March 3, 2014
Aside from listening to incredibly inspiring speakers and business savvy photographers at UNITED 2014 (which you can read more about here), I shot. A lot. Every day. Morning, afternoon, and night. The amazing people of UNITED hosted official styled photo shoots and other photographers in the community held their own as well – opening them up to the photographers and videographers at the conference. I got to work with some amazingly talented folks, and I am so blessed to be part of such a welcoming and collaborative community.
The first shoot of the week… a mini portrait session my roommate, Rebecca Read, and I did before heading to our first seminar of the day. I can’t say enough about Becca. I met her last year through a mutual photography friend at WPPI and she is just the most genuine, kind-spirited, and open person I’ve ever met. Belly aching laughs, deep late night conversations, and plenty of iced coffees were shared with this girl over the UNITED trip. Love her to pieces. Isn’t she gorgeous?
Photography credit (below): Rebecca Read Photography
The next session I photographed was called “Offbeat Bride.” I worked with some amazing peeps on this one… the models (wedding videographers) Mycah and Bobby Burns of Redmond Digital Media totally rocked it out. Being the person behind the camera is one thing and comes natural to most of us, but stepping out in front of the camera can sometimes be terrifying. But these two… they were naturals. They are beautiful people both inside and out and the photos show that. Mycah and Bobby – it was a pleasure working with and meeting the both of you! I hope the future brings us another opportunity to work together again 🙂 And I can’t forget Carrie Swails – the gracious photographer who put together this shoot for everyone. Carrie – it was wonderful working with you and thank you so much for letting us be a part of your vision.
The next shoot, styled by Stephanie Arieno and again by Carrie Swails – was equally as cute and fun. The models, Jamie Hudson and Ling Harris – stepped out of their comfort zone and into the frames of dozens of photographers. They both did a fantastic job making sure to work with each and every photographer on the shoot… listening to our directions… taking the time to look at every single camera… and of course give us genuine smiles and gorgeous smoldering eyes. Jamie rocked a vintage gown, while Ling modeled a Sue Wong dress that she actually wore to her own wedding reception. The beautiful paper bouquets were made by Paper Posies and added a unique ornate detail – which are some of my favorite things to shoot…
The last shoot was a Gatsby themed trolley ride to a private estate with a special surprise… We photographed the founder of UNITED as well as the Showit and PASS creator, David Jay and his girlfriend Ali. Showit and PASS have both been photography business changing programs so in the nerdy photography world that I live in and love… it was kind of like shooting a celebrity. #nerdalert But in all seriousness, David and Ali were adorable and so fun to shoot… and getting to shoot on a private estate in Santa Barbara? Well that’s not something that happens every day. HUGE thanks to everyone that helped put this session together… Kristin Renee (Production Coordinator), Krisd Mauga of Refined Rebel (Stylist), and Jenny Hopwood (Makeup), Embellishment Floral Studio (Hair Accessories).
Every shoot was different and fun in it’s own way. I got to work with some extremely talented photographers, shoot some easy on the eyes models, and work in locations that I don’t often see in Chicago – especially not in this polar vortex that we’ve been stuck in for months! THANK YOU to everyone that helped make these shoots happen during an already amazing conference. Your hard work, generosity, and gracious spirits are what help push us past our creative limits. You are making all of us better photographers and for that I am forever grateful.