Then out of the blue came Kristin! She came over after briefly participating and bailing out on a big group shoot over at the local Bakersfield park – just 5 minutes away from us. How perfect!
We exchanged a few calls and accelerated the timing a bit which was fine by me as it was a day of mostly finishing work for me and I needed to take a rest from it regardless. She arrived with a full bag of model goodies, wardrobe and accessories – COOL, and very pro, plus, a model that had her makeup on and ready to go – perfectly! (Advice to the modeling interested – hire a makeup artist or learn how to do it for yourself – and makeup for camera is not what you wear to the grocery store!!!)
We got right into it quickly and knocked out some great images in no time flat! She has an amazing and inspiring back story which I will not go into here, but suffice to say, I was thrilled to do this shoot and create the results for her we did! Mega Kudos. A job well done!
Great model – yes I would shoot with her again, no question.
As we learned from the previous blog entry back in July, Abby is a young, up and coming model here in the Bakersfield area. I thought she did brilliantly in our first session together so I rang her up to return for a second set, and she happily agreed. Since our last shoot I had made some considerable improvements in the studio itself, the gear and with my techniques as well so I was enthused to try and improve upon the first shoot with these new things in hand.
The results were excellent – She was much more relaxed this time around (though still quiet as a mouse) – she got right into it and we developed a very good flow during the session- so we managed to get a very high percentage of “keepers”. It was very clear that she was confident and improving her skills in addition to being more comfortable. She had also grown her hair out and had a little different look than before with the style of wardrobe she brought – all things that added extra elements of interest to the end results! One thing that I had not anticipated however, was not one – but two surprises arrived on my doorstep as she did…
She showed up with her entire family! Dad, Mom, multiple sisters, multiple brothers, a friend of hers and maybe a grandma or something, I can’t recall now as I was completely overwhelmed as it seemed like about 10 people to me at the time! ha ha Her friend, Lorena added to the confusion on my part as it was clear she wasn’t a sister (by lack of resemblance), but also because she was dressed in a cheerleading outfit and had these captivating, large amazing eyes! In the back of my mind upon seeing here I was thinking I would really like to shoot her too, but was not sure how to go about asking as this was Abby’s session time and I am by nature not a pushy person. Luckily I didn’t have to ask, as they approached me to see if it would be permitted for her to have a few images created as well. She was very nervous and I had to work hard to keep her from looking that way, but we did get some very nice images in the few we shot!
Abby is however, still so young and new at this – for the first time ever I offered for her to come back another day and view the entire shoot on my Mac in Lightroom so she could see the things that are working for her, and those things which are not and learn from it in order to improve. The side benefit of this was that she actually helped me rate them and cull through them to a select, final group of images. It’s not something I would ever normally do, but she is very nice and I really want to help her learn, and find the success she’s looking for! Happily, the whole family did not come back for this as I would never have room for them all in my office!
At some point in the future, I’m sure we will work together again. I would not hesitate to ask her back for any fashion/catalog/commercial work that comes along down the road. She arrives on time, does the job well and sometimes even brings along a few surprises!
TWO FOR ONE
The very first time I worked with Abby, she arrived with her dad Pete at my studio ready to work. This was particularly impressive as she was only 15 years old, but very dedicated to making a success of herself in modeling – and it showed. In fact she was currently a student at a fashion/modeling school so much more serious about it than one would expect a 15 year old to be.
She has an amazing and exotic look and was quite versatile – going from looking her age to well beyond her years with the simple change of a pose or facial expression. I wondered for a while if she even spoke English as she barely made a peep! ha ha But of course she was just very shy and wide eyed. Like a pro, without instruction, she brought several outfits along and had plenty of moves without needing too much direction, which was good as my skills as a director were not particularly stellar at the time, though have seen massive improvements since.
They had driven down from a very small town 1/2 hour north of Bakersfield called Delano, which is by reputation, primarily a farming community. Delano is a town so small in fact, it makes Bakersfield look like a booming metropolis – which it most certainly is not! While this is probably the last place on earth someone would expect a model to appear out of – there she was – a pleasant and unexpected surprise. The place where she found out about me was also a bit surprising – on Craigslist! I had a casting call posted there looking for something new instead of the usual repeat model hopefuls a small town like Bakersfield produces regularly…when I got her reply, I had a feeling there was something special in the offing.
I was experimenting mixing studio strobes and hot shoe type flashes together – something I discovered was not always the best idea in the world without a very specific lighting design – but part of the way I work is to change things up on every shoot, to make sure I do something that pushes the limits beyond what I already know how to do, into places I’ve never gone before. It keeps me fresh and different in every shoot instead of being a photographic chimpanzee – mimicking my own shots/setups and going through the motions to produce the exact same thing over and over again with different faces. How unimaginative and boring would that be? Might as well get a job shooting pics a JC Penny. blah
In the end we had a great session and managed to pull off some excellent images together.
There was some real magic in some of the images, especially for a first time session with a new model. Without question, we wanted to work together again.
And we did. See Part II for MORE!