survivor who poses with sun behind her

Los Angeles cancer survivor pictures shot by photographer Gregory Mancuso ©


A photographer poses a Los Angeles cancer survivor against the afternoon sun

A photographer poses a Los Angeles cancer survivor against the afternoon sun

I know cancer can be fast.
Just a blur
Just a flash
A loved one is here
Then catch
Then gone

They told this lady she was caught
You don’t have long
Just a blur
Just a flash

The fine lady did protest
My days are not half done
I have another marathon to run
Life to love
More fun in the sun

Doctors here and doctors there
They shook their heads
Not much we can do
Not many days left

This lady didn’t give up
She searched far and wide
And when all hope was lost
It was found again

There’s a new medicine trick
It sounded like magic
But it hadn’t been tried
The lady bravely stood up
Let’s give it a ride.

…and then…

Los Angeles photography of cancer survivor smiling while running outside for photographer

Los Angeles photography of cancer survivor smiling while running outside for photographer

Lo and behold
Just like a fairy tale
The enchantment did work
The fair maiden was saved

I’ve seen cancer catch many, and drag them away. Uncles, aunts, cousins. Two friends, too young. One father, too sad.

So I was pleased, when this lady asked a favor of me. Make pictures for others, who are sick, to see, how they may be.

Show me running, healthy, happy and free.

Los Angeles woman running fast for the photographer during a shoot about cancer survivors

Los Angeles woman running fast for the photographer during a shoot about cancer survivors

Catch how I can be fast
Just a blur
Just a flash

The fine lady did attest
My days are not half done
I have another marathon to run

Photographer has low angle shot of woman running down Los Angeles street for fitness

Photographer has low angle shot of woman running down Los Angeles street for fitness

Life to love
More fun in the sun

Sun streams down on cancer survivor during photographer shoot in Los Angeles

Sun streams down on cancer survivor during photographer shoot in Los Angeles

written & shot by Los Angeles photographer Gregory Mancuso

Essay | The Frail Bliss Tornado Vs Gloom And Doom

A true tale and appreciation of my mighty Special Olympics’ hero.



Special-Olympics-swimming hero

© photo by Gregory Mancuso

It’s not hard to get buried in a heap of frustration in these gloom and doom days. You can be frustrated your career isn’t advancing fast enough. Or your career disappeared and you’re forced to take a job that you wouldn’t even call a career. Maybe you’re frustrated about your investments not performing well. Or your cash flow could be nonexistent and getting more nonexistenter every week for that matter.

And you can always round up the usual suspects lurking in your life even in the best of times. Creative frustration, relationship frustration, or what relationship? frustration, weight,  looks, the traffic, and the kids and on and on.

When frustration hits a fevered pitch, whether in the mundane or life altering category, it may help you to think of the woman in this picture as I do from time to time. I encountered her years ago when I was covering the Special Olympics. Continue reading »

Photography | Light comes out at night

Photographs of Los Angeles nightscapes.

los angeles photographerBasically, photography is a medium that captures light reflected off a subject. When moving light itself is the subject, sometimes an almost magical transformation occurs. This has always fascinated me. Sometimes the resulting creation is both abstract and hyper-real at the same time. If that even makes sense?

Here are a few of my favorite light sculpting images from a shoot I did for the LAX business district.

please click images to enlarge

Los Angeles corporate photographer Gregory Mancuso shot this photo of the LA airport business district at night - 1

Los Angeles corporate photographer Gregory Mancuso shot this photo of the LA airport business district at night – 1

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Essay | Movie Reviews – if you wanna know to which movies you should go–throw out Rotten Tomatoes and grab my fresh choices

I’ve reviewed the movie review sites and got the top two for you–Metacritic and MovieReviewIntelligence. Metacritic also serves up excellent TV, music & gaming guidance.

movie review websites - Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes

I’ve used Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes for years, and the newer kid on the block, MovieReviewIntelligence, since it came into being about two years ago. Now, movie review aggregators all perform the same basic trick–they scarf up big bunches of opinions, sift and distill who’s saying what, and spit out their magic rating. Ta-daah!

