Tuesday Viewsday: Modeling in the Warehouse District

For some reason, I just can’t seem to get motivated these days. Do you ever have that? It’s like writer’s block, but with everything you do. I don’t want to clean the house, I don’t want to write blog posts, I don’t want to edit photos or build websites… I just don’t want to do anything. It’s times like these when I just have to force the motivation. Once you get the ball rolling, then it’s hard to stop until the end. I also find it helps to give myself a reward when I do something productive like ice cream or a nap.

This past weekend, I forced the motivation to finish up the hardwood floors and windows in my living room. I’m only a few coats of paint away from being done and finally moving furniture in. The fiancé is beside herself (I surprised her for Valentine’s Day) and is already planning the final layout of the room. I’m just happy to start using my hands for pushing a shutter button and running a Wacom tablet than scraping old varnish and sanding away old paint.

Quick Sidenote: Whitney Houston
While most of us can remember where we were when 9/11 happened or Kennedy was shot, Saturday, February 11, 2012 probably will be just another date that is mentioned in passing. It’s unfortunate that so many great hearts, minds, and voices, like Whitney Houston’s, go so gently into Thomas’s dark night and so early in life.

I am not sure what caused her death and I’m not sure I care to know, but one thing remains true, no matter what: she was a powerful force in music and she was taken too early in life. I hope that she finds peace wherever she ends up; I figure Heaven’s choir just added a new soprano to their ranks. I know there is, and will be, enough said about her over the next few days, but as a musician, I have to say that while the date of her death may be just another day, her voice and her collection of songs will last well beyond my lifetime and many more to come.

Thunderstruck

Amanda modeling a new T-shirt

Thunderstruck

If you told me in high school that one day my best friend will one of the best DJ’s in the United States, I would have said you were crazy. Zoom forward and here I am: the official photographer for one of the most popular DJ websites around, White Folks Get Crunk.

This little music blog, started by my college roommate, DJ Real Juicy, in our small house on Bradley Avenue, has blown up in the DJ world over the past few years as has Juice’s career.

His résumé includes playing sets with Mighty Mi, opening for Steve Aoki and Flo Ride, and playing gigs all over including Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Las Vegas, and even Finland!

As friends, Juice and I support each other in both of our crafts, music and photography, so I love trying out new techniques when working on WFGC projects. One of the main areas of the WFGC website is the online merchandise store, but I felt that the images of the shirts hanging on hangers or laying on a floor weren’t really compelling and wouldn’t draw the user in.

I’ve only had a little commercial photography experience, but I wanted to try my hand at shooting some more “action” shots of girls modeling the merchandise. In the midst of developing the Crunk Girl of the Month feature on the website (that story is for another time), I was also able to shoot some great images for Juice’s online web store.

I shot this image of one of my favorite models, Amanda, who has been modeling for less than a year, as the first Crunk Girl and we featured her in the brand new Thunderstruck T-shirt that Juice was promoting. I own one of these bad boys myself; I love this shirt because, unlike most of the WFGC merchandise, the design is very “rock n’ roll” and not as “DJ/club.”

With the T-shirt design as my guide, I decided to go with a location that was a little more urban so we headed into the Warehouse District in Peoria and found a little alley off the beaten path. The golden hour was upon us and I had Amanda try a number of poses, but this one quickly became my favorite.

The bokeh on this image is really nice; the focus is still on Amanda, but we have some industrial, rusted elements in the background, which adds a nice touch to the overall feeling. The colors in the background are also contrasting compared to the black of the shirt and they tie in well with Amanda’s blue jeans as well. I also love the way she is posing – nothing says “badass/sexy” like hands on the hips, weight on the back foot, hips shifted, and looking out like she doesn’t care about anything or anyone. Now that’s some great modeling!

For the photographers out there, here’s a quick posing tip: placing weight on the back leg/foot will make models slimmer in frame.

So what do you think? Got a comment or critique? I’d love to hear what you have to say!

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