Click here to see the entire photo shoot!
Shortly before photographing Barack Obama and Lady Gaga for Washington Life Magazine on Saturday, Carrie Miller and I were able to squeeze in our first photo shoot together. I’d seen her a few times with lawyer and night-lifer John Burns, while I was shooting over the summer at the W Hotel, but I never had a chance to introduce myself. I decided to ask her to shoot with me when I saw her again this past Thursday night at the grand re-opening of the W. My instincts were dead on. Carrie is one of the most naturally gifted models I’ve worked with to date. I normally leave a shoot with a handful of usable images but the portfolio Carrie and I created Saturday yielded dozens.
Little did I know that time was of the essence if we were to make this work. She was heading back to school at USC Sunday night, so when I got the call on Friday that she could only shoot Saturday, I had to scramble to make it work. And work it did!
I didn’t want to try to round up a few assistants in a day so I decided to shoot before and during the “golden hour” – the hour after the sun has risen above the horizon line or the hour just before the sun dips below it – a time of day when the shadows cast by the sun are least harsh. With the help of her boyfriend John, I was able to shoot, guerilla style, at a few different locations around DC.
Backgrounds exist everywhere. Training the eye to make use of any location and deciding how to light it is the great challenge. The process of creating an image is as rewarding, if not more so than the image itself. The only way to surmount a new obstacle is to take a chance at thinking or doing something in a different way. I’d never grow in understanding if I always did what I’ve always done. Instead of canceling the shoot when it started to rain lightly, I went with it, taking advantage of the even, overcast lighting produced by the thick overhead clouds – the greatest of all softboxes….and it’s free! With a set of brand new White Lightnings and my new Canon 5D, we set out to create something that was never there before.