But how they go about the devilish details of which critics they deem worthy of listening to, and how to stack up those critics, can be significantly different and garner different results.

The most well known and popular review aggregator, RottenTomatoes.com, has over 9 million visitors a month cramming into their produce aisle. They have a cute Tomatometer ranking percentage score with a “fresh” tomato for good reviews and  “rotten” for not so good.

rotten tomatoesSqueezing the Tomatoe and looking at the details of how they do what they do, will point out why I find the site my least favorite and accurate, and why I don’t use it anymore. While the other two sites use the reviews from professional critics to come up with their scores, Rotten Tomatoes also includes a bunch of citizen-reviewers who write on obscure websites, like Georgia’s self-proclaimed “entertainment man” Jackie K. Cooper. Huh, who?!The best movie and TV review website is Metacritic

The best movie and TV review website is Metacritic

David Gross, a former market research and 20th Century Fox studio executive who created Movie Review Intelligence, points out that because Rotten Tomatoes gives equal weighting to Time magazine and tiny websites, it penalizes circulation. “What’s going on hurts critics, it hurts moviegoers and it hurts the industry,” Gross says. “What difference does it make if some fan boy says thumbs down’?”

MovieReviewIntelligence screenshot


Keep in mind how Rotten Tomatoes gives it coveted “fresh” rating” to movies that any number, and hypothetically all, of its counted reviewers don’t really love. It’s  scores are based on the ratio of favorable to unfavorable reviews. If a film snags 20 positive reviews and 20 negative reviews, it’s 50% fresh, and if the ratio is 15 good to five bad, it’s 75%. But if all 20 of those critics give the equivalent of a B-minus letter grade, it’s 100% fresh, because all of the reviews were positive, even if only barely so.

Rotten Tomatoes screenshot

Rotten Tomatoes

Metacritic and Movie Review Intelligence try to come up with an average score that reflects how much critics actually like a movie, rather than a ratio of raves to pans. If a movie on those two sites gets a 50% score, it means the consensus of all of the reviews it read was 50% positive. The average review, we could say, got two out of four stars.

All three sites give every review they read a numerical score and that can be a tricky trick to pull off since many reviewers don’t give letter grades or stars. So it gets to be a subjective appraisal and mulling over process to come up with the grading. The assigned grades are translated into numerical scores– a B-plus is an 83, a C-minus rates a 42, and so on. Rather than simply average those scores, Metacritic and MRI apply a weighting system based on a reviewer’s circulation.

Meteoritic, instead of translating a review into a letter grade, has its staff score notices on a 0-100 scale in 10-point steps. “It’s still often hard to distinguish between what’s an 80 and what’s a 90,” says Marc Doyle, one of the founders of Metacritic.

While MRI weights reviews for audience size, Metacritic takes into account the  prestige factor, a calculation it calls its “secret sauce” and one it won’t disclose. “Roger Ebert is weighted more than someone you’ve never heard of,” Doyle says. He also points out that when critics are consistently 75% favorable in their reviews of a movie, its Metacritic score is a 75. But that same movie could be 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. “That’s a fundamental difference,” he says.

If you want very detailed explanations for how each one goes about its calculations, dig in … MetacriticMovie Review IntelligenceRotten Tomatoes

Besides all the calculations and different methodologies being use by each, it’ll come down to your own subjective thumbs up and down for these sites.

But as I stated in the beginning, Metacritic is my own #1 fave and the one I use most often now. Where the rubber meets the road–reading their scores and then comparing them with the actual experience of watching the movie or DVD–it usually matches up well. Metacritic also seems to perform the trick best when I go to the trouble of reading reviews by my own favorite critics in some major publications, and comparing all the prognostications together.

