I enjoy sharing new portrait work with you on this blog. I recently tested with a new face, AriAnne. She contacted me through my Instagram, responding to a post I did seeking new faces to test shoot. She’s a lovely young woman of 19 years of age who seems to be equally beautiful on the inside. She attends college and works with the elderly.
It turns out AriAnne has a love of vintage clothing. We got to employ some of it on this photo shoot.
We did these looks at the Alabama Walking Parking in Fort Payne, Alabama. There’s a wonderful new water park inside where we did swimwear looks.
We were fortunate enough to arrive at a time when there were not a lot of people there. It makes it much easier when children aren’t around to get in the background. These days, parents can be pretty suspicious of your intent when you are a stranger in a park with a camera.
AriAnne’s grandmother accompanied her to the photo shoot. She expressed her relief upon meeting me and seeing that I am a normal, nice man who actually wanted to create photos rather than something more nefarious. While that was a great compliment, it made me a bit sad, longing for the days when the world was safer for young people.
I told her grandmother that I fully understand, having a teenage daughter of my own. And I can imagine what she must have thought when her granddaughter revealed that she was meeting a man to “take some pictures”. Out of context, that sounds dreadful.
AriAnne’s choice of vintage swimwear evoked the style of that yesteryear when youngsters could more freely roam without fearing all of the monsters in the world. As I created this photo set, I found myself nostalgic for the innocence of my mother’s youth when teens were not under so much pressure to live up to some image in mass media and considered it fun to socialize in the real world rather than their faces buried in electronic devices.
Sometimes I wish we could all go back to that simpler time. I wish I could go back to my own youth in the 1980s and remember how it felt to live in the moment, my whole life ahead of me, reveling in my invincibility, mesmerized by beauties like AriAnne. I can remember how it felt to muster the nerve to walk up and talk to a girl like her, with a smile so dazzling it makes the whole world seem a bit more wonderful.
These are the thoughts that go through my head as I am framing the shot and communicating with the model what I want in terms of telling the story.
Many thanks to AriAnne for her time and her great vintage clothing! It’s always such a pleasure to meet nice people and help them realize how beautiful they are and how confident they should feel in their own skin.
I’m always looking for new faces to test with. If anyone viewing this would like to test with me, please send me an email and we can talk about it.