52 Week Project Blog

Week 12/52 - Unbounded for the Grounded Woman


Week 12 has been nothing short but incredible!  I've spent quality times with my dear friends and listened to their deepest moments of hardships and tenacity. Definitely a mind blowing evening.

The portrait of the Week for number 12 goes to a gorgeous and wonderful new friend Nikki! We met through a mutual friend at a TOKiMONSTA event this year and hit it off since! About a month and half later, I asked her to be in my project and she couldn't been more thrilled. After finally getting a solid date down and finalizing on a location, we picked the Seattle Waterfront. 

Initially, we tried to tackle two locations for a sunset shot and night shot, however, our plan fell short and went for the night area only. While making our way to our destination, we talked about our lives and any upcoming plans. Once we made it to our spot, then the fun began. 

We started our shoot around the end of the market, however, we moved toward the hot spots around the waterfront. To express Nikki, she is a lovely free spirited woman who embraces being grounded yet clumsy. She admitted to be nervous and unsure on how to act, I offered suggestions on posing and positioning. After a few of them, I told her straight forward, "Portrait photography is a two way relationship on visual portrayal. Typically it's not the photographer that is controlling the model, the model actually takes control of the shoot. So control me". I say this to anyone to allow my subject to open up suggestions that I haven't thought up or cool ideas they want to attempt. Telling her this helped her ease up with me and allow her to be herself more. 

Two facts I have to reveal about Nikki. First, in between shots, she had a hard time being serious and kept cheesing so hard she had to stop and composed herself. I believe I spent an extra minute just to get the right shot. Second, near the staircase and elevator to the market was her first time there so it was cool to me to take her there. I love being a tour guide. :)

The image below we happen to run into Instagram @StreetmeetWA founder @FlynnPNW. Before I speak further into the meeting, while we were walking around Ivars, the first time passing a group of photographer she pointed out to me they were looking at me. I'm like "What? Why? Do they recognize me from somewhere?" The second time, we walked in the opposite direction to pass them. This time, we walked slower and shyly I said hello. They continued staring at me. She was right! From there, we continued with our shoot. Five minutes later, Flynn introduced himself to me and shared with me about the meet up that occurs every last Saturday every month. It seems to be Nikki is like a lucky charm.  

Before concluding, I like to share photographing Nikki was a blast.  It was awesome to be surrounded with bright illuminated colorful lights. Some parts of the night the lighting was difficult due to the color intensity with the mix of her skin tone, I manage to desaturate the yellow and still retain her skin complexion. For the street lights and neon lights,  I went creative crazy with bokeh effects. Every single image was taken within two hours. Spending Saturday night with Nikki was amazing. 

Last, but certainly not least, I am happy we connected and share a rich amount of awesome interests! Heck, you surprised me with liking my kind of music. Thank you Nikki for being a part of my portrait project. It gives me joy to know this experience you felt was nice and fun with opening up yourself to more photo shoot with me. 

To my regular and new readers, thank you for reading! I always appreciate your support. Moving on will be Week 13. It is around the corner so keep your eye out for my next post! 

 - Sally