On August 18th, 2017, I reached out to Maria on Instagram hoping that she would reply to my message. I basically complemented her about her portfolio, provided my portfolio and then I went in for the ask, which was "if you are interested in doing a TFP session please let me know and we can put something on the calendar." Reaching out to a complete stranger could be a little bit daunting but I find being professional, being clear about intentions and being respectful gets me results.
Once Maria accepted my proposal I then had to provide her with a concept for the shoot, get a makeup artist and hair stylist. Coming up with a concept could be very challenging at times but with Google image search it makes the process for me very easy. For example, I can do a search for "Fashion Editorial" and I will get a variety of looks that I can share with the team. I find that providing visuals of the look/theme helps to put everyone on the same page and express what I cannot do with words. The next step was finding a makeup artist and hair stylist, which could be a hassle because what I find difficult is scheduling as these are working professionals and weekends are generally their busiest times. But luckily Andrayah who does both hair and makeup was available.
On the day of the shoot, it was my first time meeting Maria and she was a buddle of joy which was perfect because on a photo session you want everyone to be easy going. One of the questions Maria asked me on the shoot was why did I pick her and I told her it was because of a BTS image I saw of her on Instagram. Even though it wasn't a fully produced production image, it stopped me in my tracks, I found her face very unique which can lend itself to a variety of looks. Working with Maria was so easy, she was open to the directions I was providing and she never at any time complained even though some of the poses were difficult as she indicated in the video.
The location we choose to do the photo session was ideal but the time of day was not. The light quality was horrible but I quickly adapted and modified the game plan by manipulated the natural light as best I could to get a great image. I then moved onto using strobes not because the natural light was bad but because I wanted to get some details in the sky which I knew wouldn't happen with just using the natural light. After the first setup, we all decided to grab some lunch and then after that, we hit the streets to get some additional images, where we closed the session. With respect to gear, I used my Canon 5D Mark III with all 3 of my lens 70-200 2.8, 24-70 2.8 & 85 1.2. For the lighting, as I mention I used natural light and I used the Godox AD600BM Bowens Mount 600Ws with the Elinchrom Rotalux 99cm Deep Octagonal Softbox.
I really want to give a big thanks to Maria, Jordan (support system aka Sister to Maria), Andrayah (hair and makeup artist), Ben (assistant) and Wayne (videographer) who made this shoot very easy and a lot of fun.
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