City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

A talk with Derek Blanks, Atlanta alter ego photographer for ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’


Derek Blanks, a local photographer, got some great publicity courtesy of “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” in which his “alter ego” photos were taken of each housewife.

Not only did his photos get great feedback from the ladies, he avoided any real drama.

Bravo, he said, didn’t twist the events related to him.

He first met NeNe last year for some photos and they became friends. He suggested to her that they all do portratis for him. And alas, it became a two-episode story arc for the show.

The concept of the photos are to take shots of the same person in two opposing personas (angel-devil, sweet-bitter, et. al), then merge them together into a seamless photo. He has also done alter egos for the likes of Ciara , Akon, Monica and Jennifer Hudson and hopes to turn it all into a coffee table book.

His take on each person–

Kim Zolciak (Stepford Wife/ Mistress) : “I’m not sure she got the entire concept. I would have liked to have seen more expression on her face.” (A colleague of mine said the laundromat they used at Ansley Mall Fashionaid has had folks come by to take pictures at dryer #7 where Kim was shot.)

Kandi Burress (DUI driver/victim): “She did an excellent job. We had an artist paint cracks on the window. We added lens flares as possible car lights. Smoke machines. Hers was the most elaborate. I enjoyed it.”

Lisa Wu Hartwell (bully/victim): “I think she’s done some acting. She’s a good actress. She followed directions really well.”

Sheree Whitfield (stealing from herself): “She was a little uncomfortable at first. She needed a little help to pull that off. Kandi helped her get her true emotion out. It came out nice. It was the last favorite to shoot but I was pleased how it turned out.”

NeNe Leakes (stripper/prim customer): “She had a good time. She enjoyed it. She’s a character.”

Check out the pix here.

He got more than 100 inquiries after the shows aired. “I’m thankful,” he said. “I’ve been busy.”

Episode number 9 of season two is on tonight at 10 p.m.

39 comments Add your comment

Turd Ferguson

September 24th, 2009
9:41 am

Who cares about her facial expresssion.. look at those cans!

Ms Dee

September 24th, 2009
10:42 am

Those episodes with Derek Blank were priceless. He was fantastic! I had never heard of alter ego photos and can’t wait to have one done. Are there any on the West Coast?


September 24th, 2009
11:25 am

Uh…Kim looks like a guy in drag…..That wig is not flattering


September 24th, 2009
12:29 pm

of his collection, these are actually the worst i’ve seen.


September 24th, 2009
12:49 pm

Kim is single, I read it this morning on twitter and she confirmed it when people kept asking…..
Gentlemen get to the back of the line, Im First in line!

billy shears

September 24th, 2009
12:54 pm

kims face is full of botox. how ya gonna get an expression out of that?


September 24th, 2009
1:07 pm

Dont be: “Re-tardy for the party”…


September 24th, 2009
1:30 pm

Kim’s picture was the worst. She looked as if she was caught off guard actually doing her laundry in a public place. I don’t know why he picked a laundry mat. He may have had better pictures in a house using the bedroom & kitchen.

I never knew that NeNe had those big horse teeth till I saw her picture. The rest of the ladies were good.


September 24th, 2009
2:02 pm

Derek, I think you have a novel idea, however, I don’t find any of these Housewives’ portraits worth a second glance!


September 24th, 2009
2:28 pm

The concept is great, but WOW I was tired of NeNe talking about it every 5 mintues during the past 2 episodes. Too much!


September 24th, 2009
2:30 pm

I enjoyed seeing the alter ego photos. I have seen this type of photography done on America’s Next Top Model, in practically every season. Looks like loads of fun.

The Truth

September 24th, 2009
2:48 pm

That sucks you have to photograph that trash sir. I will tell you what the pictures should have shown:
Kim- On a stripper pole, with a big A on her shirt for adultery.
Sheree- In a prison cell holding one of the items she stole when she was convicted for theft twice.
NeNe- In Turner Field sitting with thousands and thousands of her book that did not sell with a puzzled look on her face.
Lisa- Classy dress holding a huge foreclosed sign in front of her old home.

fn n jnf njf nf f

September 24th, 2009
2:52 pm

Christipher- You are going to have to move to the back of the line for Kim’s affection, you are not married and not an old rich man to pay her bills but not touch her at all, sorry.


