Teenagers can be scary to adults. They can seem like an enigma. A mysterious energy that can make you feel uncool or dumb. You might find yourself using "youth-slang" like "girl" or "wassuuup" even though kids don't talk like that anymore...even though YOU don't talk like that anymore (usually).
All that to say, this shoot could have been another embarrassing tale of "Andie tries to relate to the youths as if she isn't nearly 35." However, it WASN'T! As it turns out Josef was none of those highly generalized attributes above. He was down-to-earth, an old-soul who loves photography and vinyl, and probably possess the least amount of ego I've ever met in a teenage boy. All that to say, he was kind, personable, creative, and open. The ideal model.
We blasted Red Hot Chili Peppers in my 70's retro studio and worked together (along with his Mama) to create a couple looks based around the outfits and props he brought to express his personality in this, his final year of high school.
I can't imagine graduating high school right now--in the middle of a pandemic. The world in this strange in-between flux just at the moment you're thrust out into it. What a challenge lies ahead for these young adults. And what a joy it was to capture the happiness, the strangeness, the celebration of a big accomplishment, and the interests that helped get this kid through this last year.
Rock on, Josef! We'll be rooting for you. Go out, do good, make smart choices, and be brave.
Josef has dreams of becoming a photography teacher at his old school. I think that's awesome. What an honor to photograph a budding photography teacher. I hope when he is older, he looks back on these photos and smiles--remembering all the highs of his last year as a high school kid and all the lesson that the lows taught him. I hope he carries these with him into adulthood, and into the classroom...and I hope he retains the kind of teenage confidence and cool that keeps him from saying "Girrrrrl" in a panic when trying to relate to his students.
You always want the kids to learn from your mistakes, don't ya? Do you have any wisdom to impart on this year's graduating seniors? Leave it in the comments below.
Peace-out homies. Catch ya on the flip side. Hit me up if you or someone you know wants some unique, vintage, editorial senior photos!
I've been fortunate to work with Culture Flock for a few years now. I love creating photoshoots for them--not only are they my favorite place to shop for gifts for myself and others, but I also just love being able to work with another local, queer, women-owned business! They have always been so encouraging and let me take full creative control with these shoots--what a dream!
This Spring 2021 T-Shirt line of theirs is my favorite they've done yet. I mean--look at these shirts! So freaking cool. The illustrations, designs, colors...love! I can't pick a favorite. Can you?
For this shoot, I spent the whole day at Nathaniel Greene Park shooting back to back with each model. I had a different area of the park, props, and a general theme idea for each shoot relating to the shirt.
The models Trevor, Sheristen, Mindy, Heather, Hannah, Johnny, and Brennan killed it!
I hope you enjoyed seeing a few of my favorite shots from this shoot. Let me know if you have any questions!
Be sure to check out Cultureflock.com to grab these shirts.
When Chloe at Hey Babe Curated reached out to me to shoot the lookbook for her Valentine Collection of vintage lingerie and handmade fine jewelry...I was instantly inspired and excited. I've shot Chloe in her own vintage finds before and it's always a blast. Ever since she launched her own business, Hey Babe Curated, I've been drooling over her inventory and even snagged a pair of her gorgeous earrings for myself (#treatyoself).
When she dropped off the inventory (which was a lot more than I expected), she said that just wanted me to have options to create whatever I felt inspired to create (god, I love clients like that!) and boy was I ever inspired! Before I knew it, I had pages of ideas and I passionately wanted to create them all! So, I did.
I came up with 8 set ups I wanted to do and styled 8 looks for each of them and planned what props I wanted. Then, I set out to browse the valentine aisle at the local drug store, rummaged my own inventory, and went hunting down the aisles of a few flea markets to get some props.
I reached out to Micayla Storm to model and she said yes. This was her first time modeling and she killed it! Then, I set the shoot schedule for the day to optimize our time. Once the preplanning was done, all that was left to do was shoot. We had a lot of fun creating these looks back to back!
My whole idea behind each of these images was a self-love valentine... feeling gorgeous and sexy in your skin for yourself. Pampering and showering yourself in love... either through chocolates, a facemask, a good cup of coffee, relaxing in pretty lingerie, playing card games, or just plain enjoying your own damn company. Feelin' yourself...you feel me?