I also prefer Metacritic for the clear and concise way it presents its scores at their site. It uses a simple color code so your eye can quickly scan the results–red, yellow, green. And even the simple “sort by name” and “sort by score” feature is something I think you’ll find quite useful.

As I also stated at the top, you might find my #2 choice, Movie Review Intelligence, to be your cup of tea if you’re in show biz and want more detailed details, especially when it comes to analyzing box office performance. You’ll see in the screen capture how they dig down to regional, press type and media value stuff.

So that’s my humble view of the reviewing sites and I hope I’ve helped to sort out the puzzle of whats what. I wish you well out there in all your movie adventures.

written by Los Angeles photographer & writer Gregory Mancuso

Essay | The Ins And Outs Of Looking Attractive, Outside And Inside, In Photos And Out

A Los Angeles photographer gives practical and philosophical advice on how to look your best in photos.

Having photographed and observed a big bunch of celebrities and “normal” people for a couple of decades now, I’ve noticed a few attraction principles popping up again and again. Brilliant philosophical aesthetic theories my keen mind has uncovered, perchance? Nah, I never come up with big profound nuggets.

But here are some observations and psych tips you might want to mull over. Plus there’s a verbal cameo appearance from Audrey Hepburn. Action.

Now I don’t claim to be an expert or to even fully understand what’s going on, but I think I have some kind of handle on this attractive thingamajig that’s been dancing around in my viewfinder and mind for years.

First off, I’m talking about two versions: the “outside attractive” and the “inside attractive”. And the principles apply whether you’re being photographed or just hanging out amongst other humans with photographer in Los Angeles Greg Mancuso.

Sally Field portrait shot by Los Angles photographer Gregory Mancuso

Outside Attractive

Let’s look at the outside attractive first. One thing I’ve perceived is that people come across as most attractive when they’re not trying to be attractive. Not obsessing over it. Although we’re all on different levels of the physical beauty scale, it seems you can bump yourself up or down a peg or two depending on your mind-set.

Although a good photographer can finagle the best lighting, and guide you to the most flattering angle, facial expression etc., that only goes so far. Your internal dialogues have an impact on the external results.

A suggestion I’d make if you want to maximize your attractiveness is to try not to think about it. Try to just “be”. Work on getting a Zenny thing going. I know it’s a lot easier said than done, especially when you’re being photographed or scrutinized in some way. But I think if you think… ‘this is just a stupid photo, I don’t’ care how it turns out, it’s not life and death, it’s not important, 20 years from now it won’t matter’–it will mitigate mentally obsessing about it.

Even if it is an important photo for wide distribution or whatever, mentally treat it like dirt. What you can laugh at or pooh-pooh can’t rule you.

Another tip when it’s picture time is to think about another time. Something else that happened that day or even years ago. It doesn’t matter when or what. You can also try to imagine being in another place entirely. Perhaps a faraway paradise of any sort that suits you.

Relaxing on the beach of a lush tropical isle with a bevy of beautiful mermaids surfing the waves and playing a Beethoven sonata on their harps, is one of my favorite imaginings. Hey, I know that sounds wacky, but we’re working on distraction and cutting tension here, so getting out there on a loony limb might be the way to go.

Enzo Effect

Photo by Los Angeles photographer Gregory Mancuso

Along the lines of loony, something that may work for some of you is what I call the Enzo Effect. Enzo is my dog and he’s always in my studio and sometimes on location when I’m shooting a portrait. Dogs can provide the dual effect of being a calming influence and pleasant distraction. Many times I’ve seen Enzo saunter over to a stressed out person filled with trepidation about having their pictures taken, and just a few pets and nuzzles later, their anguish is melting away.

It’s actually been scientifically documented that blood pressure and heart rates drop while petting a dog or cat. Now Enzo is an especially soothing presence, and he’s even one of those Therapy Dogs who visit people in hospitals, but if you have a dog or other pet that is manageable, then bring them along to your shoot. It’s probably a good idea to run it past your photographer ahead of time.

