this week i am letting you all in to the pre-production of my portrait sessions: my thought process and a behind the scenes look at how i approach my subjects and sessions from behind the camera.

since i first picked up a camera when i was 16, i was a big day dreamer. i am captivated by music and dance. music videos have been an obsession since i was 4 years old and since studying video production, my mind works in story-boards. the beginning of every photo session plays in my head before our photo shoot; 

i see your images in my head before you do.

there are so many questions about my subjects i need to know before i start piecing together the visuals of my/your day dream. as we lock down locations, looks, wardrobe, i am off on location to scout, alone, with the sun, a watch, a notebook and my imagination. 

i go home and day dream about it. i analyze the color palette of clothing with locations, and take note of lighting and anything note worthy of the location to incorporate into the frame.

i am outlining lighting and where my subject needs to be standing, looking, how to look, where to look. 
i play a bit of a director. my style mixes both posed and natural in all of my portrait sessions but i give a bit of direction to all these elements.


when i studied advertising photography in photo school, homework every monday was to bring in lighting diagrams of our subjects (usually objects) each week, and put in 8 hours (or more) per shoot fussing with the light, composition and exposure. i know this is exactly the opposite of other photographers, such as photojournalist or even how most portrait photographers work, but it's how my mind starts to unfold and prepare.  

every session has a main theme, guide and focus. not every session comes out exactly according to my strict notes; i like to leave room for play, if my subject does something cute or funny that i capture or i come up with new, better or different ideas.
i prepare myself but
 let life happen in real time as well.

on set with colette: directing and shooting

location notes

on location with studio lights

pin up inspired engagement session

thank you to dakota, mackenzie, husband david and little sister for helping with and providing some behind the scenes footage (thanks camera phones!) on recent sessions. 
i love seeing the images of me working and making my visions a reality. 
thank you to all who trust what i do. you're the best. XOXO