Portraits in My New Studio With My First Human Model

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My friend Dustin Fitzharris is always happy to model for me when I want to try some new equipment or ideas. I was happy that he was able to help me try out my expanded studio space and some new light modifiers. In this post I invited Dustin to write about his experience in my studio.

There are things in life that just remain the same—no matter how old you get. Looking through old photo albums, it appears my mother had my picture taken every other week. She said I made it easy for her, since I never shied away from the camera. I can tell she put a lot of thought into those photos, too, because I was always dressed to the nines. Some of those outfits I cringe at today, but she always defends herself saying, “That cost me good money.” Or, “I had that made.”

Today, I still look for the camera, but apart from having my picture taken with iPhones when I’m out with friends, there aren’t many opportunities to be photographed by a professional photographer. However, when I find myself in need of photos, I always turn to Alan Barnett.

While I enjoy taking pictures, I am not a professional model, nor do I know the tricks of the trade. That’s where I rely on Alan. What I do have, though, is a vision for what look I am trying to capture. It’s typical for me to arrive at Alan’s studio with a bag filled with different styles of clothing. As I lay them out, Alan quickly begins formulating the colors, the poses, the lighting, and the background in his mind. From there my job becomes easy.

In our most recent shoot, I wanted to capture a professional look in one beat and a grunge vibe in another. Understanding lighting techniques, Alan made this happen—far beyond the change in clothes. And just when I feel like I’m lost in a deep, smoldering pose, taking myself way too seriously, Alan will use his witty sense of humor to remind me why I love taking pictures so much; it’s just fun.

In pictures I can be whoever I want, and I trust Alan to create the images that will make others smile, think, and want to see more. I know he’s doing something right because my mother loves what he captures—although now she cringes at the outfits I choose!

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