BTS: Spring Style Shoot

Hello everyone!

Two weeks ago I got to shoot with an AMAZING girl powered team.  Hair and makeup artist Shannon Rodriguez with Wilhelmina artists and I have worked together once before and she is amazing.  This time we teamed up with a friend of hers, Nurdan Nazim, for some styling.

The three of us ladies planned a LOT for this shoot, including an awesome meeting at Headquarter's Beercade for some drinks and girl talk. We scheduled a lovely model, Alison F, with Factor Chosen (who also just got signed with 3D models in Cape Town, get it girl!) and I booked an Airbnb for us to shoot in and we were ready to go!

Well, we were until the Airbnb canceled on us hours before our shoot. Spoiler alert, we pulled it off, but not without pulling some strings.  I love Airbnb, I've stayed in them all over and intend to in the future, but moral of the story for me, READ THE REVIEWS.  Sometimes, they're not all bogus.  We had planned to shoot early in the morning, but, by the grace of science, I checked my emails before bed.  I had a notification from the studio host saying we couldn't check in until after 12pm, i.e. after my check out time.  I ended up on the phone with Airbnb for nearly an hour, while searching for other locations.  Shannon and I were messaging each other trying every option we could think of. You know when you need recommendations for things, so you post on Facebook hoping one of your friends may be able to help you out? And it never actually helps you? WELL, this time it did.  A photographer friend of mine suggested a place to us that was available and after a few hours of a panic attack, I could get some sleep.

For this shoot I rented some lighting equipment, because I'm still too poor to buy my own.  I went with two Profoto heads, two soft boxes, some stands, and some extension cords.  I kept my lighting setup pretty much the same for this shoot as we really didn't have time to change it up and it not end up looking right.  I set up my main light with a soft box just off to my side, and one back light aimed at the model creating some interesting double shadows.  Because of my money and time constraints, I had to keep my lighting setup pretty simple.  Which honestly was refreshing and let me really focus on working with Alison to create more conceptually constructed images.

Besides lighting, I also like to have my set have a giant moodboard.  I'll always print out pictures of poses that I think may fit our shoot, incase we need some inspiration.  I'm constantly searching pinterest, modeling portfolios, and magazines for new ideas.  One of my favorite things a photography professor ever told me was: "everything's been done, find something you like and copy it, you'll end up with something totally different and your own."  And I find that to be so true.  Not that I'm going around copying other peoples works, but I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't have Alison do some of the exact poses on my tear sheets.  And finally, we top off our set with some awesome music.  Stylist/DJ Nurdan played The Weeknd's A Lonely Night on repeat which kept all of us dancing.


Shannon kept our makeup really simple to start with, the "no makeup makeup" look, which she is amazing at.  She also mixed up Alison's hair in between looks which really helped keep each look totally it's own.  Nurdan pulled four looks from Top Shop and Zara (figures right?) and added a touch of her European style to the looks: like her killer Italian black boots.  I love doing test shoots because you can just mess around and don't have to stay on one theme.  Shannon got a little fun with the last look and added a really warm orangey contour and eye lid look (sorry I don't understand makeup).  And finally, she got really creative on the last look and used some of those little drink umbrella's to decorate the models hair.  Another example of how you can find props anywhere!  Hope you enjoy our photos!