Despite no horse involved, I’m so in love with my second set of images from The Traveling Dress Project!

While I only had the dress for about 36 hours, I managed to pack three completely different shoots in. Here are some images and behind the scenes from my second shoot!

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In case you missed it, here’s my first shoot and it’s behind the scenes post.

You can also learn more by visiting The Traveling Dress Project’s website, but basically, it involves one dress that was found in a thrift store by photographer Gianella Simon and is being shipped to photographers all around the world to photograph in their individual styles. At the end, a book will be made with the photographs. Proceeds will benefit Operation Smile.

For this second shoot, I had the privilege of shooting in a photo studio: Creative Focus, owned by Tracey O’Connell and located in Chestertown, Maryland.

Tracey graciously allowed me to shoot in her studio for a completely different look – as well as a chance to get out of the crazy cold wind outside! (Added bonus – we use the same brands of gear, both for cameras and lights – so I could use what I had AND what she had!)

Like with the first shoot, I had a wonderful team of people who volunteered to participate in the project:

  • Model: Jordan Clark
  • Hair/Makeup: Salon 854
  • Behind the Scenes: Bee Fisher
  • Studio: Creative Focus, Tracey O’Connell

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If you are reading this, you probably know that the vast majority of what I shoot is horses using natural light. So for some reason, I decided to photograph a person with only studio lighting!

I had three scenes planned, and I started with the most complicated one first: the candles.

At first I tried to get the candles (ambient light) and studio lights to work together, but the studio lights were simply too powerful, even when I put on a grid.

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In the end, I actually used two of the studio lights – but the modeling lights only! This allowed me to get the natural glow of the candles, while still lighting Jordan enough to get photos.
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The second setup I had planned was, as I called it, White on White on White on White! I’m a big fan of monochromatic scenes, and when I saw the painted white trees in Tracey’s studio, I just knew I had to use them somehow.

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Tracey was not only the studio owner, but loved the idea behind the project and was super excited to help out!

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The third and final setup was the simplest. A lovely blue canvas backdrop and one light. We also quickly shook out Jordan’s hair for a slightly different look.

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I know my models and and clients sometimes think I’m crazy when I ask them to do things like tuck their elbows back or stick out their chin, but what feels awkward in person can look amazing in a photo!

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This shoot was very far out of my comfort zone – Tracey and I had some good laughs at my inability to use a light meter! (I use the back of my camera and my histogram.)

I’m so glad I pushed myself to try something I don’t normally do though. Not only did I get to expand my own boundaries, but once again I got to work with talented people and make new friends.

Another big thank you to the people who helped me pull this shoot off!

Watch for my third shoot for The Traveling Dress Project – horse included.

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