Simple But Not Easy: A Photo Shoot Narrative

Lately, I’m beginning to feel how the environment is becoming more decisive in how I shoot portraits, so location isn't something I take lightly anymore. A place like downtown Manhattan makes the job a lot easier though; just about any way I turn, I would find a distinctive feature to include in the frame. I especially prefer anything that resonates to antique design or intricate patterns!

Later in the spring, when I first walked through Washington Mews for the first time, I knew I needed to return and take portraits. Washington Mews is a small, intimate street with a European-like flair. Most units have flower beds and plants by their front door, which, along with a paved roadway, make a pleasant impression in the middle of the busy street NY life. Unfortunately, the harsh split light condition on this day didn't do any justice; so returning on an overcast day would be ideal.

Once I recognized my limitations, I chose to remove those distractions with minimal compositions by using elements in the background like plans and textures from rough and brick walls. Looking back , I think this is when this photo session was set on track.

Not long after I began this photo session with Christina, I couldn't help stopping by an entryway to an office building that had a checkered floor. I was intrigued by how it matched Christina's outfit and how the warm tones in the brick wall added a splash of color to the overall setting. The working space was small, which for me meant that my best option was to shoot with a wide-angle of view; I like how that approach adds energy to the image.


I was excited to find a patterned wall near an NYU building carved with intricate organic shapes. It stood out to me the moment I saw it; so I didn’t hesitate to recommend Christina to seat on a nearby bench to do some static portraits. Christina is a professional Rumanian model living in NYC, aside from modeling for campaigns in the US; her modeling career has taken her to diverse countries in both Europe and Asia.

Lastly, I wish to add that doing this sort of photo sessions shouldn't require much gear, especially when working alone in a busy environment like Manhattan. Most likely, on future opportunities, I will force myself to pack much lighter, even if that means only taking one camera and one lens.

To follow Christina on Instagram:@crissamc8