May was a busy month of shooting editorials, so I'm excited to finally be able to share several of them! I shot three portraits and several on-the-scene stock images for DC Modern Luxury, on newsstands now, and made the contributors page for the first time. Whoo hoo! Read on for behind-the-scenes details about the photo shoots, lighting, and my lovely subjects.
Jessie Barnes, Park at 14th
I shot Jessie Barnes (left), who manages nightlife hub Park at 14th first. We shot several different looks ranging from demure to party-ready, and with Top 40 on the stereo had a blast shooting together.
I changed the lighting depending on the look. For the sexy red number in the magazine opted to light her with a pair of flashes on either side of the camera bounced into silver umbrellas to give the highlights some pop. She has incredible skin (I asked for beauty tips, of course) so post-production was a breeze! For the softer outtakes, I asked my assistant to hold a large reflector to manipulate the natural light.
Heather Femia, DJ
Spinning for everyone from Vogue to Louis Vuitton and the Smithsonian, Heather Femia has it seriously going on. With a background working in fashion for Neiman Marcus, I knew she'd bring the sartorial realness to our shoot and wasn't disappointed. I loved the leather jackets, printed silk pants and serious low-backed dress she brought as options, and once she arrived chatted through options and picked our favorites.
To create a softer light while keeping the colorful drama of our venue, L2, I lit her with a single flash shot through a white umbrella. Slow shutter speeds kept the mood lighting intact for a balance of artificial and available light. The energy of going out is so tied to music and light that I wanted to be sure to capture both!
Mission South is a southern folk-tinged rock band with some serious hustle, so I wasn't surprised when they arrived at the new Graham Hotel and presented me with a single tulip. What gentlemen! Flowers always make me smile, and the rest of the shoot was just as much fun. We did several shots on the roofdeck but it wasn't until we were headed out after packing up that we opted to take a few in the chic lobby as well. I'm glad we did, since that's what the editors picked!
On the Town
To capture the custom stock images that ran on the following page (the Howard, the Gibson cocktail, and champagne at Le Diplomate) I jumped on a bike and hit the road for some late night photo action.
I snapped the Howard the night of the White House Correspondant's Dinner and it was a madhouse! Just outside the frame are loads of beautiful women in custom tailored African gowns - easy to swoon over, to be sure!
Next I visited the Gibson with a friend and ordered a couple of rounds. The editors liked the photo of my whiskey cocktail, and I took a few more snaps of my favorite hole-in-the-wall cocktail bar before we called it a night.
Le Diplomate was a bit trickier; I'd stopped by with a tripod once but had arrived too late (1:30am) and the bustling vibrancy of DC's trendiest restaurant just wasn't as hopping as it usually is. Undeterred, I returned the following Saturday night alone and sat at the end of the bar. I chatted with the bartender, who was incredibly accommodating and who did an exceptional job of encouraging me to buy no fewer than three cocktails I hadn't intended on. They were DELICIOUS, so no hard feelings. When guests at a table ordered champagne and he prepared the order for their waiter, I snapped this photo of the perfect French drink. Salude!
My partner Martin and I also popped up in the society section from a night out at a Washington Project for the Arts event. I have a lot shorter hair now, but it was still a nice surprise.
Hope you have a great weekend! Between Pride, SuperNOVA performance art festival (who hired me to photograph their artists), and prepping to shoot some portraits for an exciting new magazine I'm going to need a serious nap sometime soon. ;) Sleep when you're dead? You bet.