Michele Noonan - Behind The Lens

Ahhhh, Michele. One of my favorites from this season. It was very tough being a fan of hers throughout the year, to be quite honest. I loved her competitiveness, but was frustrated by her forgetfulness at times. Not sure if it was game or that she really doesn't remember much of anything. Green Room Lie.

For me, I love Big Brother contestants that go for the Gold and not give up. Stay on that wall. Hang on for dear life. And that's what Michele did - compete. I LOVED her quirkiness. And now with my photo biz colliding with Big Brother as of late, I always size up these people in the slight chance I meet up with them after the show to photograph them. And all I could see is beauty with Michele.

Meeting her in Vegas for that Charity event was a thrill for me. And that's where we made plans to combine talents. And we did with overwhelming success. This was probably my hugest transformation of a Big Brother houseguest to date.

I knew I wanted to change her look a tad. I know that Michele is beautiful as is, but I wanted this to be a fun shoot for her, and I knew bringing my own make-up/hair girl with me would jazz up the photos even more. She was so excited that I decided to bring Chrisy Ellenburg with me - a long time friend who is presently scoring high marks in school for her make-up work. It was a no-brainer.

I arrived at her house in Pasadena around 1pm. Make-up and hair was to take about two hours, so I wanted to make sure we had enough time. She lives in a cute little apartment, and as I walk in I notice this HUGE TV, still in its box, waiting to be opened. You see, Michele won this huge TV and stereo system along with a blu ray player. She's dying to set it up. Soon.

So Chrisy starts with the make-up and hair while Michele's dogs are very vocal and excited that we're there. I record this event for the first time during my shoots - I had a fun idea of mixing video with my photos for the slide shows I like to put together. I even brought it during my shoot with Lydia, but was so focused, I completely forgot to bring it out. Shame.

So of course we're chatting it up while she's getting her stuff done, and I have so many questions for her. One funny moment is that I caught her looking at herself in the mirror while she's getting her hair done, and she made that awesome face. You know, that face she made every time she looked in the mirror? Yeah, that one! I loved it! I caught her a few times, and she tells me she doesn't notice doing it. Her friends call her out on it all the time. Ha!

I asked about her thoughts on Chima. Funny note, she thought when everyone was called into the house by the producer, that they were going to tell them about Chima's apparent threat/joking around to poison her. I don't remember that incident clearly enough - but surprised me that Michele had no idea Chima threw her mic into the hot tub. The Wonderful World of Editing.

She asked me who my favorite BB11 houseguest was - I hate when they ask such questions. I told her Jeff. Mostly because he was so damn funny and a pleasure to watch on the live feeds. Cool guy, is what I told her. I told her she was my favorite BB11 PLAYER this season.

So make-up and hair is done, and my oh my does Michele look HOT! She recently had extensions put in, and that just added to the beauty. I couldn't wait to get out there and start snapping away. So we're going down the elevator and I snap this. (right) We're not even officially beginning, and I see something special already. We drive around Pasadena and find some cool spots here and there. Michele is getting car horn honks and dudes yelling stuff like "OOOWWW!". Normally, I frown upon such degrading things (ha!), but you know what, I felt for Michele. I'm sure that made her feel good. Kinda. You know?

We shot at a Church and behind Jennifer Lopez's closed restaurant "Madres". An empty lot is a great place for photos. No one bugging you. The "Red Door" shot is right behind the restaurant (above left). For me, I don't need too much to find the perfect spots. Give me a dumpster, and I can make a photo out of it. I love the challenge. In fact, the red background photo with Michele was in front of a dumpster.

And let me get this out to you guys now... Michele needed NO direction. She blew me away with her "experience" at poses - faces - hand location - arm location, etc. She was a PRO! It made my day that much easier. Michele was so much fun to hang out - nervous giggle and all. Funny enough, our last location in Pasadena is where we got my portfolio shots of her. In between some business buildings - found an old office chair all beat up - we made it work! And the sun reflecting off the buildings there were PERFECT!

I loved all the positive reactions coming from this shoot - thanks for all the nice words - I really do appreciate them. You can find more photos of Michele on my facebook page.

Here's the slide show I made from the shoot.

I have two shoots coming up with Big Brother peeps. One from BB11 and HOPEFULLY one from BB8. The one from BB8 I haven't shot yet. As soon as we're getting close to shoot time, I will announce who and where. This blog will showcase all my work, not just my Reality TV photos, so check back for some interesting entries and photos.

Lydia's Behind The Lens coming soon!!


  1. Simply stunning! I didn't even realize it was Michele the first time I saw your photos. I love the video addition - great to see the set up and then the still of the final shot.

    What a great way to end the season!

    Thanks so much!

  2. Phil, you are so gifted about bringing out your subjects' true beauty, and your photos of Michele are the best example of that. Thank you for sharing so much of your experiences with your fans. It makes viewing your work even more special.



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