A true work of art is but a shadow of divine perfection – Michelangelo
The above quote by Michelangelo was proven true again during this portrait photography session. Being a portrait photographer is the greatest because even better than taking meaningful photos is meeting the most fascinating people.
I had a good feeling about this shoot and as soon as Lena showed up at the Distillery District I was sure it would be magical; by the end of this shoot I knew that we nailed it.
Lena arrived and brought a great enthusiastic spirit. Her easygoing and warm disposition got us off to a great start, but it was soon clear that Lena was a serious and committed to making the shoot work for everyone. Can’t ask for more from a model and the bonus that she is naturally beautiful with very engaging eyes is real icing on the cake.
On the day before the shoot I had some concerns. Although I knew Lena would be great I was worried about the weather because the forecast called for full sun and we were meeting at midday. However, Lena and I decided that we were up to the challenge. I told her to bring some solid colours but make sure that she chose cool and really comfortable clothes because it was going to be blisteringly hot. Unfortunately, the weather forecast was on point, bummer – worst portrait photography conditions (except maybe a hurricane). I arrived a little early to scop out the area before Lena showed up and I set out to find some spots with open shade, a clean background, and nice reflected light from the ground or a nearby neutral coloured wall; thankfully The distillery district had lots of great spots. The brick walls and high buildings make for great character and lots of soft light. The Nikon 85mm F1.4 lens at F2.8 – F3.5 gave a beautiful Bokeh to ensure that background wasn’t distracting and only enhanced Lena’s natural beauty.
We spent about 2 hours walking around the Distillery District and shot in the most unlikely spots, but the key was to keep looking for good light, and anytime we walked by a spot where Lena’s face glowed with natural indirect light we stopped worked the location and moved on. We shot in about 7 or 8 different spots, spending less than 5 minutes in each. After about 2 hours we were both getting weary and called it a day, but I knew we had amazing photos.
I shot the entire set with my Nikon 85mm lens, and I’m excited about more shoots with a different look for more environmental and dramatic portraits as soon as Lena is up to it again. Some shots from the sequence are below.
Don’t let her young look fool you. Lena is a seriously talented musician/model/actress. Check out her page – http://www.lenaburmenko.com