Erica & Lexi McStay.

posted in Shoots

Erica & Lexi McStay.

Erica has been one of my favorite models for a long time, and her little sister, Lexi, has been a great model & photography student. Anytime Erica comes back into town I’m always so delighted to get to photograph these two gorgeous gals again.

For this particular photo adventure we began by taking portraits in my studio. The first shoot for my book Portraits: A Field Guide. Afterward Erica wanted photos of her floating in the water while wearing a flowy dress. Unfortunately she forgot to pack her flowy dresses, and after an unsuccessful trip to Thrift Town we went to Inspiration Point to walk around, catch up, and take pictures in the water.

On our hike down to the lake, Erica & I told Lexi about the time we once did a silent shoot there. When I loaded a roll of film, and told Erica that we wouldn’t talk at all until I’d taken every photo on that roll. It was an interesting experiment, because instead of me telling her where to stand and how to pose, she led the shoot, looking for backgrounds and lighting she liked, while I scrambled around her trying to find the best angle and silently interpret the shot she wanted. After explaining this to Lexi, we all had the same idea; to try it again. Since I was on my digital camera, we decided instead of 24 pictures, that we’d shoot for 5 minutes in total silence. First Erica, then Lexi. It was interesting because shooting that way forces me to photograph angles & lighting I would usually never want to, and I’m often surprised how good they end up looking.

After two new silent shoots, we went down to Lake Worth, dipped our toes into the cool, still water, struggling to stand on the algae-covered rocks. We had to move very slowly and feel for flat surfaces before every step, and I was only able to use my old film camera, out of fear of falling in. But Erica said it was one of the funnest shoots we’d done in a long time.

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