(By the way, Enzo demands that I mention he’s available on a freelance basis. His rental rate is three jerky strips, one squeaky latex ball, two salami slices and five belly rubs per hour. Though I bet you could negotiate him down to the belly rubs and salami. He’s way over priced.)

Sally Field

Why don’t we now talk about this photo of Sally Field I took and see how some of the attractive principles played out. Although this is only the second shot taken and she wasn’t “ready”, and we took over a hundred shots later when we were really ready and set-up, this is the one I like the best.

Setting the scene, take one… Sally had just arrived and was casually talking with friends. I noticed she was in an easy, relaxed mood, and didn’t seem to have locked into have-to-look-like-a-pretty-celebrity frame of mind yet. So I suggested a few quick shots before the official shooting commenced. She said she hadn’t even taken her coat off yet, her hair wasn’t perfect yet, etc. But after some of my silly pleading, bowing, begging routine, she chuckled and kindly agreed to take a few.

The result was a picture that I believe captured the natural-beauty-Sally. It probably came about because she wasn’t obsessing about looking gorgeous because she was distracted by my antics and she wasn’t wrapped up in official photo session mode yet.

Another reason I like this image best is that in addition to capturing aspects of the physical beauty, it also gives a feel for attractive version two–the “inside attractive”. The best way I can describe this would be to say it’s the non-physical inner spirit thing, exuding a positive presence that makes others enjoy being in your presence. The human warmth felt when you’re actually there with that person.

It appears that the warm spirit I felt being with her in person, is hinted at in the photo as well. Although a good photographer can help bring out and reveal that warmth and positive presence, they can’t show what isn’t there.

Inside Attractive

So how does one create and project that beneficial inside element? Well it’s tricky and it can take some time cultivating virtuous thought patterns and behaviors depending on where you’re at. And in reality only you know what you know, and how the heck should I know? Huh?  All I can do is throw out some stuff to chew on.

Me thinks it’s the interaction of several inter-related traits and behaviors that have to be worked on and juggled. But if you have to point to one primary thing it would revolve around the issue of narcissism. Everybody has narcissistic traits to some degree. We all have wants and needs that we would like to be fulfilled. But thinking the whole world revolves around the notion of fulfilling those wants and needs ain’t pretty.

So taming one’s inflated sense of self importance will go a long way towards building the inside attractive. Try not to take yourself too seriously and above-it-all. Even if you are indeed the best-looking or richest or most powerful person in the room, don’t lord it over the others. You got to halt the haughty attitude as best you can.


While self-importance is the big “don’t”, the big “do”, is cultivating and expressing empathy. Empathy involves the ability to put oneself into another’s shoes. So having compassion for those less fortunate and especially helping them out in a concrete way will supercharge your empathy engine. I found for myself, and have observed in others, that doing any kind of volunteer work will work wonders to get you down the right road.

If you want a push toward volunteering, check out Volunteer Match. If you have a dog, then look into  helping out via Pet Therapy, and the national group Enzo and I work with is called the Delta Society.

Audrey Hepburn

I found someone who did a great job of expressing the empathy/beauty thing–Audrey Hepburn. As you probably know, Audrey was an iconic beauty and Oscar winning actress, who starred in over 25 films. She went on to follow up her immense success in Hollywood by later focusing on humanitarian activities. She was the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and often assisted destitute people in impoverished countries and was recognized for her efforts with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Motion Picture Academy’s Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Here’s something she wrote which says it all…

For attractive lips,
Speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes,
Seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure,
Share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair,
Let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise,
Walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things,
Have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed,
And redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand,
You will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands;
One for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.


<h3><em><strong>written by Los Angeles photographer &amp; writer Gregory Mancuso</strong></em></h3>

written by Los Angeles photographer & writer Gregory Mancuso