September 24th, 2009
2:55 pm

Alter-ego photos aren’t anything new. It was one of the first projects I ever had to do in photography class in college. If you want to have it done, there are plenty of artists to do the shoot. Don’t go to Blank, I’m sure his prices are crazy. The entire shoot with edits shouldn’t cost more than $400. Just


September 24th, 2009
3:00 pm

Derek Blanks is simply a SUPERB & OUTSTANDING artist! Full-Stop, Period. End-of-Story…!


September 24th, 2009
3:01 pm

Rodney Ho linking to Global Grind?? WTH?


September 24th, 2009
3:12 pm

I would totally put a bag over Kim’s face. That’s the way you got to roll with those kind of chicks.


September 24th, 2009
3:12 pm

Khandi’s was the BEST!!!


September 24th, 2009
4:16 pm

Enter your comments here
is it me or does anyone else notice that ne ne’s left eye going to the left alot. maybe she should keep some shades and her mouth shut

That Dude

September 24th, 2009
4:21 pm

Kandi, you better not come around me naked on payday!!! Me Luv’s me some she


September 24th, 2009
4:43 pm

Derek Blank was the classiest thing to crop up all season… He represents the TRUE ATL!


September 24th, 2009
5:23 pm

Derek Blank’s photos are great! He did a great job with all the women on my favorite show. Be sure to check photo gallery on his website. Awesome!

susie Willis

September 24th, 2009
6:18 pm

Derek Blank’s role on the HWA was just what the show needed..EXCELLENCE..No drama(with Derek) just professional.Great!

Who Cares

September 24th, 2009
8:07 pm

I think the alter-ego concept and photo shoots are stupid.


September 24th, 2009
11:34 pm

Will the real NeNe please return. Be Real!Be Yourself!


September 25th, 2009
2:36 am

Nene is fake! Lisa, puts on such a show! Acting like suzy homemaker, with two kids, she doesn’t even talk about! Kandi rocks, though. Kim is a slut, I like her, though.


September 25th, 2009
5:11 pm

Good luck with your song Kim it’s stuck in my head which is a good thing.Sheree is going to be one lonely old women.You were not raised right.


September 29th, 2009
4:41 am

Enter your comments here i love the ego photos you did i would like to get one done are your pices high can you let me no?


October 3rd, 2009
3:14 am

I really enjoy the show. NeNe is cool, I thought she was a little younger. Sheree looks older, but she is beautiful. Kim cannot sing and she has to be older. Lisa is what you call a diva. Kandi do your thing girl, you know Kim cannot sing, but you made her sound good.

Maya Keita

October 3rd, 2009
3:13 pm

I would like to order the kind of wig that Nene wore in the altar ego photo shoots when she was playing the role of a stripteaser girl. I want the wig as long as hers was. Where can I order it & how much does it cost. Please let me know.

Fan of the Nouveau Riche

October 13th, 2009
5:11 pm

My god, none of those women have any class whatsoever, except for Kandi. Sheree makes me want to puke, could she be any more full of herself?? She is not a designer, she is a bored not talent uneducated divorcee who would not have a dime except for her exhusband and she is ugly. I would pay cash to see Kim without her wig. Kandi is keeping it real. NeNe has gotten a little ornery this season and Lisa wants her husband to hang out with her instead of getting a job.

Mobounce Entertainment

November 5th, 2009
7:37 pm

@ all the negative comments including EJ; Don’t hate when you can’t, do something you are proud of and stop with the negativity. Derek Blanks is a class act and his prices are his prices. When you own your own establishment and you have a renowned business, people don’t ask prices, they just pay. EJ must be competition and knows Dblanks prices, so he has to hate, because he ain’t Derek Blanks. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with taking your craft and using it for fun. He didn’t do this for the haters, he did it because it was fun. But as the old old cliche goes………Let your haters be your……………..! Sissy


November 6th, 2009
3:17 pm



November 6th, 2009
3:18 pm



November 7th, 2009
9:00 am

I thought Derek Blanks did an excellent job.


January 10th, 2010
8:08 am

I would like to have pictures done( Alter ego)how much do it cost and how could i get intouch with the studio so i can ask more questions I like the pictures you took of the atlanta housewives.Thank you

Rodney Ho

January 10th, 2010
12:19 pm There is a contact link on the site with PR and booking contacts. But they can hook you up for sure…

Local Photographer

January 20th, 2010
12:16 am

If you are in Houston, TX I can do a alter ego shoot for you. We print up to size 40×60

Sondra Leftridge

February 25th, 2010
4:50 pm

Please send more information on Alter EGO Pictures at your Atlanta Studio.