It's funny how things work out sometimes. A random handful of events lead to this gorgeous shoot. Despite the fact it was pulled together extremely last minute, it turned out stunning. It all started when Julie Paisley came to Tennessee to teach a workshop. My friend (and fellow photographer) Stacy Preston attended her workshop, and while she and Julie were chatting, Stacy shared my website with Julie, and mentioned that I shot her birth story with film. Next thing I know, Julie is messaging me. She had been wanting to get into film, and asked if I ever taught mentor sessions. Little did she know that teaching is one of my favorite things to do! In fact, I've been working behind the scenes a little to pull together some options for photographers wanting to learn from me...but more on that later.
We chatted back and forth for a bit about her doing a mentor session with me and finally decide to make it happen. She had one free day in town before she had to head back to her home in Florida, so we planned for her to come on over to the farm to talk shop and shoot some film. This then left me with the challenge of pulling a shoot together for us, something that usually takes a little more than an afternoon of planning.
Lucky for me, my best friend's sister Taylor happened to be in town. She lives in Washington, DC., but she came to town that week to be in a friend's wedding. She literally came straight from the airport to my house, and when I realized she was free the next afternoon, I immediately begged her to model. I mean, why wouldn't I? She's stunning! A few more phone calls, and I had borrowed a dress from a bridesmaid from one of my fall weddings, and a fabulous fall bouquet was made by the genius Hillary of Brocade Designs. And naturally, the farm severed as our location. With such a random assortment of items pulled from different sources in a matter of hours, it could have easily been mismatched, yet amazingly, we had a perfectly cohesive look for Julie and me to practice shooting a little film.
And so, our day together began on my couch as we spent the morning discussing all kinds of photography business topics. When it was time to shoot, Julie pulled out her medium format, and between the two of us, an instructional book and a couple of YouTube videos, we managed to get the thing loaded with film. It was slow going for Julie to shoot with it though, which I understand completely...there is a reason I only shoot 35mm! So I put my Canon EOS3 in her hands, and a lightbulb went off for her. I feel like 35mm is often regarded as the red-headed stepchild of the film world, but for some people like me and Julie, it's just what fits best. I loved teaching Julie, and I can't wait to do more teaching soon!
Photographers, if you're interested in doing a mentor day with me, please email me for details or sign up for my photographer's newsletter. I'll cater the entire day to teaching you whatever you want to learn, whether it be shooting manually with either digital or 35mm film, how to balance work life with home life, streamlining your workflow, or figuring out your style & brand. I'm also tinkering with the idea of teaming up with Stacy for a workshop retreat. When the time comes, we'll making announcements via email, so be sure you're signed up for that newsletter.
Here are the results of the super last minute yet still totally awesome shoot. I haven't seen Julie's images yet, but I'm sure they're fantastic. HUGE thanks to Hillary for pulling this bouquet together. Shot with my Canon EOS3 + Portra 160 or Tri-X 400, developed by Richard Photo Lab. (Side note: I'm totally loving these black and white images. I shoot Tri-X all the time, but usually indoors during dark situations. I need to start shooting it in the daylight more!)