I think whether you are in a relationship with someone else or not, Valentines Day can be a great day to show up for yourself and write yourself a love letter of all you've accomplished, been through, survived, and really express your appreciation of all the gifts you have to offer the world.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
YOU ARE WORTHY.
YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Shop Hey Babe Curated
When Season reached out to me to create some photos she said she wanted some couples portraits with more of an editorial vibe. My favorite! She said that they weren't really into traditional couples portraits and wanted something different, more artistic and unique. She sent me a few reference photos so I could better understand the look they were going for.
We started at their home (see photos below) which was a gorgeously decorated downtown loft full of art and large windows. Swoon!
Next, they changed into their second look and we headed out to C-street. We parked at one end, hopped out and started walking, stopping wherever we felt inspired...which was, like, a lot. I swear I could have kept shooting these two for hours...but it was freezing cold and I already had shot about 1,000 images so we called it a day.
I went through all the photos, tossing out the bad apples and redundancy along the way. Then, I edited about 800 of them with a first round color correction in Lightroom and then did another round of zooming way in to find unwanted blinks, slightly out of focus (in the not cool way), and more unnecessary redundancy and narrowed it down to a final count of about 320 final photos. I then exported a few more for some additional retouching in photoshop and then presto finito! I'm done and the photos are off to the client within a week of being shot.
I used the Template app to create these cool collages of the photos. I love how they turned out!
Are you looking for a couples shoot that's a little different? If you like highly artistic, creative shoots...shoot me a message! Let's create some magic.
Hannah is a dancer, model, and sophomore in High School. This is my second time working with Hannah to help creative some creative editorial portraits for her growing portfolio. I love working with her and her mom, Emery.
Usually for these types of shoots I start by asking if there is any particular style, theme or idea the client already has in mind...if not, I'll brainstorm a couple different ideas and create little collages to help the client visual each idea so they can choose which direction they want to go in.
Then, I figure out the set, lighting and sometimes the styling, hair and makeup looks. For this shoot we went with a combination of three ideas: 1. Colorful car shoot, 2. Water shoot, 3. Outdoor urban night shoot. These were easy enough to combine all in one location (on the roof of a parking garage in downtown Springfield).
I brought one of my regular lights and two color led lights along with a power converter plug for my car so I could make sure I had power to light the shoot. I love how it turned out.
I don't think I've ever felt such strong imposter syndrome before this week. It's just been one of those weeks where everything is happening so fast that it feels hard to conjure the special sauce of creation. I had four photo shoots for 12 shirts for Culture Flock and then a wedding, all in one week, plus regular work hours, et all. In short, I felt like a chicken with her head cut off running and shooting and hoping I got the shot, and then editing when not shooting and second guessing myself and re-editing and third guessing myself and re-editing and thinking of all the ideas I could have done but didn't think of in time and then hitting "send" with a prayer and baited breath, just hoping I didn't let everyone down. I don't know... is it at all comforting to know that all these years of doing photography and two years into this being my official business that I'm struggling with feeling "legit" or is it depressing to know that? It is what it is, I suppose. Just a part of the human condition.
This was a great week for my business and I should be celebrating that, instead of beating myself up over all I could have done better... but then, that serves a purpose too, doesn't it? Things to do differently next time so I can create even better work than I have before. This is the process of progress--create, make some mistakes, learn, create better, make different mistakes, learn, create better and so on and so forth until the end. But enough about that! Let's get to the photoshoot itself and these awesome tees on these gorgeous gals!
Working with Culture Flock is always a dream come true--I love their products and I love their mission and I love the creative freedom they give me on these photoshoots. We decided to create four sets with four models modeling all the shirts for each element of the zodiac sign. So Charlotte modeled all the air signs (above)... which had "air swirls" and a yellow backdrop.
Michelle (above) modeled the fire signs and had a fire crown and candles for her set on a pink backdrop. I made the decision to light the candles in post since my studio is a wood paneled basement and the candles were set on wood crates on a paper backdrop... just seemed like that would be tempting fate.
Randa (above) modeled the earth signs (hi! Taurus here!) with plants on a gorgeous green backdrop.
And Kimber modeled the water signs with a blue backdrop, blue floral touches, and vases of water.
