We’d started the session with headshots, wine, Lee Anne’s choice of Spotify tracks (which included Louis C.K. stand-up comedy), then switched gears to shower shots just before sunset. The light was perfect and I wanted to use only natural light through the single window in the shower for this shoot. The water ended up nicely backlit and the single light source created nice interior shadows. But what really made the shots great was that Lee Anne was totally comfortable posing for the shoot and felt confident about how she looked. Maybe it was the wine and comedy, but more likely, it was the result of clear, open and honest communication between the two of us – along with having ample time to warm up to the idea and adjust to the environment and situation before shooting.
Having the right vibe in the room and chemistry between a photographer and their subject is crucial to getting good results, though we were also lucky enough to end up with perfect, natural light to help us out. This made it possible to grab a couple of natural-looking silhouette shots and cinematic contrast. I chose six images to use for my set that had similar color grading and style, but for a few others, I played around with the editing a bit to see what else I could do with them.
Since I’m a huge fan of cinematic portrait photography (and it’s naturally part of my style as a filmmaker), I stuck with that look in the final edits of my set of six. I’m really happy with the color of these and I’m glad we caught the light when we did.
I’d like to shoot another shower set at some point in the future and will probably change things up for a slightly different feel, but I had a great time working on this project and it was a blast working with Lee Anne. My goal with this set was to create a beautiful, natural-looking and cinematic set of images. With the right blend of trust, a comfortable, inspiring environment and a great model, it was much easier than I could’ve expected to get great shots.