You always hear or read about the importance of the connection between the model and photographer, and how much that dictates the quality of the photos. Portraits being a relatively new endeavor, I only recently began to understand what the meant. I enjoy glamour photography so the primary shoot will of course be provocative, but I wanted to portray the model in a different light as well. People usually wear some sort of uniform for work, whether it be a suit for a business man or a revealing outfit for a model. It’s always interesting to me to see people in their normal everyday attire because it is a reflection of the person’s taste and personality. I think that the story telling aspect in photography is missing in most glamour shots so I decided to do this series to do just that, and not just show alluring photos of women.
I decided to use Jennifer Lynn as my model for this shoot because judging from her portfolio, she has a great understanding of form and expression. I briefly explained to her my concept which consisted of a candid part of her in street clothes outdoors and the main shoot which would be the glamour shoot in lingerie. I looked around for a shoot location and found a studio that had some pre-built sets that were reasonably priced for what I needed. Unfortunately it was already booked so I decided to shoot at HQ Pixel in Brooklyn who had availability for my time slot. I mainly chose this studio because I saw a photo of their brick wall area that had an antique love seat. I wanted to use natural light as much as possible and it also looked like they had big windows. I called to make sure the love seat would be there and I knew that I could get some good shots in that area for the main shoot. For the candid part I figured we can just walk around the area near the studio since it was near Williamsburg which has a lot of cool scenery.
On the day of the shoot we decided to meet at the studio first so she can do her makeup there real quick and head out for the street shots. It’s so important to start on the right foot, and Jennifer was on time and super cool. I like to build a relationship before getting to the main shoot, so I snapped some shots of her here and there while she did her makeup in between some casual conversation. I like when the models do their own make up because it shows their style which is what I was looking for. I told her to pay me no mind, and I walked around the make up station checking out angles. I thought it would be cool to use the big mirrors and reflections to see both sides of her in one frame. I was framing the shot from behind her and was about to tell her to look at the camera through the mirror when she glanced at me. She has great awareness and instinct and knew what I wanted without me telling her. The photo on the right hand side was from that moment and it kind of set the tone for the rest of the shoot.
I looked at the weather which I usually do before an outdoor shoot and the forecast was rain. I thought of some backup plans and remembered a cool clothing store in Williamsburg called Mishka which I felt would fit her style. I called the store ahead of time to make sure they will let me snap some shots and the guy on the phone gave me the OK. When she finished her make up, we decided to head over to the store anyway even though it wasn’t raining.
The store was really cool and I got some shots of her browsing the store. Before the shoot my boy at Hat Hookup had given me few hats to give Jennifer which he usually does whenever I tell him I have a shoot coming up. I didn’t have a look in mind using the hats and I didn’t think it went well with what she had on. Even though the store was primarily all men’s clothes, they had one women’s tank top left. It wasn’t her size but she had an idea for it and the colors of it totally matched the hat so I decided to get it for the shoot.
THE SHOOT – PART 1
We got back to the studio and she threw on the tank top we picked up which she looked great in. I decided to take some shots in the stair way leading up to the studio since it had all these cool antiques and mirrors everywhere. It also felt like mirrors were somewhat of a theme since I had used them a few times already in the previous shots. We started at the bottom of the stairs and worked our way up using all the different mirrors and angles. I loved the dirty grungy look this stairwell had and the variety of mirrors was just awesome. It even had a nice faux fireplace thing which framed her nicely.
Before she changed outfits I wanted to get some shots of her wearing the hat my boy contributed. This look wasn’t exactly part of my plan, but I think these look so dope! The colors of the hat worked perfectly with her tank, and it gave her the whole LA street style vibe. I always have a plan going into shoots but I love the spontaneous unplanned shots even more. For me, those unexpected moments are what makes photography exciting and fun.