52 Week Project Blog

Week 21/52 - Her First Photo Shoot

Presenting Week 21 portrait of that week! The gorgeous lady you see here is Anna. We met this February at Landmark Worldwide during our Forum course. When I came back to Landmark to do the Advanced course, I was happy to see her again! Over that weekend, I asked her to be in my project. Happy to be asked, she couldn't have been excited for our session! Our week was from May 21st to May 27th and we picked May 22nd evening. Our location was scattered from the Seattle Waterfront, Western Ave, and then Pioneer Square. The structure will go as follow: who is Anna and our relationship to each other, our time together during our session, and what is coming up for her. Sit back and come along with this experience. :) 

Anna is from Tusla, Oklahoma. I discovered that before we met up for our session. She messaged me about what outfit to wear. At that time, I said be sure to not dress too dark so she didn't get too hot. She reply back saying "I'm from Oklahoma! The weather here is nothing to me!" Dumbfounded to her reaction, I laughed out loud and couldn't wait. Anna moved to Seattle less than a year ago. She had to get out of Oklahoma and chose Seattle the place to be. During our conversation, I told her this exact moment reminded me of my last portrait session with Week 19 Jenna. I met both ladies from Landmark. Here are some similarities between Anna and Jenna: they are great friends to each other, the weather was eerily similar,  and they both wore high heel. To each other, they moved to Seattle with similar circumstances. They listen to the same music genre (i.e Kendrick Lamar). They are almost the same! 

Now there are differences between this session and my 19th session. I titled the blog "Her first photo shoot" because Anna always wanted to do model and have a photo shoot, but didn't have any photographer friends. Having met me during Landmark and been asked to be in my project, she shared with me this was an opportunity she always wanted. Shocking to me because she is a gorgeous woman and no one gave her that!? I appreciate being the first photographer to work with her. Let's see what else I learned from her. She works out 6 times a week, into hip hop music, seen most of Seattle, have plenty of girl friends from her hometown also living in Seattle, and she's gone through a huge transformation. One particular experience I will share was during our time in the Advanced course. There was an exercise which we were partnered up, had to sit in front of each other face to face with our knees touched, read out loud what we had written down about stories we created about our struggles, and repeat over and over again. Having to be in the presence with Anna our stories, we realized the differences between the story of what happen and what happen. Since then, our friendship grew stronger. 

The first part of our session we started around 6:30pm. We met up in Pioneer Square. Walked over to that large park, but felt the timing and environment wasn't right for Anna yet. We then walked over to the Waterfront to begin our session. Since this was her first photo shoot, she went straight into that American's Next Top Model persona. I knew this was going to be a blast for us. I told her "I'm going to make you be one of those Instagram models and get some people following you." We went into this session with the intention of modeling. Seattle Waterfront has been previously photographed from my session with Nikki for Week 12, however, we walked to drastically different parts of the waterfront to make it feel new. Just like the suggestion I made for Nikki, I said the same to Anna about instead of me controlling the photo shoot, it's the model controlling the shoot. The weather was perfect. The way the sun falls behind, in front, and on the side of Anna accentuated her physical facial feature, her hair, and her pose. The glow from the sun brighten her simple appearance and allow her to smile naturally. 

I asked her if she had any other plans for the day or if she had to go somewhere after our session. She left her day open just for our this. Happy to hear, I took her to an awesome restaurant she's never been to that had a fantastic view over the waterfront. We spent a good two hour over dinner and sharing about our past story and what is coming up for us. I told her to be excited for the night session because it's my favorite type of photography. Once the night fell, a new fun adventure began. 

The second part happened after dinner. We walked back to Pioneer Square through Western Ave. I love that street at night because of the grimy, harsh lighting that affects the mood of the the city. The photo above is my first published black and white image for this project. Color are great for the environment, yet, the simplicity of black and white switch shift on Anna's face is calming. Besides that, our night shoot allowed me to play around with positioning her with the environment. Once we reached to the open park in Pioneer Square, I brought out my copper string light for her to hold on. The last image on the bottom of the blog is the result with the prop. It adds a subtle, yet illuminating light to bring out a fun side of her. 

There were two weird encountered during our session. The first time a stranger came up and interrupted our session just to get a picture with Anna. I pretended I was taking the picture for him to get on moving. The second time another stranger tried to get a picture of Anna using his phone. Having fed up from the first encountered, I sternly told the man to not do that and leave us alone. These guys were loving the fact there were two women having a photo shoot together and wanted a part of it. You can feel how annoyed just from writing what happened. Encounters like this occurs all the time for photographer and models, especially out shooting on location. We either tell them to let us be or walk away to a different spot. All in all, have fun and move on. 

Before finishing up, I want to say it was great for me to give Anna that opportunity to unleash her inner modeling with me. That means she was comfortable behind serious and seductive in front of my camera. With that persona, I focused on making sure her pose succeeded and matched what she had intended. Although, I did crack some jokes or asked her about any time that made her laugh just for me to capture her smile. That's what I want! Her big smile! 

Finally, I can say thank you Anna for being in my project. It was an honor to be the first photographer to give you this opportunity to have and be a model for the night. I hope what I captured gives you what you intended. Shucks, use these images for your Tinder or other dating site... Just kidding! However you use them, this is who you are. I cannot wait for us to see each other again for our Self Expression and Leadership Program and transform the world alongside with Jenna and more. 

Week 22 luckily I have photograph that person yesterday. I need to pump out that blog and share our experience before this week end! Keep an eye out for that! Thank you to my readers for taking your time. Everyone who reads my blog I love the support and your participation! 

- Sally