These shirts are selling out fast, so be sure to grab yours while you still can at https://cultureflock.com/
And if you're feeling like an imposter at all this week, just know you're in good company and keep trucking along... the feeling will pass, and your talent and skill will continue to improve the more you do it.
PS. Culture Flock's response to the photos was, "I just wanted to say these photos are fucking awesome! Thank you so much! You are SO talented and we love working with you!" So take that imposter syndrome! Take that right to the bank, ya dummy.
This was one of the most fun family/porch sessions I've ever done. Not only is this family absolutely gorgeous, but they are hilarious, loving, and have the best yard with tons of places to take really pretty photos. A photographer's dream!
The girls had lots of ideas for photos, like this one of Momma and daughters laying on the ground... Love it!
Getting your photo taken while being pushed on a tire swing sure beats your usual school photo day! Due to the pandemic, the girls are going to school virtually this year so this Porch Portrait session doubled and tripled as a family photo session and school photos for each of the girls.
Plus, some super romantic golden-hour shots for mom and dad too. They deserve it!
Scroll through for some of my favorites from the shoot below to see how fun and fabulous this family is! There's some bonus shots of their gorgeous pup and cat too!
If you're interested in getting photos of your kids taken this year from the comfort and safety of your own home/front or back yard... shoot me a message! When kids can play and pose on their home turf, you can get so much more of their personality to come out in the photos. Also, the holidays are coming up soon and I'd love to create some more family photos and holiday cards!
Mandy wanted to do a photoshoot based around the fantasy of hitchhiking to Woodstock. She had been going through a rough period of time and I, for one, truly believe in embracing a sense of play and self-love through the pampering of one's body, spirit, and mind when making your way through the valley's of life. It is my hope that we were able to do just that through this shoot.
For this little shoot, Mandy styled herself and did her own hair; I just assisted with some natural, subtle make-up. We shot as it was nearing golden-hour outside, near my studio.
I was inspired to try a sort of crazy idea--some months earlier I had saved a bunch of vintage camera's that my best friend Jonathan was going to throw away when moving. I gifted all but one to my girlfriend for her birthday as she had been saying for a while that she wanted to start a collection of vintage cameras. As I was thinking how I wanted to create these vintage-looking images... I got curious about what it would look like if I could shoot through the viewfinder of one of the vintage cameras. I would love to have actually used one of them--but I don't have film and I don't know if they work yet, so this seemed like an exciting (if unconventional) alternative.
I ended up shooting half of the images with my regular, professional camera and half using that camera but shooting through the viewfinder of a vintage Canon film camera. For reference, the images below were all taken through the viewfinder. It created this dreamy, soft look that I think worked really well for what we were going for!
What do you think? Was it a successful experiment?
I looked up a lot of 60's and 70's photos of style and hair and make-up for references. My models, Jacki & Sheristen brought some of their own retro items and we pooled our clothing resources to create these looks featuring the Culture Flock t-shirts.
This was my first in-studio photoshoot since the Covid pandemic began, so I made sure to do everything I could to keep everyone safe. I kept a mask on the whole time, wore gloves and used disposable tools to do make-up, etc. I checked in often with the models (both before and during the shoot) to make sure everyone was comfortable with everything. I am happy to report the shoot when smoothly and safely. It's certainly a strange time... and I think we all felt the giddiness of getting to play and create together after months of solitude and uncertainty.
For props, I used an old 8mm camera and some film, a retro rotary phone, my touch-screen make-up mirror, and an "Oscar" my mom sent me when I was trying to be an actor in LA (hehe awww).
This was a super fun shoot and the ladies killed it. Sheristen had us cracking up improvising the whole time, and Jacki is an old pro by now--she was my own little barbie doll/muse for every creative photo idea I had for the first few years after I moved to Springfield before I started my business.
Pretty cool--this shoot was all women-powered with T-shirts made by the two incredible women at Culture Flock, images created by me, and modeled by two gorgeous ladies.
Don't forget to go check out all Culture Flock has to offer at https://cultureflock.com/
I'm Andie Bottrell, a multidisciplinary creative based in Springfield, MO. This blog is designed to give you an inside peak into the process behind my projects and to share my work.